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Portland Police Kill Woman

Result of new tactics learned in Israel?
From today's Oregonian:
Is this the result of Kroeker's trip to Israel a few months back to receive training in tactics from IDF (Israeli Defense Forces)?
Sounds like tactics used in Gaza and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories.


The Associated Press
5/5/03 3:21 PM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Police fatally shot a woman Monday who climbed into the driver's seat of a detained car and tried to drive away, police spokesman Sgt. Brain Schmautz said.
Police pulled over the car, which had three people in it, around 3 a.m. Monday and detained the car's driver.
The woman, 21-year-old Kendra Sarie James of Portland, climbed into the driver's seat from the back seat, Schmautz said. Officers used a stun gun and fired a shot from a service revolver, he said. Three officers were on the scene at the time, he said.
It was unclear why the officers stopped the car. Schmautz did not return repeated calls for additional comment.
The officer who fired his revolver is a two-year veteran, Schmautz said. Police have not released the identities of the officer who fired the shots, pending further investigation.

 link to www.oregonlive.com

TWO - year Veteran? 06.May.2003 07:25

Sherry

Two years on the job doesn't make you veteran - sounds more like a Rookie too me?

Hmmm... 06.May.2003 07:51

anonymous

Hmmm... well you know they say they can't afford to keep people in jail even if they have outstanding warrants, so maybe killing people is their chosen solution. Dead people don't continue to commit crimes, or fill jail beds.

Why is this not a feature article? 06.May.2003 10:47

too white

I love the work that Indymedia does- I salute the folks who put their work and energy into this website, and I so appreciate the news here. But shouldn't this story be high up on the featured stories? Shouldn't we be raising a ruckus about a woman shot dead, as we would with a mass of (largely white) folks peppersprayed at a protest or rally? This is police brutality in Portland at its worst- we should all be concerned; as this is something communities of color and poor folks live with everyday.

Prison 06.May.2003 11:04

James

If this police officer does not wind-up on trial for murder, I will lose any bit of respect I still have for the Portland police and the Oregon justice system. It is never okay for a police officer to shoot a civilian, or even point their weapon at them, if the civilian is not threatening them. "Driving away" can hardly be justification to even raise a gun, let alone fire it, let alone kill a woman.

I hope the family files a wrongful death suit and gets a hundred milion. I've always been in favor of extraordinarily large damages being awarded when things like this happen. The only way the city and the populace will wake-up to it is if their taxes are raised because of lawsuits of 100 million dollars being awarded to victims of state abuse. (Be it wrongful death, wrongful imprisonment, what have you).

Time to Disarm 06.May.2003 11:25

CatWoman

It's time to disarm the PDX republican guard. Why do we let them wander our streets with lethal weapons strapped to their sides, to be used against us at their whim? They've been beating us, gassing us, shooting at us, arresting us without cause for months. Now, they've shot down yet another unarmed person, without cause, in the back. How many people have the PDX police killed in recent years? WHY do we continue to allow this?

This was a 21 year old young woman. Someone's daughter. This is inexcusable. As long as we allow the police to be armed with lethal weapons, they will continue to use them indiscriminantly. There's no reason why they must be carrying guns through the city. Just because we grew up with the ol'west, gunsmoke model of law and order is no reason not to seek changes. Why do we need armed forces and robocops putting us all at risk?

It's time to end the occupation.

CatWoman 06.May.2003 13:47

James

I think it's unfair to disarm the police without disarming everyone else. Since I'm strongly in favor of everyone's 2nd Ammendment Right to keep and bear arms, I don't think we should.

What we need to do is end this blue wall of silence and actually treat police the same as the common citizen. If their life was truly in danger, and they kill someone - well that's a morally and legally acceptable result. Self-defense and diress are completely valid defenses for murder. But, in cases such as this, where the officers LIFE was not in danger by anyone's account, we should put them in prison. They're dangers to society and should be treated as such.

I don't have a problem with a police officer shooting someone in the head if they can clearly see a gun raised in their direction, or have been fired upon. But short of that, I can think of few other situations where lethal force or firing a gun would be warranted.

Throw the bastard in jail.

Irony of Ironies 06.May.2003 17:20

plees revue

I think it very ironic that the morons at silly hall cap this day with the report from the survey of the police bureau ("how are we doing?"), and that it says that portland cops are "rude." REALLY?

To James 06.May.2003 19:29

CatWoman

James, although I disagree with you, I appreciate your thoughtful arguments. So I will respond in kind.

The difference between an armed police force and your second amendment right to keep and bear arms are as follows. First, as organs of the state, the police are the people your 2nd amendment right was designed to protect you against. The founders wrote this and other amendments because they were concerned that the state would abuse its power and authority, and so it has.

Second, and more importantly, although we may have the right to keep and bear arms, you don't see people wandering the streets with guns strapped to their hips. Only the police. The very people charged "to serve and protect," and all the other empty platitudes, are the ones from which we have much to fear.

When was the last time you saw anyone wandering around, for example, the Rose Festival with a gun -- anyone other than officer friendly? What kind of example does that set for our children? Would anyone other than a cop be allowed to walk the halls of our schools with a loaded gun? What about a hospital?

No, there are clearly limits to where citizens are allowed to bear arms. The same should be true of officers of the law. If you saw someone walking the streets with a loaded weapon in hand, you'd probably be afraid. I know I would. If an armed intruder walked into a school, or onto a playground, we would justifiably see this as a threat. Yet the armed police force is such a fixture in the American psyche that we hardly even notice it. We hardly think twice about the fact that these people are armed and ready to kill at a moment's notice. Certainly we have not thought about the fact that it doesn't need to be this way, that there are alternatives to a militarized police force.

There's another reason to disarm the police. We have, for some reason, authorized the cops to use deadly force against us. You and I don't have that right, but we have given it to the police. Yes, theoretically they're supposed to be accountable for their actions, but we've all seen that it doesn't work that way. Like all humans, police officers are prone to make mistakes, to get upset, to get angry, to exercise poor judgement. These lapses of judgement and control are far more dangerous if the person experiencing them has a gun in hand. This sad case is a perfect example. For one brief and terrible moment, the officer who pulled that trigger put "winning the game" ahead of all reason. In order to prevent the escape of his prey, he was willing to sacrifice her life before he would allow her to flee. What would have been the consequence if she had escaped? Was it really so important to stop her? If he had been forced to think before reaching for a gun, he would have realized that it was not. And she would be alive today.

There have been many such "mistakes." Many unarmed people gunned down by the police. There comes a point where such a pattern ceases to be a "mistake" and begins to be a public health hazard which we must address. I suggest we address this issue by dealing with the source of the problem: Let's disarm the police.

There's no reason other than habit to avoid recognizing that there are alternatives to an armed police presence on our streets.

As I have already said, it's time to end the occupation of our streets and our city.

A couple more notes before I go. "Chainsaw," there's nothing noble nor courageous about gunning down an unarmed woman as she tries to flee.
"CIA Informant," I don't think you have given any thought to what you say here. I think you're only trying to be an ass, and it's working. To reiterate what's already been said, the only personal responsibility here belongs with the person who pulled the trigger. Why is it the people who talk about "personal responsibility" never want to take any themselves and never ask the aggressor to take any?
"Gollum," yes, you're absolutely right. AP is very much corporate media. I appreciate mamak's effort to do some of his/her own research, and it can be confusing to unravel the web of corporate America, but yes, AP is corporate propaganda.

English Bobbies?? 06.May.2003 20:13

skate

It's widely believed that London patrolmen carry billy clubs instead of guns. Or, is this just an urban legend? Perhaps it was once true but is no longer? If true, how do the Brits pull this off?

Would such a system work here? Could it be made to work here? Would the widespread possession of firearms by the citizenry make it impractical or impossible? Would it make police work tantamount to suicide?

Realistically, some segment of the police would have to be armed or be allowed to carry guns at times. Like it or not, we all know that there ARE some pretty nasty customers out there. But does that mean all officers need to carry guns at all times?

I certainly don't know the answers, but would be very interested in hearing thoughts on the subject. Could Portland or Oregon or America somehow create a non-lethal police force and manage to make it work?

Other methods 06.May.2003 22:38

anonymous

Um... police have other methods of stopping people who are fleeing in a car. They can call ahead for a roadblock. They can do a chase themselves (they didn't shoot O.J. when he refused to stop his car). They can shoot out the tires. If this cop was close enough to stun gun her, and "struggle" with her, (and shoot her dead at close range), he could have stepped back and shot the tires out. Those are the kinds of things that police do when they know that shooting people is a last resort. Those are the things that police have been doing for a long, long time.

But the police seem to be changing their attitude lately. Shooting certainly wasn't considered last resort here. Human life doesn't seem to be considered important in this situation... it's not always this way in law enforcement. These things go in cylces. We are in the rotten part of the cycle right now.

I don't know maybe police today are just short on other skills for some reason... the Poot case was similar. They could have found different ways to stop him, but they chose to shoot him instead.

Oh Brother 06.May.2003 22:53

lemon

Catwoman. Let's all just have a group hug and share an ice cream cone. You gotta be fuckin' kidding me? What kind of reality do you live in? You think no one but the cops walk around Cinco de Mayo or the Rose Festival with a gun? You're a fuckin' indiot! You just don't see their guns. For the lawful gun owners, just go to the Sheriff's Office and pull up a list of all the concealed carry permits issued. Go do a ride-a-long in Northeast some summer evening and listen to the shots fired calls that the police go to, Hell, I've been on MLK and heard shots myself. Go to the police records division and look up how many Portlanders are shooting at each other every year. Go tell Officer Weisman or Deputy Coates, both recently shot in the head, that their guns are no longer needed.

All of us, by the way, are judged by the SAME legal standard when it comes to shooting someone. Look it up before you run your mouth. Read the story on the latest citizen shooting in Salem. It's called REASONABLE BELIEF. If you, me, or the popo reasonably believe (a standard set by courts) that our life or someone elses life is in jeapardy, then deadly force is allowed. They don't have to be armed, shooting back, or have already killed someone. You force your way into my house during the middle of the night, for example, I'm going to send you to your maker and that is reasonable in the eyes of the courts.

This one 06.May.2003 23:02

lemon

With regards to this shooting, try not to be a victim of the instant gratification conditioning that our society has been raised on. The courts and a grand jury will judge this. We'll get more information as the process works itself out.

bobbies 07.May.2003 00:45

mE

I believe, for the most part, that the English "Bobbies" don't carry guns. How is this accomplished? Basically, England has incredible gun laws. You've got to have a permit to even think about owning a rifle over there, much less a handgun. There's no way in hell that the US would pass laws even similar to English gun laws, so good luck with that solution.

On a similar note, the English criminal justice system is set up differently--probably better. More rehab and getting people back on their feet and less punishment.

site worth checking out: www.reason.com/0211/fe.jm.gun.shtml

Consistency 07.May.2003 02:06

James

CatWoman -

I used to be of the same opinion. But it was not consistent with the rest of my beliefs.

The same argument you make against police officers carryings guns - losing control of the situation, bad decisions, etc - are the very same arguments the anti-gun movement make against the Second Amendment. The only difference between the two arguments is that in the case of the police, they are often not held accountable for their actions in the same way the common citizen might be. But that's an entirely different problem. It would be equally difficult to get police treated equally under the law as it would be to get them to stop carrying firearms.

If we take guns away from the police, we're basically arguing that because a select few number of police officers are unable to properly control a situation or act properly, we should endanger the lives of all police officers. The knowledge that the police have firearms and will use them is in itself a deterrent against attacking a police officer.

The Second Amendment is certainly meant to protect the citizens from government oppression. But I hardly think it was meant to protect citizens from civilian law enforcement. Indeed, that's what the courts are for. Civilian matters get tried in civilian courts. The Second Amendment was meant to protect the citizenry from the regular army, among other more mundane purposes.

I don't think this is a problem of a 'militarized' police force. Their using civilian weapons. You might be able to make that argument against SWAT teams. But I don't think it holds true in this case.

I see this as a simple case of homicide, and not much more. The officer used bad judgement. (To everyone who's said those sort of statements cannot yet be made, without knowing all the facts - I would just say that anytime an unarmed person is fired upon, it's homicide). The officer should stand trial. If he believes he acted much the way another officer would have, he should present an affirmative defense. If I was on the jury, knowing the facts I know now, I would vote to convict him of 2nd degree murder. Were it not for the horror that is Measure 11, the officer would present the actions of the girl as a mitigating factor.

I'm looking for the best-society solution. I'd love to see a police force without guns if I believed it wouldn't inevitably result in more shootings of police officers. But since I believe it would, I don't see how disarming the police is a viable option.

Back to James 07.May.2003 07:52

CatWoman

I can't argue with the consistency of your beliefs. If you believe people should have the right to bear arms, then I can see why you would feel it necessary for at least some cops, at least some of the time, to bear them as well.

However, there are a few points I think you could consider. First, I don't agree that police carrying guns serves as a deterrent to attacking them. It's as easily conceivable that their display and use of lethal weapons makes them a more likely target of other people's violence. Either way, I'm not sure we have any proof that guns either deter or encourage more violence against the police. Until we do, let's argue this another way.

You note that the 2nd amendment was intended to protect the citizenry against government oppression, not "civilian law enforcement." I submit to you that there is no more effective means of government oppression in this society right now than our so-called "civilian law enforcement." March 20th and the ensuing weeks are a perfect example. The police attacked unarmed civilians because they were protesting against an illegitimate war being carried out by the US government. Going back a little further, last summer peaceful protesters were brutally attacked by "civilian" law enforcement officers because they were embarrassing "president" bush.

The police forces are intended to function, and indeed do function, as a strongarm of the state. The police go after poor and disenfranchised members of society at an alarming rate, but leave alone the wealthy white collar criminals who pollute our environment, steal our resources, and kill for profit. And they are becoming increasingly militarized. They now carry weapons capable of firing burst of rounds into their victims, as well as sci fi weapons undreamt of a few years back. They practice military-like maneuvers in our streets to keep down political dissidents, and they work with other bodies of the US government to spy on us and keep us in line.

Anyway, I need to go now, but it's been an interesting debate. (Can't say the same for the person above who called me an "indiot." That's just funny.)

Sound Like Another Unjustified Murder by OPD 07.May.2003 10:03

Krispy Kreme

"[Ride along and] See what it's really like in the streets at 3am?"

Sure, it's dark and quiet, except for the donut shop.

Jail killer cops!

Different Standards 07.May.2003 10:22

Observer

Someone wrote, "All of us, by the way, are judged by the SAME legal standard when it comes to shooting someone. Look it up before you run your mouth."

This is simply not true. The police are not held to the same standard of justice as the rest of the citizenry. In this case, for example, the police shot and killed an unarmed woman as she attempted to run away from them. If you or I did that, it would be called murder. But since it was the police, you will not hear it referred to as murder in the corporate media. It may be called a mistake, or they may wind up getting medals for it, but it will not be called murder.

As for the person who spoke of "personal responsibility," this is exactly what you are attempting to help the police evade. They are personally responsible for taking the life of an unarmed woman. And you are asking us to absolve them of the responsibility for this fact because the woman might have had previous encounters with the law. This is unacceptable. She was not a threat to anyone, and deadly force should never have been employed against her. There is no excuse for the actions of the police officers involved in her shooting; they must take personal responsibility for their actions.

Several weeks ago, protesters on the Steel Bridge attempted to break through a police barricade. The police in Portland have a long history of violent oppression against peaceful protesters, and it's possible some protesters finally had enough. I wasn't there, but I have heard that a police officer and a protester were injured. There is a $1000 reward for the person who hurt the cop, but not for the cop who hurt the protester. You see? Different standards of "justice." Further, since the police have a long history of violence against protesters, they "should have known" that someday a protester might strike back. Personal responsibility? My guess is you don't think so in this case.

Another argument in favor 07.May.2003 10:41

of disarming the police

Several years ago, Amadu Dialo (not sure if I spelled that right or not) was gunned down by the police outside his apartment by New York police. They shot him 41 times. He was unarmed, and innocent. They never did a day in jail. You see, there is no justice. There are only people willing to fight for their rights.

The police shot Dialo because he "fit the profile" of someone they were looking for. How? He was a black man on the streets after dark. He was on his way home, and when he reached into his jacket to pull out his keys, they shot him down in cold blood. If the police were not armed, they would not have put themselves or Dialo into a position where they felt they had to shoot him "in case he had a gun."

You and I are not allowed to carry the kind of assault weapons that the police routinely carry. And if you or I shoot an unarmed person on the streets for no reason, which is what the police have done in this and so many other cases, then we are accused (rightfully) of committing a crime. The police are never going to be charged criminally in this case, because they have the veil of authority. The state needs them to protect the status quo. So they are never challenged when they violate the laws they are supposed to be protecting.

Yes, it is time to disarm the police.

There are guns EVERYWHERE... 07.May.2003 10:47

cold dead hands

Disarmament is not the answer! There are more than 112,000 concealed permit holders in the State of Oregon. Among that population, there are virtually NO incidents of violent crimes. Surely, much fewer than the "disarmed" civilian population. When CatWoman spends her Saturdays leisurely strolling through the parks, festivals and fairs of this wonderful State, yep, fucking guns everywhere! It's time for her to wake up and realize that her fellow citizens are keeping us all safe. Take away the citizens' guns and the crooks are the only people with firearms. Do you really want that?

The "English Bobbies" are getting schooled in Britian right now. Crime has jumped upward since they neutered their police force by taking away their upper-hand in dealing with hardcore crooks and extremists. Sounds like the same path the "good ol'" USA is heading...

Excessive use of force 07.May.2003 10:50

Pete McJeebey

I think that regardless of the fact that the woman who was murdered by the police had a criminal record, you do not just shoot someone because they are trying to escape. She didn't murder anyone, the police officer's life was not in danger (and from what I have read, it does not sound like there were any grounds for interpreting the situation as such). This officer needlessly shot a woman in the back, i.e., while she was running away. If someone is running away from you after not having threatened you at all, it does not follow that your next logical step is to shoot the person running away. Chase her down and arrest her? I suppose that's fine, but having it follow that one should kill a living human being simply goes to show the extent to which our (can I even say "our" seriously?) police forces consist of trigger-happy brutes. I am disgusted and I personally fear for the people of our communities. My proposed solution is to have an independent council of phsychiatrists to screen for over-aggressive traits in our officers, to employ officers whose character actually reflects the now bull-shit slogans that the police departments advertise (e.g., here in Eugene it is something to the extent of leadership [or trust] through partnerships). Some posters here seem to be quite content with how this officer acted, however, I should expect more qualities of character from the people in our communities, those which actually resemble a mature and realized human being. What I see now only reflects terrorism.

Cops don't need guns 07.May.2003 11:46

anonymous

Cops have plenty of non-lethal weapons that can be fired from a distance to disable an attacker. They don't need deadly weapons, period.

Name One. 07.May.2003 12:52

cold dead hands

Can you name for me the "non-lethal weapons that can be fired from a distance to disable an attacker" that are more forceful than an armed robber with 10 loaded clips for his 9mm and 10 clips for his AK-47? Which of those "non-lethal weapons that can be fired from a distance to disable an attacker" weapons do you want to bog our police officers with instead of their current standard issue?

This cop may have made a mistake. Or we may find out that he is a fucking ticking time bomb that finally went off. When we have a trial and all of the evidence is revealed, we can then assign punishment where punishment is needed. In the meantime, while we're cutting our police budgets and making the State more attractive to hardcores with bad intentions, our police need to keep their weapons. Otherwise, the only line of defense we will have to thwart violent bad guys will be the 112,000+ concealed permit holders quietly living their lives.

Yikes.

Knowing the mother 07.May.2003 16:17

me

Yes, I know the mother personally and have for years. I do Know she did her best but somtimes that isn't enough. I do not agree with having to shoot to kill when the police should have been able to disable the woman. Remember the latino,the police could have disabled that man also. I believe they were both murdered.

Disarm the police 07.May.2003 16:53

Lasso

The police have no right carrying guns around the city. "Cold dead hands" made a senseless comment one can always expect from a gun nut. Yes, dead, there have been countless violent crimes from gun nuts like you. Not to mention all the "accidental" killings related to someone finding their guns. Including the police officer whose own daughter was killed when his son found his loaded weapon. Get off it. We're not all hostages to you any more. Fuck off.

Guns=Safety? 07.May.2003 17:22

to cold dead hands

Somehow, dead hands, I don't feel so safe knowing you and your friends are armed. Not so safe at all.

I'm going to tell you a little story, dead. Once upon a time someone was trying to break into my building. It had happened before -- someone had broken into the basement and tried to set the building on fire. Scary. So when my buzzer started ringing at 3am, waking me up, it made me mad at first but then I was scared. Because I could hear everyone else's buzzers going off too. Someone was trying to get it. Then, the buzzers stopped. Suddenly, the power went off in my apartment. But the hall lights were still on. That meant someone had gotten into the basement and was playing with the breakers. My friend and I stepped out into the hallway. Soon, we could hear loud voices filtering up through the elevator shaft. This was an old building, and the old service elevator was really touchy. Whoever had broken in was now stuck in the elevator. We had a gun, which I used to target shoot with all the time. (If I may say so, I'm a darn good shot.)

Anyway, my friend tucked the gun into his waistband, and we crept out to investigate. We climbed down the stairs to the first floor, and sure enough. We could see down through the glass window in the elevator door that two big, scary looking skinheads were trapped in the elevator. They didn't see us. They were sitting on the floor with 40 ouncers in hand, carving swastikas on the side of the elevator with a long screwdriver. They were drunk as skunks. The manager's boyfriend John came out into the hallway to investigate. The drunken skinheads saw us, and began frantically pushing buttons. The elevator began to move a little, so John pulled the door to make it stop. (It's like that, it just stops with any provocation.) It stopped, so they pushed another button, and he pulled the door again, and so on, until it came flush with the floor, and the door came open. They charged out the door. I retreated, but my friend was standing in the hall confronting them. Who are they, what are they doing here, etc. They claimed they lived in the building. What apartment? "Um...234." There was no apartment 234. Clearly, they were lying. It was a tense and scary moment. We were disoriented by being awakened in the wee hours of the morning, we were angry that these asses had intruded into our home, and we were scared because they were big and muscular and armed with a long screwdriver. I was afraid for my friend. Suddenly, one of them thrust a hand into his jacket. I panicked, thinking he was going for a gun. There had been a lot of gun violence in my neighborhood that year, and like most people, I thought having a gun would make me safer. At that moment, if I had had the gun in my hand, I'm sure I would have shot him.

He reached into his jacket, pulled out a set of keys, stuck them into the nearest lock (apartment 12) and staggered in the door.

It turns out he did live there. He had just moved there, and was staying with friends. He was only 16 years old. If I'd had my gun in my hand, I would have shot a 16 year old kid. So he was being an ass, carving swastikas in the elevator. Should he have been shot for that? Certainly not.

I don't own a gun any more.

The point is, people do make poor decisions sometimes. It can happen to anyone. When that person is armed, it can't be undone. Think of the story that came out some years back, of the student searching for a halloween party. He accidentally walked up to the wrong house, and the frightened (and stupid) owners of the home shot him dead. Why? They were scared, and a gun was way too handy. How about the 16 year old kid who was shot by an angry homeowner who found the kid and his friends going through his glove box. He took a life for the contents of his glove box.

No, guns do not equal safety. So get your cold dead hands off my back.

guns do equal safety 07.May.2003 19:11

cold dead hands

Are you OK now? Wipe your tears, it's gonna be just fine now little soldier, put your capgun away before you shoot yourself. You would have been guilty of making a bad decision, moron, YOU. Not the rest of us gun owners who know how to act responsibly and with nerve and good judgement when a gun is necessary. Disarm the populace and the skinheads rule! You don't have to own a gun if you don't want to but don't come knockin' on my door and try to remove my right to be a responsible gun owner, you facsist! You're not going to make a hostage out of us! You want to try and disarm more than 112,000 lawful gun owners? That'll be the day... good luck!

Chatter 07.May.2003 19:25

lemon

All this chatter about how cops don't need guns. No one has anything to say about Sgt. Coates or Officer Weisman recently being shot in the head. Officer Weisman saved his life with his gun. Sgt. Coates was shot but his fellow deputies saved their lives because they had guns. All together now: THE CRIMINALS ARE ARMED. Let's just tell all of them that cops don't need guns. Let's tell the cops who respond to shots fired, armed robberies, or man with a gun calls that they must respond with non-lethal toys. Disarm the cops? Who are you kidding? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that this cop made a mistake so now you want to disarm ALL cops? Sorry kids. The real world doesn't tolerate a Nerf mentality.

Lemon and dead hands 07.May.2003 19:36

PDX citizen

You've just presented a bullet-proof argument for total disarmament. I thought the arguments for disarming the police were reasonable, but I don't think I would have thought about disarming the rest of the populace if not for your comments. The thought of either or you, or any of the "criminals" you cite having guns is scary indeed.

Now, not to break your self-aggrandizing parroting of the NRA or anything, but guns DO kill people. Not only that, but those law abiding citizens with guns you flap about do it all the time too. People with guns kill people. As several posts above point out, people who were otherwise law abiding citizens often pull that trigger, and THEN they become "criminals." (Unless they're cops, then they're still just cops.) So your hot-off-the-NRA-press argument that "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will carry guns" argument is weak to say the least. Sorry, but "law abiding" citizens bearing arms around me is as freaky a thought as any.

So, cold dead hands, they probably will be, because you'll probably just shoot yourself while cleaning it anyway.

Many countries 07.May.2003 23:52

anonymous

Many countries have very strict gun laws, and their police rarely have to use their guns, because the populace is not armed. We are outraged when an unarmed person is killed. But for some of these cops, who may not be well trained, or may just be weak and spooked or not very smart, the idea that much of the populace is armed is what heightens any confrontation for them.

The rest of the world looks at the US like we are a bunch of morons. How can anyone say that we are safer because of the thousands of guns that are out there in any crowd that you happen to be in? Do you really think that criminals don't use their guns because they imagine that the crowd they're in is armed? What a fantasy. Criminals use their guns when they are engaged in a crime or a deal where others are likely armed.

In other countries, if you are a criminal and you are caught with a gun, you go to jail. It is that simple. So they aren't living in a society where regular people are cowering in their daily lives because criminals rule the streets with their guns. Most criminals don't use guns. The ones that use them use them in very selective situations, and are mostly caught and sent to jail.

I have lived in two countries like this and they are places where you can walk around everywhere and engage in life without fearing that some weirdo is going to shoot you, or some cop is going to shoot you.

People who live in countries like this look at comments like those from "cold dead hands" and think Americans are nuts.

I know where I feel safe, and it's not in the US.

Change 08.May.2003 20:37

lemon

People complain that the civil liberty situation, especially police, is getting worse. I still remember when the law actually said that the police could shoot someone for simply running away from them. Oh yea, back in the 60's the police could shoot anyone in the back that was running from the scene of a felony crime ... any felony crime. Back in those days trying to take a radio from a car was just one example of a felony crime that could get you shot in the back. Back in those days the police didn't wrestle around with folks trying to fight them. They simply split your head with a lead filled sap or a hardwood stick. You woke up in jail with dried blood on your face. The law and the police have improved a great deal since then. Today it is deadly force for a cop to hit someone in the head with a club and people whine when they get some pepper spray in their eyes. Given the increase of violent crime in this nation over the last 40 years, it is a miracle that we have progressed so far in the civility of law enforcement.