Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Thursday, January 17, 2013

RANDOM SHOTS - January 2013 School Shooting The Media Won’t Report, and More

Obama Wants To Be King or Dictator?
 
First it was “Yes, we can!” Then it was “Pass this bill!” Now the latest slogan from President Barack Obama is “I proclaim!”

Expressing his frustration with Congress and our checks and balance system of government, Obama has now decided to declare edicts from the Executive Office instead of going through the process of going through the legislative process.

Back on October 24th of 2011, Obama declared, “We can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.”

And with the attitude of a Dictator who really wants to be King for life, Barack Obama signed a huge list of Executive Orders to bypass Congress and the Senate and pronounce new laws for his subjects.

The list of executive actions Obama has declared are all supposedly to address anti-gun violence. The problem that Obama has is that he cannot do what he is trying to get away with.

He is trying to circumvent the Constitution of the United States, specifically the Bill of Rights, the legislative authority of the Congress - something that the Executive Branch does not have.

The following is a list, provided by the White House, of executive actions President Obama plans to take to address gun violence:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Since all of these actions are being illegally taken, I say impeachment proceedings are now a necessity.

Power has gone to his head, and for really the first time in American History, an American President is assuming power and authority that is not his. Because of his actions to willfully disregard the process of which he must undertake to try to pass a law, he is criminal in his actions and should be removed from Office.

SECOND SHOT!

One PA County Hires Armed Guards For All Schools

On January 11th, it was reported that all of the schools in Butler County, Pa., has hired Retired Pennsylvania State Troopers to serve as armed guards at all 14 of their facilities.

The move by school officials is not unlike that in several other states where school districts have looked to beef up security, reported the Washington Post.

The school board has designated $230,000 to pay for 22 armed guards — one at every school and every after-school event — and is only hiring retired troopers with at least 20 years experience who own their own gun and can pass a 60-round shooting test.

“We might not like it, but the modern reality is our kids are vulnerable, and they need our help,” said Frank Cichra, who already has been hired to patrol one of the schools. “Nobody’s doing this job for money.”

Superintendent Mike Strutt said he added the guards because he felt that security drills and lockdown plans would not be enough if an armed shooter approached one of the schools for which he is responsible.

With a similar thought, some groups in Utah are specifically training teachers to carry weapons, some in Tennessee are hiring “security specialists,” and the National Rifle Association is readying a program to help schools either train or hire armed guards across the country.

“This could happen here,” Strutt said about why he pushed the members of his school board to approve his plan. “Armed guards are the one thing that give us a fighting chance. Don’t we want that one thing?”

That leads us to our main story ...

A January 2013 School Shooting The Media Won’t Report

Early this month, Thomas Richard Cowan loaded 13 bullets into two handguns, left his German shepherd chained to the fence and drove eight miles from his home in Kingsport to Sullivan Central High School. Whatever his mission.

This was no kid, Cowen was a 62-year-old Vietnam Veteran.

For about an hour, Cowan’s armed invasion spread panic throughout the school before a burst of officers’ gunfire brought him down. No others were injured.

No one knows why Cowan pointed his Honda in the direction of the Blountville, Tennessee, high school, where his brother is a janitor.

Cowen was later described – both in court records and interviews – as a peculiar man with a history of erratic sometimes criminal behavior.

He parked his car in a handicapped space just in front of the school’s main entrance.

Second period was just getting under way at 9:10 a.m. when Ashley Thacker, a junior, arrived at the main entrance of her high school.

Thacker, 16, had been at a doctor’s appointment and was on her way to a music theory class as she approached the locked doors.

She noticed a man standing in the 10-foot waiting area between the two sets of doors, waiting to be buzzed in. His bald crown was framed with brown hair. He had a mustache, she remembered, and he was holding a cane.

He told her to go on ahead of him. But she never made it through the doors.

Instead, Melanie Riden, principal of Sullivan Central, came striding through the locked doors.

“He pulled out his gun and started pointing it at people,” Thacker said.

Cowan trained his small .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol at Riden’s face, said Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson.

Carolyn Gudger, the school resource officer, was armed. She was there and immediately drew her gun, then shielded the principal’s body with her own.

Thacker remembers Cowan shouting something – possibly including the words “10 years” – but she isn’t sure. She turned and ran out the set of public doors to the mulch pile in the front of the school, and hid behind bushes.

“He might shoot someone,” Thacker remembered thinking. “I just wanted to get out of there.”

Riden fled and Gudger inched back into the school, leading Cowan through the scattered pastel chairs in the empty cafeteria. It was a tactical move, meant to lure the gunman into a more contained place, Anderson said.

Sullivan County dispatch sent out a chilling alert: “Man with a gun at Central High School.”

Riden, reached later by phone, said she could not comment without permission from Sullivan County Director of Schools Jubal Yennie.

Gudger told him to drop his weapon; he demanded she drop hers. It was a standoff, something Cowen didn't anticipate. His plan if he had one was unraveling in front of him all because there was someone there armed and ready to defend the school.

He did not count on resistance. Like most who want to do harm to others, Cowen was thinking twice about what he wanted to do because there was someone there to stop him.

At one point, Cowen tried unsuccessfully to lunge for Gudger's gun. But no luck, all of a sudden his plan to rein terror on the school children and those working there was not that simple anymore now that he was confronted with someone with a gun that will be used for good instead of evil.

Cowan repeated one thing only, Anderson said. That he wanted to pull the fire alarms.

“I don’t know why, we can only speculate about that and I think everyone will speculate why he wanted to pull a fire alarm,” Anderson said. “Either to get the kids out of class or, I don’t know. We don’t know.”

Flattened against the bushes, Ashley Thacker waited two minutes, she thinks. “I didn’t hear anything else, so I thought Officer Gudger had arrested him.”

She was wrong. As she approached the school, two assistant principals opened a window and yelled at her to run away. Crying and shaking, Thacker ran to her car and drove a half-mile to her parents’ business.

At about 9:15 a.m., a shaken voice came over the intercom.

“Code red. Lockdown.”

There was profanity in the background. This was no drill, students realized.

With the announcement, teachers sprang into action – locking doors and papering over windows, turning off the lights and closing window blinds.

Students huddled in the corners of classrooms, sitting in the darkness and searching for information with a storm of text messages.

Casey Deel, a 17-year-old senior, was on his way to a doctor’s office when his girlfriend, Alicia Edwards, sent him a text at 9:15 a.m.

“There’s a code red lock down. im scared,” the 16-year-old junior texted from her government class.

“r u serious?” Deel texted back. He skipped his appointment.

In Kayla Nichols’ cosmetology class, students squeezed into a storage room the size of a parking space, and locked the door, the 17-year-old said.

Ryan Kendrick was in algebra class, just off the main office. The 17-year-old senior thought he heard the gunman making threats – about not leaving the building alive and taking others with him – and Gudger urging him to calm down.

Then he heard a volley of gunshots.

Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang.

Kendrick and his friend, Andrew Ray, began to pray.

Landon Sillyman was in his honors biology class, where the teacher had instructed students to put their heads on their desks in the darkened classroom. The 14-year-old freshman estimated the suspense lasted about an hour.

But it was all over in minutes, Anderson estimated.

One hundred and twenty seconds after Cowan drew his gun, two deputies, Lt. Steve Williams and Sam Matney, arrived.

They entered through separate doors and met Cowan and Gudger – still in a moving standoff – as they reached a science pod behind the cafeteria.

Cowan wavered, then he jerked his gun from Gudger to the other deputies then back again. The three officers told him, again, to drop his weapon. Cowen should have, but didn't.

So they opened fire. Some students counted five shots, others counted six. Sheriff Anderson would not say how many rounds hit the gunman.

Cowan fell to the ground, his shoes just feet from door to the library full of teenagers.

The pistol in his hand had seven bullets in the magazine and another in the chamber. He had a second handgun in his back pocket, loaded with five rounds.

“That’s how close he was,” Anderson said. “We all know this could have been much more dangerous.”
In a file at the Kingsport General Sessions courthouse, there is a handwritten note by a police detective:

“This is the fellow we discussed,” it reads. “He needs a mental eval.”

The note was written in 2001, after Cowan was charged with stalking. According to court records, a newspaper carrier said that twice he followed her as she drove her route.

When she turned, he turned. When she stopped, he stopped.

“At one point, he followed [her] into a driveway and would not let her pull out,” the affidavit reads. “Both instances put [the carrier] in fear as she does not know the defendant.”

The case was later dismissed because a witness did not show up at court.

The same affidavit also recites an incident from the previous year, when Cowan produced a gun at the Kingsport Police Department.

According to court documents, he arrived at the police station in February 2000 to talk with officers about “a problem that has been discussed with him several times in the past.”

Cowan confessed that tucked in the waistband of his blue jeans, he had a loaded .380-caliber Jennings handgun – the same type of small hideaway gun used in the school standoff.

He was convicted of unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to seek a mental evaluation and counseling. But court records show, Cowen did not do either.

His brother, Rodney Cowan, a janitor at the high school, declined to elaborate on his brother’s history or character.

“Right now, I haven’t got a comment,” he said. “We’re just trying to get everything figured out.”

At an afternoon news conference at the Board of Education building in Blountville, Yennie, the director of schools, read from a prepared statement that lauded police, staff and students for following their emergency protocol.

“The students were never in any danger,” he said. “And Carolyn Gudger performed her job admirably to ensure the safety of students and staff.”

Sheriff Anderson also said the school’s protocol worked perfectly. He hailed it “textbook” and “perfect.”

“These officers saved children’s lives today,” Anderson said.

And yes, the previous story has everything to do with the NRA's proposal to put armed guards in all schools ...

Why Not Ask The Kids At Sullivan Central High School If The NRA's Proposal Wouldn't Help Keep Them Safe?

They just lived through the test that proved for fact that indeed it would!

When the NRA made the suggestion to have armed guards at all of the schools in America. President Obama instantly ruled it out.

Democrats instantly called it absurd and insane.

But what do the kids at Sullivan Central High School think about the idea now that it has been proven to work well?

Camry Collins, a 17-year-old senior, wonders about the effectiveness of the second set of locked doors. She said she does not feel safer despite the outcome of the intrusion.

“Tomorrow, the same thing could happen again,” she said.

And tomorrow, Carolyn Gudger, the school's uncontested hero, won’t be there.

“Gudger is the “bomb-diggity,” Collins said. “She goes out of her way to protect us.”

Gudger and the other two deputies involved in the shooting are now on administrative leave as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation concludes its investigation of what took place.

So while the State investigators try to piece everything together, the school is defenseless again.

In the meanwhile ...

Utah Town Wants Every Household To Have A Gun


Officials in a Utah town want to make sure every head of household has a firearm and knows how to use it. They also want to give school teachers training with guns as well.

Spring City Councilman Neil Sorensen first proposed an ordinance requiring a gun in every household in the town of 1,000.

The rest of the council scoffed at making it a requirement, but they unanimously agreed to move forward with an ordinance "recommending" the idea.

The council also approved funding to offer concealed firearms training Friday to the 20 teachers and administrators at the local elementary school.

"It sends a statement that criminals better think twice," Sorensen told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "If a teacher would have had a concealed weapon in Sandy Hook, I think the death loss would have been fewer. If sane, trained people had guns, they could have shot back."

The measure, which will go before the full council in February for further review, seems to have the support of the council's five members and many residents in the farming community about 90 miles south of Salt Lake City.

But school administrators don't think arming teachers is wise, and they are not encouraging teachers to participate in Friday's training.

"The more guns you have in the school, the more dangerous it is," said Leslie Keisel, superintendent of the North Sanpete School District.

Councilman Noel Bertelson said making guns in every house mandatory was too much, but he agrees the town would be safer if everyone was armed. With only a part-time police force, he said, response time is not like it is in a big city.

"If a person is able to take care of themselves for a while, it would probably be a good thing," Bertelson said.

The community is still reeling from the double-murder on New Year's Eve 2011 of an elderly couple in nearby Mount Pleasant. Sorensen said what used to be a peaceful, quiet town has been sullied by increasing criminal activity.

Thefts of metal for scrap and other property also have become a problem, Councilman Boyd Mickel said.

"We are kind of tired of people breaking in and taking stuff," said Mickel, explaining why he voted to urge every house to have a gun.

Tim Thompson, a coal miner and father of four girls who lives in Spring City, backs the council's measure.

"People think small towns are a good place to live," Thompson said. "But there is more crime and drugs than you can imagine."

Thompson, who owns 78 guns he keeps locked in a safe, doesn't want teachers to act as police officers. He said some kids are "hooligans" and could overpower teachers for the guns.

Sisters Katy Harmer and Caroline Lott, however, say arming teachers would make them feel better about sending their children to the Spring City Elementary School. The co-owners of the town's coffee shop, Das Coffee, said most Spring City residents keep guns for hunting, leaving only a handful without weapons.

Angela Johnson, owner of the Sinclair gas station, said she doesn't like guns but backs the council's proposal.

"If criminals knew they would be fired against, I think it would cause pause," Johnson said.

Because the Spring City Council is stopping short of a law requiring gun ownership, elected officials won't run afoul of state law, former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told KSL.com.

Shurtleff said that when the Washington County town of Virgin enacted a local law in 2000 requiring households to keep guns, he warned them against trying to enforce the measure.

Spring City leaders say they got the idea from a city in Georgia that passed a similar law. In 1982, Kennesaw, Ga., made headlines by requiring heads of households to own a gun and ammunition. On its website, Kennesaw boasts that its burglary rate declined after the law took effect.

Teachers at Spring City Elementary School won't be required to attend Friday's concealed weapons training, but can if they wish, Principal Mark Thomas said.

"I don't think there is anything wrong about being educated how to use a gun," Thomas said.

But Thomas doesn't believe having more armed teachers would necessarily prevent or mitigate the damage in mass shootings. Utah law allows teachers to have concealed weapon in classrooms, but the district doesn't advocate for that, Thomas said.

"By bringing weapons into school, are we creating more problems than we are solving?" he asked. "It could create a new problem. We don't want to deal with that problem."

The proposed ordinance will be discussed at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting. A public hearing will be held three weeks later.

LAST SHOT!
Quentin Tarantino yells at interviewer when asked about movie violence

So now a story about those who love extreme violence ...

Hollywood's favorite son Quentin Tarantino flips out when asked about movie violence

Interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy found himself faced with a fuming Tarantino when he tried to discuss movie violence with the “Django Unchained” director.

Their conversation got heated when Guru-Murthy questioned Tarantino’s stance that movie violence has no impact on real-life violence.

“It’s a movie. It’s a fantasy. It’s not real life,” the director said.

“Why are you so sure there’s no link between enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence? “ Guru-Murthy pressed on.

“I’m not biting. I refuse your question,” Tarrantino fired back. ““I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey….I refuse.”

The ever-persistent Guru-Murthy tried again, citing a Jamie Foxx statement that suggests “we can’t turn our back on movie violence.” But an animated Tarantino jumped in before he could finish the question.

“Well, then you should talk to Jamie Foxx about that,” he quipped.” I don’t want to talk about the implications of violence!”

Guru-Murthy explained he wanted to “flesh out” Tarantino’s well-known stance on movie violence. But the director wasn’t having it.

“I am shutting your butt down,” Tarrantino said firmly. “It’s none of your damn business what I think about that!”

The issue of gun violence in movies and video games has been a front-burner topic since the tragic shooting of 26 people including 20 school children by a lone gunman in Newtown, Conn. in December. The Los Angeles premiere of "Django Unchained" was canceled shortly after the shooting.

Obama agrees that Hollywood has no part in promoting needless violence in our society, I just assume that since he has been so quiet on Hollywood's role in influencing people to do such horrible acts.


Story by Tom Correa

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