“Auto sears” are small, illegal devices that convert guns into “machineguns” that
fire fully automatically, expelling numerous rounds with a single trigger squeeze. While Federally banned,
they can be bought from online sources or made at home with a 3-D printer. Those peddled for use in Glock
9mm. pistols (called “Glock switches”) have become especially popular and are being increasingly
used in violent crimes; most recently, in the January 2024 murder of Mississippi Deputy Sheriff Jeremy
Louisiana Governor (and ex-cop) Jeff Landry declared a statewide “state of emergency”
over a shortage of police officers. Landry campaigned for office on a crime-reduction platform -
Louisiana’s murder rate is one of the highest in the U.S. - and his action temporarily removes bars
for hiring deputy sheriffs, whose numbers are 1,800 short statewide. According to PERF, it’s not only Louisiana.
Officer resignations and retirements surged nationwide after the George Floyd episode and the pandemic. In
2022 resignations were 47% higher than in 2019, while retirements increased by 19%.
2/19/24Charles McGonigal led the FBI’s New York City office between 2017 and his
retirement in 2018. He’s just been sentenced to 28 months in prison for accepting $225,000 to secretly
“advance” the business interests of an Albanian man while McGonigal conducted official duties
abroad. This follows on a 50-month term handed out to McGonigal in December for money laundering and other
To help identify problematic gun dealers, ATF has long kept a list of those which sold
twenty-five or more guns in a single year that wound up being seized by police within three years of their
sale. And to help identify unlicensed gun marketers, stores that wind up on the list must submit quarterly
information about their sale of used guns. USA Today got access to the lists. More than half of
Turner’s Outdoorsman stores are on them.
“Senseless” killings plague the land. In a Minneapolis suburb, two police officers
and a paramedic who responded to a domestic violence call were shot and killed by a heavily armed man who
opened fire after “hours” of “negotiation.” Another officer was wounded, and
the shooter was killed. And in San Bernardino, California, an angry
motorist reacted to a minor parking lot fender-bender by shooting and killing the driver of the other car.
The shooter, who apparently had a serious mental history, used an unregistered 9mm. pistol. She was booked
on murder charges.
COVID-19 fraud prosecutions continue. In a major case, a pair of Georgia residents face decades in prison
after a jury convicted them of orchestrating a scheme that drained more than $11 million dollars from the
Paycheck Protection Program. Testimony revealed that they and several accomplices submitted documents that
claimed they employed dozens of employees and incurred major expenses running a number of businesses. Alas,
there were neither employees nor businesses.
2/16/24With a population of about 150,000 and a grisly 118 murders, Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s
capital city, reportedly had the nation’s worst homicide rate last
year, about twice Detroit’s in magnitude. To lessen the toll, a collaborative effort involving
local and state police, the FBI and DEA is now in effect. Aimed at violent offenders and drug traffickers,
“Operation Unified” ostensibly settles a protracted dispute between the “Reds” and
“Blues” about the best way to bring down crime. Related posts
2/15/24Kansas City’s football team had already left on buses when, despite the
presence of “more than 800” police officers, gunfire broke out at the end of a parade celebrating
the Chief’s Super Bowl victory. One person was killed and twenty-one were wounded, including eight
children. Fans pursued several suspects, and three were detained. Several firearms were also recovered.
Three D.C. police
officers were shot and wounded, none seriously, as they forced their way into a residence to arrest its
occupant for animal cruelty. Thirteen hours later, their as-yet unidentified assailant was taken into custody.
He had fired on the officers through the door. Two were struck in the lower legs and a third was shot twice
in his ballistic vest. He was bruised but the bullets didn't penetrate.
2/14/24Chicago’s progressives are applauding Mayor Brandon Johnson’s decision to carry through on
his promise to cancel the contract with ShotSpotter, whose gunshot detection sensors are deployed in some of
the city’s most violent sectors. But with nearly 3,000 shootings in Chicago last year, his move, which
will take effect in October, is opposed by law enforcement, which values the instant notifications that the
sensors can bring, independently of 9-1-1.
Denver prides itself on the
support it offers immigrants. But as of January it’s received 40,000, many bused by Texas Governor
Abbott. On top of its homelessness problem, for a city of 750,000 the burden of providing for the arrivals is
overwhelming. Renting hotel rooms and such will consume $180 million this year. That’s ten percent of
the city budget. So it’s being forced to throttle back.
Immigration updatesRelated post
In their second try, by a one-vote margin, House Republicans impeached Homeland Security Secretary
Alejandro Mayorkas. Secretary Mayorkas, the first sitting cabinet member ever impeached, is accused of
“willfully and systematically” turning his back on the enforcement of immigration laws, and of
falsely asserting that the border is secure. But a trial seems unlikely, as the Senate, which is where it
would take place, is controlled by the “Blues.”
Immigration updatesRelated post
2/13/24In New York City’s violence-stricken Bronx, a quarrel between teens on a subway train
led to gunfire as passengers debarked during the Monday afternoon rush hour. A 34-year old man was killed and
five persons were wounded, including a 14-year old girl and a 15-year old boy. Commenting on the episode,
NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who has touted a citywide crime drop, lamented that “not only people must be
actually safe, but what we have done in lowering crime, they must feel safe.”
2/12/24Accompanied by a young child, an unidentified woman in her thirties walked into a Houston megachurch
between services on Sunday afternoon and opened fire with an “AR-15” rifle. Two off-duty police
officers working security fired back, killing her. Her child was critically injured, and a parishioner was
wounded. Her rifle was reportedly marked “Free Palestine”, but her motives are as yet unknown.
California’s new CARE Court allows individuals to seek judicial orders
compelling severely distressed family members to undergo psychiatric examinations and, if necessary, submit
to custodial or non-custodial treatment. But initial indications are not promising. A Los Angeles woman who
is seeking to have her schizophrenic, drug-abusing estranged husband brought before a judge has experienced
a more than two-month delay in finding out whether her petition was even accepted.
In response to the pandemic and
anger over the George Floyd episode, in 2020 Denver police substantially dialed back on pedestrian and vehicle
stops, disorder arrests, and drug arrests. An academic inquiry concludes that the reduction in stops was
associated with statistically significant increases in violent crime, and the reduction in drug arrests with a
significant increase in property crime.
Using smuggled cell phones and messaging tools such as WhatsApp, California’s imprisoned
Mexican Mafia bosses control street drug deals throughout Los Angeles. A current Federal case uses transcripts
of online chats to detail the interactions between Carlos Reyes, who is serving a 54-year murder term, and his
“employees.” In one, he tells an 18-year old runner to deliver $900 worth of drugs and keep $50
for himself. In another, he authorizes an underling to keep $100 from a $10,000 haul.
Gun violence continues to beset Chicago’s impoverished “Little Village” neighborhood (i.e.,
South Lawndale). During the morning hours of February 10 police came across the body of a
man who had been shot in the head and in the back. And early the very next morning an argument turned into a
shooting that wounded five persons and left a 30-year old woman in critical condition. The as-yet
unidentified gunman fled in a van. Related posts
In September 2018 Illinois man Torrey Lewis was arrested and charged with the July 2017 shooting death of
a disabled man. Lewis was held on a high bond, but in 2020 he was released on electronic monitoring because
of the pandemic. Since then, provisions of Illinois’ 2021 SAFE-T Act, which eliminated cash bail,
granted Lewis unmonitored “free time” each week. And on January 31 he took advantage, driving a
stolen car at “over 100” MPH and getting involved in a car-to-car shootout in which he and three
others were wounded. Prosecutors want him detained when released from the hospital. Related posts
police union’s claim that easing up endangers public safety, a Federal judge approved a plan that
radically changes how New York City manages protests. To settle a lawsuit filed by the State A.G. and civil
rights groups, the city agreed to prohibit “kettling”, the boxing-in of protesters. Officers must
follow a staged approach. Its final stage - actively moving in - can only happen if protesters try to breach
a sensitive location, or when widespread crimes render lesser methods ineffective. Related posts
2/7/24Oakland’s marked increase in violent crime and theft, which seem
badly out of synch with other cities, has upset the local NAACP chapter. It urges tougher measures to protect
vulnerable minority communities. “If there are no consequences for committing crime in Oakland, crime
will continue to soar.” To help, Calif. Governor Kevin Newsom is sending 120 CHP officers. But he resists
tinkering with the much-maligned Proposition 47, which eased criminal penalties. Some now blame that for more
crime. Related posts
Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the youth who used his parents’ handgun to kill four classmates and
wound seven others at Michigan’s Oxford High School in November 2021, was convicted of four counts of
involuntary manslaughter. Testimony revealed that she and husband James Crumbley, who’s pending trial,
helped teach their son how to use the gun and ignored clear indications of his mental distress. She could get
up to fifteen years on each count, with credit for 2 1/2 years served in jail.