Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rumors abound

Gun confiscation in NO?

Several blogs have reported that gun confiscation is still going on in NO--that is, the "authorities" are taking (read: stealing) firearms from the general populace:

First:Standy by...
The original source of the rumor posts in the comments section:
No, I'm not a troll or asstard moonbat. Of course, my bud IS a grunt, so BS is always a factor, but this guy is a family member, and is in serious pain about what he has been ordered to do. I spoke to him today, and found out he had been deployed to the dome at first, then the convention center, and has only been in the ward for a few days. The NRA is looking at a legal battle, which is better than nothing I guess, but making the damnlawyers richer is no solution. I hope I'm not being BS'd (and spreading rumor); I await conformation with baited [sic] breath.

I replied thusly:
Your "bud" is then guilty of confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens in the hour of their greatest need, and those citizens:
a)have the moral right to shoot him;
b)have the moral right to sue his a$$ off in a court of law, hopefully bankrupting him and confiscating all or most of his wages for the rest of his life.

"I was just following orders" doesn't fly--a man is responsible for his own actions.

Over on The Smallest Minority, in the comments of a couple-days-old post, the same guy again:
I seriously hope my bud is not BSing me, but I don't think he is. I've posted this a few places in hopes that the truth will out. Talked to G today, and found out that he was deployed to the dome first, then the convention center, and has only been in the ward for a few day now. He said he hasn't had to deal with anyone decent, just a load of very very bad folks. He is also seriously torqued about the disarm order.

Why is he still my friend? Publicola, in the military, especially the sharp end folks, obeying orders is like breathing. You just simply do not NOT obey them. Lives depend (again, on the sharp end) on instantly obeying any order you get, even if you don't get it, or don't like it. Besides, I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who puts themselves in danger's path for their country.

To which:
He's not putting himself in danger's path for his country--he's stealing guns from his countrymen.

"I was just following orders" doesn't work. Your "bud" should stand up and be a man--he took an oath to defend the Constitution, and has the obligation to disobey illegal orders.

Your bud is now one of the "bastards" Claire Wolfe referred to.

GWA.45 tries to confirm the rumors:
NOLA update
Hopefully tomorrow, I'll have a chance to connect with our informant directly, and get a reading. In the meantime, I've passed along some questions for our informant to obtain from his friend, probing as to the chain of command and the nature and scope of the orders in question.

What we know so far is that it's doesn't seem to be any sort of systematic search & siezure sort of affair, it more seems to be a "snag 'em when you see 'em" proposition.

We need to find out more of the specifics on that, because there are some circumstances under which that would be a defensible, and _possibly_ the responsible thing to do, (as in the case of abandoned and unsecured firearms, for example). On the other end of the spectrum, there are circumstances under which it's absolutely indefensible, and a lot of really questionable situations lurk between the extremes.

The reality of this is that we're probably going to wind up with a relatively clear picture of a narrow slice of a muddy and ambiguous story.

We'll see where it goes.

PawPaw, on his blog, opines: might be an opportune time to discuss the relative merits of the quoted paragraph [the orders given to confiscate firearms]. The Guardsman is identified as a Captain, and if he is, he knows that he has an obligation to directly challenge an unlawful order. Sometimes orders are given that are unlawful, either through ignorance or stupidity. The officer receiving an unlawful order has a moral obligation to directly question the order.

The conversation might go like this:

Colonel: "Captain, I want you to take your men and go do such-and-such."

Captain: "Sir, with respect, I wish you would reconsider that order. I believe it violates the law. (or Constitution.. fill in the blanks yourself)

Colonel, ire rising: "Captain, are you telling me that the order I just gave you is illegal?"

Captain: "Yes sir, I believe it to be, and I wish you would reconsider. If you won't reconsider, I would request to be given the order in writing, so that when charges are filed, I can mount a legal defense."

At this point the Colonel will probably blow a gasket, throw the Captain out of the office, and try to figure out just what the hell went wrong. I have had this conversation once in my twenty year career in the service of Uncle Sam (three active, 18 reserve, called for Desert Storm), and I have heard the conversation twice. Each time, the superior officer checked his facts, rescinded the order and apologized in private to the Captain.

Colonels are career oriented, and sure as hell don't want to get caught in giving an order that might lead to a Courts Martial.

However, the Captain in the story above has serious legal difficulties, both in a civil sense and in a career sense. Captains know to a moral certainty that the "just following orders" defense died at Nuremburg, and at My Lai. Captains also know that giving an illegal order to their soldiers makes them culpable on the same scale as the Colonel is, for giving the order. The Captain has a moral responsibility to do the right thing, not withstanding the point that he has violated his oath to "protect and defend the Consititution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

In an officers life, that oath comes first.

Now this whole thing disturbs me greatly, and stinks of, well, stinky stuff.

Note to any LE or Military in NO/LA: If you obey any order to confiscate weapons without due process, you have become one of those bastards referred to by Claire Wolfe.

I hope your pants are sued off, and you are ruined financially for the remainder of your life.