bureaucracybusters

Posts Tagged ‘POLICE CHIEF EDWARD FLYNN’

USING RELIGION TO EXCUSE GUN VIOLENCE

In Bureaucracy, History, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on November 28, 2018 at 12:07 am

Barack Obama was right.

As a 2008 Presidential candidate, he famously (or infamously) said about small-town Right-wing voters across the Midwest:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.

“And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

At the time that Obama made that remark, he was seeking the 2008 Democratic nomination for President.

His opponents—both Democratic and Republican—quickly attacked him as elitist and anti-Second Amendment.

Democratic New York United States Senator Hillary Clinton—his chief rival for the nomination—said: “I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America. His remarks are elitist and out of touch.” 

Obama survived the firestorm and won the Democratic nomination—and the Presidency.

Since then, the truth of his widely-criticized remarks has been repeatedly proven by his Republican adversaries.

On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof, a white high school dropout, gunned down three black men and six black women at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

At 21, Roof was unemployed, dividing his time between playing video games and taking drugs.

Dylann Roof

The signs of Roof’s malignant racism were evident long before he turned mass murderer:

  • He had posed for a photo sitting on the hood of his parents’ car—whose license plate bore a Confederate flag.
  • He had posed for pictures wearing a jacket sporting the white supremacist flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa.
  • He told a friend that he hoped “to start a civil war” between the black and white races.
  • Roof reportedly told friends and neighbors of his plans to kill people.
  • In the midst of his massacre of unarmed worshipers, he told one of his victims: “You’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country.” Then Roof shot him.

The evidence makes clear that Roof’s slaughter was racially motivated. Yet no 2016 Republican Presidential candidate dared acknowledge it:

  • Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida:  “I don’t know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes.”
  • Rick Santorum, former United States Senator from Pennsylvania: “You talk about the importance of prayer in this time and we’re now seeing assaults on our religious liberty we’ve never seen before.  It’s a time for deeper reflection beyond this horrible situation.”
  • Bobby Jindal, former governor of Louisiana: “I don’t think we’ll ever know what was going on in his mind.”

On October 27, 2018, another worship-services slaughter occurred. The target was the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Eleven people died in a hail of bullets fired by anti-Semetic Robert Bowers, 46.

Two days later, on October 29, White House Counselor Kelleyanne Conway offered a unique reason for the massacre:

“The anti-religiosity in this country that is somehow in vogue and funny to make fun of anybody of faith, to constantly be making fun of people that express religion—the late-night comedians, the unfunny people on TV shows—it’s always anti-religious.

“These people were gunned down in their place of worship, as were the people in South Carolina several years ago. And they were there because they’re people of faith, and it’s that faith that needs to bring us together. This is no time to be driving God out of the public square.” 

No Republican in 2015 dared to blame the shooting on Right-wing hatred and/or ready access to high-powered firearms by the mentally disturbed. And, three years later, the situation remained the same.

Someone who has dared to tell the truth about guns and the carnage inflict is Chief Edward Flynn of the Milwaukee Police Department.

Related image

Chief Edward Flynn

On the August 4, 2015 edition of The PBS Newshour, Flynn said: Certainly, one of the things we have seen is a dramatic increase in the use of firearms, particularly semiautomatic pistols, in our violent deaths.

We have seen that our shootings are up significantly, our homicides are up dramatically. Over 85% of our homicides are committed with firearms, and, of those, over 85% are committed with semiautomatic pistols.

Another truth-teller is Colonel Sam Dotson, Chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  Interviewed on the same Newshour program, he said: 

I’m seeing exactly the same thing that they’re seeing in Milwaukee, the availability of guns. I’m seeing exactly the same thing, high-capacity magazines, a willingness to use the guns, and a judiciary that sometimes doesn’t follow through on the prosecution. 

Police Chiefs Edward Flynn and Samuel Dotson bluntly stated the devastating results of unrestricted access to high-powered firearms. And they offered a concrete solution: Drastically restrict that access.

The “solution” offered by Kelleyanne Conway comes down to: “America needs to pray.” It’s a “solution” that appeases the religious Right—and doesn’t infuriate the National Rifle Association.

And it won’t prevent a single murder.

GUN VIOLENCE MEETS GOP UNREALITY

In History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on August 5, 2015 at 12:53 am

The total divide–between spiraling rates of firearms-violence and Republicans’ unwillingness to address its chief cause–was recently highlighted on the PBS Newshour.

The segment, shown on August 4, featured two entirely different stories that nevertheless fed into each other.

The top story focused on “What Caused the Dramatic Tipping Point in Deadly Shootings?”

And the second was an interview with the only black Republican 2016 Presidential candidate: “Ben Carson Talks ‘All Lives Matter,’ Immigration Reform.”

From “Deadly Shootings”:

JUDY WOODRUFF: We turn now to two police chiefs dealing with this every day, Chief Edward Flynn from Milwaukee and Chief Samuel Dotson, the police chief of Saint Louis….

Chief Flynn, to you first. Milwaukee, an 88% — in homicides just since last year. What is going on?

EDWARD FLYNN, Chief, Mailwaukee Police Department: Well, we’re seeing a number of different dynamics playing out.

Related image

Edward Flynn

Certainly, one of the things we have seen is a dramatic increase in the use of firearms, particularly semiautomatic pistols, in our violent deaths. We have seen that our shootings are up significantly, our homicides are up dramatically.

Click here: What caused the dramatic tipping point in deadly shootings?

Over 85% of our homicides are committed with firearms, and, of those, over 85% are committed with semiautomatic pistols.

Related image

We have recently passed a ludicrously weak gun law that allowed basically concealed carry permits to be granted to people who meet the statutory definition of career criminals.

We have also got a situation where no matter how many times you are arrested for carrying a gun illegally, it remains a misdemeanor, even though a second offense for carrying marijuana can be prosecuted as a felony.

So very weak and relatively recent gun laws are certainly a major contributor to our dramatic spike in firearms-related violence.

From “Ben Carson”:

GWEN IFILL: Another question for you as a physician: There has been much discussion recently around the country about the Black Lives Matter movement. And you have made clear that you believe that all lives matter.

Click here: Ben Carson talks ‘all lives matter,’ immigration reform

So, as a physician who has dealt with gun violence, who has obviously worked in emergency rooms, who has dealt with the fallout from that, what should we be doing about gun violence in this country, and does it disproportionately affect one population over another?

DR. BENJAMIN CARSON: Well, certainly, you see a lot more gun violence in inner cities.

Related image

Dr. Benjamin Carson

I have spent many, many a night, you know, working on the heads of people who have been shot in the head, you know, black people primarily, but white people as well. And it’s devastating. And of course those lives matter.

And I believe what we’re going to have to do is really concentrate on, where is all this violence coming from? And it’s not all coming from one specific area. But it’s coming from a general lack of respect for life, and, you know, this person pissed me off, and I got a gun, I’m going to kill them.

I mean, when did we get like that and the values that used to be put into people? And I think a lot of it stems from the fact that we don’t really like to talk about values anymore, because whose values are they, we ask?

You know, it’s all relative. There is no right there. There is no wrong. You know, it’s all relative.

That’s the same thing that the Romans did.

From “Deadly Shootings”:

JUDY WOODRUFF: Chief Dotson, what about in Saint Louis, a 64% increase over last year? Is it all about guns?

COL. SAM DOTSON, Chief, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department: I’m seeing exactly the same thing that they’re seeing in Milwaukee, the availability of guns.

Related image

Sam Dotson

We have a constitutional amendment in our state that was passed within the last year that makes it an inalienable right to have a gun. We have had courts that have declined to prosecute convicted felons that we arrest with guns.

I’m seeing exactly the same thing, high-capacity magazines, a willingness to use the guns, and a judiciary that sometimes doesn’t follow through on the prosecution.

We had research done from a university here. Of about 250 cases of unlawful use of a weapon, over 61% of those cases got probation. That means those people are right back out on the street committing crimes.

From “Ben Carson”:

GWEN IFILL: But that’s not the same thing as a solution to the problem.

DR. BENJAMIN CARSON: No.

The solution to the problem is, we have to start teaching values again, teaching people to respect one another again, and to understand that human life is valuable. Even if somebody disagrees with you, their life is still valuable.

* * * * *

Police Chiefs Edward Flynn and Samuel Dotson bluntly stated the devastating results of unrestricted access to high-powered firearms.

And they offered a concrete solution: Drastically restrict that access.

The “solution” offered by Dr. Ben Carson, on the other hand, came down to: “Start teaching values again.”

A “solution” that will appease the religious Right–and not arouse the fury of the National Rifle Association.

Nor will it prevent a single murder.

%d bloggers like this: