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Feb. 19th, 2008 @ 09:31 am why not arm civilians?
If everyone were armed, we might accidentally get into shootouts with one another! We had better leave firearms to the cops.

Gunfight in road leaves two Georgia cops wounded

And who was the heroic good guy in this episode of blue-on-blue violence?

Officer Jay Daily, a five-year veteran of the Duluth Police Department, exchanged multiple gunshots Friday afternoon with Fulton County Officer Paul Phillips, police said.

Daily was in custody Saturday, charged with aggravated assault, Cpl. Illana Spellman of the Gwinnett County, Georgia, police said.

"It's been confirmed that the Duluth police officer was the aggressor in this case," Spellman said.


I'm awesome.

Daily, who lives in the area, was off duty and in civilian clothing but was wearing a bulletproof vest, police said.

Yeah, that's normal.
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From:d_c_m
Date:February 19th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
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You are not alone.

I don't know who said it first, but I really like the below quote with possible author:

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is two wolves attempting to have a sheep for dinner and finding a well-informed, well-armed sheep."
> May 2 1997 by Garrett Michael Hayes
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From:erikred
Date:February 19th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
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Clearly, the solution is 8 foot tall robots.

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From:michaelsullivan
Date:February 23rd, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
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and what you made me think of before the picture was:

"You have 3 seconds to comply"
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From:erikred
Date:February 23rd, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
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"I'll buy that for a dollar!"
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From:jonsan
Date:February 19th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)

paul harvey

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The Duluth officer (Daily) is a nut, and was assaulting his (as far as I know) ex-girlfriend, when the Fulton officer engaged him. Something I think is relevant for this blog is that if an armed citizen acted in the same way that the Fulton officer (Phillips) did, I'm certain that the citizen would face no criminal charges, and the Duluth officer would still be prosecuted for aggravated assault (he is likely going to serve some serious time).

Pretty good example of the best and worst in police work, all rolled into one situation.

From:samholden
Date:February 19th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)

Re: paul harvey

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In a perfect world yes.

But you may also either end with one of:

1. Dead police officer, murderer arrested claiming he was defending himself and distressed woman from said dead police officer. Cop killer well looked after at police station, tea and cookies all round.

2. Dead civilian, police officer's word (supported by the obvious evidence) that dead guy was brandishing a weapon and shot first and boy was I lucky I forgot to take my vest off...

Or the more likely, police officer brandishes badge and civilian complies with his ridiculous requests because he's seen all those cases where 5 year olds get tazed for not asking "how high" when commanded to jump. Civilian hand cuffed and arrested for whatever the US equivalent of the Australian trifecta (abusive language*, resist arrest, assault police) is, police officer goes back to abusing ex-girlfriend.

Of course people abusing positions of power and authority isn't exactly unheard of and is something that comes with the territory in unavoidable ways.

I also can't help but notice at the end of the article: [Duluth Police Chief] Belcher described Daily as "an outstanding officer".

Daily just got into a gun fight with a uniformed police officer in a marked police car and yet his boss still can't stop himself from declaring him an outstanding officer. Sure it might be picked out of context ("he had been an outstanding officer, I'm surprised he has shown himself to be psychotic"), but I suspect it's more likely he just couldn't help sticking to the line he always does in the face of bad news about the actions of his officers. And yes, he can't jump to conclusions etc, but he could just avoid such phrases completely.


*No constitutionally protected free speech back home.
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From:jonsan
Date:February 20th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)

Re: paul harvey

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Your (1) isn't really an issue. Thugs don't kill cops and then hang around, they flee the scene. I have no doubt the citizen would be leaving the site in handcuffs, but I think that would be the worst injustice.

Number (2) is a little more troubling, but the facts are going to give away the lying officer. One, the woman is a witness unless he kills her to, and then he has a forensic nightmare on his hands. Also, when the responding officers determine that the armed citizen was not a felon, the Daily's story will reek to high heaven.

In that situation, my resolution is the most likely. I live in a neighboring county, I'm familiar with the laws of the state, and of the general attitude and disposition of the criminal and legal system here.
Most police, and all lawyers and judges, really hate corrupt police officers.

Now, the truly scary scenario is where the Duluth officer was in uniform, and driving a marked patrol car. He's attacking the woman, and the other officer rolls up and has to figure that one out. And I know, I know - "police are terrible, rarr rarr, other officer would have helped the crazy cop shoot her and they woulda shared a drink laughing about it at the copbar" - but really, that kind of situation scares the hell out of me. I spend a significant part of my work day trying to make split second judgements about the potentially dangerous situations I am called into. Try sussing out who is really in danger when a corrupt cop is involved. Oy ve.

As for the quote, that article was written shortly after the incident, and before all of the details were available to the police, let alone the public.

From:kvom01
Date:February 21st, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)

Re: paul harvey

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The woman is not his g/f. She was driving and saw Daily bent over in the street. When she stopped to see if she could help him, he tried to assault her.

I believe it's a matter of mental illness, which can occur in police as well as civilians.
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From:jonsan
Date:February 19th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)

also...

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When given lawful commands by the Fulton officer, the Duluth officer opened fire. That is how the gun fight started.
From:bertuzzi_44
Date:February 19th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
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The never ending entertainment of Google Alerts?
From:greg_kelley
Date:February 19th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)

Oh right...

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Google alerts. Maybe it would be fun to start posting paulp's name on random message boards see if we can't hijack his whole day.
From:wealthandtaste
Date:February 19th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)

If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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It's always fun asking people what would have happened if the American Colonists had victim disarmament, I mean gun control. I'm not grasping why some people (Cops) get to defend themselves while others (Civilians) do not. If anyone actually thinks gun control reduces violence, please see the Jewish ghettos where citizens were systematically disarmed, or the Cambodian killing fields, or the Soviet Gulags, or the Cultural revolution, and on and on.

When the number of private citizens murdering each other reaches 226 million (the number of people murdered by governments in the 20th century), then you might have an argument for gun control. Until then, I'm concealed carrying.
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From:emagnetism
Date:February 20th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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When the number of private citizens murdering each other reaches 226 million (the number of people murdered by governments in the 20th century), then you might have an argument for gun control. Until then, I'm concealed carrying.

Do I need to say that this is a ridiculous argument? Yes? Ok. *sighs*

This is a ridiculous argument. You are arguing that concealed-carry laws would prevent a massive, organized, military-back slaughter. Have you read The Gulag Archipelago? Do you have any idea how this happens? Really? Besides, if you want to really add some punch, why don't you challenge someone to find 12 million citizens murdered in a four-year span. That's 3 million a year, which is even MORE staggering than 2.26 million a year of the 20th century.

The thing is, I am completely in favor of your right to carry a concealed weapon if you so choose. I like the idea of pairing concealed-carry permits with background checks, so that you can also allow people with said permits to take their guns to most of places we normally don't allow guns. (You've been checked, you're not a criminal, having a weapon won't make you one.) But to constantly frame the argument in terms of preventing the government from destroying your life sounds, well, grandiose. Being armed did little for my Native American ancestors against a government wishing their destruction. Watch a little less Red Dawn, please.
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From:extempore
Date:February 20th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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For some reason people tend to frame this argument as one in which handgun wielding citizens are engaged in open, WWI-style warfare with the US Military. Then they (reasonably enough) conclude that the military would win that confrontation. Often they throw some nukes in there too, like somewhere along the slide into tyranny it'd make sense to start dropping nukes domestically.

Guns deter every step of the way. Murders are carried out by people, and people bleed. It's not a matter of mounting a successful revolution against a modern military. It's a matter of making it as dangerous as possible for people to participate in atrocities. It's about altering their incentives.
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From:emagnetism
Date:February 20th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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Well, when the subject line is about gun-toting non-slaves, it does tend to conjure that image.

However, I would simply argue that a large, organized force will inevitably conquer a small, disorganized force. Assuming that someone who would pursued the systematic extermination of millions of people would be a rational actor is a bit of a reach, I think. While it may alter how another Stalin/Hitler/Pol Pot might go about it, it does not, I think, amount to significant deterrent in that case. Further, I think the assumption that the armed people will be united in resistance of the government, instead of actively participating in the extermination is also questionable. I'm not trying to imply anything, beyond that gun owners are hardly monolithic.

I think the idea of an armed populace deterring government repression is a largely a fantasy, and while your argument, Paul, is certainly more reasonable than the image presented at the top of the thread, I don't think either is a particularly useful argument for anyone who doesn't already agree. For my own part, I simply see no compelling reason for the state to prevent a law-abiding citizen from owning a firearm. (People with records of violent crime are another matter.) I do not own a gun myself, but I don't care if you do.
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From:extempore
Date:February 20th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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There are many, many steps between here and hitler (although several fewer than there were eight years ago.) It's useful to have those cases because it proves clearly that things CAN get that bad; if we didn't have such examples I am sure few people would believe it. Few people believe it about the USA as it is, as if our cloak of exceptionalism will always repel all such outcomes.

I didn't suggest people would be united in their resistance. In fact I can pretty much guarantee they wouldn't. I'm suggesting that when peoples' lives are on the line they will often find a way to resist, if such a way is available. If guns remain widely available, the people on the bullet end of such resistance will respond to their incentives. That much is certain; we may disagree about the degree and nature of the adjustment.
From:wealthandtaste
Date:February 20th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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Can you fathom the holocaust ever happening if each and every Jewish adult had a battle rifle and 20 rounds of ammunition sitting in their house? The Germans wouldn't have even attempted to corral them. But of course they had been conveniently disarmed by the State.

Superpowers are regularly defeated by guerilla forces. Historically we have the Colonists (although the whole minute man plinking away in the forest is probably ahistorical), Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan (USSR & US), Iraq and about a dozen others I'm missing.

The primary question for any person wishing to take my gun away is, why do you get to defend yourself while I am murdered?
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From:johndhi
Date:February 21st, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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can you imagine the holocaust happening even if every Jewish adult was unarmed? I had a very hard time doing this before reading a lot of books on the topic. Your view of the Germans "corralling" the Jews isn't a very accurate one - you have to realize that tactics to turn all of society against the Jews, and to in fact turn the Jews against themselves, was necessary to control such a large population. Hiring a bunch of guys to go in and get them (a la Iraq) isn't quite so easy.
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From:emagnetism
Date:February 21st, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)

Re: If slaves owned guns, would they be slaves?

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I can't really argue with anything you've said here.

So I won't.

However, looking down-thread, I think you can see that the guerrilla-warfare image you were dismissing earlier is exactly what was being proposed.
From:zark_
Date:February 23rd, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)

More armed poker players

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What an interesting subject. Now please go on Big Poker Sunday and talk to Haralabos about it. We miss you!. Cheers
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From:michaelsullivan
Date:February 23rd, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
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yeah, I read a story like that and it makes me wonder how many non-cops the guy has shot where the record indicates they were "holding a threatening object" or whatever that maybe is a complete lie and that resulted in something between no consequence and a slap on the wrist.