Archive for Crime
Dave Killion — July 25, 2012
“It is always hard to design licensing systems to stop dangerous behaviors like driving automobiles, controlling the sale of hard drugs, or using guns. The root of the problem is this: The ‘ex post’ remedy that goes after wrongdoers runs only a small risk of over-breadth, which can usually be limited by having suitable punishment procedures. Licensing regimes, in contrast, are always overbroad. They will result in social losses by stopping the use of guns, cars, or drugs (think medical marijuana) by people who will make perfectly legitimate use of the dangerous instrument in question.”
Richard Epstein, Will Banning Guns Prevent Another Aurora?
This reminds me of our provincial Drinking Driving Counterattack program, which impedes so many innocent people, rather than using the same resources to pursue only those who have committed a crime. The courts justify this over-broad tactic as satisfying a “compelling interest” of the state’s. I would think that the state would have an even more compelling interest in maintaining respect for the law, but it appears that practices which aim for deterrence garner more votes, regardless of outcomes.
Dave Killion — July 10, 2012
A. Barton Hinkle wants to remind us that justice is harder to come by when you’re not a attractive, youthful, caucasian female –
“Not many have heard about Amilkar Figeroa. The 26-year-old was shot and killed in South Richmond in 2009. A year later – the last time it got any coverage – the case remained unsolved. Ditto for Levon Alford andJomond Lightfoot, two other open-case homicide victims in Richmond. And Ashraf Alatiyat, who was killed during a robbery at the Come and Go Food Market he owned on Jeff Davis Highway. During the past five years Richmond alone has racked up 31 unsolved homicides of black men and women. When was the last time you saw one of them on TV?
We hear a lot about the disparate treatment of minorities in the criminal-justice system. Young blacks are arrested for drug crimes 10 times more often than whites, even though five times more whites than blacks use drugs. But there is also widely disparate treatment of minorities in non-judicial realm as well.”
“This is not a new or original insight. There is even a name for the phenomenon: Missing White Woman Syndrome (MWWS). “
The article suggests some reasons why pretty young white female victims get all the attention, but I want to point out that the damage created by the phenomenon is greatly exacerbated by the type of legal system we have. Currently, when police must choose between expending resources on a low-profile case or a high-profile case, they will get more positive publicity and bigger budgets if they solve the latter. However, in a system where the expense of pursuit, trial, and incarceration are borne by the convicted, the pay day for solving the slaying of a black or hispanic woman is likely to be equal to that of a white woman’s. Private detectives would be lining up to take on cases even where the victim cannot be identified! Until that happy day, I’m afraid we are stuck with a system where too many minorities disappear, and perpetrators can get away with murder.
Dave Killion — March 25, 2012
Dave Killion — March 20, 2012
Dave Killion — March 12, 2012
Via The Agitator, I see the ACLU is helping a 12-year-old girl pursue justice –
“A Minnesota middle school student, with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing her school district over a search of her Facebook and e-mail accounts by school employees.
The 12-year-old sixth grade student, identified in court documents only as R.S., was on two occasions punished for statements she made on her Facebook account, and was also pressured to divulge her password to school officials, the complaint states.
“R.S. was intimidated, frightened, humiliated and sobbing while she was detained in the small school room” as she watched a counselor, a deputy, and another school employee pore over her private communications.”
I think this little lady doesn’t know how lightly she got off. Student arrests seem increasingly common to me these days, even for things like pranks or “big-talk” that would have previously merited nothing more than a suspension. I am so concerned about the phenomenon that I no longer feel it is sufficient to advise people that they should NEVER talk to the police without the advice of counsel. Now, it is my recommendation that parents instruct their children not to talk to teachers or staff about any non-academic matter without contacting the parent first. Failure to follow this recommendation can lead to assault charges in the event of a school-yard scrap, sexual harassment charges for a wayward comment, or a sex offender label for both juvenile participants in a consensual sexual act. This is particularly important advice for minorities. So long as the public school system continues to resort to the public legal system for matters it should tend to in house, your children are at risk of falling victim to unrestrained bureaucrats in a ravenous bureaucracy. Make sure they’re prepared.
Dave Killion — February 25, 2012
While searching police headquarters and all police vehicles for equipment which has gone missing, detectives found the Victoria Police chief’s loaded and holstered service pistol under the driver’s seat of his unmarked police vehicle –
“Victoria Police Department policy dictates firearms stored at headquarters “must be unloaded, placed inside a locking drawer within a locked locker, and not be left unattended,” according to the statement.
Police say Graham came forward to Mayor Dean Fortin, head of the police board, and “took full responsibility” for the error, which is characterized as “neglect of duty” under the Police Act.
“Just as I expect every member of this department to take full responsibility for their actions, I take responsibility for this incident and I accept the discipline authority’s findings,” Graham said in a statement.”
For commoners, to be responsible for such an incident is to face the loss of one’s firearms license, the loss of one’s firearms, and likely the loss of some of one’s property and freedom. For a police chief, to be responsible for such an incident is to face a written reprimand. The chief may think himself noble for owning up to his transgression, and there may be some who admire his forthrightness, but in my opinion any virtue he salvages out of this incident is cheap.
Dave Killion — February 10, 2012
”I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.” -Étienne de La Boétie
The image and quote above both come to us via the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which recently had another item concerning withholding consent –
“Rather than utilize the suspicious paper chits issued by the Khan’s local governor, Tabrizians either fled the city or remained and subsisted on emergency food stores, sometimes raiding the gardens of neighbors who had left. Merchants refused to transact or trade; tents in bazaars stood empty.”
Withholding consent is a potentially dangerous activity, in that it involves ignoring regulations, an act which can have severe consequences in some circumstances. In order to minimize the risk, it would probably be safest to do so on a small scale. If a regulation is being widely violated on a small scale, the state has a difficult time catching and punishing all the little rebels, and loses some respect and power as a result. Perhaps growing just enough cannabis or distilling enough spirits for personal consumption. Even easier would be to enter the black market, by providing and/or purchasing goods and services on a cash basis. Keep your day job, and operate a cash business on nights and weekends. At the very least it’s fun to daydream about.
Dave Killion — January 26, 2012
Once again the state has shown that it cannot be depended on to steward the environment –
“A Dallas drone hobbyist was flying his rig around one bright Texan afternoon, scouting the skies, when he hovered across something perturbing: an enormous, oozing river of blood behind a meatpacking plant… emptying into the Trinity River.”
This is what you can expect when government is supposed to safeguard something from which it derives no profit – carelessness. If the waterways in question had been in private hands, it is almost certain they would have been monitored much more vigourously. Fortunately, the market has made private ownership of drones possible for the home hobbyist, and as a result a single citizen manages to accomplish by accident what a raft of bureaucrats did not achieve even when they allegedly try.
Dave Killion — January 13, 2012
Victoria Libertarian Book Club member Jason T posts the following –
It seems that if they can’t get away with it directly and publicly, they will just change the rules right out from under you. The National Post recently reported that the RCMP is using its power to arbitrarily and without oversight reclassify different firearms into one of three categories: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. This wouldn’t be an issue if this were simply fixing some obvious oversight. The rifles in question are:
“the Armi Jager AP-80 and the Walther G22, are both unremarkable .22-calibre long guns. While any firearm is potentially dangerous, .22-calibre firearms are among the weakest around – indeed, they’re typically used to train rookie shooters basic firearm safety and operation.”
They have been changed from the non-restricted category to the prohibited. And since “(no) further licences are issued for the (prohibited) category,“ they have been effectively banned. The most insulting part of this is the seeming lack of concern about even having to justify these decisions:
“With the G22 rifle, the RCMP has at least a flimsy excuse for the reclassification: Because the rifle can be shortened by removing the back end, it’s too easily concealable to be a “non-restricted” rifle (although the blame still lies with the government for making the mistake in the first place). The decision to ban the AP-80, however, has no logic behind it at all.”
The article goes on to state that the AP-80 kind of looks like an AK-47…And that is their reason. I’ve seen kid’s toys that look like AK-47s too, should this logic also apply to those items?
The hardest part of all of this to swallow is the the way in which it treats gun owners:
“Any citizen who already owns an AP-80 or G22, and does not already possess a rare prohibited-class licence, has been ordered to turn in their rifles within 30 days. Failure to do so will mean they are unlawfully in possession of a prohibited firearm, and subject to as much as 10 years behind bars. It doesn’t matter if they purchased it legally and have stored it safely ever since. The RCMP has declared that it was a mistake to allow citizens to purchase these firearms, and wants them turned in, pronto…No apology for the error. No mention of monetary compensation. Just an order to hand them over or become a criminal. When a private citizen tries to do what the RCMP is doing, it’s called theft.”
This just strikes me as so brutally unnecessary that the slightly paranoid part of myself wants to suspect that this is actually just the RCMP testing the waters. They want to see how people will react to arbitrarily taking away what are probably not people’s primary or favourite firearms before moving on to other weapons that they think “was a mistake to allow citizens to purchase”. It’s a shame Canadians don’t have anything like the USA’s Second Amendment and instead must rely on the graciousness of our sheep-dogs for access to tools of survival and protection.
Dave Killion — January 6, 2012
If having overdue library books rates a friendly reminder in the form of a visit from a police sergeant, what kind of government reaction do you suppose you will provoke handling an anti-theft device in your car? Well, there’s no need to guess –
“Andrew Lyons had stepped out of his parents’ home on Harrow Street on Dec. 17, around 4 p.m., to secure his truck with an anti-theft device. The next thing he remembers, several police units were surrounding his parents’ house, and he ended up in handcuffs in the back of a cruiser.”
One would think the perpetrators of such an overreaction would be embarrassed. One would be mistaken –
“The Winnipeg Police Service said when it comes to any sort of gun call, the safety of officers comes first. That’s why so many units responded.”
And apparently, safety of citizens comes second. That’s why so many loaded weapons were pointed at a law-abiding family. Look, since owning firearms is both legal and popular in Canada, the police are likely surrounded by armed residents anytime they enter a neighbourhood, so let me go out on a limb and suggest the current policy be reconsidered. Furthermore, as I have pointed out before, there is nothing that bars a person from physically transporting an unloaded, non-restricted firearm on foot. So settle down, officers, and quit being a public nuisance!