11/19/14

Gun Violence & Politics: Domestic Carnage in Federal Way

Permalink 10:41:16 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

The City of Federal Way recently experienced a shooting in which a young man used a shotgun to kill his live-in girlfriend and then also gunned down three other people. The police believe that he killed the additional three people in order to prevent them from testifying against him. This terrible event made national news and has caused series of repercussions in the local community.

A perennial candidate who had already indicated he would not be running for mayor- announced that he will now run because public safety is suddenly a concern. This despite the fact that law enforcement officers arrived quickly and neutralized the shooter by shooting him dead. There is nothing to indicate that having any more officers would have resulted in a different outcome or that anything that the police could have done would have stopped the carnage.

One victim, a 62 year old man, ran into his nearby apartment unit and bolted the door to call 911. The killer blew the bolt off the apartment door and then blasted away at the victim who was frantically calling 911!

Rudi Alcott, the publisher of the Federal Way Mirror criticized Mayor Skip Priest, implying that he handled the aftermath of “the horrific events on April 21 irresponsibly” and that our city leaders were remiss in the way they handled an initial press conference:

“At this point, things started to break down. Where was Mayor Skip Priest during this initial press conference? Not only did he not speak, he wasn’t even present. While I will grant the fact that this was predominately a police-centered press conference, the mayor should have opened the meeting assuring the general public that all of us were safe, that this was an isolated event, and that there would be a follow-up meeting — and then turn it over to the police chief for the details.”

Alcott compared how our city’s leaders reacted to the violence in Federal Way to how the mayor of Boston responded to the Boston Marathon bombings. Apparently members of the press were invited to a public meeting at City Hall.

The fact that the media was not permitted to remain in the room throughout the entire meeting caused a certain amount of indignation on Mr. Alcott’s part:

“For the first time, I wondered whether the mayor’s office or the police department was running this city. Imagine the outrage in Boston had the city issued a statement that said “Only the people of the blocks that were cordoned off to capture the fugitives could attend the meeting. All the rest of you need to go away.”

The publisher was “appalled by this action” and personally apologized to all of the citizens of Federal Way for the city’s “ineptitude’ in the way the meetings were handled. Rudi, your apologies are appalling!

Alcott inveighed, “Accept the fact that you mishandled this and begin to move the city in a direction that will heal the community. Your entire community deserves this, in likely the greatest time of need that this community will ever face.”

Does the publisher of the Mirror really believe that Federal Way has faced the worst it will ever face?

I wrote a column in the Mirror that regularly warned about how the times are becoming more violent and that we are all at risk. The Firearms Lawyer column appeared in print for four years because it was controversial and controversy sells newspapers. Although newspaper publishers often print editorial material that does not express the views of the publisher, Mr. Alcott certainly must have recognized that the reason so many people were purchasing guns was not because things are expected to improve for the better.

In fact, the Mirror suddenly terminated the Firearms Lawyer column after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, because management at the paper had determined that there should be “no more articles calling for more guns.”

I have been accused by some of blaming victims of violence for not being armed. I must say, however, that the 62 year old man who tried to call 911 when a shooter began slaughtering apartment residents in Federal Way might still be alive if he had picked up a gun instead of a telephone after he bolted the door to his apartment. He was known as a guy that watched over the premises. He and two other men laid down their lives just by being present on that terrible day.

Bob Roegner also climbed on, stating, “All that changed with the Pinewood Village Apartment murders. Suddenly there were several issues to raise: domestic violence, gun availability, neighborhood safety, and police department staffing.” Roegner also offered up additional pratings about domestic violence and twaddled about the city’s failure to take away the perpetrator’s guns (the murderer had no legal prohibitions and the weapons were legally owned). Other less preeminent sources of political wisdom also pontificated that Federal Way is going down the tubes (a recurringly racist theme often appears that our city has become a ghetto).

Jon McIntosh, a local pastor, got it right:

“As a local church pastor and a police chaplain, I had the privilege of participating in this meeting. I could not be more proud of our leaders than I was that night. It is moments like these that demonstrate the levels of integrity and care that assure us of a strong future. If you are unhappy with how the meeting was conducted, you have that right. But please remember, that evening you weren’t the most important thing.”

The same edition of the Mirror contained a highly informative story about gangs in Federal Way and surrounding areas. What the story failed to emphasize is that many of the gangs are affiliated with the Mexican cartels and every major cartel conducts operations in the Seattle area, including South King County and Tacoma.

The fact that the cartels routinely kill law enforcement officers, journalists, prosecutors and judges in Mexico, makes it appear highly likely that carnage will spread North from the border. The cartels have only held back because they know their operations will suffer if the bloodshed occurring in Mexico is duplicated North of the border.

It is easy to criticize Mayor Priest. He might become peevish or just not give you an interview. And I have to agree with those like Jim Ferrell (who announced he will be running for mayor of Federal Way after all) when they complain that money spent on the anticipated Performing Arts Center should instead go for essential services like police salaries.

But, as far as I know, politicians in the United States don’t cut off people’s heads like the cartels and jihadists. Criticizing Skip Priest for how he conducts grieving in Federal Way is misplaced and a bit arrogant.

The big question is who are you going to trust when things get ugly? For example, someone in high places abandoned Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. security personnel in Benghazi. The hearings last week put the spot light on the ambassador’s desperate phone calls for help while Al-Qaeda targeted him to be tortured, sodomized with a bayonet and killed.

Everyone knew that September 11, 2012 was a day when the risk of terrorism was high and the warnings about Benghazi were clearly written for all to see. J. Christopher Stevens was one of their own but the ambitions of those in the political class dictated that his death and the lies that were told during the aftermath are not a real story in the eyes of many except to the extent that the controversy imperils the Obama administration.

Rather than publishing editorials advocating for gay marriage and carping about phony issues like the press not being able to do its thing and folks that need to grieve and heal, the Mirror publisher should have been asking how Federal Way residents can better prepare for possible horrifying events in the future. The worse things get, however, the more those in denial will hide the facts from their own eyes. When the press is in denial, we all get shielded from the facts!

Getting prepared was the dialogue we fostered in the community with the Firearms Lawyer column. The dialogue continues in these blog pages. The key is not more guns but good communication between leaders in government, law enforcement, churches and those that live and work in Federal Way.

Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to have firearms training and carry a gun along with you- just in case. The hand writing is on the wall and we are entering a new time in which the whole world is a danger zone. Yes, I am still encouraging our neighbors to get trained with firearms. We cannot say for sure what tomorrow holds.

There are definitely times when a gun is better than a telephone. The four dead residents of Federal Way might agree. Ambassador Stevens and his security team were outgunned. The U.S. amabassador could have gone down shooting instead of being taken alive. But there I go, blaming the victim again!

11/10/14

Frank Hamer and His Guns; The Moment He Almost Kept LBJ From Stealing an Election

Permalink 02:58:45 am, Categories: Announcements [A]  

Francis Augustus Hamer (March 17, 1884 – July 10, 1955) is best known for ambushing Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. His reputation as a Texas Ranger would have made him a legend even if he had not ambushed Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Louisiana. Frank Hamer was born in Fairview, Wilson County, Texas. 1894 the family moved to Oxford in Llano County and Frank worked in his dad’s blacksmith shop.

In 1905, he captured a horse thief while he was working on a ranch in West Texas. Hamer was a cowboy on the Carr Ranch, between Sheffield and Fort Stockton when he captured the horse thief. Sheriff D. S. Barker recommended Hamer for a position with the Texas Rangers.

On April 21, 1906, Hamer enlisted as a Texas Ranger. Working primarily along the South Texas border, Hamer became known as an expert shot. Four of his five brothers also became Texas Rangers.

Hamer’s first stint as a Texas Ranger was with Captain John H. Rogers’s Company C. In his first assignment he put a stop to murders and riots in the Rio Grande Valley that, notwithstanding the efforts of federal troops, had been raging unabated for many months. He resigned in 1908 to become the Marshall in Navasota, Texas, a violent boom town in which “shootouts on the main street were so frequent that in two years at least a hundred men died.”

At the age of 24 years old, Hamer established and maintained order in Navasota. The town had seen over one hundred men killed in shootouts but the town became tame while Hamer was the city marshal.

In 1911, Hamer started working as a special investigator in Houston. Hamer was also an officer for Harris County before joining the Rangers again in 1915 and was assigned to patrol the South Texas border around Brownsville. The Rangers were dealing with arms smuggling, bandits and bootleggers along the Mexican border. Hamer left the Rangers and then returned again in 1921, transferring to Austin where he served as Senior Ranger Captain. In the 1920s, Hamer brought law and order to oil towns such as Mexia and Borger.

Frank Hamer hated corruption of any kind- even when other police officers were involved! In 1928, The Texas Bankers’ Association gave rewards to officers that set up certain petty criminals to be killed so that corrupt police officers could collect the rewards and pay finder’s fees. The police and the Bankers’ Association’s refused to cooperate with Hamer’s investigation. Hamer took such murder and corruption personally and wrote a detailed exposé of the “the bankers’ murder machine” which he handed out in Austin.

Hamer also provided a restraining influence during a Depression era race riot. The 1930 Sherman riot made Texas notorious for its racial animosity. The lynching of a black prisoner in Sherman started when George Hughes, a farm hand, admitted to raping a white woman. Hughes trial was scheduled for trial within a week and a mob gathered outside the jail every night.

Captain Frank Hamer, two other rangers and a police sergeant escorted Hughes to trial where a crowd packed the entire area of the courthouse. The crowd threw stones at the courthouse, forced the doors to the courtroom corridor and rushed toward the courtroom. Hamer and the other peace officers used warning shots and tear gas to break the crowd up on more than one occasion while Hughes was locked in the district court vault for safety. A rumor had been circulated that the Rangers had orders from the Governor not to shoot.

Nevertheless, Hamer used buckshot on the crowd and wounded at least two as they charged up the stairs of the courthouse. When asked by one of the rioters whether he would surrender the prisoner, Hamer replied,”Any time you feel lucky come on, but when you start up the stairway once more, there is going to be many funerals in Sherman.” This quieted the crowd for twenty or thirty minutes according to Hamer’s official statement. Judge Carter stopped the trial and planned a change of venue.

That afternoon, the lynch mob threw gasoline into the courthouse; the rangers attempted to rescue the prisoner while the mob prevented firemen from putting out the fire and cut their hoses. Soon only the walls and the vault remained. The mob battled National Guardsmen who were sent into Sherman by Governor Moody and tried to break into the vault. The mob succeeded in breaking open the vault and dragging Hughes’ dead body behind a car, then hanging it from a tree where they set it on fire.

The mob, estimated at 5,000 people, then proceeded to burn black businesses. Governor Moody dispatched more National Guard units and martial law was in effect from May 10 until May 24. Two men were convicted and sentenced to two-year terms and more lynching and riots ensued in Texas and Oklahoma.

Hamer spent 27 years with the Rangers. He hated political corruption as much as he hated murder and the other lawless activities that characterized Texas in the early Twentieth Century. He and forty other Rangers resigned to avoid serving under “Ma” Ferguson. In her first term as governor of Texas, Gov. Ferguson had proven that she was corrupt. At the beginning of her second term, she fired all the Rangers that remained and appointed replacements for them. Hamer retained a Special Ranger commission after retirement and he put it to good use.

Clyde Barrow’s gang shot and wounded two prison guards - one fatally- during a prison breakout in 1934. Barrow, Parker and associate Jimmy Mullens engineered the Eastham prison farm escape and freed Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, Hilton Bybee and Joe Palme. The stage was now set for Frank Hamer to accept a commission to hunt down the Barrow Gang as a special investigator for the prison system.

Hamer, by then an accomplished detective and gunfighter, studied the way in which Barrow made a wide circle along certain state borders. In those days officers from one state were legally prohibited from chasing suspects across the border of another state. Midwestern banks were easy picking for a gang that outgunned the cops with fully automatic 30.06 Browning Automatic Rifles and fast cars. The Barrow Gang robbed banks in Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa with Hamer in hot pursuit.

The gang murdered two Texas Highway Patrol officers at Grapevine, Texas. Five days later Barrow and Methvin killed Constable Cal Campbell and kidnapped Commerce, Oklahoma Chief of Police Percy Boyd. Clyde certainly did not intend to be taken alive.

In mid-March Henry Methvin’s family contacted law enforcement in Louisiana. Sheriff Henderson Jordan and his deputy, Prentiss Oakley, joined Hamer along with former Ranger Manny Gault. Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Alcorn and another Dallas County deputy, Ted Hinton, had previously been involved in an attempt to ambush Barrow and Parker, in November 1933. Hinton requested a BAR because he knew that the lawmen would be up against more than one BAR that Barrow had stolen from a National Guard armory and with which Barrow had already gunned down several peace officers.

According to Rick Cartledge in THE GUNS OF FRANK HAMER:

“Frank Hamer Jr., a distinguished lawman in his own right, gave a filmed interview in which he showed the nimble .35 that his father had bought especially to go after Bonnie and Clyde. As to the rifle’s ability to tear holes in a V8 Ford, Frank Hamer had an unimpeachable source - Clyde Barrow. Though Clyde and Bonnie escaped the Sowers ambush by Dallas County authorities in November of 1933, Clyde ditched his shot up car near the Ft. Worth Pike and commandeered a less damaged car to make good their flight to freedom. The abandoned V8 spoke volumes to the able lawmen of Dallas County and to the Rangers. Ted Hinton had hit the car 17 out of 30 shots with his Thompson submachine gun and hadn’t penetrated the car body. Veteran Deputy Bob Alcorn had chugged away with his hefty Browning Automatic Rifle and ripped some respectable holes all the way through the car. Hinton called his Congressman, got a BAR from the government and a back seat full of ammunition, and learned how to shoot the roaring automatic rifle.”

Lawmen and outlaws confronted one another at 9:15 a.m. on May 23, 1934. Hamer and his men engineered the moment of the ambush with help from informants. After 102 days of hunting Barrow, Frank Hamer and his posse were ready for Barrow’s gang when they stopped at the ambush spot on a road near Gibsland, Louisiana.

Deputy Oakley fired the opening burst from his Remington Model 8. A round in Barrow’s left temple laid him out dead. The posse may have fired as many as 150 rounds.

Hamer used a customized .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle with a special-order 15-round magazine. The Model 8 was one of at least two Model 8’s used in the ambush. The rifle was modified to accept a “police only” 15-round magazine.

Cartledge provides some interesting comments that contradict the conventional belief that Hamer also toted a 1911 pistol in .45 ACP:

“Two months later, Frank Hamer opted for the Remington .35 as his hole puncher and he picked an interesting pistol to go with his quick-pointing rifle. To front for “Old Lucky", Capt. Hamer stuffed a blue steel Colt commercial automatic in his belt and it is this gun that is most interesting to this writer. I had long suspected that this Colt was not a .45 but one of the then new .38 Supers and I had three reasons for believing this. First, gangsters (Dillinger, Nelson, etc.) as well as lawmen had caught on to bullet proof vests and their resistance to .45 caliber penetration. Second, gangster use of the .38 Super to telling effect was known and thugs had even hammered the .38 Super into the extremely deadly machine pistol configuration. Two of these 22 round magazine equipped death machines were confiscated in a raid on John Dillinger’s apartment in St. Paul in April of 1933. These Supers belonged to Nelson and were assembled from kits made by the Monarch Gun Company of Hollywood, California by underworld gunsmith H. S. Lebman of Texas. Nelson killed Federal Agent Baum at Little Bohemia with a .38 Super machine pistol. The third reason springs from a fortunate experiment done by a friend of mine in 1939 on a dare. Joseph Pinkston in his excellent book, with Robert Cromie, “Dillinger, A Short and Violent Life” writes of the apprehension of Dillinger gang member Leslie Homer and of his advice given to Racine officers in November of 1933. Since Capt. Hamer was known to have followed the Dillinger case as a matter of professional curiosity, he may well have been familiar with Homer’s published remarks which were “If you want to give your coppers an even break with present-day gangsters, you want to equip them with the new Super .38 caliber. A gun of that type will shoot a hole right through any bulletproof vest ever made.”

The March, 1992 issue of Guns and Ammo’s “HANDGUNS FOR SPORT AND DEFENSE” magazine contains an interview with Frank Hamer Jr. who confirmed that his father’s Colt was a .38 Super.

At about 9:15 AM just after the thundering torrent of lead subsided, Frank Hamer, Sr. approached the 1934 Ford V8 with his 1911 style .38 Super drawn. He knew that if any members of the Barrow gang survived the fusillade, a .38 Super round would penetrate the vehicle’s heavy steel body and body armor, too, if necessary! Ted Hinton, in his book “Ambush“, declares that two of the Colt automatics at the ambush were .38 Supers.

There seems to be a consensus that Hamer carried a 1911 chambered in .38 Super when he ambushed Bonnie and Clyde:

For most of his career, Hamer carried an engraved .45 Colt M1873 SAA revolver with 4.75″ barrel (pp. HT110, OW86, W:D71) called “Old Lucky,” either in a holster on his right side, or, when he was no longer required to ride a horse, simply tucked into his waistband. When expecting a gunfight, he also took a .44 S&W Hand-Ejector revolver with 6.5″ barrel for backup. His favorite longarm was a .30-30 Winchester M1894 lever-action rifle.

However, for the hunt on Bonnie & Clyde, he replaced the S&W revolver with a .38 Colt Super Auto pistol (pp. HT108, W:D71) and the lever-action rifle with a .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle (p. W:D72) with 20-round magazine extension (both weapons offering superior penetration against bullet-proof vests and the heavy Ford V8 sedans Clyde Barrow was partial to).

Hamer also owned many other guns. When the posse assembled in a hurry in a Louisiana hinterwald small town, three of the men could not bring their own long arms, and were outfitted from Hamer’s personal rolling arsenal – Gault got Hamer’s .25 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle, Alcorn his .30-30 Winchester M1894 carbine, and Hinton his .30-06 Colt R80 Monitor machine rifle (a variant of the M1918 BAR which was the chosen armament of the outlaws).

See FRANK HAMER, TEXAS RANGER by Hans-Christian Vortisch.

After the Hollywood version of Bonnie and Clyde, Mrs. Frank Hamer and Frank Hamer, Jr., sued Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for the defamatory manner in which the movie depicted the famous lawman. In 1971, they received an out-of-court settlement.

In 1948, Hamer accompanied Gov. Coke Stevenson to the Texas State Bank in Alice, county seat of Jim Wells County in South Texas. Stevenson wanted to examine the tally sheets in the ballot box for Precinct 13; i.e.,fraudulent poll and tally lists for his opponent, then Congressman Lyndon Johnson.

Coke Robert Stevenson (March 20, 1888– June 28, 1975) was the only 20th century Texas politician to serve as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as Lieutenant Governor and then as governor.

At about the age of sixteen Coke Stevenson began his career as the sole proprietor of a freight hauling business traveling back and forth across the rugged Hill Country of West Texas every week. The roads were poor and Stevens crossed several rivers with steep banks and few bridges. He slept under his horse drawn wagon in bad weather and studied accounting alone by the light of campfires often with snow and rain falling around him.

Over many lonely, weary years, he earned the absolute confidence of his neighbors hauling their goods to market. He eventually took a job in a bank and started the study of law the old fashioned way- reading law books in a nearby law office. His trial practice in Texas made him one of the greatest trial lawyers ever to try a case in a state known for famous trial lawyers.

His entrance into politics commenced when local leaders asked Hamer to catch a crew of rustlers that included the son of a prominent ranching family. After catching the rustlers, Hamer led a successful effort to organize his neighbors and several other counties around Kimble County to improve the roads so that merchants and farmers could get their products to and from places like San Antonio.

Stevenson succeeded W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel as governor in 1941 when O’Daniel resigned to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Stevenson was elected to a full term in 1942, winning the Democratic primary with 69% and being unopposed in the general election. He was elected to a second term in 1944 and was the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas. He was a conservative Democrat who loved the Constitution and believed that the federal government needed to let states like Texas take control of their own destinies at a time when Truman and the national Democrats were desperately seeking a deal to force out state’s rights Democrats that were threatening to keep Texas out of Truman’s clutches.

The conservative ranchers and almost everyone else in Texas loved Coke Stevenson and what he stood for. Known as Mr. Texas, Stevenson represented a kind of independent thinking in politics that makes it now seem inevitable that he and his old hunting partner, Frank Hamer, would be destined to walk down the streets of Alice together under the hard stares of George Parr’s pistoleros most of whom were armed with rifles and shotguns.

In 1948, Stevenson led the Democratic primary with 39.7% to 33.7% against Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ won the runoff by only 87 votes out of a total of 988,295. When Stevenson sent lawyers to Alice demanding to see the voting records (pursuant to Texas voting statutes) their lawful demands were refused. Stevenson and Hamer met the lawyers at the Alice Hotel and Hamer told them to take off their coats so that the well-armed gangs employed by the Duke of Duvall,George Parr, would know that they were unarmed.

Hamer also took off his own coat and displayed the weapon that he was still authorized to carry in retirement as a “Special Ranger” employed by the Texas Oil Company.

Hamer and Stevenson were both tall with big shoulders and carried themselves in a way that stated they meant business. The young lawyers following those two Texas legends saw groups of armed men standing all around the street. There were about five men directly in Hamer’s path wearing guns. A larger group stood in the doorway of the bank where Johnson’s cronies illegally kept the election records.

It was well known in Texas that Hamer had killed fifty-three men, been wounded seventeen times and left for dead more than once. A gunman had once jumped out to prevent him from testifying in a trial. Shot at point blank range, Hamer snatched the jammed gun out of the assassin’s hand when a second assailant started blazing away at Hamer. Hamer was still on his feet as one of the fleeing hit men turned to shoot. Hamer only had one good hand left but he dropped his opponent dead.

Such a reputation is in itself a most intimidating weapon and Hamer never slowed down as he approached Parr’s gunmen. “Git!”, he admonished and then, “Fall back!”. When he got to the next group, his fingers curled for the draw and poised just above the grip of his pistol. The gun men fell back but then they tried to follow Stevenson into the bank. Hamer stood in the doorway of the bank and a long confrontation ensued until finally Parr’s gunmen walked away.

The lawyers got to look at the records just long enough to make notes and it soon became apparent that Lyndon Johnson had engaged in a massive election fraud that was unprecedented even by the standards then prevalent in Texas where ranchers and political bosses were able to deliver blocs of voters to candidates willing to pay the highest price.

The Democratic State Central Committee proclaimed Johnson the winner of the primary by a 29-28 vote (then a deal was consummated in which state’s rights Democrats were run out of the convention) while Stevenson was granted an injunction by the federal district court. Thus, Johnson was off the ballot in the general election unless Johnson could do something quickly.

His lawyers argued about strategy for hours and Johnson finally turned to Abe Fortas who happened to be in nearby Dallas on business. Fortas advised them to make an argument to a Court of Appeals judge that they knew would quickly rule against Johnson- thereby avoiding the usual delays that occur when judges take cases under advisement- often for days and weeks- during which the deadline for getting on the ballot would be lost for LBJ. By doing so, Johnson’s legal team got the case in front of Associate Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

Black ruled that the federal district court lacked jurisdiction and that the question was for the Central Committee to decide. He ordered the lower court’s injunction stayed, and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. In those days, Republicans had no possibility of winning a Senatorial race and the ruling ensured that Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas.

Nevertheless, the brief opportunity to look at the election documents inside the bank was made possible by Hamer’s 200 yard walk down the center of Alice, Texas with his coat off. The testimony that the lawyer’s gathered- as a result of the names of voter’s that later testified they had never voted- and jotted down while in the bank- demonstrated, beyond any doubt, according to Robert Caro (the definitive Johnson biographer)- that Lyndon Johnson had personally conducted one of the most massive election frauds in U.S. electoral history.

Many of the accusations and dirty tricks that Johnson displayed have become standard protocol for modern day Democrats. Johnson went on to take the Senate seat that he stole from Stevenson and Stevenson retired to Junction, Texas.

Disenchanted with the Democratic Party, Coke Stevenson supported Republicans for the rest of his life, including John Tower for the Senate and Nixon and Goldwater for the presidency. Frank Hamer, on the other hand, retired in 1949 and lived in Austin until his death in 1955. He is buried in Austin. In his life he was wounded 17 times, left for dead four times and he killed between 53 and 70 people.

10/11/14

Islamic State Forging Links With Mexican Cartels?

Permalink 10:44:12 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

Back in 2009, Mexico’s powerful drug cartels and affiliated gangs were battling for control of Juárez and President Felipe Calderón sent 7,000 soldiers and 2,000 federal police into the urban warfare. The residents of Mexican war zones like Juarez were helpless as murder rates soared in Mexico, a nation where citizens that are not members of the police and armed forces are prohibited from owning guns,

At that time, Juarez had more killings per capita than Baghdad- approximately 165 deaths per 100,000 residents made it the murder capital of the world. That compared with 48 violent deaths per 100,000 residents of Baghdad.

But now the Islamic State is reportedly linking its operations with the cartels. Despite Obama administration denials and a lack of news from the mainstream media, the opportunities to recruit, share skills and attack U.S. military and law enforcement interests are undeniable. In Michoacán, so-called vigilantes have stood up to the Narco Terrorists with full automatic weapons. An armed citizenry is always in a more powerful position to resist violence.

Keeping and bearing arms makes citizens disciplined, vigilant and alert to danger whether it is from domestic political factions, criminal organizations or foreign enemies.

Mexico’s government and the U.S. waged war with the drug cartels by militarily occupying many areas within Mexico. They trained and deployed the Mexican army to states where drug-related violence was on the rise, calling the cartels a threat to national security. Jorge Tello, Mexico’s National Security adviser, stated that Mexico had done more to fight drugs and violence in Ciudad Juárez than any other place in Mexico. Now there are reports that ISIS may be targeting U.S. military interests just across the border near El Paso.

Extortion, drug distribution and beheading are all commonalities shared by the cartels and ISIS! Trained and equipped by the U.S., the Zetas left the Mexican government’s forces to provide security for the cartels and then started their own cartel They decapitated rivals and law enforcement officers. The Zetas are an example showing how easily joint operations with the Islamic State can morph into a new Islamic cartel just South of the U.S. border.

Many of the worst human rights violators around the world sit on UN committees that condone violence, call for banning guns in every nation and support terrorism. The best antidote to the tyranny of crime-related violence or political gangsters is a disciplined, trained and well-armed citizenry.

10/05/14

Permalink 04:21:34 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

The FBI-NICS no longer issues denials for most non-felony convictions for domestic violence entered in Washington State. This is based on the 2013 case of Descamps v U.S. Up until recently, anyone that had been convicted of a Fourth Degree Assault determined to be domestic violence in Washington State was in a tough position because the NICS did not recognize a Restoration of Rights for Washington state non-felony domestic violence convictions. State and federal laws on the subject of domestic violence and gun rights are very technical and you should schedule a legal consultation in order to look carefully at any convictions that you think resulted from allegations of domestic violence.

Many Washington State citizens with misdemeanor DV convictions who had their right to possess firearms restored were seeing their rights denied by federal authorities. The intent of Congress has along been that a state court order restoring firearm rights should remove federal prohibitions on posssessing firearms.

“A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this chapter if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the applicable jurisdiction provides for the loss of civil rights under such an offense) unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”

The FBI-NICS was taking the position that a Washington State court order restoring firearm rights to misdemeanants does not remove firearm prohibitions under federal law because the conviction does not result in the loss of civil rights.

Note that vacating a Washington conviction does not completely expunge or set-aside the conviction as required by federal law. Thus, restoring gun rights in Washington requires a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Restoration of Firearms Rights; merely vacating the conviction or expungement does not meet the requirements of Washington law nor will vacating a conviction satisfy federal criteria for restoration of the right to possess firearms.

If you have been convicted for felonies and Washington state restores your right to possess a weapon then the NICS will recognize Washington’s restoration of your gun rights and you will also be eligible for a Washington Concealed Pistol License. The federal government has now determined that conviction for a Fourth Degree Assault (DV) does not prohibit possession of firearms because the statute for that offense is too vague.

Nevertheless, there is still a need to obtain a restoration of firearms rights in order to satisfy state law requirements and federal interpretations of Washington State law related to firearms rights seem to change unexpectedly.

Note well: When answering the questions for a NICS background check: Question 11i on Form 4473 should be answered with strict accuracy: answer “yes” if, and only if, you have a conviction for an offense that meets the federal Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence definition pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(9).

Thus, you should state no regarding convictions for domestic violence if you only have a Fourth Degree Assault conviction that was entered in Washington State. All of those offenses listed in 9.41.040(2)(a)(i) fall outside the federal definition of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.

Assault in the Fourth Degree, Coercion,
Stalking, Reckless Endangerment,
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree,
Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence.

See RCW 9.41.040

On the other hand, when applying for a Washington State Concealed Pistol License the answer would be yes to the offenses listed above but not necessarily for every conviction identified as DV on your criminal history. Thus, you will need legal advice from an attorney with very technical expertise if you have a domestic violence conviction in Washington.

09/26/14

The Revolt of the Maccabees

Permalink 08:37:18 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

“Instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, to cause the lamp TO BURN ALWAYS. Aaron and his sons shall set them up in the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain which is before the Ark of the Pact, to burn from evening to morning before the LORD. It shall be a due from the Israelites FOR ALL TIME, throughout the ages.”

[Exodus (Shemot) 27. 20 - 21 Tanakh, Torah]

The following account of the Maccabean battles is primarily from the “Battles of the Battle”, by Chaim Herzog and Mordechai Gichon. The authors state that the purpose of the book is “to narrate the military history of the Bible in terms of modern military concepts and accepted terminology.” In the present essay we will suggest some examples as to how the Maccabean battles speak to principles of warfare over the centuries with special emphasis on the subject of how volunteer militia units stack up against professional armies.

There are issues of technology, intelligence and tactics but morale is also important. When a people suddenly confronts a foreign occupation force, what are the sources for building the quality of morale that it takes to face a determined and well-trained professional foe?

Herzog, who authored the chapters related to Maccabees, fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War as an officer in the battles for Latrun. He performed intelligence functions during World War II. From 1948 through 1962, Herzog was head of the IDF Military Intelligence Branch. He served as head of the Israeli Defense Forces again from 1959 to 1962 and retired with the rank of Major-General.

When the Revolt commenced in 167 BC, it had been four hundred years since any organized Jewish force had taken up arms. Bible readers will recall that when Israel became apostate by worshipping foreign “gods”, she was divided. The people of Yahweh were divided into two kingdoms- the Northern and Southern kingdoms- and then were separately taken into captivity. Cyrus, the Emperor of the Persians, a pluralistic society, sent the captive Israelites back to rebuild Jersusalem.

By the time of the Maccabean revolt, many centuries after Nehemia and Ezra had restored the Temple in Jerusalem, Alexander and his army had swept across Persia and Mesopotamia wielding Hellenistic culture.

The importance of Israel’s confrontation with Greek culture and philosophy in understanding the history of Israel cannot be overestimated. The Hellenistic mores, world view and policy objectives considerably outlasted Alexander’s lifetime.

Alexander divided his legendary empire among four generals. The Egyptian-based Ptolemies were rivals of the Seleucid Empire, based in Syria. Jerusalem and Judea were under the jurisdiction of the Ptolemies (a dynasty also descending from one of Alexander’s four successors). When Antiochus III wrested Palestine from the Ptolemies, he would have had a Jewish problem on his hands but followed a policy similar to the Romans who came later; i.e., a policy of allowing the Jews limited autonomy and religious tolerance.

Antiochus III reigned in a time when the power of Rome had not risen to the point where the Judeans constituted a threat to the Seleucids. When Antiochus IV came to power in 175 BC, Syria was faced with global threats to its trade routes running through Palestine; with the Ptolemies threatening in the south, and aggressive Romans, Parthians and Persians pressuring Syria’s other borders, Antiochus determined to enforce cultural uniformity.

The Seleucid authorities took over the priesthood and Hellenized the Temple worship in Jerusalem and a split occurred between Jews who compromised with the Greek culture and anti-Hellenist traditionalists, eschewing foreign culture and religion. The split became an open revolt at a time when the Syrian forces(Seleucid army troops) were retreating from a failed siege in Egypt (under impending threat of Roman intervention). The irate Antiochus Epiphanes ordered strong measures in Jerusalem. Syrian troops massacred the Jewish population there.

What followed came to be known by Jesus and present day Bible teachers as “the Abomination of Desolation”. The Temple of Solomon was relegated to the cult of Zeus and desecrated by sacrifices of swine. This set the stage for the appearance of an amazing breed of Jewish warriors that had not been seen since the ancient days of Israel’s Judges in before the advent of the Kingdom of Israel.

The Antiochus administration dispatched an officer named Apelles to the rural village of Modiin in order to suppress any Judaistic practices in the countryside. The means of ensuring that submission to Hellenistic culture was without reservation on the part of the Jewish underclass was to set up an altar and order Mattathias, the local Jewish priest, to sacrifice and eat the swine flesh. Mattathias refused.

When a more compliant fellow stepped forward, Mattathias went berserk with righteous indignation (like Samson or Jesus when he drove out the money-changers in order to cleanse the Temple from corruption, killing the traitor and Appelles. Mattathias and a handful of farmers took to the hills outside present-day Ramallah. The Judean terrain offered a mountain stronghold for the guerrilla force that was forming even as events propelled them onward.

The Maccabees organized a nationwide intelligence apparatus, refrained at first from aggressive operations and emphasized principles that went beyond mere cultural indoctrination. I imagine that there was school of sorts like Samuel’s School of the Prophets, wherein champions of the faith (see Hebrews 11 and the Books of Samuel) were studied along with Torah study (Five Books of the Law).

In Samuel’s time, the Philistines denied oppressed Israelites the fundamental right to sharpen their own farming implements; i.e., the Philistine instituted “gun-control” in the form of restrictions on edged weaponry. It is not easy to educate a people that have lived under oppression for so long that they have lost their identity as warriors and feel nothing but shame and conflict when law-givers like Moses or Samuel try to tell them, “This is who you are; your God destined you to be a warrior. Be strong and of good courage!”

In the beginning, the Maccabees may have been less than fifty able-bodied fighters out of a band of two hundred Jews that took to the Judean hills. Mattathias died in the first year of the revolt but designated Judas Maccabeus to lead Israel’s forces.

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The Jewish farmers possessed weapons that were little more than slings and farming implements against a well-equipped, well-trained modern army by any standards- veteran Syrian soldiers reputed for ferocious cavalry charges, fierce infantry troops, chariots, elephants and well trained artillery engineers with machinery for launching large boulders- all the usual instruments and engines of classical warfare.

But the Seleucid training was geared towards conventional fighting. Sword, javelin, spear and arrow in the hands of large numbers of mercenaries soon gave way to a few committed fighters willing to hit their enemy, grab some weapons and then prepare to strike again. A few men operating with the advantage of surprise tied up many soldiers waiting to react defensively. The Jewish guerillas also had support from local populations and easily melted into the local landscape.

The rebels gradually assembled an arsenal of modern weapons- swords, bows, spears, maybe even some ballistas for throwing rocks and battering rams (if they weren’t too heavy to carry them into the hills after an attack). The Syrian troops were organized into tactical phalanx elements starting with the syntagma of 250 men, like a modern company. The conventional tactics are familiar to any student of shock troop warfare (evolved from the Grecian hoplite units) in which two armies press each other in a head on clash while skirmishers and cavalry protect the flanks.

The disadvantage of this kind of warfare against mountain fighters soon became apparent when Judas the Maccabee, Mattathias’ middle son, attacked Appolonius, who was advancing from Samaria to Jerusalem with 2,000 Syrian troops.

The Syrians entered a narrow passageway. Judas divided his fighters into four units that maneuvered Appolonius into a trap. Judas attacked two separate chiliarchiae of approximately 1,000 Syrian troops each from east and west. A chiliarchiae was being cut to ribbons in the defile while the other units kept pressing forward without knowing that they were about to be surprised from the rear.

Appolonius, in the second chiliarchiae rode forward and looked to see what was occurring in front. He took fire from both hillsides, thus, spilling out his life on that battlefield.

These events left the entire Seleucid force in a state of utter destruction four miles north-east of Gophna. The Maccabees 600 fighters added more weapons to their considerable arsenal.

The Syrian General Seron was determined to avenge the Maccabean exploit that occurred at Nahal el-Haramiah. Gen. Seron stayed near the coast and turned inland near Jaffa past the present day airport of Lod. According to 1 Maccabees 3:16, the General used a secondary route to Jerusalem that led through the same pass used by general Allenby when the British 90th Division advanced on Turkish held Jerusalem in 1917.

Any reader that reviews Biblical history along with the accounts of modern day warfare in Palestine, especially Israeli military history since 1948, cannot help but see many events that are proof that Yahweh still has his hand on Israel. One geographical location, such as General Seron’s route through Beth-Horon, can invite repeated conflicts over the centuries. The same route was chosen by Israeli forces in 1967 in order to take the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Battle of Beth- Horon comprised 4,000 troops (four chiliarchia) against 1,000 Jewish troops. Judas reminded his men that they were fighting for their homes, families and heritage- their heritage in Y-hw-h G-d (Hebrew mandates that the name of God (transliterated Jehovah in Anglo-Saxon texts) is unable to be pronounced; the exact pronunciation is consequently unknown. General Seron was the target of choice as he rode through the narrow passage at Beth-Horon. Seron made sure not to bunch his troops and thereby considerably diminished the possibility of another ambush.

As the Syrians worked their way up the hillsides toward Beth-Horon, perhaps a little more than a day’s march (fifteen miles by road from Jerusalem), Judas led the charge. He carried Appolonius’ sword and continued to do so from that time onward. Jewish militia men lay hidden on each side of the road to Jerusalem. They came out of the rocks with slings and bows and then closed in with swords chasing the surprised Syrians back toward the plains below.

Judah’s risky strategy of dividing his 1,000 men into four separate units destroyed the enemy’s plan to link up with the Syrian garrison in Jerusalem and to subdue the whole country from that command center.

Such lessons were similar to the experience of Americans later in history. Battlefields like New Orleans, where frontiersmen, pirates and Indians vanquished the most powerful army of the time, the veteran British regulars who had bested Napoleon in Europe and India. The Americans at the Battle of New Orleans had the long rifle, giving them a greater edge in technology, at least in terms of accurate firepower.

Back in the command centers of Antiochus, the news of Seron’s defeat caused the leaders to quickly change their plans by reassigning forces to use any and all means to search out and destroy the remnant of Judea and allot the land to aliens, a familiar experience for Israel and other conquered peoples dating back at least to the Assyrian occupation of the Northern Kingdom in 740 BC.

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Thus, the stakes were high when three Syrian Generals bivouacked at Emmaus (present-day Imwas near Latrun). According to 1 Maccabee there were 40,000 Syrian infantry troops and 7,000 cavalry but 2 Maccabee estimates that the Syrian strength was higher. Judas was busy recruiting a force that mustered out at 6,000. He organized them as battalions (1,000 strong), companies (of 100 men), platoons of 50 and 10 man units. This is similar to the way modern armies are organized, according to Herzog. Judas somehow divided these units into four groups (1500 each), three of which were commanded by his three brothers.

Judas invoked the glorious heritage of Israel and the injunctions of the Law (Torah). As things shaped up, the two opposing camps were visible to each other.

The Syrian General Gorgias led his forces into the hills for a night attack (this was evidently a first for the conventionally minded shock-troops). The Israelis anticipated the night attack. When the Syrians launched their attack, the Maccabean camp was empty but Syrian scouts observed the Jewish rearguard in retreat and gave chase.

These actions say a great deal about the importance of intelligence, usually on the part of recon scouts who are trained to move under cover and report what they see with their eyes. We can deduce such a premise because of the fact that the Maccabean retreat was an elaborate deception intended to lure Gorgias into another defile. There Judas attacked the Syrian troops with units stationed in the defile during the night.

The Syrians anticipated Judas’ next move which was to attack the Seleucid-Syrian camp at dawn. The Seleucid forces were arrayed for battle, the element of surprise was lost. Judas attacked the western flank of the enemy phalanx, penetrated the phalanx and his men engaged the shock-troops in hand to hand combat. Another group of 1,500 Israelis attacked the remaining Syrians who were languishing complacently in the camp. Total confusion overtook the Syrians. The phalanx formation disintegrated early in the fighting, the troops guarding the baggage in the base camp were fleeing to the coast, as elephants, horses, camp followers, slave traders and soldiers screamed, stampeded and bled in the dust.

Gorgias turned to face the valley; the sight of the burning base camp panicked Gorgias’ forces and the Jewish troops went after them in hot pursuit. The recruiting got easier for Judas who now controlled the whole country with the exception of Jerusalem. The Jewish militia was now at 10,000 strong and, in addition to the great value of their other plunder, the amount of weaponry they seized put Judas’ Jewish militia volunteers in a strong position to lay siege to Jerusalem.

Lysias, a noteable within Antiochus Epiphanes’ own family, undertook to punish Judas’ audacity. The plan was to enter Jerusalem, avoid the mountains completely and operate from a secure fortress in Jerusalem called Acra. He traveled through Idumea (Biblical Edom), where the population was not friendly toward the Jews.

The Seleucid forces were at about 20,000 strong and, thus, outnumbered Judas’s men by about two to one. Again Judas picked the battle terrain, this time in an area that was carved up by wadis, the term for ravines and gully washes in that part of the world. And once again the Judean forces were divided into four groups but this time Judas had no illusions as to the possibility of splitting the enemy’s forces.

Judas’ guerilla forces disengorged from their hiding place in a ravine just as the Seleucids emerged from another defile. Jewish militia that Judas had held in reserve sealed the area along a half mile front as their brothers surprised their enemies from both sides. Imagine the dismay, humiliation and abject terror of that proud army and the carnage to which they were subjected! The Syrians lost approximately 5,000 men, mostly mercenaries of poor quality and Lysias performed a tactical retreat.

The Battle of Beth-Zur was a psychological and strategic victory for the rebels. Judas’ next objective was to rededicate the Temple. The Gentile people began a pogrom against the Jewish communities all over Syria. At the same time, Judas was entering Jerusalem, removing the offensive symbols of paganism from the temple and consecrating the restored Temple after rebuilding the altar. The Acra faced the Temple Mount.

The Maccabees contained the Syrian garrison within the walls of that mighty fortress as Judah evaluated the situation that was developing into a desperate holocaust for the Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem. Fortified Jewish towns were under siege and an expedition of Israeli special forces had to go to their rescue.

Now Judas’ ability to govern was on display, not only to the Seleucids but before Rome and all the world. Could Judas rescue his besieged brothers and sisters and still hold Jerusalem?

Dathema, sixty miles from present day Amman, Jordan, was the center of Jewish resistance. The enemy already had men scaling the walls of the fortified Jewish city. Judas successfully attacked the besieging forces from the rear, defeated a counter-attack and rescued his besieged countrymen in Trans-Jordan. He punished the hostile Idumeans (for helping the enemy)and burned the harbor and shipping at Jaffa in reprisal for the drowning of a Jewish community that had resided there.

The fortress of Acra now confronted Judas as his next big challenge. Judas’ forces possessed siege engines and in 162 BC they invested the citadel. This led to a protracted siege and Lysias returned with thirty war elephants and 30,000 troops, not including cavalry and chariot units. Judas’ militia had never faced elephants. War elephants bore turrets containing a driver and four fighters. The Maccabees were now fighting defensively and the psychological impact of the elephants cannot be overestimated.

Eleazer, Judas’ younger brother, made a daring foray to demonstrate that the elephants were vulnerable. He fought through the forces that protected the immense battle pachyderm platforms, gored an elephant’s underbelly and was crushed when the beast fell dead on top of him.

This battle of Beth-zechariah demonstrates the principle that civilian reserve militia cannot prevail in so-called set-piece operations against the inherent strength of trained regulars. The time and place need to be selected by the resistance leader with tactics that are appropriate to guerrilla warfare.

As a consequence of fighting the enemy on enemy terms, Jerusalem lay unprotected before Lysias. The besieged population of Jerusalem was low on food when Lysias was called away due to political conflicts within the royal family. Judah and Lysias negotiated terms guaranteeing religious freedom. Judas resolved, nevertheless, to fight on for total independence. The Seleucids themselves returned to slaughtering Jews, as soon as Lycias (regent over the Seleucid Empire) defeated Philip (Antiochus’ son). The guerrilla fighting was renewed in earnest.

Judas defeated the Seleucids at Nicanor (161 BC) and negotiated a treaty of alliance with Rome, thereby establishing Judea as an independent state recognized by Rome itself.

The new state of affairs set the Seleucid’s in opposition to Judean independence more firmly than ever before. The terms of the previous cease-fire granting religious freedom had lulled the Jews into a sense of false security. Therefore Judas was able to raise less than 3,000 “picked” militia members to fight 20,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry.

The Jewish volunteers melted away when the battle was joined, leaving Judas to fight on with 800 men against overwhelming forces arrayed against him. Judah raised the morale of his men and fought on valiantly, turning the tide several times before he finally fell in battle. The combination of bravery, moral force and outright inspirational leadership achieved victories that still have political and military ramifications to this day.

The events related by Herzog (merely summarized herein) and 1st and 2nd Macc, welded together the national character of the Jewish people like few other events in the history of that unique people. Had it not been for the Maccabean revolt, many of the events that characterize the New Testament Biblical narrative would be indecipherable.

In the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life there is reference to the Feast of Dedication which was celebrated in memorial to the restoration and consecration of the temple when the Maccabees entered Jerusalem. This is the holiday that we now call Chanukkah.

The following is an explanation of the spiritual significance of Chanukkah from a Messianic Jewish teacher:

The word “Chanukkah” in Hebrew literally means “dedication” in memory of the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by Judas Maccabeus, after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian king. In 176 BC Antiochus tried to force the Jews to give up their faith and to adopt Greek customs. He persecuted the Jews who refused to do this.

Antiochus Epiphanes converted the Temple of the Lord to the worship of Zeus, and placed an image of Zeus the dominant Greek god (the abomination of desolation) in the Holy Place. He looted the Temple and ordered all Jews to bow down to the idols placed there. Then, he brought in a sow, and placed it on the Holy Altar in desecration of Almighty God’s Holiness. He brought waste and destruction - desecrated the vessels of the LORD in debauchery and drunkenness and put out the “Ner Tomid” ("Perpetual Light").

The Hasmoneans, the Maccabee family, led the Jews in a revolt. After several years of fighting, Judah and his men drove the Syrians out. On the 25th of Kislev (exactly 3 years after the defilement of the Sanctuary) in the year 165 BC they made their entrance into the Temple and rededicated it to the service of the Great God of Heaven.

In the Temple, the priests left a light burning in obedience to the command of the Holy One, but when they prepared to rekindle this light after the victory, they found that there was only enough oil to last one day.

This was a tragic discovery to the Jewish people for the Almighty’s command could not then be carried out. Search was made for the oil for this Lamp. The oil must be pure and prepared under the care of the high priest and sealed with his seal. No pure oil could be found nor could any be prepared before 8 days (7 days set apart to the Lord; the 8th day it became holy to the LORD). The small jug of oil bearing the seal of the high priest might suffice for only one day, but according to the Jewish people’s tradition the supernatural occurred, the oil lasted for the full eight days!

Thus, we see that military events put the hearts of a people on display before the world and before powers and principalities in heavenly places. Judas was a “hammer” (his name literally means “Hammer of God” in Hebrew- but correct me on this if I am wrong, Hebrew scholars), forging the will and the character of a nation. See also Charles Martel:

Effective intelligence networks along with flexibility of thought and the ability to shift tactics rapidly were important.

Taking the initiative decisively in order to decide the timing and terrain of the battle was just as important. Leadership was always an important element in the equation, of course. The leadership in Judas Maccabeus’ case conformed to Scriptural precedents for leadership toward which Judas steadfastly directed his followers. The account herein raises some important issues; further discussion should be forthcoming.

“A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the strength of the confidence thereof.” Proverbs 21:22

08/26/14

Vote No On !-594

Permalink 08:00:48 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

I-594 is a proposed initiative that its proponents claim will prevent mentally ill and other prohibited person from obtaining firearms. The campaign is being financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The anti-gun billionaire’s “grassroots” organization, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY filings with the Public Disclosure Commission reveal a $50 million action fund to support Initiative 594.

The Initiative, sponsored by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), is thus being promoted by Bloomberg and other billionaire’s that are normally surrounded by bodyguards. Bill and Melinda Gates contributed $1,000,000.00. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen contributed $500,000.00 earlier this month and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer donated an additional $1 million, bring his total donation to the campaign to nearly $1.4 million. Warren Buffett and several other billionaires have swelled the total contributions to EVERTOWN and other organizations that support I-594.

But the Initiative’s language demonstrates an agenda that has less to do with universal background checks and more to do with creating difficulties for those of us that own and train others in the use of firearms.

The measure will criminalize, with few exceptions, all temporary transfers of firearms that do not involve purchases, such as for safekeeping, hunting, loan, recreational sharing, safety training, coaching, transport, etc.

The Federal Way based ARMED DEFENSE TRAINING ASSOCIATION is a good example of how the law may impact local gun owners. Founded in 2010, the non-profit group provides opportunities for education, training and gun safety. Many of the public service presentations involve members teaching gun safety to new gun owners and those who may be thinking of becoming first time gun owners.

The fact that ADTA members volunteer to let folks handle unloaded firearms in very closely supervised setting, often in a church or similar setting, raises the issue of whether we could be prosecuted for a crime just by letting someone handle a firearm.

It sounds ridiculous but the I-594 definition of transfer includes temporary handling of firearms. The ADTA is not a political group but many of the members have become concerned about how the law will be applied to our training activities.

But it is not just armed citizens like us that are concerned. The Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) voted to oppose I-594 and support I-591. Initiative 591, is a proposal that prevents government gun confiscation without due process and requires that background checks in Washington comply with a uniform national standard.

If the legislature were dealing with such issues, I-594 would never even be reported out of committee. Legislators know what happened in Colorado when lawmakers were recalled for infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Voters should be clear and vote for I-591 to keep a clear national standard in place. I-591 is funded by gun owners and not billionaires! On the other hand, I-594 is well-funded, deceptive and seems to be intentionally confusing. Bad legislation always has intended and unintended consequences.

07/25/14

Permalink 12:45:23 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

From: “Bill Warner” Date: June 23, 2014 10:04:42 AM PDT

All of this data after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Towers comes from www.thereligionofpeace.com. The data before 9/11 comes from www.politicalislam.com and comes as a surprise for most people.

Why is it that our media and government do not ever try to connect the dots?

DATE CITY/STATE DEAD HURT DESCRIPTION

Apr 14, 1972 New York, NY 1 3 Ten members of a local mosque phone in a false alarm and then ambush responding officers, killing one.

Jan 19, 1973 Brooklyn, NY 1 1 Muslim extremists rob a sporting goods store for weapons, gunning down a police officer who responds to the alarm.

Jul 1, 1973 Bethesda, MD 1 0 An Israeli diplomat is gunned down in his driveway by Palestinian terrorists.

Jul 18, 1973 Washington, DC 8 2 Nation of Islam members shoot seven members of a family to death in cold blood, including four children. A defendant in the case is later murdered in prison on orders from Elijah Muhammad.

Oct 19, 1973 Oakland, CA 1 1 Nation of Islam terrorists kidnap a couple and nearly decapitate the man, while raping and leaving the woman for dead.

Oct 29, 1973 Berkeley, CA 1 0 A woman is shot repeatedly in the face by Nation of Islam terrorists.

Nov 25, 1973 Oakland, CA 1 0 A grocer is killed in his store by Nation of Islam terrorists.

Dec 11, 1973 Oakland, CA 1 0 A man is killed by Nation of Islam terrorists while using a phone booth.

Dec 13, 1973 Oakland, CA 1 0 A woman is shot to death on the sidewalk by Nation of Islam terrorists.

Dec 20, 1973 Oakland, CA 1 0 Nation of Islam terrorists gun down an 81-year-old janitor.

Dec 22, 1973 Oakland, CA 2 0 Nation of Islam terrorist kills two people in separate attacks on the same day.

Dec 24, 1973 Oakland, CA 1 0 A man is kidnapped, tortured and decapitated by Nation of Islam terrorists.

Jan 24, 1974 Oakland, CA 4 1 Five vicious shooting attacks by Nation of Islam terrorists leave three people dead and one paralyzed for life. Three of the victims were women.

Ap 1, 1974 Oakland, CA 1 1 A Nation of Islam terrorist shoots at two Salvation Army members, killing a man and injuring a woman.

Ap 16, 1974 Ingleside, CA 1 0 A man is killed while helping a friend move by Nation of Islam terrorists.

Mar 9, 1977 Washington, DC 1 1 Hanifi Muslims storm three buildings including a B’nai B’rith to hold 134 people hostage. At least two innocents were shot and one died.

Jul 22, 1980 Bethesda, MD 1 0 A political dissident is shot and killed in front of his home by an Iranian agent who was an American convert to Islam.

Aug 31, 1980 Savou, IL 2 0 An Iranian student guns down his next-door neighbors, a husband and wife.

Nov 6, 1989 St. Louis, MO 1 0 A 17-year-old girl is stabbed to death by her parents for bringing ‘dishonor’ to their family by dating an ‘infidel’ African-American.

Jan 31, 1990 Tuscon, AZ 1 0 A Sunni cleric is assassinated in front of a Tuscon mosque after declaring that two verses of the Qur’an were invalid.

Nov 5, 1990 New York City, NY 1 0 An Israeli rabbi is shot to death by a Muslim attacker at a hotel.

Jan 25, 1993 Langley, VA 2 3 A Pakistani with Mujahideen ties guns down two CIA agents outside of the headquarters.

Feb 26, 1993 New York, NY 6 1040 Islamic terrorists detonate a massive truck bomb under the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring over 1,000 in an effort to collapse the towers.

Mar 1, 1994 Brooklyn, NY 1 0 A Muslim gunman targets a van packed with Jewish boys, killing a 16-year-old.

Mar 23, 1997 New York, NY 1 6 A Palestinian leaves an anti-Jewish suicide note behind and travels to the top of the Empire State building where he shoot seven people in a Fedayeen attack.

Ap 3, 1997 Lompoc, CA 1 0 A prison guard is stabbed to death by a radical Muslim.

Mar 17, 2000 Atlanta, GA 1 1 A local imam and Muslim spiritual leader guns down a deputy sheriff and injures his partner.

Sep 11, 2001 New York, NY 2752 251 Islamic hijackers steer two planes packed with fuel and passengers into the World Trade Center, killing hundreds on impact and eventually killing thousands when the towers collapsed. At least 200 are seriously injured.

Sep 11, 2001 Washington, DC 184 53 Nearly 200 people are killed when Islamic hijackers steer a plane full of people into the Pentagon.

Sep 11, 2001 Shanksville, PA 40 0 Forty passengers are killed after Islamic radicals hijack the plane in an attempt to steer it into the U.S. Capitol building.

Mar 19, 2002 Tuscon, AZ 1 0 A 60-year-old man is gunned down by Muslim snipers on a golf course.

May 27, 2002 Denton, TX 1 0 Muslim snipers kill a man as he works in his yard.

Jul 4, 2002 Los Angeles, CA 2 0 Muslim man pulls out a gun at the counter of an Israeli airline and kills two people.

Sep 5, 2002 Clinton, MD 1 0 A 55-year-old pizzaria owner is shot six times in the back by Muslims at close range.

Sep 21, 2002 Montgomery, AL 1 1 Muslim snipers shoot two women, killing one.

9/23/2002 Baton Rouge, LA 1 0 A Korean mother is shot in the back by Muslim snipers.

Oct 2, 2002 Wheaton, MD 1 0 Muslim snipers gun down a program analyst in a store parking lot.

10/3/2002 Montgomery County, MD 5 0 Muslim snipers kill three men and two women in separate attacks over a 15-hour period.

Oct 9, 2002 Manassas, VA 1 1 A man is killed by Muslim snipers while pumping gas two days after a 13-year-old is wounded by the same team.

Oct 11, 2002 Fredericksburg, VA 1 0 Another man is killed by Muslim snipers while pumping gas.

Oct 14, 2002 Arlington, VA 1 0 A woman is killed by Muslim snipers in a Home Depot parking lot.

Oct 22, 2002 Aspen Hill, MD 1 0 A bus driver is killed by Muslim snipers.

Aug 6, 2003 Houston, TX 1 0 After undergoing a ‘religious revival’, a Saudi college student slashes the throat of a Jewish student with a 4″ butterfly knife, nearly decapitating the young man.

Dec 2, 2003 Chicago, IL 1 0 A Muslim doctor deliberately allows a Jewish patient to die from an easily treatable condition.

Ap 13, 2004 Raleigh, NC 1 4 An angry Muslim runs down five strangers with a car.

Ap 15, 2004 Scottsville, NY 1 2 In an honor killing, a Muslim father kills his wife and attacks his two daughters with a knife and hammer because he feared that they had been sexually molested.

Jun 16, 2006 Baltimore, MD 1 0 A 62-year-old Jewish moviegoer is shot to death by a Muslim gunman in an unprovoked terror attack.

Jun 25, 2006 Denver, CO 1 5 Saying that it was ‘Allah’s choice’, a Muslim shoots four of his co-workers and a police officer.

Jul 28, 2006 Seattle, WA 1 5 An ‘angry’ Muslim-American uses a young girl as hostage to enter a local Jewish center, where he shoots six women, one of whom dies.

Feb 13, 2007 Salt Lake City, UT 5 4 A Muslim immigrant goes on a shooting rampage at a mall, targeting people buying Valentine’s Day cards at a gift shop and killing five.

Jan 1, 2008 Irving, TX 2 0 A Muslim immigrant shoots his two daughters to death on concerns about their ‘Western’ lifestyle.

Jul 6, 2008 Jonesboro, GA 1 0 A devout Muslim strangles his 25-year-old daughter in an honor killing.

Feb 12, 2009 Buffalo, NY 1 0 The founder of a Muslim TV station beheads his wife in the hallway for seeking a divorce.

Ap 12, 2009 Phoenix, AZ 2 0 A man shoots his brother-in-law and another man to death after finding out that they visited a strip club, in contradiction to Islamic values.

Jun 1, 2009 Little Rock, AR 1 1 A Muslim shoots a local soldier to death inside a recruiting center explicitly in the name of Allah.

Nov 2, 2009 Glendale, AZ 1 1 A woman dies from injuries suffered when her father runs her down with a car for being too ‘Westernized.’ (10-20-09)

Nov 5, 2009 Ft. Hood, TX 13 31 A Muslim psychiatrist guns down thirteen unarmed soldiers while yelling praises to Allah.

Dec 4, 2009 Binghamton, NY 1 0 A non-Muslim Islamic studies professor is stabbed to death by a Muslim grad student in revenge for ‘persecuted’ Muslims.

Ap 14, 2010 Marquette Park, IL 5 2 After quarrelling with his wife over Islamic dress, a Muslim convert shoots his family members to ‘take them back to Allah’ and out of the ‘world of sinners’.

Ap 30, 2011 Warren, MI 1 0 A 20-year-old woman is shot in the head by her stepfather for not adhering to Islamic practices.

Feb 7, 2013 Buena Vista, NJ 2 0 A Muslim targets and beheads two Christian Coptic immigrants.

Mar 24, 2013 Ashtabula, OH 1 0 A Muslim convert walks into a church service with a Quran and guns down his Christian father while praising Allah.

Ap 15, 2013 Boston, MA 3 170 Foreign-born Muslims describing themselves as ‘very religious’ detonate two bombs packed with ball bearings at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and causing several more to lose limbs.

Ap 19, 2013 Boston, MA 1 1 Jihadists gun down a university police officer sitting in his car.

TOTAL 4677 1592
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Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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06/02/14

Permalink 11:32:13 am, Categories: Announcements [A]  

Texas Gun Politics

By Mark Knapp, Firearms Lawyer

Originally published in SandpointPR.

Watch the video Fire and Ice near the end of this contribution.

Finland & the Progressive War on Common Sense

Wendy Davis is a Democrat running for governor in Texas that supports the right to openly carry firearms- at least the right to carry for some Texans. If the truth be known, the state senator from Texas, who became famous as a champion for abortion rights in the Texas legislature, probably has views about firearms that are like most others in her party.

The fact that leaders in the Democratic Party tend to hate guns creates a big problem for Davis, Texans love their guns and don’t vote for folks that hate babies or guns. But Texas has recently had a series of open carry demonstrations in which people show up with rifles slung. The catch, however, is that Davis thinks the Second Amendment should not apply in cities, just on farms and ranches- and, of course, for sporting purposes.

“Obviously in Texas we have a culture that respects the Second Amendment right and privilege of owning and carrying guns — but we also, of course, have respect and understand the rights and privileges of property owners to make decisions about what’s right for them.”

“My position on open carry reflects my respect for both of those principles, and I believe that municipalities, school districts, hospitals, private property owners should be the ones that ultimately have a say as to whether this is right for them and their facilities,” she said.

Liberals constantly tell us that they believe in the Second Amendment but that it only applies to the state militias. Or that we have to have more “common sense” gun laws. Most states recognize that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains common sense by including similar provisions in state constitutions that make it clear that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that belongs to the people! The opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (not exactly a bastion of Conservative thought) stated in NORDYKE V ALAMEDA COUNTY:

“The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion. We should not be overconfident that oceans on our east and west coasts alone can preserve security. We recently saw in the case of the terrorist attack on Mumbai that terrorists may enter a country covertly by ocean routes, landing in small craft and then assembling to wreak havoc. That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway in an attack on any community before more professional forces arrived.

Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.”

Read the text of the Nordyke case.

Every day in the news we see situations all over the world in which city dwellers and rural folks alike are confronted with situations requiring the use of violence to stop violence. In the Ukraine, there have been armed citizens standing up against well-armed folks that claim they are not members of Russia’s elite military units.

There have been news reports that volunteers in Mexico have successfully taken up arms against the Knights Templar, a vicious cartel that has oppressed whole areas by cutting off the heads of law enforcement officers and any others that get in their way.

In Nigeria, whole villages have begged their government to arm the people against the Boko Haram that has kidnapped school children and terrorized people. Our own government has armed volunteers in places like Libya and Syria so that the people can defend themselves against corrupt regimes.

What about situations where the violence comes from groups that are allegedly sponsored by government but maintain some kind of plausible deniability like the “volunteers” in Eastern Ukraine that seem to be so well equipped?

Or, for example, some of the volunteers in Mexico think the Mexican and even the U.S. Government assist some cartels in order to advance the war being waged against other cartels. It is often not immediately apparent who perpetrates attacks but it is historically demonstrated that governments do attack their own people for various reasons.

All these considerations raise the issue of why some liberals like Davis claim that the Second Amendment is only for rural areas and should not be applied in urban environments.

Liberals are constantly accusing government of every variety of perfidy. Moreover, Progressives invariably characterize Republican administrations as Nazi or Fascist! So why shouldn’t urban minorities be armed, especially with so much latent genocide lurking in the heart of the U.S. government?

At this point in the conversation, the astute Progressive intellect usually objects, saying something like, “But how do you expect to stand on your front porch with a deer rifle and defend against armored vehicles and attack helicopters?”

My reply

I am so glad you asked that question. Let me tell you about Finland’s two wars with Stalin’s mighty Red Army in 1939 and 1941.

Finland’s geography is much like North Idaho without mountains. It is covered with lakes and rivers and forests that become frozen killing zones for Stalin’s troops during the Winter War of 1939. The Finnish people worked in the woods, underground in mining, hunted and often got around on skis in the winter time.

After WW I, the Finnish government began acquiring Mosin Nagant rifles in anticipation of a confrontation with Russia. The idea was to arm troops with the same weapons and ammunition deployed by their potential enemies.

In short, when Stalin demanded that Finnish land be annexed to Russia, tiny Finland was ready to make sure it was not digested as food for the Eastern Front and the Red Army’s war machine; the Ukraine and so many other countries never came out of that experience until the 1990s when the Soviet Union supposedly ceased to exist.

Stalin’s troops came into Finland with trucks and armor, which pinned down units near the roads. Finnish snipers decimated the Soviet personnel and then emerged from the woods to scoop up guns and ammunition. Pursuit was futile because the Finns vanished back into the wooded areas on skis.


Hostilities ceased with the Finns giving up very little land. But by 1941, Stalin resumed his quest to conquer tiny Finland. The result of the Continuation War was about the same as the 1939 Winter War. Finland had very little in the way of an army and Britain and the U.S. scared away any assistance Finland expected from her neighbors by declaring war against Finland for defying our Soviet ally!

Finland is still very much a nation that honors its heritage as an armed and fiercely independent people, like Switzerland and the U.S.A.

Watch the 2006 video FIRE AND ICE : THE WINTER WAR OF FINLAND AND RUSSIA if you want to learn how to stop a tank in its tracks. This is a beautiful and eloquent video history of Finland’s repulsion of a Russian invasion that dwarfed the Allied invasion at Normandy Beach. The video is a Finnish re-enactment that realistically documents this little known episode in man’s struggle against brutal tyranny.

Stalin thought it would only take “one shot” to turn the Karelian Isthmus into the Northern terminus of the Eastern Front, replete with conscript troops and slave labor.

See this article in Sandpoint PR with video: Fire and Ice.

Senator Davis, we need all law abiding Americans to have legal access to firearms. The American heritage of firepower, the Gun Culture, encourages familiarity with weapons. The knowledge and understanding gained from easily keeping and bearing arms prepares all of us to protect what we hold dear. Not just a few white Texans that go to elite schools or live on ranches and farms! And despite our appreciation for your permission to carry openly, most of us still prefer to carry unobtrusively.

http://www.repost.us/article-preview/hash/372367820b8d6111363ae3039084ef5e –>

05/18/14

Permalink 10:28:48 pm, Categories: Announcements [A]  

By Mark Knapp, Contributing Firearms Editor for SandpointPR.com

Patrick Kelley’s dad taught him to shoot. He went on to become an avid Bull’s-eye target shooter and shotgun competitor. After years of developing skills in the fundamentals, he started shooting USPSA and 3-Gun matches.

See video of action at Spokane Valley Rifle & Pistol Club.

Pat is now in his 50’s and one of the top 3-Gun shooters in the world with many accomplishments.

Devoted to passing on the techniques he has learned to a new generation of shooters, Kelley is also an announcer for 3-Gun Nation on the Sportsman’s Channel.

Fifteen of us attended the INLAND NORTHWEST ACTION SHOOTERS’ 3-Gun seminar at the Spokane Valley Rifle & Pistol Club in Mica, Washington on May 10. Pat started out by discussing the fundamentals of marksmanship. He states unequivocally that the fundamentals learned in Bulls-eye and clay target sports are what earned Kelley so much success in shoot-on-the-move disciplines.

Trigger Pull: the heart of the matter in multi-gun shooting

Trigger control, of course, is the heart of the matter. No matter how quickly you are traversing a complicated course of fire, things always boils down to a proper trigger pull. Misses result from jerking the gun out of alignment when the trigger is pulled.

Once Pat had us confirm that our sights were aligned, we proceeded to shoot steel plates with pistols while moving backwards, forward and sideways. Kelley quickly had us performing similar drills with rifle.

Learning the rhythm of shooting when the shooter’s weight is transferred to the front foot is difficult.

Each technique takes a lot of practice after the class is over and the homework assignments are demanding. The ability to maintain fundamentals while engaged in a very intuitive and fluid series of movements with transitions to three different weapons takes a great deal of discipline.

Game plan for action

The shooter must have a game plan and be ready to change the plan at any point. No where does this become more apparent than when shooting a shotgun which has an inherent tendency to malfunction- more than rifles and pistols which have a way of developing problems under conditions of many rounds that are rapidly fired.

When things are working, smoothly the shotgun is ideal for swinging through a series of targets. Our class practiced shooting steel targets while swinging the shot gun back and forth with a nonstop motion. It was easy to miss but the goal is to keep the muzzle moving at a steady speed. We quickly realized the potential to shoot faster than with a rifle because of the fact that each shot pattern shades into the following one and the need to be totally accurate is not as great as with a single round.

The Mica Range

The range at Mica is surrounded by green hills and farmland and sits alongside farmland that is hemmed in by trees. Long distance shots of 1000 yards go up into the timbered areas. But we were shooting at distances of about 40 yards or less. The weather was sunny- 60 degree temperatures- and right next to us were USPSA pistol shooters shooting a match hosted by the Inland Northwest Action Shooters which also provided the Patrick Kelley seminar.

Some of us left the class for about 30 minutes to shoot through the four courses of USPSA targets. Normally this would take the better part of the day but the range officers let us go ahead of the other shooters so we could get back to class.

On Sunday, the class shot the INAS 3-Gun Match at the Mica location as a squad of 15 shooters with Kelley as our coach. The weather was perfect and we started out with rifle, shooting a rack of small plates about 40 yards out. I was surprised how many of the shooters could quickly knock down the plates without missing. I had to shoot at one plate twice but they all went down nicely. Then we transitioned to popper plates with shotguns. I had to pick up another plate that I missed from swinging through the plates too rapidly with my Mossberg 930.

Some of the challenges you face

All three courses of fire held challenges for our squad which had shooters that have never shot a 3-Gun match and experienced practitioners of the sport. There were four clays hung out on two ropes at close quarters. The red dot optics that most of us use on our rifles makes for an offset at close range; the offset requires that a shooter aim about three inches high- especially with such small targets. I hit each clay on the first shot but then missed a swinging paper target with my pistol. A failure to neutralize adds seconds to the time. Missing adds up quickly and will rapidly bring down even the fastest times. We all enjoyed watching our instructor whip through the courses of fire with smooth reloads and very good accuracy.

I shot in the open category and there were only a few other shooters shooting with optics on their pistol. It takes some practice to locate the red dot on the JP site that I recently had mounted on my Glock 17. Once you get the red dot on that first target, acquisition of targets becomes very fast and surgically accurate.

I only had one malfunction with my Mossberg (which also has a red dot) and was about two or three inches low on one of my four slug shots- another failure to neutralize because I got over confident and only shot the target once. One hit in the A zone is all it takes to neutralize a target. The key is to stay focused and have a good time.

Inland Northwest Action Shooters will host a USPSA and a 3-Gun match every second Saturday during the coming months. The Fernan Range in Coeur d’Alene has also started a monthly 3-Gun match. Multigun is the fastest growing shooting sport and now appears on the Blaze channel for those of us that know Glenn Beck.
3-Gun Nation was featured on NBC until the school shootings in Connecticut scared the network away.

I have never been able to view 3-Gun Nation on television but I am sure that Patrick Kelley makes it lively. He is a treasure trove of information about many of the personalities, techniques and history of modern shooting sports. I hope to be watching him on television soon! Patrick is also available for classes, usually with groups of about six people.

http://www.repost.us/article-preview/hash/3beddf5bb6b64be9d8e2b8afe67104e5 –>

03/17/14

Should Al Church Retire from South King County Fire & Rescue?

Permalink 12:25:15 am, Categories: Announcements [A]  

The South King County Fire & Rescue has had its share of problems. As an example, the Chief, Al Church, complained about unfair attacks on his son claiming that Jerry Galland and Mark Freitas have conspired and “unfairly targeted the Church family,” even though his son was investigated by an independent board and found to have behaved unethically by contacting a woman that he helped to transport while on duty as an emergency medical responder.

See video of meeting.

Mark Freitas is an elected commissioner with a duly constituted responsibility to oversee the Chief’s activities. The commissioners hire the fire chief, who is the SKCFR’s administrator, and agree by contract to goals and expectations.

Chief Church initiated a formal complaint against Freitas which alleged the following:

• Driving through the District parking lot, to “check in on the Chief;
• Unfairly criticizing the Chief for not attending meetings each month at which his contract provides he is to report the District’s business and get commissioner approval if needed;
• Stalking the Chief and conducting surveillance on him at the chief’s house.
• Meeting with others such as Jerry Galland, for the purpose of obtaining “inside information” about the Chief and the Department’s activities.
• The chief negotiated a “few modifications to my contract”- i.e., a 100% increase in severance pay. In a year that saw firefighters being laid off, his golden parachute increased from over $170,000 to over $340,000 at today’s salary.

Nevertheless, seeking information about the severance package was alleged to be improper on the part of Galland and/or Freitas.

In early 2013, while reviewing Chief Church’s self written evaluation and prior to approval, Commissioner Freitas asked the CFO for the Chief’s compensation information; instead of providing the information, David Lawson turned the note over to the secretary and the board, who chose to treat it like a public records request, delaying the release until after it was of any use. The Chief became indignant that a commissioner was trying to make an informed opinion prior to adding a comment to an employee evaluation.

The seating arrangement in the board of commissioner meetings is such that the commissioners seat facing the room, the chief and secretary are in the front row. The chief accused Freitas of looking at him.

Apparently Freitas should be expected to stare out the window and avoid eye contact with Chief Church, a very common demand made by potentates and satraps operating under principles of despotism that are common throughout world history but entirely inconsistent with principles of equality as practiced in our constitutional republic. Of course, if your opponents get too aggressive you can initiate an investigation and your friends on the Commission might find an attorney that will put the offender in a poor light.

Jerry Galland, a friend of mine, attends the Commissioner’s meetings at the SKCFR and argues that Commissioner Freitas often positions himself in a position where he can fully participate. The chief accused Freitas, who I have met but do not know well, of moving to a position where Freitas “stares at me throughout the entire process.” I have had the experience of seeing Mr. Freitas in public and feeling as though he was looking at me in a harsh manner. When I went up to him and said hello, he was perfectly congenial.

According to the March 3, 2014 Investigative Report written by Attorney Russ Perisho, Freitas used to be a deputy with a sheriff’s department. Many LEOs are not overly congenial and can make people feel uncomfortable, especially people harboring a guilty conscience!

Church has made numerous unsubstantiated accusations against Freitas which the Investigator did not investigate. One such allegation is that Freitas had inappropriately gathered information from someone affiliated with the union involving a possible merger with Valley Regional Fire; sharing work product about the service benefit charge in 2010 with Bob Roegner and Jerry Galland; having coffee with a constituent, Jerry Galland, and other conduct that was “reprehensible, egregious and beyond mere words of expression.”

Church even alleged that Freitas was “feeding (Galland) with information”, all of which was “reduced into blog form” (www.southkingfire.net) so that Galland could personally attack him and his family.

Church claims that his son, Brandon, is “currently doing excellent work as a firefighter” and that Galland fabricated facts. Brandon Church was found guilty of ‘unprofessional conduct’ in a department investigation in early 2012. The district and the employee holding an EMT license is required by law to notify the Department of Health (DOH) when a licensee is found to have violated a condition of the license.

Neither the district nor the employee, Brandon Church, notified the DOH of inappropriate contact made by Church’s son even though the incident was found to have occurred and became widely reported in the communities SKCFR serves.

In November of 2012, while on probation at the fire district for unprofessional conduct, Brandon answered NO to a question on the renewal application regarding whether he had been disciplined for unprofessional conduct. Galland reported on his blog site regarding the District’s attempts to minimize the affair and not reporting what had happened to the state DOH.

Freitas was elected to serve the public and all the facts in the report are consistent with taking his duties seriously when it comes to staunching the costs that have many taxpayers fuming. The fact that four members on the SKCFR board of commissioners have conducted an investigation pertaining to alleged harassment and hostile work environment at substantial expense to the taxpayers- thousands in attorney’s fees- says something about our local political leadership.

The accusation that seemed to be well founded, according to Mr. Perisho the attorney-investigator, is that Freitas told the Chief and the Assistant Chief they should retire. I have never talked to the Chief but I know the Assistant Chief. Ed Plumlee is a wonderful person. But maybe they should retire. I don’t think either of them are too old but if Freitas meant that some folks at SKCFR need to come back to reality and stop wasting the taxpayers money. I agree with him!

The trouble is that after years of working together, people get so comfortable that no one wants to rock the boat. Meanwhile, there are all kinds of interests at work. Unions make demands. Constituents read newspapers and become unhappy if they hear that more money is not going for some facilities or equipment- stuff that our firefighters supposedly cannot go without.

Kids need braces and college tuition or a job as a firefighter- just for example. And then there are those pesky little travel expenses, steak dinners and other important functions.

Of course there are the other constituents that complain about proposals to spend more, guys like Jerry Galland that always find things wrong with the Commissioner’s meetings and then raise issues that are reported by the media. Galland claimed that he had the right to record the SKCFR meetings. It turned out he was right.

Then some Commissioners threatened to eject anyone that carried a gun into their meetings. A bunch of open-carry advocates showed up, the commissioners called the police and the police had the gall not to make any of the armed advocates leave.

After that Commissioner Fossos defended his violations of the campaign disclosure laws by claiming he had to leave a meeting with Galland at which he was scheduled to show his campaign expenditures.

Why did he have to leave? Because Galland came to the meeting with a gun. Even though there was no evidence indicating that Galland ever even carried a gun at that time, a PDC investigator found that the refusal was justified but still found two counts of noncompliance with campaign disclosure laws against Fossos.

Most investigators honestly report what they find. They have biases, however, just like all of us, and attorneys definitely have a need to obtain work. Most people know better than to rock the boat. Keep watching what is happening with the insiders in our local, state and federal governments.

Politicians are starting to fall into the pits that they dig for their enemies. The unfunded municipal, state and federal liabilities for public pension plans are a huge threat to our way of life and the unions just keep getting the same people elected again and again in Wsetern washington and then ask for more.

Meanwhile states like Illinois, California and Washington are getting closer to following cities like Detroit, Stockton and San Bernardino into bankruptcy. Wisconsin is one very good model of a way out of this mess. But South King County Fire is like a morality play that symbolizes the national issues that are about to set our house on fire.

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Mark Knapp, Restoring Gun Rights- (253) 202-2081

We want to find out what disaster preparedness officials are doing at all levels of government, police and military. And what are the people doing at the grassroots? What do you think needs to be done? Are we safe under the current arrangements? Should we leave the job of keeping us safe to the government? Then why are the federal, state and local governments spending billions to tell we the people to get ready? Maybe we should start heeding the official advice and practice some local homeland security! All good government starts in the family and with neighbors.

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