Category Archive 'Arizona'
25 Sep 2016

Return of the Jaguar

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jaguar1

The Jaguar (Panthera onca), third largest feline predator in the world, has been described as extinct in the United States since early in the last century, but rumors and scattered alleged sightings on the tops of the “sky island” mountains south of Tuscon, Arizona were followed in recent years by photographs and videos, and even treeings and collarings of real jaguars in the Arizona mountains.

Smithsonian has a typical bleating nincompoop piece gushing over the return of the jaguar (in reality, doubtless, jaguars have always been present in the same area in very small numbers, their existence simply denied and overlooked by the authorities), complete with naming the kitty, publicity and promotion for particular self-appointed experts, partisan turf war accounts, and anti-capitalist agitation (development of a single copper mine south of Bisbee might threaten or somehow impede the peregrinations of the odd jaguar).

The real threat to the presence of jaguars in the United States is Donald Trump’s “great, beautiful wall,” 35 to 50 feet high, which would probably not stop really determined humans, but which would put the final kibosh on rare cross-border species like the jaguar.

If you can put up with all the cant, it is still worth reading.


Jaguar filmed recently in Arizona (February 2016 video)

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

03 Sep 2014

9-Year-Olds and Uzis

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UziClass

Amy Davidson, in the New Yorker, quarrels with the characterization by the local sheriff of the accidental shooting death of instructor Charles Vacca by a 9-year-old girl firing an Uzi as “an industrial accident.”

The Arizona Last Stop, where a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor with an Uzi last Monday, has already reopened. It was “booked pretty solid” for the Labor Day weekend, Sam Scarmardo, the owner, told Reuters. The sheriff of Mohave County described a video of the shooting—recorded by the girl’s parents, who were tourists from New Jersey—as “grisly,” and has filed his report. He found that there is no cause for any criminal charges, not against whoever put together the range’s Bullets and Burgers Adventure, designed to put automatic military weapons in the hands of children as young as eight, or against anyone else. Instead, the sheriff referred the case to the Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health, because, he said, it was “being viewed as an industrial accident.”

“An industrial accident”: that phrase raises the question of what industry we are talking about. …

There are many businesses that make up the gun industry, including the buying and selling of political influence. In Arizona and many other states, the realm of firearms is poorly regulated, from gun stores and fairs to tourist traps like Last Stop. As the Arizona Republic wrote, “Arizona statutes do address firing ranges, but the laws primarily deal with noise levels. No laws govern any training protocols for firearms instructors, safety guidelines or age restrictions. But even if there were, there is no regulatory authority to enforce them.” A former Last Stop employee described the range, to the Republic, as a “shake and bake” operation, but, for what it’s worth, its enforcement record was clean. Setting a minimum age of eight to use a gun on a range has been described, since Vacca’s death, as something of an industry standard in many states. There is still an overhanging injunction that workplaces be generally safe, and maybe the Arizona authorities can do something with that, but there is not much cause for optimism.

This shouldn’t be surprising; it is not accidental. The same political forces that gather around gun rights are those railing against government in any form, even the kind that involves keeping children and their gun instructors, or other teachers, safe. We are left not only with lax gun laws but shake-and-bake shooting ranges. This is part of the explanation for why talking to the gun lobby about “common-sense regulations” never seems to go well. They are drawing on, and stoking, a view that presumes the foolishness of regulations. It is sad and telling that the only department left to look into Vacca’s death is the state equivalent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration—regularly derided by Republicans—and that it’s unlikely to be able to do much at all.

A possible question for a 2016 Republican Party debate is whether the candidates think that nine-year-olds should ever be permitted to fire automatic weapons.

But an industrial accident, i.e. an accident which occurred as the result of improper handling of a tool, was precisely what happened.

The 9-year-old girl was clearly too small, too weak and uncoordinated, and insufficiently instructed in the safe handling and management of that weapon in full-automatic fire. She fired too long a burst and lost control of the weapon, which climbed as the result of recoil as it proceeded to continue to fire causing the muzzle to move beyond her intended target, and finally move upward to the left, winding up pointed at one moment as it continued to discharge at the unfortunate instructor’s head.

Was it unwise to put that Uzi into the hands of this 9-year-old girl? Clearly, it was. Yet, I feel perfectly sure that Mr. Vacca could have put that Uzi into the hands of entire school classes full of 9-year-olds without any such accident occurring. Most children would have kept their heads and never lost control of the Uzi. If warned in advance of the hazards of firing too long a burst, if given a magazine for full-auto fire with a more limited number of rounds, if the child were taller or if the instructor stayed lower or stood further behind the child, if the instructor were more alert, Mr. Vacca’s tragic death could easily have been averted.

All over America and the world, adults, from time to time, in the natural course of life, expose children to the excitement and interest of using dangerous tools, machinery (and sometimes weapons) all of which are potentially lethal. Parents teach children how to drive a car, a tractor, a lawn mower, or an ATV. Adults show children how to use a power saw, a lathe, or other machine tools. Parents take children to the shooting range and allow them to handle and fire guns. That is precisely the way that children grow up acquainted with tools, weapons, and machinery and learn to use them safely.

Amy Davidson’s philosophic approach to a tragic accident of this kind is to demand new federal laws and regulations based on the prejudices and emotional responses of people like herself, bien pensants socially and geographically remote from the kind of people who like to play with guns, and who actually in reality possess no expertise concerning guns or firearm safety themselves whatsoever.

From the liberal point of view, the combination of the administrative state and the pure intrinsic wisdom of the well-educated elite is effectively omnipotent. Just surrender more liberty and money to them, let them pass some more laws and create another federal agency, and they can successfully regulate happenstance, misfortune, and human incompetence and stupidity out of existence.

Obviously, there are a lot of us who disagree.

Instructor Vacca’s death was a tragic accident, but Mr. Vacca himself had as good a chance as anyone could possibly have had of preventing it. He simply failed to foresee one extreme possibility. I expect that shooting instructors nationally are going to be a lot more careful about placing full-auto weapons in the hands of children, and are going to take extra precautions and be more alert when they do.

Davidson obviously falsely depicts shooting ranges as part of an imaginarily lucrative and conspiratorial firearms industry so rich that it can buy political immunity from regulation. Gun control has actually been successfully resisted almost entirely by the purely grass-roots efforts of individual sportsmen, hobbyists, and collectors. The firearms “industry” contributes modestly to the NRA and many of its member corporations sell out to government quite readily.

Shooting ranges are all well aware that they live in a litigious country with a predatory trial bar eager to go after them. They do not need political prodding to implement safety rules and protocols. Every shooting range has already adopted all of them that they could think of as necessary.

The accidental death of Mr. Vacca merely proves that human foresight is limited and that even experts –Mr. Vacca was undoubtedly an expert– make mistakes.

The decision about when a particular child should be permitted to shoot a gun, or drive a tractor, or even I would say, when a child should be permitted to take a drink, ought really to be left up to the child’s parents. We do not need state or national policies and the last people who should be permitted to regulate access to, and usage and possession of guns or other machinery or tools should be the kind of people who write in the New Yorker and who are completely innocent of personal acquaintance and familiarity with the things they wish to regulate.

03 Dec 2013

Grand Canyon Filled With Fog

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About once in ten years the Grand Canyon will temporarily fill with fog. American Digest has some excellent photos from a couple of days ago when the “ocean of fog” effect occurred.

13 Nov 2012

“Not Guilty,” Said the Jury

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Drive, Holly, drive!

A six-months-pregnant woman in Mesa, Arizona chased her husband around a shopping center parking lot with her SUV, and finally ran the miscreant over leaving him in critical condition for failing to vote for Mitt Romney. The lady blamed the incumbent for her family’s economic distress.

ABC15.com:

Police said there were no indications that Holly was impaired by alcohol or drugs during the incident.

05 Oct 2012

Whose Tail Is That?

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Photo taken by trail camera on September 23 somewhere “southeast of Tucson”

Outdoor Wire:

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is currently analyzing a recent trail camera photo of either a jaguar or an ocelot sighted southeast of Tucson.

The photo includes only the tail and a small portion of a hind quarter of the animal, making positive identification more difficult. Game and Fish is now consulting with outside experts about the photo, taken Sept. 23 and submitted by a sportsman, to better identify the species.

“We have definitively determined that it is either a jaguar or an ocelot, but we need to do further analysis of the animal’s spot patterns and size to try to positively identify which species it is,” said Game and Fish Nongame Branch Chief Eric Gardner.

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Arizona Daily Star:

Arizona game officials are consulting with seven outside experts to determine if a photo recently submitted by a hunter shows the tail of a jaguar or an ocelot sighted southeast of Tucson.

While those experts’ conclusions aren’t in yet, two longtime cat biologists who work as volunteers for the Sky Island Alliance conservation group said Wednesday they believe it’s a jaguar.

The predominant opinion among those responding to the State Game and Fish Department so far is also that the tail is of a jaguar, “but it is not the only opinion,” said Eric Gardner, Game and Fish’s non-game branch chief. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached out to an eighth expert, Gardner said today.

“We do have an individual who believes it is inconclusive, but if pressed would probably go the ocelot route,” Gardner said. “It’s still premature. Most of it is a lot of opinion without a lot of reasoning behind it, based on experience. We have some statements based on size and length of the tail and the bushy tip of tail. But it’s still being discussed in the professional arena. I think we have to let that discussion occur.”

Gardner said he hopes to have heard from all the experts by early next week.

The photo was taken Sept. 23. As is typical, the state Game and Fish Department did not release the animal’s specific location and Gardner declined this morning to say what county the photo was taken in.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

25 Aug 2011

Speaking of Going Off Half-Cocked

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The pink polymer framed Taurus 738 TCP is chambered in .380 ACP has a six-round magazine and weighs only 10.2-ounces (.289 km.)

Guns and Ammo forwarded a cringe-inducing report. Earlier this month, on August 9th in Chandler, Arizona, 27-year-old Joshua Seto was attempting to secure his fiancee Cara Christopher’s pink Taurus .380 in the waistband of his trousers, before stopping in a Fry’s Food Store to make a purchase.

The unfortunate Mr. Seto, at the time under the influence of prescription drugs, accidentally discharged a round which struck him in the penis before proceeding through his left thigh.

The Arizona Republic reported:

The bleeding started immediately and was heavy, according to police dispatch recordings released Sunday.

“He is still conscious, there is just a lot of blood,” Christopher, 26, told 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers.

One operator told Christopher to apply direct pressure to the wound with a dry towel or T-shirt, but to avoid looking at the wound.

“I did look at it,” Christopher said. “It’s pretty bad.”

There was talk in the Arizona papers that Mr. Seto might even be prosecuted as the result of his accident.

The local police also proceeded to advise gun-owners to use holsters for carrying sidearms.

Ouch!

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My own opinion is that semiautomatic pistols offer a real advantage over revolvers for concealed carry in being flat sided and basically rectangular. They tend to have fewer protrusions and tuck up against the body more comfortably.

I myself look with disfavor on the trend in recent decades toward double-action semiautos, lacking a safety because they are philosophically intended to be treated as if they were revolvers. I own one such semiauto, a .357 SIG, and if I were carrying it, I’d carry it with an empty chamber, and simply assume that I would inevitably have adequate time to rack the slide if I ever needed to shoot anybody.

This accident was obviously a fluke. The victim was evidently impaired by drugs. But we are all impaired some of the time. Advancing age and illnesses impair everybody sooner or later a bit. We all occasionally take prescription drugs and some of us drink.

It is probably a little safer to use a holster, as the cops suggested, but I read regular reports of users of DA autos shooting themselves in the leg while putting their gun in the holster. Tex Grebner managed to do the same thing with a regular Model 1911 variant as a consequence of confusion induced by a push-button-release holsters. Grebner pushed the safety accidentally.

If you aren’t Jeff Cooper, it may be a better idea to carry that semiauto in Condition 3, magazine full, chamber empty.

11 Jan 2011

Dorwan Stoddard

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Mavanell and Dorwan Stoddard

Matthew Shaffer memorializes an Arizonan retiree who managed to move quickly during an emergency and saved his wife’s life.

Dorwan Stoddard and his wife, Mavanell, grew up together as friends in Tucson, and were high-school sweethearts in the 1950s. The two parted, moved away, and married others. But 15 years ago, having survived the death of their spouses, the two were reunited — and then married — in their hometown.

When Jared Loughner began firing on the crowd gathered around Rep. Gabrielle Gifford at the Safeway supermarket in Tucson on Saturday, Mavanell thought the sounds came from firecrackers. Dorwan knew otherwise and quickly pulled his wife to the ground and threw himself over her. Mavy — as she is known to her friends — was hit three times in the legs, and is now in stable condition and expected to survive. Dorwan was shot, fatally, through the head, at the age of 76. Dorwan was memorialized at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ — a small Tucson-area church where he and Mavy had worshipped and served — on Sunday.

Via KA-CHING!

10 Jan 2011

“The Lone Gunman”

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Alan Caruba points out once again that gun control laws are ineffective in disarming the insane.

In 1247, the Bethlehem Royal Hospital was established at Bishopsgate, just outside the London wall. It was better known as Bedlam and was the first asylum for the mentally ill in England. By 1403 it had some prominent guests. Bedlam had become the generic name for psychiatric hospitals and, more colloquially for a disturbance of the peace.

There was such a disturbance on Saturday when Jared Loughner shot U.S Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the brain at point blank range. He then shot others including a Federal judge and a nine-year-old child.

There is something like 25,000 laws on the books concerning the purchase and ownership of guns and not one single one of them could have prevented what happened.

This is not a defense of guns. The U.S. Revolution began at Concord and Lexington when a group of farmers picked up their guns and shot at British soldiers. No one is going to un-invent guns and everywhere they were banned, tyrannies of every description occurred.

This is about the Jared Loughner’s who, in my lifetime, assassinated men like John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Some nine U.S. presidents have either been killed or attacked by assassins. …

Anyone who has been a reporter as I have been will tell you that every American city has a section that local residents fear to travel to or through. Murder occurs in every American city, large and small, every day. Usually it is a drug deal or robbery gone bad or a gambling dispute.

For reporters, the killing of someone prominent is a news bonanza. It overrides the usual buzz in a newsroom devoted to the more commonplace stories. There’s a reason the news channels are into full coverage mode and why, by the end of the week, when they have exhausted the few known facts of the Tucson shooting, they will return to a normal coverage of the news.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind. It’s not about gun laws. It’s not about Tucson. It’s not about Arizona. It’s not about political analysis and dialogue, so you can ignore the hypocritical ravings of MSNBC’s Keith Olberman and others eager to blame Rush Limbaugh or the Fox News Channel.

Loughner is Hinkley redux. Described by all who know him as “a loner” and rejected for military service, invited to leave the campus of a local college, more than a few people understood that Jared had a screw loose.

The closest you can get to understanding what happened is to rent Martin Scorsese’s brilliant film, “Taxi Driver.” There you will see Robert DeNiro’s portrayal of Travis Bickle, the archetype of every lone gunman. And yes, also in the film, you will find Jodie Foster.

The shooting was about mental illness. It was about paranoia. It was about schizophrenia. It was about all the other killings where innocent people were gunned down by someone hearing voices in his head.

Say a prayer for Rep. Giffords, but remember, they walk among us.

Via Theo.

10 Jan 2011

According to the Left, Sarah Palin Did It

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Matthew had a nice comment apropos of all the opportunistic leftist whingeing about “vitriolic political speech.”

The First Amendment is the singer on stage in front of everyone whose voice can not be ignored, while the Second Amendment is the individual in front of the stage making sure no one kills the performance.

09 Jan 2011

The Left Tries Making Hay From Arizona Tragedy

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Jared Lee Loughner’s picture from his MySpace profile (since removed)


Jane Fonda
, lots of my liberal classmates on the class listserv, and the New York Times were busy, chinstroking, and fingerpointing at the Tea Party Movement and Sarah Palin for “targeting” Rep. Giffords’ district.

“It is fair to say — in today’s political climate, and given today’s political rhetoric — that many have contributed to the building levels of vitriol in our political discourse that have surely contributed to the atmosphere in which this event transpired,” said a statement issued by the leaders of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Ms. Giffords is the first Jewish woman elected to the House from her state.

During last spring’s health care votes, the language used against some lawmakers was ratcheted up again, with protesters outside the House hurling insults and slurs. The offices of some Democrats, including Ms. Giffords’s in Tucson, were vandalized.

Ms. Giffords was also among a group of Democratic House candidates featured on the Web site of Sarah Palin’s political action committee with cross hairs over their districts, a fact that disturbed Ms. Giffords at the time.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.”

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James Delingpole spoke for all of us on the right.

How sick do you have to be to start making political capital out of the killing of six people including a nine-year old girl, long before anyone has the remotest clue what the murderer’s motives were, or his political affiliations, or his state of mind?

Not sick at all, to judge by the response of so many US Tweeters in the immediate aftermath of the Arizona shootings. When you’re a liberal, it seems, cloying sanctimoniousness, grotesque moral posturing, double standards, hypocrisy and cynical, malevolent smearing all come as naturally and healthily as breathing.

As Toby Harnden reports, barely were the bodies cold when the liberal fascists started pointing the finger of blame: it was Sarah Palin’s fault, of course; Sarah Palin’s and Glenn Beck’s and, of course, the Tea Party’s. Definitely not a crazed killing spree by a deeply confused young man, no, sirree. After all, as Rahm Emmanuel would say, you must “never let a crisis go to waste.”

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So what were the shooter’s, Jared Lee Loughner, politics actually like? This description, reported elsewhere by the New York Times itself, does not make Loughner sound exactly like a Movement Conservative.

Another former high school classmate said that Mr. Loughner may have met Representative Giffords, who was shot in the head outside the Safeway supermarket, several years ago.

“As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,” the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. “I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”

“He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was ‘stupid & unintelligent,’ ” she wrote.

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On MySpace, Loughner describes his reading tastes and, on YouTube, he seems to have shared some of his political opinions. Arizona Daily Star:

In a MySpace profile, Loughner said “My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college.”

He lists among his favorite books “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto”. But he also includes a broad variety of other titles, including: “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

In another YouTube message, Loughner said: “I know who’s listening: Government Officials, and the People. Nearly all the people, who don’t know this accurate information of a new currency, aren’t aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn’t have happen.”

“In conclusion, my ambition – is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I’m conscience dreaming! Thank you!”

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HillBuzz points out that you could just as easily blame Kos for publishing the vitriolic speech that inspired the shooter.


Glock 9mm, used in the shootings, pictured on Loughner’s MySpace page atop a US History book

03 May 2010

The Arizona Emergency

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Yesterday, our friend Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm linked the generally admirable Clarice Feldman at American Thinker who was editorializing from the perspective opposite to my own on immigration.

Ms. Feldman quoted some alarming, and authoritative sounding, statistics from “the Law Enforcement Examiner.”

On April 7, 2007, the US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails.

In the population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990.

They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses.

More than two-thirds of the defendants charged with an immigration offense were identified as having been previously arrested. Thirty-six percent had been arrested on at least 5 prior occasions; 22%, 2 to 4 times; and 12%,1 time.

Clarice Feldman ought to have inquired a little more more closely.

“The Law Enforcement Examiner” is actually an editorialist named Jim Kouri. Mr. Kouri’s biography identifies him as a former chief security guard at a housing project in Washington Heights and the “fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police” which, I expect, must be roughly on a par with being First Guard of the Tent at one’s local International Order of Oddfellows chapter.

Mr. Kouri is renowned on the Internet for his expertise on Satanism and for the exoticism of the views of some sources he has in the past relied upon.

Unfortunately, Mr. Kouri is not himself a reliable source. He tells us that his statistics come from “a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails” issued by the US Justice Department on April 7, 2007.

It is not accidental that Mr. Kouri does not link the original report.

The report in question was really released on May 9, 2005. It is GAO report number GAO-05-646R entitled ‘Information on Certain Illegal Aliens Arrested in the United States.’

The figures cited all pertain to 2002-2003. Mr. Kouri (and the study’s authors) deliberately selected the best figures for making certain kinds of arguments in the quoted paragraphs.

In reality, this study pertains to 55,322 individual illegal aliens who are the portion of the illegal alien population that wound up arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail.

55,322 out of the seven million illegal aliens estimated to be present in the United States by this same study is the 0.0079 portion of that illegal immigrant population, well under 1%.

And the character of their crimes?

Forty-five percent of illegal alien offenses were for drugs and immigration;

8% for Traffic violations;

7% for Obstruction of Justice.

60% of the under 1% of illegals in jail in 2002-2003 were not even in jail for any form of theft or violence.

And, more recently, both illegal immigration and violent crime have actually been declining (even while la patrie est en danger reports are dramatically increasing).

CNN:

[S]tatistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and the FBI indicate that both the number of illegal crossers and violent crime in general have actually decreased in the past several years.

According to FBI statistics, violent crimes reported in Arizona dropped by nearly 1,500 reported incidents between 2005 and 2008. Reported property crimes also fell, from about 287,000 reported incidents to 279,000 in the same period. These decreases are accentuated by the fact that Arizona’s population grew by 600,000 between 2005 and 2008.

According to the nonpartisan Immigration Policy Institute, proponents of the bill “overlook two salient points: Crime rates have already been falling in Arizona for years despite the presence of unauthorized immigrants, and a century’s worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born.”

If we really looked at the facts, we could only conclude that illegal immigration is not the same thing as narcotics smuggling and, by and large, illegal immigrants tend to be more law-abiding and less violent than us native-born Americans. The public panic and the draconian laws represent responses to misinformation, commonly disseminated by sensationalizing journalists.

Look at AP and Matt Drudge yesterday. or check today’s Wall Street Journal, which blares Killing Stokes Immigration Debate, in reference to Deputy Puroll getting slightly grazed in a minor skirmish with marijuana smugglers. Nobody got killed, and the incident had nothing to with illegal immigration.

01 May 2010

How Do We Get Bad Laws?

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Bad reporting using sensationalistic headlines incorporating gross exaggeration and downright misinformation is how.

Look at how various news sources headline a basically trivial injury to a law enforcement officer received in the course of a minor skirmish with drug smugglers near the border.

What actually happened:

Pinal County Deputy Louis Puroll patrolling alone in a wilderness area about 50 miles south of Phoenix exchanged fire with five armed smugglers carrying bales of marijuana. A shot fired from one of the narcotrafficantes’ AK-47s apparently grazed Deputy
Puroll’s back. He called for assistance and was airlifted by helicopter to a regional medical center where his injury was treated, deemed to be non-serious, and the deputy immediately released.

So the Associated Press shrieks:

Deputy shot; illegal immigrants suspected

Matt Drudge echoes AP:

AZ deputy shot in stomach by suspected illegal…

ABC15:

Deputy shot by suspected immigrant released from hospital

There isn’t really much to report here. A deputy was slightly grazed by a bullet, sustaining insignificant injury, in a minor confrontation with bad guys engaged in smuggling marijuana.

The incident really has nothing to do with illegal immigration. The marijuana smugglers were not, in reality, on their way to pick fruit, wash dishes, mow lawns, or hang sheetrock at all. They were delivering a shipment of pot and once they delivered it, doubtless they were going to illegally emigrate the same way they had illegally immigrated. Undocumented aliens are not in fact arming themselves with AK-47s and shooting it out with police in order to get their hands on American leaf blowers.

It’s unfortunate, of course, that Deputy Puroll was shot at and slightly injured. This incident causes me to marvel at the futility of it all. You’ve smoked pot. I’ve smoked pot. Pretty much everybody in America has smoked some pot. Certainly every single one of the last three presidents has smoked pot.

Why do we insist of making things illegal which most of us still do anyway? And why do we tolerate a state of affairs that rewards crime bounteously while jeopardizing the lives of law enforcement officers to no useful purpose?

And finally, why do we insist on confusing the innocent people coming here to do hard work at low pay with the armed criminals crossing the same border?

Studies show that illegal immigrants commit violent crimes at a rate between four to eight times less than native born Americans.

28 Apr 2010

Pima County Sheriff Won’t Enforce Immigration Law

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Pima County


ABC15
:

An Arizona sheriff is the latest person to speak out about the state’s new immigration legislation, saying he does not plan to enforce the divisive law.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik calls Senate Bill 1070 a “stupid law” that will force officers to start profiling. He is one of the first local law enforcement officials to rebel against the law.

“We don’t need to enforce it. It would be irresponsible in my opinion to put people in the Pima County Jail at the taxpayers expense when i can give them to the Border Patrol,” Dupnik said.

The Sheriff admits he could get sued for failing to obey the law, but says that’s a risk he’s willing to take.

The controversial bill was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer last Friday.

Sheriff Dupnik’s stance is undoubtedly good politics in Tucson, the home of the state university and Arizona’s most prominent liberal community of fashion, but he is making a point that persons familiar with law enforcement already know.

Illegal immigration is just another victimless crime, a violation of arbitrary current regulations not an intrinsically evil act. Police always have real crimes involving genuine evil and victims who have sustained injury to deal with, and crimes with victims always have priority over victimless crimes. Only a cop with time on his hands and nothing useful to do is going to stop people looking for green cards.

In border locations like Pima County, a casual trans-border culture has existed since the time of the Gadsden Purchase. People cross the border casually all the time to visit relatives, to shop, or for recreational activities. Attempting to investigate everyone guilty of looking Hispanic in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood would be insanity.

27 Apr 2010

“Your Papers, Please!”

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Rassmussen finds that a comfortable majority of Americans think this kind of thing is just fine.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last week signed a new law into effect that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 60% of voters nationwide favor such a law, while 31% are opposed.

It’s true that Arizona does have serious crime problems associated with illegal border activities.

In Arizona’s case, the public safety threat obviously comes from smuggling connected to the illegal drug trade. Arizona is the unhappy victim of the confluence of two forms of irrational law making, both of which Americans commonly support and both of which Americans also commonly ignore.

We have an unfortunate tendency toward statutory overreach, and are prone to pass laws expressing moral sentiments, wishes, and aspirations which, at the same time, we have every intention of personally ignoring. That is how we got Alcohol and Drug Prohibition. That is how we got a 55 mph speed limit. And that is why we have immigration quotas that make the existence on American soil of the large pool of cheap labor we require illegal.

No one wants to see Latino gang members on the streets, and no one wants day laborer flop housing anywhere near them, but everyone wants his produce picked, his meat processed, his table bused, his lawn mowed, and every other kind of low skill labor available and affordable.

If the 21st century equivalent of Ellis Island were open and in operation, and people desiring to come to America to do work Americans need done for wages Americans can afford to pay were able to enter freely and legally, you would not have coyotes leading desperate people across the Sonoran desert over the Arizona border.

If we had intelligence enough to end our futile policy of drug prohibition, we could eliminate the enormous profits associated with trafficking and smuggling and all the warfare over drug-sales turf. There would be no drug cartels, no drug gangs, and no smugglers murdering Arizona ranchers like Robert Krentz.

It was Mr. Krentz’s shooting last month that produced the wave of indignation that caused the controversial bill to pass the Arizona legislature.

Arizona Republicans took the politically expedient course and pandered to an angry public by passing the draconian immigration bill. Making illegal immigration into a crime, like all victimless crime laws, will produce only random and selective enforcement, accompanied by increased official corruption. The new law will not cure Arizona’s crime problems, but it will poison Arizona’s, and the nation’s, politics.

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