Los Angeles Unified School District has stumbled upon a revolutionary concept in disciplining young schoolchildren: Maybe don’t treat them the way the police department treats parolees? That is to say, LAUSD is pulling back on responding to common child misbehavior with police citations. From theLos Angeles Daily News:
Starting Dec. 1, elementary and some middle school students in Los Angeles Unified will no longer receive police citations for most misbehavior.
According to the new policy, Los Angeles School Police will refrain from writing criminal citations for infractions such as fighting and writing on desks, instead turning students to school officials for campus-based punishment that is more in line with their age and nature of the violations.
“This is an important step, but it also raises concerns that there is more to be done,” said Manuel Criollo, director of organizing for the nonprofit Community Rights Campaign, an L.A. group that has lobbied for the decriminalization of many school-based offenses. “Some of this should be common sense, and the next thing is to expand it in the middle schools. Thirteen- and 14-year-olds should also be covered by this.”
This “new policy” smells remarkably old actually, like how schools handled discipline when those of us who are adults now attended school. Officials have finally realized that treating students like criminals discourages them from doing things like attending school (important, because that’s how school funding is determined):
The directive from LAUSD Police Chief Steven Zipperman asks school-based officers to look at misbehavior of students under the age of 13 as a teaching opportunity rather than a reason to hand out citations that could discourage them from attending class altogether.
If a ticket is issued, officers should have an articulated reason for doing so, as well as the permission of a supervisor. The policy does not cover possession of contraband.
The Community Rights Campaign calculated that school police have handed out more than 4,700 citations to students under the age of 14 for the 2012-13 school year.
A recent Mayo Clinic study points out that mass shooters tend to meticulously plan their crimes weeks or months in advance, undermining the idea that the mentally ill simply “snap” and go on shooting rampages while also complicating the notion of effective gun control through gun registries, since a methodical planner has plenty of time to obtain weapons through illegal channels.
A more basic problem with a strategy that targets mentally ill people is that the vast majority of them are not violent. When you control for substance abuse, a factor that exacerbates violence in all populations, only about 4.3% of people with a “severe” mental illness are likely to commit any sort of violence, according to a University of Chicago study. The violence rate among those with a “non-severe” mental illness is about equal to that of the “normal” population.
"In the absence of a history of violence or any of the other risk factors, it is impossible to predict who will become violent," says Stephen K. Hoge, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University. "If we put doctors in the position of acting on behalf of the government or acting on behalf of social control, then that undermines the therapeutic mission."
In other words, by targeting and stigmatizing the mentally ill, especially in the absence of a coherent risk-identification strategy, the effect may be to discourage people who need help from seeking it, while also stripping away the rights of a huge group of people who will likely never commit a violent act.
California is the vanguard of the gun registry movement in the U.S. The Attorney General’s office maintains a database called the "Armed Prohibited Persons System" (APPS), which identifies three groups of people whose guns should be confiscated: Individuals with a documented history of violence, convicted felons/wanted persons, and people with a “severe mental illness,” as defined by the state. Lumping the broad category of “mentally ill people” in with criminals and violent abusers can ensnare innocent and seemingly harmless individuals in an overly expansive dragnet.
Take Lynette Phillips, a suburban California housewife who suffers from anxiety disorder. She encountered the APPS after a trip to Aurora Charter Oak Hospital’s psych ward resulted in her involuntary commitment. Phillips claims she voluntarily checked herself into the hospital after a bad reaction to a new medication and that the involuntary commitment was an error made by an overzealous nurse. Representatives from Aurora Charter Oak declined to comment on the story, but she was released before the full 72-hour hold, and a letter from Phillips’ personal psychiatrist confirms some of the details in her version of events, including the fact that she sought treatment herself.
But the involuntary commitment was enough to put Phillps on the government radar and make her an Armed Prohibited Person. A few days after she returned home, armed officers from the California Department of Justice entered her house in order to confiscate a gun she’d purchased as a gift for her husband. Upon finding more than one firearm in the house, the agents took all of the Phillips’ guns and ammunition. They had no warrant. The CA DOJ would not comment on this story.
"They didn’t need to do that," says Lynette’s husband, David, who described a scene in which the officers spread all of their guns and ammunition on the front yard as the neighborhood watched. "They embarrassed us in front of the neighbors."
The Phillips have no criminal record, history of violence, or documented substance abuse problems. But it was only with the help of an attorney that they were able to get their guns back from the state after several months of effort., and only under that condition that David keep the guns in a safe that’s inaccessible to Lynette. They did not return any of the seized ammo.
The Phillips have vowed never to let government agents into their home without a warrant again, and Lynette remains shaken by the experience. Since its inception in 2001, the APPS program has resulted in the seizure of more than 11,000 guns.
"To the extent that society continues to vilify the mentally ill and scapegoat them as the primary cause of gun violence, is a major step backward," says Hoge.
Anonymous asked: They were seriously just going to throw that bacon away?
Yes. I also “rescued” scrambled eggs and chorizo, pork sausages, lox, and other goodies - and it was still but a fraction of the overall amount of food left uneaten.
Some time ago, I caught them throwing large garbage bags full of food away and I freaked out. I grew up with the constant warnings about my hungry cousins in Cuba and thus have a particularly heightened predilection against wasting food. I asked them why they don’t just give this food away to local shelters or charities, and no one here will be surprised to know that it’s the state government that strictly prohibits such actions due to ostensible health violations. The “authorities” have regulations about offering previously-served food and food that has not been kept at a certain temperature and a certain way, but the hungry would no doubt prefer the lovely 2-to-3-hours-old foodstuffs we toss over whatever they find trash-diving or at the bottom of their tax-funded soup-bowl.
So once again, the government hurts the poor.
Under these figures, every Californian’s share of the debt burden is $11,600. To make matters worse, CalTax acknowledges that it may be understating the true extent of unfunded liabilities. CalTax appears to be using the liabilities that state and local governments in California themselves acknowledge. The tricky issue in estimating unfunded pension liabilities is the validity of the actuarial assumptions used by state and local government pension systems. Government pension systems in California tend to assume between 7.5% to 8% investment returns on pension funds over 30 years, assumptions widely derided as unrealistic and inconsistent with actual investment returns.
State Budget Solutions recently issued a report calculating pension liabilities using actual 15-year US Treasury bond returns (3.22%) as the basis for investment return assumptions. Using this figure instead of 7.5-8%, California’s unfunded state employee pension liabilities rise to $640 billion.
Worth posting about a second time:
Today California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have expanded that state’s definition of “assault weapons” to include any centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine, thereby recasting many popular hunting guns as tools of terror suitable only for mass murder. Here is the explanation Brown gave:
The State of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military-style assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
While the author’s intent is to strengthen these restrictions, this bill goes much farther by banning any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine. This ban covers low-capacity rifles that are commonly used for hunting, firearms training, and marksmanship practice, as well as some historical and collectible firearms. Moreover, hundreds ofthousands of current gun owners would have to register their rifles as assault weapons and would be banned from selling or transferring them in the future….
I don’t believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights.
California started the legislative craze of banning guns based on “military-style” features back in 1989, and this latest iteration shows how utterly arbitrary such laws are. Since the term assault weapon has no independent meaning, its definition can be expanded indefinitely, ultimately covering the very sorts of guns that activists once said they had no intention of banning. Neither logic nor shame seems to impose any limit on this charade, although the Constitution does.*
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Friday vetoed two measures to restrict the sale and possession of certain semi-automatic assault weapons, putting the brakes on some of the most aggressive gun-control proposals in state legislatures this year.
Brown vetoed Senate Bill 374, which would have banned semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and required firearm owners to register even low-capacity rifles as assault weapons.
The headline is a bit misleading.
There were, in fact, a very large number of gun control bills passed and sent to Brown for signature. And of all those bills, he actually signed into law a significant number of them. Nonetheless, he did veto some of the more egregious ones (SB 374, AB 169, SB 567, SB 299) - and vetoing SB 374 is reason alone for significant relief (at least, until the bastards try again next year).
The ordeal began on the first day of school last fall. The family had just moved to a new neighborhood and their son began his senior year at a new school, Chaparral High, in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Their son rarely made friends; so his mom was thrilled when he announced that he had made a new friend in art class on the first day of school.
"We were so excited. I told him he should ask his friend to come over for pizza and play video games," says Catherine Snodgrass, "but his new friend always had an excuse."
His new friend, who went under the name of Daniel Briggs, was known as “Deputy Dan” to many students because it was so apparent to them that he was an undercover officer. However, to their son whose disabilities make it hard for him to gauge social cues, Dan was his only real friend.
Dan reportedly sent 60 text messages to their son begging for drugs. The pressure to buy drugs was too much for the autistic teen - he began physically harming himself.
He finally agreed to buy Dan the pot. Dan give him twenty dollars and it took him three weeks to buy a half joint of pot off a homeless man downtown. This happened twice. When Dan asked a third time, their son refused and Dan cut off all communication.
"Our son was pretty broken up about that and he was back to having zero friends," says Doug Snodgrass.
On December 11, 2012 armed police officers walked into their son’s classroom and arrested him in front of his peers. He was taken to the juvenile detention center, along with the 21 other arrestees, where he was kept for 48 hours. First hand reports claim that the juvenile center was caught off guard by the large number of arrests and that some youths had to sleep on the floor, using toilet paper as pillows.
Their son was also expelled from high school.
Yup. This is definitely what cops should be doing instead of solving murders.
As reported by Nick Hankoff at the California Tenth Amendment Center today, AB351, the California Liberty Preservation Act has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown:
Assembly Bill 351, commonly called the California Liberty Preservation Act, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown making it statewide policy to refuse compliance with federal attempts to enforce “indefinite detention” made famous by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). What began as a marginal issue with little legislative support has unified Californians of all persuasions and brought attention to the proper role the people and their states play in a constitutional republic.
AB351 now makes it state policy to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government. It reads, in part:
It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. [emphasis added]
This language of AB351 goes far beyond what has been considered in most other states, which focus solely on indefinite detention powers under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and nothing else. Donnelly’s legislation broadened the scope by recognizing that indefinite detention should not be complied with no matter what federal law is used to justify it. Donnelly confirmed this broad scope, “AB351 will prevent California from implementing indefinite detention for any reason.”
This can make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.
This is awkward. California politicians actually trying to curb the stomping of rights? I mean, the NDAA’s indefinite detention is pretty egregious, and from what I understand the law doesn’t require the state government to actively prevent the federal government from extracting a resident for the purposes of indefinite detention, but still… it’s a very uncharacteristic move from the low-level fascists who feign to rule over us in this state. Good.
And we can also add this to the growing list of ways nullification is used by those who openly disdain nullification.
Three federal judges overseeing California’s prison system granted the state a four-week extension to get the prison population down to 137.5% capacity. In 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v Plata that the “court-mandated population limit is necessary to remedy the violation of prisoners’ constitutional rights.” In the two years since the ruling, California has scrambled to figure out how to reduce the prison population from a high of 144,000 to a constitutionally acceptable figure of approximately 110,000 inmates. The prison population is currently around 120,000, not including over 8,500 in out-of-state contracted facilities or thousands of others working in fire camps. California now has until the end of January 2014 to meet the court order.
They could start by releasing everyone in prison for non-violent drug possession. Ending the war on drugs, “three strikes” laws, and mandatory minimums would certainly get the ball rolling.
But that presumes that (1) the rights of citizens and (2) saving taxpayer money are actual concerns. In truth, like all government action, the injustice system is catered to extend power and wealth to the state and its cronies. There are too many people getting rich off the system for change to be easy. Sure enough:
Instead of talking about sensible sentencing reform, California approved a $300 million spending bill to authorize the expansion of contract beds in and out-of-state to ease overcrowding.
You can always count on them to spin things in their favor. As with all failed government programs and policies - the solution is always to throw more money at it. Like Obama’s then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
Gov. Jerry Brown this morning signed legislation to raise California’s minimum wage by 25 percent, from $8 an hour to $10 an hour by 2016.
And a new age of unemployment is ushered into the already economically-devastated state of California with thunderous applause.
Notes the supportive Sac Bee:
The bill, celebrated by Brown and his labor union allies at an event in Los Angeles, promises the first increase in California’s hourly minimum since 2008, when the minimum wage was raised 50 cents to $8.
Now, any semi-literate neanderthal would pause and wonder why a minimum wage would be supported by labor unions. After all, labor unions purport to represent their members, and they gain membership by offering a strong alternative to going it alone. As I’ve noted about my own experiences, they heap praise about their “brothers and sisters” and “solidarity” while deriding “scabs.” How could raising the wage for everyone, thus, be good for them if it ostensibly undermines their raison d’être?
Well, the answer is simple - and it’s the same one it’s been since labor unions and racists and larger businesses have always supported minimum wages: it prices others out of the market. After all, why not hire union labor if non-union minimums are so high anyway? Why not hire whites if there isn’t much financial incentive for closet racists to hire minorities? Et cetera.
(Also, some unions are paid relative to the minimum wage, so increases in minimum wage are ipso facto increases in their wages.)
As I’ve noted repeatedly, minimum wage laws are some of the most disastrous impediments to employment and prosperity:
"[M]aking something more expensive tends to force people to use less of it (by eliminating it altogether, finding ways to do more with less, or simply turning to alternatives, including black market options or technological substitutes). Statists seem to understand this principle with regards to things like sin taxes, gasoline taxes, or penalties for overwatering a lawn - but unfortunately they fail to make the connection when it is the price of labor that is increased.”
California moves forward with gun bans, fingerprint gun owners, shotguns redefined as ‘destructive devices’ →
California already has some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation, but the state appears to be moving forward with even more second amendment restructuring.
Downtrend.com lists the following as some of the bills that “will further infringe” upon California gun owners rights:Described as unconstitutional bills by critics, these are already headed for appropriation as they are movingquickly to get to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
-SB 47 (Yee) Bans all guns with a “bullet button.”
-SB 374 (Steinberg) Bans all semi-automatic center-fire long guns with detachablemagazines.
-SB 396 (Hancock) Makes grandfatheredmagazines over 10 rds. illegal to possess.
-SB 567 (Jackson) Redefines shotguns as a destructive devices.
-SB 683 (Block) Requires a Firearms Safety Certificate for all potential gun purchases.
-SB 755 (Wolk) Expands the type of crimes that can result in loss of firearms ownership rights.
Some details below:
Summary: Ban and forced registration of all semi-automatic rifles (excluding rimfire)
- Requires gun owners to register every semi-automatic rifle, including rimfire.
- Requires gun owners of existing semi-auto rifles to submit fingerprints and forms to DOJ, which will be tracked in a government database.
- Bans sales and transfers of virtually all semi-automatic rifles after Jan 1, 2014.
- “Bullet button” and similarly “mag-locked” off-list (OLL) rifles would be considered banned “assault weapons”.
Summary: Redefinition of “Shotguns”
- Removes from the Penal Code definition of shotgun the requirement that it be fired from the shoulder.
- Changes the definition to includes rifled bores.
- Makes any weapon for which shotshell-type ammunition exists a “shotgun”.
This is fucking bonkers
What in the actual fuck?
How does anyone live there?
Fearing for the safety of my family if the governor signs these into law…
(Thanks to hella-anarchy for giving us the heads up on this)
by Travis Melvin
It is not surprising that the first police raids to take legally-purchased firearms from citizens are in California. Until recently, the state had the strictest gun control laws and the liberal run state government has always looked unfavorably on the Second Amendment.
Earlier this year, the state legislature expanded the list of what they call “prohibited persons” – people who have legally registered a firearm but, for various reasons, are no longer allowed their Second Amendment rights. These reasons were expanded to include people who are behind on state taxes, did not pay toll fees in a “timely” manner and a wide range of other minor misdemeanors or reported mental health concerns.
In preparation for the crackdown, the state authorized $24 million to hire additional officers to track down 20,000 people on the list. One person on this list was Joe Mendez.
A police officer came to the door and lured Mendez out of his house with a story of a hit and run report. Once outside, he had M16s pointed within inches of his face, was taken into custody and had all weapons removed from his house.
It is important to remember that these were legally- purchased and registered firearms. That gets to the other issue about this initiative.
This case demonstrates what registration lists really are. They are tools to allow police to confiscate weapons. And, all they have to do in California is come up with a reason you should be on the prohibited persons list; a list that is continuously expanding in its scope and definition.
California gun owners beware: your firearms and rights are being confiscated by your liberal politicians.
VA - Wonder if Sen. Dianne Feinstein is on the list as being senile and having a gun…
"no one is trying to take your guns"
"we are not going to ban guns"
"you’re just paranoid"
In the Fascist Republic of California, not paying toll fees in “a timely manner” is apparently sufficient reason to strip a person of his/her fundamental right to own and use effective means to protect him/herself.
I know many people in this state are ideologically inclined to ignore the reality that such actions make us all less safe - but I wonder how many of them understand the truth and simply don’t care.
With summer recess behind them and the legislative session’s five-week homestretch ahead, state lawmakers face a fusillade of gun-control bills that could move California far beyond what any other state has enacted — including proposals to ban a wide range of semi-automatic rifles and impose strict new regulations on ammunition.
And, contrary to the naïve and ignorant hopes of the gun-controllers, these efforts will only serve to make my family less safe.
In light of privacy concerns, states including Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia have limited the use of ALPRs, and New Hampshire has banned them outright. Even the International Association of Chiefs of Police has issued a report recognizing that “recording driving habits” could raise First Amendment concerns because cameras could record “vehicles parked at addiction-counseling meetings, doctors’ offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests.
I am not holding my breath that the current lawsuit over their use in Los Angeles would yield such results, considering the state-loving nature of LA.
It’s sad that violation of rights is so commonplace that the people of New Hampshire are to be commended for ensuring civil liberties are not violated by their government. But, indeed, that is the case.