Accuracy in Media

These are trying times. Never in the history of this country have we been so weakened and polarized by what many view as deliberate government policy. Now anti-gunners in the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration, and legislatures across the country are seeking to exploit the Newtown tragedy to promote their “gun control” agenda that envisions federal, universal background checks on gun purchases, and that could lead to gun registration and confiscation.

At the same time, the increasing militarization of law enforcement, most visibly demonstrated by the growing use of massive, SWAT-type raids on businesses and individuals, sometimes with federal involvement or authorization, is heightening concerns that this country is moving toward a police state.

Mountain Pure SWAT Raid: The Movie

Mountain Pure Water, LLC is headquartered on Interstate 30 just outside the town of Little Rock, Arkansas. The company manufactures and distributes beverage containers, spring water, fruit drinks, and teas. In January 2012, about 50 federal agents, led by Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent Cynthia Roberts and IRS Special Agent Bobbi Spradlin, swooped in, guns drawn. Without explanation they shut down plant operations, herded employees into the cafeteria, and confined them to the room for hours. They could not so much as use the bathroom without police escort. Cell phones were confiscated and all Internet and company phones were disabled.

Plant Manager Court Stacks was at his desk when police burst through his office door, guns drawn and pointed at him—a thoroughly unprofessional violation of basic firearms discipline in this circumstance, and the cause of numerous accidental SWAT killings.

storm damaged barnAccording to Mountain Pure CEO John Stacks, the search warrant was related to questions about an SBA loan he secured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover tornado losses to his home, warehouse, and associated equipment. Mr. Stacks says the SBA apparently doesn’t believe that assets listed as damaged in the storm were actually damaged.

The search warrant was extremely vague and some agents’ actions may have been illegal, according to company attorney, Timothy Dudley. Comptroller Jerry Miller was taken to a private room and interrogated for over three hours by SBA Special Agent Cynthia Roberts, the raid leader. He requested an attorney and was told “That ain’t gonna happen.” According to Miller, the SBA unilaterally changed the terms of Stacks’ loan. He says he asked Roberts what gave the SBA authority to do that, and she responded, “We’re the federal government, we can do what we want, when we want, and there is nothing you can do about it.” Miller said during the raid Roberts “strutted around the place like she was Napoleon.”

Stacks said the company has had three IRS audits in the past three years, including one following the raid, with no problems. The SBA has still not filed any charges, continues to stonewall about the raid’s purpose, and refuses to release most of the property seized during the raid.

Quality Assurance Director Katy Depriest, who doubles as the company crisis manager, described agents’ “Gestapo tactics.” She added that they confiscated CDs of college course work and educational materials for a class she had been taking that resulted in her flunking the course. Those materials have not yet been returned.

Attempts were made to contact Ms. Roberts for this article, but she is no longer employed by the SBA. Questions were directed to the Little Rock, Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s office. The USA’s public affairs officer had no comment; however they have convened a grand jury to evaluate the case.

Because law enforcement refused repeated requests to respond for this article, we have only Mountain Pure’s side of the story, but they make a compelling case:

  • Many company employees were willing to discuss this raid on the record.
  • Mountain Pure and several employees have sued Special Agents Roberts and Spradlin.
  • Mr. Stacks commissioned a video about the raid, reproduced here.

The video includes testimony from Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of famed Gibson Guitar Corp., which suffered two such raids, and another raid target, Duncan Outdoors Inc. The video does not attempt to establish anyone’s guilt or innocence, but rather highlights law enforcement’s heavy-handed tactics in executing SWAT-style search warrants against legitimate businesses. Gibson has settled with the Justice Department in a case fraught with legal ambiguities, while Duncan has been indicted for violations of currency transaction reporting requirements.

Mr. Stacks claims he has gotten calls from many companies that have suffered similar raids, but they are afraid to speak out. Here are a few examples that have made national news:

  • FDA officials, U.S. Marshals, and the Pennsylvania State Police raided an Amish farm in 2011 for selling raw milk.
  • A Department of Education SWAT team raided a man’s home, “dragged him out in his boxer shorts, threw him to the ground and handcuffed him” in front of his three young children. They were looking for evidence of his estranged wife’s financial aid fraud.
  • 66 year-old George Norris spent two years in jail following a USFWS raid that nailed him for filing incorrect forms on imported orchids.
  • A Fairfax, Virginia optometrist being served a warrant for illegal gambling was killed by a SWAT team member whose firearm accidentally discharged, according to the Fairfax County police chief. The optometrist was unarmed, non-threatening and unaware that he was under investigation.*

War on Small Business?

In 2006, the IRS announced it would shift its focus to audit more small businesses. IRS data on tax audits seems to bear this out. Between the first and second half of the last decade, the audit coverage rate on businesses with assets between $10 and $50 million increased by 42 percent. Between 2001 and 2005 an annual average of 13,549 returns were audited for businesses with assets less than $10 million. Between 2006 and 2011, the average was 19,289, an increase of over 42 percent (pdf).

This has paid off in increased enforcement revenues, but are massive SWAT raids an essential part of this new strategy? In addition to the potential dangers and the outrage of having company employees treated like drug dealers or terrorists, the cost of these raids is staggering. Agents told Mountain Pure employees they had flown in from all over the country.

The Sharpsburg Raid

Sharpsburg, Maryland, population 706, is a quiet little town bordering the Antietam National Battlefield in rural Washington County. On Thursday, November 29, 2012 at about 12:30 pm, the quiet was shattered by an invasion of over 150 Maryland State Police (MSP), FBI, State Fire Marshal’s bomb squad, and County SWAT teams, complete with two police helicopters, two Bearcat “special response” vehicles, mobile command posts, snipers, police dogs, bomb disposal truck, bomb sniffing robots, and a huge excavator. They even brought in food trucks.

A heavily armed MSP Special Tactical Assault Team Element (STATE) executed a no-knock search warrant, smashing through the reportedly unlocked door with a battering ram. They worked until after 7:30 p.m., ransacking a modest, 20 ft. by 60 ft. single-family home for weapons, and searching for its owner, one Terry Porter. For hours, neighbors were left worrying and wondering, while countless police blanketed the area.

Local resident Tim Franquist described the scene:

“The event, or siege as we are calling it, involved convoys of police speeding to the area, two helicopters, armored vehicles, command centers, countless police cruisers and officers. They blocked off the roads and commandeered a campground as their staging area.”

Terry Porter is married with three children, has lived in the town all of his life, and owns a modest welding business. He is also a prepper. His preparations include an underground bunker, buried food supplies, and surveillance cameras. Porter really doesn’t like Obama, and tells anyone who will listen.

Unfortunately, one listener was an undercover officer for the MSP. The police had become interested in Porter through an anonymous caller who claimed that Porter “had been getting crazier and crazier…” and that he had “10 to 15 machine gun-style weapons, six handguns and up to 10,000 rounds of ammunition…” The MSP performed a background check and discovered Porter had a 20-year-old charge for aiding marijuana distribution, a disqualification for firearms ownership.

MSP detailed an officer to visit Porter’s shop on November 16th posing as a customer. The officer said Porter “openly admitted to being a prepper.” Not a crime. Porter also allegedly claimed to have a Saiga shotgun, and was willing to use it “when people show up unannounced.” Based on the Russian AK-47 design, some Saiga variants are fully automatic. On November 27th MSP obtained a search warrant.

Two days later they appeared at Porter’s door but could not find him. Porter later disclosed he “left out the back door.” Where he went has not been disclosed. However, local blogger Ann Corcoran, who lives nearby and followed the issue closely, claims he hid out in fear for his life. Given highly publicized, accidental shootings involving SWAT teams and the overwhelming force present, that’s a reasonable assumption.

The following day Porter turned himself in and took the police through his property. The raid produced a total of four shotguns, a 30-30-caliber hunting rifle and two .22-caliber rifles. He was charged with firearms possession violations and released on a $75,000 bond.

The raid was one of the largest in recent U.S. history, twice the size of the 1993 Branch Davidian raid in Waco, Texas, which initially involved 76 ATF agents. It almost rivaled the recent 200-strong statewide manhunt for California cop-killing cop, Christopher Dorner. Yet only a few local stories emerged and those presented a hysterical portrait of Porter while largely underreporting the police presence.

Why the Raid?

The MSP did not notify town officials or Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore, who learned of the raid after it began, when they requested the use of his SWAT Team and Bearcat. The MSP also set up a command center at a campground within the national park without notifying the Park Police. Bills have since been introduced in the Maryland legislature by Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott (HB 0219) and State Senator Chris Shank (SB 0259) to require notification of local law enforcement before any outside agency serves a warrant.

A meeting following the raid attracted 60 concerned Sharpsburg citizens and leaders. Sharpsburg Vice Mayor Bryan Gabriel characterized the raid as “overwhelming,” and said it “could have put a lot of people at risk.” Erin Moshier, a citizen who attended the meeting added, “We all felt there was excessive force involved, and we felt that a member of our community was victimized and we wanted to get to the bottom of it and get some answers.” Both Gabriel and Sheriff Mullendore have issued statements of support for Porter, who they know personally. Citizens created a “Friends for Terry” website to help with his legal costs.

When asked why the police did not simply detain Porter in town or at a traffic stop, MSP Hagerstown Barracks Commander, Lt. Thomas Woodward said the police only had a property search warrant and had no authority to arrest Porter. However police do have authority to “detain the property owner for 24 hours” when executing a search warrant, so Porter could have been intercepted elsewhere, but they chose to execute that authority as part of the raid.

Lt. Woodward said that the state police have a good working relationship with Sheriff Mullendore. If that is the case, why didn’t they consult the sheriff first? If Porter were really that dangerous wouldn’t it be helpful to get more information from a trusted source better acquainted with him? Mullendore said they usually do give notice. Reportedly several state police who personally know Porter reside in Sharpsburg. Why were they not consulted?

Does the MSP detail SWAT automatically for gun search warrants? Some other police forces do. For example, in one fatal Florida SWAT shooting, a 21-man SWAT team was called in merely because the target had a concealed-carry permit. Are SWAT raids to become the order of the day for gun owners?

If Mr. Porter is indeed adjudicated a felon in possession of firearms, then he was in violation of the law. He didn’t help his case by bragging to the undercover officer about his doomsday preparations, especially the Saiga—which turned out to be nonexistent.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared, or even describing the actions you might take in a hypothetical “doomsday” situation, but in fairness to police, with all the lunatics coming out of the woodwork these days, and the heightened atmosphere of mutual distrust between law enforcement and citizens, the MSP might be excused for presuming the worst. But 150 police?

Recent events such as the kidnapping/bunker standoff in Alabama, and cop-killer Dorner, provide apt examples. Police never know what to expect. Still, in this case at least, it seems a little more investigation and consultation with local authorities could have resolved this issue quietly and with much less risk and cost.

Cost of the Operation

Neither the FBI nor the MSP have publicly disclosed how many of their officers were involved in the raid. However, Senator Shank and Delegate Parrott were told in a meeting with top MSP officials that the total, including federal, state, and local police, exceeded 150. From public information requests we know that the Washington County Special Response Team (SRT) sent 17, including four snipers, two medics, and their Bearcat driver. Only two of these actually participated, the driver and a sniper who accompanied him.

The FBI personnel were training nearby and when their assistance was requested, many, if not all, chose to participate. A witness on the scene guessed there were approximately 40 officers at the campground where the FBI staged. If we assume a total of 150, that would leave 93 MSP. The following table, based on police salaries gleaned from public sources provides a rough estimate of the personnel cost for this operation.

sharpsburg raid cost table

The MSP argued that only variable costs—those directly related to the operation—are relevant. By this logic, the operation cost very little, as salaries and other fixed costs are incurred anyway. But the personnel and resources involved would otherwise have been engaged elsewhere: tracking down criminals, enforcing other laws, and assisting in emergencies. There are clearly other, potentially more beneficial activities they could not simultaneously perform. This is called opportunity cost and must be considered.

This raid cost approximately $11,000 per hour, which dramatically illustrates one reason government spending is so wildly out of control. If agency managers considered the true cost of their decisions, they might work harder to prioritize their activities and not waste valuable resources on errands of questionable value.

High visibility events like the Sharpsburg raid present a one-sided picture of police as out-of-control, wasting time on seeming trifles. But their daily efforts, which go largely unreported, paint a much more balanced picture. For example, the MSP Gang Enforcement Unit has aggressively investigated violent street gangs, one of the largest sources of gun violence.

Between 2010 and 2012 alone, the Gang Unit made 621 gang arrests and seized 94 firearms. This does not include their extensive work with multi-agency task forces. Here, they have participated in successful operations against such violent gangs as the Crips & Bloods, Wise Guyz, B-6, the Black Guerrilla Family, Juggalos, the Dead Man Incorporated crime syndicate, and others, and have brought many of these offenders to justice.

Militarization of Police

crime down but police militarizeThe SWAT concept was popularized by Los Angeles Police Chief Darryl Gates in the late 1960s in response to large-scale incidents for which the police were ill-prepared. But the use of SWAT teams has since exploded. Massive SWAT raids using military-style equipment are becoming routine methods for executing search warrants. One study estimates 40,000 such raids per year nationwide:

“These increasingly frequent raids… are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers.”

John W. Whitehead writes in the Huffington Post, that “it appears to have less to do with increases in violent crime and more to do with law enforcement bureaucracy and a police state mentality.”

The ACLU recently announced its intention to investigate the militarization of law enforcement. Ironically, despite the perception of heightened gun violence due to incidents like Newtown, ACLU points out that both crime rates and law enforcement gun deaths have been declining for decades (see chart).

Yet police forces are becoming increasingly militarized due to huge subsidies provided by the federal government:

“Through its little-known “1033 program,” the Department of Defense gave away nearly $500 million worth of leftover military gear to law enforcement in fiscal year 2011… The surplus equipment includes grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles… Orders in fiscal year 2012 are up 400 percent over the same period in 2011…”

Congress created this provision in 1997 for drug and anti-terrorism efforts. It has since provided over 17,000 agencies $2.6 billion worth of equipment at no charge. One local agency now owns an amphibious tank, while another obtained a machine-gun-equipped APC.

governor omalley bearcatAdditionally, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants have allowed state and local agencies nationwide to purchase Bearcats. These 16,000 pound vehicles are bulletproof and can be equipped with all kinds of extra features.

Ironically, while SWAT teams probably got their biggest boost initially from conservatives, many fear law enforcement is becoming a tool to enforce leftist ideology. University criminal justice programs turn out graduates indoctrinated in liberal theology, which carries into modern law enforcement bureaucratic culture.

Today this trend is reflected in reports coming out of the Department of Homeland Security, the military, and various law enforcement “fusion” centers, that identify gun-owners, patriots, ex-military, Christians, pro-life activists, and tea party members as “potential domestic terrorists (pdf).”

The perpetrator of last summer’s attempted mass shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters now admits he was prompted by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Watch” list. The radical leftist SPLC is now “consulting” with the FBI and DHS regarding “rightwing hate groups.” The group labeled AIM’s Cliff Kincaid a member of a sinister group of “Patriots” for writing critically of the United Nations, President Obama, and the homosexual lobby, among other things. Ironically, the SPLC “Teaching tolerance” project ran an article praising unrepentant Communist terrorist bomber Bill Ayers as a “civil rights organizer, radical anti-Vietnam War activist, teacher, and author,” with an “editor’s note” going so far as to say that Ayers “has become a highly respected figure in the field of multicultural education.”

Ammo, Military Equipment and Domestic Drone Use

The Internet is abuzz with news that the Department of Homeland Security is purchasing over 1.6 billion rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition, 2,700 Mine Resistant Armored Vehicles (MRAP), and 7,000 fully-automatic “personal defense weapons.” Some of this is worthy of concern, some maybe not so much. Meanwhile, the expanded use of aerial drones within the continental U.S. has created anxiety among the public and political leaders alike.


Reportedly, the order for 1.6 billion rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition would fulfill DHS requirements for the next five years, or 320 million rounds per year. DHS has 55,471 employees authorized to carry firearms, which comes to about 5,800 rounds per year, per employee. For perspective, during the first year of the war on terror, approximately 72 million rounds were expended in Iraq and another 21 million in Afghanistan by an estimated 45,000 combat troops. This amounts to about 2,000 rounds per war fighter.

Yet the requisition may not be unreasonable. The largest order, 750 million rounds, came from DHS’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for training. FLETC Public Affairs Director Peggy Dixon said that the purchase request was “a ceiling. It does not mean that we will buy, or require, the full amounts of either contract.” Another 650 million rounds are being purchased by Inspections and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cover the next five years.

Since these are maximum figures, it is difficult to conclusively evaluate the purchase. Some have asserted that the practical effect—if not the deliberate intent—is to dry up the private market for ammunition. Congressmen are now demanding answers from DHS regarding these purchases. But most ammunition shortages are likely due to civilian demands. Obama and the Democrats’ palpable hostility to gun owners has caused ammunition and firearms purchases to skyrocket.

There are 80 million gun owners in the U.S. If each just purchased 100 rounds of ammo—enough for one afternoon at the range—that would equal 8-billion rounds. Many are purchasing significantly more.

Instead of asking why DHS needs 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, the real question we should be asking is, “Why does DHS need 55,000 law enforcement officers?”

MRAPs & Submachine Guns

The original story regarding a purchase of 2,700 MRAPs s was in error. The confusion centers on a 2011 order from the U.S. Marines to retrofit 2,717 of its MRAPs with upgraded chassis.

DHS has been using MRAPs since 2008 and currently has a fleet of 16 received from the Army at no cost. They are used by DHS special response teams in executing “high-risk warrants.”

Similarly, the purchase of 7,000 “Personal Defense Weapons” is not extraordinary for an agency of this size.


DHS’s Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) has been operating Predator drones since 2005, with a current fleet of nine. Some in Congress seek to expand their use. In February of 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which includes a provision for commercial drone regulations. The FAA projects that up to 30,000 drones could be flying by 2020. A requisition memo describes these requirements for drones operated by CBP against border incursions by frequently armed drug traffickers and coyotes, but concern exists that this use will extend to U.S. citizens inside the border.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) filibustered the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director, in order to obtain answers about lethal drone use against American citizens within the U.S. Holder finally sent Paul a letter, which said:

“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”

Paul said they had been asking Holder for about six weeks. But Holder didn’t answer the question at all. Paul did not specify Americans “engaged in combat on American soil.” He asked about attacks against any Americans on U.S. soil. Holder had said in earlier testimony that the President did have the authority to kill Americans on American soil in certain circumstances.

Given the Obama administration’s contempt for the Constitution and its broad definition of “domestic terrorists” to include pretty much anyone they don’t like, there is cause for genuine concern.

Gun Control 

The Sharpsburg raid occurred prior to the Newtown tragedy, but nonetheless reinforced the widespread impression that MSP is an anti-gun organization. Did the MSP decide to make an example of Porter to send a message to Maryland gun owners, or were they genuinely afraid that Porter was about to go postal? That question is unclear, but a Maryland law enforcement source who has attended briefings on the subject said that state police are “gearing up for confiscation.”

In 1989 Patrick O’Carroll of the Centers for Disease Control, stated:

“We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths. We’re doing the most we can do, given the political realities” (emphasis added).

The CDC further revealed its strategy in 1994:

“We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.” Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention. Washington Post, 1994 (emphasis added).

Do these themes sound familiar? They represent a single component of a vast effort by media, politicians, Hollywood, educational institutions, and professionals to vilify gun ownership. One left-wing organization, Third Way, created a “messaging strategy,” encouraging the term “gun safety” because “gun control has become a loaded term that leads voters to believe that the candidate supports the most restrictive laws.”

Since Newtown, however, the anti-gunners have pretty much dropped any pretense. Here is a small sampling of recent anti-gun lunacy:

  • Florida Democratic state Senator Audrey Gibson has proposed a bill requiring anger management classes for would-be ammo purchasers.
  • Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak told a rape victim testifying against gun control that having a gun was a waste of time as the rapist would have killed her with it.
  • A Democrat activist says we should train rapists not to rape, rather than using guns to stop them.
  • A Baltimore, MD seven-year old was suspended from school for two days for biting a pastry into a shape that looked like a gun.
  • A five-year old was suspended from school and branded a “terrorist threat” for telling a classmate she was going to shoot her with her Princess “bubble gun.”
  • A Philadelphia 5th grader was called “murderer” by classmates and yelled at by her teacher for having a piece of paper cut into a shape that looked vaguely like a pistol.
  • A New Jersey family was visited by police and the Department of Youth and Family Services because of a photo of their 11-year-old son posing with a rifle.

In an unguarded moment recently, U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) revealed the Democratic intentions:

“We want everything on the table…This is a moment of opportunity. There’s no question about it…We’re on a roll now, and I think we’ve got to take the—you know, we’re gonna push as hard as we can and as far as we can.”


The increased militarization of police forces and the associated use of SWAT teams for routine law enforcement are a dangerous trend. Given Obama’s seeming willingness to abuse the power of his office on so many fronts, it is reasonable to expect more, not less, of the kind of abusive police overreach described in this report, while police forces and capabilities will continue to grow.

Obama’s obvious hostility to gun owners is fueling legitimate fears of gun confiscation, furthering an atmosphere of mutual distrust and paranoia between police and civilians. This raises the specter of armed confrontations should there be attempts to confiscate firearms. As one law enforcement official said at a recent gun hearing, “Good people are going to die trying to take these guns and good people are going to die trying to keep them.”

Ironically, despite its professed commitment to stopping “gun violence,” the Obama Administration authorized gun-running to Mexican drug cartels and Jihadists in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. Some hearings and investigations have been held into these schemes but there has been little accountability for this “gun violence.”

At an AIM conference before the 2012 presidential election, impeachment proceedings against President Obama were discussed. Citing his experience with the Clinton impeachment, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), then-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, talked about hearings held by his committee featuring constitutional experts who said “no other administration has ignored laws like this administration…” In regard to impeachment, however, he said that the standard was extremely high, and the process long and involved. He concluded, “I really think the better answer is to turn the attention to the American people and saying, ‘If you feel that strongly about the President, one way to register that discontent is to vote for the other person.’”

In the end, of course, Obama won re-election, and the abuses continue. However, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), has suggested impeachment may be an option if the President continues to govern through unilateral executive orders and attempts to impose his anti-Second Amendment agenda through such measures.

*Correction: This article previously said: “A Fairfax, Virginia optometrist being served a warrant for illegal gambling was killed by a SWAT team member whose firearm accidentally discharged. He answered the door in his bathrobe, unarmed and unaware that he was even under investigation.” It’s not true that he was in his bathrobe at the time. The article has been corrected.

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  • Renee

    So today, right now, anonymous callers can take down potential business rivals or anyone they have a problem with, and we the people pay for it? Having their guns drawn and pointed which is against their own rules of behavior has no consequences? This is what happens when the government is looked to for ever more expanding “stuff”. There is no one to complain to when it’s the government who is the culprit. People will soon be wishing for the “good ‘ole days” of the demonized CEO’s and evil insurance companies; another manufactured problem in order to get where we are now.

  • Valentine 39

    It is likely to descend to the level of Stalinist Russia, neighbor ratting out neighbor. This is a very unpleasant thought.

  • This is only one example of future interactions with the government. Read Demons of Democracy, I noted these type of assaults on our freedoms under numerous circumstances. The book is available everywhere including editions for electronic readers.

  • Kingbingo

    How ironic that for decades America fought against totalitarianism.

    Only to introduce it itself the moment that fight was won.


  • walter conell

    The American men and women on these forces, no matter who they are, are traitors to this country and what it represents- they betray their own country and their families being a part of this just to collect a paycheck, or in other words are the type of people who sell their souls to the devil.

  • walter conell

    We need a militia& to react and neutralize these invasions.

  • The tyrants and their bankster, globalist cronies are getting ready for the collapse that they’ve deliberately created as an excuse to try to grab total control. It won’t work. There is a growing push towards resistance, and it is not constrained to the fringes – the first mistake the tyrants in DC make is to assume that.
    Practically every militarily significant weapon made in the last 100 years has sold. 4.6 million weapon sales in 30 days and empty ammo shelves is not a panic – it’s battlespace preparation.
    The second mistake they make is to try to assert that this trend is about racism because Obama is half-black. That’s a cop-out used to demonize and divide – It’s an easy excuse to ignore another person’s points, and justify doing bad things to them; it’s an attempt to convince people that those who oppose the regime’s policies and actions are evil or deranged.
    Their final mistake is to assume that the military and law enforcement agencies will follow orders to disarm their fellow Americans. The military and police are a sub-section of the total population, and will break along the same ideological lines.
    Some police and military members will follow orders. Many, probably most, will disobey, desert, and rebel against orders to attack, imprison, or murder their families, neighbors, and fellow patriots to prop up a corrupt and tyrannical regime.
    This has been played out time and time again in human history.
    Statist politicians should not assume an insurrection will end easily, nor that those they’ve demonized will go quietly into the dark night, nor that they personally will not suffer if it blows up.
    Never let your government disarm you and render you defenseless against their excesses.
    It will be up to the American people to solve the problems the tyrants and banisters have created as a means to steal our wealth and strip us of our liberty.
    After the tyrants are removed from power, they and their partners in crimes against the Constitution and the American people need to be tried in a modern day version of the Nuremberg Trials, here on American soil, by American citizens who are loyal to the Constitution, then punished according to their crimes. Treason is punishable by death. Keep the faith, justice will ultimately be served.

  • Alan404

    Re the “militarization of police”, something that has been mentioned in a number of venues, that drift becomes more and more noticeable, an unfortunate situation to say the very least. Re this situation, the following possibilities, likelihoods come to mind:

    1. At some point in time, there will be violent resistance to such stunts, typical of “law enforcement” that is out of control.

    2. The other possibility, more likely I submit, is the following. There will be an inevitable lessening of the public’s willingness to aid, to cooperate with the efforts of law enforcement agencies and individuals, which strikes me as singularly unfortunate.

    3. In conclusion, I submit that ultimately, the blame for the problems of run away law enforcement lie in the laps of our “elected things”, “elected officials” if you prefer. ultimately in the laps of Joe and Jane Every Person, who are responsible for putting these culpable “elected officials” into office in the first place.

  • actionsspeaklouder

    Impeach or militarily remove Obama from office. He is a traitor and has violated his oath of office and has circumvented congress and has ignored our constitution and the American majority. His policies are threatening the security of this country. He is incompetent and has shown dereliction of duty.
    GET RID OF HIM. It should have been done last year. What are they waiting for? If it causes civil unrest – then let it. Because the way things are going, there will be civil unrest anyway.

  • Many people compare these tactics to those the Gestapo used, but in fact Gestapo arrests were low-key in comparison, comprising a handful of men in plainclothes armed with small pistols, perhaps assisted by uniformed police also armed with pistols. These police raids are more like military operation the SS would have staged. American freedom is vaporizing and we the people are allowing it to happen.

  • Mick

    Can the military remove the President of the United States of America since he is not following the Constitution, which he swore to uphold and since the Congress is clearly not doing anything about it ?

  • jeepdude911

    Does anyone remember the not one but two armed raids on Gibson Guitars? Allegedly over illegally obtained wood, but all records were accurate and clean, both times. Turns out it was because the CEO is a Republican. Enough said about this administration.

  • AJ

    Yes, but what they replace him with could be even worse.

  • “….due to it’s Russian AK-47 design, some Saiga variants are fully automatic.”

    Uh….no Saiga’s are fully automatic any more than Remington 1100’s are. I guess you could convert them….well hell, John Browning’s first machine gun design was an adapted lever action rifle….but, you can’t say a lever action is an automatic. Accuracy in Media should mean something. Hire some country folk and gunnies for accuracy and common sense.

  • SkippingDog

    Sorry, but Gibson Guitars plead guilty and agree to pay fines and penalties in the case because they had engaged in an identifiable pattern of illegal activities regarding the importation of endangered materials. Whether or not we agree with that law, Gibson clearly and intentionally violated it.

    The company is lucky that one or several of its officers are not serving time in a federal prison right now.

  • SkippingDog

    Not legally.

  • John Holliday

    Accept that other guitar makers were NOT EVEN INVESTIGATED because they were 0bama donors. If you have a choice of losing your entire business or entering a guilty plea with a fine, you make the plea bargain and move on. 0bama is scum.

  • SkippingDog

    Perhaps you should read some of the facts about the case so as not to appear so belligerently ignorant.

  • dhenery

    Come and get some…come on…we’re waiting…

  • Take a stand people Join the Warriors Show some pride
    Go here
    Read everything Nate wrote.

  • Using a report from Holder’s DOJ, the very agency trying to cover it’s own ass, proves nothing. You really think they are going to come right out and tell the truth?

    Besides that, the only alleged wrongdoing listed in the report is: “As a result of this investigation and criminal enforcement agreement, Gibson has acknowledged that it failed to act on information that the Madagascar ebony it was purchasing MAY have violated laws…” [emphasis added]

    I’ll repeat it slowly for you, THEY MAY HAVE VIOLATED THE LAW. That’s a hell of a stretch to get to your assertion: “…they had engaged in an identifiable pattern of illegal activities regarding the importation of endangered materials.”

    Then there’s still the matter of other makers who are Democratic donors using the same wood. While they are not even questioned, an army of agents with guns drawn storms a guitar factory and strong arms the employees of the Republican donor.

  • SkippingDog

    You’re like those people who claim we never really went to the moon, so it is pointless to argue with you.

  • Mitch A

    That law enforcement official is right, if the government keeps on the way it is going, people are going to die over these issues.

  • James Simpson

    There were a lot of ambiguities about that case as described amply in the New York Times article cited in this report. But my report does not discuss guilt or innocence, only the absurd application of absolutely unwarranted, thuggish brute force against legitimate businesses, when a visit from a few regulators would or should have been sufficient. Is this the kind of priorities the federal government should be wasting excessive resources on, or should they perhaps be enforcing laws that, when broken, actually damage our society?

  • SkippingDog

    One purpose of vigorous law enforcement in high profile cases is to make an example of the people or companies that are violating the law, providing a cautionary lesson for others who might be so inclined. The prohibition on importing certain endangered species and corporate violation of foreign laws is well understood and established. The proper response is to work to change the law through our legislative process, not blatantly violate it and hope to not be caught.

    I have my own concerns about the militarization of our law enforcement services, but much of that has occurred in direct response to a domestic arms race in which criminals have resisted lawful authorities through the use of ever higher powered light – and sometimes heavy – weapons. Since it is imperative that any government have the ability to enforce its own laws, it seems unlikely that police forces will be demilitarized until the criminal elements in our society are also disarmed of their AK-47 and AR-15 clones.

  • Oneyeopn

    Great Story, now if you listen to the news clip of the Colorado Representative Degette talking about magazines, and mentions bullets. Apply this logic to the statements she has made. Somewhere she has sat in a meeting where they talked about allowing the public to run out of bullets. Great form of gun control without taking away our guns.

  • Steve

    Mr. Simpson- Thank you for this article. My little company of just a few staff have been repeatedly “audited” by the IRS, The California State Board of Equalization and our Franchise Tax Board. Each time, we asked the auditors “what is it you are looking for?”, and they never answer. Yet we waste thousands of dollars in CPA fees and lost time to reproduce countless documents that eventually lead to no issue ever being discovered. Running a small business is hard enough without having the jackboot “revenuers” on our back for no due cause. It is almost not worth it to run a small business anymore when we must “defend” running it by the book to those who care less. I drive a 10 year old pick up truck with 250,000 miles on it to fetch stuff for our business. The IRS auditor pulled up in a brand new $60k Lexus. Since when do “public servants” becomes the masters of our destiny?

  • SkippingDog

    Big talk.

  • Mike_Travis

    There is no way to prove a caller was not a setup by the feds to “justify” their Gestapo tactics. Soon they will stop even that ruse and simply raid whoever they “think MAY be a threat”, without a warrant or ANY probable cause.
    Folks we are so close to Nazi Germany it is CRIMINAL.

  • Mike_Travis

    Ovomit cannot be impeached. He is not holding office lawfully so he must be charged with TREASON.

  • John Perkins

    So in 2013 it takes an “army” of police officers to investigate/arrest one man? My God! What courage these MD State Police Officers have! Don’t you folks in MD. feel safe with all that “absolutely necessary firepower”?

  • John Perkins

    The truth is not what this administration requires. If it did, Obama would never have been eligible to run for the office he holds.

  • John Perkins

    Skippy, I think the endangered species is your brain. All the law enforcement resources expended for some wood that is perceived to be illegal? Get real!

  • John Perkins

    Yes it is funny how the recipients always seem to be political opponents of the Obama administration, doesn’t it? Haven’t seen one report of even one Democrat experiencing the same treatment.

  • John Perkins

    You’re right Skippy! So go to a Liberal site where all will agree with your idiocy. Enough said?

  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • Garry

    I sure would like to see where this “Make and example of” is codified in law, or even authorized in statute. Where does it appear in any Code of Conduct for any Law Enforcement Authority. Please direct me to that so that I may be as informed as you…

  • mraps… I saw a video showing a train with at least 100 of them in the south west

  • fedupwithmentalcases


  • Garry

    You are easily fooled or complicit in misrepresenting the facts. Gibson Guitars did not plead guilty, as they never went to court. They opted to settle the case for $300k as a business decision. It was going to cost them an additional $1million plus to prove their case in court. The DOJ had a weak case because Madagascar Government had given them permission to take the raw materials, instead of having the materials constructed or improved in Country. That is the Lacy Act. It does not prohibit the use or possession of the materials, but dictates that the materials must be harvested and refined by local hands.As there was Local Government Documented permission, the DOJ didn’t have a case he could win in front of a judge.


  • Jim Simpson

    Steve: If you have a sympathetic congressman (I don’t think any Senators are sympathetic), ask him/her to make some inquiries on your behalf.

  • Jim Simpson

    You are incorrect. Go to the FPS Russia site and watch it on Youtube.

  • SkippingDog

    Not “perceived to be illegal,” John. It is illegal to sale or transport. It’s no different from elephant ivory or some other contraband like drugs.

  • SkippingDog

    I know you wingnuts like to frot each other and pretend you have some divine insight on things. That’s why you’re so much fun to post with.

  • What did the county sheriff say about these federal actions in his county? Can private companies buy insurance to cover government fraud? If not, maybe they need their own private police. What happens when the private police meet the secret state police?

  • dhenery

    Corksoaker sez what?

  • SkippingDog

    The corksoaker said “come and get some…we’re waiting.” No matter what your oral choices may be, that’s nothing more than big talk with nothing to back it up.

  • tionico

    it’s called “SWATTING”, and should NEVER be done on the basis of an anonymous “tip”, but only on sworn information by an inentifiable and findable person, who then would stand to answer for perjury, plus the expenses incurred, should the charge be proven false.

    and the government, at all levels, are stupid for falling for this sort of thing. Meanwhile, we the taxpayers fork over $77K for the Maryland State Police to flex their boy-muscles in a dangrous, over the top raid for…. something a guy might have done twenty years ago? When will WE THE PEOPLE stand firm and say STOP THE CHARADE?

  • tionico

    wrong, wrong wrong. Gibson obtained the woods legally, from registered sources overseas, which had supplied documents attesting to their proper and legal provenance. Gibson did not plead “guilty”, nor did they acquire the wood under any other premise than that it was legal in every respect. They bargained with their accusors and paid a hefty fine…. it wold have been cheaper had they been “proper” political contributors, they ended up paying out more. INteresting factoid: Martin Guitars, just up the road, has been importing precisely the same woods from precisely the same sources for years, no issues. But they donate considerable to the “appropriate” poitical factioins, thus “buying” their immunity. Martin have even acknowledged they have many of the same woods as do Gibson. WHich, by the way, still imports from the same sources. The law requires that the EXPORTING source certify as to the legality of the export. That certification was always secured, and was on file. Further, Gibson had hundreds of thousands of dollars of wood confiscated and held for years with no real charges filed. FedGov came in, stole their lawfully obtained wood, and never filed legal action against them until the end.. when Gibson settled out of court just to get on with life.

    And the government ishere to “protect” us? Yeah, right.

  • SkippingDog

    Gibson knowingly obtained the wood from the “grey market,” even after their own buyer notified company management that such an action could violate the law. However you try to spin it, Gibson clearly knew it was taking actions that were, at minimum, legally suspect and quite possibly criminal.

  • SkippingDog

    If the DOJ didn’t have a case, Gibson would not have entered into the Criminal Enforcement Agreement. Here are the relevant facts, from the CEA itself:

    “In 2008, an employee of Gibson participated in a trip to Madagascar, sponsored by a non-profit organization. Participants on the trip, including the Gibson employee, were
    told that a law passed in 2006 in Madagascar banned the harvest of ebonyand the export of any ebony products that were not in finished form. They were further told by trip organizers that instrument parts, such as fingerboard blanks, would be considered unfinished and therefore illegal to export under the 2006 law.

    Participants also visited the facility of the exporter in
    Madagascar, from which Gibson’s supplier sourced its Madagascar ebony, and were informed that the wood at the facility was under seizure at that time and could not be moved. After the Gibson employee returned from Madagascar with this information, he conveyed the information to superiors and others at Gibson.

    The information received by the Gibson employee during the June 2008 trip, and sent to company management by the employee and others following the June 2008 trip, was not further investigated or acted upon prior to Gibson continuing to place orders with its supplier. Gibson received four shipments of Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks from its supplier between October 2008 and September 2009.”

    That means Gibson knew the law, had warning about the suppliers, and consciously made at leas four illegal purchases.

  • SkippingDog

    It applies in every enforcement agency and every prosecution office in the land. That’s exactly why law enforcement works its way up the food chain in drug cases, etc. The law is a teaching tool, as well as a guideline for acceptable behavior.

  • tionico

    the laws “broken” require the EXPORTER of the subject wood to certify, per their own government’s rules, that the subject wood is legally supplied according to all laws. Gibson and Martin buy from exactlyy the same suppliers in this case… and certification from source was in hand. Thus the wording “MAY have violated”. Sure, if I’m driving down I-5 at 60 mphj, posted limit, and am not found in violation of speed laws NOW, it is true that ai “MAY HAVE VIOLATED” that law earlier. But until they have PROOF that I did, I am innocent. Remember that little titbit in the Bill of Rights? Innocent unti PROVEN guilty?

    Further, your thinking regarding militarisation of police MIGHt carry the freight when it comes to criminal activity that harms others… but when it comes to outfits ilke Gibson, Mountain Water, the Huttaree Militia, the Marine vet killed in New Tuscon cause the no-knock SWAT raid had the wrong address, came busing in at two ayem, and he responded to some unknown invasion of his home, wife and children to protect, things are WAY out of hand. And you want civillians disarmed? No way. Call it escalation if you will, but WE are guaranteed the rigiht to keep arms against government tyranny, and if this ain’t tyranny, what is? The Kid King George 3 was never so obnoxious when his henchmen, no warrants (as they weren’t “necessary” under law at the time), could and did come into anyone’s home, search whom and where they wished, seize anything they wished, even move in and demand to be housed anad fed. It was THIS behaviour led directly to all of the Bill of Rights. Such behaviour today by the likes of MSP are equally out of line. How many have been killed in these raids who were innocent of ANY wrongdoing besides taht marine officer killed in the hall of his own home, holding the weapon he picked up to defend his family against he had no idea what? And the SWAT had the wrong address…….. trigger happy coppers gunned him down in his own house, then refused to even let his wife render first aid, forcing her to stand and watch as he slowly bled out on the floor, Medic cars outside ready to help, but denied entry by the SWAT goons. He could easily have been saved had they allowed first aid… but no, they kept all help away while the guy died slowly, unnecessarily, wrongly.

    Then these same goons chant the mantra “if even ONE life can be saved, the new overrestrictive laws will be worth it”. How aboput changing the “rulesof engagement” for SWAT raids to where they are a last resort, standby, backiup, and NEVER the first response? How about requiring judges issuing such warrants demand more complete information? the judge signing on the Gibson or Mountain Water raids should have asked more details about the history of the subjects, daily routines, accurate information on level of armaments (a remark he owned a shotgun is NOT enough reason to roll the SWAT). Judges need to be held accountable when thjey rubber stamp warrants like that, and so do the leaders of the “investigation” when they behave like Sturmgewehr busting down doors (unlocked, by the way) with rams and flushing the place with weapons locked and loaded. This puts innocents, or noncomtbatants, at high risk, and hundreds of them are killed annually.. more than in all the “mass shootings” combined. So, who is the perpetrator of gun violence here? It wasn’t Gibson or Mountain Water. It was LE and government. WHY do they insist on making is fear them for our lives? This is WRONG, and preciely why we drove the Kid King and his goons from our shores a couple centuries back.

  • tionico

    skippy, yes, it is illegal to import woods not certified to be harvested and supplied in accordance with local laws, and Madagascar has such laws to preserve their resources. Both Martin and Gibson ONLY buy woods with all the requisite certifications that the very lots of wood they are importing ARE in full compliance with ALL regulations applicable. Give it a rest. Gibson broke NO LAWS. The government goons, dodging the gun barrels of their raiding party, seized the very paperwork Gibson had to cover every stick of wood they also stole in the raids, and never returned. It was certified as fully compliant with all export and provenance requirements.

  • SkippingDog

    Here’s a link put up by Gibson’s own lawyers that describes the legal obligation of “due care” that Gibson failed to exercise.

  • SkippingDog

    If Gibson broke no laws, the company would not have agreed to the Criminal Enforcement Action into which it entered. That’s like saying you broke no laws, but plead guilty anyway just to get the matter behind you. The fact remains, if you plead guilty or agree to a CEA, you’re admitting that you broke the law.

  • tionico

    wrong again, skipper… he’s not even quaified to sit as president, ALL military took an oath to defend the COnstitutiion agiainst ALL threats, foreign and domestic. In this case, the threat could be either or both. A foreigner illlegally occupyning a domestic position… he’s here, but he came from there. And yes, military DO have authority to act in such cases. Whether they will is another matter. They DO have the auhtority.

  • SkippingDog

    Where would that method of Presidential Succession be described in our constitution?

    You should read about an American hero named Smedley Butler and his reaction to something called the “Business Plot.” It was the same kind of nonsense you’re spouting, but we put it to bed 80 years ago.

  • tionico

    just like duyring prohibition, when locals ould NEVER rat out a bootlegger, no matter how corrupt or indesirable, to the revenooers. No, they’d send the revenooers packing THEN deal with the unwelcome bootlegger. Local policing, the best kind. Eventually, the turfs got sorted out just fine.

  • SkippingDog

    “Hundreds of them are killed annually”? Where would that be?

  • tionico

    He has the requieite permits to handle full auto weapons, and often does on his videos. Those full auto, and select fire, weapons are as much like our AR 15’s and Garands as the M 16’s are… different receivers entirely. YOu CAN “convert” an AR 15 into an M 16 easily… IF you have the M 16 receiver, which IS the controlled and registered part of the weapon. You can NOT take the receiver from an AR 15 and make THAT RECEIVER full auto. Nor can you take the Saiga semiaotu receiver and convert that to full auto. Any more than you can take the piddly four cylinder engine from an entry level Toyota and make it generate 750 horsepoer, though hyou COULD take the big engine and put it into the ilttle car. Differnent game altogether.

    so, enough already with the muyth that anything is “easily and quickly converted to full automatic”. Its simply not true. Stop spreading the lies.

  • tionico

    they already have, on both sides. It willworsen if the SWAT mentality does not go away. WAY over the top response, or assault.



  • dhenery

    Boo hoo hoo

  • SkippingDog

    Still trying to get some attention?

  • jjumpire21

    Almost no crime is committed with these guns you mention.Fists knives and clubs kill more people than any rifle.Don’t buy into the fever.Guns belong to the people first.

  • They are practicing ! ! ! Against us.

  • SkippingDog

    If you’re anywhere where gangs have activity, their weapons of choice are AK’s and AK clones. Just read the newspapers or police reports in LA, Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, etc.

  • PStoler

    That would be interesting, wouldn’t it.

  • PStoler

    No, they plead guilty to get the Feds off their backs. They needed to go back to work. I have no idea where you are getting your information but I would love for you to produce the documentation of what you are claiming.

  • SkippingDog

    All you have to do is go to the Gibson website and read the legal documents for the case. It’s all in there.

  • 946towguy

    You are dead wrong. I live in Oakland. I have had enough experience, dealing with these types in my current and previous employment, as well as my studies to know that their preferred weapons are handguns, followed by blunt trauma weapons such as baseball bats and hammers. Most all carry blades. Men usually have folders and women prefer box cutters.

    Long guns of any type are rarely used outside of one’s residence, primarily because they are not easily concealed and also because they make a lot of noise when discharged. You have probably never heard of a shot-stopper, but they are in use in Oakland, Richmond and Los angeles, CA. The system immediately triangulates the origin of rifle fire, but is much less effective in recognizing and locating pistol fire against the background noise present in a city. Fireworks are sometimes used prior to a shooting to confuse the system.

    In fact, the possession of long guns by a gang has a deterrent effect on drive-by shootings, because they are much more effective in defending a home than in attacking one.

  • SkippingDog

    I’m very familiar with the area, having been a Richmond PD officer about 20 years ago. I’ve taken a pretty large number of AK’s and clones off of gang members over the years, including the HA’s in that area. I’ve also spent a lot of time counting and collecting hundreds of 7.62×39 casings left in the street after the gang-bangers who, according to you don’t use such weapons, have done one of their drive by shootings.

  • 946towguy

    You are a bit off on some the technical details:
    Stating that you can’t make a semi-auto into a full auto is just silly. Depending on the design, it may be more or less difficult and may require more or less material and tooling, but even a bolt action rifle can be made into an automatic by a skilled machinist. Look up Pedersen device. John Browning even made a machinegun from a lever action Winchester.
    And BTW, I have seen entry level Honda 4 cyl engines that are rebuilt to produce 1000 hp.

    Ishevsk does make a full auto shotgun based on the AK platform, but it is not called a Saiga and it is not available for import to the USA. The Saiga line was a re-design by the son of the original inventor, to comply with import-export laws.
    Pre 1986 Colt AR-15 rifles could be converted to full auto with a drop in auto sear and the appropriate hammer, sear and selector lever. Post 1986 Colts lower receivers are lacking the disconnector hole, and have several parts that are slightly different.

  • Yoikes

    I like the idea of our military getting rid of him. Dump him and hold new elections. I really wonder if some military leaders aren’t seriously considering this.

  • New Yorkers (city) are already ratting out their neighbors.

  • In Maryland? Never I fear. Too many people in Balto City, PG county and Mont. County to cancel out the vote in the rest of the state. Proof is that O’taxustodeath got elected to a second term.

  • This goes to prove why the average Law Abiding Joe shouldn’t be denied the ability to own one for personal and or family protection.

  • Garry

    So, you can’t answer the question, instead proffer your opinion that, if you agree, the police may overstep their authority. You state you are a former Police Officer, maybe that’s why you are “Former”. The reason enforcement works its way up the food chain is to find the distributors. Distribution has a higher penalty because distribution is a different charge, which is codified in law, not to “Make an example of”. The Law is not a “teaching tool” by any means. It is statute that is codified in law by legislators that are supposed to find reason to punish people that harm others.

  • Garry

    This is so much BS. The Lacy Act did not include plants and timbers until after 2008 amendments, so prior to that, there was no US law to break unless you were transporting endangered animals.
    The Gibson Employee, whom was not named, was likely a lobbyist for the group you provided a link to earlier, and claimed it to be from Gibson’s lawyers, which was also false.
    Per my earlier post, Gibson had PERMISSION from the Madagascar Government to do exactly what they did. They had it in writing, and thus the DOJ had a weak case. That is why the settlement was much less than what would have come forward had it come in front of a judge and they were actually breaking the law.

    You continually provide false information and downright lies to make your point. You would fit right in at Huffington Puffingston Post, where facts are not necessary.

  • 946towguy

    Even 20 years ago, rifles accounted for only a tiny percentage of the weapons used in crime. Most of the shootings that I’ve witnessed involved 9mm and 40 cal handguns. The drive-by has become very unpopular and has been largely replaced by close range hits.

    In one case, a gang member came out of his SFHA residence with his SKS and shot a thug in the back of the head point blank, put 9 more in his head to insure a closed casket, leaned the rifle against the stoop and sat on the curb to await arrest. That thug was the one who tried to shoot me with a revolver from an active playground a few months earlier, and succeeded in hitting my sergeant in the leg. I couldn’t safely return fire and the San Francisco Police refused to arrest him, likely because he was an informant.

    Today, it is even less so. What we are seeing in my area is that shotguns and semiautomatic rifles are being used defensively to stop home invasions by perpetrators carrying handguns and blunt trauma weapons. The SKS probably outnumbers the AK series as a home defense weapon due to the current state of legislation in CA.

  • 946towguy

    This is not at all comparable to contraband ivory or drugs. Contraband is not property because its nature precludes lawful possession.

    The issue in this case had nothing to do with the wood being contraband or with the provenance of the material. It is more comparable to importing uncooked poultry that has been inspected and approved for export by the exporting country, but not approved for import by the USA, because USA says that imported poultry must be either fully cooked or needs a special permit from the USDA. The legitimate interest of the USDA is to prevent disease from being transmitted in the raw poultry. In this case, the issue was about the level of finishing of the wood in the exporting country prior to export, as a means of guaranteeing jobs to the people of Madagascar. Our government was saying that the Madagascar supplier cutting the wood into veneer strips was insufficient, and that the strips would need to be made into a finished product before export. The Madagascar government understood that Gibson would be making hand crafted guitars and fret boards with the wood, which would require the final finishing to be done in the guitar plant in the USA. Our government was contending that Gibson needed to set up shop in Madagascar to make the strips into fret boards before shipping them. That would be like the government saying you cant buy wood to build a cabinet at home depot, but must instead either buy a finished kit from Ikea, or take a trip to Sweden build the cabinet yourself and bring it back with you.

  • 946towguy

    If you have any experience with how the courts work, you know what a plea deal is. It is a fact that people and companies settle nuisance lawsuits and malicious prosecution all the time.

    You should know about prosecutorial overcharging to get a result.

    You should also be aware of asset forfeiture and seizure laws and how they work.

    The lawful property and inventory of Gibson was being held by the government as either ‘evidence’ or as ‘contraband’ as a means of shutting them down to get their shakedown.

    The feds knew that every day Gibson could not produce cost them money and that if the government could convince a judge with a friendly ear to declare the property as ‘contraband’, then Gibson would be forced to choose between being mugged or suing the feds to regain what is rightfully theirs.

    In the end, Gibson made a financial decision which did not involve pleading guilty to anything , but required Gibson to pay the shakedown money “civil penalty” and make a statement that would prevent them from being able to sue. It is nothing short of thuggery.

  • bheiranthony

    When you live in a society that is lead by a Socialist media powerhouse, then we are in deep trouble.

    Whatever the implications of this idealogical course we have taken, the going from here will be a direct violation of the principle of limited and unobtrusive government.

    Obama government is socialist in commitment and policy execution, bear this in mind when you next go to the polls.

    All Conservatives are attacked as openly as Democrats and Liberals are praised. This is the work of the media we patronize, wake up America time is running out.

    When you see the resolve of this administration to disarm Americans, you know that Adversity and Oppression are on the Rise.

    Before they, the government, can change this constitution, they will disarm you.
    Note the Anti-Gun Lobby is not interested in protecting innocent victims of Gun crimes, they need more killers to run amuck to further their cause.
    More Gun Control.
    You and I know that no amount of measures will stop these crimes.
    What we need is to protect our schools by having Armed guards.
    We have metal detectors, does that stop the Killers?
    When I go to the bank I see armed guards and I expect to see them.
    Why is it that most of these crimes are committed at Gun -Free zones?
    The Liberals know that all these measures will not stop these crimes, only create further tragedies for them to exploit our misery to their political advantage

  • bheiranthony

    You do have an axe to grind or is it bad wood to cut against Gibson.
    Are you a supporter of this administration?
    I see you avoid addressing the issue of companies that are not harassed because they contribute to the Democratic establishment. Is that intentional?

  • Steve

    In our congressional district, the congressional representatives are aligned with Pelosi, Finklestien and Boxer. We are basically powerless and are just scraping by, yet the IRS alone wasted $17,000 of our time and CPA fees this last year to produce records that led to a zero change in the audit. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t get paid unless our business is profitable. That $17k was my paycheck for 12 months work. It’s gone now, wasted by the IRS, yet we still pay all our debts and do not borrow from anyone 1 dime. Taxes for small business are out of control. Nearly 10% in Sales and Use tax, then Corporate taxes, employment taxes, legal and professional fees to keep it all together, it’s just daunting. I have been in business nearly 20 years and have a wife who understands finance and keeps our books squeaky clean. I was hoping that I might be able to retire in my 60’s soon. Now I just wonder if I’ll be able to survive 1 year on SS. We seriously need much less complication and gov intrusion in our lives. It has grown to be completely out of hand, yet the biggest of all criminals, those tanking public companies, walk away with millions why factories, towns and economies get shut down. No wonder middle america is angry. We “are” getting screwed.

  • SkippingDog

    I have no particular axe to grind with Gibson, and in fact have a fine guitar manufactured by that company. I also have no particular support for the current presidential administration, having long since agreed with the conclusion that there’s not really a dimes worth of difference. I do think accusations of political influence on prosecutions based on the individual’s or company’s contributions to either political party is BS. I know too many professional prosecutors and investigators at both the state and federal level to believe such nonsense.

  • SkippingDog

    People don’t settle Criminal Enforcement Action lawsuits brought by the Justice Department “all the time.” That’s serious business on both sides of the matter, not something to be paid off out of petty cash.

  • SkippingDog

    It had exactly to do with the provenance of the material in question. Gibson knowingly bought “gray market” material, hoping they could slip it through. They got caught and now want to whine about their punishment. That’s all this is about.

  • SkippingDog

    I’m former because I retired after 35 years of service, at a fairly high rank I might add. I’ve worked on and commanded local, state and federal task forces involved in investigation and enforcement actions of everything from drugs to guns to environmental crimes and even terrorism. I know exactly how the process works. It’s a shame you don’t.

  • Garry

    I’m not saying I don’t know how Law Enforcement my overstep their bounds, I was asking where “Make an example of” is codified in law, or any part of Law Enforcement training as approved by any oversight authority. You still can’t answer that, so let’s just assume Officers like you make the rules as you see fit, and us common citizens should just bow to your unlimited authority.

  • SkippingDog

    Law enforcement and prosecution agencies have finite resources, so it makes sense and is good public management to focus those limited resources where they will have the greatest impact. Any examination of jurisprudence will inform you that the law is a teaching tool and a method of illustrating our values as a society. Prosecutors have the additional obligation to carry out their duties in the interest of “justice,” which also suggests the best method of gaining compliance with the law is not merely enforcement but education.

    Many of the people who wrote and ratified our Constitution were lawyers who knew these concepts, as did everyone with a grasp of the English common law on which much of our legal system has been based from the very beginning.

  • 946towguy

    Okay, “All the time” is not accurate. I should have said, “Typically, when the government has a weak case and the defendant/respondent finds it cheaper to plead.”
    The fact is that, ‘Grey market’ is not ‘Black Market’. There is nothing inherently illegal about grey market goods. It just means that they are traded outside the ‘normal’ channels.

    For example: If I go to Sweden on a 45 day ‘Visa Waiver’ vacation and buy a ‘new’ Volvo the day I arrive, having it registered in Sweden, then have the car shipped back to the USA as a ‘used, personally owned vehicle (POV), I would save a bundle on the import tarriffs, without violating the law. The car is referred to as ‘grey market’, which can sometimes make it harder to get the initial title from a state DMV. Volvo encourages this practice, so if you have been paying attention, you have probably noticed a Volvo with a Swedish plate under a U.S. state plate.

    Gibson was faced with a ‘nuisance suit.’ These happen regularly as a method of shakedown. It is most commonly found in the Civil court system, where they are also known as ‘frivolous lawsuits’.

    It is really not serious business on the side of the government, because they have nothing to lose. The government employees in the agency get paid either way. If they win, they can justify spending more taxpayer resources in shaking down a company that they don’t like, and if they lose, they have cost the company precious resources that make them less competitive against the company that is favored by the agency.

    Gibson looked at the books and realized that it would cost twice as much money to win the case as settling and made a financial decision. If they won, there is essentially no chance of recovering legal costs from the agency.

    Example: I own a company. My business vehicle was struck and lightly damaged by a negligent, uninsured operator. My company suffered loss of business income as a result of the downtime. The other vehicle was totaled and the other operator was injured, incurring medical expenses. There were several witnesses, including a federal agent and an ambulance driver. I was found 100% not-at-fault and the other was found 100% at-fault. My insurance company paid out 30k to the at-fault party to settle the resulting ‘nuisance lawsuit’ and I received nothing from the uninsured operator, who declared bankruptcy.

  • 946towguy

    Perhaps the exact opposite is necessary. What you are calling for is absolute despotism. If laws are just, then the population will comply with them. When certain people choose to commit crimes, it is the reserved police power of the several states, executed by the people, who are supposed to bring criminals to justice. It would be far better if most federal agents were not armed, or were prosecuted in state courts if they ever draw their weapon unless imminent danger and preclusion can be shown. There is no excuse for the armed agents to be going into a business with weapons drawn, to execute a warrant for a non-violent crime. And, if a vilent crime were being committed, they should rely on the local Sheriff and/or police department to execute the warrant.

    The civilians have a right which pre-exists the federal government, to own these weapons. The states created the federal government to do a limited list of tasks and they should NEVER have the power to disarm the people. In fact, the people have the right to disarm the federal government if it gets out of control. The Sheriff of each county in this republic, is the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction. The Sheriff is elected by the people of the county to exercise the laws and protect the rights of the people in the Jurisdiction. This insures that the sheriff and those deputized under the laws of the state are among the people.
    Historically, the sheriff would call on the people to effect an arrest, and it wasn’t until the end of the 1800’s that municipal or metropolitan police were permitted to carry firearms. For example, New York City first issued revolvers to patrol officers in 1896. If the police needed armed backup, they called on the people or the state militia. The argument for arming the police was that since everyone else could carry a gun, then why not the police. And that is where this race began….

  • SkippingDog

    You’re certainly entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

    The U.S. federal system is and has always been a system of dual sovereignty, state and federal. The first federal law enforcement agency was the U.S. Marshal’s Service, created under the Judiciary Act of 1789 to enforce the orders of federal courts, including warrants of arrest.

    As James Madison said so well in Federalist 51, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” We have known men were not angels at least since Cain murdered Abel in Genesis. Our basic nature has never improved. No matter how just the law, be it against murder, theft, or some other restriction, there is always some non-angelic element of mankind that will disregard it for their own ends. Some of those will use violence to avoid the consequences of their deeds.

    Your federalism argument was severely tested and discarded slightly less than 150 years ago. Our union is perpetual and indivisible, which by extension means the federal government is superior in authority to those of the several states on a wide range of issues. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution reinforces that basic fact.

    The sheriff in a given county may well be the chief law enforcement officer of that small jurisdiction – although many state constitutions describe the District Attorney or States Attorney as the “chief law officer” of the jurisdiction, but nearly every state exercises state constitutional authority over the locally elected sheriff, since counties are nothing more than political subdivisions of the state in which they are located. The Principle of Subsidiarity provides clear guidance in this regard, and there are many examples of locally elected sheriffs being removed from office, arrested, or otherwise removed from their local powers by Governors, state Attorneys General, state police organizations, and even District Attorneys or States Attorneys if you take the briefest moment to look at such history.

    Finally, the NYPD never sent its officers out unarmed. You must be confusing them with the Metropolitan Police in London. NYPD was created to remove the political stranglehold created by numerous local constables, marshals, and night-watch members in the first half of the 19th Century by the local Democratic party apparatus. When it was undermanned in its early days, it certainly called upon the state militia for assistance – most particularly during the Conscription Riots in the early 1860’s, but generally handling all normal crime matters itself. Its success led in large part to the later consolidation of multiple Boroughs into the NYC we know today.

  • 946towguy

    Not “Always” and not entirely. There was no federal government until the several states created it with the ratification of the Constitution.

    Madison was correct in his thinking on the matter and is exactly on my point. The U.S. Marshall’s service was created to act as sheriffs at the federal level. Prior to the Hoover era, when they needed to effect an arrest within the boundaries of a state, they would usually call upon the county sheriff for assistance.

    My Federalism argument has not, however been discarded, and although the civil war saw temporary usurpation of the authority of the several states, the 14th amendment was soon ratified to guarantee equal protection of the laws. Notwithstanding the supremacy clause of the constitution, the federal government is limited in its proper authority to the specifically enumerated powers in the Constitution. This does not mean that federal law automatically trumps state laws. A federal law that contradicts a state law by improperly usurping powers not delegated is unconstitutional.

    Regardless of the fact that several states reserve checks and balances to counter corrupt sheriffs and the fact that the state attorneys general claim authority as CLEO of the state, each Sheriff is the CLEO of each county, and has been so since the colonial days.

    Finally, there were two competing police departments in New York City, that replaced the Constabulary, marshall and night watch systems. The New York Municipal Police was founded in 1844, and based on the London Metropolitan Police. In 1857, The New York Metropolital Police were founded to replace the Municipal Police. Neither were armed with firearms, but the street officers carried truncheons. Despite the Municipal Police initial resistance, they were forced to disband in July of that year. It was not until 1896, when Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Later President) modernized the force and adopted the Colt .32 New Police Revolver as a standard issue weapon. Go watch the Movie, “Gangs of New York.” You will note that none of the police openly carry firearms and the one corrupt ‘copper’ who has a single shot pistol carries in secretly and concealed. The Bowery Boys gang was the armed backup that NYPD usually called upon. If the locals were unable or unwilling to provide this backup, they would call on the New York State Militia.

  • caprock

    Really?That must be why the La pd offered the two ladies driving the truck that they opened fire on with automatic weapons (READ ASSAULT WEAPONS) and then offered to buy them a new truck. If these actions were taken in a combat zone I as a 40 year Army veteran would have been charged with a human rights violation under the Geneva Conventions Section 3. Maybe when you idiotic police start to realize you can be charged with war crimes!

  • SkippingDog

    I know it probably seems all the same to someone like you, caprock, but a Criminal Enforcement Action by the DOJ isn’t remotely similar to a tort liability settlement in LA.

  • Eugene Cunningham

    Extraordinary work and analysis. Frankly, it is a too much for one article. Indeed, various incidents would be the basis of a TV show as those who need to wake up will be found there.

  • Diamondback

    One purpose of lawsuits against government tyrants for violation of fundamental rights is to provide an example for other companies to learn from too:
    18 USC Sections 241, 242
    42 USC Sections 1983, 1985, 1986

  • SkippingDog

    Civil Rights lawsuits are certainly appropriate for any violations of your civil rights by government authorities, but they are successful a very small percentage of the time. Enforcement and prosecution agencies will still focus their resources where they think they can make the biggest impact.

  • Miss Monika

    Protect your constitution and your bill of rights. Obama is chipping away at it under your noses;

  • MattBracken

    Welcome to the USSA. Shut up and be a good comrade, or no hip replacement for your mother!

  • toejam

    Where is the line? Is there one?

  • FedUpJoe

    People in Egypt say everyone was aware of his foreign origins but they thought it would be okay. Now they don’t want to even have him acknowledged as muslim. He has sponsored the radicals who want to put Egypt under Sharla Law – and continues to push for that as of july 11. Nice.

  • FedUpJoe

    for what? I gotta say, people in nyc seem totally oblivious. Are they really that oblivious?

  • Senor Equis

    But to hear Cliff Kincaid tell it, hippies with reefer and guns like Adam Kokesh are the greater threat to our liberties than DHS with their 2 billion bullets and 1,800 armored vehicles.

  • LawrenceNeal

    First, I resent Christopher Dorner twice being called a cop killer, there is no evidence of this, and it has never been proven. Only the LAPD saying, ‘That’s the way it is and that’s all there is to it, case closed’. The LAPD murdered Christopher Dorner, and probably set him up to take the fall for the murders he’s accused of.

    Secondly, it’s obvious all these gratuitous SWAT raids are being used as training exercises. What you should be asking yourselves is, ‘What are they training FOR?’

  • jmach11

    Just like the Endangered Species Act, which environmentalists use to keep people from improving their land or denying water to farming communities (like the community in California who had their water cut off to protect a smelt), the Lacey Act has unintended consequences and should be repealed. It is all about government control and selective enforcement instead of conservation. If that were not the case, they would not have raided the company with automatic weapons and illegally detained the employees (see 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution).

  • Donna E Turner

    Obama is a muslim terrorist who is destroying our country form within with the aid of George Soros and his marxist friends.

  • bruce

    guest raid my home on a bull shit warrent and shoot my wife by accident then sooner or later I will be waiting for you to come home.eye for an eye cop.

  • SBaker2

    Organized crime bosses are simply in charge of the federal government. The real criminals sit in DC and they don’t just want their guns and bodyguards, they want ALL of the guns. These people are killers at heart and just as the historical evidence proves, they will kill US citizens in an instant: make no mistake about it.

  • 12wlw12

    Well said my friend, well said!!!!!!!

  • 12wlw12

    The main purpose of these Gestapo raids is to intimidate the citizens, to cower us down to the level of living in fear of the Government… as it, step by step, takes total control of this Nation and it’s citizens.

  • Isaiahdolan

    It is the over-reaction by police for little things that has to make one wonder. Too many unarmed people have been shot.

  • Isaiahdolan

    Why don’t you expand your comments on the prison system and the USA’s record as lead jailor in the world. We are quick to point out the abuse of powers in China and Russia yet we have more prisoners. And 80,000 are in solitary/restricted confinement. 80,000!!!

  • czech2

    and then who would you suggest that the military puts in power ,maybe me ?

  • MrEd

    “Your federalism argument was severely tested and discarded slightly less
    than 150 years ago. Our union is perpetual and indivisible, which by
    extension means the federal government is superior in authority to those
    of the several states on a wide range of issues. The Supremacy Clause
    of the Constitution reinforces that basic fact.”

    I would like to hear exactly what you think this Supremacy Clause is according to your understanding, because I think you are still wet behind the ears. I would however like to hear your version in the event I am surprised and you actually know what you are talking about.

  • Lawrence D. Wood

    Good piece, and very much right on the mark.
    The libs have an agenda and it is not going to make the American gun owner happy.
    The militarization of police can be stopped tomorrow by Congress rescinding the 1033 program. Rightfully, the battle rattle, vehicles, and weapons should be provided to the 32 USC Sec 109(c) State Defense Forces. The cops are not LI, nor do they have a legitimate military mission, hence no need for military grade weapons and equipment.
    Further, as suggested by the author, Congress could require federal LE to coordinate any arrest with local LE, thereby respecting and recognizing the States’ sovereignty. I would further suggest that there be a requirement for the States’ legislatures to pass a resolution allowing federal LE to carry a weapon within the borders of a state. Without that authorization, no carry by federal LE.
    Further, end the alphabet agency armed response. Force them to use the local and State police like they once had to do.
    Cops are not LI and should not be trained in MOUT by SOF and LI infantry instructors. They should be trained, if the military conducts any training of LE, which they do, by MP instructors, whose mission is similar to the civilian police.
    Time to end this malarkey of “them and us”, where the citizen is automatically assumed to be a subject and subject to threat and intimidation by gov’t force. There is a war, it is a war of terror and intimidation upon us by our police and gov’t at every level. The tempo is increasing daily, as are the innocent casualties.
    Elect people to office who understand the separation of powers and the Constitution, who will respect our rights under the Constitution as being inviolate. 2014 and 2016 are going to be critical to the future of this country.
    If we fail to remove this socialist/Marxist experiment and its supporters from power, the progressive left as they call themselves, then civil war will certainly be the outcome.

  • jfriley

    …over 150 Maryland State Police (MSP),


    State Fire Marshal’s bomb squad,

    County SWAT teams, complete with
    two police helicopters,

    two Bearcat “special response” vehicles,

    command posts,


    police dogs,

    bomb disposal truck… bomb sniffing
    robots… a huge excavator
    …They even brought in food trucks.

    BUT THEY WERE TOO DUMB TO SECURE THE BACK DOOR!!!!! And the suspect got away from them without them even knowing it for hours!


  • Sorry, your claim about the Department of Education Office of Inspector General raid is a lie. He was not dragged from his bed in his underwear. He was awake and at the door when the DOE OIG agents knocked on the door and announced that they had a search warrant. He refused to open the door. The agents then broke down the door and arrested him for obstruction of justice, the refusal to submit to the search warrant signed by a Federal magistrate judge.

  • eavesmac

    What nobody understands about all this militarized gear is that its no defence against a can of gas and a match which can be thrown some distance. Nothing more painful than burn injury.

  • Miss Monika

    Pain is subjective and unique to the individual. It is not that “nothing is more painful than a burn injury,” it is that a burn injury is the most painful thing YOU have experienced.
    To say that all militarized gear is no defense against a can of gas and a match is incorrect. There is gear that is inflammable.

  • Miss Monika

    “The only proper function of the government of a free country is to act as an agency which protects the individual’s rights, i.e., which protects the individual from physical violence.”

    In this instance, law enforcement used physical violence in the form of physical coercion.

    They used their “power to force obedience under threat of physical injury- the threat of property expropriation, imprisonment or death.”

  • Miss Monika

    “The proper functions of a government are:
    the police, to protect men from criminals;
    the military forces, to protect men from foreign invaders;
    and the law courts, to protect men’s property and contracts from breach by force or fraud, and to settle disputes among men according to objectively defined laws.”

  • Miss Monika

    Government has become an agency whose actions are those that they are supposed to protect individuals from

  • Kahlil60

    The German people did the same under Hitler..

  • Kahlil60

    We are living in the Times of American transformation from God-fearing to godless.
    For several decades our educational institutions have been deliberately hijacked by Communists, this has been the objective from Stalin days to now.
    Sadly, the public are duped by the creative use of terms like Progressive and Liberal. Both terms are deliberately misleading, since they are merely synonyms for Communism and Socialism. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic was the last name of Russia.
    It would not surprise me if America turns out to be the nation headed by the last Anti-Christ, hell, you guys persecute Christian symbols and trample on Christian beliefs by using the legislative branch of government.
    Observation, there is caused for alarm when all nations use the exact tactics on their various peoples.
    We are fast approaching the Time when a single catastrophic attack will set the stage for World Government, we are planning that Bad Seed today with the Iranian nuclear deal.

  • Kahlil60

    America the one-party state, if that is not communism what is it?

  • Anthony Duhe

    Understand Obama’s connections and you will unlock Obama

  • Adam Rich

    Because a double standard exists due to bho’s race. Too many descent law abiding Americans are fearful of the backlash because they are brainwashed with political correctness and fear.We are bombarded by Marxist left wing media, education,
    music, the “cool culture”, and way too many politicians and judges who want to twist and destroy the Constitution. We need to smash ISis, the blk lives movement, and the influence CAIR, Reverend wright and marxism have on bho and his followers

  • actionsspeaklouder

    You are 110% correct on all points Adam. So frighteningly correct.

  • yumadlh

    And his czars.

  • Steven Barrett

    This militarization of police departments has been going on since Nixon, no great lover of the rule of law in case anybody’s forgotten. I was in college during those ever so wonderful years of the early seventies and trust me, they weren’t so damn wonderful. My alma mater, St. Thomas University (FL) then Biscayne College received a slew of federal bucks, the place was crawlin’ with Dade County and other local cops, corrections officials and yes, I graduated with a degree in public admin./criminal justice … a field l’m so damn glad to be out of now. A lot of book learning and sitting in classes didn’t make some of the people I attended class better cops. It just enabled them to receive higher pay and more incentive awards. South Florida remained a cauldron ready to blow and it did in 1980.
    Giving police departments more money and lethal toys to beef themselves up without spending a dime to find out what’s causing so much outrage which leads to more street violence is just plain stupid. Doing what’s stupid is easier than facing up to facts; even if the facts aren’t nearly as expensive to face and deal with in the short, medium and long run.