Category Archives: Elsewhere

The ‘Racism Industrial Complex’ Rides In Ferguson

Regrettably, at the time of the Michael-Brown shooting, this libertarian column had expressed the opinion that Brown was the victim of “murder-by-cop.” As the evidence subsequently demonstrated, I was wrong.

Part of my conversion lies is the remarks of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, a Democrat. These were, well, remarkable. (More about that in the weekly, WND column, tomorrow.) McCulloch’s remarks revealed the exhaustive scope of the search for truth undertaken by a grand jury that was left to its own devices.

Since the text of the statement has not been disseminated, I’ve transcribed and summarized some of it for interested Americans. Particularly brilliant is the manner in which McCulloch co-opted the DC “RIC”* in support of the rule of law, in Ferguson, Missouri:

St. Louis county police conducted an extensive investigation at the crime scene together with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder. Together they sought out witnesses and gathered additional information over a period of three months, beginning on the day of the shooting death of Michael Brown. Fully aware of the growing concerns in parts of the community that the investigation and review of the death would not be full and fair, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch decided to hand over to a grand jury all physical evidence related to the case, all individuals claiming to have witnessed any aspect of the events and any and all related matters. The grand jury comprised of 12 members of the community.

Federal investigators worked closely with local law enforcement, with the St. Louis county police and persecutor and Attorney General Holder and his department vowing to follow where the evidence led. These federal investigators shared information with St. Louis county investigator and vice versa. In addition, the Department of Justice conducted its own investigation and performed its own autopsy. Yet another autopsy was carried out by the Brown family and all information was shared and collated. All testimony before the grand jury was immediate forwarded to the DOJ. Eyewitness accounts were compared with the physical evidence. Many witnesses contradicted their own statements and the physical evidence.

As an example of witness testimony that contradicted the physical evidence McCulloch offered numerous statements that claimed to have seen Officer Wilson stand above Michael Brown and fire many rounds into his back. Others claimed that Officer Wilson shot Mr. Brown in the back as he was running away. Once the autopsy was released showing that the deceased did not sustain injuries to his back, statements to that effect were retracted. Others admitted they had, in fact, not witnessed the shooting.

All statements were recorded and presented to the grand jury before the autopsy results were released. There was no “document dump,” as some media claimed. Two of Bob McCulloch’s assistants presented the information to the jury in an organized, systematic manner. All jurors heard every word of testimony and examined every item of evidence presented. McCulloch described a proactive and engaged group working since August 9th to do their due diligence. In the course of 25 days, the jury dissected over 70 hours of testimony and listened to 60 witnesses. They heard from three medical examiners and many other DNA and forensic experts. They examined hundreds of photographs and looked at various pieces of physical evidence. They were instructed in the law and presented with five possible indictments. Their burden was to determine, based on all the evidence, if probable cause existed to determine that a crime was committed and Daren Wilson committed that crime. There is no question that Officer Wilson caused the death of Michael Brown by shooting him. However the law authorizes an officer of the law, and all people, to use deadly force to defend themselves in certain situations. The grand jury considered whether Officer Wilson was the initial aggressor, or whether he was authorized to use deadly force in the situation and acted in self-defense.

They were the only people who examined every piece of evidence and heard every witness. They debated among themselves. After an exhaustive review of the evidence the grand jury deliberated further over two days to arrive at their final decision. And it is that no probable cause exists to file any charges against Officer Darren Wilson. They returned a “No True” bill on each of the five indictments. All the evidence, witness statements included, was made public.

[SNIP]

* I abbreviated without explaining: RIC is the “Racism Industrial Complex,” originated by Jack Kerwick. More in the weekly, WND column, tomorrow.

** Coulter’s Blame-Liberals Reductionism/Rubbish. Ann Coulter’s latest column proves that in the structure of argument—and thus the source of culpability— there is no difference between conservative, lite-libertarian, and left liberal. That structure is: The Dog/Society/State/Liberals Ate the Criminal’s Homework. Ann Coulter blames liberals for rioter actions.

“‘Absolut’ Libertarian Lunacy” touches on this blame society/state/liberals reductionism: “For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and hard-core libertarians saddle the state. ‘The State made me do it’ is how such social determinism can be summed-up.”

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No, we don’t want to be like the UK!

Quite often, in my travels on these here Interwebz, I find gun grabbers pontificating how cool it would be if we were just like Britain. After all, they have stringent gun control, and their homicide rates are SOOOOOO much lower than ours!

Must be the fault of the evil gunz, right?

After all, the United States, according to recent figures, has 4.7 murders per 100,000 residents, while the United Kingdom has 1.

Must be the fault of the evil gunz, right?

Ehhhh… not so fast.

While the United States does, in fact, have a higher murder rate than the UK and much more guns in circulation, anyone with a shred of an education knows that correlation does not equal causation, and that the presence of guns tells a very limited and very inaccurate story.

We have by far one of the highest per capita gun ownership rates in the world, and yet, we’re far from being the most violent country out there.

Countries such as Latvia, that have the same per capita murder rate that we do, have a much lower gun ownership rate.  Whereas we boast 90 firearms per 100 people, and despite this fact, our per capita homicide rates are below those of Estonia and Lithuania, Haiti, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico, which all have gun ownership rates far below ours.

So is it really the guns?

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I’m thinking not so much, especially with our homicide, accidental death and violent crime rates on the decline, while gun ownership increases.

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The UK enacted its strict gun control legislation after the 1996 Dunblane massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 16 children and their teacher. The ban did not stop murders in the UK. As a matter of fact, they increased dramatically in the aftermath of the legislation, and reached their peak in 2003/2004.

That said, the nation has had historically low homicide rates to begin with, so the increase was definitely noticeable.

What also is notable are the low homicide rates prior to the enactment of the gun control legislation, which left most Britons disarmed and vulnerable to armed thugs.

So in a country with historically low homicide rates, one incident prompted a comprehensive infringement on the people’s right to bear arms, and said infringement had no appreciable effect on the already low homicide rates in this country.

Meanwhile in the United States, we finally got rid of the odious and worthless “assault” weapons ban, gun ownership rates have been climbing, and homicide rates have been declining steadily.

But if you think that the Brits are finished spanking the gun owners for incidents of violence for which they are not responsible, you would be wrong.  According the latest news from the UK, if you’re a registered gun owner in Britain, you will be subject to unannounced police visits to your home, and warrantless inspections of firearms storage.

Right to privacy? Forget it.

Right to property? Screw you.

If you are a gun owner in the UK, you have no rights. And yet, we have Mommies Demanding Action for Gunsense screeching about safe storage laws… for the children.

They either don’t understand that such mandates would involve massive violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, or they don’t care.

My bet is on the latter.

They want more stringent controls. They demand universal background checks that would essentially eliminate private firearms sales, infringing on the people’s right to dispose of their property without government interference.

They want a ban on scary, black rifles for no other reason than they’re black and scary.

And all for what?

For nothing. The UK’s example shows that their gun control laws have had no effect on actual murder rates, but instead of looking at actual causes of violence, the gun grabbers in this country want to be just like the UK.

Do we want to emulate a nation that routinely infringes on its citizens’ right to privacy, right to property, and right to self defense in vain?

I would hope the answer is a resounding “NO!”

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