Monday, February 22, 2016

What Ever Happened to Zachariah M. Peterson? / and his Online Threat to "Mow Down" Local Portland Area Teachers

What ever happened to Zachariah M. Peterson?  You know, the guy who threatened online to go to a Portland area school and “mow down” the teachers because of some past grievance.  He was 29 at the time of the threat, so his ‘grievance’ must have been festering a long time.
Perhaps you will recall that Peterson was arrested by the FBI and local police on charges etcetera; including a charge of ‘a felon in possession of a firearm’ (a federal felony) to wit:  “a Mossberg shotgun, a .22-caliber handgun, a 10-22 Ruger rifle with two 25-round magazines and one Remington 700 rifle with a Leupold scope.”

Peterson was arrested at his home on 9/21/15 and immediately charged as an ‘Ex-Felon in Possession of a Firearm / US Code Title 18, Section 922’.  Said charges were ‘dismissed’ on 10/14/15.  Why?  I couldn’t tell you for sure.  I’m not about to go to the Multnomah County Court House, in downtown Portland; and endure that ordeal as I have done many times in the past, just to learn what I already know.  X- Felons found to be in possession of firearms are rarely prosecuted.

Some possible reasons for no prosecution:  part of a ‘plea deal’ or the US Attorney considers the crime low priority and declines to prosecute - ah, well, those are the two reasons generally utilized.  I suppose you could put forth a couple of the more obscure reasons:  ‘Peterson was framed by the police’ or ‘there was an illegal search conducted,’ and/or the guns were placed in the house by space aliens; but these explanations are generally considered to be highly unlikely.

Here is the take-away from all of this:  Gun Control, as proposed by politicians (particularly liberal politicians) is a ‘red herring,’ a ‘stalking horse,’ a ruse used to deceive the uninformed citizenry.  While recommending all types of additional legislation directed at basically honest gun-owners, the government refuses to enforce laws that are already on the books.

Why would they do this?  First, because they can.  Secondly, the jails would be, in their opinion, overwhelmed by real criminals.

On the other hand, the government can put forth some recommendations for gun control that does, I suppose, look to some (perhaps most) in the public like they (the politicians) are actually doing something – even though the laws proposed would be largely ineffective – and they know it.  But, the hard cold fact is that the government considers the general public to be pretty darn ignorant; and that legalese-laced platitudes will make said public temporarily feel good; but, more importantly, perpetuate the careers of many current politicians.

Furthermore, what's the big deal about a few more armed x-felons running around terrorizing the public?  At least they aren't clogging-up our prison system (True's sarcasm).

And then they wonder why Donald Trump is ahead in the poles.  God help us.  (Or... Maybe he is.)

True Nelson

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Shooting of Robert "Lavoy" Finicum / Let's Talk Tactics / Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Regarding the shooting of Robert “Lavoy” Finicum, let’s talk a little bit about tactics.

I, of course, don’t know all the details, or even most for that matter, of what lead up to the take-down of the ‘occupiers’ of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  I think the action taken Tuesday, January 26th, was potentially precipitous – and difficult to explain.  The FBI and other law enforcement agencies transitioned from an extended laissez-faire environment, involving the ‘occupiers,’ to a sudden, armed confrontation – which unfortunately turned deadly.  Of course, there was a lot of dialogue between the FBI and the principals within the Refuge compound prior to the take-down; but, strikingly, in my opinion, there was no gradual tightening of physical pressure on those individuals that were freely going and coming, attending community meetings, collecting supplies and encouraging other like-minded people to join the occupation.

I looked at the FBI ‘take-down,’ several times.  I do not consider this an ‘ambush’ situation as many have described it.  And, for those who haven’t seen it, I attached a link to the FBI video.

The FBI description of the action depicted in the video, in short, was that the vehicle holding Finicum and three other individuals attempted to run a roadblock set up by law enforcement.  Finicum’s vehicle attempted to swerve around the roadblock, going to the left shoulder of the road, nearly ‘running over’ an FBI Agent, before getting stuck in the snow along the shoulder.  Finicum jumped out of the vehicle, yelling, with his hands up, something like “shoot me,”  “shoot me.”  Allegedly, although it’s difficult to see, Finicum reaches toward his left armpit (twice) before being shot down.  He does not brandish a gun.  However, the FBI found later that he had a loaded handgun under his coat – and opine that he was reaching for same.

OK, I’m not going to second guess this.  Finicum had stated publicly that he wouldn’t be taken alive.  He was known to be consistently armed (see picture above).  And, law enforcement, in a split second, exercised their best judgement.  Finicum’s actions were foolish, under the circumstances, and one might even describe them as ‘crazy.’  The FBI’s account, to my knowledge, does not say how many shots were fired – only that the officer who shot Finicum was with the Oregon State Police.

Let’s talk a little bit about the FBI Agent nearly ‘run over’ by Finicum’s vehicle.  What was the Agent doing in a position behind one of the cars used to block the road?  Only in the movies does a law enforcement officer stand behind his car with a fleeing felon’s car barreling down on him.  The video seems to reflect that the FBI Agent made a last second observation that he would soon be crushed under his vehicle if it was rammed by Finicum’s car.  He jumps to his right toward the road’s shoulder.  Then he sees that’s where Finicum’s car is headed; and the Agent tries to jump back.  It appears that the Agent might have been hit, but he was apparently not seriously injured.  He managed to walk away.

The shooting:  The FBI has given the public a rather grainy aerial video.  The OSP, as I understand it, sometimes wear ‘body cams.’  Are they available?  Why weren’t they released?

OK, Finicum jumps from his vehicle.  We see a law enforcement officer coming out of the woods (left side of road).  Finicum is facing away from this officer, towards where he apparently observes or believes the main law enforcement contingent is located (right side of road).  The officer from the woods is holding something, which is either a handgun, maybe a Taser.  Another officer leaves cover on the opposite side of road and approaches Finicum while pointing a handgun.  When shot, Finicum appears to turn somewhat to his left and falls away from the officer who came out of the woods.  Finicum then appears to slightly lift his right arm.  No weapon is observed.

Some might question where the law enforcement personnel were positioned.  An FBI Agent is nearly run down.  Other officers are on both sides of the road, with Finicum between them – a potential cross-fire situation.  Two officers leave cover for no apparent reason to confront Finicum.  Finicum makes an untoward movement and was shot and killed.

True Nelson