Friday, March 5, 2010

Reply:"“I had to shoot people! Do you understand what that means?”"

Anonymous said...'Fear is rampant; armed men with pistols are attacking residential homes' -- Mayor Van Rysselberghe, Concepcion. Source-->

Hi FerFal, in light of US Supreme Court likely chance to lift Chicago gun ban, I'm curious about how US compares to citizen rights and gun laws in Latin America or other countries you know of. This month US citizens without criminal background are allowed to carry gun for self defense in US national parks (turn from 94 year ban on guns in parks). Until now only criminals, park officers, and police could carry firearm in park. Story-->

I enjoyed your book and based on my experience in risky situations you're giving folks useful information they can use 'on street level' so to speak. It's all about having knowledge and tools to manage risk in your's a lifestyle.

Our prayers and thoughts go out to the children, men, and women in Chile. It saddens me to see people live in fear. From what you hear to what extent is the media dramatizing the level of chaos and violence in the streets? I know US media can create doomsday scenario pretty quickly...causing fear and panic.

 Hi, no other country comes close to USA in terms of gun rights. Most dont allow ownership of serious defensive weapons and those that do almost never allow people to carry them.

I dont think they are dramatizing things, but they are of course showing the worst of the quake, there are places where things are already back to normal (given the circumstances )
It also depends a lot on how lucky you are. Its easy to say this or that only happened to a few hundred or a few thousand. But when it happens to you its 100%.


gaga said..."closest parallel was the 1994 riots in Los Angeles. Korean shopkeepers (American citizens)seemed to do just fine with their AK's and AR-15's. "

They didn't stop the looting though, did they? In fact, American is one of the most heavily armed and crime infested countries in the world .
March 3, 2010 3:59 PM

Well... actually they DID stop the looters from looting the stores.
If you think America is "crime infested" you need to travel more, and I assure you no other citizens enjoy the freedom Americans do.
Talked to my folks today, they've been living in Spain for many years now. They told be the government is encouraging snitching, telling the authorities about any irregularity regarding tax payiment or such you may have heard of or have suspicions. They pay yo a % of the money supposedly owed, even if the case goes to trial and the person you accused is declared innocent. A nice gestapo think they have going on in Spain these days.
USA isn't perfect, but I challenge you to mention one single country where people enjoy the freedom and rights they do in America. 



Loquisimo said...

The American authorities are encouraging snitching too, but they're not paying percentages, just flat reward amounts. That said, such efforts tend to work better in our suburbs, where people feel no connections to the larger community. Small towns have their own distinct set of rules, as I suspect they do in many other places. In many places in rural America no amount of money will get people to talk.

A similar ethos has popped up, oddly enough, in the worst of the ghettos, where all people have is each other. There are inner city areas where no crimes are solved, because people don't talk. They have started to take on characteristics of small towns. They even have parallel police forces that work outside the recognized law.

These aren't vigilantes in the traditional sense, but real paramilitary organizations with definite chains of command, groups like Fruit of Islam and Black Uhuru. They do away with troublemakers and keep out outsiders without resorting to the traditional cops, who are usually made up of white suburbanites who have no connections to the city. I suspect that if one wanted to start an Argentine-style feria, the best place would be in the inner city or in a small town.

dc.sunsets said...

The USA one of only two countries in the world that demand its citizens living abroad pay full income taxes on income derived from working outside their home country. US tax laws are a big reason Swiss banks no longer want to have US depositors...we're not worth the hassle. The US Internal Revenue Service has always had a Rat program paying people to turn in their ex-spouses, their bosses, or the neighbors they hate, accusing them of tax evasion. The current program just made the news because the IRS will pay up to 30% of the tax judgment if the amount is large:

The USA has good points and bad points, just like every other place. It is NOT the freest country in the world by a long shot (Switzerland is far freer) and as far as gun laws go, Israel (a socialist kleptocracy otherwise) and Finland (also typically socialist) have pretty liberal gun laws.

The big problem isn't that the USA is a totalitarian police state. The problem is that 100 years ago it was truly a free country (no federal gun laws, no income tax, a small standing army, etc.) and since then it has slid a long way toward the tyranny tar pit but most Americans are too blind and too brainwashed to see it so it's not likely to change. The USA has much more in common with Germany in the inter-war years than the USA of 1910. A really big economic catastrophe is fertile ground for a home-grown Stalin, Mao, Hitler, or Pol Pot. In tough times throughout history people look to a "benevolent" dictator who tells them what they want to hear, not to freedom and their own ingenuity.

Dustin said...

Well said Ferfal. America is very fortunate to have so much freedom and liberal gun laws. I wish more countries could have the freedom that America has so that they do not have to experience so much bullshit. Don't get me wrong, America has its problems but we can fix these problems and become a beacon of light for the world. Stay safe Brother.

Yophat said...

USA...IRS does the same thing!

kal said...

"USA isn't perfect, but I challenge you to mention one single country where people enjoy the freedom and rights they do in America."

Thanks for saying that. US media exports a certain kind of false image that sentimentalist anti-americans get caught up in and propagate.

All par for the course.

Erik said...

Hi FerFal!
Thanks so much for your blog and the time you put into it! It is very interesting to take part of what is happening in Argentina and other places that you write about.

You challenge us to mention a country with more freedom than America. That's something...

Before even beginning, there is a couple of things that should be clear to us, the challenged: first, with "America" i presume you mean USA. Secondly, what's your definition of freedom and rights? Not everyone has the same view on what freedom and rights are. To some, it can mean to live in communities where you share with others and where it's natural to help and build with and for your neighbors, get free healthcare for everyone, have high standards in education for everyone - not just for the elite and most wealthy -, to have a legal system that works and isn't corrupted et cetera; to others, it may imply the rights to carry guns, not to pay so much taxes but instead to have the insurance of choice, to live a life without little or any contact with the federal or state government et cetera.

Your challenge is a very bold one. Personally I think its to bold because of the issue's complexity.

Best regards,

PS. Excuse my english, it is not my native language.

Don Williams said...

1) Re Ferfal's question: "USA isn't perfect, but I challenge you to mention one single country where people enjoy the freedom and rights they do in America. "

Er..totalitarian China?

2) US imprisons its citizens at a rate 4 TIMES higher than even China --and MUCH higher than other countries in the world:

3) There are many different United States. If you are rich, it is a great place. If you are poor --not so much. If you are middle-class --well, you are too busy working your butt off making a rich man richer to take a moment and look around at the scenery.

Mindfuzzer said...

"... but I challenge you to mention one single country where people enjoy the freedom and rights they do in America..."

Norway, Finland or for that matter any of the other three Scandinavian countries?

Anonymous said...

I think if you follow a lot of stories on the ole US of A you get a lot of stuff from the coasts, and not much from "Flyover Country". Understandable because most commerce and politics is done there.
But as a person that has lived in europe and is an American citizen I am constantly amazed that Americans are still the most giving of folks.
You hear about the Blizzard in Wash. D.C. but not Dallas TX. You hear about New Orleans but not Mobile ALA. You don't hear about the folks in North Dakota during the floods last year and told the US government "We are staying and we will save our town." and did it.
Yes we are loud and arrogant. But "Middle America" is still there and fighting.
I'm sorry for the folks in Chile taking a life is a terrible thing. But they have banded together. They are going to make it. They are doing what ferfal says needs doing. I wished they had prepared and it would not be so hard on them. Compare Chile to Haiti and there is no contest. Chile was better prepared than Haiti. At a Government level at least. 800 dead in Chile compared to 270,000 dead in Haiti.
I'm an optomist. I believe that 80% of any group of people are pretty good folks. But that other 20% are what screws stuff up.

Anonymous said...

Chileans can own two long arms and two pistols to defend their home, these guns aren't allowed to leave the home.
And they can own two longarms and two pistols for sport shooting which does allow the guns to be carried out of the house to the shooting location. Both are seperate licences that need a psychologists certificate to get.

Carrying guns outside or on ones person is illegal.

Houses in Chile because of the earthquakes and also crime are built like mini fortresses. with an outside fence with steel bars and windows being barred up. So home invasions never happen. Muggings and being made to enter your house as gunpoint is no doubt the most common way of home invasion.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the looting during the April, 1992 L.A. Riots:

I can assure you that a lot of things did not get reported by the local television stations during that time.

Some friends of mine camped out on the roof of their buildings in downtown Long Beach. Their shops did not burn because they were there with rifles and spotlights and a bullhorn 24/7.

When a car load of young men would pull up and get out, they lit them up with the lights, pointed guns at them and told them to get back in the car. Some of them had looted items and cans of gas in the back.

Other cities did not burn due to an aggressive response by the mayor/police chief.

I think Lakewood sent all of the city workers out in trucks, and had them radio the police whenever they saw groups of 3 or more men out on the street. The cops picked them up and stuck everyone in the football stadium for about 3 days and then let them go.


Pete said...

I'm going to try to help Erik out a little bit...A "right" is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. The progressive/socialist definition of 'rights' (ie: right to a job, right to a home, right to free healthcare, etc) is a contradiction in terms and does not exist: in order to fulfill these 'rights', you must infringe upon the rights of others by extorting their property and limiting their freedoms. So, therefore, a "right" is the freedom to act, without compulsion from another human being. Rights are inalienable...they are a fact of nature and can't be infringed upon (morally) by another human being. This is well understood by Americans more than any other nation on the planet. THAT's the challenge 'I' would like to propose for anyone to find another nation that understands this concept more than the United States!

Anonymous said...

There are many United States as there are many Argentina's. In the US the demarcation is both economic (rich vs poor) as well as geographic (urban vs rural, coastal vs inland). The variants are quite different from one another in so many ways. Sometimes our dumbed down media presents our nation as homogenous. We are far from that.

FerFAL might be impressed with the US midwestern farm ethic of "be prepared" throughout the heartland. He has no idea. Farmers with food, fuel, guns, and provisions, just because that's how they were taught. Millions of them. They all know how to hunt, are skilled with a rifle or a tractor or combine, know how to fix a diesel engine, and read the weather. They don't care much for government and pull together to support community unlike their urban variants. They are the polar opposite of our urban core citizens with no food, fuel, guns or provisions, and if there are any stored goods in the cities, only a few days worth at maximum. There are also the Mormons who believe it is their duty to have a year's worth of provisions stored, though I believe that is because they are preparing for the 2nd coming, so it is more of a religious tenent than simple preparedness.

Perhaps this is because the great US interior often experiences weather extremes where the government is useless, or nearly useless, and people are expected to handle it on their own. In the urban core, people are like sheep.

As for the rich vs poor dichotomy, urban rich often mimic heartland middle class in terms of preparedness. The poor might desire to be more prepared but don't have the option.

I'm certain these different components of culture exist around the planet in all societies.

But I assure you, the only rioting occurs in the cities. It is utterly impossible in the non-urban areas for so many reasons I cannot list them all.

With that I propose there are many United States, depending on where you live and how you live.

FerFAL, would you say the same of Argentina? Perhaps it is even an observation of all societies - fragmented, balkanized, polar opposites depending on location. Only the Scandanavian countries seem to be homogenous in terms of population characteristics and viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment on things else where but the US is not nearly as free as you would believe.Not only do snitches receive money from the gov.(many actually snitch full time)but the police and gov can keep any assets they take if you can't prove it wasn't ill gotten(as opposed to them proving it was) whether you are convicted of a crime or not.This is called civil asset forfiture and in many cases it costs more money to prove your side in court than the asset is worth(example the police pull you over and find $5000 dollars in cash, they take it and never charge you with anything,but you have to go to civil court to get your money back,a lawyer costs between 5 and 10 thousand ,and you may have no way to prove the cash is clean as most american money has drug residues on it). There are many things like this in the US, and it is getting worse year by year.we live in great prosperity here but wee are far from free.