Archive for the ‘guns’ Category

Plaxico Not The First ‘Star’ to Shoot Himself in the Foot

December 2, 2008

From Michael Vick to Jim Brown there is a parade of “Bad Boys” from the NFL, other sports and Hollywood.  We are not saints; just people.  Now Plaxico Burress gets 15 minutes of fame not for a Super bowl touchdown but for shooting hemself in the foot, er, leg….

Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick(R) leaves ... 
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick(R) leaves Surry County Circuit Court after entering a guilty plea on two felony counts connected to dog fighting in Sussex, Virginia. Under a plea agreement, Vick, who is currently serving a term in prison for federal dog fighting charges, will serve one-year of probation for the state charges.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Geoff Burke)


The weekend self-injury of New York Giants star badboy Plaxico Burress, who sustained a personal injury gunshot in the leg when an illegally concealed weapon accidentally went off may have a few others in hot water.

In New York state, it is a misdemeanor for a hospital not to report a gunshot wound to the police, and according to reports, that is exactly what happened.  It appears that several employees of New York-Cornell Hospital, who treated Burress, did not contact the police. The New York State Department of Health is investigating to see if information was deliberately hidden to protect Burress. Additionally the hospital itself has admitted it has suspended an employee for not following procedure.  The hospital says it is their policy to contact the police in regards to all gunshot patients.

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, center, arrives ... 
New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, center, arrives in Manhattan Supreme Court in handcuffs, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008, in New York. Lawyer Benjamin Brafman says Burress planned to plead not guilty to a weapon possession charge during a Monday afternoon court appearance. Burress accidentally shot himself at a Manhattan nightclub Friday evening.(AP Photo/David Karp)

Meanwhile Antonio Pierce, another New York Giant who was with Burress at the club Latin Quarter during the injury and aftermath, is being sought for questioning by police.  It appears, however, that he ditched the cops yesterday in favor of a paid radio appearance.  Pierce also is reported to have spoken to NFL security about the incident without a lawyer present which could get the league itself tangled up in the investigation.

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Above: Mug shots of Ryan O’Neil and son Redmond when they were booked by police on drug charges….

Jim Brown was my hero when he played for the Cleveland Browns and he is again my hero now.  But there was a time there when he was just about nobody’s hero…..

Athletes With Guns: How Stupid Can We Get?

December 1, 2008

The New York Giants won an important football game yesterday, throttling the Washington Redskins 23-7 on the Redskins’ home field. The victory raised New York’s record to 11-1, all but assured the Giants of a division title and put them in excellent position to wrap up home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs.

Of course, the lead story in all the New York papers today had nothing to do with the Giants’ victory. The New York Times, hardly known for sensationalism, led its sports page with the following headline: “Burress to Surrender to Authorities.” 


By John Feinstein
Special to The Washington Post

New York Giants Plaxico Burress wears a "GU" patch ... 

That’s because Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress walked into a New York nightclub on Friday night carrying a gun and somehow managed to shoot himself in the leg. News reports indicate he wasn’t licensed to carry the firearm.

Burress already had a hamstring injury in the same leg, which was going to keep him out of Sunday’s game. But apparently, he felt no need to stay off the leg and rest so that he might be able to play this coming week in another key game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The easiest thing in the world today would be to focus on what a moron Burress is. He’s a moron for allegedly carrying an unlicensed gun into a crowded bar, endangering himself and others. He’s a moron because he signed a five-year, $35 million contract at the start of this season and then was suspended for one game for failing to show up for practice and team meetings — and not bothering to tell anyone.

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China supplies most small arms to Sudan, Darfur

March 13, 2008
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — China’s sales of small arms to Sudan increased as the violence escalated in Darfur, Human Rights First charged Thursday in a report pressing China to halt arms sales as Beijing prepares to hold its first Olympics this year.

The report says China stepped up its arms supply to Sudan as others cut back to comply with a U.N. arms embargo, making China by far the biggest supplier of small arms to Khartoum — providing 90% of all Khartoum’s acquisitions between 2004 and 2006, totaling $55 million. Small arms such as assault rifles are the most common weapon used in Darfur.

The report says that, as the arms supply increased, so did Sudan’s sales of oil vital to China’s burgeoning economy, a commodity the report says explains China’s interest in supporting the government of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.

Human Rights First, which is headquartered….

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Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, seen here in January ... 
Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, have donated half a million dollars to the World Food Programme in Darfur, following warnings that cash shortages could ground its humanitarian flights, the UN agency said Thursday.(AFP/Tim Clary)

Southern Thailand: The Problem with Paramilitaries

October 23, 2007

International Crisis Group
Asia Report N°140
23 October 2007

Thailand’s increasing reliance on paramilitary forces and civilian militias is hindering efforts to tackle the insurgency in its majority Muslim southern provinces. A bewildering array of paramilitary organisations works alongside and often in parallel to the regular military and police. There are advantages to using irregular forces. They are quicker and cheaper to train and deploy and tend to have more flexible command structures. Locally recruited volunteers have better local knowledge than troops brought in from outside. But they are also inadequately trained and equipped, confuse already difficult command and control arrangements and appear in some cases to make communal tensions worse. While paramilitaries are likely to continue to be deployed in the South, the government should move toward consolidating security arrangements and, in the longer term, concentrate on improving its regular security forces.

Paramilitary organisations and village militias have played significant roles in policing and counter-insurgency throughout Thai history, particularly against communist and separatist guerrillas during the 1970s and 1980s. Over the last decade, these forces have taken on new roles, from controlling refugee camps on the border with Myanmar/ Burma to prosecuting the “war on drugs” in 2003. But the most significant expansion has been for the suppression of separatist violence in the South.

The army has tripled the strength of the paramilitary “ranger” force (Thahan Phran) in the South since violence surged in 2004, despite its well-deserved reputation for brutality and corruption. It has made some reforms, particularly in screening recruits, since the 1980s and on the whole is a more professional force than twenty years ago, but serious problems with discipline and human rights abuses remain.

The military’s key rationale for recruiting new ranger units in the South was to create a local force familiar with the terrain, language and culture. In practice, however, no more than 30 per cent of new recruits are local Malay Muslims. The overwhelming majority of southern Muslims continue to fear and mistrust the rangers. Several suspected extrajudicial killings in 2007 have confirmed their suspicions and played into the hands of militant propagandists. Insurgents are also believed to have carried out attacks dressed in ranger uniforms, in order to whip up anti-state sentiment.

The interior ministry has its own paramilitary force, the Or Sor (Volunteer Defence Corps). Known to be fiercely loyal to its ministry bosses, though less problematic than the rangers, it is widely viewed as the armed enforcer of the ministry’s district officers.

The largest armed force in the South – after a massive expansion in 2004-2005 – is a civilian militia, the Village Defence Volunteers (Chor Ror Bor). Though senior government and military officials have questioned their effectiveness, the Chor Ror Bor still constitute the main form of security in most villages. Poorly trained, isolated and vulnerable, they are often unable to protect themselves and their weapons, let alone their communities. Militants have stolen the guns of hundreds since 2004. Some Chor Ror Bor have also turned their guns on fellow villagers when local security incidents have gone beyond control. Yet a plan was announced in July 2007 to recruit an additional 7,000 by the end of 2009.

Despite the evident problems with existing village militias, the Royal Aide-de-Camp department, under Queen Sirikit’s direction, established a parallel volunteer scheme, the Village Protection Force (Or Ror Bor) in September 2004. Its volunteers receive ten- to fifteen-days military training, an improvement on the Chor Ror Bor’s three days, but hardly adequate for confrontations with well-armed and organised militants. Unlike the Chor Ror Bor militia, whose make-up broadly reflects the demographic balance of the region, the Or Ror Bor is almost exclusively Buddhist, often stationed in temple compounds and tasked with protecting Buddhist communities.

The Buddhist minority in the South feels increasingly threatened. Muslim militants have attempted to drive Buddhists from several areas. Officials, civilians and even monks have been targeted in gruesome killings apparently designed to provoke retaliation. Many Buddhists, frustrated with the government’s failure to provide adequate protection, are taking matters into their own hands. Private militias are being established throughout the South, with varying degrees of official sanction and support.

The proliferation of poorly trained, loosely supervised militias in a volatile conflict in which civilians are the main victims confuses command and control arrangements, weakens accountability and heightens the risk of wider communal violence. However, the inability of the regular army to cope with the security threat posed by the Muslim separatist militants suggests that Thailand will continue to use paramilitaries for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the government should:

  • review the effectiveness of each paramilitary and militia force as the first step toward consolidating security arrangements;

  • provide additional military and humanitarian law training and supervision to the Thahan Phran “rangers”, to improve discipline and curb abuses;

  • work to phase out, disarm and disband the various village militias, whose impact on security is negligible;

  • tighten controls on guns and gun licenses;

  • prevent the operation of private sectarian militias, whose emergence is an extremely worrying trend, and bring their sponsors within the government and security forces into line; and

  • shift emphasis over time and concentrate on improving the professionalism and strength of its regular military and police rather than arming untrained and jumpy civilians.

Irresponsibly Gun Shy

September 7, 2007

By Robert VerBruggen
American Spectator Online
September 7, 2007

The crossroads between tragedy and policy is a treacherous one. There’s harm in converting one’s immediate, gut-level emotions into law, but by the same token, it’s not smart to ignore a drastic turn of events, either.

So the Virginia Tech panel’s report to the governor, months after the rampage, is a necessary step, a document that state lawmakers should be able to look to for advice. Cho Seung-Hui murdered 32 people on April 16, and it’s important to prevent similar incidents. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine instructed the panel to find out what happened and why, and to suggest new policies based on those findings.

But regarding guns, the panel shirked its responsibilities. The report pronounces on policies that had nothing to do with the massacre, wildly speculates about what would have happened had given factors been different, and ignores entire bodies of evidence.

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