Tuesday, November 12, 2013

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 11/11/13

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at: http://www.vcdl.org/join
VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT: http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html

1. Let's support Bedford County's plan to arm teachers THIS Wednesday!
2. Reminder: Open Carry Day in New Castle is THIS Saturday!
3. Reminder: VCDL President presentation at Tea Party event this weekend
4. VCDL supper meeting in Salem on Tuesday, November 19th
5. Another report shows that gun control has not reduced violent crime
6. Who needs a gun on a NOVA campus?
7. Firearm found in student's vehicle at Warhill High
8. James City Police offer firearm safety courses in November
9. Senate decisively rejects U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
10. Abramski v. US to be heard by Supreme Court
11. Supreme Court declines to hear MD CHP case
12. ATF threatens French-style firing squad for agents who leak secrets (video)
13. Man imprisoned over legally purchased guns laments a life destroyed
14. Woman killed after gun goes off while hugging boyfriend
15. Shell gas station fires clerk for pulling gun on robber
16. Texas gun owners stage rally at the Alamo
17. Special Investigation: The truth about British crime rates - 2013
18. You might need a gun on a motorcycle in Brazil! (video)

1. Let's support Bedford County's plan to arm teachers THIS Wednesday!

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors is going to meet this Wednesday, November 13, at 7 PM. As you might recall from a previous VA-ALERT item, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors want the law changed so that schools can arm teachers if the schools wish to do so and if the individual teachers want to participate.

While this isn't as far as VCDL would like to go, it is an excellent start that will make schools safer and might well save some precious lives.

Those of you in the Bedford area: let's show our support for the Board of Supervisors by attending that meeting! I plan on attending to speak on behalf of VCDL. f it appears that we get enough of you to show up, I'll ask the audience members that agree to stand up. You could also make your own statement to the Board of Supervisors - call 540-586-7601 ahead of time to schedule a chance to speak.

I'll arrive around 6:45 to hand out "Guns Save Lives" stickers.


Bedford County Administration Building
122 East Main Street, 2nd floor
Bedford, VA

See you there!

2. Reminder: Open Carry Day in New Castle is THIS Saturday!

Open Carry Day in New Castle is THIS Saturday! (New Castle is west of Roanoke on Hwy. 311).

It is being held on Main Street, Saturday, November 16th, from 10 AM to 3 PM. It is an event sanctioned by the town.

There will be carriage rides, street vendors, etc! I've been honored to be on of the guest speakers at the event.

If you are free that Saturday, this sounds like the place to be! Imagine, a whole town celebrating our right to keep and bear arms.

NOTE: VCDL will have a table at this event - contact Board member Al Steed Jr. at al@vcdl.org if you can help man the booth. Set up time for the booth is 8:30 AM

**A big turnout to this celebration by gun owners would certainly send a strong message to other towns and cities in Virginia.**

More information can be found on the event's web site:


3. Reminder: VCDL President presentation at Tea Party event this weekend

The Virginia Tea Party is having a conference titled "Changing the Rules of the Game" on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 15, 16, and 17th at:

DoubleTree by Hilton
1021 Koger Center Boulevard
Richmond VA 23235

I will be speaking about guns for preparedness at 9:15 AM on Sunday, November 17th (part of the 5 G's; God, Guns, Grub, Gold, Gab Workshop).

During the three-day event, they will also be covering political strategies for taking back power from a bloated, overgrown government.

For more details on this information-packed conference, click here:


and here:


4. VCDL supper meeting in Salem on Tuesday, November 19th

VCDL in SW Virginia will again have a supper meeting at:

315 8th St (Corner of 8th and Tennessee)
Salem VA

A slight CHANGE---We will order from the regular menu (instead of a buffet) this time.

We still respectively request a RSVP so the proper number number of servers can be there to assist.

Fellowship starts at 6:30 (and ordering our meals will start). We expect to be finished by 8:30 PM.

I plan to be at the meeting and will be speaking about the road ahead now that elections are mostly over.

RSVP to Board member Al Steed Jr at al@vcdl.org

5. Another report shows that gun control has not reduced violent crime

New EMS violent injury data from John Hopkins University.

The data is for the gun-control capital of Maryland - Baltimore.

The violent injury rate for non-suicides with firearms has not diminished over time (still roughly 500/year), but the death rate has dropped.

That's because emergency medial services and emergency rooms in the affected areas have faster response times and greater treatment success.

However, the ever-tightening restrictions on firearms (and Maryland and Baltimore have some of the strongest gun control in the country) has done nothing to decrease the actual violence.


6. Who needs a gun on a NOVA campus?

Some sexual assaults at the Northern Virginia Community College.

Member Tom Pike sent me this:


From NOVA Alert: http://tinyurl.com/nnzgpha

7. Firearm found in student's vehicle at Warhill High

Another example of why we need to make "intent" a key part of any felony, especially when otherwise lawfully carrying/transporting on school grounds. In this case common sense prevailed in James City.

In Fairfax some years ago a teacher made a similar *innocent* mistake. No one was hurt or in danger. The prosecutor admitted as much. But she was charged, prosecuted, convicted, and is now a felon.

Member Arch Jones emailed me this:


From The Virginia Gazette, Vagazette.com: http://tinyurl.com/kamqkyy

Firearm found in student's vehicle at Warhill High
By Susan Robertson
October 18, 2013

JAMES CITY - While checking parking passes Friday morning at Warhill High, school security officers found a firearm in a student's vehicle.

Stephanie William-Ortery with James City County Police said the firearm was found between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday morning in a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old junior girl.

"It was clear the student didn't know it was there," she said. "She was driving a vehicle she doesn't normally drive, and she was unaware it was there."

Williams-Ortery explained that the student had driven a vehicle her parents normally drive to school Friday morning. No criminal charges were brought against the student.

A blast phone call Friday afternoon notified parents of the discovery. Betsy Overkamp-Smith, director of public relations and engagement, said an announcement was also made at the school. She declined to comment on the incident.

"School administration and security personnel, including the school's resource officer, identified the driver of the vehicle and determined that there was no intent to do harm and no threat to student and staff safety," said Principal Jeff Carroll in his message to parents, which is posted on the school's website.

In his message, Carroll encouraged parents to remind their children about the consequences of taking prohibited items to school. He said parents and students should know what is inside cars, purses and backpacks before they are taken onto school grounds.

8. James City Police offer firearm safety courses in November

Member Jay Minsky emailed me this:


From The Virginia Gazette, Vagazette.com: http://tinyurl.com/k4sn9e2

James City Police offer firearm safety courses in November
October 16, 2013

JAMES CITY - Next month, James City County Police will offer free classes about firearm safety, handling and storage to the public.

Classes will be held 7-9 p.m. Nov. 12 and Nov. 25 at the Law Enforcement Center, located at 4600 Opportunity Way. The class does not include hands-on training. All personal firearms should be left at home in a secure location.

Pre-registration is required as class size is limited. Call the James City County Police Department at 757-253-1800 to register.

9. Senate decisively rejects U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Member Ted Knight emailed me this:


A bit of good news, I think...

From The Foundry, Heritage.org: http://tinyurl.com/lycz7ub

Senate decisively rejects U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
By Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.
October 15, 2013

The U.S. Senate responded decisively today to Secretary of State John Kerry's recent signature on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In a bipartisan letter led by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), half of the Senate has officially pledged to oppose the ratification of the ATT. The signatories include every Republican Senator except Mark Kirk (R-IL) and five Democratic Senators. The letter, with its 50 signatories, ends any prospect in the foreseeable future of Senate ratification of the ATT.

The signatories base their opposition to the treaty on six points, including the Administration's decision to violate its own red line by backing the adoption of the treaty through a majority-rule vote in the U.N. General Assembly. They also note that, because ATT contains "only a weak non-binding reference to the lawful ownership and use of, and trade in firearms, and recognizes none of these activities, much less individual self-defense, as fundamental individual rights," it could pose a threat to rights protected under the Second Amendment.

The signatories are also concerned about the vague standards at the heart of the treaty, which they fear will "steadily subject the U.S. to the influence of internationally-defined norms." They therefore oppose all treaties that "allow foreign sources of authority to impose judgment or control upon the U.S." With this letter, half of the Senate has therefore rejected the left's strategy of using transnational norms to remake the United States and its constitutional order. This rejection will be important in future Senate debates and public consideration of all treaties and other international commitments.

While the Senate has the lead responsibility for treaties, the House must pass any implementing legislation that is necessary to bring a treaty into effect. Because it has the power of the purse, it is also particularly responsible for funding the implementation of the ATT. A bipartisan letter, paralleling the one in the Senate and led by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), has been signed by 181 Members-more than 40 percent of the House.

These letters are a milestone in the congressional rejection of the ATT, and the public owes a debt of gratitude to the leaders of these letters. But as vital as these letters are, they are not the end of the story. The State Department accepts under the customary international law of treaties that the U.S. is bound not to violate the "object and purpose" of a signed but unratified treaty. Both Senate and House letters reject this assertion.

The Administration has also implied that it can implement the ATT through its existing authorities and without new appropriations. It is therefore incumbent on the Senate and House to reject this claim (as both the Senate and the House have already done through previous actions), hold appropriate hearings on the treaty and the Administration's proposed implementation of it, and prepare the way for this President or a future one to "unsign" the ATT and thereby end this dangerous and senseless experiment with a U.N. treaty and its vague standards.

10. Abramski v. US to be heard by Supreme Court

From Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX 36): http://tinyurl.com/lhqps69

Supreme Court agrees to hear gun case backed by Stockman
Press Release
October 15, 2013

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will hear an important case supported by Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX 36) involving the right of Americans to keep and bear arms - Abramski v. United States. The case challenges the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives's (ATF) "straw purchase" policy as consistent with federal law.

"I am grateful that the Supreme Court will review this important case. I felt this case was so important, that I joined with Gun Owners of America and other pro-Second Amendment groups to file an amicus curiae brief urging the Court to grant review," said Stockman.

"ATF's policy on so-called 'straw purchases' is illegal. No one should be convicted and made into a felon for buying and transferring a gun legally. Congress never passed a law prohibiting such purchases, and the ATF has no authority to create new crimes to plug what it perceives to be holes in the law. This case gives the Court the opportunity to rein in a lawless ATF which has repeatedly exhibited hostility to law-abiding gunowners."

"It is incomprehensible that ATF and the Justice Department wasted federal government resources prosecuting legal gun buyers for nothing more than simple technicalities on government forms while at the same time they helped in sending thousands of firearms to Mexican cartels. This rogue agency must be reined in," said Stockman

Mr. Abramski is a former police officer. His elderly uncle wanted to obtain a firearm for self-defense. Mr. Abramski made the purchase at a local gun dealer in Virginia who offered discounts to former police officers. Mr. Abramski passed a federal background check at the gun store in Virginia and then brought the handgun to another gun store in Pennsylvania, where the gun was transferred to his uncle, who also passed a federal background check.

Neither Abramski nor his uncle was prohibited from possessing the firearm. Before making his purchase Abramski asked three federally-licensed dealers how he should go about obtaining a firearm for his uncle. All three agreed the sale was legal.

Nevertheless, because Abramski bought the gun from a federally-licensed dealer, he had to fill out an form stating that he was the "actual buyer" of the firearm. The ATF claimed that Abramski's uncle was the "actual buyer" and Abramski had made a false statement in filling out the form. Abramski was eventually convicted of a felony.

Federal law does not prohibit one eligible person from buying a gun for another eligible person. It is perfectly legal to buy a gun for an eligible gunowner. The law only prohibits transfers to ineligible people. Neither Abramski nor his uncle was ineligible.

The government charged Abramski with making a false statement on the ATF Form 4473, a form that ATF requires. Had Abramski purchased the firearm from his uncle by private sale not involving an FFL, or made a gift of the gun, he could not have been charged.

Briefs in this case will be due in December 2013 and early next year, and a decision is not expected until the middle of next year.

11. Supreme Court declines to hear MD CHP case

EM Doug Peterson emailed me this:


Their decision will likely give more credibility to state-level decisions, i.e. the feds are staying out of the fray, in spite of McDonald v Chicago.

From The Washington Times: http://tinyurl.com/kkrmwte

Supreme Court declines to hear MD CHP case
By Andrea Noble
October 15, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court will not review a Maryland law requiring applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" to carry a weapon in public - passing again on an opportunity to clarify the limitations of the Second Amendment.

The case of Raymond Woollard, a Baltimore County man who sued after renewal of his concealed-carry handgun permit was denied, was among the dozens the court announced Tuesday that it would not hear.

The justices provided no explanation why they declined to review Mr. Woollard's case, as is typical.

The decision comes after the high court in April also declined to hear challenges to a strict New York law that makes it difficult for residents to get a license to carry a concealed handgun in public.

But the court's exclusion of the two cases doesn't mean it won't eventually rule on gun-control issues, said John Hudak, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies gun policy.

"It might want something bigger, it might want something broader," Mr. Hudak said. "If it feels like it's ready to rule on a hot-button issue, [the court] sometimes waits for just the right case."

Gun litigation saw an upswing after the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision in the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the city's longtime ban on most handgun ownership. But while that case established an individual right to own guns and keep them in the home, the landmark decision "left open more questions than it answered," said Mr. Hudak.

Alan Gura, a prominent gun-rights lawyer who works with the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation and represented Mr. Woollard, called the ruling "disappointing."

"The issue remains open. There will be additional cases that raise these type of issues," said Mr. Gura, who also argued the Heller case before the Supreme Court. "I do anticipate at some point the Supreme Court will wade into this territory. They just decided not to do so today."

Mr. Woollard initially filed a lawsuit challenging Maryland's gun laws in 2010 after Maryland State Police and the state's Handgun Permit Review Board declined to renew his handgun permit because he did not provide documents to "verify a threat beyond his residence," as required by state law. The Navy veteran initially received a permit to carry a gun outside his home after a 2003 break in at his residence, which led to an armed confrontation.

Last year, a U.S. District Court ruling struck down Maryland's permit law as unconstitutional, but the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision earlier this year.

Without review by the Supreme Court, Maryland - one of fewer than 10 so-called may-issue states in which the government can deny a concealed-carry permit even if certain criteria are met - can continue requiring permit seekers to show that they face a specific danger outside the home or that they need a gun as a retired law enforcement officer or to perform workplace duties.

Mr. Gura said he is setting his sights on a similar case out of New Jersey that he believes could have the next shot at the court's consideration.

A federal appeals court this summer upheld a gun law in that state that requires a "justifiable need" for a person to be granted a permit to carry a gun in public. Mr. Gura said he plans to file a petition for the Supreme Court to consider the case by the Nov. 25 deadline.

"In the Maryland case, the appeals court assumed there was a right to carry a gun outside the home and then upheld restrictions of that right," Mr. Gura said.

In contrast, he said the New Jersey ruling did not recognize that right, setting up a conflict among rulings made in different circuits.

In the wake of Tuesday's decision, Mr. Hudak said other courts could begin to "punt" on cases similar to the one in Maryland, citing the Supreme Court's decision to simply let the Maryland law stand. But, he said, the lack of a ruling by the high court could continue a steady stream of lawsuits on different aspects of gun control, as advocates continue to test the boundaries of the right to keep and bear arms.

12. ATF threatens French-style firing squad for agents who leak secrets (video)

Member Bill Hine emailed me this:


From The Washington Times: http://tinyurl.com/pr9d8wz

ATF threatens French-style firing squad for agents who leak secrets (video)

The Washington Times' Alex Swoyer interviews reporter Kellan Howell about her latest story on the Justice Department use of a photograph of a firing squad that appeared in an online manual for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The photograph of the firing squad suggests that whistleblowers could face harsh consequences. Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, worries the photograph will chill employees' right of free speech. An ATF official said that the photograph will be taken down after the government shutdown ends. (01:08)

13. Man imprisoned over legally purchased guns laments a life destroyed

A cautionary reminder for anyone visiting the People's Republic of New Jersey. Bring your passport and be prepared to be convicted of breaking a law that you didn't break.

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:


From Breitbart.com: http://tinyurl.com/ltznzcb

Man imprisoned over legally purchased guns laments a life destroyed
By AWR Hawkins
October 14, 2013

When media consultant Brian Aitken moved from Colorado to New Jersey to be closer to his son in 2009, police found legally-purchased, locked, and unloaded handguns in the trunk of his car. Aitken was arrested, imprisoned, and denied the ability to see his son.

Although Aitken regained a small taste of freedom when his 7-year sentence was commuted after 4 months, he has yet to get his life back. He is labeled a felon, which means he cannot own guns, he cannot vote, and he cannot travel internationally since his passport was revoked. Moreover, because of the firearms charges he faced over his legally purchased guns, he is barred from seeing his son.

Writing his own story on Vice.com, Aitken explains what the last three years have been like.

He writes how the judge in the case refused to allow the jury to consider exemptions that would have shown he had broken no laws in possessing locked and unloaded guns because he was moving them to a new residence. ABC News reported this same exemption for a residential move in December 2010.

Aitken writes about how Governor Chris Christie (R) commuted his sentence but also signed S2804 into law, which heightens the penalty future gun owners will face if found in possession of legally purchased guns without possessing a carry permit for the state of New Jersey.

Under S2804, the minimum sentence goes from 36 to 42 months.

Aitken misses his son and he misses his life. He misses walking into Bass Pro Shops and being able to legally purchase a gun as he did in the years prior to moving to New Jersey. He misses being able to even possess a gun for self-defense.

He is currently "petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States to hear his case and overturn his status as a felon so he can once again see his son."

14. Woman killed after gun goes off while hugging boyfriend

Two major gun-safety rules were broken in this case. 1) Finger off the trigger unless ready to fire. 2) Gun should ***ALWAYS*** be pointed in a safe direction.

And use a good holster that can be removed with the gun securely retained inside the holster.

EM Leyla Myers emailed me this:

From WTVR.com: http://tinyurl.com/l8ftvhb

Woman killed after gun goes off while hugging boyfriend
By Nick Dutton
October 3, 2013

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KTVK) - A 24-year-old woman in Arizona was shot and killed while giving her boyfriend a hug.

It happened at a home in Phoenix home Tuesday morning.

Police said the woman and her 18-year-old boyfriend were hugging when she became uncomfortable with a gun in his waistband. Authorities said as the man removed the gun it went off, striking the woman.

The victim was rushed to the hospital where she later died.

Authorities said the shooting appears accidental, but remains under investigation.

15. Shell gas station fires clerk for pulling gun on robber

Looks like the gas station would rather have a dead employee than one that can defend himself. Decision for the employees: "Fired by one or carried by six."

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:


From Breitbart.com: http://tinyurl.com/m3shz75

Shell gas station fires clerk for pulling gun on robber
By AWR Hawkins
October 16, 2013

A Nashua, New Hampshire Shell station clerk, Shannon "Bear" Cothran, was fired after pulling a gun on a robber who entered the store with a knife.

Around 3 AM Monday morning, a man armed with a knife walked into the Shell station and began "threatening" Cothran. The clerk pulled a gun from his pocket, and the would-be robber fled.

Shortly thereafter, Cothran was fired.

Although Cothran has a permit to carry a gun, CBS News reports store owner Nouria Energy Corp. "instructs its clerks to give thieves what they ask for during a robbery attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully and quickly."

After the firing, Nouria Energy Corp. issued the following statement:

Make no mistake: we care about the personal well-being of employees like
Mr. Cothran, whose years of service are truly appreciated--[it's] not about
the the money in the cash register. So, we are also especially grateful this
situation was resolved without injury.

We do respect the constitutional right to bear arms. However, we believe the
best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in
the workplace.

16. Texas gun owners stage rally at the Alamo

Texas is way behind Virginia in open carry laws. Some Texas gun owners are rallying with openly carrying long guns, which is legal in Texas (and Virginia), to make their point that they want to be able to openly carry handguns, which is not legal in Texas.

Member William Goodman emailed me this:


From NBCNews.com: http://tinyurl.com/m78aj6s

Texas gun owners stage rally at the Alamo
By Simon Moya-Smith
October 19, 2013

Hundreds of gun-rights advocates, many toting rifles and shotguns, gathered early Saturday at the Alamo in San Antonio to rally in support of gun ownership and the right to bear arms.

The rally, called "Come and Take It San Antonio," comes in response to what organizers called San Antonio police's "disregard for Texas law and The Constitution." Organizers said the police department has harassed gun owners and created a hostile environment for legal gun ownership.

Gun-rights proponents flooded a plaza near the historic site -- considered a shrine of Texas liberty since a small band of Texans fought and died in a battle against Mexican forces there in 1836. Many of those gathered carried banners, flags and sundry firearms.

The rally launched with remarks from organizers: "We aren't here to start a war today," one said, according to the San Antonio News-Express. "We are here to show that an armed society is a polite society."

Open Carry Texas President C.J. Chivers told the crowd that he wanted to hold the event in San Antonio, because of a confrontation between police and gun rights advocates a couple months ago, according to the Associated Press.

"(The San Antonio Police Department) is no longer going to be messing with us," Chivers said from a podium, with the Alamo's famed Spanish mission behind him.

The day's keynote speaker, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, is a Republican candidate for the lieutenant governor and an avid gun-rights advocate.

Patterson told NBC News that the rally was about the right of Texans to openly carry their pistols.

According to Texas law, gun owners cannot openly carry handguns, but there is no such law prohibiting the carrying of long guns. San Antonio police have recently made arrests of people carrying long guns, citing a more restrictive city ordinance banning weapons in public places.

"The premise is that someone who is openly carrying a handgun is not a criminal," he said, adding that "criminals tend to be discrete" when carrying a hand gun.

Patterson said he supports a person openly carrying a hand gun in most environments, excluding a bar.

He said a bar is "one of the few prohibitive locations that might make some sense."

Victoria Montgomery, public relations manager with Open Carry Texas, told NBC News that Saturday's rally was about "people who want to be free" and about the right to openly carry arms of all sizes.

"People are starting to wake up - they have rights," she said. "And they're standing up to protect those rights."

Montgomery said she is in favor of openly carrying a weapon in schools, restaurants and churches.

17. Special Investigation: The truth about British crime rates - 2013

Apparently the crime rates are hidden from the public by the British government. Similar accusations come up from time to time there.

EM Greg Trojan emailed me this:


From AmmoLand.com: http://tinyurl.com/nd6mmjr

Special Investigation: The truth about British crime rates - 2013
By Joanne Eisen, Paul Gallant, Alan J. Chwick & Sherry Gallant
October 14, 2013

New York --(Ammoland.com)- In 1997, a restrictive firearms law virtually banned handguns in Britain. Crime rose rapidly, but then, according to government figures, crime began to fall.

Is this really so?

It has become evident from an examination of official documents that a massive deception has evolved around their reporting of crime statistics. British subjects, themselves, do not trust the sudden turnaround in the figures. Nor do we.

We think that something stinks in the UK, and it appears to be the cultivation of rotten statistics and its cover-up.

Here is what we found.

Professor Adrian Smith, in a report commissioned by the Secretary of State for the Home Office said;

"The Home Secretary is concerned that public trust in the crime statistics
produced by the Home Office has declined to such an extent that it is no
longer possible to have a debate about alternative criminal justice policies
on the basis of agreed facts about the trends in crime."

Professor Smith was on the mark, as British subjects do, in fact, believe that they are the targets of crime. According to Louise Casey in her 2008 survey "one in three (33%) had been a victim of crime, or knew someone well who had been, within the last year", and "nearly half (45%) knew of someone in their community who had been a victim in the last year." Casey further reported that "a very significant number [of British subjects] expressed concerns about coming forward more generally to intervene, report crime or give evidence."

So, what is the truth about crime in the UK?

We cannot fully know, as we do not have hidden microphones on the walls of police buildings and in the Home Office.

Up front, let's recognize that the Brits do freely admit to massaging crime figures and, to be fair, we know that many police departments, in many nations, massage their crime figures, as well.

But the Brits are vigorously and openly beating their statistics to a bloody pulp, as they have created a stunningly large bureaucracy to deal with crime figures.

The created bureaucracy helps make decisions about how a crime will ultimately be reported-or not reported. The Home Office acknowledged the situation and the existence of crime reduction targets;

"The police do an excellent job but the rise in bureaucracy, targets and
paperwork under the last Government turned the police into form-writers
instead of crime-fighters...Increasing government interference in recent
years has changed the focus of the police. They have become responsive to
targets and bureaucracy rather than to people."

Note here that the Home Office is admitting to the existence of "targets." These targets are guides used to reduce the number of crimes reported, and the severity of those crimes. It is openly acknowledged that police are under pressure to reduce the crime statistics, and that they have goals that they must meet. One can notice that the Constable who described exactly how these "targets" work did not face the camera.

David Barrett, the Home Affairs Correspondent for the UK Telegraph, wrote in an article entitled "Police 'ordered to slant crime data'," that "Officers now fear that speaking out about scandals, mistakes and other serious issues - including pressure from senior officers to massage crime figures - will lead to disciplinary measures or the sack...." Barrett cited Steve Williams, head of the 130,000 strong Police Federation, as saying that "bobbies find themselves under huge pressure about how to record crime."

We expect that, as Constables retire, they will be more comfortable about coming forward with the truth, and there will be an increase in accurate information. But we would like the truth about the outcome of the British philosophy that disarms victims and enables criminals now, not 20 years later.

In the British category known as "no crime," which is similar to our deemed "unfounded" category, in which a reported crime can be removed from the statistics under certain circumstances, a complex social dance occurs. The North Yorkshire Police, following the National Crime Recording Standard, report that in many "no crime" cases, a Crime Recording and Occurrence Management (CROM) unit, or a Force Crime and Incident Registrar (FCIR), or a Dedicated Decision Maker (DDM) is required to correct the record and change the crime to a "no crime" category.

These alphabet-agency people have a role in other statistical activities. Their function, as described in the document ACPO Reducing Bureaucracy Programme: Understanding Crime Recording (2011), by Alistair Fildes and Andy Myhill, which consists of a report of police interviews and focus groups, was eye-opening because of the amount of bureaucratic steps that are necessary between the initial reporting of a crime and the eventual recording of it. The report described a situation in which up to five individuals are involved in the recording and reclassification process: an officer, a crime screener, a crime manager, an auditor, and a supervisor.

We believe that if so many groups have been created to change an incident from one category to another, then the process is probably being used to reduce the severity of crime via fudged statistics. Why else would all that funding be wasted on bureaucrats? But so much has been obscured that it is impossible to know the truth.

According to the Fildes/Myhill report, there is a high level of supervision and auditing that accompanies the original recording, the reclassifications, and the possible entry into the "no crime" category. Many survey respondents felt that their organizations had become "risk averse," that is, "The culture of 'covering your back' seemed to have permeated to frontline officers involved in the crime recording process." There are audits-internal and external-striking fear into stout police hearts, "intended to ensure that data recorded by the police on crime has integrity."

But doesn't the pressure placed on police to control statistics remove the integrity of the reported data?

The report noted, "Targets for reducing crime were perceived to lead to pressure to down-grade priority crimes to non-performance managed crime types...." Examples are "Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) to common assault, robbery to theft, or burglary to criminal damage."

The report further continues, "Though central performance targets relating to reducing specific crime types have been discontinued...it appeared that many officers still worked to targets...." Many respondents to the survey indicated "scepticism that national targets had been removed...."

What about the real figures? Was the promise of reduced crime achieved? Or is the notoriously anti-gun British politician mentality busy cleaning up the embarrassment of skyrocketing crime and failed public policy?

We know that the handgun ban in 1997 was ineffective as far as reducing the availability of illegal firearms because banned handguns are easily available on the streets, thanks to a healthy black market.

So, could it be that crime is not as well-controlled as stated?

We can only guess how far from the truth the published figures really are.

18. You might need a gun on a motorcycle in Brazil! (video)

This video is shows an actual robbery and a police shooting of the perpetrator. It is NOT APPROPRIATE FOR MINORS.

Member Michael Smith emailed me this:


From YouTube.com: http://tinyurl.com/mw4oned

Posted by LaMusica MundialTv
October 14, 2013

According to the spanish text of the post, a Brazillian Police Officer killed a thief attempting to steal a motorcycle. The thieves did not realize that the Officer was witnessing the whole event.

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