Forums / Political & Legal / Gun control and saving Captain Phillips (Part 1)

5 years 27 weeks ago, 6:10 PM

samD

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April 13, 5:46 PM · 6 comments

On Wednesday, April 8, 2009, Somalian pirates attempted to hijack the merchant ship Maersk Alabama. Its crew repelled the invaders, but their captain was captured and held hostage until rescued yesterday by the U.S. Navy. These are the basic facts of the story. But as usual, there were many facts lurking beneath the surface which were ignored by Old Media in their rush to titillate us with drama on the high seas. These missing facts teach an extremely important truth.
Fact #1: The government has no obligation to protect you.
A bit of history first: In 1999, Jessica Gonzales had obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against her husband during their divorce proceedings. Mr. Gonzales picked up their three girls as they played in the front yard, in violation of the TRO. He then drove to the police station, where he opened fire. Police returned fire and killed him, and then found the girls’ bodies in his truck. Jessica sued the town of Castle Rock, Colorado in a lower court, claiming that police, knowing about her unstable husband and also knowing about her TRO, didn’t do enough to protect her children. The lower court agreed with her. Castle Rock appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed the ruling:
· A temporary restraining order “imposed no duty on police…”
· “It does not follow that respondent had ‘a legitimate claim of [police] entitlement.’ ”

Fast forward to a November 20, 2008 interview with National Public Radio:
Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, says even one of the most powerful conglomerations of ships in the world [the U.S. Navy] isn't enough to combat the pirates.
"We can't be everywhere," Gortney says…
"Where we are not is where you have these maritime criminals that we call pirates, [who] will eventually find a merchant ship that is taking no action, or ineffective actions, to prevent pirates from getting onboard their vessels," he says.
The admiral says the shipping companies have to take responsibility for their own ships. He says they are taking some measures — increasing their speed, making sure their ladders are up, posting lookouts. But that's not enough, Gortney says.
"What I am pushing, what we are pushing with the shipping industry, is that they need to put security detachments on these vessels," he says. [Emphasis added]
Just like the police with Jessica Gonzales’s children, the U.S. Navy has no obligation to keep a ship safe. Instead, Admiral Gortney clearly states that just like a private citizen, ships are responsible to be their own first line of defense.

Fact #2: Giving the government more power will not make you safer.
Furthermore, evidence exists that surrendering your civil right of self-defense only makes government less accountable.

In 1997, the British government banned guns in order to reduce crime. In early 2005, the British government enacted the Criminal Justice Act of 2003, which allows a previously acquitted person to be retried if “new and compelling” evidence is produced. A Home Office spokesperson said, “It is important the public should have full confidence in the ability of the criminal justice system to deliver justice.” The Act also allows hearsay evidence, including situations where the witness is unavailable to appear in court or has fears about appearing. Thus, the accuser is no longer required to face the accused, diminishing defense attorneys’ ability to cross-examine and create reasonable doubt about the witness’s testimony.

Bottom line: As with gun control, in order to fight crime, the British government banned the centuries-old legal principle of double jeopardy: prohibiting the government from retrying you for the same crime after being acquitted.

Meanwhile, the violent crime rate in Britain increased 29.2% between 1995 and 2006: Britain is now more violent than America.*

Less guns, less civil rights, less safety.

There are more vital facts missing from Old Media reports, to be addressed next.
References
Crime rates compiled from UK Home Office and U.S FBI data. Email request for Excel spreadsheet.

5 years 27 weeks ago, 6:36 PM

ssrs10

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You forgot to mention that the captain and second were alumni of my school!

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses
5 years 27 weeks ago, 8:06 PM

DarkWisper44

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The same weapons that the Obama-democrat pro-socialist liberal administration wants to keep away from it's citizens are the same that save the life of this man. But you said best our government has no obligation to protect the individual. If the crew of the M.Alabama had an armed security detail or were armed themselves, this whole ordeal might not have happened.

Why do I carry? Because my karate sucks!
5 years 27 weeks ago, 11:11 PM

BluesHarp

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Or better yet, these shipping companies could hire Blackwater to secure their ships. It is not the military's responsibility to guard commercial shipping. When piracy was rampant in the 1700's and 1800's, the ships had CANNONS to protect themselves. Why can't we do that again? There are things that can be done.

Go ahead punk, Make My Day!
5 years 27 weeks ago, 6:18 AM

charley9toe

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SamD The bottom line.

That's good material. Right on the mark.

(You have to look behind all of that outer space stuff)

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