Are Police Above The Law?

In response to David’s GRE article yesterday, I decided to send the following email. I waited so long to post this here because I wanted to make sure that none of the emails bounced… as of right now, approximately 4 hours after I sent it, I have received no notification of failure.

Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 08:26:35 -0400
Subject: Are police above the law?
From: patriot@rooteshome.com
To: Governor@pa.gov; tmurt@pahousegop.com; bboyle@pahousegop.com; kboyle@pahousegop.com; mmcgeehan@pahousegop.com; jsabatina@pahousegop.com; mobrien@pahousegop.com; jtaylor@pahousegop.com; tpayton@pahousegop.com; acruz@pahousegop.com; wthomas@pahousegop.com; bjosephs@pahousegop.com; wkeller@pahousegop.com; mdonatucci@pahousegop.com; hjames@pahousegop.com; jroebuck@pahousegop.com; vbrown@pahousegop.com; rwaters@pahousegop.com; lbishop@pahousegop.com; pdelissio@pahousegop.com; mbrownlee@pahousegop.com; gwilliams@pahousegop.com; ryoungblood@pahousegop.com; cparker@pahousegop.com; jmyers@pahousegop.com; mcohen@pahousegop.com; devans@pahousegop.com; washington@pasenate.com; kitchen@pasenate.com; tartaglione@pasenate.com; stack@pasenate.com; hughes@pasenate.com; farnese@pasenate.com; williams@pasenate.com
CC: kboback@pahousegop.com; lbaker@pasen.gov

I wanted to bring an issue to your attention: Requests to investigate anti-gun Philly top cop’s ‘gun crimes’ ignored. I live in Monroe Township, so I have copied my own representatives as well as trying to send it to all representatives of Philadelphia.

Basically, this article (and its source) state that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is guilty of misdemeanor and felony violations of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act and Attorney General Linda Kelly and the District Attorney are ignoring the attempts to get them to investigate and prosecute.

I find this very upsetting as I am the one Receiving ‘Harsh Treatment‘ that is also linked in that article. The news that the Philly Police Commissioner is being rewarded for blatantly breaking the law is very upsetting since I was not breaking any laws, yet I was threatened with theft and imprisonment. I was in fear for my safety and my ability to return home at the end of the day, so I complied… that won’t happen next time I’m (legally) Open Carrying in Philly.

I will end this with one final note: You need to keep in mind that we are a nation of laws, and when the police (and other public ‘servants’) ignore the law, they relieve the citizen of their obligation to follow it as well. The rule of law protects them from us as much as (or more than) it is supposed to protect us from them. When the law no longer protects the citizen, what makes you think it will protect the ‘servants’?

Restore the rule of law. Force the appropriate persons to investigate, prosecute and then punish the law-breaking Charles Ramsey.

Sincerely,
Mark Roote

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Conversation about rights.

I was having a conversation at work the other day with someone that I consider a friend. We were talking about personal security and why I carry a gun openly, and he was trying to make me feel bad about scaring people (the little old lady in line behind me at the store, etc.) He asked me how many times I have had to use it since I started carrying. When I said never, he asked me what the chances of needing it were in civilized society.
And then he walked away to get his coffee. The conversation and his attitude upset me enough to write the following email:

From: Roote, Mark
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 10:38 AM
To:
Subject: this is civilized society?

Statistic for places that I go regularly enough to be concerned about:
Berwick crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 9 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Clarks Summit crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 2 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Dallas Township crime statistics report an overall downward trend in crime based on data from 5 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime increasing.
Dalton crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 2 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Duryea crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 2 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Forty Fort crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 5 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Hanover crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 11 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Harrisburg crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 10 years with violent crime increasing and property crime decreasing.
Harveys Lake crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 2 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime increasing.
Hazleton crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 7 years with violent crime increasing and property crime decreasing.
Jermyn crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 4 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Kingston Township crime statistics report an overall downward trend in crime based on data from 5 years with violent crime increasing and property crime decreasing.
Larksville crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 3 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Meshoppen crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 2 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Moosic crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 5 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime increasing.
West Pittston crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 5 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.
Wilkes-Barre Township crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 5 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime increasing.
Wyoming crime statistics report an overall downward trend in crime based on data from 4 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime increasing.
Scranton crime statistics report an overall upward trend in crime based on data from 9 years with violent crime increasing and property crime increasing.

OK, so those are statistics, you can see that there is an upward trend in smaller towns near us. I also know I left several out, but if they showed an overall downward trend with violent crimes and property crimes both decreasing I left them out (and I’m sure there are some that I didn’t even look at).
Here are a couple of stories from recent new around us:
Edwardsville shooting victims ID’d – so there was a shooting Wednesday night in Edwardsville.
Man charged in attack of woman – Wilkes-Barre
Man charged with shooting at cop
Prosecutor: Police, firefighter abused Pa. teen
Old Forge police chief arrested (on charges he had sex with a 15-year-old girl)

From the Times Leader’s Police Blotter:
– Victoria Lopez reported someone kicked in a door to her apartment in Hanover Village and stole items. The burglary occurred sometime in the last three weeks.
– Police are investigating a robbery of an 82-year-old woman whose purse was stolen from her on Mine Street at about 3:35 p.m. Tuesday. A dark-skinned male, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, grabbed the purse from the woman, who fought her attacker. She suffered an injury to her arm, police said.
– Police are investigating an armed robbery at the Turkey Hill on Alter Street at 3:53 a.m. Wednesday. A white male, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and about 200 pounds, wearing a black knit hat, black pants and a long sleeve shirt, got away with an undetermined amount of cash. The suspect brandished a handgun, police said.

And here’s a good place to keep an eye on violent mobs, but here are some reports from within PA this year:
59 year old man robbed by 8 males, one w/ handgun (Harrisburg, PA – 4/21/12)
Man walking home from work attacked by six kids aged 11-14 (Pittsburgh, PA – 2/24/12)
College student in Center City assaulted as taxi cab attacked while stopped at red light (Philadelphia, PA – 1/28/12)

And don’t forget the kid that was attacked by someone with a machete while he was walking away from school (GAR) back in February.

So, after all of that, you’re going to tell me that statistically I shouldn’t worry about my safety? I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you. It is my responsibility to protect myself and my family (multiple supreme courts have ruled that the police have no legal duty to protect… not to mention that they are almost never around when they are needed… “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away”). If you are comfortable playing the odds, go for it. I am not comfortable with that. I am fully aware that bad things happen unexpectedly and there is evil in the world. My gun is part of my insurance plan. This insurance plan has multiple parts to it, including avoiding places that I think are dangerous if at all possible.
The fact that anyone, whether it be you or some little old lady in line behind me at the checkout, is afraid of me simply for carrying an inanimate object, it’s not my problem. Humans are born with the right (and responsibility) of self defense. If you choose not to exercise that right it’s your prerogative and I won’t hold it against you. You have no authority to restrict my rights to self defense, period. I don’t care whether it makes you uncomfortable or not. Seeing two gay guys go at it makes me uncomfortable, and a lot of things that the media says (when they can be proven as lies) makes me uncomfortable, but I’m not trying to restrict their rights to free choice or speech.
The next time you think about restricting my rights, any of them, not just my right to bear arms, replace the right you want to restrict from me with the right to free speech and see how reasonable it sounds. In addition to my firearms being protected by the 2A, my right to free expression is being threatened. My openly carried sidearm is a warning, would you be more comfortable with me wearing/carrying a sign that says “I have a gun and I know how to use it”? I think that would cause more fear than actually openly carrying, but in the end, I DON’T CARE if it instills fear in “innocent” people… and I have no obligation to care. I am armed to protect myself and others that I see that need help, if anyone doesn’t like it they can tell me about it, but I have no obligation to give anyone a “warm and fuzzy” feeling. The world is a hard place. Either a person recognizes that and does everything they can to prepare for it or they don’t. I choose to prepare.
Also, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” ~Thomas Jefferson. Roughly, that boils down to: You have the right to Freedom OF Religion, not freedom FROM religion. This same rule applies to absolutely every other human right. You have freedom OF, not freedom FROM.

Sorry for the long email, but this is a very touchy subject for me on so many levels. No matter how civilized we think we are, there is only a very thin veneer of civilization between life as we know it and total breakdown of society (AKA, after Katrina life in the Superdome).
It is my responsibility to protect myself and my family, and I take my responsibilities VERY seriously.

PS. This is civilized China – Customs officials intercept 17,000 pills filled with powdered baby flesh from China. There is evil in the world. That may not be happening here, yet, but there are discussions from the intelligencia about the propriety of post-birth abortion. Post-birth abortion is another phrase for murdering an infant because it may be ill (or even just unwanted). And yet we live in a civilized society?

Mark Roote

No, I don’t care.

After Mike sent me to Stossel’s “Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi!” article and the link to VDH that CA referred us to today, I have to get this off my chest…
NO! I do NOT care one whit about your retired parents or your unfortunate siblings/cousins/co-workers, nor do I give a rat’s ass about your sick children. I care about MINE. You “progressives” can call me a cold-hearted bastard all day long, I’m fine with that, but the difference between you and me is that I actually love my family and will do everything in my power to take care of them. If that means that my retired (without a pension because the company she worked for for 18 years laid her off just in time to get away without paying her retirement salary) and widowed mother comes to live in my house with my wife and children because social security finally goes away, so be it. She let me live in her house as long as I needed to, it is my HONOR to let her stay with me if she wants (or needs). If my brother or sister get evicted because they didn’t pay their mortgage/rent on time, I will do what I must to make sure that their families are not living on the streets.
If social security and medicare and medicaid and food stamps all go away tomorrow, I will still do everything I must to take care of my family. And even if those things went away, my life wouldn’t change at all since I get no benefit from them to begin with… actually, in the long run, after those things go away my situation will improve because I’ll have more of my own money left to put to work for me.
If all of those things go away tomorrow and you and yours end up on the street… I DON’T CARE! The only reason your situation would enter into my thought process is if/when you try to steal from me (because I have things that I have acquired over time thanks to hard work). And when that happens, you will be shot. There will be no warning, if you are on my property and I do not know you and you pick up something that does not belong to you, you are a thief and you will be shot.

Stop trying to make me feel bad for your sick child or your poor, retired, sick parents/grandparents. I am sorry that your child is sick, but it is not my job to care about your child, that is YOUR job. I’m sorry that your parents/grandparents didn’t plan for their “later years” appropriately, but it is not my job to take care of them. If they raised you right, you would be grateful for everything they gave to you while you were growing and you would be willing to return the favor. If you are worried that your children won’t take care of you in your later years, well, sucks to be you, you must not have been a very good parent. I don’t care! And I will no longer pretend to care just to avoid confrontation. Let’s have this discussion, we’ll start it when you give me 10% of your income because I deserve it. If you’re not going to hand over your income to me because I said so, then shut the hell up about me handing over my money because you said so.

Another difference between you and I is that I know it is my responsibility to care for my family, and I accept that. I worked hard to get into a job that provides fairly good insurance (it’s not the best and it’s gotten worse since your annointed one passed his health careless bill, but that’s a different subject). And if my insurance isn’t enough to cover the bills, I’ll get another job and sell off everything I have to take care of my family.
Now that I’ve said that, I do (and/or prepare to do) these things even while the government steals such a large percentage of my “income” to give to you lazy f*****s. Imagine what I could do and what I would have left to expand my “circle of caring” if the government stole only a fraction of their current levels of my “income”.

I’m going to end this rant now by reiterating my opening statement, “No, I don’t care about your family, I care about mine… and you should too”