Tag Archives: Law enforcement
In God, Justice is Mercy. We can discuss our fine points and distinctions, whereby, as the Common Doctor says, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice. But, in God, they are the same. Just stare at Jesus crucified, on Him whom you have pierced. No, really, do it. He became a jackass criminal for us, standing in our place, the innocent for the guilty, redeeming us by becoming exactly what we were, who we are without His grace. How ironic. But there are many who don’t get that. There are many who may think that Jesus didn’t “become sin” for us (see St Paul) evil while remaining innocent. Irony just kills them instead of enlivening them. But that’s entirely their fault. That’s no reason not to provide the irony. And it is true that irony bears the very reflection of what it hates. And I think this bears memorization:
To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]
But let’s take a very practical example, shall we? We just lost our entire police force in Andrews except for one officer, the youngest, who started with us. Will he stay? The rest were instantly all snapped up to become Federal agents, that is Tribal Police, which is Federal. Now we need applications. Who will apply. The media has been giving the police around the country a bad rap, undeservedly so.
I’ve heard the shadowy opinion that it’s not nice to be a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer). ‘Tis better to be a missionary of mercy than to be a minister of justice, they say, as if the two were mutually exclusive. But let’s take a look at that. What do police do?
- Police mostly do domestic calls. Surely this involves the administration of justice for the jerk who is beating his wife to death and is throwing kids through sheet-rock walls in drug/liquor induced temper tantrums. But it is also a great mercy to end that hell for the wife and kids, to get them medical treatment and then a way out of that living hell. And it’s also mercy for the perp, who needs to be tripped on his way to hell. Maybe he can go to heaven.
- Police do a lot of traffic stops. Surely this involves the administration of justice for the jerk who is driving drunk or is on drugs or is a road-rager or is driving at out-of-control speeds, for he is an imminent danger to himself and the public. But this is also a great act of mercy for the driver and the general public. All will be safer.
Of course, it is said that the down side to all this is that the bread-winner is taken out of the house in the first instance or will lose his job in the second instance as the vehicle will be impounded, blah blah blah. Leave well enough alone they say. They were fine before the police interfered they say. Yet they are happy to watch women and children get smacked down and killed. They are happy not to have the woman and children get safe housing and be put on programs until she and kids can get on their feet again. They are happy to let the perp not get the tripping up he needs. Just the good ol’ boys, you know.
I’m hoping that youngsters who are not carrying the baggage of their elders will become indignant with the reasoning of the good ol’ boys and go ahead and provide a lot of mercy by way of being ministers of justice, LEOs and all that.
To do that well, they would have to be able to bear all the baggage, all the evil of this present generation as if they themselves were guilty of it, that is, to understand that they could be the very criminals they seek to arrest, or better, are the very criminals they seek to arrest, that is, except for the grace of God. Remember the old adage: “There but for the grace of God go I.” Then, after that realization, it’s all about loving others as you would want to be loved by them. If we need tripping up while we are on our way to hell at breakneck speeds, should we not be thankful for someone tripping us up? That’s mercy isn’t it?
With incredible racism and anti-Semitism, Saint John the Baptist is hailed by many as being all about justice and has nothing to do with mercy, because, you know, he’s all about the Old Testament and we’re children of the New Testament. I know of no more merciful prophet in the Hebrew Scriptures than John, who is praised by none other than Jesus, the very Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonder-Counselor, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, He who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.
Matt Damon spouted off a diatribe in Good Will Hunting as to why he shouldn’t work for the NSA. I suppose it’s the kind of thing that Edward Snowden would, in part, agree with. Sorry for the occasional bad language.
Meanwhile, let’s draw an analogy of why yours truly shouldn’t be a deputy sheriff. If you’re wondering what this is about, see: Deputy Fr Byers? I’m flattered, but… First let’s see what Matt says, then I’ll offer an analogy.
“Why shouldn’t I work for the NSA? That’s a tough one… but I’ll take a shot.. Say I’m working at N.S.A. and somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it and I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East and once they have that location they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’ “oh, send in the Marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were all pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie over there takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used a little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices, a cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back of course and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs. It ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea-life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy’s out of work, he can’t afford to drive so walkin to the […] job interviews which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what’d I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure […], while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected President.”
///// Ha, ha, ha. O.K. So here’s an answer I could give to the Sheriff who asked why I shouldn’t work for him as a deputy sheriff serving arrest warrants, and remember, he told me I would go it alone as they don’t have any kind of SRT (special response team):
“Why shouldn’t I work for the Sheriff’s department? That’s a tough one… but I’ll take a shot.. Say I’m working at the Sheriff’s department and somebody puts an arrest warrant in my hands, a case no one else would or even could touch with a ten foot pole. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I bring the guy in without getting killed and without killing anyone else, and I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well, I get my moonlighting money, and I can keep my bankrupt parish open. But maybe that guy, wretched as he is, was the last hope, as hopeless as that is, for another dozen people caught up through no fault of their own in his domain of drug and gang violence up in these back mountain ridges. Now, having this location mapped out, the series of trailers is raided by the DEA, which should have been there in the first place had we known then what we know now, and then, while they trash through the trailers a dozen people playing the hero to none of themselves, people I never met, never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians of the county are sayin’ “oh, send in the FBI to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a […]. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot just like it wasn’t them when their opportunity to serve came up, ’cause they were all pullin’ a tour on a desk job. It’ll be some kid from Northie over there, another foreigner from outside the county like me, takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the FBI he used to work at got outsourced to a mafia-esque bikey gang he used to surveil. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job being in charge of the very illegal drugs in the bikey gang that he wanted to bring down, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and can piss at the side of the road. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over in the mountains was so we could install a vigilante self-serving government that would sell us all drugs at a good price. And of course the drug makers used a little skirmish over there to scare up drug prices closer to home, a cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy whose living expenses have gone up because there’s no competition because everyone’s on drugs. They’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the real drugs back of course and maybe even took the liberty of hiring a drugged up runner who likes to get high and play slalom with the sheriffs pursuit vehicles. It ain’t too long ’til he hits one, loses the drugs and changes life as we knew it. So my buddy’s out of work, he can’t afford to drive so he’s walkin to the […] job interviews which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they’re servin’ is back mountain possum laced with contact-Fentanyl. So what’d I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure […], while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take the job he used to have, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up drug prices ever further, bomb any village I want, club a dog, hit the hash pipe myself and, oh yes, join the National Guard? I could be elected President.”
//// Or, maybe, that’s not quite how it works. Thanks but no thanks for the advice, Matt.
I was having a chat the other day with some law enforcement crowd in one of the many counties in WNC in which the boundaries of my parish spread out. The scenario was again presented to me, for the second time if I recall, that I could right this moment be sworn in as a deputy, be given a gun (Hey! I like my own G-19), a vehicle (that could just be a rat-rod, of course), and could make specific arrests for certain warrants (a little dangerous, that), while meanwhile being given a year to take all the requisite courses just down the road from the rectory. Deputies go about things a bit differently than the police who are required to first of all graduate from the police academy (two years). None of this, of course, would require me, nor was it expected to require me, to interrupt anything to do with the pastoral care of the parish. Anyone in a bigger parish than mine might be left wondering about that, having no idea of how tiny this parish is. Anyway…
The minimum class in this region for the required courses is ten candidates, but they can’t get even that. The minimum is now eight. And they might not be getting even that number for this region. In other words, in asking me, the donkey-priest, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.
There simply are no guys (or gals for that matter) who are interested in becoming LEOs. No one is interested in service to one’s neighbor when it’s actually dangerous, and in fact, for that cowardly reason, that is why the police and military are denigrated by the very young people who should be joining their ranks.
I’m flattered. But I’m a priest. I’m sure that there’s a conflict of interest in there somewhere, isn’t there? But, just to say, there are not just a few LEOs in the region who are also ministers or pastors or parsons or whatever in whatever Christian gathering. I’ve never heard of this for a priest. And I’m sure many readers of this blog will be horrified that I could even mention such a topic. But, hey! I’m not the one who keeps bringing it up.
While there are many cons, just to say, there is one pro to the argument. This is the very tiniest of parishes in North America. The finances of the parish were accurately cited to me by the LEO crowd with whom I was chatting (about something else altogether before this was brought up, mind you). Those finances, in being cited again and again (they really did their homework, not being Catholic), were a hint that if I wanted to keep the parish viable, perhaps my salary should be coming from another source than the collection of the parish. Well, that’s true actually. We only survive because a few parishioners here only part-time or definitively moved to other states, send their donations back to us. Two of those are now in their mid-late nineties or close to it. In other words, the parish will soon be in dire straits.
If I want to do the Missionary of Mercy thing by keeping a Catholic presence in this most remotest of back-Appalachian mountain parishes, perhaps I should do something about getting an alternative source of salary. And I do not mean the donations of those on this blog. No, no. I should do something about this. But I’m sure that canon law militates against doing something about this by way of my being a deputy.
Thus, in the superseded 1917 code, in canon 138, we see the phrase “arma ne gestent” – a third-person plural present active subjunctive of gestō, providing the subjunctive suggestion that clerics might preferably not bear arms. Subjunctive law isn’t prohibitory. At any rate, this specificity is taken away in the 1983 code, leaving this to the discretion of the local ordinary. So, the canons of relevance in the ’83 code are as follows:
Can. 285 §1 Clerics are to shun completely everything that is unbecoming to their state, in accordance with the provisions of particular law. [Is it unbecoming in situ when many LEOs are ministers? Surely there is no local Catholic particular law on this whatsoever. Those in bigger parishes simply don’t care. And all parishes are bigger than mine!]
§2 Clerics are to avoid whatever is foreign to their state, even when it is not unseemly [This refers to recreations that are untoward, such as untoward theater, or to such as gambling, or, regarding occupation, such as running a brokerage firm on Wall Street, where you would actually hurt competitors to promote yourself, etc. While being a deputy, who risk their lives in service of their fellow man, is not unseemly in the least, the question remains as to whether it is so entirely foreign. A deputy would be beholden to a Sheriff on the job, not the Bishop, yet the two do not cancel each other out in the least. I would say that they are not contradictory, not contrary, but are even complimentary].
§3 Clerics are forbidden to assume public office whenever it means sharing in the exercise of civil power. [The Sheriff is elected, and that position is a public office – which is a highly restricted technical phrase – but the deputy is nothing, just a hireling with a job to do. A deputy serves entirely and only at the will of the Sheriff, that is, ad hoc, whether over a space of time or for one particular service that may only last for an hour. You’re deputized under oath and then let go. All deputies automatically lose their jobs when a Sheriff’s term runs out, or he resigns or is otherwise deposed. But, again, a deputy is just nothing, unlike a police officer. A deputy doesn’t have an office, but is more like a page for someone who has office. A deputy has no “exercise of civil power” in the highly restricted sense of that term coming under its relation to “public office.”]
Can. 289 §1 As military service ill befits the clerical state, clerics and candidates for sacred orders are not to volunteer for the armed services without the permission of their Ordinary. [Padre Pio was drafted. He went. This is not forbidden. Volunteering merely needs permission. Depends on the circumstances and, of course, just war theory. Get it?]
Anyway, in another tiniest of all parishes on another continent, I provided fully half the budget of the operating expenses of the parish by throwing pottery, for which I actually have a great talent. However, I have no local cache of clay where I can obtain the materials for free, nor do I have a wheel or kiln or shed for the whole operation. So, no to the pottery thing. But for the deputy thing? I don’t know.
We were even talking about the kind of pistol qualification course they have. Sounds easy. Just need 70% in a normal course. Easy peasy.
The thing is, you can be very fatherly and pastoral at an arrest, the worst day in the life of anyone, and bring them around to the Lord, then visiting them in jail or prison. There’s a deputy who was like that in Louisiana, and converted many on the spot. Truly. He was so popular he was elected to Congress. Popular for being fatherly, speaking about the Lord, about honesty and integrity to those who would never otherwise hear it. Hmmm…..
The Saint Gabriel Possenti Society recalls the time when the now canonized saint saved a young lady from being raped by employing the tools he had at hand.
The need for using tools to ward off untoward violence even in Saint Podunk parish church that seats 25 people isn’t a thing of the past. Active shooter critical incidents and terrorist attacks are happening as frequently in these USA as they are anywhere in the world, whether in the podunk church or the mega-church. It’s time to harden the softest of all soft targets. ISIS is promising hits on Catholics on Christmas.
Choosing to familiarize oneself with the proper tools so as to be of service to one’s neighbor is a life decision, a life-style decision. Getting class-room training and being legal with any permits isn’t enough. One has to do drills and hopefully also scenario training with some frequency.
As I myself begin to become familiarized with my G19 (it’s only been a year and some since I fired my first shot out of a pistol), I’ve practiced with any number of target sizes and distances, moving and stationary, but have never seen anything like the pre-9-11 Air Marshal qualification put together by Tom Bullins. It was severely dumbed down after 9-11 since almost no one was able to pass even once. Few instructors in the nation were able to make the grade. So it was dumped. But the original course can still be pieced together and put into practice on a private range using the QIT-97 (the QIT-99 if you want to show off). This is the best explanation I’ve seen for the “old” Federal Air Marshall TPC Course.
On the day off the other day I tried to pass all seven stages 100% twice. But that, mind you, was just to get used to the times and what needed to be done. This wasn’t coming in cold before a flight or set of flights as was otherwise the case back in the day when Air Marshals were Air Marshals. Mind you, I bet today’s Air Marshals most likely practice on this old course on their own. For myself, there were many failures of time and accuracy in between getting familiarized with the seven stages. 1/10 second overtime failure on even one of the seven stages would disqualify an Air Marshall from flying. Wow. That’s jaw dropping. Trying out each stage was truly hilarious, what with spinning about and dropping down while changing out mags and shooting, etc. All stages are insanely difficult, but because of that, a challenge and therefore enjoyable.
A Navy vet in the parish recommended that I trade in my Glock for a Sig p320 (with the voluntary military upgrade). I’m considering that. There are many versions of the p320. I hate the idea of safeties. I really like the Glock “safe-action.” But, as I say, there are different versions. That needs investigation.
Meanwhile, there is much discussion about churches having “plans” which also include those who carry. I would like to approach this with some preparation and common sense with input from law enforcement. I understand that some law enforcement has been encouraged to provide programs for churches by the FBI. I’d like to look into that.
What I would like to see among parishioners who carry with permit is that they are well practiced, are level headed, and know what they are doing.
Or should Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows just said a Hail Mary while the girl was getting raped, you know, in case his actions with tools might otherwise escalate the situation? It is instead virtuous to contribute to the virtue of justice with the defense of the innocent when this is appropriate and prudent and possible to accomplish in appropriate and prudent and possible ways. While use of guns is a last resort, it is sometimes the only possibility.
People who deny this want to use Jesus and the Church to deny reality, and smash down anyone who gets in their way. Whatever. Jesus was and is a realist. And Saint Gabriel is still a canonized saint.
This is at the Stecoah Gap, at 3,165 foot elevation. He looked like he really really really needed to get somewhere fast. Unless you pull off the road altogether, there’s hardly anywhere for miles where there is no double-yellow so as to pass. So, I try to be nice. Or, maybe I just didn’t want a cop riding my bumper for the next dozen miles! He was already riding my bumper for some miles. It’s surprising the number of police in this remotest of places. This guy is Cherokee Police, which is, effectively, Federal Police. He might not know that I had Jesus with me, making the rounds to many shut-ins up in the mountains here. It’s so cool to bring Jesus round about His own creation. I’ll try to post some pictures later. Off to a wedding rehearsal now…
Here’s a snapshot of my life from the backview camera of Sassy the Subaru. It’s nice to have my own private motorcade, of sorts, this time made up of the State Police. Talk about security! I’ll take the high road and say that this is for my benefit.
I’m going 44mph in a 45mph zone, center of my lane. The State Police, breathlessly chasing after me, can barely stay on the road during the wild pursuit that utilized, however, no blue-lighting, no siren, no flashing headlights, no ramming or pit maneuvers. Never does. This continued, as usual, for miles (the longest “chase” being 26 miles, bumper to bumper). I can feel the love!
It starts, as it often does, right after morning Mass in Robbinsville. He was waiting for me in the parking lot right next to the church, the usual stakeout position for that… gasp… Catholic priest. The church is just a few hundred yards away on the left in the picture. I don’t get stopped, just, you know, to borrow a word from Pope Francis, accompanied. It was right at this point that I gunned it, as it were, and went 49mph in a 50mph zone. I guess that could be considered to be mockery of the police. I don’t mean it that way. Maybe I should go 50 1/2 mph in a 50mph so that they can pull me over and give me a ticket. Maybe that will make them happy and then they’ll give up such heart-attack level activities. I mean, these stakeouts must be expensive as the years go by.
The sheriff deputies follow me past the county line usually just another nine miles. I guess they get permission from the neighboring counties to go ahead and continue such hot pursuits. The State Police or Cherokee Indian Police (Federal Police) or the National Forest Police (Federal Police) can, of course, go anywhere and remain in their jurisdiction. Pretty much all of WNC is National Forest.
Sassy the Subaru Forester (el cheapo edition) could probably go 60mph flat out if pushed on the highway, going downhill, surely enough to leave all pursuit vehicles in the dust. :-)
JUST KIDDING! I APPRECIATE IT, GUYS!
Thank a police officer today. They risk their lives day-in, day-out, in an often thankless job. In wearing their uniform they are already targets for abuse. They do us all a great service.
This is the steep path up to the hermitage where I’ve been shot at (above and around me) on various occasions in recent years, about a dozen rounds each time, with zero reaction from me by the way (the only possible reaction when you’re in someone’s sights but you don’t know where they are. Anyway, for my own practice:
The tree is “cover” for the sake of FBI course requirements. The cut-in-half stick is set swinging, needing to be cut in half again from varying distances with the least amount of rounds. That’s still a challenge and not, of course, part of the FBI course. Just for fun.
The 7″ x 9″ paper target yardage is at 3, 5, 7, 15, 25. Law enforcement in the parish laughs at this, saying I should use regular size post-it notes. Well, that’s for the future. Since I finally got 100% on the FBI qualification course the target size is now downsized by 1/3. I’ll get to the post it notes when I can again do 100% for the FBI course with the midsize targets. The pattern is getting smaller, and so not possible to count out the 60 for the course, unless instead of using one target for all five stages, a separate target is used for each stage as pictured. It gives a better picture then, of how many misses may happen at whatever stage.
Speaking of the USCCA, I would like to thank a wonderful faithful reader for getting me the USCCA insurance, which I jacked up for hardly anything extra to twice the coverage. Thank you!
There are some other drills of the Seals and the USCCA that I enjoy. Some of those, like one in the FBI course, requires a mag change. For instance…
At seven yards in seven seconds from the holster with only three rounds in the gun, one chambered, and three in the reload mag at the ready, fire one round in a one inch box, two more in two inch circle. As the gun locks open, reload and fire three more into a box that’s, I’m guessing, about 3″x5″. For me, this is challenge, and therefore enjoyable. Of course, when you have a dirt forest floor this isn’t great for the mags or then, the gun. So, I’ve learned to put out a 2’x3′ piece of cardboard on which the mags fall harmlessly.
I’ve long given up on making any verbal commands like “Show me your hands,” or “Drop the gun,” or “Someone call 911.” It’s a good idea to do that, just not at a public shooting range. The thing is, you only say what you’ve practiced when you’re under pressure and the adrenaline is pumping. In doing this, you let everyone else know what your intentions are. There are plenty of good guys who won’t hesitate to shoot you if you’re waving a gun around in public if they think you are the one who is a danger to public safety. You can’t assume that anyone has seen what you have seen. You’ll also garner for yourself plenty of help. Of course, every occasion is different. Sometimes you have no time for any words or would make yourself a target for any obvious accomplices of the perp, such as a group storming a gas station with ski masks over their faces all pointing their guns at the cash register attendant. Scenario based exercises are best.
I had lunch with a friend at the deli at Ingles Supermarket in Brevard the other day. There was a cop there as well. I offered him thanks for his service which, of course, took him off guard. When I mentioned the other police getting killed around the country and that we really appreciate cops putting themselves at risk in an often thankless job he was really taken aback and visibly deeply moved. Say thanks to a cop today.
- “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”
- “Pigs in a blanket. Fry ’em like bacon.”
And here’s the Executive Summary. [Note that we owe it to our neighbor to take in the extreme care in which terminology is employed with plenty of nuances ruling out one misinterpretation after another.]
(U//FOUO) The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist[b] (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.
The FBI assess it is very likely this increase began following the 9 August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent Grand Jury November 2014 declination to indict the police officers involved. The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement. The FBI assesses it is very likely some BIEs are influenced by a mix of anti-authoritarian, Moorish sovereign citizen[c] ideology, and BIE ideology. The FBI has high confidence[d] in these assessments, based on a history of violent incidents attributed to individuals who acted on behalf of their ideological beliefs, documented in FBI investigations and other law enforcement and open source reporting.
The FBI makes this judgment with the key assumption the recent incidents are ideologically motivated.
[b] (U//FOUO) The FBI defines black identity extremists as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society and some do so in furtherance of establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States. This desire for physical or psychological separation is typically based on either a religious or political belief system, which is sometimes formed around or includes a belief in racial superiority or supremacy. The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally protected.
[c] (U//FOUO) The FBI defines sovereign citizen extremists as individuals who openly reject their US citizenship status, believe that most forms of [e]stablished government, authority, and institutions are illegitimate, and seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, to further their claim to be immune from government authority. The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally protected.
[d] (U) See Appendix B: Confidence in Assessments and Judgments Based on a Body of Information.
Deputy Nick Tullier improving, transferred to Galveston facility. Thanks, Mr Tullier, sir.
I saw this tv news story today about the game Assassin this time played on a defenseless woman being carjacked with a gun who wasn’t part of the game. The game is being played around the country at the moment in high schools, colleges and universities, also and especially off campus. It’s also called Gotcha, Assassins, Killing As Organized Sport, Juggernaut, Battle Royal, Paranoia, Killer, Guru Girl, Spy vs. Spy, Elimination, and Circle of Death. If you ask me, it seems to be a development of the role-playing “game” called Dungeons and Dragons, and came out just in those years that that dark game became popular among the same age groups.
Since it is also played in public, it quickly becomes not so much about any fake assassination, but about playing Russian Roulette as to whether you are going to be killed for threatening what for all intents, purposes and constructions is a murder/carjacking in progress as we see in the video linked at the top. Wikipedia has more about it here.
Just to say, if someone came up to my car smashing my driver side window and waving a gun at me screaming obscenities and threats, it would take me about a nanosecond to pump 16 bullets into him and any threatening accomplices, that is, whatever it would take to make the threat stop. I mean, how stupid and sad is that? It’s purposed suicide. Russian Roulette. I would really hate that. All of it. Terrible.
Just to say, I’ve already been subjected to one carjacking just down the road from my parish while taking a retired cop to the hospital for a surgery appointment. We came to a screeching stop right on the highway (lots of traffic in both directions) and, while the cop yelled at me to say the obvious, that this was a carjacking, I already had my gun drawn and racked when, as otherwise never ever happens, the police came screeching up at that very nanosecond, increasing in number to a total of nine cruisers. As you might imagine, this overwhelming force of the police distracted the perp. Game over. To warrant that kind of manhunt I have to think he was a pretty serious criminal. He’s one lucky perp. But, I mean, when does that ever happen? When are the police there at the very nanosecond you need them? Literally, just one second later could have been life changing for all involved. One. Second.
Anyway, this “game” has been going on in different forms since the early 1980s, but it’s catching steam apparently at this time, and the weapons are not only fake guns, but also bombs which waste the time of law enforcement, the FBI and BATFE. With all the real terrorism and violence on law enforcement that we have, this is all a really bad idea, and it can, in fact, be malicious. It’s a felony to purposely waste the resources of the Feds on idiocy like this. I’m all for people being given time in jail for this kind of stupidity, even pursuing felony charges if the circumstances warrant it, such as with a “fake” car-jacking or a “fake” bomb threat at a public institution. A felony would mean these people would not be allowed to possess a real weapon. Good.
Also, just to say, there are apparently “safe spaces” in this game where assassinations are not allowed. Have we ever heard of “safe spaces” for tender snowflakes before? The tender snowflakes are getting to be accomplished assassins. This kind of game quickly becomes practice for the real thing. It took only days for the tender snowflakes to go from giving a can of Pepsi to someone to throwing full cans of Pepsi at first responders. Right? This is no longer the dreamy 1980s. This is the age of total idiots. I really feel for the woman who was attacked in the video above.
This mentality has come about because people have no identity. For those with no identity, death is as good as life, death is better than life. An Opus Dei bishop was once asked what is to be done with youngsters like this, for those who don’t know where their parish church is, for those who are unchurched. His response was immediate: Celebrate Mass better. Yes, the sacredness, the mysterious otherness of God, the radical profundity of the creature worshiping his Creator, with serious, charitable, joyful people being the ones one meets at Mass. Yes, that will be a draw. Young people who are adrift, anyone adrift for that matter, without an identity, is so very thirsty to find their identity in Christ, to be found by Him. And here’s the deal: Jesus is already working on them. All we have to do is offer a little invitation here and there. What say you?
This is not a political statement, just a junked post-election political sign that is apparently being used as a target at an undisclosed location in Western North Carolina.
Anyway, ignoring that, I continued on my way to a parishioner’s house. He had set up a typical law enforcement qualification renewal course, which is wonderfully humiliating, showing me how much I don’t know. That’s the only way to learn. I love it. So, with three tiny targets vertically placed on a wooden stake, with preferably timed stations drawing on a suddenly provided scenario with the necessity of barking commands depending on the situation, providing one’s own perception to onlookers, e.g.: “Drop the gun!” “Drop the knife!” “Show me your hands!” but never “Drop to the ground!” as the first command (obviously) and never using untoward language which will come back to bite you. Such exercises may seem silly to some, surreal even, but here’s the deal, in a real scenario, you have only muscle memory the mechanics and your mouth is only going to say what you’ve previously practiced. Period.
- At 10 feet — 2 hits 2 hits 2 hits with a gun scenario
- At 20 feet — 1 hit 1 hit 1 hit with a knife scenario
- At 25 feet — 1 hit 1 hit 1 hit with a hands/knife scenario
- At 35 feet — 2 hits 2 hits 2 hits 2 hits with a gun scenario with available cover going low and high and low and high on either side with mag change and purposed jams placed arbitrarily in the replacement mag.
We did this cycle three times, he once, me twice, with me getting 100% better the second time through (lots of room for improvement). Now I know what to work on, which is great. The hit/miss ratio is very high on the hit side, so that, in preparing for this, one had better get 100% a hundred percent of the time if one hopes to re-qualify when under pressure. The reason for this level of perfection is that, in an actual scenario, the hit/miss ratio can again be very high, but this time in favor of the miss side.
Homework is holster work and mirror work (no bullets in the gun!). I’ve heard this many times before including at the North Carolina CCW course (CCH in North Carolina). Again, people can think this is silly and surreal. But, here’s the deal, you either do it right or you don’t do it at all. As I say, I would like to prepare for the FBI training course for those who assist LEOs such as chaplains, the only way to assist as a chaplain in some parts of the Diocese.
Analogy with the spiritual life: our guardian angels surely inspire us to turn positively to the Lord, yes, but it seems to me that they also want to be trained up in difficult situations of distraction in whatever way that that comes about. We can either get nervous and frustrated and upset and then sigh and sigh and sigh again, or we can be enthusiastic and thank our guardian angels for the super cool training that they put us through all the time with the scenario and that.
Saint Teresa of Avila says that she would be scared to death not to have such scenarios as she can’t imagine how we could possibly grow without being trained in this way. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that someone without this opportunity of being trained up is either an angel or a beast. Yikes!
The important this is not to think we’re so important that we waste time getting depressed over our failures while we are being trained, but instead always turn to the Lord who is the only One who is important. Our angels see God in the face, and they want more than anything that we walk with God.
The difference in the training is that one is planned and the other, with the angels, cannot be planned, as they want to take us where we cannot begin to imagine where we will be when we arrive, as the love of God is infinitely beyond our poor imaginations. Our training consists in learning to assent to this love with the lead of the angels.
Officer Daniel Segura of Fort Worth insists that because Fort Worth doesn’t depend on Federal handouts, the police never have (and apparently never will in his view) enforce Federal law on undocumented immigrants so as to have them deported.”Great!” say the undocumented Latinos.
But while his intention may have been to calm people down, all he did was draw attention to Fort Worth in the national media to the point that he was publicly reprimanded by his higher ups who said that the local police do indeed enforce federal law. Officer Segura’s point was to say what I said the other week, but in reverse. Segura invited people to go ahead and call the police for help if they are a victim of a crime or want to report a crime, and this without fear of being deported themselves. I said the opposite, that it was told to me that Law Enforcement will stop any violence, but will then deport the victim if undocumented. Officer Segura is very sadly mistaken. I terribly regret that he is mistaken. It should be known that he has misled people into thinking that they are not sitting ducks for crime. They are.
I must say I was also reprimanded by a non-Latino parishioner who, however, had not read the executive order. It’s important to know what is in the Order.
By the way, Officer Segura actually was agreeing with me in what I said about the Executive Order. The only difference is that he was simply saying that in Fort Worth it will not be implemented. He implied that Fort Worth was a sanctuary city, and he had to retract this. Fort Worth is NOT a sanctuary city. Officer Segura and I agree entirely on the plain reading of the clear content of the Executive Order. It’s not the interpretation that is controversial. Everyone has the same reading IF they have read the Executive Order.
The question now is whether there will be mutiny among the ranks regarding execution of the order.
P.S. Let’s make the distinction, please, on the Executive Order on Immigration (signed on a Wednesday) and the Executive Order on Refugees from Islamic Countries (signed on the following Friday).
All the law enforcement and firemen I know – whether Catholic or Baptist or whatever – invoke Saint Michael the Archangel. Hey! He’s all over the Sacred Scriptures! It’s a really bad idea to do some misdeed against law enforcement when they have Saint Michael looking after them. He doesn’t take it kindly when his own are dissed. I sure wouldn’t want Saint Michael angry with me.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
- Line of duty deaths: 129
- Gunfire deaths: 39
- Traffic related death: 49
- We’ve had a number of deaths — still — from cancer from toxins inhaled at the World Trade Center on 9-11.
We all thank you for your service this year. And for those who have died: May your souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.