Tag Archives: criminals

Why a Democrat Public Defender is for gun rights

Jay Gaskill is a licensed attorney who retired from 10 years as Public Defender of Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gaskill is also a registered Democrat who’s my friend and among a handful of people whom I consider the smartest I’ve met. I am grateful for his permission to republish this essay.

~Eowyn

self reliance

By Jay B Gaskill

As published on the Policy Think Site at — http://jaygaskill.com/GunsGermsAndStealing.htm

Those still in the grip of the “use a gun, go to your room” criminal justice model are puzzled why so many unenlightened Americans cling to their firearms and churches when civilized people are beyond all that.  For these naïve minds, crime is a sort of flu, and guns operate as the disease vector, the medieval plague rats, if you will, of the modern urban era. And morality is what nice people do to gain approval and advancement among other nice people in a nice world that would by almost perfect if there weren’t so darn many firearms in private hands.

This will not be some armchair Op Ed by an academic or drawing room criminologist who “has taken a lot of classes.”

“My three decade career (as a public defender of Alameda County, based in Oakland, CA) ended in a final decade as the boss, when I served as the head Public Defender for that county, supervising 140 lawyers and professional investigators, reporting to country bureaucrats and five elected officials.  Over that period, I estimate that I had conducted considerably more than 14,000 confidential, in-depth encounters with crooks of all ages. I spent enough time behind bars (excluding nights, of course) to serve a term for car theft.  No sociologist or criminologist has been able replicate that experience.  No typical public defender was paying attention in quite the same way that I was, because I was a student of the human condition. What a field study!”

{Excerpt from my essay/speech, A journey Inside the Criminal Mind.  Go to this link for more about the thug mindset… http://www.jaygaskill.com/InsideTheCriminalMind.htm }

Most violent crime, including the armed thefts we call robbery and carjacking, are opportunistic, and most street crime is impulsive.  Almost all armed criminals are carrying illegal firearms, most of which have already been used at another crime scene.  My investigators remarked at the fact that a firearm is almost never recovered from an Oakland crime scene because “it never even gets dropped to the pavement before another crook has run off with it.”  Oakland’s police department has been thrice decimated by budget cuts.  The result is a catastrophic under-policing of a high crime prone subpopulation that includes several thousand parolees in a city of only a few hundred thousand.  To keep the lid on, I believe that Oakland needs at least 1,400 street cops (hint – high police ratios were instituted in NYC by Mayor Giuliani and wisely retained by Mayor Bloomberg, and as a direct result the big Apple is one of the safest cities in the world).  Oakland has fewer than 600 cops on the street at the moment (slightly more on the payroll), and crime is busting out all over.

No one in Oakland is talking civilian gun control.  Why? Here is a thought experiment.  You are an able bodied family man or woman, and you live in a place like Oakland, CA.  You qualify for a handgun, after appropriate training.  You are not firearm phobic. You can afford it.  Your neighbors have been terrorized.  You can’t afford to move away or hire a private security service.  You look up the average 911 emergency wait times for your area. Assume one of these is the average wait time for you:

[  ] 10 minutes

[  ] 20 minutes

[  ] 30 minutes

[  ] 60 minutes

[  ] 90 minutes

At which delay point (check the box) would you seriously consider getting a firearm to defend your family?  In the Bay Area, a staunchly progressive-liberal culture, there are several subgroups that are very much into self-defense training and technologies, including personal firearms: The group includes gays, single women and elders.  Why?  Because they are vulnerable targets.

Chip Johnson is an Oakland based columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.  He usually writes about Oakland, and he never pulls his punches.  Yesterday, Oakland officials held a press conference to brag about how they, with limited resources, had gotten a handle on the crime problem.  Not. Johnson’s piece, “Oakland officials have lost grip on violence”, is worth a full read.  Here’s a sample:

“Across the street from the spot where the news conference was to take place on the windswept 6400 block of International Boulevard, Alexander Brown, a 22-year-old student, talked about his run-ins with violence. He has been robbed and beaten, and had a gun stuck in his face two years ago.

“He relies on his deep religious faith to see him through. “I put my faith in my creator,” said the young man.

“Literally 5 feet down the block, brothers Boogie and Antwan Johnson, who were walking home, also had a story of violence to tell.

“Antwan, 37, caught a stray bullet in the left thigh from an assault rifle last November. Boogie, 23, reeled off the names of five friends lost to gun violence in the last four months. Right next to the Johnson brothers, a store owner who asked not to be named pointed to a hole where a bullet had pierced his front door.

“Finally, a group of high school students from Aspire Academy, a public charter school, walked past – all of them in school purple.

“I asked what they do when they feel threatened by someone or see something sketchy happening close by.

“We run,” said Armando Alajandre, 15.”

{LINK– http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/johnson/article/Oakland-leaders-have-lost-grip-on-violence-4194028.php  }

Some citizens of this still-free republic would rather not run.  Some object to those who advocate a state monopoly on the technologies of self-defense, especially of the handgun, the great equalizer that gives a 75 year old grandmother, trained in its use, to power to deter a thug four times her size.

It still deeply irritates me that poor people, who make up the overwhelming majority of crime victims in America’s inner cities, are offered all kinds of entitlements by the modern welfare state, except the one that really matters the most: the right to be safe and secure from the predator thugs they are forced to live with.  When we fail at providing this essential protection, who are we to deny our citizens the right to prudent self-help?

In 2010, the U S Supreme Court ruled in McDonald versus City Of Chicago that the right to self-defense protected by the Second Amendment is fundamental to the American conception of ordered liberty and must be applied to limit not only federal power but also that of state and local governments.

Almost any thug in Oakland who is on parole or probation can be repeatedly searched for firearms without a warrant, at times and places determined by law enforcement, not by the criminal. Such sweeps should be conducted every week, and can be expanded to include areas under the subject’s control, including vehicles and other stash places. Catching a thug with an illegal gun is a win-win – the miscreant is off the street and the gun is out of circulation.  Instead, the “use a gun, go to your room” set chooses to grandstand, by holding no-questions-asked guy buybacks, netting a few under -used weapons, like those owned by Granny before she was sent to the rest home, and Uncle Bill’s WWII 45, that was found in the garage.

Mass murders are another matter.  Read my Piece on Evil, Insanity and Dead Children, written in the aftermath of the Connecticut massacre.

{LINK -  http://jaygaskill.com/outlawyer/2012/12/17/evil-insanity-dead-children/   }

If you feel like jumping on a bandwagon, try supporting local police staffing levels, push for tough firearm home storage laws, faster, more complete and sophisticated background checks for firearms purchases, and repeated searches of the convicted criminals living among us.

We are not going to disarm the good guys anytime soon.  No should we.

JBG

Copyright © 2013 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law

Crimefighter Tech or Big Brother? You Decide

There’s a computer software that’s shaking up law enforcement, called the most important tool in the field of Crime Fighting. It’s COPLINK.

COPLINK is a product of i2 Technologies, Inc., a supply chain management software and services company founded in Dallas in 1998. COPLINK is intended as a cutting-edge tool to assist law enforcement. Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca has given his endorsement: “COPLINK is one of the most powerful weapons we have in our arsenal, arming the human sensor at their point of need and enabling us to act quickly, decisively and correctly.”

On its webpage, i2 promises that:

COPLINK organizes vast quantities of seemingly unrelated data to provide tactical, strategic and command-level users with access to shared data in a single, or multiple, consolidated repositories. Its proven ability to quickly identify investigative leads helps agencies solve crimes faster, thereby helping to keep officers and communities safer.

COPLINK seamlessly scales from single data source deployments to regional information sharing initiatives, tying multiple agencies and data sources together. COPLINK is used in fusion centers, police and sheriff’s departments across the U.S. and currently supports one of the largest information sharing initiatives in the world.

Created by practitioners for practitioners, COPLINK provides the most advanced privacy and security features, ensuring the right information is in the hands of first responders, analysts and commanders, when and where they need it.

A couple of thoughts:

  • With this technology, why do we still have full body scanners in airports?
  • The same COPLINK computer technology can also be used to assemble “vast quantities of seemingly unrelated data” on ordinary noncriminal citizens like you and me — assuming that it hasn’t already been done….

~Eowyn & LTG

Criminal Background Checks Unfair to Criminals?

Yeesh!  Can you believe this? State and municipal governments are releasing prisoners all across the nation.  Are they concerned about public safety?  Heck no!   Their concern is for the poor criminal who will come out of incarceration to  face the humiliating discrimination of a background check.   

What I want to know is, who is liable when the released criminal commits another crime,  either work-related or in a rented residence?  Why should an employer or landlord have to assume “uninformed” liability for the the ” high  risk  offender” the state and/or municipality released unbeknownst to the community at large?  Would an employer or landlord be found negligent if the jailbird re-offended and they HAD NOT done due diligence in a routine background check? ~LTG

San Francisco may bar employers, landlords from asking about arrests, convictions

A proposal would defer questions about criminal history until the applicant’s qualifications are considered.

By Lee Romney, Los Angeles TimesJuly 20, 2011, 10:02 a.m.
Reporting from San Francisco—

City officials are considering a law that would prohibit private employers, landlords and city contractors from inquiring about an individual’s arrest or conviction history before determining whether that person is qualified for a job or housing.

If the law is approved, San Francisco would join Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts and Philadelphia in protecting most people with criminal records from blanket discrimination in the private job market. A handful of jurisdictions in Illinois and Wisconsin impose similar restrictions on landlords, and Seattle is now weighing a proposal comparable to San Francisco’s that does both. Read full article

Homeland Security “Minority Report” Technology Identifies Criminals by Intent

More creeping Big Brotherism….

Minority Report is a 2002 futuristic sci-fi movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. The movie is set in the year 2054, when government claims it can predict a crime before it happens. A specialized police department, “PreCrime”, apprehends criminals before they’ve actually committed the crime, based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics called “precogs”.

That is no longer the realm of science fiction. 2054 is here.

The Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security has developed what it claims to be a crime-predictive technology with the Orwellian name of Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST).

PressTV reports on May 31, 2011, “Big sis pre-crime system to scan Americans for ‘Malintent’”:

Chilling technology straight out of Minority Report that would subject Americans to  pre-crime interrogations and physiological scans to detect “malintent” at sports stadiums, malls, airports and other public places has moved closer to being  implemented after Homeland Security’s FAST program passed its first round of testing.

Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) program designed to spot people who are intending to commit a terrorist act, has in the past few months completed its first round of field tests at an  undisclosed location in the northeast,” reports Nature.

The  system works by using a computer program that studies physiological indicators of a person, such as heart rate and the steadiness of a person’s gaze, and then uses the data to make a judgment on whether that individual has “malintent”.

Of  course, the mere sight of TSA goons conducting grope-downs, radiation-firing body scanners, iris-scanning devices and the routine stresses of travel are all likely to raise heart rates and cause anxiousness in people, so the program will undoubtedly snag innocent travelers. The well-trained, cool and composed  terrorist will slip right through, rendering the entire exercise obsolete.  infowars.com

Here’s Homeland Security’s video on FAST:

Today, our government says this nifty FAST technology will be used only to spot “terrorists” – the catchall boogeyman. But who’s to say that tomorrow the technology won’t be used against ordinary citizens?

The Constitution’s Bill of Rights be damned. Welcome to 2054 Nineteen Eighty-four, comrades!

~Eowyn