Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Double Dose of Failure

Let’s cover two short issues today. First, we have economic data which confirms the middle class is getting crushed under Obama. Secondly, the NRA and Indiana seem determined to set back the cause of gun rights.

Issue One: The surest way to determine what chance a president has at being re-elected is to ask the question Reagan made famous: “are you better off today than you were four years ago?” Obama desperately needs to hope no one asks that. Why? How about these numbers:

Unemployment: At 8.2%, unemployment is at one of its highest points in decades. In May, 12.7 million Americans were officially unemployed, with another 24 million unofficially unemployed or underemployed. Five million people have been officially unemployed for more than two years now.

Falling Incomes: Since 2007, the median income for all American families has fallen 7.7%.

Inflation: Inflation is eating away at spending power. A dollar today is only worth 32 cents of what it was worth in 1979. That means inflation has eaten 68% of the value of the dollar in 33 years. When you factor in wage increases, the middle class already took a 28% pay cut between 1979 and when Obama took office (the poor took a 50% pay cut). Official inflation under Obama has been minor, but that’s a fake number. Gas prices are up 83% and meat is up 24%, and real inflation is estimated at around 12%. Factor in the falling wages of 7.7% with the pay-cut of inflation at 12%, and you have a huge pay cut being taken year after year.

Falling Net Worth: Since 2007, the median net worth of American families has fallen by 38.8% from $126,400 to $77,300. This is largely (but not entirely) the result of falling housing prices. In the West, this decline was 55%.
This tells us that the American public is taking a beating. Their savings have been cut by a third, their incomes are falling (those that are even employed), and inflation is eating away at all of it. So much for being better off today than anyone was four years ago. The exception, of course, is Club Fed which increased its spending 714% since 1979 and 33% since Obama took office.

Issue Two: Indiana has passed a law at the behest of the National Rifle Association which allows residents to use deadly force against government employees, including law enforcement officers, who “unlawfully” enter their homes. Mitch Daniels signed this in March.

This is a HORRIBLE idea!

First of all, let me ask why we need this? Is there a problem with cops attacking people in their homes in Indiana? If not, then there’s no reason for this. Secondly, has anyone asked what this will cause? How do you decide if the police are there unlawfully? Doesn’t this give people a false belief that they have a right to shoot at the cops no matter why the police are there? This is a stupid bill which will get police (and civilians) killed. And there is no need for this bill because it doesn’t stop any real problem.

This is a classic example of the stupidity of activists. Some jerkoff at the NRA decided this would be a good idea for whatever reason and the other jerkoffs talked themselves into it without every stopping to ask someone with common sense if this was a good idea. By pushing this, the NRA has put the “responsible” gun lobby on the side of fringe politics and irresponsible laws. This is, in fact, the very type of law which turns people off the cause being promoted. This is Planned Parenthood defending partial-birth abortion or gay marriage activists suing churches to force them to perform gay marriages. This is stupid. This is the kind of bill guaranteed to bring a backlash. And this is yet another reason I won’t support the NRA despite firmly believing in the Second Amendment.



Tennessee Jed said...

great job of putting th numbers together. It GRAPHICALLY illustrates just how bad the economics truly are. I am with you wholeheartedly on the gun issue in Indiana. What could they be thinking?

StanH said...

If we held the election today, Romney would win in a landslide. But, beware the democrats are beginning their canard about being centrist, with James Carville and his Democracy Corps, pronounced “core” …in case Barry’s looking in. Remember in ’92 “It’s the economy stupid,” as Carville famously coined, and as soon as they get in, by a plurality, they were just as harebrained with policy as Barry was, Hillarycare, etc. Then in ’94 the American people issued a restraining order, and Bill became a centrist. In 2010 the American people issued the same restraining order “squared,” but to no avail. The hard left sees centrist as bad, and Barry being a hardcore leftist ideologue, there will be zero tack to the center, in reality. This is where Romney comes in, he must have the killer instinct, metaphorically of course, and not allow the democrats the middle ground, with Democracy Corps, it’s a false flag, and must be repelled. That being said, so far so good, Romney has proven his agility, and willingness to counter punch, we’ll see.

The Indiana bill is puzzling, what was the nexus, other than looney’s being looney?

TJ said...

I heard on the news this morning that TOTUS is now blaming Europe for our slow recovery. Is there anyone this jerk won't blame but himself and his horrendous policies? Nevermind - I already know the answer to that.

Indiana is truly puzzling. I don't know what to make of that.

Anthony said...

Its not clear (to me) yet if Romney will follow in the footsteps of Reagan, but Obama is certainly following in the footsteps of Carter.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Thanks! I think these numbers show why people are hurting. When you're taking a pay cut each year, even as your income is supposedly rising, that hurts.

Yeah, I have no idea what they're thinking with the gun issue? This is going to blow up on them the first time a cop gets shot and someone claims self defense.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, That's the standard Democratic playbook -- claim to be centrists, call the Republicans "dangerous right-wing extremists" and then govern like loony leftists. It won't work this time because they have an impossible record to defend.

And Romney had been out there blasting away day after day. I've really been impressed. This is not "Mr. Nice-guy" Romney of 2008, he really seems to have a taste for blood and he's been incredibly good at getting it. Both Obama and the MSM are flummoxed.

I don't understand the Indiana bill. It totally sounds like something the loony fringe would want and I don't know why the Indiana Republicans went for this. It won't end well.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, Obama will blame anyone and everything not named Obama. He's utterly shameless about avoiding responsibility for everything.

I don't know what they were thinking either with the gun bill. I can't see the problem this was designed to stop, but I can see the problems this is going to cause. It's frustrating because this is the kind of bill which turns people off pro-gun laws.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Agreed. I see a lot to suggest that Romney will follow in Reagan's footsteps, but we won't know until we get there. His longer-term history says no, but his newer history says very much yes. So I guess we'll see.

But either way, Obama is absolutely morphing into Carter. He's quickly becoming a national joke.... a bad one.

T-Rav said...

Two short issues, two short comments.

First, I think it's worth pointing out that inflation in real terms is actually probably even higher than the numbers you cite; if you've been paying attention at the grocery store (and I assume most have), you've probably noticed that product size is decreasing, as suppliers have been trying to hide some of the hike by reducing the amount of food or whatever else. So if we were paying $2.00 for an 18-oz. box of something a couple years ago, now we're paying $3.00 for a 16-oz. box.

Second, can you provide a link to the Indiana gun story? Because that sounds so bizarre, I feel the need to take a look at it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's true. Not only have prices been going up, but sizes have been going down. So inflation is much greater than the numbers indicate. And keep in mind, official inflation excludes the very things which are shooting upwards -- food and fuel. Why? I have no idea unless "official Washington" wants to hide the truth.

I will look for the link. Be right back...

AndrewPrice said...

Ask and yea shall receive: LINK.

The bill's sponsor even says he's not aware of any situation where the use of this law would have been valid to shoot at cops. So why do it?

DUQ said...

Andrew, It's no wonder the American public is upset and has been upset for years. How do we turn this around?

rlaWTX said...

The NRA has been on "offensive defense" for so long that they seem to react for the sake of reacting. Sure, there are conceivable problems to the SCOTUS decision, but one would think that there would be better language for a legal response. But, if the people griping about it weren't griping so loudly, most people wouldn't have even known such a law was passed.

I'm not on the "that's so dumb" side; I can see the feeling behind the law. But I can also see the unintended consequences.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's the trillion dollar question. I would suggest the first thing they need to do is completely redo the regulatory structure of the US. They need to drop the stupid regulations and beef up the important ones.

Here's a good example. I read the other day about a car mirror a scientist invented which works amazingly well -- really wide field of vision and no distortion. BUT they can't put it on cars in the US because the surface of the mirror isn't flat and federal law requires all mirrors to be flat.

Why has the federal government made such a rule? What could possibly be the point? This is the kind of pointless regulation which needs to be yanked back out of the book so the government stops interfering with innovation.

I would also suggest a flat tax, ending market-distorting deductions, cutting off Big Business socialism, providing incentives for people on benefits to get back to work, exempting old people and teens from social security and the minimum wage, etc.

DUQ said...

I looked at the link and it sounds crazy to me. They say they are trying to overturn a Supreme Court law which said that you couldn't resist the police, and the example they gave is, "what if you came home and found the cops raping your wife? Under the Supreme Court's decision, you couldn't do anything except sue later." When is that going to happen?

Anthony said...

Thanks for the link Andrew, the article is both disturbing and hilarious.

I had thought there might have been some single insane incident which prompted the law, but it appears to have been prompted by a guy who tried to throw a cop responding to a domestic violence call a beating.

He said “public servant” was added to clarify the law after a state Supreme Court ruling last year that “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” The case was based on a man charged with assaulting an officer during a domestic-violence call.

Young cited a hypothetical situation of a homeowner returning to see an officer raping his daughter or wife. Under the court’s ruling, the homeowner could not touch the officer and only file a lawsuit later, he said. Young said he devised the idea for the law after the court ruling.


It supports my longstanding view that to give a political party a majority is to give it the rope it will use to hang itself with.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I honestly can't see how this is a good thing. First, there is no problem to be solved here. So where is the benefit in passing this?

Secondly, every time someone shoots a cop they are going to start trying to hide behind this law. And the public is going to freak out the first time it works and they hear that Indiana law lets you shoot cops if you think you have a reasonable belief that the cop was going to unlawfully enter your property.

The public will (rightly) see this as a cop killer bill, just as the police are claiming it is. Is that an unfair characterization? I doubt it, but even if it is, that won't matter because you know that is how it will be presented by all sides except the NRA and the Republicans who voted for it... who will very quickly bail out at that point and say they were misled.

This thing has disaster written all over it and to no valid purpose.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That reeks to me of a red herring. First, this is apparently dicta (an aside) in the decision, meaning it doesn't really have the force of law and no actual conclusion can be drawn from the Court's words.

Secondly, it's a "what if" scenario rather than something which has really happened. That's the worst way to make law.

Third, the solution is far too broad. If this is a genuine concern, then the law should say, "you can use self defense against a cop who is sexually assaulting someone," rather than providing a broad based right to kill cops.

Fourth, the standard of "reasonable belief" is far too low for this and will lead to it becoming a standard defense in cop killing cases, especially in poor neighborhoods where they will claim that the police regularly harass them. They need something like with more certainty that the cop is indeed a threat to your safety.

Fifth, I have serious doubts about the validity of the claim itself that such a person could be charged for attacking the raping cop. Even assuming their analysis of the law is correct, then you would also need to assume that a prosecutor would decide to prosecute you for attacking the rapist (unlikely), that the judge wouldn't dismiss the case (equally unlikely) and that a jury would convict (impossible). Without those things, this claim is false. Also, I do know a good deal about sovereign immunity as I've done work in that area and I can tell you that a cop who decides to rape someone will not be considered acting within the scope of his duties and thus will not be considered a public servant at that point.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: The NRA has gone off the rails a few times in the past couple of decades, but this is truly mystifying. I'm also a little surprised that the governor signed the bill, at least without some comment explaining his assent.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, That's the passage DUQ was referencing, see my response to him about why I think that's an invalid justification.

I think you're right that political parties get very good at hanging themselves and this is a classic example. This strikes me as some truly fringe idea, like partial birth abortion, and passing this is putting into place a ticking time bomb which will blow up on them and turn the voters against them.

That's why political parties need to learn to run every idea by someone who hasn't been locked in the team echo chamber and hasn't lost their perspective on the real world.

I saw this a lot with the YAFers (Young Americans for Freedom) in law school. They would start to hang out with each other and only each other. Then they whip each other into a fervor on some idea until it got to the point that what they were advocating was truly nuts... but they thought everyone would agree with them because they had all come to see it as a good thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, They have indeed, and that's why I have a hard time supporting them -- not to mention they will support people who are bad for American (i.e. Democrats) just because those specific Democrats promise to do their bidding.

I'm surprised Daniels signed this too quite frankly, unless he thinks this will get him credibility with the right for some national position? I'm not sure.

T-Rav said...

Okay, here's what I don't get. This bill was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling about a case where a guy assaulted an officer when he entered on a domestic-violence call. But unless I'm missing something, such an entry shouldn't qualify as "unlawful," should it? And if not, who's the numbskull justice that put that qualifier in the ruling?

T-Rav said...

Also, I've kinda soured on Daniels, at least a little. He folded on the battle with public-employee unions after the initial firestorm in Wisconsin, and only took it back up just now, after Walker's victory. Props to him for taking heart, I guess, but he should have stuck to his guns. I thought Daniels' big thing was his ability to be a calm, common-sense conservative.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That wouldn't have qualified as an illegal entry. It would have qualified as a lawful entry. And if the guy decided to attack the cops, then he's lucky he's not dead... justifiably.

This sounds like to me like a crazy idea they came up with in a brainstorming session trying to find a way to "expand home owner and gun rights" and nothing more. Even the example they give of a cop raping someone just doesn't wash.

AndrewPrice said...

I soured on Daniels a long time ago once I started reading these loving profiles by leftist MSM hacks. That got me suspicious and then the more I watched the less I liked. He strikes me as needlessly moderate on economic issues and then often only acts when he has no choice. The union thing was the perfect example. And this reeks of pandering.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate him and he's better than most, but he's not someone I feel represents conservatism well.

Jen said...

Something just isn't right (NRA). I can remember what I thought, and what a few others said about not being able to stop law enforcement from entering your home for whatever reason (at least this is how I understood it at the time--"Indiana Supreme Court rules Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful entry of their homes by police"), and now this?

I have been saying for a while now "Ditch Mitch", and am glad he wasn't on the ballot when I voted in the primary.

Kelly said...

It's even more disheartening being a youth. The job market for young people is miserable.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, That's interesting. Since I don't live in Indiana, I only see little moments. What are your issues with Mitch?

Also, has there been a lot of talk about this law in Indiana?

rlaWTX said...

PJMedia's Jack Dunphy agrees with Andrew. Nearly all of the comments - some with well-reasoned arguments - do not. Just for conversation...

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, It's close to something like 27% for teens and over 50% for black teens. This is not a market where you can find a start to a career either.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks for the link: LINK. I'll check it out in a moment.

I understand the impulse, the idea that you should be able to protect yourself from an unlawful, violent invasion of some sort, no matter who is behind it. But the problem is (1) that isn't what's happening in Indiana, (2) this law is WAY too broad to be limited to just that type of circumstance, and (3) this thing is ripe to end up being a law which will make criminals and fringe types think they can start shooting at cops.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Read the comments at PJ media. They're full of nuts. These are the "the pigs are part of the police state meant to keep us down" types and the "no law is legitimate" types. They're the Ron Paul version of Black Militants.

Here's an example (one of many):

Save it, Jack. It’s long past time Americans sent a message to the burgeoning police state that we will defend our right to feel secure in our homes. Back off with the unnecessary SWAT “no-knock” raids; stop shooting family dogs out of hand. There is an increasing distance and distrust between law abiding citizens and the police.

ellenB said...

On the NRA thing, I understand the idea that you shouldn't have to stand there if the cops are threatening you with violence and you haven't done anything. But I agree this is a horrible way to handle it.

T-Rav said...

Oh Lord, those comments. Further proof that if you go too far to the extreme on either side of the spectrum (in this case, the Right), you'll find the other end coming around to meet you (in this case, the Left).

Libertarian Advocate said...

I'm a big BoR2 supporter, but all the Indiana law will accomplish is a lot more - and mostly non-police - deaths as the police compensate for the new law by going in weapons hot on all calls and they mistake a cellphone or a wallet for a weapon. NUTS! Only undertakers will rejoice in that law.

tryanmax said...

Obama is not getting reelected. At least, not by living, breathing voters. That's all I have to say about that.

The Indiana law is just stupid. I would bet a very sizable chunk of people who encounter police on their property believe the police have no business being there.

Kit said...

What the Indiana bill is a response to is the fact that you have had police entering the wrong homes, failing to announce themselves, the homeowner, thinking this is a home invasion, shooting back, and getting shot.

The problem is if a civilian is shot accidentally, then the police officer is let off, whereas if an officer is killed and the civilian is alive the civilian will get arrested and prosecuted for killing a cop.

Probably too broad but hopefully it will get the police thinking about this kind of problem.

It is designed to protect citizens if he fires at police thinking they are robbers.

Here is an incident in which an innocent man was killed by the police

Kit said...


Libertarian Advocate said...

T-Rav: who's the numbskull justice that put that qualifier in the ruling?

Perhaps a Law School classmate of John Pistole? Maybe Indiana University Law School inadvertently omitted review of the Fourth in its conlaw curriculum?

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, I agree. I see the theoretical idea behind this, but this is bad, bad news. This is not going to do what they want it to do and it's going to get people killed and create a backlash.

If this really is a problem, they should have gone about fixing it another way.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ellen! I'm glad you liked it and thanks for leaving a comment! Those help a lot. :)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Very true. You could find the exact same comments at a far left website. The thing is that the outer edges of ideology are usually awash in paranoia and that's what you see here.

AndrewPrice said...

Libertarian Advocate, I agree. The response from the police will be to use greater force to subdue any potential crime scene they enter for their own safety. That means people will die by mistake.

And don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter of gun rights and I would only limit their ownership by preventing criminals and the mentally insane from owning them. But that doesn't mean we need to go nuts on how we let people use them. This will encourage people to think they have a right to stand up to the police if they think they are being falsely arrested. That is a mistake.

Kit said...

In short, the bill involves the issue of "no-knock" raids on the wrong house where the homeowner is arrested for firing on the SWAT team.

The purpose of the law is to ensure that police take greater care in ensuring that if they are carrying out a no-knock raid they do it on the right house.

If a no-knock raid is carried out mistakenly on your house and, thinking the police to be criminals, you fire back at them in the heat of the moment, this law is intended to protect you from being prosecuted for that.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I would bet most people think the cops have no business being there. What's more, the people who are likely to use this law are the ones who think that the most -- be it private property "extremists" in rural areas or gang bangers in the inner cities.

I have a very hard time seeing Obama get re-elected. In fact, there were some polls today which show his support falling even among his strongest supporters.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, This is the worst possible way to solve a virtually non-existent problem. The number of times this happen are so few they all make the news. And when they do, these things lead to improved procedures and the offices typically do get punished if they weren't acting in good faith. And I've never seen a homeowner charged with defending themselves in these circumstances.

As for getting the police to think about this, they absolutely will think about it, and next time they'll use even greater force because they aren't going to put their lives at risk by this law. That means more people are likely to get killed.

Here's your link: LINK.

AndrewPrice said...

Libertarian Advocate, These things happen. This sounds like dicta to me, like a throwaway line which made sense with whatever they were thinking at the time, but which wasn't meant to establish law of any kind.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's not how the law is written. None of the limitations you're implying are in the law.

1. It's not limited to your house.
2. It applies whenever you "reasonably believe" the police are at your place "unlawfully."
3. There is no requirement for violence on the part of the police. Indeed, you can shoot first and still call it self defense as this is written.

This is a law which is written to let any nutjob who "don't want no police on my property" to start shooting and claim self-defense.

Koshcat said...

I have to agree with Kit here. There has to be a balance, but the "raided the wrong house" story keeps popping up. Fortunately it is uncommon but not rare. There was the mentally challanged (I hate that term) kid killed in Aurora a few years back when they raided the wrong house and thought the guy had a gun. It was a pop can. Didn't G. Gordon Liddy pop off a few years ago about this issue?

I haven't read the law and I'm not a member the the NRA so I don't know if this was the best approach. However, I don't like living in a place where the police can raid an innocent persons home, shoot up the place and then be placed on "administrative leave." Perhaps laws like this wouldn't have happened if some of these people would have been charged with a serious crime like murder. There needs to be a better check to bring this back to balance.

Imagine if I was a surgeon who had a patient with a necrotic foot who needed amputation. If I walked into a room thinking it was the patient and had him held down while sawing the foot off despite his protestations only to find out it was the wrong patient in the wrong room, do you think I would ever practice in the US again?

Kit said...


The law was passed because the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the homeowner does NOT have the right to shoot back if he mistakes police for criminals -because they are police.

Kit said...

Now it is possible the law should've been better written:

But the "SWAT team at the wrong house" problem keeps popping up with many pets and occasionally, people, getting killed.

Kit said...

Here is the ruling which sparked the law"

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest." Link:

Kit said...


AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, If that is a problem, and I would say it's a rare one at best, then the answer is to improve the procedures the police use before making such entries -- which is something police departments and the Justice Department do all the time.

Passing a law like this is an invitation to get people killed -- mainly homeowners, because you aren't going to win in a shootout with the cops. And once you start shooting, the police have the right to put you down.

And the example of the surgeon is a bad one because you have time to consider your actions and discuss them with the patient before you begin. When cops go in after hard core criminals, they can't stop and ask if they got the right guy. Their goal is to go in, subdue everyone so they can't do anything to hurt anyone, and then start asking the questions. That's why they get leeway in terms of targeting the wrong people, because these raids are dangerous and need to be quickly and powerfully for everyone's protection including the suspect.

tryanmax said...

Regardless what it was meant to address, the Indiana law is a bad one because it is ambiguous. Laws should provide certainty where it otherwise does not exist. When a new uncertainty arise, a new laws may and should be created to deal with that uncertainty. But when the new law becomes itself the source of uncertainty, then there is a real problem.

This standard can extend to all manner of legislation, not just the Indiana example. It's also why legislators at every level just need to slow the ƒ*** down!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Actually, he's wrong about the common law. The common law does not allow you to resist the police, it never has.

And if you draw a gun on a cop, the law is clear that the cop has the right to kill you at that point. That has always been the law. It's only the great restraint of the American police that they don't usually do that.

In terms of this problem popping up all the time, there are tens of thousands of raids every day across this country -- every city of any size will have 5-10 and places like LA will have dozens. Yet, only a handful of people are killed and each of those makes the news and gets investigated. This is a made up problem.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's true. Laws which generate uncertainty are bad and this one does that. Now you have a right to shoot at cops (and other government officials like the mailman, surveyors, tax collectors, etc.) if you "reasonably believe" they are making an "unlawful intrusion" on your property. What does any of that mean?

If the problem really was home invasions, why not limit this to homes? Why not limit it to forceful breakings by the police, following failure to identify themselves? At the very least, that should be in there.

But that's not what this is about. Even the main supporter didn't use the example of no-knock raids, he talked about "what if I see a cop raping my wife?"

And no one has yet found a single person who would have been saved from prosecution by this law. That's the strongest evidence that this will help no one.

Kit said...

"Kit, Actually, he's wrong about the common law. The common law does not allow you to resist the police, it never has.

And if you draw a gun on a cop, the law is clear that the cop has the right to kill you at that point. That has always been the law. It's only the great restraint of the American police that they don't usually do that."

What if you don't know the police are the police?

AndrewPrice said...

Doesn't matter. If you draw on a cop, the cop has the right to defend himself, just as you have the right to defend yourself if someone draws on you.

The cop might get in trouble administratively if it's later determined that he put you in that position by not following their procedures, but the law is clear that he has a right to defend himself.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, the "reasonable person" standard used to mean something.

Used to.

Kit said...

"The cop might get in trouble administratively if it's later determined that he put you in that position by not following their procedures, but the law is clear that he has a right to defend himself."

But the Indiana Supreme Court said YOU do not have that right if the other person is a cop.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The problem with the reasonable person standard is that its meant to be an objective standard, but everyone thinks their own views are reasonable no matter how crazy they are, so it's really a misleading standard for most people... as they learn when the jury tells them they were wrong.

Kit said...

Side note: Sending you an email in the next few minutes regarding another matter.

A very interesting article I've found (on something completely unrelated).

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Yes you do. People are misreading this. The Indiana Supreme Court has said you don't have the right to resist arrest. They did not say you don't have the right to defend yourself if a cop is trying to kill you or commit a crime against you like rape.

People are pretending that the second is part and parcel of the first -- it's not. There is a huge difference between a cop making an arrest and a cop putting you in a position where you need to shoot him to protect yourself.

As for not knowing these are cops on the no-knock raid, that's bullshit. SWAT teams come in 4-6 offices typically, they wear military style fatigues covered in police markings, they scream "police officers" over and over. And they don't come in shooting, they come in trying to disarm people and get them on the ground.

Kit said...

The law, I believe, is also in response to the over-use of SWAT teams and no-knock raids. Though it doesn't address the issue I get the feeling that the sense that police and feds over-use no-knock raids and SWATs (guitar shops, anyone?) added to sense that a push-back was needed.

I will think about the law* but I do think the spirit behind it is important. Constructing a good society is about balance. Balancing the safety of the citizens and the safety of the police.

*Debate is getting heated and I might say something very stupid. :)

AndrewPrice said...

No problem on the e-mail. I'll check it out.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, If this were about balance, then they would have put limits on the no-knock raids (which they could have), not made it open season on cops.

Kit said...

One last comment: In the heat of the moment, those few seconds when they burst through the door. The mind of the home-owner is not necessarily thinking rationally.

"They did not say you don't have the right to defend yourself if a cop is trying to kill you or commit a crime against you like rape."

I never bought that claim, myself.

Kit said...

"Kit, If this were about balance, then they would have put limits on the no-knock raids (which they could have), not made it open season on cops."

I will agree on that.

Koshcat said...

I don't think it is a bad analagy because the police often do have time. If there is enough time to get a warrent they have time to make sure it is the right house.

How uncommon or rare something is can be a matter of semantics, but I would be comfortable to bet that this occurs at least once per year in every major metropolitan area.

I don't really support this law but I also think there has been a creeping attitude in government against private property rights. I think the these wrong home raids occur because there really isn't a significant penalty attached to it. You definitely know the law better than I, but the excuse that it is ok because criminals are dangerous doesn't pass. Innocent people should never be harrassed this way and yes cops should slow down long enough to make sure they have the right person.

What happened to the idea that it is better to let one criminal go than to jail one innocent person? It may not seem like a big deal until you are the family that was raided.

Kit said...

Good, interesting debate we have.

Which means that we have not followed the Rules for Proper Political Debate on the Internet.
So I have to say this:

Andrew Price, you are a Nazi.


K said...

"On May 5 at around 9:30 a.m., several teams of Pima County, Ariz., police officers from at least four different police agencies armed with SWAT gear and an armored personnel carrier raided at least four homes as part of what at the time was described as an investigation into alleged marijuana trafficking. One of those homes belonged to 26-year-old Jose Guerena and his wife, Vanessa Guerena. The couple's 4-year-old son was also in the house at the time. Their 6-year-old son was at school.

As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later."

I've always been a big supporter of the police- especially when they were being called "Pigs" and it was uncool to support them. However, there are limits. Our culture, at the moment, has become more pro-police than I can remember. It's no longer Joe Friday bashing down a flop house door in his business suit and a ballistic vest - it's search and destroy military tactics.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, LOL! You sir, are a communist! ;)

T-Rav said...

Oh yeah? Well I pronounce all of you syndicalists! (Look it up. I'll be here.)

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, It probably is more than one a year nationwide. But think of how low that number is compared to the number of raids. And then realize that the reason the cops do this is not to show off or because they get a kick out of it, but because it's the safest way to arrest people who are considered armed and dangerous. The people they send SWAT teams after tend to be murders, armed robbers, gangs, and drug dealers -- all violent offenders. These are people who are likely to start spraying the neighborhood in bullets if they get the chance.

So the SWAT guys go in with overwhelming force with the idea of surprising everyone, getting everyone disarmed and on the ground, and then sorting things out once they have control of the situation. They are specially trained to do this, I've seen it. They are trained not to shoot people.

The alternative is to knock on the door and pray it doesn't end up in a shootout which results in dead cops, dead suspects, dead neighbors.

Are mistakes made? Sure. These are unpredictable situations and sometimes bad information gets passed along. But there are many checks on this behavior (including the need for a warrant and prior surveillance typically). And the low numbers of deaths from these raids is a testament to how effective they are.

In terms of the police having too much power, I absolutely agree with that. But that needs to be controlled on the other end, by limiting the types of things police do, not by telling homeowners they can shoot back. That will just get people killed and doesn't solve any part of the misuse of power problem.

Kit said...

"In terms of the police having too much power, I absolutely agree with that. But that needs to be controlled on the other end, by limiting the types of things police do, not by telling homeowners they can shoot back. That will just get people killed and doesn't solve any part of the misuse of power problem."

Perhaps a post on that someday?

AndrewPrice said...

K, I recall that incident. First, let me point out, that these things are so rare that people can point to the ones that did happen. That is a testament to the safety of these kinds of raids.

Secondly, let me point out that he's dead because he fired on the cops. It's his own fault.

Third, had this law been in place, nothing would have changed in that situation.

In terms of the police being too powerful, I absolutely agree. I have strong libertarian instincts and I think the police powers in this country are way too much. But that said, this kind of law is not the answer. For one thing, this law doesn't address the problem of police power in the slightest. For another, this law will get people killed. And passing a law which doesn't address any actual problem, but which will get people killed is stupid. There are many better ways to solve all the problems people have mentioned.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Let me think about it. There is a lot there, especially when you start talking about prosecutors as well as police. Our justice system needs a serious overhaul.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Nice word! I've never heard of it before. Now I shall endeavor to use it! :)

Kit said...

Actually, in the Jose Guerena case, the Sheriff's Office later admitted that he didn't shoot first.

Same Sheriff, by the way, who blamed the Giffords shooting on the Tea Party.

Koshcat said...

I think we might be approaching from slightly different angles, but I suspect we agree on more of this than disagree.

This is why I really like your blog. One can disagree here without being attacked but you are also not afraid to defend your position and do so without "shouting", if you get my drift.

This is where I call you by some terrible, deragutory name so:

you, sir, are an Edwards supportor.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, LOL! That's the worst insult thrown around yet... and it better not be a Twilight reference! ;)

We probably do mainly agree on this. I don't think any of us think unchecked police power is good, but I would hope we also agree that passing law that won't be effective and are likely to cause problem is never a good solution.

I definitely agree with you about the blog. I love the fact that people can disagree here and have rational discussions without shouting and name calling.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It sounds like that Sheriff's department needs supervision. DOJ is usually sniffing around these things, I wonder what they are doing?

Libertarian Advocate said...

FWIW, and its not likely much, the Indiana Supreme Court justice who wrote the Barnes decision did indeed go to Indiana University's McKinney School of Law, though I can't determine whether he and TSA's John Pistole were in fact classmates.

AndrewPrice said...

Libertarian Advocate, You make it sound like TSA is a bad thing? Don't you want the skies to be kept safe from little old ladies with scissors? ;)

Here's you're link: LINK

Jacob Supporters said...


Koshcat said...

John Edwards

No sparkling crap around here.

John Edwards said...

I can sparkle. Have you seen my smile?

Rielle Hunter said...

That's not all of him that sparkles, if you get my drift.

AndrewPrice said...

Talk about coincidence, the Justice Department has announced that they're dropping the remaining charges against John "Spakles" Edwards.

K said...

Andrew: "Secondly, let me point out that he's dead because he fired on the cops. It's his own fault."

According to the wiki, Guerena never fired - the cops lied about that.

Let's assume that Guerena survived and one of the idiot cops shot another cop in the ass. Guerena would have gone to jail and his life would have been ruined. That's the reason I see for this law which I would describe as the "protection from stupid and corrupt police act".

Jen said...

Andrew, sorry I didn't get back sooner to answer your question. I did not know anything about this law until I read it today--here.

As far as Mitch, he just tends to say some really stupid things (I can't think of exact quotes right now), and he's not very conservative to me. Once in a while, he will surprise me with things he says.

Individualist said...


Wow .... If a cop is doing something illegal and one is forced to defend their life there does not need to be any law that covers this. English common law had this around 1200 AD... I beleive it is called self defense.

Laws like this are stupid. We need less laws not more of them. Why can't conservatives ever seem to get this......

USArtguy said...


as usual, I'm a bit late to this party, but with my new job schedule I don't get to read CR until the evening.

So, here we go: as a Hoosier (NOT an "Indianan" whatthehellever the Bloomberg writer thinks that's supposed to be), I perk up when I see my fair state mentioned in such lofty journals as this. And I wince when I see fairly deserved criticism, such as this is regarding this law, leveled at "us".

You ask if anyone's been talking about this here. Not that I'm aware of. In fact, there's more written about this law on this page than I've seen mentioned anywhere at least in the local media (SW Indiana).

I'm going to come down on the side of "this is an unnecessary law", at best, because it only adds a couple of paragraphs to a 2006 revision of a 1974 law. In other words, for 38 years there's been no need for this language, so what's the point? Plus, in reference to the court case, the ISC did not give police carte blanche to do whatever they want, any time they want without regard to people's rights. What I think the NRA and the Senator were trying to do was to include the term "public servant" --because-- it was left out of the ruling. Unfortunately, they just did a crappy job and made things worse.

However, examples given have been opinion and "suppose" arguments, on both sides of the issue, filtered through a third party's website. For my own sense of balance, I wanted to find a complete, and without emotion, record. So here's a LINK to the actual law.

Next, I'd like to point out, without hidden motives, that the criticisms I've read here and elsewhere leave out the SEVERAL points of the law, broad and ambiguous as they may be, that tell when a citizen is UNjustified in using force.

I found an interesting take from a Chicago cop who makes a lot of good points against the law HERE. Furthermore, down in the comments section is a retired cop from Cincinnati who thinks the law is a good idea. Unfortunately, the Chicago cop has to throw in some union jargon and CATO institute = Satan implications, but still I think he has it right.

I apologize that my points here are disjointed and no too cohesive (it's getting late), but I wanted to contribute before the topic went completely cold with:

This additional language to an already existing law is unnecessary and has a real possibility of doing more harm than good;

I haven't researched why governor Daniels (whom I still like BTW) signed this;

Having said that --Janet Reno--Elian Gonzalez--Ruby Ridge--Waco;

The cases of otherwise good cops making fatal mistakes are a very small percent, but to the innocent victim, it's 100 percent. Continued...

USArtguy said...

My own personal experience: nearly three full years after my wife and I moved into our current home, someone was beating on the door just before dawn one morning. I climbed out of bed, still groggy from sleep and peaked out the window. All i could see was some guy in a dark uniform. He did not verbally identify himself and I could not immediately tell he was a policeman.

I went to the front door and opened it a little to see a badge on a jacket, even then I didn't have time to read it clearly as the man took a couple steps back. It could have been a security guard with a flat tire on his way home from work for all I knew.

Anyway, the guy was asking if so-and-so was home. I told him he hadn't lived here for three years. He asked me if i knew where he was. By this time, it had finally become light enough that I could positively identify the man on my stoop as a police officer. So I opened the door all the way and as I looked past him, I counted five squad cars in front of my house! It turned out I actually knew the new address of the people I bought the house from, which was nearly the same number but about two miles directly east of me.

The cop said "sorry to bother you" and they all hustled back into their cars and sped off. I'm glad it went they way it did, because had someone kicked my door in just before dawn when my family and I were asleep, and had I been armed, it would not have ended well for anyone. Most likely me especially.

AndrewPrice said...

Hey everybody, I haven't been blowing people off, it's just been one of those busy nights. I'll respond to everyone in the morning.

AndrewPrice said...

K, You would need to know a lot more to know if he would be charged with anything. You would need to know if a reasonable person in those circumstances would have known if know it was the cops and should have put his gun down before the shooting began. Your assumption that he would be convicted also includes the idea that a jury of twelve (or six) persons would have agreed that he was in the wrong.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Self-defense has always applied, even if it's against a cop. But it has never extended to giving you a right to resist an arrest, no matter whether the arrest is wrongful or not. It only applies if the cops decide they want to kill you or otherwise injure you and you haven't brought it on yourself by doing something like pulling out a weapon. That's always been the law, and it applies the same to everyone, including cops.

AndrewPrice said...

USArtguy, I don't know enough about Daniels to know if he's a good guy or not. I suspect he's a decent governor for the most part. I do know a lot of conservatives don't like him and the MSM does, which is usually a bad sign. For me, the real question regarding Daniels is whether he should be elevated to the national stage, and the bits of his record I've seen suggest he should not be. But I don't have a strong opinion either way about him.

On the law, the problem is that it's not at all clear what they were trying to achieve. People are coming up with different things they want to see as the reason for the law, but it really doesn't help in those situations. Moreover, it's written so broadly that it covers a MUCH broader spectrum of conduct, which will lead to lots of problems. I think conservatives will be rather upset the first time some gang banger gets away with killing a cop by claiming he thought his life was in danger because the cops always harass them, or the first time some wacko shoots an unarmed government surveyor because he doesn't want his property "invaded" and then tries to claim this law as protection.

In terms of your experience, one of the reasons the cops use such force during the SWAT raids is precisely because (1) bad guys may be ready for them or (2) in the event this is a mistake, the innocent person may panic. That's why the goal of the raids is to subdue everyone immediately before anyone can start shooting, so no one gets hurt.

And while you are correct that the consequences are 100% to someone who does get killed, that is the same point you could make about any similar situation (e.g. falling off a ladder, car accidents, gun ownership, etc.) and doesn't really justify a change in policy. Policy needs to be look at in the broader context of how harmful/positive it is to society in general.

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