Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Austin Texas -- Gun Control and an assault on Civil Rights

ZAcevedo
Modern day terms used toward people is sort of interesting. Take for example the term "Vet".

We all know a "Vet" is short for Veteran and Veterinarian. Among horse owners, when we say that we're going to have a horse "Vetted" or "Vet checked" -- we mean that we are going to have a horse examined thoroughly. 
Now the term "Vet" in terms used by the general public means "to check" or "to investigate".

Austin Texas Police Chief wants to "Vet" Law Abiding Gun Owners -- Who Does He Think He Is?

So really, what makes any law enforcement "professional," someone who has supposedly read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, think they are entitled to "Vet" anyone before a crime has been committed? 
Especially gun owners who are law abiding citizens.
Think I'm kidding, that there isn't this train of thought that as police they can "investigate" or "vet" anyone for anything? Well, I'm not making this up. And no, this is not the first Police Chief to come up with this sort of idea.

Maybe there's the difference, Police Chiefs are usually Political Appointees while County Sheriffs are elected by residents. 

It is ironic that Police Chiefs are extremely political in favor of a great deal of anti-gun notions put forward by Politicians, while in contrast County Sheriffs are usually fighting for the rights of their Constituents.

Austin Police Chief Acevedo not only feels he has an obligation to "vet," to investigate, citizens who have never broken the law, but he believes that he has "the right" to do so for the greater good.

And yes, his idea of the greater good is that citizens who have never broken the law should be investigated if they have views that go counter to what someone might like at the time. 

That my friends, is a dangerous situation in America. To think that as a gun-owner who might not like a popular political issue or politician -- that that in itself would be enough to have the police investigate you. 

Yes, that sort of thinking, that sort of totalitarianism, is not needed in America. 

Here's a good example of what should not be tolerated in the United States.

Austin Police Chief says Turn In Gun Owners, Police Need To "Vet" Them

On December 4th, 2014, just days after a shooting in Austin, Texas, Police Chief Art Acevedo warned the city of Austin that drastic steps should be made to curb such shootings.

Chief Acevedo wants citizens of Austin to turn in friends and neighbors who harbor extreme views, hatred for certain groups, and who are "gun enthusiasts" so that his department can "Vet" them.

It's true. As crazy as it sounds, an American Police Chief wants friends and neighbors to call the police to investigate people who they assume have extreme views and may be gun owners so that the police can take it upon themselves to investigate these people.

Hatred for groups?

I know people who hate Muslims who behead Americans. I know people who are tired of Illegal Aliens, people who are not American citizens, who are collecting Social Security and Welfare and are on Food Stamps while they are working two jobs and cutting back to make ends meet.

I know people who hate the IRS and the EPA and other government agencies simply because the Federal government has put them out of business, burdened them with unreasonable regulations, and have tried to shut down their businesses, farms, ranches, and manufacturing.

I know people who are gun owners who hate what Liberals, Democrats, Atheists, are doing to America.

So, using this Police Chief's standard, should people call the Austin police and report them so that all of the police can "Vet" them? Or frankly, do we as Americas have the right to hate groups such as those that I mentioned without being investigated?

Should someone who hears somebody complain about their dislike about a certain group or government agency turn them into the police? And think about it, who is to judge what is "extreme" when it comes to problems with others?

Yes, like it or not, there are American Muslims who see the beheading of Americans as perfectly fine. There are Atheists who see the persecution of Christians as great for America. There are Democrats who want the government to control every aspect of our lives.

Heck, I have received all sorts of email threatening me for my views. I have been told that I should be investigated and that I should be locked up. One email even said that I should be "deported" because I don't like over-regulation of the agriculture industry.

If I lived in Austin, would the police there investigate me because I absolutely hate Radical Muslims?

And really, not trying to sound too much like a conspiracy nut, I have to wonder if Chief Acevedo wants to maintain files on gun owners in Austin?

It is a reasonable question, an investigation means records and notes to be kept for future need. No, I have never seen an investigation conducted where the file was simply thrown in the garbage after it was conducted.

Think I am taking what the Austin Police Chief said out of context? You decide.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, "And that’s why it’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, know our families- tell somebody. If you know somebody that is acting with a lot of hatred towards any particular group- especially if it’s somebody you know is a gun enthusiast or is armed with these type of firearms and they’re showing any kind of propensity for hatred- it doesn’t mean we’re going to take them to jail, but we might want to vet these people."

Acevedo wants the Austin community to turn friends and neighbors who harbor extreme views in their opinion and who are "gun enthusiasts" to the police so that those people can be investigated.

Acevedo discussed the recent shooting and claimed that what keeps him up at night is the prospect of "homegrown" terrorists who harbor anger and have access to firearms.

I find that interesting because the "homegrown terrorists" concerns have nothing to do with some crazed shooter in the workplace, and has everything to do with violent acts committed by citizens in effort to instill fear to advance political, religious, or ideological objectives.

Called "domestic terrorism," the Congressional Research Service report, American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat, describes homegrown terrorism as a "terrorist activity or plots perpetuated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, permanent legal residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States."

I'm not saying that "homegrown" or "domestic" terrorism is not a concern, the shooter on December 2nd, Larry McQuilliams, shot over one hundred rounds of ammunition in downtown Austin.

McQuilliams terrorized the city when he fired on the Mexican Consulate, a Federal Courthouse and the Austin Police Headquarters during the afternoon. McQuilliams was eventually brought down by a police bullet after he fired upon the police station.

Police Chief Art Acevedo stated that McQuilliams had “hate in his heart” and described him as ”just an American terrorist trying to terrorize our people.”

McQuilliams had a criminal record including serving time in prison for a bank robbery. He was also arrested in 1992, in Austin, for aggravated robbery, but that charge was ultimately dismissed.

And yes, McQuilliams was clearly a disturbed individual who was a White Supremacist.

While a single act of some nutcase is horrifying, if the Chief stays up at night worried about "homegrown terrorism" then he losing sleep over something that is in reality very rare in the United States.

The Bigger Picture

In reality, Chief Acevedo should be losing sleep over the fact that the city of Austin has violent and property crime rates higher than the national average.

Heck, the Chief should be concerned over the fact that the state of Texas lists 1,398 registered sex offenders living in Austin  as of December 06, 2014, that the ratio of number of residents in Austin to the number of sex offenders is 603 to 1.

Police Chief Acevedo should concern himself with the fact that Austin has a crime index of 5 on a scale of 1 to 100.  Yes, only 5% of the cities in America are more dangerous than Austin Texas -- but the Chief there loses sleep because of "homegrown" terrorist.

While everyone wants to stop violence and the potential for mass killings, what Chief Acevedo is telling Austin citizens is a horrible commentary on how he sees their Civil Rights.

Freedom of association, of religion, and our right to bear arms is not to blame for some jerkweed like McQuilliams who does such violent acts. And no, our freedoms should not be thrown aside because of jerkweeds like this scumbag.

No one, no government official, and yes that's what Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is, should be compelling neighbor to inform on neighbors.

Bottom Line: This is about Gun Control and an assault on Civil Rights

Acevedo is putting aside the city's high crime rate to turn the focus on the issue "homegrown terrorism" so that he can target gun owners.

Police Chief Acevedo should be made to understand that Americans who exercise their Second Amendment rights are not the problem. One lone gunman and his distorted thinking should not result in mass investigations of gun owners.

Americans are justifiably angry about the direction our nation is heading. Their beliefs and the fact that they exercise their Second Amendment rights to own guns should not make them subject to enhanced scrutiny from government authorities.

I used to say that this is the sort of thing that goes on in European countries, in Communist countries, in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, but more and more I see it going on here.

The assertion that law enforcement can "Vet" law abiding citizens because they have a problem with government policies, and because they are gun owners is simply an excuse to go after gun owners.

And yes, it is as anti-American as one can possible be. It is an attack on the First Principles of which this nation was founded upon. It assaults the rule of law and the American concept of justice.

As a city police chief, Art Acevedo should rethink his stance and apologize for making such insulting statements.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

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