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Another Officer Shooting in Wash. May Lead To New Laws

December 27th, 2009 . by TexasFred

Another Officer Shooting in Wash. May Lead To New Laws

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The murders of five police officers and this week’s shooting of two more have lawmakers thinking about more than a looming budget deficit as they prepare to return to the state capital in January.

A handful of bills sparked by the recent shootings have already been prefiled in advance of next month’s start of the 60-day legislative session, and more are expected.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has called on law-enforcement groups to meet next week to compile a list of potential changes to state law, policy or the state constitution, and to meet with her on Jan. 8. And one lawmaker already has a public hearing scheduled to discuss the circumstances surrounding one of the shootings.

“The bottom line is we owe it to our law enforcement personnel to do everything we can to make sure they’re safe and secure out there,� Gregoire said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

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Another Officer Shooting in Wash. May Lead To New Laws

Do we have any doubt as to what the next cry from Washington State will be?

Any time there is a shooting, the anti-gun crowd goes into full blown histrionics regarding what they perceive to be a need to ban ALL guns and take each and every gun away from Americans.

The fact that this potential, and highly probable anti-gun push is going to be based on the shootings, and murders of, police officers only inflames the issue more.

I am seriously concerned about the safety of our police officers too.

As my long time readers know, I have many friends and relatives that are active duty officers. Their safety is of great concern for me, but all things considered, their safety is not endangered by LEGAL gun owning citizens, their safety is endangered by the criminals that they have sworn to protect and defend this nation from.

There are millions of LEGAL, safe, sane and responsible gun owners in this nation. 99.999% of those gun owners have never broken the law where gun usage is involved! But any time there are more gun control laws put into play, that vast percentage of responsible American gun owners suffers the consequences because of the actions of a minute few.

“When you have a tragedy of this magnitude, you’ve really got to be thoughtful, you’ve really got to be deliberate,� she said. “Your impulse is to just go enact legislation, but good intentions don’t necessarily bring about good results. So I defer to those who have boots on the ground.�

That may well be the best, and safest stance Gov. Chris Gregoire could take at this time. Make a positive statement about gun violence and then throw the ball into the court of others. She isn’t going to come out looking like the villain that way, and future anti-gun legislation that she signs will only be the will of the people.

After those shootings, Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, announced he was going to hold a public hearing to look into why Clemmons was out on the streets in the first place.

Hurst, chairman of the House Public Safety Committee and a retired police officer, said that his hearing, planned for Jan. 18, will examine every aspect of the Clemmons case.

That’s a great idea, look into it. Clemmons should not have been on the street, there was a breakdown in the judicial system in this case. I also believe that there are many breakdowns in our legal system. Far too many violent felons are released and placed back on the streets, only to return to the life that put them in prison in the 1st place.

That life, and having been in prison, is all that many released felons need to be motivated where the shooting of a Police Officer is concerned. They have a mindset of “I am NOT going back to prison and I’ll kill anyone that tries to put me there“. That is the fact of the matter.

Another fact to go with it; felons don’t get their guns at Joe’s Gun Shop! They can’t, simply because they have a felony record. They will obtain weapons from street dealers, or by breaking into gun stores and the homes of gun owners and stealing the weapons they happen to find. The exact same way the street dealer gets his weapons for sale!

“These are horrifically shocking crimes to the public at large and we need to have some answers,� he said. “What are some of the factors that caused this to occur? What are some things we can do to make sure this never happens again?�

OK, right here is where I may anger some folks. The 4 Lakewood police officers that were shot and killed placed themselves in an indefensible position. I am NOT defending their killer, I am simply pointing out the obvious.

The officers were preoccupied with their computers, they were seated shoulder to shoulder in a semi-circle booth and they had no ready escape or defense. They were NOT exercising forethought of a defensible position and I feel that it was their complacency, and not being fully aware of their surroundings, that got them killed.

This is NOT said to denigrate the officers in ANY way, but if thoughts and observations lead to truth and better practices, that is a truth that needs to be addressed. It’s called situational awareness, and it can save your life!

Clemmons had a criminal history in both Washington and Arkansas. His 108-year prison sentence for armed robbery and other offenses was commuted by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000. Six days before the shooting, he had posted bail on charges of raping a child, a charge that could have potentially put him in prison for life under Washington state’s “three-strikes� law.

Rep. Mike Hope, a Republican from Lake Stevens and a Seattle police officer, has introduced a bill to change the state constitution to exempt potential three-strike offenders like Clemmons from being able to post bail.

The “three strikes” law is a great idea, I have always thought that a habitual felonious offender needs to be removed from society. Locking them up seems to be the rule of thumb, but I have personally thought a bit more severe penalty might be appropriate. One that would assure them to NEVER offend again.

No matter the findings of any investigation in Washington state, the outcome is almost assured even before the proceedings take place. Gun control will be the answer.

At least gun control will be the answer the government seeks to employ.

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15 Responses to “Another Officer Shooting in Wash. May Lead To New Laws”

  1. comment number 1 by: Robert

    typical of american politicians… Ban the tool not the fool…Lets not look at the criminal, their past or their time served only to be released to re-commit. Lets not USE the death penalty or LWOP. Anymore a criminal with a life sentence laghs because he knows after about 10 years, he can get some sympathy from libturd judges and politicians that commute their sentence or reduce it…Our judicial system is what needs to be fixed not more gun laws.

  2. comment number 2 by: Vigilante

    You can bet on it Fred, that that ostrich necked libber puke will want to blame everybody except the criminals like Clemmons that her beloved black robed scum buddies turned loose.

    She’s just another liberal POS that acorn elected with 7,000 “Votes” they got from the cemeteries.

    Quit turning this scum back out on the street and a lot of the problems will fade away.

  3. comment number 3 by: Silver Fox

    Liberals will always use any high profile shooting to call for more restrictions on gun owners, knowing full well that felons will obtain their guns illegally and that no tightening of laws will prevent this. The problem is that many Americans don’t own guns and for the vast majority of these people they simply don’t care if all guns are confiscated and destroyed. They fail to realize that the criminals will never turn their weapons in. It is very easy for many to vote to outlaw something they don’t use. Guns rights and the Constitution are something the liberal doesn’t like, but for the moment he is stuck with them.

  4. comment number 4 by: extex_cop

    The “Three Strike” law is OK…but I’m all for a ‘ Two Strike ‘ law. I figure a guy that has been in prison once and commits another crime when he gets out has not learned his lesson…and never will. So if they are caught a second time…back to jail until he dies there….also no bail on second offense. They know they will be going back in jail for life, so they have nothing to lose by commiting another crime.
    Hell…kill’m all and let God sort them out.

  5. comment number 5 by: Annie Oakley

    I’m very concerned about gun control. Issues like this gives state/Congressional law makers an excuse to place the ban. Like Robert said, ban the fool not the tool. That’s a good way to state it, I like that!!!!!! Why to they even let ppl like this guy out of jail in the first place? What do they think is going to happen? I would like to hear what the Police Officers’ family has to say about this person posting bail after 6 days!!

    Now what about those of us who have guns for hunting or self defense? We will not have the right which is in the Bill of Rights?! Can they really change this? All this will create is millions of upstanding, law-abiding Americans to own guns illegally. It’s going to force ppl to break the law. PPl who would never consider it. Do they really believe Americans will hand over their guns? This is why registering guns scares me. I wont even get started on the outrage those of us who hunt will feel!!
    And Fred, as far as the four Lakewood officers. It’s sad but you are right. They actually didn’t take a smart tactical defense. I hate that it happened but they should have used a little more defense than what they chose.

    Yesterday I posted a rant that I regret. Im sorry for the offensive language and comments but the outrage of terrorists in our country just made me want to scream, and I ranted here. Shouldnt have, dont usually behave that bad, sorry folks.

  6. comment number 6 by: BobF

    The problem with a Three Strikes law is that those are the times the criminal was caught. For each strike, heaven only knows how many times he has gotten away with his crime. I’m with extex_cop on this one and favor two strikes. That way, all the crime between strikes two and three will be averted.

  7. comment number 7 by: TexasFred

    Felony convictions shot dead works for me… 1st time works too…

    I don’t think it’ll ever happen that way though…

  8. comment number 8 by: Annie Oakley

    I wish I was born in the mid 1800′s. They didn’t mess around! I’m 150 yrs off my mark!!

  9. comment number 9 by: LD Jackson

    The first thing gun control advocates always want to do in situations like these is to take it out on the closest targets. That would be you and I, legal and law abiding gun owners. It’s easier to do that than it is to enforce the laws that are already on the book and evidently, it makes them feel a lot better about themselves. Never mind that it doesn’t actually do anything to fix the problem.

  10. comment number 10 by: sdkar

    As a former police officer, I have to tell you, that I, along with most rank and file guys, have absolutely no problem with any law abiding citizen owning a using a gun. The concern seems to come from the higher up command. Of course, the higher the rank, the less that person is a police officer and they become more and more a politician, thus embracing the owning of weapons as a political stance and less of a right.

    Finally, I can not say what position the officers that were shot were sitting or where, but when I was on duty I was always conscience of where I sat when in public, whether it was in a restaurant, at any store, or even in my car. In a restaurant, I always sat in the back with my back to a wall where I could see everything. If a table like that wasn’t available, I would wait. I never sat where someone could come up behind me. In fact, even to this day, I still position myself like this, even though I am no longer in uniform. My wife even knows where I sit when we go out and takes her seat accordingly. If my back is to the door or where someone could come up on me, I am nervous as can be to the point I am completely uncomfortable and can not relax. Also, as above, most officers I worked with felt the same way. In fact, it was awkward when I would occasionately meet with a fellow officer for our meal break at a restaurant. One of us would have to have our backs exposed unless we sat side by side (as in a booth) and we certainly could not sit like that as that would look bad. So, we would take turns and call shotgun for who got the wall. Anyway, even in the best of circumstances, someone could still get the drop on you if they were cunning enough. Even though we were trained and practiced like hell in sitting and drawing our guns, there is a certain amount of wasted time due to the security holster we had to wear along with being seated. The second or so we lost could certainly be a disadvantage if someone came up to us with a gun in hand and, say, covered with a tray or napkin or coat, until they were right on us. Again, if the cop killer was cunning, he could certainly get the drop on even the fastest draw and we would lose. If someone already has their gun drawn and pointed at me, the best I could hope for is a tie…and in a tie, I still lose. As cops, we try to always watch people, especially when we are in a vulnerable position, but this system is not foolproof, as the shootings prove. As a cop, and even to this day, when in public with my wife, or anyone, I am always looking around the room, watching hands and faces. My wife is always telling me to look at her or our guest, when whoever is talking. It comes across as a little rude as appears as I am disinterested, but some habits die hard. I can not speak for what happened but I know that on one of the incidences, one of the cops got off a round or more, so he was doing his job. But, like I said, if someone already has his gun out, the best is a tie…which is what he did.

    That’s my two cents as a guy who wore a gun and badge and have been in the same circumstance.

  11. comment number 11 by: randomonium

    If someone tries to take my gun, they better do it while it’s being cleaned, because thats the only time it’s not loaded. What the hell is wrong with this country when criminals walk scot-free and regular citizens get treated like criminals? What’s that old saying “When you outlaw guns only the outlaws will have them”? Well, go ahead and outlaw my guns….I’d rather be an outlaw with the ability to defend myself and my family then a law-abiding victim waiting to happen.

  12. comment number 12 by: HoosierArmyMom

    Of course we want law enforcement officers safe. That is why they have “special training” so they don’t become targets of opportunity, as Fred said more than once that the four officers in the first incident were in an “indefensible position” and now we have a man who should have been spending his life in prison perpetrating more crime???? Seems to me they have a lawyer and legal system issue, not a gun issue. (but of course since most politicians of this ilk are lawyers and not in possession of common sense, they whine “gun control”!!!)

    I am so sick of the rights of law abiding citizens being willfully encroached upon daily by the left-turds in government. grrrrr!

  13. comment number 13 by: HoosierArmyMom

    sdkar, thank you for a career of service protecting the people of this country. Your comment makes me realize that you all give more than time to that duty, you are forever changed by your profession. Thank God for our LEOs.

  14. comment number 14 by: minuteman26

    Glad I don’t live in Washington State. Gregoire is a flaming socialist asshat. The whole left coast has now become the land of fruits and nuts. California just passed an ammo registration law which further inhibits the good guys. The marxists in power out there arn’t somuch worried about bad guys getting guns and ammo as they are having an armed citizenry being able to overthrow the corrupt govts that are now sitting in those state houses. Govt on the west coast enjoy the money and power they have taken from the people and know full well they are screwing you folks out there. My question is; How long do you conservates intend to put up with all the crap?

  15. comment number 15 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    Perfect timing, perfect opportunity to SNATCH guns from lawful citizens of the United States. Another opportunity for more persons to join Oath Keepers.

    BZ