Patterico's Pontifications

12/9/2007

Colorado Church Shootings (Updated x3)

Filed under: Crime,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 5:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

UPDATE 3 – 12/10/2007: Another excellent JayHub link. I’m putting it in a new post.

UPDATE 2 – 12/10/2007: Note JayHub’s comment regarding the security plans implemented by the Colorado Springs’ church, plans that probably averted even more deaths. (Thanks, JayHub.)

UPDATE 1 – 12/9/2007: Michelle Malkin is covering this story.
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I heard about the Arvada mission and Colorado Springs church shootings but I did not realize the Colorado Springs’ shooter was killed by a security guard until I read this comment by SPQR:

“By the way, in Colorado Springs today, at the New Life church, a gunman opened fire on the church grounds. The church’s security guard shot and killed him, but not before he was able to shoot approx 5 people with one fatality among the victims. It sounds like the security guard saved a lot of lives with his timely action, as the gunman was not able to advance beyond the parking lot. When police arrived minutes later, it was all over. My deep respect to the security guard for his fine work.

There was a shooting the night before at a ministry in the Denver metro area ( Arvada ) as well, no confirmation of a link between the two although that is the speculation as that gunman was not apprehended.”

Here’s the AP version:

“A gunman killed two staff members at a missionary training center early Sunday after being told he couldn’t spend the night, and about 12 hours later four people were shot at a busy megachurch in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs police Lt. Fletcher Howard said a suspect had been detained in the shootings at the New Life Church, but a church member who was locked down at the church Sunday afternoon said a security guard had shot and killed the gunman. Authorities in Arvada, a Denver suburb about 65 miles north, said no one had been captured in the shootings there.

It was not immediately known whether the shootings were related, but Arvada authorities said they were sharing information with Colorado Springs investigators. The governor ordered state authorities to help. The program that runs mission training in Arvada has a small office at the New Life Church’s World Prayer Center.

A gunman in a black trench coat and a high-powered rifle entered the church’s main foyer about 1 p.m. and began shooting, according to the church member, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the police department had asked that it release all information. The church’s 11 a.m. service had recently ended, and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from the nursery.

The gunman was killed by a member of the church’s armed security staff, the source said. Four people were shot, and the source did not know whether the shooter was one of the four. A SWAT team was searching the building for an explosive device, but the source could not confirm any details.
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New Life Senior Pastor Brady Boyd said security at the church had been beefed up after the shootings in Arvada, but he did not elaborate and did not take questions.

“Fortunately for New Life Church, we had a plan in place that was put into play immediately,” he said. “Our prayers right now are for the people that were injured and their families.”

Incidently, the Reuters’ version doesn’t mention a security guard, although it did mention the former New Life’s Pastor’s sexual improprieties.

SPQR’s comment related to the Omaha mall shooting discussion. To me, it can be used as evidence that supports people having the freedom to carry guns OR as evidence that facilities should be better prepared to handle situations like this. Or both.

Either way, it’s an interesting point and my thanks to SPQR for raising it. By the way, SPQR, I’ve always wondered: Are you any relation to XRLQ?

— DRJ

Celebrity Politics

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In the last weeks before the Iowa primary, Obama has help from Oprah and Hillary is appearing with Chelsea and her mother, Dorothy Rodham. This news report suggests the point is to appeal to female voters:

“Oprah and Hillary — two women so famous that they are known by their first names — were vying for the attention of Iowa voters Saturday on opposing sides of the close Democratic presidential campaign.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York was joined by her mother and daughter Saturday as she vowed “change across the generations” and stepped up her pitch to the female voters who could hold the key to Iowa’s caucuses Jan. 3.

The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois — also interested in winning over women, who have been leaning toward Clinton in the polls — enlisted the help of Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey said worry about the direction of the country and a personal belief in Obama pushed her to make her first endorsement in a presidential campaign.

The weekend “Oprahpalooza” lends star power to Obama’s campaign, drawing huge crowds that he hopes will translate into votes. Tens of thousands were expected to turn out for Winfrey’s Iowa stops and visits today to South Carolina and New Hampshire with Obama and his wife.”

There was more regarding Hillary’s campaign:

“Clinton countered Oprah-mania by debuting two other women on the campaign trail — her mother, Dorothy Rodham, 88, and daughter, Chelsea, 27. The reluctant Chelsea Clinton’s public emergence normally would have been big news, but it was a last-minute announcement that was overshadowed by hype surrounding Winfrey.

Clinton noted that her mother fits the description of women who were born before women got the right to vote and are now pushing to elect the first female president. “She has seen a lot happen and change in our country,” Clinton said. “Not everyone is as lucky to have their mother or father or grandparent with them as we are.”

The multigenerational appeal was aimed straight at women voters.

I know the stereotypes about women voters but I wonder if women are more likely than men to be swayed by celebrity endorsements or quasi-celebrity families. If so, is it equally true of all women or does it vary by region, age, or financial or marital status?

— DRJ

L.A. Times Article on U.S. Attorney Scandal Ignores All Contemporaneous Concerns About Their Performance

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:52 pm

I followed the U.S. Attorney scandal very closely, and wrote numerous posts on the issue. Like many political issues, it cannot be accurately painted entirely in black and white hues. There were several different individuals who did not have their four-year terms extended, and the reasons were varied and complex.

I believed there was some evidence of nefarious motives by the Administration. For example, I found the timing of the addition of David Iglesias to the list to be highly suspicious. It certainly raised concerns that Kyle Sampson had proposed to lie to Congress about Bud Cummins. And the buffoonish Kyle Sampson had proposed Patrick Fitzgerald for the firing list — something that certainly suggested that he was looking to politics in making his judgments.

At the same time, there were genuine concerns raised contemporaneously about the performance of many of the U.S. Attorneys. I discussed some of them in posts like this one, or this one, or this one. As I said in this post:

There are reams of documentation on issues like Lam’s failure to prosecute immigration cases; Charlton’s overly restrictive immigration guidelines; Ryan’s management issues; McKay’s public complaints about resources and revealing internal guidelines; Bogden’s and Charlton’s neglect of obscenity cases (which I agree with, but which was an Administration priority); Iglesias and McKay’s neglect of voter fraud; and the list goes on and on and on.

Several of the U.S. Attorneys even balked at imposing the death penalty. That’s not a political issue.

The most obvious example of a mountain being made out of a molehill was the flap over Carol Lam. The controversy over her firing was demonstrably silly — based on mythology that liberals have never bothered to think about in a logical fashion.

The L.A. Times has an article today that ignores all these genuine concerns, and simplistically concludes that the firings were politically motivated — tied to corruption cases that Republicans didn’t like:

The politically charged firings of one year ago spawned a scandal that helped lead to the resignation of an attorney general and cast a pall over the Justice Department. The prosecutors — nine altogether, including two fired earlier in the year — were thrust into new lives and careers under circumstances they could never have imagined.

Called to account for the firings, the department brass branded them insubordinates or underachievers, even though they had scored well in department performance reviews.

The attorneys’ own testimony — and ties to voting-rights and corruption cases that some influential Republicans found objectionable — suggested the possibility of other, more political motives. But speaking out was perceived as disloyal in some quarters.

Nowhere does the article mention any of the numerous, genuine concerns the Administration had with these U.S. Attorneys.

In a perfect example of the article’s simplistic mode of analysis, it actually includes Kevin Ryan as one of the USAs supposedly fired for political reasons, despite wonderful performance reviews:

Kevin Ryan, who was U.S. attorney in San Francisco, has joined a firm in that city and he is building a specialty in sports law. “Yesterday’s over, so can’t look back too long, just too much to see in front of me,” he said in an e-mail, paraphrasing songwriter Jimmy Buffett.

But Kevin Ryan was a horrible manager. According to an article from months ago, his tenure

was plagued by morale problems and accusations that he was a bad manager. A number of the office’s most experienced lawyers left.

This was “well documented in legal newspapers.”

What publication am I quoting in the above statements? Why, that would be . . . the Los Angeles Times!

The editors don’t even understand their own side’s theory on the scandal. Kevin Ryan was so obviously bad, liberals had a hard time figuring out how to portray it as political. The spin ended up being that he didn’t get fired fast enough because he was such a loyal Bushie.

Yet today’s article portrays him as someone fired for political reasons — when back in the day, the spin was that he wasn’t fired when he should have been.

Like many issues, this controversy is more subtle and multi-faceted than it is portrayed by the media. But it’s all about the narrative.

Remember what they did with Bud Cummins? The paper’s Richard Serrano claimed that Cummins saw a connection between a particular political investigation and Cummins’s dismissal, even though Cummins told me in an e-mail: “I made it clear to Mr. Serrano that I knew of no connection between the Missouri investigation and my dismissal.” Even though I told them that Cummins had said they had misrepresented his comments about the controversy, they refused to correct them.

It’s all about making things simple, and eliminating shades of gray, to push the desired narrative. As I always say about this paper, narrative trumps facts.

Today’s article is just another example.


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