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Thread: Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

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    Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

    While watching footage of the search for Suspect 2 in Boston, I saw instance after instance of LEOs searching private property, presumably without a warrant. I realize that they were looking for a cowardly killer, but I still could not help feeling bothered by the fact that people were allowing representatives of the state to intrude on their rights. Am I wrong about this? Did exigent circumstances exist that nullified the 4th amendment rights of the citizens?

    I accept that an exigent circumstance rule exist, but as I understand there must be an imminent danger and there must still be "probable cause" before entering the property. I also realize that such situations are fluid and that no one definition exist. Per Wikipedia

    An emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence. There is no ready*litmus test*for determining whether such circumstances exist, and in each case the extraordinary situation must be measured by the facts known by officials.[1]
    Here is my delemma. Can an entire area, consisting of numerous privately owned properties, be concidered to be under exigent circumstances? Also, is there a time frame to "imminent"? Can "probable cause be stretched over such a large area, that it in effect becomes martial law? I don't know that I could view a door to door search lasting for hours to be imminent. I don't know that I could allow a LEO to search my property, simply because they are searching everyone's property. I realize they are looking for a murderer, and I would want to help them with their task, but I am not sure that should include surrendering my inalienable rights for such vagueries.

    Would anyone else feel this way?
    Last edited by SavageOne; 04-21-2013 at 06:13 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Please remember that those groups of ninjas armed with fully automatic real assault rifles did politely knock on the door and ask for permission to come in and rummage around in the sock drawer and peek into the closet where, hopefully, anybody hiding was merely gay and not Suspect #2.

    Some may say that when faced with a bunch of ninjas with assault rifles it is difficult to stand in the door and tell them "Come back with a warrant, copper!" Some may even say that the presence of even one ninja with an assault rifle constitutes coersion. But until any complaint winds up in court, all those searches were "voluntary".

    Were the circumstances exigent? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exigent...ted_States_law
    In the criminal procedure context, exigent circumstance means:

    An emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence. There is no ready litmus test for determining whether such circumstances exist, and in each case the extraordinary situation must be measured by the facts known by officials.[]

    Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.[2]

    Exigent circumstances may make a warrantless search constitutional if probable cause exists. The existence of exigent circumstances is a mixed question of law and fact.[3] There is no absolute test for determining if exigent circumstances exist, but general factors have been identified.
    In this case it pretty much depends on where you were standing, and how far back from the manhunt you were. If nothing else the cops could fall back on the notion that anybody that would kill a cop certainly would not hesitate to kill an unarmed person thus indicating the hightened level of danger and the increased amount of urgency in finding/capturing that individual. You know, those textbook/dictionary/case law definitions of exigent circumstances.*

    stay safe.

    * - Just because cops have gotten away with that "if they'd kill a cop ..." argument before does not mean every cop-killer case presents exigent circumstances. It just means the courts are more likely to agree with the defense's claim that the circumstances were/ought to have been considered exigent.
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    Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy says the constitutionality hinges on reasonableness. The searches were of a limited area - 20 blocks - and for a very highly dangerous character. Citing;
    City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000) (noting in dicta that “the Fourth Amendment would almost certainly permit an appropriately tailored roadblock set up to thwart an imminent terrorist attack or to catch a dangerous criminal who is likely to flee by way of a particular route.”); United States v. Paetsch, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2012 WL 5213011 (D.Colo. 2012) (dragnet roadblock at intersection to catch bank robber held reasonable under the Fourth Amendment).

    Note that caselaw on these sorts of facts are particularly unlikely for reasons beyond the fortunate rarity of their occurrence. The suspect won’t have Fourth Amendment standing to bring a suit or a motion to suppress to challenge a search of someone else’s house in which he was hiding. See Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128 (1978). As a result, only the legitimate residents could bring such actions in a civil case. And if they did bring such suits, qualified immunity would bar recovery unless the violation was clearly established — which is unlikely here given the novelty of the facts.
    I ask, how many, "Boston strong," answered their door-to-door knock with a gun in hand?
    Last edited by Nightmare; 04-21-2013 at 06:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Please remember that those groups of ninjas armed with fully automatic real assault rifles did politely knock on the door and ask for permission to come in and rummage around in the sock drawer and peek into the closet where, hopefully, anybody hiding was merely gay and not Suspect #2.

    Some may say that when faced with a bunch of ninjas with assault rifles it is difficult to stand in the door and tell them "Come back with a warrant, copper!" Some may even say that the presence of even one ninja with an assault rifle constitutes coersion. But until any complaint winds up in court, all those searches were "voluntary".

    Were the circumstances exigent? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exigent...ted_States_law


    In this case it pretty much depends on where you were standing, and how far back from the manhunt you were. If nothing else the cops could fall back on the notion that anybody that would kill a cop certainly would not hesitate to kill an unarmed person thus indicating the hightened level of danger and the increased amount of urgency in finding/capturing that individual. You know, those textbook/dictionary/case law definitions of exigent circumstances.*

    stay safe.

    * - Just because cops have gotten away with that "if they'd kill a cop ..." argument before does not mean every cop-killer case presents exigent circumstances. It just means the courts are more likely to agree with the defense's claim that the circumstances were/ought to have been considered exigent.
    Would the fact that after they cowardly killed the officer, they let the person whose SUV they carjacked go unharmed midigate this claim?
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    hmmm...my "Whimper Heard 'round the World" thread expresses a similar sentiment to the OP here. It just really galls me that this was Boston and Patriot's Day. How far they have fallen in 238 years!

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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post

    ~SNIPPED~

    Please remember that those groups of ninjas armed with fully automatic real assault rifles did politely knock on the door and ask for permission to come in and rummage around in the sock drawer and peek into the closet where, hopefully, anybody hiding was merely gay and not Suspect #2.~SNIPPED
    "Polite" and "asked" must have different meanings outside the sheltered world I live in.

    When someone beats on my door with enough force I become concerned about damage to my property, it isn't knocking. And once I open that door and am greeted by a number of rifle muzzles all pointing at me, my following cooperation has more to do with the muzzle presence and implied intent than the voice inflections of my "visitors".



    At what point was Harry Homeowner able to say "I think that's enough of you in here at one time, thank you?" "Oh, and don't shoot my dog, or my son that has Aspergers"?
    Last edited by Fuller Malarkey; 04-21-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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    Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

    You are "seized" if a reasonable person would believe he is seized. A bunch of militarized police at my door would make me reasonably believe that I had been seized. Still, I would not consent to that seizure, nor to any searches. I guess if I find myself in a situation like the people of Boston did, I will now have to carry my voice recorder around the house.

    Well, maybe not. I have already decided that if they try to Boston my town, I will be on the streets with my recorder running, making it absolutely clear that I will not stand for everyone's rights being trampled while thousands of officers look for a single suspect. That's Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany type crap.

    The people of Boston (little p) should hang their heads in shame for tolerating the military-style invasion of their city. How far they have fallen in 238 years!


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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    At the risk of becoming a wet blanket covering the police fan-boy's parade, how much of this search could have been conducted with scent dogs, and they could have done away with the facade of door to door searches?

    The "need" to force-flush people from their homes where they were safe, out into the street where the brave boys in black, blue and khaki were hiding under manhole covers and using Yugo's as force shields was nonsense. They were "looking / searching" for a 19 year old male with dark complexion. They forced a blonde ponytailed woman from the safety of her home into the street and performed a pat down. Did they think Suspect #2 was hiding in her form fitting pants?

    If the scent dog led them to a property, get the required due process warrants and get on with it. This reeks of a show of force, not too far removed from countries that specialize in just that.


    The omission of obvious things makes my meters peg. If you search the Google News aggregator for "scent dogs boston", you get almost no hits. I know it's unreasonable, but I think I trust a bloodhound over a whole bunch of cops that can't tell a dark complected male from a blonde ponytailed woman, or "has reason to believe" she might be hiding

    I can predict the cries of the cop fan-boys now...."Well it could have been a disguise..."
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
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    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

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    Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

    You need a scent article that you can verify came from the suspect or the target of tracking. Bloodhounds operate this way. Other K9s usually track on ground disturbance, and with all the police and vehicle exhaust in the area, it would have been mostly pointless.

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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider116 View Post
    You need a scent article that you can verify came from the suspect or the target of tracking. Bloodhounds operate this way. Other K9s usually track on ground disturbance, and with all the police and vehicle exhaust in the area, it would have been mostly pointless.
    You're not likely to make detective. I hope apologist is a satisfactory career choice. Suspect #2 had a locker @ Cambridge Rindge and Latin School containing nice smelly stuff. The finest investigators money can buy had his apartment on Norfolk Street in Cambridge before 0700. There was a "point of last observance" at / near the carjacked SUV located about 5 blocks from the shoot out that claimed the life of suspect #1. I seriously doubt suspect #2 abandoned the SUV and rode public transit undetected to the area 3/8 of a mile away where he was found in the boat. I contend he probably hoofed it. Dogs have found more on less.

    The community was on lockdown. Traffic was pretty much limited to the parade of carnival wagons and one-cop-for-every-1.4-square-foot-of-Watertown. Opting for a more effective method than the arbitrary suspension of the fourth amendment would have protected some of the scent trail. The unknown fleet number of donut trucks that served in the Rear Echelon could have been replaced by a bag of Beggin' Strips, further protecting the scene.



    I realize this wouldn't play as well on the Television. SWAT + TV cameras....SWAT would have probably shot the dogs and their handlers if it had cut in to their air time.
    Last edited by Fuller Malarkey; 04-21-2013 at 07:20 PM.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
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    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

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    Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

    I did not make a defense of their actions. What I did say, if you will read it again, and this time with comprehension, is what is needed for a track and the methods for tracking.

    If that is being an apologist, I will yield the polemic platform. But, in my generosity to educate others, here is an example of being an apologist:

    "Since the law enforcement officers needed to capture this dangerous terrorist who was an ongoing threat to society, exigency existed, therefore the fourth amendment was not upheld."

    I don't know what they had at their disposal for a scent article or the dogs available. I didn't speculate on it, did I? Obviously you know what they had at their disposal, so why didn't you call up there and make the recommendation? They needed legal and procedural guidance, which you could have provided!

    So take your baseless insults and dispose with them accordingly. You can play detective and figure that out.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if any arrests were made, not related to the bombing, because of these searches? As I understand the searches were voluntary, unless there was a direct link to the bombers. And I believe most people were willing, this is Boston after all a liberal town. I even believe the residents were happily cooperating with the lock down of their rights.
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    terrorist? what terrorist? gov't calls anyone a terrorist today and people just lap it up ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Does anyone know if any arrests were made, not related to the bombing, because of these searches? As I understand the searches were voluntary, unless there was a direct link to the bombers. And I believe most people were willing, this is Boston after all a liberal town. I even believe the residents were happily cooperating with the lock down of their rights.
    There are a number of anecdotal references to people being lead away in handcuffs, I can't find anything that correlates the search to unrelated arrests.

    Honestly, I've spent more time trying to find out how many family dogs were killed.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

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    Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    terrorist? what terrorist? gov't calls anyone a terrorist today and people just lap it up ...
    It's criminally chic. Cattle rustler went out of style, sorry David!

    :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    There are a number of anecdotal references to people being lead away in handcuffs, I can't find anything that correlates the search to unrelated arrests.

    Honestly, I've spent more time trying to find out how many family dogs were killed.
    I also wonder how many firearms were seized...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    "Polite" and "asked" must have different meanings outside the sheltered world I live in.

    When someone beats on my door with enough force I become concerned about damage to my property, it isn't knocking. And once I open that door and am greeted by a number of rifle muzzles all pointing at me, my following cooperation has more to do with the muzzle presence and implied intent than the voice inflections of my "visitors".



    At what point was Harry Homeowner able to say "I think that's enough of you in here at one time, thank you?" "Oh, and don't shoot my dog, or my son that has Aspergers"?
    I just watched the video, it certainly goes against the claims they made in the media that the searches were voluntary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I just watched the video, it certainly goes against the claims they made in the media that the searches were voluntary.
    Any search that does not start with flashbangs and the door being kicked in is voluntary. Did you not get the memo? It was sent out quite some time ago. [/sarcasm]

    It seems we are all in agreement that when facing a numberr of armed, masked persons who are displaying an aggitated demeanor and talking unintelligibly, it is hard not to consider anything less than coersion.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I just watched the video, it certainly goes against the claims they made in the media that the searches were voluntary.
    Just because Harry Homeowner is seized at gunpoint and manhandled by aggitated armed men does not absolutely mean he did not/could not consent voluntarily to a search. It just means that the odds of his consent being voluntary are somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four times the odds of winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I just watched the video, it certainly goes against the claims they made in the media that the searches were voluntary.
    I was talking about these searches to my wife the other day... the fact that I was very uncomfortable with them. The issue of warrants came up what might happen if a homeowner demanded to see one before allowing the ninja dressed shock troops into his home. Watch this video disgusted me and a phrase came to mind. "This way to the trenches"... think Einsatzgruppen operating in Eastern Europe and the western USSR during WWII.

    I also couldn't help but think that should some edict come down from Washington to begin firearms confiscation, it could look something like this, on a nationwide scale, there just aren't enough ninja wannabes to carry something like that out in short order.

    Scary stuff.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 04-21-2013 at 10:11 PM.
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    Boston....was there exigent circumstance?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    I was talking about these searches to my wife the other day... the fact that I was very uncomfortable with them. The issue of warrants came up what might happen if a homeowner demanded to see one before allowing the ninja dressed shock troops into his home. Watch this video disgusted me and a phrase came to mind. "This way to the trenches"... think Einsatzgruppen operating in Eastern Europe and the western USSR during WWII.

    I also couldn't help but think that should some edict come down from Washington to begin firearms confiscation, it could look something like this, on a nationwide scale, there just aren't enough ninja wannabes to carry something like that out in short order.

    Scary stuff.
    Not enough ninjas even if everyone stayed. Many will leave. I shall leave.

    Not enough body bags.

    I suspect foreign troops will be used.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    I was talking about these searches to my wife the other day... the fact that I was very uncomfortable with them. The issue of warrants came up what might happen if a homeowner demanded to see one before allowing the ninja dressed shock troops into his home. Watch this video disgusted me and a phrase came to mind. "This way to the trenches"... think Einsatzgruppen operating in Eastern Europe and the western USSR during WWII.

    I also couldn't help but think that should some edict come down from Washington to begin firearms confiscation, it could look something like this, on a nationwide scale, there just aren't enough ninja wannabes to carry something like that out in short order.

    Scary stuff.
    I have no doubt that a large number of firearms were probably confiscated.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Patriot View Post
    The two muslim terrorists who planted two bombs that killed 3 people and injured 170 others and blew the legs off of about 10 people.

    Those terrorists.
    Crapola! I agree with you!! *carves notch into keyboard*
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    I can just imagine myself answering the door with my weapon openly carried on my hip in a holster, trying to assure these gentlemen that no armed bad guy was holding my family at gun point. - After watching that video does anyone doubt that I would have forcebly been disarmed (for the safety of the 30 some officers barging into my home), shoved to the ground, demands shouted at me to tell them if there were other firearms in the house and treated like the bad guy although with my lily white skin and grey hair I didn't match the description one it.

    I don't know anyone with a firearm, whom upon hearing there was an armed terrorist running loose in the neighborhood, wouldn't strap on and prepare to defend their home. Who would have thought it would be from the police?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrearick View Post
    I can just imagine myself answering the door with my weapon openly carried on my hip in a holster, trying to assure these gentlemen that no armed bad guy was holding my family at gun point. - After watching that video does anyone doubt that I would have forcebly been disarmed (for the safety of the 30 some officers barging into my home), shoved to the ground, demands shouted at me to tell them if there were other firearms in the house and treated like the bad guy although with my lily white skin and grey hair I didn't match the description one it.

    I don't know anyone with a firearm, whom upon hearing there was an armed terrorist running loose in the neighborhood, wouldn't strap on and prepare to defend their home. Who would have thought it would be from the police?!
    That happen to you? Wait, you're imagining what could happen, as opposed to what happened. I follow you though.

    Of course firearm owners would be strapped. It appears, by what I've seen, and by considering the totality of information consumed, these two men were trained, and ready for a fight. I would be happy to look out my window and see officers on the streets looking for these guys, going door-to-door making sure there were no hostage situations...but that's just me.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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