Post-Bankruptcy San Bernardino

It’s not a pretty picture:

…as part of a plan to reduce the state prison population, nearly 4,000 criminals who would once have been sent to state prison have been put in the custody of San Bernardino County law enforcement authorities. Some have been released, putting more low-level criminals back on the streets of San Bernardino, Chief Hardy said, and adding to the challenges already faced by the police.

“All of our crime is up, and the city has a very high crime rate per capita anyway,” Chief Handy said. “I can’t police the city with much less than this. We’re dangerously close as it is.”

As lawyers wrangle in court over San Bernardino’s plan to cut $26 million from its budget and defer some of its pension payments, city officials say there is little more they can do to turn back the rising tide of violence.

No, but there is something that Sacramento could do, but won’t. It could roll back California’s draconian gun laws that have made places like San Berdoo (and Watts and Willowbrook, and other places) into the Wild West, except that no one is armed except the criminals.

25 thoughts on “Post-Bankruptcy San Bernardino

  1. Der Schtumpy

    People in places like that are going to have to follow the criminal example and break the [stupid, harmful and useless] laws to break the back of the anti-gun Libs, in order to be safe. Why would you obey a law that puts you at a disadvantage like this?

    This puts every lawful citizen in the situation that Southern Negroes were in during Jim Crow days. They weren’t ALLOWED to defend themselves, LEGALLY! Many of our gun laws, like the drug laws, had to do with pacifying and controlling minorities. H3ll, for that matter, 90% of what Liberals DO is about pacification and control for the ‘good and welfare’ of some-damned-body [but usually the Liberals themselves] !

    A large group of people immediately or some small group over time will have to get caught and challenge the state / fed laws that keep them powerless, while being forcibly put in danger BY the gub’ments. It’s not exactly the same of course, but it was the majority of people ignoring the laws and pushing back that got Prohibition repealed. The glaring exception to the situations is that there is NO Bill of Rights section guaranteeing us a Right to have alcohol!

    Sometimes you’ve got to fight tyranny in small nibbles and bites to just stand your ground, and not be budged from your Rights. At least that should be the system, at least until you are required to take on tyranny with large fangs, to get your original Rights back. If the powers that be, dare you to defend yourself while at the same time that they put criminals on the streets, it’s fang time IMNSHO. And to someone who used to love the state of California, but left partly over such crazy politics, it’s time for disgruntled people in CA to bare their teeth.

    Some Joe or Jane Average-Citizen will have to shoot and kill an Adam Lanza / James Homes type guy, but AFTER they’ve killed 12 or 20 people so the numbers work right. [and yes I realize the COST in lives] That person will have to be a political moderate, non-NRA member, with a spotless criminal and psychiatric record, secret week-end practice shooter whose own family was unaware that they’d been carrying a small to medium caliber, 6 shot revolver, because they either worked with bank deposits [work related, high dollar stuff] or they’re a grade school teacher in a bad part of ????, and Newtown made them re-think their vociferous anti-gun political agenda.

    That person is out there, judging from my own family.

    My 83 year old, politically moderate mother has suggested that she needs a gun in her home. [she and my brother live together, so she isn't the prospective shooter] I grew up in an anti-gun household. And I’m talking ‘classic’ Christmas Story parents. We weren’t allowed to be around even a BB gun.

    So I think attitudes are changing, even among people who used to be anti-gun. And Berdoo is just one of many states i this situation. And isn’t it ‘odd’ that all these bankrupt states are the ones with high crime, high unemployment, high tax rates, and large (D) power bases? But they’ve got an Arts Council sponsoring midnight Basketball. A program run by a 22 member PAID advisory council, co-chaired by the Wife-Wife Team of Marge and Debby Smith-Shultz and the Nation of Islam local leader, Hakeem-Habibi Lincoln.

    [yeah, its stereotyping AT its finest, but so is the leadership of ALL those DOT.org, 501 c nonprofit, liberal organizations ]

  2. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

    After some reading inspired by postings here I´ve come to the conclusion that the intention of the US Constitution is very clearly to safeguard the right of citizens to possess and carry milutary grade weapons. Maybe they were wrong to do so, or maybe they were right then but circumstances have changes, but there can be no doubt that´s what it says. It also gives Congress the power to organise the militia, but that´s about it. If you don´t like that, you´ll need to change the constitution first.

    In a discussion about this today someone suggested that in the 18th century there wasn´t a large difference between military grade weapons and other weapons. This led me to wonder, was the second amendment ever intended to apply to things like cannons and siege engines, or was it restricted to weapons you could bear, that is literally carry?

    1. Larry J

      It wasn’t uncommon for privately owned ships back in the day to carry cannons, so no, I don’t think there were any prohibitions to private ownership other than cost. Even today, there are a small number of privately owned cannons. I think there are legal restrictions are on exploding shells, though.

      1. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

        So is that a good thing or not? Should private citizens be allowed to own operational tanks for example, to give one extreme example? Probably not. And since there is now a large organised police force as well as a large standing army, the circumstances under which the article was written have changed dramatically.

        Maybe you still want to have the right to bear arms or even a civil militia, but it could be a good idea to update and clarify the rules. And if you were to do that, would it be a good idea to allow state constitutions to allow gun control, possibly within limits set by the federal constitution?

        1. GClark

          At least one author has argued that the 2nd Amendment gives Congress the power to mandate membership in the “well-repulated militia” along with gun ownership, training, random inspections, etc.

          That would go down real well with some folks…

        2. wodun

          I don’t think we are in any danger of seeing m1a1’s being used as a 4×4 in your local empty lot or rolling down the street taking up two lanes on a Saturday night.

          There is clear precident for limiting all of our rights but many of us are against gun control because the people behind these measures are not concerned about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or the clinicly insane or even being able to prevent whatever event they are using as a cause. The aim of people pushing gun control is to make the process so onerous that normal law abiding people wont be able to own guns. For them, it is a moral issue. They think guns are evil and immoral.

          These same people would be happy to disarm the police and disband the military. If citizens don’t have guns there is no reason for the police to right? And if we don’t have an army there will be no more wars of course. It’s a delusional world view based on leftist utopian morality. They have freedom to practice their religion but there is still the separation of church and state. Of course when their clergy are elected officials, it gets hard to separate the two.

        3. Der Schtumpy

          MM,
          there are a number of tanks in private hands. I know that some are fully operational and I’ve seen them shoot live shells on TV shows in demonstrations. Even if they aren’t fully operational today, it wouldn’t take long to make them operational again by a guy smart enough to keep them going in the first place.

          Just like any gunsmith could make a AR-15 or AK-47 full auto, any tank guy is bound to know how to get his tank to run live rounds.

          I think that so long as the buyer, or group of buyers, can afford the cost, ANY weapon should be accessible and the only limit should be WMDs. I don’t think a ‘militia’, formal or otherwise needs a nuke or nerve gas or a vial of zombie flu.

          1. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

            And not even a state constitution should be allowed to restrict this in your opinion?

            As for tanks, I think there should be some safeguards, because arguably in a densely populated area, they are weapons of mass destruction. If a formerly sane but now suicidal tank owner goes on a rampage through a city center, he’ll potentially kill thousand of people before the military can respond and there is very little even well-armed citizens can do against it. Unless you think we should count on private citizens owning anti-tank weapons.

            The same is not true of handguns or light machine guns.

          2. Leland

            The safeguard is the cost of obtaining one. That cost isn’t arbitrary either. And were the cost lower, such as it is with handguns or SMG’s, then more people would have them to safeguard against the rationale. There is few safeguards against the 1 to 2% of society that is irrationale.

          3. Rick C

            “Unless you think we should count on private citizens owning anti-tank weapons.”

            Not necessary. The few rampages with tanks or tank-like vehicles were stopped with simpler measures. The guy who stole a tank in California ran it up against a concrete barrier, stranding him. At that point, cops ran up, opened the hatch, and shot him.

            Marvin Heemeyer, who built himself a pseudo-tank, took his own life–but eventually, the cops would’ve pried him out, or no doubt shot him through viewports or air intakes.

        4. PeterH

          I see the 2nd amendment protecting a right to own a tank, including ammo. That does not prevent authorities from requiring that the machine conforms to common motor vehicle standards if you’re going to drive it down public roads. Nor does it prevent regulation against discharging the weapon in a way that presents a public hazard.

          1. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

            Yeah, but that is of little help when a suicidal tank owner goes on a rampage. I think that Leland’s argument is a good one though. If many people were to own tanks, then they would offer protection against suicidal tank owners and if only few of them do, then they are only a small risk. That said, I’m not sure I’d want to live next to a tank owner or have to choose to move homes because of it.

          2. Larry J

            A very small number of people own private tanks. Those people are interested in collecting, restoring and preserving tanks, which is an expensive and time consuming endeavor. They’re probably the least likely people to go on a rampage.

            I do know of two incidents where people stole military armored vehicles and drove off base. One happened in Colorado Springs (Fort Carson) in the late 1980s. Two guys – one still on active duty and the other recently discharged – stole a self-propelled howitzer and began driving up I-25 towards Denver. The police were unable to stop them so they gave them an unofficial escort to keep others out of their way. They were taken into custody when the vehicle either ran out of fuel or broke down, I don’t remember. I was in Colorado Springs at the time.

            The other incident happened some years later in San Diego. A guy took an M-1 tank and did go on a rampage. He smashed several vehicles and did a lot of damage but I can’t remember if there were any injuries. He got stuck on some concrete pilings and a police officer shot him and killed him.

            So, going on a rampage in an armored vehicle isn’t completely unheard of but it’s pretty rare. Both cases that I know about involved the theft of government armored vehicles, not privately owned ones. The closest to your scenario that I can recall was a 1984 movie starring James Ganner titled, appropriately enough, Tank.

          3. JP Gibb

            Larry, it was an M60A3 that was stolen in San Diego, and while no one was injured, it wasn’t from lack of trying on the perp’s part.

            Besides that, some people have proved you can build your own armored vehicle and go on a rampage.

          4. George Turner

            But what about privately owned bulldozers? If someone were to manage to start one, they could plow through barriers, cars, and houses, killing everything in their path. The Israelis even have armored Caterpillars that they use to accidentally back over American hippy radicals.

            And what about steamrollers? The Chinese government recently used one to squash a dissenter who refused to move out of his house (which was in the middle of a new road). Perhaps we’re forced to trust the government not to use steamrollers to crush dissent, but shouldn’t we forbid private ownership of such devastating mechanized devices? What if a crazy person got in a steamroller and tried to turn us all into flapjacks?

        5. Roga

          I think you could conceivably interpret the “well regulated militia” part of the amendment to limit the types of weapons that can be possessed by non-state entities. Put in present-day terms, one can definitely argue that 50 ostensibly independent National Guard forces with state governors as commander-in-chief (ie, not answerable to the President) is sufficient deterrent to tyranny.

          In that case, owning a gun legally would be dependent on maintaining a reserve status in a National Guard troop (or at least having been through NG basic training at some point). That is similar to how Switzerland works things I believe. Each adult is conscripted for a year and issued a “military style” rifle. Personal magazines are co-issued and they are audited periodically, and all spent ammo must be accounted for.

    2. Leland

      I’ll be clear. Yes, people of the US should and are allowed to own military grade weapons. Some actually do own tanks. I’ve met private individuals with private fighter jets. The interesting thing is, despite this being common, I know of only one incident in which someone actually drove a military tank through a civilian area and damaged property. That guy stole his tank off a military facility. The only other similar incident is a guy that essentially made his farm tractor into a tank.
      We’d do far better spending less time discussing what rights civilians should have and more time discussing banning what government can do with taxpayer dollars.

      1. Larry J

        I think many people would be surprised how little it costs to buy Migs, even supersonic Mig-21s. You can buy them for less than the price of a new Beechcraft Bonanza or Cirrus SR-22. Mig-29s are pretty pricey but I’ve seen them for sale, too. It’s the operating cost of that’ll eat you alive. The fuel cost of a Mig-21 is likely on the order of at least $2000 an hour. Mig-15s and -17s are less expensive to operate but still on the order of $1000 an hour or more, not even counting maintenance.

    3. Godzilla

      Actually tanks are less lethal on populated areas than in open terrain where they can easily fire on the move. Tanks in cities are highly vulnerable to rocket propelled grenades on close quarters and must work with infantry in order to ensure the survival of the tank.

      1. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

        Yeah, but unless you live in Iraq or Libya or Syria places like that the general population doesn’t carry RPGs, so that won’t be of much help against a rampaging tank owner.

      2. George Turner

        One tank in an urban area without infantry or mutual armor support is a death trap, especially if not fully crewed. If there’s just one person aboard, he can either drive or shoot, but not both at the same time. He can’t defend his rear and can’t keep people from crawling all over his vehicle without opening a hatch and popping out. To keep people from climbing on his vehicle he has to keep rolling. If he’s rolling he’s not shooting, so it’s no different than a rampaging bulldozer, except that a bulldozer driver could shoot and move at the same time. The tanker would have to stop and move from the driver’s seat up into the turret where the weapons are. But if he stops rolling, he’s back to the problem of people crawling onto his tank.

        If he was in the ghetto, not only would a tagger spray paint his vision blocks, rendering him unable to even aim any of the weapons, they’d also write very bad things about his mother.

        The flip side of enjoying the protection of a tank is that it also protects assailants against close-quarter defensive fire from inside the tank, so they can bend, wedge, tie-down, or jam all the machine gun barrels while they wait for the guys with cutting torches, welders, cans of gasoline, or thermite incendiaries.

        Yes, the tanker could kill quite a few people even without an main gun ammunition, but so can anyone who drives a car, just by jerking up onto a sidewalk.

    1. George Turner

      Thanks MP. Austrian provided a great deal of clarification.

      So the wiki is wrong on a great many points, including being badly off on the number of homicides because it is mistakenly counting homicide offenses, not the number of people murdered (three robbers hold up a store and one kills the clerk, it’s counted as three homicide offenses).

      And it’s wrong where it says the government, as a “safety measure”, no longer provides 50 rounds of 5.56 ammunition in a sealed container for home storage. That was to cut expenses. The militiamen now have to provide their own ammunition for fighting their way to the rally point, which they do by going down to the gun store like everybody else.

      This same mistake appears elsewhere in the wiki, where it says “In October 2007, the Swiss Federal Council decided that the distribution of ammunition to soldiers shall stop and that all previously issued ammo shall be returned. By March 2011, more than 99% of the ammo has been received. Only special rapid deployment units and the military police still have ammunition stored at home today.

      Since everyone there can just wander down to the store and buy a case of 5.56 or .308, it’s insane to suggest that nobody in a society of gun lovers (whose shooting tournament draws a quarter million people) actually owns any ammunition. It’s like claiming that since the early 1990’s, when the US government stopped giving out free cheese, only a few special dairy employees have kept cheese at home, as if the rest of us don’t go to the grocery store and don’t own refrigerators.

      And it’s wrong about the carry permits, which vary from canton to canton, with some cantons issuing carry permits to anyone (who isn’t obviously deranged or a criminal) who asks.

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