In Re. Rusty Shackleford’s “I’m Buying a Gun.”

Dr. Shackelford of The Jawa Report has concluded, after the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, that he’s going to buy a gun. The “Armed Liberal” at Winds of Change has some advice for others considering the same purchase, and his commenters have more. Much more. Here’s my 2¢:

Good advice, and not so good advice. But I’m glad the topic has come up.

Armed Liberal advises: “First, go sleep on it. Owning a gun is, more than anything, a responsibility (one this too many people take far too lightly). You are responsible for the gun 24/7; are you prepared for that? Owning a gun doesn’t intrinsically make you safer; Jeff Cooper famously said that ‘owning a gun doesn’t make you a shooter any more than owning a piano makes you a musician’.”

As I recall, the quote goes more: “Owning a gun doesn’t make you armed…” – a subtle but pertinent point. Even shooters aren’t necessarily “armed” when it comes to the mindset necessary to defend oneself or others. A lot of people are “shooters” – and keep their trap & skeet shotguns or target pistols locked up in safes at home. They own guns, but are not “armed.”

There’s a lot of advice in this comment thread – some of it good, most of it not. If you read Dr. Shackelford’s declaration and said to yourself, “He’s right, I should too,” then avail yourself of one of the blogosphere’s myriad useful features, the gunbloggers. There’s 107 of us at last count. Most of us are reachable by email and we’re happy to answer questions. Or, if you’re interested in the idea, but unsure for certain you want to go the distance and buy a gun, check out this list of people who will give introductory instruction – free of charge, using our own firearms and ammunition. We’re all over the country.

Now, on to some of the more excellent to egregious comments.

Comment #1 from Gunshy has already been handled ably by others. My comment: Do some research. You’d be surprised.

Comment #13 from ed: While it’s true that handguns are not particularly effective weapons at dropping an assailant at one shot, most defensive shootings occur at ranges of 21′ (yes, feet) or less. A 4″ barrelled revolver is adequately accurate at that range, if the operator does his job properly. At 21′ or less, it is quite possible that an assailant can cover the distance to the defender rapidly enough to get inside the swing of the barrel of a shotgun, rendering it ineffective. But even a .38 snubbie works quite well if it’s pressed against flesh. Handguns are useful. So are shotguns. But they are not interchangeable. Handguns are more convenient. That’s why cops don’t carry their riot guns while writing traffic tickets.

Comment #20 from celebrim: Bravo, sir! I’ve archived that one.

Comment #26 from blabberjabber: Again, skillfully handled by others. The lowest number of self-defense incidents I’ve ever seen came from a Bureau of Justice Statistics study. It was 168,000 defensive gun uses annually. That’s 460 a day. How many does there need to be to make gun ownership justifiable?

Comment #28 from David Blue: Thank you for your sentiment. I feel for you.

Comment #29 from Conrad, who wrote: “Someone who carries a sidearm in order to defend his country against terrorists is a buffoon.” Tell that to the victims of the shooter in Seattle. The only one armed there was the terrorist. (And yes, he was a terrorist. Why do you think he shot only women?)

Comment #41 from Ric Locke: Hear hear! Absolutely correct – and completely ignored by those unwilling to “to participate rather than being a passive member of society.”

Comment #45 from hmmmm, who wrote: “If you think your life is in imminent danger and desparately need a real gun, seek help. Move. Get a restraining order. Don’t get a gun unless you are ready to kill someone, because that is what is going to happen.” I suggest you read the blog of Zendo Deb at Her specialty is citing story after story of people who have done all that you suggest – and still end up dead. She also covers stories that turn out somewhat better – when a defender is armed.

Go read the whole thing.

Outstanding Dillon Precision Customer Service.

If you’re a reloader, you’ve probably heard stories like this one before, but let me tell you mine. A while back I was the “winning” eBay bidder on a used Dillon RL-450 reloading press – a model Dillon Precision no longer makes. It’s a less expensive variant of their RL-550B that lacks the option of removable toolheads. The seller said that the unit was a little rusty. He wasn’t kidding.

When it arrived, I wasn’t sure just exactly what I had. What I did have was a faded blue frame with a rusty operating handle, two powder measures, primer tubes, and a bunch of other parts, but having never owned an RL-450 or -550 before (I’ve got a Square Deal B for loading .45ACP), I didn’t know if I was missing parts, or if it was out of adjustment, or anything. I contacted Dillon about sending it in for an evaluation, got a return authorization number, and included a letter explaining that I’d bought it on eBay, wasn’t exactly sure I had everything I needed, would like to know what was wrong with it, and what it needed to get it up to speed. I waited about three weeks, and was about to drop them a note to see if they’d gotten to it when a UPS package appeard on my doorstep.

Dillon had rebuilt it.

The frame is still the faded blue piece I sent in, but as far as I can tell, everything else on it looks pretty damned new. Included in the new (correct) box, there was an instruction manual and an invoice showing over $200 in parts – at no charge. No labor charge either. They aren’t kidding about that “Lifetime ‘No-B.S.’ Warranty.”

I paid the eBay seller $152.50 for it. A new RL-550B costs $369.95.

I haven’t gotten it set up yet – just a complete lack of time – but I’m looking forward to cranking out many, many thousands of rounds in the future.

And I’ll be buying Dillon again. Actually, I’m going through the catalog picking out all the pieces I need to load all the calibers I’ve got right now…


OK, I do have something to say about the current Israel-Hezbolla conflict.

Today Glenn Reynolds has one of his typical posts, this one discussing the topic of “proportionality” on the part of Israel. He quotes law professor Kenneth Anderson:

Legal scholars who want to focus on the UN Charter as the sole source of legal authority for the use of force – and hence see any armed action by a party as having to be ‘proportionate’ pending some (typically mythological) intervention by the Security Council – tend to underplay that the Charter does not remove the customary law of self-defense, which does not require a “proportionate” response once belligerency is underway.

Obviously Professor Anderson doesn’t live in England. “Proportionality” is imbedded in their self-defense law – at least when they want it to be. In England, the mere intention to cause harm is an imprisonable offence. Said Judge Shirley Anwyl at the sentencing of Brett Osborne for stabbing Wayne Halling:

“By your plea you have accepted that you intended real serious injury. Your use of violence was not wholly unpremeditated in that you did equip yourself with at least one knife.”

Mr. Halling, hopped to the eyeballs on cocaine, and bleeding profusely from numerous cuts resulting from his smashing windows, had forced his way into Mr. Osborne’s home, where Mr. Osborne had several houseguests, including a pregnant woman whom Mr. Halling apparently mistook for his estranged girlfriend. Mr. Osborne, in fear for his safety and that of his guests, picked up a steak knife and stabbed Mr. Halling with it.

This was, apparently, “not proportional.” Judge Anwyl stated that she accepted that Halling could have been perceived to be “dangerous to others,” but:

With hindsight it is clear that Halling was presenting no real danger to anyone but himself.

I am reminded here of Col. Jeff Cooper’s famous response concerning aggression by attackers:

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that “violence begets violence.” I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure—and in some cases I have—that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.

There’s nothing “proportional” in that.

Nor should there be. Neither Israel nor Brett Osborne should be criticized for acting appropriately.

Now THIS is Freakin’ COOL.

I periodically check my sitemeter referrals list. I’ve found a lot of interesting commentary that way, and I can see where my readers are coming from, too. Nice to know that TSM has a small, but international audience. Tonight I noticed a visit via Google’s translation service.

It seems that visitor number 600,025 came from Beijing:

The visitor had Google translate Reasonable People, well, two-thirds of it, anyway.

Given the “accuracy” of translation engines from other languages to English, though, I have to wonder just how badly it mangled the original.

Actually, I’m kind of surprised that TSM isn’t (apparently) banned from being accessed from China, given the subject matter I cover here.

Why Does the Government Run the Passenger Rail Service?

Yes, I’m aware of what’s going on in the Middle East. I just have nothing to add to that discussion that others aren’t doing as well or far better than I could. So I’m going to rant on this rather inconsequential topic instead.

I’ve got an upcoming business trip to Houston, Texas. I was making my travel arrangements this afternoon, and just for grins & giggles I thought I’d see what a trip via Amtrak would entail. I need to be in Houston August 22 some time in the afternoon, and I depart Houston on the 25th. I checked Amtrak’s web site. It seems that I can catch the 1:20 train out of Tucson on the 24th – that is, 1:20AM – and be in Houston on the 25th at 5:45AM!. Then I can catch the 9:50PM train out of Houston, and be back in Tucson on the 26th at 11:25PM! Each direction is over 26 hours.

I can drive to Houston in a little over 15 hours. (And trust me, I was tempted.)

Now, I know the government took over passenger rail service in 1971, and that it’s still a viable alternative in the Northeast for commuter service to some of the large cities, but one trip a week from Tucson to Houston? One trip that takes 26+ hours each way, and requires leaving on the red-eye? Why bother? Greyhound takes 21 hours, but at least there’s three buses a day leaving for Houston, not one a week.

This is one of those boondoggles that only government can support. A free market would have slashed unnecessary passenger rail service, and made the profitable portions better run. Government control means that waste is rewarded, and inefficiency is rampant.


This kind of thinking always makes me scratch my head:

Lightning strike survivor is saving his `lucky shirt’

JUL 26, 2006 10:10 AM EDT

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) — He’s lucky to be alive.

A Mamaroneck man who was hit by lightning has been suffering from headaches and chest pain, but is glad to be a survivor.

Jason Ward, 21, was working in a New Rochelle masonry yard on Friday, with one hand touching a truck and the other holding a pole, when the lightning hit, throwing him several feet.

“I was rolling like I was on fire,” says Ward, who was burned on his hands, chest and forehead. “It hurt uncontrollably. I can’t explain a pain like that.”

Ward won’t be throwing away the scorched T-shirt he was wearing.

“It’s my lucky shirt now,” he said. “I’m going to frame it.”

If the shirt was so damned “lucky,” why’d he get hit by lightning in the first place? His “unlucky” steel-toe boots? Will he have a priest perform an exorcism on those?

In a Related Story…

David Codrea of The War On Guns has a now long-running theme of “The Only Ones,” having to do with police officers or other government employees doing things with guns that ought not be done. This goes back to the incident where undercover DEA officer Lee Paige, during a “gun safety” demonstration before a room full of kids and their parents, uttered the immortal phrase, “I’m the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40.”

Right before he shot himself in the thigh with it.

On video. Which was then posted to the internet.

Well, in researching Scaaaary Numbers!, I found another classic case:

Officers Released From Hospital After Accidental Shooting In The Bronx

Two of the four police officers involved in a friendly fire incident in the Bronx Sunday morning have been released from the hospital.

The officers were called to Concord Avenue and ran into Cookie the pit bull after a teenager they were chasing ran into a nearby apartment.

Police say the dog attacked the officer and at least one of the cops opened fire, killing the dog. In the confusion, 3 of the 4 officers were also shot. The other was bitten by the dog. None of the injuries was considered life threatening.

Lenin Acevedo, 17, later turned himself in. He’s charged with trespassing and criminal possession of marijuana.

The two other officers are listed in stable condition.

I have to assume that the one cop who didn’t catch a round was probably the only one firing.

Wildly. While being bitten by the dog.

Hell, he might have shot himself. Who knows?

It’s a good thing cops go through all that rigorous training so that we can trust them with all that firepower, isn’t it? Like the LA Sheriff’s Deputies that fired 120+ rounds at a suspect and managed only to wound him. And another Deputy. Or the cops who fired 28 rounds at Thomas Martin McGouey.

It wasn’t fair, though.

He’d painted a bullseye on his bare chest.

But one round did graze his shoulder! No police officers were injured during this shooting, at least. McGouey blames credits God.

Apparently he doesn’t follow this kind of stuff.

Edited to add: Dammit, David beat me to it!

Scaaaary Numbers!

A reader of Kim’s site sent him an interesting bit of information. It seems that the Queens, New York DA gave a press release about some guys who were arrested for possession of cocaine and a “cop killer” gun. The gun in question is a Fabrique Nationale FN Five-seveN (yes, that’s the correct capitalization). It fires the 5.7×28 cartridge, essentially a hot .22 Magnum. But the story, which went out as an AP piece taken apparently pretty much verbatim from the Queens DA’s press release had this to say, as reported by Newsday on July 20:

3 Queens men charged with possessing cop killer gun

July 20, 2006, 10:26 PM EDT

NEW YORK — Three men have been charged with illegally possessing two handguns, one of which is called a cop killer because it can break through most bulletproof vests and plates worn by police officers, prosecutors announced Thursday.

William Davis, 21, his brother Clarence Davis, 18, and their friend Gquan Lloyd, 18, all of Queens, were charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon, District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

During the execution of a narcotics search warrant Wednesday at the apartment the men shared in Far Rockaway, police found a defaced, unloaded Fabrique Nationale Five-seveN semiautomatic handgun, the first recovery of such a weapon in the city, Brown said.

“Its presence is troubling and makes the job of street cops that much more dangerous,” Brown said.

Of the 616 police officers killed nationwide between 1994 and 2003, 425 were shot with FN 5.7s, Brown said.

The FN 5.7, which comes from Belgium, has a 20-round magazine, and its bullets can penetrate 48 layers of Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof vests.

Police also discovered a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun and an eighth of an ounce of cocaine during the search, prosecutors said.

The three arrested men, who also were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, were being held and were expected to be arraigned in Queens Criminal Court, prosecutors said.

It wasn’t clear if the men had retained lawyers before their arraignment. There was no telephone listing for them at the home address provided by the district attorney’s office.

The men each could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Kim’s reader took exception to DA Richard Brown’s insistence that A) 616 police officers were killed during the period from 1994 to 2003, and B) that 425 of those were killed with FN Five-seveN pistols. Kim’s reader found the story at the website for, and wrote them a protest email. To their credit, the VP of news at did respond:

You are right. The statistics are wrong and we are removing the story from our website. For what it’s worth, the number were cited by Queens D.A. Richard Brown at his press conference. The other information in the story also came from the D.A. While we tend to give credit to law enforcement sources for knowing what they are talking about, we should have realized that the statistics didn’t make any sense.

Thanks for the feedback.

Steve Paulus
VP, News

And they did indeed pull the story. No retraction, but at least it’s not there anymore.

It is, however, at several other sites. For example, the site I linked to above, which is Newsday‘s. It was also carried by the TimesLedger, but the TimesLedger has apparently yanked it and posted the DA’s “revision”:

Queens DA revises release about powerful handgun
By Stephen Stirling

The Queens district attorney’s office said Monday “a miscommunication” was to blame for inaccurate information it released in a press release last Thursday that was quoted in a TimesLedger story on the newspaper’s Web site Friday.
The DA’s office issued the press release about the July 19 arrest of three Far Rockaway youths, who were allegedly found in possession of a bag of cocaine and a powerful handgun, the Belgian-made Fabrique Nationale (FN) 5.7. In the release, the DA said that 425 of the 616 officers killed in the line of duty between 1994 and 2003 had been killed with the FN 5.7.

“There was a miscommunication between the officer and the prosecutor of the case,” said DA spokesman Kevin Ryan. “The statement should have read that 425 officers were killed with a handgun, not with this handgun.”

Of course, this was just a minor “miscommunication,” taking nothing away from the real story:

The TimesLedger story elicited a number of e-mails and phone calls from Web readers around the country who questioned the DA’s claim that the officers had been killed by the FN 5.7. The DA said Monday that both the press release and the criminal complaint filed in Queens Criminal Court last Thursday have subsequently been changed to reflect the proper information, but the discovery of the gun in Far Rockaway was still a concern.

“The FN 5.7 is a lethal handgun imported from Belgium and capable of easily penetrating most police vets(sic) and plates,” DA Brown said in last week’s release. “While this is the first time that such a deadly weapon has been recovered in New York City, its presence is troubling and makes the job of street cops that much more dangerous.”

The revised press release retained Brown’s statement about the FN 5.7, which has only been available on the commercial market since 2004.

OOPS! That makes it pretty hard for it to be responsible for any officer deaths prior to 2004, doesn’t it?

The DA’s original release also raised questions about how powerful the rounds fired by the FN 5.7 can be. A deposition given by Detective Marques Stewart of the 100th Precinct last Thursday said the FN 5.7 is referred to as a “cop-killer” because it can be fired from up to 100 yards with a great degree of accuracy and because the bullet it fires travels at more than 2,000 feet per second, making it capable of penetrating most police vests and plates.

Vests? Maybe. But probably not at 100 yards. Plates? Not bloody likely. Plates are designed to stop rifle bullets. Just another little “miscommunication?”

According a report issued by the company that sells and markets the handgun in the United States, FNH USA, the only type of ammunition compatible with the FN 5.7 sold for commercial use in the United States is the SS196 bullet, which was found to be non-armor piercing by the FBI’s Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 2005. The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms report said the SS196 had been classified as “not armor piercing ammunition under federal firearms statutes.” The FBI unit report said the SS192 bullet, which also can be fired by the FN 5.7, did pierce level IIA kevlar vests, which are widely used by police officers in the United States.

I’ve covered armor-piercing ammo and National Institute of Justice ballistic vest protection levels before. A Level IIA vest is designed to stop a 9mm or .40 S&W round. It will not stop a .357 Magnum or heavier caliber. A Type IIIA is designed to do that, and up to a .44 Magnum.

Is SS192 “armor piercing” and “highly accurate” ammo capable of a blistering 2000 feet per second! really all that? According to Wikipedia, the SS192 round fires a 28 grain aluminum-core projectile. To give you some comparison, the standard bullet used in .22 Long Rifle rimfire rounds weighs at least 32 grains. The standard military ball used in M-16 rifles is a 62 grain bullet. The “Standard Duty” round for the 5.7×28, which is designed to penetrate light plate armor, is the SS190 – and is not available for public purchase. The SS190 projectile weighs 32 grains. The muzzle energy of the SS192 is 260 ft.-lbs out of the Five-seveN. The muzzle energy of the SS190 is 315 ft.-lbs.

The muzzle energy of CCI Blazer 115 grain 9mm ammo is about 340 ft.-lbs.

CCI’s 158 grain .357 Magnum Blazer load has a muzzle energy of 535 ft.-lbs. And it’ll go through a Level IIA vest, too.

So, tell me again how powerful the Five-seveN is? The DA tried to make it sound like the next .44 Magnum. Remember, it’s a cop killer “because it can break through most bulletproof vests and plates worn by police officers”. Vests and plates. But you don’t get plates in ballistic armor until you reach NIJ Type III vests, which are designed to stop rifle bullets. The Type IIIA does not have plates, and the SS192 can’t penetrate a IIIA vest.

While FNH USA has said that the SS192 is no longer imported for commercial sale in the United States, the Queens DA was recently informed by FBI officials that successful commercial purchases of SS192 munitions were made by the agency at a munitions outlet in Virginia, Ryan said. FNH USA did not immediately return calls for comment.

Well, the FBI, being a Federal department, can still purchase SS192 ammo. Don’t know why they’d want to, they can get SS190. And though ammo dealers are no longer importing SS192, I’m not sure that remaining inventory is illegal to sell publicly. But I doubt gang-bangers know where to get it.

The controversy stems from a court-authorized police raid of the Far Rockaway home of William Davis, 21, brother Clarence Davis, 18, and friend Gquan Lloyd, 18, on the morning of July 19, Brown’s office said. Police said they found a FN 5.7 handgun along with another less-powerful handgun and a bag of cocaine.

Kudos to the TimesLedger! It got most of the salient points right, including the the fact that SS192 ammo is no longer imported. You can only get ballistic-tip and softpoint ammo for the 5.7×28 now, unless (apparently) you know exactly where to shop.

And it was also the only news source that bothered.

The story was also carried, as noted, by Newsday. On July 21 they issued a revised version – no mention of police officer deaths, no clarification about the ammunition or gun manufacturing history, nada – with no explanation.

The Staten Island Advance did the same thing. The original press release was reported on July 20, the revised one posted on July 21. No explanation, no retraction, no additional information.

Radio station 1010AM posted the press release on July 20. The currently posted version doesn’t have the “425 officers killed by” scaaaary number, so I assume they just erased the original and posted the revision without bothering to change anything, including the date.

Note also that this story is an AP release. Hard to tell how many dead-tree publications printed the original story verbatim, or how many people out there now believe that this one gun is responsible for the deaths of 425 police officers.

Boy, it’s a good thing the mainstream media has all those checks and balances that the blogosphere lacks, isn’t it? And professional journalists who can cut-and-paste from press releases with the best of them! I’m awed by what journalism schools teach that we poor ignorant pajama-clad bloggers lack.

Another Media Non-Story.

David Hardy points to this piece about the doctor and two nurses who are accused of second-degree murder in the deaths of four patients at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Katrina hit and the city flooded:

Some See Accused New Orleans MD As Hero

Jul 22 11:06 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


To Louisiana’s attorney general, the doctor and two nurses arrested this past week are murderers. But many in the medical community are outraged at the arrests, saying the three caregivers are heroes who faced unimaginable horrors as Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and trapped them and their patients.

Dr. Anna Pou and nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo were accused of being principals to second-degree murder in the deaths of four patients at Memorial Medical Center three days after Katrina hit. The charge carries a mandatory life sentence, though the state will turn the case over to the New Orleans prosecutor, who will decide whether to ask a grand jury to bring charges.

Pou, Landry and Budo are accused of killing four patients, ages 61 to 90, with morphine and a powerful sedative called Versed.

Dr. Ben deBoisblanc, director of critical care at Charity Hospital, said he and others are angry at the accusations against a doctor and nurses who risked their own safety, and provided care in a chaotic and frightening situation.

“This doctor and these nurses were heroes. They stayed behind of their own volition to care for desperately ill people. They had an opportunity to leave and chose not to,” he said.

Memorial Medical was swamped with 10 feet of water and isolated by Katrina’s flooding. The 317-bed hospital had no electricity and the temperature inside rose over 100 degrees as the staff tried to tend to patients who waited four days to be evacuated.

Attorneys for the trio say they are innocent. DeBoisblanc and others fear the accusations may discourage other health professionals.

“We have people who are volunteering their services and putting their lives on the line. It’s going to make it less likely they’ll do that in the future,” said Dr. Peter deBlieux, an emergency room and intensive care doctor who stayed at Charity Hospital during Katrina.

DeBoisblanc said it’s also likely to make doctors less eager to return as the city tries to recover from the hurricane.

“If you think that going after physicians and nurses while hardened criminals are ruling this town, if you think that’s an image that’s going to bring people back, you’ve got to be kidding yourself,” he said, noting the recent rash of violent crime in New Orleans.

Kris Wartelle, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said the agency had to investigate the claims at Memorial because it must enforce the law.

“Where is the sympathy for the victims? Why is there no outcry for the people who would have not died had they gotten out?” she said. “These are not terminal people begging to be put out of their misery.”

Pou, Landry and Budo were the first medical professionals charged in a monthslong criminal investigation into whether many of New Orleans’ sick and elderly were abandoned or put out of their misery in the days after the storm.

“This case is not over yet,” said Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti.

Hundreds of people were stranded in the hospital with no power to run lights or elevators and no running water. Anyone willing to carry a gun was deputized to watch the entrances as people broke into nearby buildings.

“We had no communication floor to floor, much less to the outside world. We were surrounded by water. It was hotter than Hades,” said Dr. Gregory Vorhoff, who was at Memorial after the storm but left to seek help before the alleged killings. “It was as bad as you can imagine.”

Under such conditions, even patients who might have been able to walk or were relatively stable before Katrina could easily have lapsed into critical condition, doctors say.

“It’s very easy for a relatively healthy person to go down quickly,” said Dr. Daniel Nuss, Pou’s department head at Louisiana State University, where Pou has given up clinical duties until the case is resolved.

He and other doctors said the morphine and Versed that investigators found in the patients’ bodies are commonly given to relieve suffering and anxiety.

“If you didn’t find sedatives and analgesics in these people, I would think that was inhumane,” deBoisblanc said. “The very fact that you found these drugs means nothing.”

Note that key sentence: Anyone willing to carry a gun was deputized to watch the entrances as people broke into nearby buildings. David asks, “Can’t help but wonder why this didn’t get media coverage.” No wonder at all. It doesn’t fit the “you’re not QUALIFIED!” media template. They’ll put the one line in the story, but that fact isn’t a story – the public is supposed to depend on people with badges who draw a government paycheck for their protection. Anything else is an aberration.

Like in this piece from back in September of last year, now no longer available at, but archived in several places around the interweb:

Managers at the Covenant Home nursing center were prepared to cope with power outages and supply shortages following Hurricane Katrina. They weren’t ready for looters.

The nursing home lost its bus after the driver surrendered it to carjackers. Groups of people then drove by the center, shouting to residents, “Get out!”

On Wednesday, 80 residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

“We had excellent plans. We had enough food for 10 days,” said Peggy Hoffman, the home’s executive director. “Now we’ll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot.”

Looters around New Orleans spent another day Wednesday threatening survivors and ransacking stores. Some were desperate for food — others just wanted beer and TVs.

But, according to a lot of people, no one needs a gun and they’re just good for killing and nothing else.

Which is why the police carry them. Right?

Just a Note,.

This “working all weekend” stuff is getting to be a major drag. And I’ll be putting in a 14-hour day tomorrow.

I need a vacation.