Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Christmas Gift To You !! - Perfect Pawn

To celebrate Christmas this year, I have decided to play the part of Santa Claus and giveaway a free e-book copy of my debut novel, Perfect Pawn.

To get your copy, simply go to my Amazon author page on Christmas Day and choose the graphic for Perfect Pawn. The book will be free all day December 25th.

Thank you to my amazing fans for your continued support over the years. May you have a very blessed Christmas and may 2016 be a healthy and prosperous one for you all.

God Bless,
Andrew G. Nelson

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cop Authors – Why should you read them?

First, I have to admit that I am somewhat biased, being both a retired NYPD sergeant as well as an author.  That being said, I think there is a very good reason why you should take a look at authors who have worn the badge.

Not to take anything away from folks like James Patterson, J.A.Konrath and Robert Parker, but one of the issues I have is that they only tell a tale that they have learned.  Prior to their success as authors, none had any actual experience in the genres they successful wrote.  Patterson was an advertising executive, Konrath is a college teacher and Parker was a professor.  

Granted, the tale is the important part and each of these three men do an outstanding job, but for me, and I am sure a lot of other cops, the details are the one thing that cannot be learned.  No, a detective is not going to tell a sergeant or lieutenant what to do, no matter how wildly popular your protagonist is. There is a thing called rank and, to reference the old acronym RHIP, it does have its privilege.  I know that because I had the honor of being both a detective and a sergeant during my career.

Cops experience things in a much different way than the rest of the world and as a result it affects the way they write. Someone who has never done that type of work is going to have a much more difficult time of painting that mental image for you as opposed to someone who has dealt with it a number of times. Cops talk a certain way, have certain mannerisms, and these are the things that separate the layman from the professional.

Now, there is certainly a strong argument that can be made that, while not every author could be a cop, not every cop should be an author. Just because you have a story to tell, doesn’t mean that you have the ability to tell it, but that can be said about a lot of authors. For every Joe Wambaugh (LAPD), Dan Mahoney (NYPD) or Bill Cauntiz (NYPD) there are a lot more who should have stuck to policing.  That being said, readers who enjoy getting an inside look into the ‘real’ world of policing are doing themselves a disservice by only reading books by establishment authors.

I encourage you to widen your horizons and take a closer look at some other police writers, such as my fellow indie authors: Wayne Zurl (Suffolk County, N.Y. PD), George P. Norris (NYPD), Kimberly McGath (Florida LEO).

Just leave a little room at the literary table for yours truly

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Monday, December 21, 2015

A closer look at the 'Common Sense' gun laws

I’m not an asshole, at least I don’t try to be, but sometimes my posts can come off a bit snarky at times. I blame it on the NY’er in me and my sometimes failing attempt at humor, at least that’s what my loving wife calls it.

The reality is that I try to be as open as possible when it comes to other’s positions, but lately it seems as if all that happens in ‘discussions’ is an inevitable breakdown in communication which usually leads to such name calling as: Liberal Lunatic, Teabagger, etc..  Once that occurs, civil discussion goes right out the window.

Now as we get ready to close the book on 2015, and move into the last year of the President's term, It is anticipated that he will make a move to bi-pass Congress and begin enacting some form of gun control through Executive Action, which is a topic for another day.

So I decided that I would try and take a revised look at this whole ‘common sense’ gun law thing and explain the reasons why I believe this is not realistic.

So what exactly are the new ‘common sense’ gun laws that folks on the left are proposing?

  1.        Re-authorize the Assault Weapons Ban
  2.       Stricter background checks
  3.        Close the gun show loophole
  4.        Denying guns to folks on the terror ‘no fly’ list.
  5.       Ban large capacity magazines
  6.       Ban fully automatic weapons

I’m even willing to go out on a limb and throw in the old stand-by:

  1. No one is trying to confiscate your guns

For the record, I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement. I tend to be one of the folks that believe in the law and, more importantly, that our laws should be enforced. So you would think that I would be in favor of these ‘common sense’ gun laws, but I’m not and here is the reason why.

The Assault Weapons ban of 1994 restricted the manufacture, transfer, and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons except for: a) those already in lawful possession at the time of the law's enactment; b) 660 rifles and shotguns listed by type and name; c) permanently inoperable, manually operated, or antique firearms; rifles unable to accept a detachable magazine of more than five rounds; d) shotguns unable to hold more than five rounds in a fixed or detachable magazine; e) and those made for, transferred to, or owned by the U.S. government or a U.S. law enforcement agency.

The ban had outlined specific cosmetic features that would classify a firearm as an assault weapon. For example, rifles and shot guns could not have folding stocks, pistol grips, bayonet mounts (my particular favorite, it was just a small little hunk of metal for crying-out-loud), flash suppressors or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor (why, what was so inherently wrong with trying to cut down on muzzle flash?). The bill also went so far as banning an attachable grenade launcher. (Really? Another obscure little hunk of metal bites the dust).

The problem is that the ban defined the term ‘semi-automatic assault weapon,’ which is commonly shortened to assault weapon. Semi-automatic firearms shoot one round with each trigger pull. It was sort of a political shell game, because the term assault weapon was also commonly used to refer to some military weapons. The similar, but more technical accurate assault rifle, referred to military rifles capable of selective fire (Fully automatic, semi-automatic, and burst fire). What they didn’t tell you was that these weapons are considered Title II weapons and were already regulated by the National FirearmsAct of 1934 and Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. Neither the original ban, nor its expiration, changed the legal status of automatic firearms.

The reality is that the Assault Weapons Ban should be referred to as the Spooky Weapons Ban, because it is consistently portrayed in the media that way. Essentially, if it looks evil then it is evil. Unfortunately, it is tantamount to slapping a Lamborghini emblem onto a Prius and claiming it is a sports car.

Now, I can understand this confusion with the public. The fact is that our president doesn’t even understand it. After the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama referred to the weapon used as being fully automatic and he also seems to think that there is no apparent difference between assault weapons and machine guns. Likewise so does Hillary Clinton, who in 2008 called for sensible regulations to “keep machine guns away from folks who shouldn't have them” and has continued to champion for more restrictions. I guess our much vaunted former Secretary of State hasn’t heard of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Interesting enough, after the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Gail Collins, of the New York Times, said that "the San Bernardino murderers were wielding assault rifles, with which they were able to fire an estimated 65-75 bullets in rapid succession." Collins also said that these assault weapons are "the armament of choice for mass shootings." The truth is they aren’t, as you will see in a moment. Collins was factually incorrect on both issues. So if the politicians and the press get it wrong, you can understand why the average citizen is confused.

How exactly did the much touted original ban workout? Well, not so well. Several academic studies, including the NRC, determined that the ban showed no clear impact on gun violence. The fact is that the pre-ban use of these types of weapons was rare to begin with. Their position was that, should the ban be reinstated, that  “its effects on gun violence would likely be small, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement, because rifles in general, including rifles referred to as ‘assault rifles’ or ‘assault weapons’, are rarely used in gun crimes.” A position which I can personally attest too, based on my career in law enforcement.

So, if a new ban won’t work, perhaps stricter background checks would. Ok, I’m going to take a step out onto the ledge here and say “psst….. I agree”. Okay, get up off the floor, it isn’t that shocking. In fact, I think a lot of folks would say that they feel as if there should be more stringent checks. The problem here is who is going to do it and what will it encompass? Right now, each state has their own criteria. I agree that should be amended, but you have to be intellectually honest and admit that the federal government doesn’t exactly shine here. Consider for just a moment that some of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas. The Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was known to the FBI and was even being investigated for a triple homicide. One of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik, who came here on a K-1 visa and was fully vetted, but the address she gave in Pakistan was non-existent. Neither her, nor her husband, had any criminal record nor were either of them on any terrorist watch list. Now granted, while these are notorious examples, they still serve as a reminder that simply saying that people are ‘checked’ doesn’t really mean a lot. Let’s not forget that the agency you would think would be able to be the keeper of records, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, doesn’t exactly have a stellar record of being able to track guns used in their own sting operation.

But let’s just say that we somehow came up with an all-powerful, all-knowing, federal agency that could handle it. What should be on it? Or maybe we could come up with a list of those who shouldn’t be on it. Persons arrested for violent felonies? Yeah, that’s a good start, but wait, should it be arrested for or convicted of? What about the man (or woman, in this PC world we live in) who beats up/ threatens their spouse. That’s kinda clear cut, except when the spouse is lying. Believe me, it happens a lot. So should that person lose their firearm? Some on the left believe this doesn’t happen, but it does. Who decides when they get it back? Maybe if they are acquitted, that sounds good. But wait, what happens if the spouse decides to retract her allegation? If she / he says they lied, then the person should get their firearms back, right? What if she / he is lying about lying? This also happens, a LOT.
What about mental health? Oh wait, they are already excluded. Yeah, you say, but that’s not working. Okay, I see your point. Let’s create a database so we can flag them. Hold on, can’t do that, federal privacy laws. Wait, you mean that the same federal government that calls for more in-depth background checks won’t allow mental health to be included? Yep.

Let’s take those wild and wacky Texans for example. You know that radical right state that seems to love everything bigger and better. Over one million folks a year buy a gun in Texas and get the required background check. The checks look at a person’s criminal history, but not always their mental health record. You see, in Texas, court ordered commitments or guardianships must be reported, but, according to both Texas and federal law, information about a person’s emergency mental health detentions / warrants, protective custody orders, or drug / alcohol rehab services cannot be made public for a background check.

Well that sucks.

But realistically, how much impact would that make?

Well, if you were the victims of Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Aaron Alexis, Nidal Hassan, Dylann Roof, or Robert Dear, a lot. You see, none of them should have had weapons, which is of little consolation to the 72 dead and 113 injured.  

So what new common sense law would have prevented it? Sadly, none.

You see, medical records are kept private to encourage folks to get help, which is a great idea, except when they don’t. Unfortunately, the mental health community believes that any new laws could do more harm than good and they tend to vociferously object to the inclusion of those records. In a way it makes sense. Most people will suffer from a mental ‘issue’ in their lifetime, whether it is the death of a loved one, marital problems, or financial issues. The majority of people sort it out and move on, a small minority don’t. The mental health community will tell you that we should be very wary of stigmatizing the many, in an attempt to stop the few.

Kind of odd that you always hear the NRA being blasted for saying something similar, yet no one objects when it comes from the mental health community. I guess they have a better lobbing group.

Well, it doesn’t seem that we are any closer to coming up with a better system, so let’s move on to what many believe to be the real problem: The Gun Show Loophole.

I so want to make this a drinking game, but I’m afraid that I’d be too boxed, in too short a period of time, to actually be able to breathe on my own. Here is the truth: there is no gun show loophole. Despite what politicians and the media claim, existing gun laws apply just as much to gun shows as they do to any other place where guns are sold. Since 1938, persons selling firearms have been required to obtain a federal firearms license. It doesn’t matter whether a dealer sells from a storefront, a room in his house or a table at a gun show, the rules are the same. The dealer must get authorization from the FBI for the sale. The truth is that firearms are the most regulated consumer product in the United States, the only product for which FBI permission is required for every single sale.

So what’s the issue? Well, it stems from private sales. In some states, individuals do not have to run a check. You might think that is odd, but let’s just say my wife falls in love with my old .38 S&W revolver. I am pretty sure of her criminal history, as well as her mental health background, and she has the proper license to possess it, so do I really need to do a background check before I give it to her?  

Now many believe that this loophole is a really big thing and they cite some impressive numbers like “25-50 percent of the vendors at most gun shows are unlicensed dealers.”

Holy crap, call out the National Guard!!

Whoa, hold on, wait a moment, I’ve been to a lot of gun shows. This is one of those trick questions, or rather a trick statement (pay attention, you’ll see this again).

You see the number might be correct, but it’s the terminology that is the problem. They use the generic term ‘vendor’ to promote their claim. Unfortunately, for those of you, like me, who have gone to gun shows, it is more often than not that you have to wade through table after table of ‘vendors’ selling:  Candles, Cookies, Jerky, Books, Knives, Lights, Coins, Stamps, Surplus Military Gear, and an assortment of other crap that makes you wonder why they just don’t call it a flea market. In fact, an NIJ study once concluded that gun shows were such a ‘minor source of criminal gun acquisition’ that they were not even worth reporting as a separate figure.

Damn, this isn’t working out well. Let’s move onto something we can all agree on, denying folks on the terror ‘no fly’ list.

Last night the president asked congress to pass legislation that would strip anyone who was on the terrorism ‘no fly’ list of the ability to purchase a firearm in the United States. Senator Dianne Feinstein has also proposed a bill that would prohibit anyone, whose name appears on the list, from buying a firearm. A lot of folks are claiming that makes sense, after all, no one wants a terrorist to be able to buy a gun.  I mean how controversial could this be? If they have been placed on the ‘no fly’ list, surely they pose a significant threat and should be banned from owning a weapon. Right?  
I see you nodding your head in agreement. You have much to learn my little padawan.

First, we need to establish some basic information about the ‘no fly’ list, which is a component of the FBI’s terror watch list. The list, which came about after the 9/11 attacks, was founded on good intentions, but we know all about the road that is paved with those. The truth is that the ‘no-fly’ list is an unmitigated disaster. While there are many on the list that are connected to terrorism, nearly half of the names belong to people who don’t.

Wait, how is this possible you’re asking?

Well, like I said before, it started out with the best of intentions, but government seems to always find a way to screw things up, even when they aren’t trying. In the case of the ‘no fly’ list, some would believe they are trying.  

Take for example Stephen Hayes, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard. Mr. Hayes was added to the list simply because he booked a one-way trip to Istanbul for a cruise, and then returned to the U.S., a few weeks later, via Athens. Hardly grounds for someone to lose their right to own a firearm, but Mr. Hayes is a contributor on Fox so maybe…. No, perish the thought. How about priests, nuns, students and peace activists? Heck, in 2003 the New York Times railed against the Bush administration regarding the list, stating that some had been on the list simply for their liberal views. When President Bush left office the list contained nearly 50,000 names. Under the Obama administration this mangled, bureaucratic mess contains over 700,000. Not hearing much out of the NYT now however.

The truth is that all it takes is for the government to declare it has reasonable suspicion that someone could be a terrorist. In fact, it doesn’t even take the government. An anonymous source can make the claim.

The problem is that the list contains names, not identities, and has led to any number of misidentifications and confusion. As a result, innocent people, with no connection to anything remotely terror related, have found themselves smack dab in the middle of a nightmare. To make matters worse, there is no easy way to have one’s name removed from what amounts to a secret blacklist. I am certain that there are a number of folks who don’t even know they are on the list. Hell, former Senator, Ted Kennedy, and Congressman John Lewis were on the list. I won’t even begin to go into the details of the 18 month old child who was removed from a flight because she was on the list.

Under the Feinstein bill, those on the list would have their 2nd Amendment rights denied. Now there are some that say that our 2nd Amendment right is not absolute, and they are correct. Under the current law felons, fugitives, drug addicts and domestic abusers are prohibited from purchasing firearms. The sticking point is that those folks listed above are entitled to due process, before that right is taken away, a luxury not afford to those on the ‘no fly’ list. All that would be necessary is to have your name pop up on a list, because someone in the government said, without any probable cause, that it should be there.

Oh, and remember what I said before about the ‘no fly’ list being a component of the FBI’s terror watch list? Well then this should make your head spin. It’s been revealed that, in the course of an Inspector General investigation, the names of seventy plus members of the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Safety Administration, appear on the terror watch list. Do they have actual ties to terror or are they simply there by accident? I don’t know, but apparently neither does the TSA. If you couple this information along with the fact that OIG agents were able to get weapons past screening points in 95% of their exercises and it doesn’t exactly instill confidence in me to fly anytime soon.

I don’t know about you, but I thought this was going to be easier. I think I need a drink.
Let’s move on to banning large capacity magazines. Surely that’s something that shouldn’t be too controversial, right? Obviously, you’ve never loaded a magazine before. This matter sort of falls under the whole ‘spooky’ thing. Think about this for a moment. I am inclined to go on a shooting rampage, but the law says I can’t have a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds (7 rounds in New York). Damn, well there goes that rampage, said no one ever. Did you miss the part where I said 'I was inclined to go on a shooting rampage'? Do you really think that if I were limited to a 10 round magazine that I would somehow be less of a threat?

This is kind of a two-fer, and includes banning fully automatic weapons. First let us consider the weapon. The overwhelming majority, and I mean like 99.+% majority, involve semi-automatic weapons, not full auto. Why you ask? Well, because the overwhelming majority of folks that have the money to purchase full auto are really not the type that go out and commit crimes. So, let’s deal with the semi-automatic. It doesn’t matter whether you have ten rounds in the magazine, or thirty, or one hundred, you still have to pull the trigger to fire each round.  I once heard a reporter say that a particular ‘assault weapon’ could fire a staggering 800 rounds per minute. Sounds completely diabolical, where do I get one?

Again, this is the trick statement. While a particular weapon might be able to fire 800 rounds per minute, does the gun we are talking about have this ability? In the case of that reporter, the answer was no, it did not. Well, why not? Because the gun being talked about was the spooky semi-automatic gun. The 800 number is the cyclic rate, which is the technical rate of fire. Under mechanical conditions, at full auto, it can, but in semi-auto it’s not even remotely close. You would have to fire more than 13 rounds per second, without stopping, to achieve this number. I don’t know about you, but I have done more than my fair share of shooting and my trigger finger gets sore long before I ever hit this mythical number, and nowhere near in a one minute interval. You would also need twenty-six, 30 round, magazines to achieve this. Soldiers in Afghanistan don’t even carry that much ammo.

While we are on the topic of full-auto weapons I should let you know that, while they are capable of firing that way, the VAST majority of people who shoot, or have shot them, will tell you that almost no one does. Why? Well, if you are paying for your own ammo, the bill racks up pretty quickly. Add that to the fact that full-auto ain’t worth shit if you are trying to hit an actual target, hence the motto ‘spray and pray’. So realistically, just because it can, doesn’t mean you will. In my experience, the 3 round burst is the better choice.

So why shouldn’t we ban large capacity magazines? I guess the real question is why should we?
To be fair, this is a personal thing. I don’t like to reload; frankly it’s a pain in the ass, or at least a pointer finger. In the grand scheme of things, if I am so inclined to commit a heinous act, it won’t matter to me. I can reload from three 10 round magazines almost as quickly as I can fire from one 30 round. The average shooter will probably be a bit slower, but at that point it’s almost academic.
So where does that leave us? Well, no closer to a resolution, but I at least hope you have seen things in a different light.

Oh wait, I almost forgot my add-on, the old no one is trying to confiscate your guns story.

You know, there was a time when that wasn’t true. In fact it was actually only a couple of days ago. The New York Times said as much in their editorial. They are not the first and they certainly won’t be the last. To be clear, the word is not used, that would be bad optics. Gun confiscations rarely go over well, just ask those who witnessed it in my previous post. So they use passive words like surrendering for the good of all, or they issue notices that your weapons are now illegal and you need to turn them in. It’s the ‘rose by any other name’ syndrome.

But is the idea of gun confiscation really the manifestation of some right-wing nut job seeing government conspiracies behind every corner? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

I am reminded of the old adage: Once is a mistake. Twice is a pattern. Three times is a habit.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Confiscation Act, authorizing federal troops to begin confiscating weapons in preparation for military re-conquest of the South.

In 1890, at the height of the American Indian relocation effort, U.S. Troops, confiscated the weapons from the Sioux at Wounded Knee. After they were disarmed, the troops shot and killed nearly 300 of them.

In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt used the attack at Pearl Harbor to justify the mass confiscation of guns, and other property, from people deemed ‘enemy aliens’ all over the United States.  After the confiscation, the disarmed individuals were rounded up and placed in concentration camps.

Most recently, in 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans launched a wholesale, door-to-door, gun confiscation under the declaration of martial law. Members of the New Orleans Police Department, as well as the National Guard, went door to door securing these weapons. Over 1,000 firearms were seized, and untold numbers of people, houses, and vehicles were aggressively searched in the process.  Residents, who had already suffered the hardships of the hurricane, were left vulnerable and defenseless by the government that had thus far shown they were unable to protect them.

Following the disaster, the government promised that gun confiscation would never happen again.  But the reality is that such guarantees aren’t worth the paper they are printed on during a crisis situation.  As the above shows, the guaranteed rights in the constitution have certainly not been upheld in the past, so why should one more promise prevent future gun confiscation?

Gun confiscation is an ugly term and is proving to be damning to those seeking higher office. Many gun owners are concerned, and rightfully so. There are many who feel strongly about removing firearms and make no bones about it, you only have to turn on the TV and see a whole host of pundits and politicians championing this. But even if they stop talking about confiscation, does that mean the threat is really gone? No.

Here is what I know.

Microstamping legislation was passed in California AB 1471 and signed into law on October 14, 2007. D.C. is the only other place to adopt similar legislation and is set to enforce it next year. Similar legislation is also under consideration in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Microstamping is a ballistics identification technology whereby microscopic markings are engraved onto the tip of the firing pin and onto the breech face of a firearm with a laser. When the gun is fired, these etchings are transferred to the primer by the firing pin and to the cartridge case head by the breech face, using the pressure created when a round is fired. At face value, most people would say that’s a great idea. Sadly, they would also be wrong. There are a number of variables which make this issue problematic from a law enforcement standpoint: a) Discarded brass, such as that from a firing range, could be misused, providing false evidence and increasing the workload for investigators. b) Firing a large number of rounds will eventually wear down the microstamp. c) Microstamping is relatively new, with a single source provider, and has not been subjected to sufficient testing.

The reality is that this was an end run. Rather than ban guns outright, the state of California created a de facto ban, where they simply eliminated new gun sales.  Gun manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Ruger have already stopped selling to California.

San Bernardino shows that, despite it being a direct terrorist threat, the narrative was immediately turned toward gun control. The fact that California has some of the nations’ most stringent ‘common sense’ gun laws on the books meant nothing to the two criminals who were so inclined to break the law. Gun laws also don’t mean anything to those suffering from mental illness.

For decades we have had what amounts to a revolving door justice system that has taught felons, old and young, that laws will not be enforced. It’s the same reason why a few weeks back, in New York City, Junior Regis, a member of the Brooklyn’s Most Wanted gang, with a lengthy rap sheet including robbery, was nabbed for the 2nd time in just ten days for gun possession. After the 2nd arrest, prosecutors recommended that Regis be held without bail or be given a $500,000.00 bail. Much to their surprise, the judge released Regis on $1,000.00 which he promptly posted.

To many this might be a bit of a shock, but to those of us in law enforcement, who have seen this same scenario play out time and again; it is nothing more than business as usual. Despite the incredible amount of gun laws, already on the books, the criminal justice system seemingly refuses to incarcerate offenders for them. Yet, we, the law abiding gun owners, are constantly being told, by this administration, that what we simply need to fix our gun problem is more gun laws.

In the immortal words of Rahm Emanuel: "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

NYPD Cold Case - The Katherine White Murder

Okay, for those of you who like novellas, then have I got a surprise for you. I just penned my first one, NYPD Cold Case - The Katherine White Murder, Detective Angelo 'Ang' Antonucci.

As much as I love writing the James Maguire / Alex Taylor novels, they are all part of one massive story running around in my head. Sometimes I just like being able to do a quick story and slamming a definitive 'the end' at the bottom. A book like this allows me to do just that.

While Maguire does make the occasional appearance, as part of his NYPD role, he is only a minor character in this series.

I hope you will enjoy it and I look forward to your feedback. 

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Little Boy Lost - Print Update

The cover graphic and formatted print version of the new Alex Taylor novel, Little Boy Lost, has just gone in and I hope to have the prototype book for review shortly.

I don't foresee any issues at this time which means that the print edition should be available for sale by Christmas. I am doing everything I can to expedite it and will let everyone know as soon as it is up on Amazon.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.


Well, the proof copy of Little Boy Lost has been received from the printer and so far it looks awesome. Had to make some changes to the cover to ensure that nothing was lost in the edge bleed.

We hope to get it fully reviewed this weekend and will then approve it for release. If you have been waiting for the print version, it is almost over.

Once again I am so proud of my co-author, Nancy A. Nelson, and I hope to collaborate with her again soon !!

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7th, 1941 - Attack on Pearl Harbor

“December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber, bearing the Rising Sun symbol of Japan on its wings, appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. 

Some 350+ warplanes soon followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. While the attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet, and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II, it did not defeat our resolve.

May we never forget the sacrifices made, nor the resolute bravery displayed, by our military personnel. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I’ve seen the light !!! Common Sense Gun Control !!!

Guns are pure evil and no civilized person should ever be in the vicinity of them.

Therefore, effective immediately, I will be rescinding my memberships to such organizations as the NRA, ISRA and other like-minded groups.  All the money I have paid in membership dues will now go to the UN, ACLU, and other groups who promote diversity and peace. I will also be turning in my weapons at the next law enforcement sponsored gun surrender program. Don’t ask me to buy them, because I could not bear to have you embrace these disgusting weapons of war.

I have also decided to change party affiliations, since my prior party is nothing but grotesque war mongers. Poverty, inequality, and social justice can only be achieved through the collective good and government is the strongest vehicle to achieve this. Because of this I am now going to sue the City of New York and the NYPD for forcing me to be a part of their brutal regime and crackdown of minor crimes designed to incarcerate the poor and less fortunate.  I will be asking for $25 million dollars for emotional harm and will be using the proceeds to establish ‘safe zones’ where people can go to protect themselves from hurtful words. Any money that remains will be used to buy ‘no gun zone’ placards to be affixed to doors.

Sadly, this whole enlightenment thing has also caused me to rethink my religious beliefs. I have therefore decided to embrace my humanism. For too long I have undervalued myself and my contributions to society.

I have also decided to unleash myself from the destructive gender assignment that was forced upon me, without my consent, by an oppressive, dictatorial society which seeks to buttonhole me into their world view. I am now F_(`296Mx~%, a sentient, asexual being that refuses to conform to so called societal norms. I also am a being of the world, and as such believe that fascist laws, which are forced upon us, have no hold over me. 

Bless Myself,……… this is so liberating that I am teetering on the edge of a narcissistic euphoria!!

For any of you who already feel this way, I have only one thing to say: Get off social media and grow the fuck up.

For those of you who know me better, and are laughing your asses off right now, I salute you.

To be honest with you, I’m tired. I’m tired of the whining, the bullshit, and the sight of allegedly adult human beings demanding a ‘safe zone’ so that their feelings don’t get hurt. What the hell has happened to this country? Everything, and I mean everything, is someone (or something) else’s fault.
  • You're 35 and work at Burger King & need a $15 minimum wage - You're 35, got a $15 wage & demand your hours get reduced so you can stay on public assistance.
  • Grew up poor, government did not provide enough - Got in trouble with the law, government is too repressive.
  • Argue that all guns should be banned because of gun deaths around roughly 10k (+/-) per year – Do not call for ban of all cars that have an annual DUI cause of death of around roughly 10k (+/-) per year
  • Lament that you cannot find work after college because of corporate greed – Obtained a degree in Feminist Studies.
  • Believe that the police are reprehensible racist murderers  - Call for the murder of all police officers using reprehensible racial slurs.
  • Say that all Muslims should not be blamed for the actions of a handful of bad ones – Blame all gun owners for the actions of a handful of bad ones.
  • Claim George Bush caused ISIS, when their numbers were less than 1k in 2009 – Don’t blame current admin when the numbers swell to 20-30k by 2015.
  • Want Canadian / European style national health care – Ignore the fact that the scandal plagued VA, where veterans routinely die waiting for care, is actually a model for national healthcare.
  • Believe all college tuition should be free, paid for by the government  – Ignore the fact that the ‘greedy’ universities actually set tuition rates.
  • Engage in hunger strikes to protest alleged ‘privileged’ status of some – Ignore the fact that they come from privileged homes themselves.
  • Blame the financial collapse on Bush – Ignore that safeguards in the housing industry were removed by previous administration to allow, otherwise ineligible, people to purchase homes they couldn't afford.
  • Blame the GOP majority for obstructing the president’s agenda – Blame the GOP minority for obstructing the president’s agenda.
  • Believe the United Nations can solve global problems – Ignore that the United Nations have never solved a global problem.
  • Claim that religion is for the weak minded – Deride those who disagree with immigration policies as being un-Christian.
  • Complain that union workers don’t make enough money – Ignore the fact that many union heads make more than the Vice President of the United States.
  • Claim that we are a racist / misogynistic society – Ignore the racism / misogyny that occur in other countries around the world.
  • Decry extremist Christians for talking about their faith – Ignore that extremist Muslims are killing people for not converting to theirs.
  • Claim that there is a war on woman who are not paid on par with their male counterparts – Ignore that the women in the White House are not paid on par with their male counterparts.
  • Demand more ‘common sense’ gun laws – Ignore that the places with the most restrictive gun laws in the US have the highest (illegal) gun crimes.
  • Ignore when terrorist groups lob rockets into Israel – Scream about unnecessary use of force when Israel defends itself

Are you starting to see the rampant hypocrisy here?

One of the things which makes me laugh the hardest is when the left points to the ‘war on drugs’ and the fact that it did very little to curb drug crimes. Oh, okay, and I guess you have solved that little problem and believe that the ‘war on guns’ will do better?

Anytime someone is killed it is a tragedy, but to claim that removing all guns will cure the problem is pure and simple Utopian bullshit. I’m not saying there are not issues in this country, but the sad fact is that they are generational in their origination.

When I grew up, we were taught to respect the police and teachers. In fact, being disrespectful carried an exacting punishment, where you had your ass whooped by them and again when you got home. Now, society blames the police for every encounter; ignoring the fact that the alleged ‘victim’ was engaged in criminal behavior. We've taught our children to have contempt and disrespect for everyone in authority. 

Here is a newsflash: If you assault, and attempt to disarm, a police officer you are NOT a victim of anything. You are a criminal. Likewise, if you commit a crime with a gun, YOU, not the gun, are the criminal.

Recently I had a discussion with a gentleman that cited Japan as the model for what a ‘no gun society’ can look like. Because of their restrictive laws, they have almost no gun murders. Now you would think that there would be zero, but the truth is that you can never get rid of all the guns.
What this individual failed to realize is that, unlike the United States, Japan has a very different societal make-up. If it were simply a matter of comparing the low gun crime rate in Japan to the high gun crime rate in the US, one would be led to believe that guns were the problem. However, if you compare non-gun related crime, you come up with a similar story. So, if it is not the tool that is the issue, what is it?

Japan has a much different society then we do and there is a much closer relationship with law enforcement authorities. While the clearance rate for homicide is generally in the same ballpark (90% + for Japan and 70%+ for the US), the real difference is seen in the clearance rate for robbery. Japan clears around 80%+ of their robberies, while the US only clears around 20%. So why are those numbers so stark?

Again we go back to the culture. The conformist society of Japan does a lot to keep people out of crime in the first place. Family honor, and respect toward authority, are attributes that are instilled at a very early age.

Another factor is the criminal justice system in Japan.

Unlike the United States, which does a lot to protect individual rights, Japan has no such encumbrances. Japanese policeman can, and do, stop ‘suspicious’ people and make them show what they are carrying. In effect, the police can search basically anyone, at any time, and rarely will any evidence discovered be deemed inadmissible.

The Japanese criminal justice system puts more emphasis on the suspect than almost any other industrial / democratic country. While the United States enjoys Miranda warnings, Japan has no such barrier. Bail is routinely denied if it will interfere with interrogations and suspects can be held for 3 days, and 10 day extensions added if needed, for the purpose of obtaining a confession. In reality, a suspect can be held almost indefinitely until they confess and most defense attorneys are reluctant to protest for fear of offending the prosecutor. This results in a 90%+ confession rate. After the confession is obtained it gets even better. For those who go to trial, there is no jury and the conviction / incarceration rate for violent crime is nearly 100%.

Contrast this with the United States, where for decades we have seen an almost revolving door justice system. I can personal attest to numerous times where defendants were released on their own recognizance and I still had not finished the paperwork process. For decades you slapped the wrist's of offenders and now you are shocked when they, and now their children, have no respect for the law.

I wonder how many of the ‘enlightened’ folks walking around the halls of academia would be willing to give up their civil rights in order to obtain the low gun homicide rates of Japan? Judging from the ‘social’ protests I see on TV, not many. 

Another case of selective cherry-picking.

One other fact which the left chooses to ignore is that Japan still engages in blatant racism toward non-Japanese, something that would make their collective heads explode here.

Another problem for the gun grabbing crowd is that pesky little country called Switzerland.
Switzerland has an estimated population of about 8 million people and an estimated 2-4 million guns. Now, if guns were truly the issue, you would think that the Swiss would have a problem. Yet they have less than half of 1% (per 100k) of gun homicides. Like Japan, the Swiss have a societal structure of personal responsibility and respect, something greatly lacking in today's urban American environment.

The fact is that the first prohibitive gun laws were designed not to protect, but to disarm. Native Americans, free blacks and Chinese were all victims of this.

Consider for a moment that this month marks the 125th Anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre. On December 29th, agents of the government, along with the U.S. 7th Calvary, were sent to Wounded Knee, in South Dakota, to disarm the Sioux Indian’s for their own protection. It was the first federally backed gun confiscation program in U.S. History. After the majority of the Sioux were disarmed, the Calvary began shooting and managed to wipe out the entire camp. Of the 297 victims, 200 were women and children. 

We must wake up and accept the fact that evil does exist in our world. It always has and always will. Immediately after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, which left 14 dead and 21 wounded, the president, rather than condemn the terrorists, used the incident as a springboard to call for increased gun control. Maybe someone can correct me, but it really doesn't seem as if he has a grasp on this whole ISIS / Radical Islamic Terror thing. In this most recent attack, it's obvious that someone must have forgotten to tell him that all the gun control measures that he is calling for were already in place in California and had no impact on the attack. For whatever reason he, and those calling for stricter gun laws, cannot comprehend the fact that those intent on committing acts of terror, or criminal acts period, are not inclined to obey the law.

We cannot overlook the fact that throughout world history evil people have committed evil acts. Time and again we are shown examples of governments removing weapons from their citizens, for their own good, only to find that it was actually the government that was the real danger to them. You see, the truth is, that tyrannical governments are not anti-gun; in fact they enjoy them very much, as long as they are the only ones who have them.
  • In 1911 Turkey disarmed its citizens. Between 1915 – 1917 they murdered over one million Armenians.
  • In 1929 Russia disarmed its citizens. Between 1929 – 1953 they murdered approximately 20 million anti-communists.
  • In 1935 China disarmed its citizens. Between 1948 – 1952 they murdered approximately 20  million anti-communists / reformers.
  • In 1938 Germany disarmed its citizens. Between 1939 – 1945 they murdered approximately 16 million Jews, Gypsies and anti-Nazis.
  • In 1956 Cambodia disarmed its citizens. Between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million ‘educated’ people.
  • In 1964 Guatemala disarmed its citizens. Between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.
  • In 1970 Uganda disarmed its citizens. Between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians / political rivals.

In the infinite wisdom of the founding fathers, the 2nd Amendment was put in place to protect the citizens from a tyrannical government. The right to own guns, to protect your personal freedom, was never written to protect the right to go deer or bear hunting, nor was it designed to protect weapons used for this purpose, but the very weapons that are now being vilified.

Take a look at the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Many people argue that since we have a military (militia) that we no longer need the 2nd Amendment. However, the exact opposite is true about the reason for the 2nd Amendment. Understanding that a state needs a military, and understanding that the military of the state (England) was used against colonials, the founding fathers created the amendment to protect the individual rights of the citizenry to maintain their weapons, thereby ensuring that the government would never be able to do to them what the King of England had done.

Don’t believe me? Read their own quotes:

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.” – Patrick Henry

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.” Noah Webster

Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense.” John Adams

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson

Not once did I read anything about hunting or target shooting.

As much as we believe that we can legislate morality, we simply cannot. We also cannot rid the world of evil through the use of safe zones. Good people will tend to abide by the law while the criminal element will always find a way around it.

In the Bible, one of the first stories is that of Cain, who killed his brother Abel over jealousy. Evil does not exist within any tool, but rather resides in the heart of the wielder. 

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 2015 Update

I hope that you have all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and that your plans for Christmas or, in the case of my Jewish friends, Hanukkah, are going well.

Things have been fairly busy on this end with the release of the e-book version of the Alex Taylor sequel: Little Boy Lost coming out, as well as work on the print version, which will hopefully be released in time for Christmas. It was really fun to work with my amazing wife, Nancy, on this project and I hope to do so again in the future.

In addition to the work on getting that novel out, I have also been working on the next James Maguire novel, which will come out in 2016, as well as another Christmas present project. Once again, you have Nancy to thank for this one.

As we approach the holidays, I would like to ask all of you a favor. If you have read any of my books, please go to Amazon and leave a review. It doesn't have to be much, but every review helps boost the books position within the Amazon analytics. This is used to feature the books to other potential readers. So for all you hoping that they one day get made into a movie, this is your chance to further that chance.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.