Friday, November 30, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Killer Has The Gall To Ask For More Donations

It's one of those shake-your-head moments again.

George Zimmerman, the guy who stalked unarmed teen Trayvon Martin and shot him dead because, as he put it, it was "God's Plan" to do so, is asking once again for donations for his legal defense.

From an article:

George Zimmerman plans to step up fundraising to pay for his expenses while he awaits trial for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. 
The former neighborhood watch leader's attorney said Wednesday that Zimmerman plans to launch the New George Zimmerman Defense Fund next month. 
Donors will receive "thank you" cards individually signed by Zimmerman. 
Attorney Mark O'Mara said an existing fund has raised $140,000 since last May, but the money it is running a bit low.

You don't say.

I think it's sick to send money to someone who is so clearly a domestic abuser, paranoid murderer and abuser of children, who has a violent past, for the sake of their legal defense.  But then, pro-gun extremists will do anything to support their twisted philosophy for carrying guns anywhere and shooting whomever you think seems "scary" (-- here I'm thinking of the recent case of another guy who shot dead another black teen in Florida for having too loud of music, in a car with other "intimidating" black teens, then fled the scene of the shooting, claiming it was in "self defense."  Will they send him defense money too??  But I digress).

But let's say you think like the pro-gun extremists and saw the stalking and shooting of Trayvon as completely valid and justified.  I STILL think they're nuts for sending money.  After all, Zimmerman had previously lied to the court about how much money he had raised the first time he asked for donations, then used his wife to try to hide it by shifting the money around in different accounts, then prepared to skip the country.

With such obvious and calculated abuse of donor money, and his bad behavior even after murdering Trayvon, only someone who sympathizes with criminals would still be willing to give this lunatic money ... AND want a signed thank you card in return!  Just another example of how pro-gun extremists are also pro-criminal.

ADDENDUM (11/30/12):  Zimmerman's lawyers attempted to distance Zimmerman from his blatant attempt to sell his signature for money.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, is attempting to have her perjury charge thrown out, despite her obvious guilt for lying about and trying to hide her husband's donated funds.  See HERE for details on how she moved money from his account to hers, and from his account to his sister's, to hide it.

HERE is an interesting article, detailing the drugs that were in Zimmerman's system the night he stalked and killed Trayvon Martin, and their potential side effects, which may have contributed to Zimmerman's lethal behavior.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NRA: Sour Grapes for Sore Losers

It's been two weeks, now, since President Barack Obama's overwhelming defeat of Mitt Romney and launch into his second term, with an astounding 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206, and a comfortable majority of popular vote.  This, in spite of four years of a concerted and purposeful effort by the GOP to block any and all legislative efforts by Obama, anti-Obama fearmongering by conservative groups like the NRA, and even a wide array of crazy Obama conspiracy theories.

The far-right conservatives are still in shock and denial, with disbelief that their polls could have been so wrong.  But what could have been the reason for the loss?  "Gifts" to women and minoritiesHurricane Sandy?  Today, a couple of GOP leaders insisted that the reason the Republicans lost so many races wasn't because of their out-of-touch party platform, but rather that they simply didn't have the right candidates or communicate their stances well enough.

Mmmm hmmm.  You guys just go on thinking that way.  Do phrases like "legitimate rape" and "47 percent" come to mind as pretty good examples of "mis-communicated" stances?

The NRA, too, once again completely misread the people of this nation.  They spent more than $17 million and made scores of misleading and doom-and-gloom ads to try to defeat Obama and other candidates who might possibly want some form of reasonable legislation to keep guns out of the hands of those who would misuse them.  See the image above for some examples (from the Living for 32 Facebook Page).  In all, the NRA only got back less than 1% of their value because of the failure of the candidates they backed, and the NRA-ILA only got back around 10%.  These are pretty good indicators that the NRA is out of touch with the people, and certainly counter to the myth of NRA political power.

Pro-gun extremists are positively fuming over this obvious rebuke of their fringe perceptions.  Consider one Arizona gun dealer, for instance, who is refusing business to anyone who voted for Obama, and posted a sign on his door saying as much.  "If you voted for Barack Obama," his sign says, "your business is NOT WELCOME at Southwest Shooting Authority.  You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm."  Fine by me.  If he wants to lose half his business, all the better.  Of course, there are plenty of gun guys who demonstrate they are not responsible enough to own a firearm, and not because of the way they voted.  And let's not forget pro-gun extremist extraordinaire, NRA board memer Ted Nugent, who lashed out at Obama voters by calling them "Pimps, whores, and welfare brats."  This, from the guy who has made threats against the President, warranting a visit by the Secret Service.

The NRA's sour grapes
Naturally, the NRA is eating sour grapes over this election, too.  I wonder how they justify to their members such a wanton waste of donations.  Chris Cox, the Executive Director of the NRA-ILA, blames it on all the voters who supposedly polled one way but voted differently:
I know a lot of folks are still down about last week’s presidential election. It’s puzzling how so many Americans can tell pollsters that the country is on the wrong track, then vote to keep the same guy driving the train. .... 
As long as dedicated patriots continue to band together and fight as though freedom itself is on the line — because it is — we will defend the Second Amendment in Obama’s second term and save it for generations to come. 
For gun owners, the next four years won’t just be the fight of our lives, it will be a fight for the future of our nation. 

Of course, freedom isn't being threatened, but fearmongering seems to be the only way the NRA thinks it can win.  In that same article, Cox once again brings up the ridiculous conspiracy theory that President Obama is working with the U.N. to ban all guns.  Whatever.  Sane people don't buy into it.

The NRA has said that "This year's election could prove the most disastrous in the history of this country" and mustered every last bit of its vile energy in fighting it, but failed miserably.

Like the GOP, the NRA fails to look inward and blame its own out-of-touch platform for its failure.  Instead, they remain in denial and blame "dim journalists" for pointing it out.

Again, I say let the NRA keep opening its extremist mouth this way and throwing away its money on failed candidates.  Since their goal is to do everything possible to keep guns flowing to those who shouldn't get them, by opposing any and all reasonable regulation of guns, then I savor their continued failures.

Below are some excellent examples of the so-called "dim journalists" who point out the NRA's miniscule return on their investment:

From Timothy Johnson writing for Media Matters: NRA Lashes Out At "Dim Journalists" For Shattering Electoral Powerhouse Myth:
The non-partisan Sunlight Foundation concluded that less than one-percent of the nearly $12 million spent by NRA Political Victory Fund went to races where the NRA-backed candidate won.   
These results do not comport with the widely-accepted media narrative that the NRA is an electoral powerhouse. 
Despite research by American Prospect contributing editor (and former Media Matters staffer) Paul Waldman proving that the impact of both NRA campaign contributions and endorsements is overblown, the fable of NRA influence has persevered. Slate's Brian Palmer encapsulated this narrative in July when he wrote that the NRA "can reliably deliver votes" and "is considered by many the most powerful lobbying group in the country."
From the Brady Campaign's Daniel Gross writing for Huffington PostThe NRA Behind the Curtain:
The NRA went "all in" on the 2012 elections. The NRA and its PAC spent more than $19 million against President Obama and candidates who support sensible gun laws. The NRA told its members that the stakes could not be higher; "Americans will vote either to defend or surrender freedom in the most consequential national decision in U.S. history." 
The NRA's bark was certainly loud, but its bite was toothless. .... 
As it always does, after the returns came in last Tuesday the NRA spin machine claimed that it did far better in the elections than the evidence showed. Like the Wizard who yelled, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" when Toto revealed him, the gun lobby will keep propagating the myth of their electoral might long after it has been exposed as untrue. But one lesson of 2012 is that facts matter, and that the American people across the political spectrum are serious about addressing real solutions to our national problems.

From Mike Lillis writing for The Hill: NRA Shoots Blanks This Election:
The figures challenge the popular political wisdom that the NRA is among Washington's most influential lobbying forces and that candidates who buck their agenda do so at their own peril. 
From Rachel Weiner writing for the Washington PostNational Rifle Association Shut Out on Election Day:
The Sunlight Foundation ran the numbers and found that after spending nearly $11 million in the general election, the National Rifle Association got a less than one percent return on its investment this cycle. That is, less than one percent of the money went toward the desired result. 
From Paul Waldman writing for The American Prospect:  Another Defeat for the NRA:
To all this, the NRA would probably respond, "Well, this was just a bad election for Republicans. That's not our fault." But that's precisely the point. When Republicans do well, the NRA is happy to take credit, but when Republicans do poorly, they say they had nothing to do with it. They're right about that, but the same applies to Republican victories: they had nothing to do with it.

Other example articles can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE.

UPDATE (12/4/12):  HERE is a table which shows a breakdown for each of the candidates the NRA opposed or supported, how much they spent for each, and just how much of a failure their investments were.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day, But No Armistice On Our Streets

Today is Veteran's Day in the United States -- a day when we stop to consider the sacrifices of our military veterans, and most especially those who served in war, live or dead. 

I have family in the military (one currently in the Army, another in the Army National Guard), both of whom served as MPs in Baghdad.  I have a friend who is a veteran of Afghanistan and the Balkan war, and is still a recruiter in the Army.  And I have a number of family members, living and dead, who served our country, including in battle.  I take their service very seriously.  They fought and risked their lives to serve the interests of our country and allow us the luxury of the lives that we live today. 

Veteran's Day coincides with Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) which marks the signing of the armistice that ended World War I, and end of one of modern history's worst nightmares.  May we never experience another like it.

"In Flanders Fields" -- A poem written in 1915 by Colonel John McCrae in honor of his friend who had fallen early that year in The Second Battle of Ypres:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

And yet, the killing continues in the streets and homes of America, in the form of never-ending gun violence.  53,402 American servicemen died in WWI.  But here in America, that many citizens die from gun violence every 20 months.

Last Memorial Day, I posted a blog post where I showed that more citizens die every year in America than American soldiers who died in any year of  any war since WWII.  Go to that link and see the shocking statistics.

Yes, WWI was a nightmare on foreign battlefields, but we are living with a nightmare right now on our streets.

The people I know and love, live and dead, who served in foreign wars, did what they did in order to preserve peace at home.  But we don't have peace at home.  Instead we have 100,000 shootings a year, a gun culture that allows 40% of gun sales to go without a background check, and streets in some areas so violent that people don't let their kids play outside.  There can be no armistice without sensible reform.  There are no poppies where our children are gunned down.

It's time to change our culture of violence.  It's time to demand a plan to reduce the shootings.  It's time to make a new trajectory for our communities away from gun violence.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Man tried to "demystify" guns for his children, but his 3-year old son killed 6-year old daughter

(This is a cross-post with a posting at Kid Shootings blog)

Back in March, we reported on a shooting in Marysville, Washington, where a 3-year old boy was able to get out of his car seat, climb into the front seat, and access his father's loaded .38-caliber revolver while his parents were out of the family van.  The boy then shot his 7-year old sister, Jenna Carlile, in the abdomen, killing her.

The father, a gun owner and conceal carry permit holder, Derek Carlile, is now on trial.  

A police officer, Derek had thought himself "a stickler for safety" by locking his guns in a safe and "demystifying" guns to his kids by buying them toy guns, shooting BB guns with them, and teaching them how guns work.  The faulty logic here is that by "demystifying" guns to children through frequent exposure, it will keep them from being curious and handling the guns inappropriately.

It's an excuse I've heard many, many times from the gun guys when I extol the virtues and statistically-safer value of locking up guns around children or not having guns at all around them.  Though locking guns is important, it is better not to have guns around children at all.  Even the best-behaved children, including his son, are naturally curious and impetuous, with fatal consequences.

Statistics show that children are often able to access guns, despite the best training and strategies employed by their parents.

From an article:
The shooting of 7-year-old Jenna Carlile was a tragedy, but also a foreseeable consequence of the Camano Island man leaving his loaded .38-caliber revolver in the van's cup holder, deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul said. 
Evidence will show the off-duty officer made a series of unsafe choices March 10 in handling the weapon and as a result placed his children at risk, Paul told jurors.
Carlile accepts fault for his role in the shooting and "it's something he wishes he could change, but he can't," Seattle defense attorney David Allen said. 
Still, he urged jurors to keep an open mind and let the evidence guide their decision.
"This was a terrible, tragic accident but it wasn't a crime," Allen said. 
Carlile has worked as a patrol officer in Marysville for about three years. Allen described him as a stickler for gun safety, and somebody who has made a habit of locking up his firearms in a 600-pound safe at his home when he isn't carrying them for his job.
In keeping with his training, the officer had taken steps to "demystify" firearms for his children, teaching them how they work as part of a strategy aimed at encouraging safety, Allen said.
Testimony will show that Carlile provided his son with toy guns and on at least one occasion helped his 3-year-old shoot a BB gun, Paul said.
The boy was fascinated with his father's firearms, and at times would try to get into the safe in an attempt to play with them, she said.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Pro-Gun Extremist's Opinion On "Law Enforcement" (Part II)

In my last post, I illustrated an example of the disdain of pro-gun extremists for law enforcement with a recent article about how a group of gun-totin' yahoos in southern Oregon voted against measures to help fund their Sheriff's department and jail, then, citing a subsequent decrease in Sheriff's patrols due to cutbacks and a resultant increase in property crimes, decided to form their own posse to patrol their county themselves -- armed, of course, with none of the special legal, conflict, or investigative training that police receive.

Two more stories below....

Recently, in San Antonio, Texas, a clothing store owner, Debra Trejo, kept having her store broken into over the course of several years.  Instead of installing cameras, or keeping a dog there, or hardening her store with bars and better locks, she decided to do something decidedly more violent.  She decided to advertise a $10,000 reward for any law enforcement person to shoot to kill anyone breaking into her store.  Looks like a classy establishment, what with the trash in the lawn in front of the crumbling garage door / storefront.

From an article (the source of the image posted here):

Now Trejo is using a different tactic to deter crooks: A sign on the business offers a $10,000 reward to any law enforcement officer who shoots - and kills - burglars caught breaking into the store. 
There haven't been any break-ins since. 
I'm glad there haven't been any further break-ins, but this is the wrong way to go about it.  Now, knowing the potential for being shot, the robbers will bring guns of their own, and may expect to use it. 

First, I'm pretty sure it would be illegal for police to shoot someone to death simply because they are breaking into a store; they have to threaten the officer first.  Second, it would also be illegal for that policeman to accept money for doing the killing.  Sorry, Ms. Trejo, but you can't just offer to have police be your hired hitmen.

(by the way, go to the article to see some interesting comments from the pro-gunners, wishing the store owner would extend the shoot-to-kill reward to non-law enforcement people, and other extreme comments, including one directed at me, personally, wishing that I had died in the shooting I was in, and another accusing me of being a thief).

In other news, in a similarly gun-friendly state, Florida (the gunshine state), a Constitution Party candidate is running for Sheriff of Marion County.  A favorite of the Tea Party there, Bernie DeCastro debated with Republican Sheriff Chris Blair at a Tea Party-sponsored debate.  After Blair had said he would collect guns that had been strewn in the streets after a Hurricane Katrina-like disaster, DeCastro went on the offensive and accused Blair of wanting to confiscate everyone's guns (a common pro-gun paranoid fantasy):

While both men insisted they are ardent supporters of the 2nd Amendment, Constitution Party candidate Bernie DeCastro went on the attack to cast doubt about Republican Chris Blair's support for absolute gun rights. 
DeCastro said that during a recent interview the two men did with an Orlando news network they both talked about how they would have handled the crisis in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Blair, DeCastro said, stated that he would have confiscated guns in the lawlessness that ensued following the storm. 
Blair denied the charge, saying that DeCastro had taken his words out of context. He accused his opponent of using sound bites to misrepresent his position. Blair said he only would have collected guns that had been strewn in the street by the storm and returned them to their "rightful owners," but that he would not have taken guns from any law-abiding citizens. 
DeCastro, meanwhile, left no doubt where he stands on gun rights. 
"If (Florida) Governor Scott said a major hurricane is coming and I want you to go collect all the guns, I am not going to do it," he said. "Once we lose our guns, you know what time it is, folks. It's all over."

Blair apparently WANTS unclaimed guns lose in the streets after a disaster, in the hands of whomever should happen to find them.

This is particularly interesting, given the background of these two candidates.  According to that article, Blair is "a 35-year lawman with the Marion County Sheriff's Office" who has a plan to "reduce the Sheriff's Office's "top-heavy" administration and put more deputies on the road."  Experience is good, and it sounds to me like a level-headed approach.
Blair spoke about traditional policing methods. He said he wanted to lower the county's violent crime rate, which he said is 15th worst in the state. And he preached about using data and analysis and street crimes units to target high-crime areas. 
DeCastro, on the other hand, has no experience in law enforcement ... at least, not from the good side.  You see, DeCastro is a convicted felon!  From the article:
Once sentenced to life in prison for armed robbery, he was pardoned by the governor in the 1990s and began running a re-entry center to help prison inmates ease back into society after their release. Besides sheriff, he has made unsuccessful bids for governor, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

Yes, you read this correctly.  This convicted felon and pro-gun extremist wishes to lead the Sheriff's Department.
During the campaign, and again Monday, DeCastro dwelled on the need for citizens to arm and protect themselves rather than relying on law enforcement. He also railed against the United Nations, the federal government and drones that could be used to spy on American citizens.

But gun rights dominated DeCastro's comments.

You don't say.  Sounds like he buys into the pro-gun conspiracy theory about the U.N. wanting to take away guns, too.  He continued:
"I believe in the 2nd Amendment," he said, "If any of you want to get armed, I will host a class. We'll all get armed, if that's what you want."

I don't feel comfortable with this extremist being in charge of anyone, much less law enforcement, nor do I feel comfortable with the idea of him owning a gun or giving gun classes.

Rehabilitating ex-cons to better fit into society is a noble goal which has been shown to reduce recidivism.  I support a program here in Eugene, called Sponsors, which does exactly that.  But what I don't support is allowing ex-cons, particularly those with a violent past, to lead our law enforcement agencies or serve in political positions.  Sorry, but there are plenty of excellent people without criminal pasts who fit the bill, like Blair.  I can't imagine Blair could lose with such an extremist opponent.  But in Florida, who knows?

UPDATE (11/7/12):  Chris Blair won the race for Marion County Sheriff against convicted felon Bernie DeCastro, by a very healthy margin (73 percent to 27 percent).  However, an anonymous complaint about an election law has been filed which will delay the final victory until an investigation is completed.  DeCastro claims not to be involved in that complaint.  More later.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Pro-Gun Extremist's Opinion On "Law Enforcement" (Part I)

(Updated -- see below)

Pro-gun extremists and lobbies like the NRA like to talk about getting "tough on crime," mandatory sentencing, and "just enforcing the laws already on the books" (consider some of the "solutions" proposed by pro-gunners on my site previously, for instance). 

Yet, at the same time, they systematically disrespect our law enforcement professionals by opposing every measure that those law enforcement organizations support, such as re-enacting the Federal Assault Weapons ban, requiring mandatory background checks on all gun sales, and banning high-capacity ammo clips.  Here in Oregon, the extremist organization, Oregon Firearms Federation, even tried to remove the Oregon State Police from the background check system, bypassing an important part in identifying dangerous individuals (this is the same group who is trying to return gun rights to felons).  Pro-gun commenters on news sites and blogs regularly disrespect policemen, painting them as bungling, corrupt, or inexperienced, or out only to protect themselves.

Who would know better than our law enforcement officers about the dangers of guns on our streets?  According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 101 officers have died in the line of duty so far this year.  36 were by gunfire, plus one accidental shooting.  Just a few days ago, one young officer was shot to death in the line of duty in New York.  According to the Violence Policy Center, collected from FBI data, one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty is killed with an assault weapon (note that the data is collected from a different set of data, from previous years, than the Officer Down Memorial Page, which uses data from this year).  Here in Eugene, Oregon, last year, we lost a motorcycle policeman, Chris Kilcullen, when a dangerously mentally-ill woman who nonetheless was legally able to purchase a handgun shot and killed him during a traffic stop.

Our law enforcement personnel are heroes every day, putting themselves in harm's way to serve and protect us.  They are highly-trained to calmly deal with conflict situations, how to identify threats, how to minimize personal bias, and to know all the complex legal issues.  They have to maintain a proficiency with their weapons, and have to be regularly re-certified.  Most importantly, they are accountable to review of their actions.  These obvious facts separate them from the average citizen and help keep our communities safer.

But pro-gun extremists live in their own fantasy world, where they consider themselves better-trained, more accurate, and better able to protect themselves and others than the police.  They would rather see a world where everyone is armed and (as if everyone is willing to be a vigiliante) ready to shoot-to-kill anyone who seems to be a threat.  Who needs the police when you can be judge, jury, and executioner?  There are plenty of examples of gun guys playing "Wyatt Earp."  Just consider the recent idiotic statements about what they would have done "if only" they had been in the theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Case in point:  Earlier this year I posted about how citizens in southern Oregon were preparing to take the law into their own hands, by arming themselves and forming a posse, to fight a rash of property crimes with lethal force in the wake of cuts to local law enforcement.

Now they've made good on their promise.  Men in southern Oregon's Josephine County have now formed a posse of armed citizens to patrol their community:

"I believe in standing up for myself rather than waiting for the government to do something for me," said Sam Nichols, a retired marina manager. 
Nichols has organized a posse of about a dozen fed-up residents who have started patrolling the small community of O'Brien, which has about 750 residents.
"We call ourselves the CAC Patrol, Citizens Against Crime," he said.

In other words, they are tackling property crimes with deadly force by strapping on a handgun and slapping a gold star on the door of their vehicles.  But it gets even more shocking....

But neither Nichols nor Dickson think the sheriff would do a better job of protecting their end of the county with more resources. 
They both voted no on a tax proposal to make up the $12 million loss and say they would do so again if county commissioners brought the issue back up.

In this Oct. 12, 2012, photo, Sam Nichols, left, and Glenn
Woodbury pose in front of Woodbury's pickup in
O'Brien, Ore. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)
Did you get that?  Even though they've received NO police training, legal training, or certifications, they feel they are better than the police.  So much so that they purposely voted against bond measures to fund their sheriff's department and jail, which in turn led to loss of sheriff patrols and jail beds that led to their justifications for living out their vigilante fantasy. 

Look at the picture of these two yahoos posing with their "patrol vehicle," taken from the article.  Do you see the haughty look on their faces?  Do you really want these guys protecting you?  Vigilante justice didn't work so well for Trayvon Martin, did it?  What sort of biases do these guys have?

And what does their sheriff think of their "patrol?"  From the article:
Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says he's glad for the help but warns that law enforcement is dangerous work. 
"They need to really understand there are consequences that can be very costly, physically as well as legally," he said, explaining that volunteers could get sued or shot if they pull a gun on someone or make a false arrest.
"Most of them haven't had what I feel is an adequate level of training to do that they do," he said. "But if they serve as eyes and ears and only report what they see to law enforcement, I think they can keep themselves at a safe level." 
Policing expert Dennis Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, says neighborhood watch efforts can be positive but turn into problems when volunteers "decide that instead of supplementing law enforcement, they are going to replace law enforcement. Then you cross potentially into vigilantism."
Kenney said vigilantes tend to get "out of control - especially when people are armed." 
He added that "people drawn to this sort of thing are the kinds of personalities more likely to take it too far."

Naturally, these gun guys deny that it's "vigilantism."  But the line was crossed when they decided to arm themselves.  Neighborhood watch is a great idea.  Preparing yourself to shoot robbers to death, on behalf of other people, is vigiliantism.

I'm waiting for the inevitable news article to come, telling me about a shooting down there in Josephine County, with one of these "Citizens Against Crime" vigilantes getting shot to death, or some innocent being targeted by them.

UPDATE (11/5/12):  Read Part II of this posting.

ADDENDUM (11/4/12):  As example of the pro-gun extremists' disrespect for law enforcement, see the comments left at the Ceasefire Oregon Facebook page for this blog post.  In response to the comment "How comfortable are you with the idea of armed posses roaming your neighborhood? That's what's happening in southern Oregon," a pro-gunner calling himself "Anthony Wilkes-Booth" posted the following reply:
A hell of a lot more comfortable than the armed and often belligerent gangs called police officers. At least the average citizen doesn't get to hide behind the powerful shield of qualified immunity and can be held accountable far more easily when they act inappropriately..

ADDENDUM (11/14/12):  Here is a better option than vigilante "posse" patrols:  Sheriff volunteer reserves, which are being used just north of the area mentioned in this post, up in Lane County, where I live.  The reserves are volunteers who have been trained by the Sheriff's department and are overseen by the Sheriff's department.

UPDATE (2/16/13):  Now a second "posse" has been formed in Grant county.  What could possibly go wrong?

UPDATE (11/6/13):  Once again, citizens in southern Oregon have rejected a public safety tax increase that would have funded their law enforcement and jail facilities, further reinforcing their vigilante mentality and sinking the county into increased crime rates.  It's so bad now that the county commissioners and governor may have to declare a public safety emergency and impose a tax.  The state (and it citizens) will have to pay for the rest.  This is quite ironic that they voted against the tax increase, given that these same southern Oregon citizens already enjoy the lowest property tax rate in the state.  Now they will live on the welfare provided by the rest of the state.  So much for those Libertarian ideals.

UPDATE (12/27/13):  As stated in a recent article, forces in Josephine County are increasing armed "citizen patrols", using the failed levy (which they wanted to fail) to justify the action.  The mythical Wild West is a reality in southern Oregon, instead of a civilized society ruled by law.  From the article:
Though the “response team” members do carry legal firearms, Selig said the team’s main goal is to provide a deterrent presence, and that none of them have ever fired a shot. He said those involved in his group believe there is no substitute for well-trained law enforcement, but they feel they have no other choice but to protect their community. ... 
Heck said though he supports neighborhood watch groups and citizens being vigilant in their community, the rise of increasingly “aggressive” community watch groups make him worried the situation could escalate to violence. Watch groups have been under increasing scrutiny nationally ever since the George Zimmerman case in Florida.  
“These things seem good on the PR side but fail a little in the reality side,” Heck said. 
Heck said the only real solution is for the county citizens to approve more funds.