A 16-year-old Pennsylvania boy was charged Wednesday evening with two dozen felony counts after 20 students and a security guard were stabbed or slashed at a suburban Pittsburgh high school.
The boy, identified as Alex Hribal, a sophomore at Franklin Senior Regional High School in Murrysville, was held without bail on four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of carrying a prohibited weapon.
At least four people remained in intensive care with life-threatening injuries after the rampage Wednesday morning at Franklin Senior Regional High School in the town of Murrysville.
Hribal was remanded to juvenile detention pending a preliminary hearing April 30 in Westmoreland County Magisterial Court.
Prosecutors told Judge Charles R. Conway that Hribal “randomly and indiscriminately” wielded his knives in a hallway at the school and indicated that “he wanted to die.”
They said it was unclear whether he was competent to stand trial.
Attorneys for Hribal — who sat head-down in court in a hospital gown, bearing numerous bandages and stitches with his hands and feet shackled — asked for a psychiatric evaluation.
School Stabbing Spree: 20 Hurt in Pittsburgh-Area Bloodbath
By Erin McClam
A student flashing two knives went on a stabbing rampage through the classrooms and halls of a high school outside Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, authorities said. At least 19 students and a security guard were hurt, some with life-threatening injuries.
The suspect, a 16-year-old sophomore, was in custody and being questioned by police, authorities said. His motive was unclear, said Dan Stevens, a Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman.
The first photo of the suspect emerged several hours after the mayhem. NBC News is blurring the face of the teen in the photo, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, because of his age. He had not been charged or identified.
The student was “flashing two knives around” as he moved through the classrooms and a first-floor hallway, said Thomas Seefeld, the Murrysville police chief. A principal tackled the stabber, he said. The security guard suffered a stomach wound.
The attack happened at Franklin Regional High School, in the suburb of Murrysville, just after doors opened for the day. A student described panic in the halls.
Published: 18:24 EST, 9 April 2014 | Updated: 18:27 EST, 9 April 2014
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Flailing away with two kitchen knives, a 16-year-old boy with a “blank expression” stabbed and slashed 21 students and a security guard in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school Wednesday before an assistant principal tackled him.
At least five students were critically wounded, including a boy whose liver was pierced by a knife thrust that narrowly missed his heart and aorta, doctors said.
The rampage — which came after decades in which U.S. schools geared much of their emergency planning toward mass shootings, not stabbings — set off a screaming stampede, left blood on the floor and walls, and brought teachers rushing to help the victims.
A man and woman walk away from Franklin Regional High School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT
Police shed little light on the motive.
The suspect, Alex Hribal, was taken into custody and treated for a minor hand wound, then was brought into court in shackles and a hospital gown and charged with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault. Authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult.
The attack unfolded in the morning just minutes before the start of classes at 1,200-student Franklin Regional High School, in an upper-middle-class area 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. It was over in about five minutes, during which the boy ran wildly down about 200 feet of hallway, slashing away with knives about 8 to 10 inches long, police said.
Nate Moore, 15, said he saw the boy tackle and stab a freshman. He said he going to try to break it up when the boy got up and slashed his face, opening a wound that required 11 stitches.
“It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” he said.
The attacker “had the same expression on his face that he has every day, which was the freakiest part,” Moore said. “He wasn’t saying anything. He didn’t have any anger on his face. It was just a blank expression.”
Assistant Principal Sam King finally tackled the boy and disarmed him, and a Murrysville police officer who is regularly assigned to the school handcuffed him, police said.
Doctors said they expect all the victims to survive, despite deep abdominal puncture wounds in some cases.
King’s son told The Associated Press that his father was treated at a hospital, though authorities have said he did not suffer any knife wounds.
“He says he’s OK. He’s a tough cookie and sometimes hides things, but I believe he’s OK,” Zack King said. He added: “I’m proud of him.”
“There are a number of heroes in this day. Many of them are students,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a visit to the stricken town. “Students who stayed with their friends and didn’t leave their friends.”
He also commended cafeteria workers, teachers and teacher’s aides who put themselves at risk to help during the attack.
As for what set off the attack, Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said investigators were looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn’t specify whether the suspect received or made the call.
The FBI joined the investigation and went to the boy’s house, where authorities said they planned to confiscate and search his computer.
While several bloody stabbing rampages at schools in China have made headlines in the past few years, schools in the U.S. have concentrated their emergency preparations on shooting rampages.
Nevertheless, there have been at least two major stabbing attacks at U.S. schools over the past year, one at a community college in Texas last April that wounded at least 14 people, and another, also in Texas, that killed a 17-year-old student and injured three others at a high school in September.
On Wednesday, Mia Meixner, 16, said the rampage touched off a “stampede of kids” yelling, “Run! Get out of here! Someone has a knife!”
The boy had a “blank look,” she said. “He was just kind of looking like he always does, not smiling, not scowling or frowning.”
Meixner and Moore called the attacker a shy boy who largely kept to himself, but they said he was not an outcast and they had no reason to think he might be violent.
“He was never mean to anyone, and I never saw people be mean to him,” Meixner said. “I never saw him with a particular group of friends.”
Michael Float, 18, said he had just gotten to school when he saw “blood all over the floor” and smeared on the wall near the main entrance. Then he saw a wounded student.
“He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, ‘Help! Help!’” Float said. “He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down.”
Float said he saw a teacher applying pressure to the wound of another student.
The security guard was wounded after intervening early in the melee, police said. He was treated and released.
About five minutes elapsed between the time the campus police officer summoned help over the radio at 7:13 a.m. and the boy was disarmed, the police chief said.
Someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm during the attack, Seefeld said. Although that created chaos, the police chief said, it emptied out the school more quickly, and “that was a good thing that that was done.”
Also, a girl with “an amazing amount of composure” applied pressure to a schoolmate’s wounds and probably kept the victim from bleeding to death, said Dr. Mark Rubino at Forbes Regional Medical Center.
Public safety and school officials said an emergency plan worked as well as could be expected. The district conducted an emergency exercise three months ago and a full-scale drill about a year ago.
“We haven’t lost a life, and I think that’s what we have to keep in mind,” said county public safety spokesman Dan Stevens.
Associated Press writers Mike Rubinkam in Allentown and Jesse Washington in Murrysville, Pa., and AP news researchers Judith Ausuebel and Barbara Sambriski contributed to this report.
A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT
Students walk past a row of buses as they leave the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens, left, looks on as Franklin Regional School District Superintendent Gennaro Piraino pauses while addressing the media during a news conference outside of Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. More than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT
A parent holds hands with a Franklin Regional High School while picking up the student after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT
Soldier’s ‘Courageous Act’ Remembered as Fort Hood Begins Healing
In a final heroic act, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson threw his body against the entryway of a door as a fellow soldier-turned-gunman blasted away in a terrifying rampage at Fort Hood.
Ferguson, 39, was fatally hit in the moment he became a human shield — a sacrifice remembered in a news conference Saturday.
Ferguson’s “courageous act of blocking the door with his own body prevented further bloodshed,” said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas.
Also killed in Wednesday’s shooting were Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37, and Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38. Sixteen others were wounded. Gunman Spc. Ivan Lopez died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
Rep. Williams, along with Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, met some of the wounded soldiers Saturday, and commended them on their valor. Among the victims was Maj. Patrick Miller, who was shot in the stomach with Lopez’s .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
Miller had called 911 as he tended to his own wounds.
Timothy Wayne Owens, a counselor at Fort Hood, was known to friends as a stand-up guy who triumphed over a hardscrabble upbringing to become an empathetic military man, one who helped people and defused conflicts.
So, it was no surprise to residents in his home town of Effingham, Ill., to hear that Owens lost his life trying to calm the shooter in Wednesday’s Fort Hood killings.
“He was a brave man,” said Owens’s mother, Mary Muntean, 77, who said she learned that her son had been killed as he tried to talk with Ivan Lopez, who has been identified as the man who killed three people and injured 16 in the shooting on the Army post.
Muntean said she received a call at her Effingham home from her son’s wife, Billy Owens, on Wednesday evening telling her that he had been shot five times after trying to calm Lopez in a post parking lot. Military officials have not released the names of those killed or injured or confirmed reports of how the violence unfolded. But friends of Owens said the account provided by his family fits the man they knew.
Among Fort Hood Victims, a Sergeant Is Killed, and a Major Is Wounded
By ASHLEY SOUTHALL and STEVEN YACCINOAPRIL 3, 2014
The names of the victims of the shooting in Fort Hood began to come out on Thursday, released by relatives and by officials offering their condolences.
In Effingham, Ill., family members told The Associated Press that Army Sgt. Timothy Owens was one of the three soldiers killed Wednesday in a mass shooting by Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez. Sixteen others were wounded in the shooting. The Army has not released a list of the victims, pending notification of relatives.
The mother of Sergeant Owens, Mary Muntean, 77, of Effingham, told The Associated Press that she had learned of her son’s death in a telephone call with her daughter-in-law.
Unable to reach her son, she called his wife, Billie Owens, who first said he was in the hospital. Before long, Sergeant Owens’s wife called back, and Mrs. Muntean had her worst fears confirmed. “She said, ‘Mom, I want to tell you how sorry I am. Tim’s gone,’ ” Mrs. Muntean said, according to The A.P. “I broke down.”
Sergeant Owens dropped out of high school in 1995. But his mother said he earned his high school equivalency after joining the Army in 2004.
A friend and former roommate, Paul Eatherton, said Sergeant Owens, whose family moved back to Effingham from Missouri in the mid-1990s, worked at Pizza Hut and studied tae kwon do at a local gym. Mr. Eatherton, a martial arts instructor at the time, said Sergeant Owens got his black belt and started teaching at a gym in Effingham.
“He was the best student I’d ever seen or known,” Mr. Eatherton said. “We’d go to tournaments, and he’d bring first places home every time.”
He said Sergeant Owens, who was in his mid-30s, had recently signed up for another six years in the Army. “I think he was going to be a lifer,” he said. He said he had not talked to Sergeant Owens for several months, but when he heard news of the shooting, he texted him immediately. He got no reply. “That really worried me,” he said.
The commander of Fort Hood, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, said in an afternoon news conference, that nine of the 16 people wounded in the attack were taken to Scott & White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple, Tex., for treatment. Three were upgraded to serious condition on Thursday. Hospital officials said doctors had operated on two patients, a man and a woman, who had been shot in the abdomen and neck. The third person had an abdominal wound. The other victims taken there were discharged.
Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez had seen a military psychiatrist as recently as last month. He was being treated for depression and anxiety, and had been prescribed Ambien to help him sleep. He had come back from a four-month deployment to Iraq in 2011 and told superiors he had suffered a traumatic head injury there. But military officials said he had never seen combat, and there was no record of any combat-related injury. He was being evaluated for possible post-traumatic stress disorder.
Still, military officials said, they had seen nothing to indicate that Specialist Lopez, 34 — who killed three people and himself and wounded 16 others on Wednesday in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Tex. — was violent or suicidal.
“He had a clean record,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said Thursday morning in testimony before a Senate panel in Washington. “No outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we’re yet aware of.”
Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Fort Hood commander, said Thursday at a news conference that there were “very strong indications” that there had been a “verbal altercation” between Specialist Lopez and one or more other soldiers in the minutes before the shooting started, but the authorities were still investigating what role, if any, that played in the attack.
“We have very strong evidence looking into his medical history that indicated an unstable psychiatric condition,” General Milley said.
Friends from his hometown in Puerto Rico said that Specialist Lopez was angry with the Army when he returned home for his mother’s funeral in November. Ismael Gonzalez, a former schoolmate who had kept in contact with Specialist Lopez on Facebook, said the soldier was very upset that he had initially been given only 24 hours to attend the funeral.
In addition, Mr. Gonzalez said, Specialist Lopez, who was earning $28,000 a year, told him that he was “in a precarious economic situation” trying to support his family in Texas and two children in Puerto Rico from his first marriage. And he was angry that the Army would not allow him to move his family onto the base at Fort Hood, Mr. Gonzalez said.
None of this had found its way into Specialist Lopez’s official record, though.
“This was an experienced soldier,” said Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff. “He spent actually nine years in the Puerto Rico National Guard before coming on active duty, so he’s a very experienced soldier.”
Those who knew Specialist Lopez as a young man, obsessed with the high school band, were even more stunned to learn what he was suspected of doing.
“I cannot believe you are speaking about the same guy,” said Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, one of Specialist Lopez’s superiors in the National Guard. “He was the most responsible, obedient, humble person, and one of the most skillful guys on the line.”
For a year beginning in 2006, Specialist Lopez was deployed with his guard unit on the Sinai Peninsula, watching the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
But, the authorities say, it was Specialist Lopez who went into Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., near Fort Hood on March 1 and bought the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol that was used in the shootings on Wednesday.
It was the same gun store where Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army major, had bought at least one of the weapons used in a 2009 mass shooting on the base.
So information was emerging slowly on Thursday about Mr. Lopez. He was raised in the small fishing village of Guayanilla on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, about an hour and a half from San Juan. While there, he attended the School of Asunción Rodríguez de Sala, where he was active in the band and an enthusiastic drummer.
In 1999, he joined the National Guard, where he also played in the band. Later, he joined the Puerto Rico Police Department and became a member of its band. Officials said his record with the force was clean, with no disciplinary or behavioral problems.
His main job for the police was visiting schools and hospitals around Puerto Rico to give demonstrations on his percussion instruments. After he finished, other police officers would speak to the students or patients about gun violence, drugs and bullying, said Jeann Correa, the director of the unit for which he worked. His pay was $2,400 a month.
In 2010, getting a special leave from the police force, he shifted into the Army as a private first class and was quickly promoted to specialist and stationed with the First Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Tex. He was an infantryman there but his military record shows that in November, because of a medical condition identified as plantar fasciitis, a painful foot ailment, he moved to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he trained to become a truck driver. In February, he was posted to Fort Hood in that capacity.
Miracles do happen. The most radical Leftist Federal Court in American, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has decided a case based on the Constitution. They ruled that the Constitution allows honest private citizens to carry guns without interference from government. No one would predict a decision based on the U.S. Constitution from these Fidel loving lawyers.
Of course this will go to the Supreme Court. Still it is a start. Imagine, being allowed to protect yourself from criminals!
“The 2-1 decision says San Diego County’s system of issuing permits to carry concealed weapons infringes on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
If not reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision means law-abiding citizens will be able to carry concealed firearms in public.
“San Diego County’s ‘good cause’ permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense,” says the majority opinion, written by Judge Diarmuid O`Scannlain.”
• “Impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense”
California’s laws against carrying a concealed weapon may have been shot down by a divided opinion of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 2-1 decision says San Diego County’s system of issuing permits to carry concealed weapons infringes on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
If not reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision means law-abiding citizens will be able to carry concealed firearms in public.
The court concludes that California’s broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no “shall-issue” licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a “good cause” regime under which no license need be given — “impermissibly infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”
In other words, one has the right to carry a gun. The state can elect to recognize this by permitting either “shall-issue” concealed-carry or “shall-issue” open carry, but it cannot restrict or prohibit both.
A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California concealed-weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The 2-1 ruling of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California counties were wrong to require law-abiding applicants to show “good cause” beyond self-defense to receive a concealed-weapons permit.
California prohibits people from carrying handguns in public without a concealed-weapons permit. State law requires applicants to show good moral character, have good cause and take a training course. It’s generally up to the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs to issue the permits, and the vast majority require an applicant to demonstrate a real danger or other reasons beyond simple self-defense to receive a permit. The 9th Circuit on Thursday said that requirement violates the 2nd Amendment.
The San Francisco-based appeals court said those requirements were too strict and ran afoul of a 5-4 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and said law-abiding citizens are allowed to have handguns in their home for self-defense.
“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.
Chuck Michel, an attorney who represented several San Diego County residents who were denied a permit and who filed a lawsuit in 2009, praised the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling.
“This decision is a very dramatic confirmation of the Supreme Court ruling,” Michel said.
Former U.S. president George W. Bush watches before the start of the MLB American between the Rangers and White Sox in Arlington, Texas
By Reuters of Joseph Ax
On Thursday, the man’s mother called police to report she had found a threatening note in the home she shares with her son and that a rifle was also missing.
NEW YORK – A New York man sitting in a car that had a loaded rifle, machete and a container of gasoline was charged on Friday with threatening to kill George W. Bush after professing a romantic interest in one of the twin daughters of the former president, prosecutors said.
Benjamin Smith, 44, of Pittsford in upstate New York was arrested in Manhattan by the U.S. Secret Service, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
“Bush will get his,” Smith screamed as he was taken into custody, according to the complaint. Later, when asked about his marital status, he told agents he was divorced and “working on a relationship with Barbara Bush.”
At a preliminary hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Griswold told U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman the government believes Smith was referring to the former president’s daughter and not Bush’s mother, who shares the same name.
Man arrested for threatening to kill Bush over daughter
by YAMICHE ALCINDOR
Posted on February 1, 2014 at 5:25 PM
Updated today at 6:40 PM
A man with a loaded rifle, a machete and gasoline was arrested Friday after threatening to kill former president George W. Bush and expressing interest in a relationship with his daughter, according to multiple media reports.
Benjamin Smith, 44, was arrested by the Secret Service in New York City after telling agents he was divorced and “working on a relationship with Barbara Bush.” Reuters, quoting from a criminal complaint filed in federal court, reported Smith screamed “Bush will get his!” as he was taken into custody. Barbara Pierce Bush, 32, is the elder of the 43rd president’s twin girls.
George Ogilvie, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, told USA TODAY that Smith was arrested under U.S. Code Title 18 Section 879, which prohibits threats against a former president. Ogilvie would not go into detail about the incident.
At a preliminary hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Griswold told U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman that the government believes Smith was referring to the former president’s oldest daughter and not Bush’s mother, who shares the same name, Reuters reported.
A girl pays for her mother’s groceries using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) tokens, more commonly known as Food Stamps, at the GrowNYC Greenmarket in Union Square on September 18, 2013 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP)
As the White House proclaims a recovery is occurring, and the stock market has a head of steam, millions of Americans and their dependents are being left out of the recovery, according to a set of economic indicators.
Perhaps the most worrying yet least reported aspect of the so-called US recovery involves the national labor picture. Although the official US unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, this figure obscures the reality, according to an influential Wall Street adviser.
In a leaked memo to clients, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of Americans out of work at an astronomic 37.2 percent, as opposed to the 6.7 percent claimed by the Federal Reserve.
“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said.
“Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work,” he and colleague Megan Russell reveal in their client report, which was leaked to the Washington Examiner.
Contrary to expectations, a drop in the unemployment rate, Marotta argues, is presently a sign that the unemployed are simply dropping out of the job market.
The “officially-reported unemployment numbers decrease when enough time passes to discourage the unemployed from looking for work,” said Marotta andRussel. “A decrease is not necessarily beneficial; an increase is clearly detrimental.”
The authors then take aim at the so-called Misery Index, which provides something of a pulse rate of American prosperity, based on unemployment and inflation. The Wall Street adviser said the Index, which he maintains is actually over 14, as opposed to the 8 advertised by Washington, fails to address how the US economy is being hugely subsidized by various schemes, including monthly bond purchases by the Federal Reserve.
“Today, the Misery Index would be 7.54 using official numbers,” the two analysts wrote. However, taking into consideration the full unemployment picture, including workers who have given up the job search, which is 10.2 percent, together with the historical method of calculating inflation, which is now 4.5 percent, ‘the current misery index is closer to 14.7.”
Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.
In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.
Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn’t being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.
“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more.
“Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment.
Gotcha! FBI launches new biometric systems to nail criminals
By Robert L. Mitchell, Computerworld
December 19, 2013 09:51 AM ET
Computerworld – Nearly 80 years after it began collecting fingerprints on index cards as a way to identify criminals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is moving to a new system that improves the accuracy and performance of its existing setup while adding more biometrics.
By adding palm print, face and iris image search capabilities, the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) hopes to improve the accuracy of identity searches, make it easier to positively identify and track criminals as they move through the criminal justice system and provide a wider range of tools for crime scene investigators.
To take full advantage of all of the new capabilities, however, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies may need to update their own systems to be able to capture the data, forward it to the FBI and search against the nationwide database.
The FBI makes its first foray into biometrics, with fingerprints on index cards.
FBI launches its first computer system created to search fingerprint files.
FBI debuts the Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
The Bureau begins work on the Integrated Automated Fingerprint ID System database (IAFIS) to automate fingerprint collection and retrieval.
IAFIS is fully deployed.
Development of the $1.2 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) system begins.
CJIS delivers a more powerful computer system with a more accurate algorithm to match flat and rolled fingerprints to the criminal master file database.
The FBI adds the Repository of Individuals of Special Concern, which includes “the worst of the worst” criminals, and launches a system that lets officers in the field use a mobile system to scan two fingers of the suspect and query NGI for a nearly instantaneous response.
The FBI launches Interstate Photo System Facial Recognition Pilot with three states, which allows searches against more than 15 million mug shots.
A new latent fingerprint matching feature, which matches fingerprints found at a crime scene with those in the system, debuts, with nearly three times greater accuracy. FBI launches a new palm print database and search service; the new system handles 200,000 requests per day with a response time of 10 seconds or less.
- Facial recognition service to go live.
- Iris recognition pilot to launch.
- IAFIS system to be decommissioned.
“Most booking stations are starting to gather all of the modalities — fingerprints, palm, and face and iris,” says Jon Kevin Reid, assistant section chief in the CJIS division. But many regional and local law enforcement systems don’t yet capture all of that information, and will need to upgrade their own systems to reap the benefits from the new system.
The current database, the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint ID System (IAFIS), includes information on 135 million criminals and terrorists, as well as civil servants and other citizens who work in “positions of trust.”
GREELEY, Colo. — When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.
He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference.
“How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.
Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if Sheriff Cooke and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state’s rural regions.
Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes.
The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high.
It happened after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, and after Newtown, too. After every massacre in a school, Americans grasp at quick cures. Let’s install metal detectors and give guns to teachers. Let’s crack down on troublemakers, weeding out kids who fit the profile of a gunman. Let’s buy bulletproof whiteboards for the students to scurry behind, or train kids to throw erasers or cans of soup at an attacker.
Researchers who study school shootings say the nation has done the wrong things, again and again, to prevent these rare but frightening events. And when more promising measures that address the real causes of school shootings are tried, the money has ridden a rollercoaster, rising a year after a major attack, then falling as memories fade. Only one out of five schools currently gets money for one of the Obama administration’s signature programs to reduce school shootings.
“Many of the school safety and security measures deployed in response to school shootings have little research support,” concluded a 2010 research article in Educational Researcher, “What Can Be Done About School Shootings?: A Review of the Evidence.” The researchers called the widely adopted policies of zero-tolerance discipline and student profiling “unsound practices.”
The problem, the researchers say, is that the nation hasn’t paid attention to actual research about how school shootings unfold.
School shooters don’t “snap” or “go crazy.” They have serious grievances, and they plan their attacks. Many felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others. They engaged in behaviors that caused other students and adults to think they needed help. They showed difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. They told others about their plan. And they had access to weapons.
Seeking ways to offer better security after a school shooting in their district, a Minnesota school system purchases portable bullet-proof whiteboards for classrooms. KARE’s Julie Nelson reports.
These patterns point to a different set of preventive measures. Instead of trying to put metal detectors at every door, which do little more than ensure that the operator of the metal detector gets shot first, schools need to do the more difficult work of creating schools where bullying is not allowed, where grievances are dealt with quickly, where students feel safe speaking up about a student they’re concerned about, where students feeling suicidal have someone to talk with. And at home, guns need to be under lock and key.
Paying attention to the evidence A landmark study in 2002 by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education, examining the facts of 37 school shootings, identified patterns contradicting the public perception of a loner who “just snapped”:
Incidents of targeted violence at school are rarely sudden, impulsive acts.
Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.
Most attackers engaged in some behavior, prior to the incident, that caused concern or indicated a need for help.
Most attackers were known to have difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Many had considered or attempted suicide.
Most attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to advancing the attack.
There is no accurate or useful “profile” of students who engage in targeted school violence. Some come from good homes, some from bad. Some have good grades, some bad.
Most attackers had access to and had used weapons prior to the attack.
Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea or plan, and often other students were involved.
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