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Archive for December 21st, 2012

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement History: Nixon Complains to J. Edgar Hoover

Retired FBI Official Michael Mason: Arming Teachers? Dumbest Idea Ever Proposed

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com
The recent mass shooting in Connecticut was an act of incomprehensible evil.

However, in the wake of this tragedy we need to ensure we come together to present thoughtful and effective ideas to reduce the probability of such an act ever occurring again. Arming teachers is categorically not a recommendation that should enjoy any consideration at all.

The probability of having an active shooter incident at any particular school is infinitesimally small. The ridiculous suggestion of arming teachers would actually increase that probability simply by virtue of putting thousands of guns in schools which today have none.

There is a huge difference between handing someone a gun and ensuring they receive the proper training to effectively engage that gun when required to do so.

Training is not a once and done endeavor, it must be continuous, and be required.  It is difficult enough to hit a paper target that is not shooting back at you.

Imagine the average teacher having to use that gun under the most adverse circumstances imaginable. We expect Ms. Jones, a great, compassionate, effective teacher, to now become an extension of the police department’s SWAT team?

We expect her to run to the sound of gun fire, through all the chaos and noise and effectively use that gun that has been locked in her drawer for the past 11 years? Really, can there be a more absurd notion circulating around the country.

Owning a gun and genuinely being prepared, psychologically and physically, to use it are two entirely different concepts.

I carried a gun for 23 years and in that time only experience one occasion during which I thought I was going to have to shoot another man. I did not think, “Go ahead…make my day.”

I clearly remember thinking, “Please don’t make me shoot you.” Although I was committed to doing so, I remain grateful to this day I did not have to shoot that individual. My point is that the concept of going from teacher one moment to effectively deploying deadly force in the next moment goes far beyond simply having access to a firearm.

The mass shooting in Connecticut absolutely demands that we address the issue of gun control. It is equally important that we not simply react, but rather engage in intelligent, thoughtful discussions to develop solutions that will genuinely impact this horrendous situation. Arming teachers is simply a dumb idea which deserves not a second more of serious consideration.

 

 

FBI, Local Police Track Down 1 of 3 Escaped Chicago Inmates

Steve  Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A brazen jail escapee was arrested in Chicago Thursday without incident but a fellow inmate remains at large, the Huffington Post reports.

Joseph “Jose” Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley made a daring escape from a high-rise jail in Chicago and hopped a taxi shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Local police and agents from the Chicago FBI’s Violent Task Force tracked down Banks at 11:30 p.m. but are still on the hunt for Conley, 38, the Huffington Post reports.

Both are serving time for bank robberies.

FBI Background Checks for Guns Often Miss Those Who Would Be Banned

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Mentally ill people, drug offenders and others who are prohibited from owning guns often are able to obtain a firearm because the required FBI background checks have significant flaws, the New York Times reports.

The nearly two-decade-old requirement to conduct background checks of prospective gun buyers isn’t working as planned because many states aren’t sharing information on who’s mentally ill or has been tested positive for drugs, the New York Times has found.

Of the 50 states, 19 submitted fewer than 100 records of people with mental illnesses, compared to more than 100,000 records disclosed by New York, the Times wrote.

Rhode Island handed over none.

The Times revealed that states aren’t required to disclose the records, causing the gaps.

Kevin Walker Named FBI’s Next Equal Employment Opportunity Officer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Kevin W. Walker, the former acting deputy director and general counsel of the National Drug Intelligence Center, was named the FBI’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) officer, the FBI announced Thursday.

Walker’s job entails overseeing discrimination complaints, the DOJ Mediator Corps, the reasonable accommodation process and the sign language interpreter program.

Between 2006 and 2007, Walker was the chief prosecutor for U.S. forces in the Iraqi theater of operations and supervised trial team involved in courts-martial.

Walker earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and has various post-graduate degrees.

DEA Declines to Help LAPD Investigate Death of Suspect Under Federal Custody

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Los Angeles Police Department investigation into the death of a man while he was in the custody of the DEA has been virtually stalled because the federal agency has refused to cooperate with the investigation, the LA Times reports.

After analyzing records, the Times wrote that LAPD investigators can’t determine how the man’s injuries were inflicted without DEA assistance.

The LAPD believes the DEA may have caused the fatal injuries, which included 21 fractures on his ribs, while handcuffing the suspect. A coroner found that the blunt force caused internal bleeding.

A DEA spokeswoman said the Justice Department’s Inspector General also is investigating.

“It is not uncommon for an agent under multiple ongoing investigations to decline specific law enforcement interviews until an inspector general investigation is completed,” spokeswoman Dawn Dearden said.

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