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Former Marine kills 3 Baton Rouge officers, wounds 3 others

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Authorities talk to the driver of a car near an area where several officers were shot while on duty less than a mile from police headquarters today in Baton Rouge, La.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this aerial photo, investigators work part of the shooting scene in Baton Rouge, La., where law enforcement officers were injured and killed today. At least three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers investigating a report of a man with an assault rifle were killed today, less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police here in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide. A few other officers were wounded, one critically.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Police guard the emergency room entrance of Our Lady Of The Lake Medical Center, where wounded officers were brought, in Baton Rouge, La. today. Multiple law enforcement officers were killed and wounded this morning in a shooting near a gas station in Baton Rouge, less than two weeks after a black man was shot and killed by police here, sparking nightly protests across the city.

BATON ROUGE, La. » A former Marine dressed in black and carrying extra ammunition shot and killed three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers today, less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police here in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide.

Three other officers were wounded, one critically. Police said the gunman was killed at the scene.

The shooting less than a mile from police headquarters added to the tensions across the country between the black community and police. Just days earlier, one of the slain officers had posted an emotional Facebook message about the challenges of police work in the current environment.

President Barack Obama urged Americans to tamp down inflammatory words and actions.

“We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts … all of us,” Obama said.

The gunman was identified as Gavin Long of Kansas City, who turned 29 on Sunday.

Long, who was black, served in the Marines from 2005 to 2010, reaching the rank of sergeant. He deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009, according to military records.

Although he was believed to be the only person who fired at officers, authorities said they were unsure if he had some kind of help.

“We are not ready to say he acted alone,” state police spokesman Major Doug Cain said. Two “persons of interest” were detained for questioning in the nearby town of Addis.

They were later released without any charges being filed. Cain said authorities planned to continue investigating whether the gunman got any assistance — “indirectly, directly here or at home.”

While in the military, Long was awarded several medals, including one for good conduct, and received an honorable discharge. His occupational expertise was listed as “data network specialist.”

The University of Alabama issued a statement saying that Long attended classes for one semester in the spring of 2012. A school spokesman said university police had no interactions with him.

In Kansas City, police officers, some with guns drawn, converged on a house listed as Long’s.

It was the fourth high-profile deadly encounter in the United States involving police over the past two weeks. In all, the violence has cost the lives of eight officers, including those in Baton Rouge, and two civilians and sparked a national debate over race and policing.

Authorities initially believed that additional assailants might be at large, but hours later said there were no other active shooters. They did not discuss the gunman’s motive or any relationship to the wider police conflicts.

The shooting began at a gas station on Airline Highway. According to radio traffic, Baton Rouge police answered a report of a man with an assault rifle and were met by gunfire. For several long minutes, they did not know where it was coming from.

The radio exchanges were made public Sunday by the website Broadcastify.

Nearly 2½ minutes after the first report of an officer getting shot, an officer on the scene is heard saying police do not know the shooter’s location.

Almost six minutes pass after the first shots are reported before police say they have determined the shooter’s location. About 30 seconds later, someone says shots are still being fired.

The recording lasts about 17 minutes and includes urgent calls for an armored personnel carrier called a BearCat.

“There simply is no place for more violence,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “It doesn’t further the conversation. It doesn’t address any injustice perceived or real. It is just an injustice in and of itself.”

From his window, Joshua Godwin said he saw the suspect, who was dressed in black with a ski mask, combat boots and extra bullets. He appeared to be running “from an altercation.”

Mike Spring awoke at a nearby house to a sound that he thought was from firecrackers. The noise went on for five to 10 minutes, getting louder.

Of the two officers who survived the shooting, one was hospitalized in critical condition, and the other was in fair condition. Another officer was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said.

Two of the slain officers were from the Baton Rouge Police Department: 32-year-old Montrell Jackson, who had been on the force for a decade, and 41-year-old Matthew Gerald, who had been there for less than a year.

The third fatality was Brad Garafola, 45 and a 24-year veteran of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

Jackson, who was black, posted his message on Facebook on July 8, just three days after the death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man killed by white Baton Rouge officers after a scuffle at a convenience store.

In the message, Jackson said he was physically and emotionally tired and complained that while in uniform, he gets nasty looks. When he’s out of uniform, he said, some people consider him a threat.

A friend of Jackson’s family, Erika Green, confirmed the posting, which is no longer on Facebook. A screenshot of the image was circulating widely on the internet.

The Baton Rouge attack unfolded hours after a domestic violence suspect opened fire early Sunday on a Milwaukee police officer who was sitting in his squad car. The officer was seriously wounded, and the suspect fled and apparently killed himself, authorities said.

Police-community relations in Baton Rouge have been especially tense since Sterling’s death. The killing was captured on cellphone video.

It was followed a day later by the shooting death of another black man in Minnesota, whose girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath of his death on Facebook. The next day, a black gunman in Dallas opened fire on police at a protest about the police shootings, killing five officers and heightening tensions even further.

Thousands of people protested Sterling’s death, and Baton Rouge police arrested more than 200 demonstrators.

Sterling’s nephew condemned the killing of the three Baton Rouge officers. Terrance Carter spoke Sunday to The Associated Press by telephone, saying the family just wants peace.

“My uncle wouldn’t want this,” Carter said. “He wasn’t this type of man.

A few yards from a police roadblock on Airline Highway, Keimani Gardner was in the parking lot of a warehouse store that would ordinarily be bustling on a Sunday afternoon. He and his girlfriend both work there. But the store was closed because of the shooting.

“It’s crazy. … I understand some people feel like enough is enough with, you know, the black community being shot,” said Gardner, an African-American. “But honestly, you can’t solve violence with violence.”

Michelle Rogers and her husband drove near the shooting scene, but were blocked at an intersection closed by police.

“I can’t explain what brought us here,” she said. “We just said a prayer in the car for the families.”

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    • WAFB is reporting that police were called about a man carrying a gun. They quoted a witness that said two people were shooting at each other, then the police arrived and both of them started to shoot at the police. What can you say? Its Lousiana after all where guns are more plentiful than college degrees.

        • They hate us even when they were given a chance. Their crime rate and failure rate to amount to something in life is staggering.

        • That’s interesting: my feelings toward you have nothing to do with any failure on my part.

        • Too bad for the meme that it’s leftists who are actually doing the shooting and killing, eh?

          “Right wing bigoted nut cases” who write into a newspaper’s comment section compared to a “Tolerant, loving left winger” who uses the very type of weapon that they are afraid of to kill law enforcement officers. Yeah, guess who is actually safer to be around.

        • Vector…look in the mirror & you’ll see a hypocrite..an extreme leftwing zealot. Thin skinned are you, like your potus.

      • Were these officers issued bullet proof vests? Is it mandatory to wear them or optional? Not one word mentioned about vests. Now I realize vests are not 100% effective but 3 cops dead…..really?

        • Most vests patrol cops wear can defeat a handgun round, but most don’t wear the ceramic plates that can “stop” a rifle round.

        • Military vest are superior to those used by police forces. “Someone” recalled military surplus equipment that were distributed to a number of metropolitan police forces but were recalled for political correctness sake. Police lives could be saved if they are equipped with the same type of vest made from material that is used by our soldiers on the front-lines. Today the front-line is in our cities where police must confront armed disgruntle veterans that have been radicalized by filth expounded by the political correct liberals.

  • I hope they catch whoever did this and bring him/them to justice. Chalk this one up to Obama for flapping his lips before he knew the facts. All he did was widen the chasm of racial prejudice. Where is the love and compassion Ms. Piggy was talking about?

    • And exactly what did Obama do to widen the chasm of racial prejudice? Cell phones just make it more obvious what has been going on for decades. Should we do away with cell phones?

        • boots gets his…(ahem)….”info” from Brian Williams, Catie Couric, msnbc, cbs, abc, cnn, npr & the WH…yes you’re correct sarge22, boots is asleep.

        • No I haven’t sarge but were you asleep for decades prior to Obama becoming president? Police violence has been a problem ever since i was a kid but back then cell phones were not available and the police were generally considered to be right. A wrong assumption. You deny police shootings especially of minorities existed prior to Obama?

        • lol, and where do you get your information from Keonigohan? Rush, Fox news? Far right nut sites?

        • WH Racist is going to speak shortly. It has been delayed as he is making up more excuses for his poor performance and adding a few more I’s.

        • It’s isn’t police violence that has been a problem, it’s criminals and lawbreakers who have been the problem.

      • He has picked a side, before fact one was known, repeatedly. When the facts were known, in the case of the Trayvon Martin trial or the matter of Ferguson, Mo, he made no acknowledgement that the deceased bore some responsibility.

        Obama is a black man who happens to be president, not a president of all of us who happens to be black. Rather than bringing the races together he has widened the gap by his failed leadership. Some of this is because he is a weak, inexperienced man. Some of his juvenile divisiveness is from despicable political calculation. In both cases, we are worse off because of him.

        • It’s clear Obama has at least half European ancestry. Haven’t you ever seen someone from Kenya before?

          Is it because you follow the “one-drop rule”?

        • Winston, we are worst off because of all the hate and bigotry by the likes of you

        • To use a bad metaphor, the charges of racism and bigotry mean you guys are out of intellectual ammo, no ideas, no facts, no logic. Obama has failed as a leader regarding race relations. That’s a race neutral statement. He’s made things worse.

        • IRT DannoBoy, regarding if Obama is Black…who defines what you are? Answer, other people and yourself. What does it matter? Sheesh, and yeah, look at him is pretty much a good response. Why? Because many people will begin to evaluate him on his looks straight away.

      • Boots, he started by saying police acted stupidly when responding to a reported burglary of a black Harvard University professor’s home in Massachusetts, and he routinely sends White House representatives to funerals and memorial services of blacks killed in controversial confrontations with police while investigations are still being conducted to get the facts. That sends signals to the black community that he sides with them and it widens the chasm racial prejudice.

        • and he has invited BLM several times, along with Al Sharpton who has a bedroom there.

        • Lol,blame Obama. Notice a lot of blame Obama for the past 7 years. We need a woman president.

        • NB…at least people are calling out Obama DURING his term instead of years AFTER leaving office as he did with the previous POTUS.

        • I was unfamiliar with the word vector.

          Vector definition:
          -an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another.
          I did not make this up.

        • Here is the problem–“The state Department of Health’s vector control unit suffered severe cuts years ago and we’ve been following the issue since. Vector control handles animals that have the potential to carry disease, from rodents to insects.

          The work hasn’t been easy. “We’re still sort of limping along,” said Lynn Nakasone, environmental health services administrator.”

      • Obama has not much to do with this. The hate of black lawbreakers against law enforcing cops has been growing for years. Cops have to deal with these people. Many areas are already lawless zones, because lawbreakers are given too many rights and freedoms. If a cop shoots a lawbreaker who does not follow commands there should be applause – instead the media usually try to accuse and attack the cops.

      • Obama been opening his big mouth blaming the popo from the beginning of his coming to office. He speaks first and the waits for the facts. Dumb person he is.

        • lol, and what do republicans offer? GW in the past, and the Donald for the future.. Two politicians who speak first regardless of what the facts are. At least Obama has generally been right. GW was never right, and The Donald is a moving target.

        • What have the republican states like Texas and Louisianna doing to protect the men in blue? Why blame Obama ? Don’t these GOP governors have a say? Heard Dallas under pays the men in blue, and union busting GOP politicians are behind it. So sad.

        • Boots and his yes man at it again. Biggest mistake he made was appointing Crooked Mama Secretary of State. She was so careless she almost ended up in prison. That’s not all, Obamacare, the turmoil in the Middle East, the birth of ISIS, riots, murders. Name one President did as much damage. You guys better put down the bong.

      • Three more dead policemen because of Obama’s erroneous rushes to judgement. I think today he knows to keep his pie hole shut until he gets the facts.

        • Obama doesnt have to get involved in police matters all the time. Better he lets the system correct itself before he rambles on.

        • How is Obama responsible for all the gun related violence and deaths in this country. Place the blame on those who have preached hatred of different groups of people, for those who believe everyone should have access to guns and assault weapons, and those who believe I alone am righteous, and everyone else are wrong and in league with the devil

        • A previous comment sums it up–“He started by saying police acted stupidly when responding to a reported burglary of a black Harvard University professor’s home in Massachusetts, and he routinely sends White House representatives to funerals and memorial services of blacks killed in controversial confrontations with police while investigations are still being conducted to get the facts. That sends signals to the black community that he sides with them and it widens the chasm racial prejudice.”

      • The number of police officers killed on the job has been falling for decades, even as the number of officers has increased. This has been the case under Obama as well. These tragedies are at historic lows.

        See:  http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/17/officers-feloniously-killed-in-the-line-of-duty_custom-5f4f6cf10726dd9b8cc99cadd634667133ca38fa-s700-c85.png

        In fact,  many more officers kill themselves than are killed by others. Many officers face multiple suicide risk factors:
        > exposure to violence, suicide, or other job-related stressors;
        > depression, anxiety, or other mental illness;
        > substance abuse;
        > domestic abuse;
        > access to means to kill oneself (e.g., firearms); and
        > poor physical health.

        These suicides are preventable in many cases if more attention is paid to the fact that officers are more likely to kill themselves than to be shot by someone else. 

        What about the role of our president in race relations? 

        No one would argue that racial tensions haven’t increased under Obama. Is that his fault? Is he guilty of “governing while black?”

        While doing his best to clean up the disasters left by his predecessor, Obama has faced exaggerated hostility.

        There has been an increase in white supremacist hate groups and threats against the president from the start of his tenure, and unrelated to his official actions. 

        He had had little help from a Republican congress determined to obstruct progress and then blame him for it. This was their #1 priority while the nation was reeling from economic collapse, unemployment, foreclosures and Bush-broke-the-MidEast wars. Specifically, conservatives blocked support for infrastructure and job creation initiatives that would help those hardest hit by the Bush recession – poor and minority communities.

        There has been ugly, disrespectful vitriol against the president by conservative European Americans, including mainstream right wing media. The extent of this has been unprecedented in modern times. This has mostly consisted of a steady spin – killing by a thousand cuts – supporting the narrative that he’s illegitimate (a secret Muslim, gay, not a real American). At times, this has been unmistakable, as when conservatives who embraced the disgraceful fabricated “birther” accusations against the president’s legitimacy, later dismissed the very real fact that Ted Cruz was born outside the US to a father who was not a US citizen.

        At the state level, conservatives took control of state-houses across the country. Budgets for police and schools were slashed. Extreme gerrymandering and restrictive voting laws were implemented to disenfranchise minority communities.

        All of this is plain as day to those whose minds are not corrupted by a white supremacist world view (conscious or unconscious). Most of all, this has been plain to minority communities, particularly African-American communities. They are not happy about how the conservative, right wing, white supremacist community has treated them. 

        No group enjoys having to face poverty and discrimination on a regular basis. Few will sit idly by when they repeatedly witness it for themselves. Technology is allowing the disenfranchised to share information, including videos of police violence against members of their communities.

        But these are not the only reasons: 

        > Conservative policies have resulted in the proliferation of firearms, stonewalling calls for better gun control laws by police and progressives like Obama.

        > Due to local budget cuts by conservatives, there has been a reduction in community policing and increased reliance on predatory civil fines and asset forfeitures to fund police departments. This taking of money from people who are poor and struggling, to pay for conservative tax cuts, has bred resentment. 

        > Conservatives have supported policies and funding to militarize the police.

        > Conservatives at all levels have refused to invest adequate resources in poor communities, including jobs initiatives that would benefit young African American men. (Meanwhile they vote to spend lavishly on the security state).

        > Conservative policies have resulted in disproportionately harsh outcomes for African-Americans who have contact with the criminal justice system (compared to European-Americans with the same conduct).

        I think the main problem we have are too many conservatives and white-supremacists who have been obsessed with blaming Obama for all America’s problems, including the growing anger in neglected African-American communities, while doing everything they can to see him fail. These groups, more that any others, are responsible for the increased racial tensions in the mainland.

        The police and the poor minority communities are the real victims in all this, shouldering the real impacts of harsh conservative policies. The vast majority of them are good people, struggling to do their best each day.

        Can things get worse? You bet. With poor leadership at the state and local levels, and with a Republican Congress that insists on flooding the nation with guns and yet refuses to adequately help poor communities, we could finally see the numbers of police killed on the job begin to rise again.

        Perhaps we are already past that point. 

        • You think money throwing at them will change anything? I don’t. When people always call for others to help them they are inadequate.

        • I guess we should disregard all those years the dems controlled the White House and Congress.

        • Police deaths may be falling, but this calculated killing of officers abetted, indirectly at least, is new and more dangerous than random violence. What the numbers don’t tell us is where this might go if the right leadership steps aren’t taken.

          You say that declining race relations aren’t Obama’s fault. True. However, leadership matters and his has been abysmal, contributing to the problem, not to the solution. His consistent prejudgement of events is the mark of an immature, inexperienced leader.

          Conservatives blocked infrastructure for needy communities? No, they did not. The stimulus forked over nearly a trillion dollars, mainly wasted on poorly executed, non-stimulative (due to delay or misapplication, or the Solyndras), porkbarrel projects, mainly in democrat-heavy districts. Find a map of where that money went. Political payola.

          Conservatives, the root of all evil. Republicans have won record governorships and state houses for a reason. Their ideas are better. They face fiscal reality, unlike democrat controlled bastions like Illinois and California and our own state which is floating on a sea of debt and incompetent management. We have a massive fiscal reckoning coming, at the state and national level to which the democrats are willfully blind. The republicans at the national level at least tried to head this off with the Ryan budget. At the state level, republican have done so in more concrete ways, Indiana, Ohio. The opposite has taken place in democrat ruled states.

          Conservatives blocking progress? Strange definition of progress you have. National debt doubled. Obamacare, 2,700 pages of fail, flung on the public and now failing, exchange by exchange. Foreign policy in shambles, worse than shambles due to Obama creating a global power vacuum.

          Conservatives to blame for firearms proliferation. Just don’t see that one, a firearm purchase being an individual decision. The flip side is that purchases do go up every time Obama mislables an act of Islamic terrorism as a “gun crime” gun sales go up due to paranoia about what our extra-constitutional president is going to do next by executive order.

          Conservatives against minorities. Seriously? Chicago, Ill. , California? What do these states have in common democrat leadership AND very significant minority crime and poverty problems. How do those wily conservatives do it??? By “it” I mean infiltrate and ruin democrat ruled states. How did they turn prosperous California into a gated community for rich liberals or Chicago into an American Beirut?

          Linkage of conservatives to white supremacists. Sort of clever, putting a swastika on your political opposites. It’s a diversion from the facts, though, that the African American culture is in collapse, shocking rates of crime, broken social structure, a plague of single parenthood, even more so than when Jim Crow was in full effect. Why would this be? Something conservatives have done? Hardly. Complex answer, but you forget to look at the supposed champion of minorities. That would be the democrats and the obvious tactic to build political power by inflaming the racial fault lines.

          Victimology. While some of what you say regarding minorities seems true, in both republican and democrat run states, the permanent resort to victimhood and the blame game leaves a pretty significant question unasked: What are minorities doing for themselves. What responsibility do they take for their own circumstances? I believe your answer is none. Hapless, helpless victims, period. In a sense, it’s the same mentality that perpetuates our homeless problem here. There is no expectation that those in need are responsible for helping themselves.

          To sum up, your view is profoundly blind to the failures on the side of our liberal/progressive politics. You assign all fault to conservatives, then ignore it in some of our most populous democrat dominated states. You echo Obama’s and progressives assertions that conservatives are not just wrong, they are evil, somehow immoral. Very pompous, a mentality without introspection, which will lead us, as a nation where we seem to be going, nowhere.

        • Lespark, are you a Yes man to Trump and the bible thumping, gun toting Republicans

  • Where’s Waldo(Obama)? In times when you need the POTUS to back up the Police Dept. across the country he’s silent! If it was another Cop shooting a citizen Obama be saying, if I had a son he’d look like the victim. smh

    • Obama needs to go National airwaves, telling the Nation he’s 100% behind Cops and there’ll be consequences jawing cops while being arrested.

      • The radicalization of the shooters are not being influenced by Islam, but a POTUS who jumps to conclusions not facts but what is his assumptions that the police picks on the Blacks as has been shown on most of the incidents, starting from the Black professor of an eastern college and followed by the Tryvon Martin slaying. There has been more assaults and slaying of police officers than any other administration.

    • Sounds like the philosophy my country right or wrong except now it is cops are always right.

      Sorry, if cops are racist and discriminatory, they will have to expect blow back. Stop the racism and discrimination and such incidences will drastically decrease.

      It could be argued that these shooters are just exercising their second amendment right.

      • My first reaction, not only from this incident, but others, is that the police officers need to go through military small arms training to know how to accurately shoot. I know a lot of the men in Hawaii are ex military–other than how to wear a uniform and make your bed–what was next??? On the rifle range day in and day out with seasoned instructors, most combat veterans–right????

        • We did in the 80s and we are headed that way again. As a young officer assigned to the Tactical Operations Division, sent to SWAT school at Schofield, run by FBI. Then drug interdiction classes run by DEA, taught by Special Forces out of Fort Lewis Washington. Lead by a young SF named Nagata, eventually became commander of all Spec. OPS.

        • Crime will always be higher in impoverished communities that lack opportunity and are flooded with weapons. What’s your point?

      • Boots, I can’t believe you condoning the shooters exercising their second amendment right to shoot at police. You really need to get a life. You must be one sicko person with your insane thinking. With this kind of thinking, I hope you get no help from the police when a shooter commits a violet act on you.

        • Have you listened to gun nuts? Especially when talking about Obama and how he is coming to take away their guns? As far as police I haven’t gotten any help from them in the past so I don’t expect any in the future. Last time I called them someone had stolen my mail box. You think the police were successful in finding it? lol

          As for a shooter committing a violent act on me, I doubt more police would help. Perhaps more regulations on who can own a gun, but I suspect you would be against this and say something stupid like some one would have pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands.

        • Well said Boots, but more police, deployed in a community engagement (non-militarized) manner would help along with a drastic reduction in firearm access. I keep waiting for Obama to come for the gun so we can live in peace. What’s wrong with the man? The police are waiting too.

        • Boots was only stating that the 2nd Ammendment of the right to bear arms, applies to all Americans, including Blacks

        • I’m sorry to hear about that theft Boots.

          Call this number….911. Ask for “Louie”. He can give you some tips on stopping people who take mailboxes.

        • If someone is shooting at you Boots, I don’t think a discussion of more regulations would be helpful to you at that point.

          You may need a hashtag or maybe a strongly worded letter. Maybe if you’re really lucky, someone chasing Pokemons will walk between you and the shooter and shield you.

      • Blacks commit many of the crimes which only serve to increase encounters with cops. If they despise cops so much, they ought to consider not breaking laws.

        • True Danno, the south like Texas ,Louisiana, Mississippi all are GOP states have the highest amount of police shootings. Why is that?

        • It’s because conservatives are unfit to govern a free society. Their approach mainly works under a primitive system of apartheid, where they can segregate and exploit the poor and deny then equal rights.

          They preach about being Christian and being accountable for your actions, but most tend to ignore the gospel, make excuses for their failed leadership and point to the speck in their poor neighbour’s eye.

          The progressive northern states have their share of challenges, but they have had to subsidize the South for generations.

          I think the main “strength” of many conservative southerners is their ability to compartmentalize all these contradictions and to galvanize their community using fear – especially fear of African-Americans.

          For over 150 years, the southern ruling class has been engaged in a desperate fight, at all levels, to maintain abominable inequality. This has made them excellent politicians who can use any trick in the book.

          First, they pretend all is well in the south. Then they blame outsiders, usually the north, Then they blame their poor for bringing it on themselves. When all else fails, they paint them as a violent underclass that must be controlled with an iron fist.

          Confronted with pervasive societal inequality and hypocrisy from a young age, many southerners develop polished rhetoric, disregard for inconvenient fact, and practiced self-deception. They learn to attack and marginalize those who threaten the status quo. This makes them our nation’s best politicians.

          However, inconvenient facts are still facts and deception, blaming others and smooth talk only goes so far. That’s why southern conservatives haven’t been so good at governing.

          The cognitive flexibility to hold inconsistent beleifs and ignore facts, and demonization of outsiders, also promotes cohesion in conservative groups. They might describe it as loyalty and respect for authority. In practice, there is some similarity to the dynamic that develops in conspirators or cult groups, in which cohesion is fostered by obviously false statements. Lies or beleifs that contradict reality are held tightly because they serve to define membership and loyalty to the group above all else, including truth.

        • It’s because conservatives are unfit to govern a free society. Spoken by a true Socialist. Nothing is free. Somebody has to pay. Inconvenient facts are still facts and deception, blaming others and smooth talk only goes so far. That’s why Obama hasn’t been so good at governing.

      • “It could be argued that these shooters are just exercising their second amendment right.”

        You know, I hate to say it, but I could see an argument being made for that position. If the people doing these heinous acts truly believe they are being oppressed by a tyrannical government that is exactly what the second amendment is for.

        Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that their side will prevail. I think there are more people who would back the government in this case. It’s hard to call a government tyrannical while they are giving you welfare, food stamps and tons of other handouts.

  • Ban and confiscate Assault Rifles. The assassins of cops have one thing in common, Assault weapons. The Republicans in Congress and the Senate are doing everything in their power to obstruct any legistlation to control access to guns and assault weapons. Trump and Pence also support the easy access to guns and assault weapons.Insane support for the easy access of guns and assault weapons, will continue to produce the insane gun violence and mass murder in Orlando, Sandy Hook, Paris, San Bernadino, and now Dallas, and Baton Rouge.

      • Obama haters, blame Obama for everything that happens in this country. You people are the cause of all the hate, bigotry, divisions, gun violence and dgun related deaths in this country. Look at yourselves, you are the problem, not Obama.

        • He’s done as much as Congress has allowed. They make the laws and make the funding decisions.

        • To put it mildly he is a very weak leader of our country and can’t get anything done. It’s always the other guys fault. Just ask him.

        • Yes. None of this would have happened if we just let zero do and say whatever he wants.

          And you call other people insane.

    • The logical conclusion of your proposal is a ban on all firearms, after all, pistols are semi-automatics. So are many hunting rifles. The result will be this: honest, non-violent citizens will not be able to defend themselves and their homes from criminals who will prey on them.

        • BS. Any semi-automatic firearm can wreck havoc on an unarmed crowd. Now it’s “assault rifles”, a made up term, but events similar to Orlando could be carried out with pistols. When that happens the cycle of restricting citizens 2d amendment rights will repeat, again and again, until the common man is defenseless. Only the criminals will be armed. The clear aim of the left is to incrementally diminish our our constitutional rights.

        • Yes, any semiautomatic firearm will wreak havoc but they’re not all created equal.

          The term “assault rifle” is the direct translation of “Sturmgewehr” from the (SIG 44) which was the first weapon of that type. Yes, there is a type. Yes, it is a made up term, as are all terms.

          That type takes a shortened standard rifle cartridge, pistol grip, selective fire and frame geometry that puts the buttstock in a straight line with the muzzle to minimize rise. Characteristics that allow a relatively lightweight weapon to discharge a lot of relatively powerful rounds in a short amount of time accurately.

          If there was no advantage to a weapon like this over a 1911, M-14 or a BAR then our military wouldn’t be using it. Obviously.

          Let’s turn it around a little bit and see who’s BSing. If someone gave you a choice between an AR-15 with 30 round mags and say a Beretta 92F to defend yourself against 50 armed men surrounding your building, which would you choose? Gee, I wonder.

          The worst thing about people like you is that you know the truth as far as the lethality of these weapons. You’ll discuss it openly with each other but when it comes to public discourse you’ll make ridiculous claims about one weapon, automobile, swimming pool or knife being the same as all the rest. That’s BS.

          So, which is it? Will you choose the Beretta just to make a point? Or, maybe your pick up truck?

        • Well. The worse thing about your sort is that you won’t acknowledge the game the left is playing, incremental reduction of constitutional rights. My point still stands. Once one type of firearm is prohibited it will be on to the next, and the next. Give you people an inch and you’ll take a mile.

        • I’ll add that if the left could be to any degree trusted, compromises might be reached. However, you can’t be trusted. That explains the hard line. This same dynamic is at play with other rights protected by the constitution, a document the left seems to see a an impediment to their enlightened rule.

        • Your 9;38 post definitely involves a giant leap onto the back of a nuclear rocket powered strawman.

          I like how you used the foreshadowing technique there.

        • Okay, genius. Tell me what you think a strawman is and how my 9:38 post qualifies.

        • Good point. I was also wondering what those 50 guys were armed with, the size of “my” building, why they were so upset at me and couple other points. Just to help me decide which tool to use in the circumstances.

        • That wasn’t a point, that was a dumb question. As for your tool here’s a suggestion: use foul language.

  • Is anyone surprised that so many incidences are happening? With cell phones, police violence will be instantly known. Racism within police departments needs to be eliminated or this will just continue. Where is the NRA? What is their position on these killings? Are they going to continue to support a citizen’s right to bear arms? Or perhaps they might consider some common sense regulations like they did in the distant past.

    • it’s not guns. It’s the person behind it, guns don’t fire on their own as something needs to pull the trigger. This is not a debate where you’d ask, what came 1st the chicken or the egg. smh

      • Poncho, without guns, especially assault rifles and semiautomatic guns, the people who want to harm others would not be capable of such carnage, and mass murder.

        • You forgot to mention big trucks carrying ice cream, homemade bombs…knives next?

        • Ah…to be so naive. There is no solution until you take the blinders off. Broaden your perspective! It’s the person!!!

        • But they already do that. Criminals will still get their hands on guns. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws on the books and look what happens there daily.

    • Boots, police do not shoot enough lawbreakers. Most of the time lawbreakers get away because cops do not dare to shoot for fear of repercussions

  • Blaming President Obama for these incidents is political scapegoating — random at best and mean-spirited at worst. Conflict between police and blacks has been festering for decades. As others have posted, the ubiquity of smartphone video cameras are only now exposing this conflict to the world via social media such as YouTube. The problem isn’t new. It has historical roots. The big difference is technology, and this is one of the many unexpected benefits of putting it in the hands of everyone — the public and the police. In this way, it may be more powerful than a gun. It’s a weapon that can capture actual footage of events. The bottom line is, when videos are eyewitnesses to violence, the public will — right or wrong — react if the law doesn’t. No one is defending the shooters of police officers, but we all have to be aware of the historical contexts of these tragic incidents. Instead of playing the blame game, let’s heal the deep causes. E ʻilau mai kākou.

    • I agree with you completely. But it’s so much easier and more convenient to point to someone of a party different from yours and simply say “It’s his fault.” Of course that doesn’t solve anything or work towards any betterment of the situation, and in fact only hardens the divide between the position of those people, and or people who happen to think differently from them.

      • It’s worse than that, because the party whose policies are creating the problem continue to carry them out while they blame the other for not fixing the problem. It’s politically effective, especially with base voters – pure evil genius.

        The best can be done is to point out the facts, inconsistency and hypocrisy.

      • Who has the power? The guy at the top. After he’s gone people will judge, not until then. Now, putting party affiliation aside, who will make the best President?

        • America elected the first black man as POTUS. I doubt if that will ever happen again. Now they want a woman POTUS. Maybe, but it won’t be Crooked Mama.

        • Reading comprehension doesn’t seem to be your strong suite. Give it up sir!

        • Golly, maybe someone who can’t spell “suit” shouldn’t make cracks about others’ reading….

        • You’re actually quite proud of being a bigot aren’t you? Are those the lessons you teach your kids?

        • You’re actually quite proud of being a racist aren’t you? Are those the lessons you teach your kids?

        • Wow, sarge what a zinger. But it won’t fly unless you cite an example of something racist I’ve posted here. Or anywhere.

        • “And, as everybody knows, only a white president could speak for all Americans.”

        • Okay, sarge… Where exactly is the racism? I made no statement claiming my own superiority or someone else’s inferiority based on race.

          It’s not like I called an entire race of people liars – like this:

          “As everybody knows, a half white President speaks half truths.”

    • Obama has a role to play as a national leader. He has played that role badly. That is where he is due blame. The right leadership might have headed some of this violence off. His clear bias has probably done the opposite.

    • Exactly like the right wing kill squads fighting the left wing kill squads while the military kills them both and the civilians in the middle getting the shaft (and shallow mass graves) everyday.

      I’ve seen that stuff in third world $h1tholes. This is the “Fundamental change” of American that zero promised. From First World Super Power, to third world banana republic in 8 years.

  • Well folks, undeniably we are in a race war. Black vs White. This time, all have weapons to equalize. Both sides have long standing issues and it’s coming to a head. Will this affect the presidential election? I think it will as voters decide who will best bring back law and order. Unenviable position for either candidate.

  • sarge22… the delay is bc the WH Racist wants to mention what a great org BLM is and the racist Cops are at fault but valerie also wants to include a note that hiLIARy is not racist (bc valerie rec’d some gift $ from the clinton foundation).

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