January 2014

Kids and Guns and Public Safety

by Diane Dimond on January 27, 2014

In Homes With Guns, Teach Kids Gun Safety!

Uncle Jim used to herd a group of us kids into the car on a sunny Saturday morning and head to an isolated area outside town. His son, little Jim, my two cousins Sandy and Terry and I were full of anticipation.

We were going target shooting – with a real gun – guided every step of the way in gun safety by Uncle Jim. I was about ten or eleven years old, the oldest kid in the group.

“Always keep a gun pointed toward the ground until you are ready to shoot,” Uncle Jim would say as he set up soda cans on a fence post about 20 yards away. “Never, ever point a gun toward another person.”

There on the southwest mesa outside Albuquerque we would wait patiently until it was our turn to handle the pistol. Uncle Jim would stand right behind us and guide the gun into our hands, showing us the proper technique of cradling the hands around the bottom of the gun while placing an index finger on the trigger. Then he’d take a step back as we raised our arms and tell us to shoot when we were ready. [click to continue…]

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Crime and Justice Issues On The Public’s Radar

by Diane Dimond on January 20, 2014

 

Crime Stories on Top of List

Last year’s tally is now in and the news story that garnered the most searches on the internet was … (can I get a drum roll, please?) …. A crime story!

Before I get to the winner, may I just say that life as a crime and justice columnist is sometimes a lonely one. I don’t think there’s another writer in America who – week in and week out – concentrates only on issues surrounding our justice system.

I’m fascinated by the topic but, sometimes, I wonder how many of you readers are. Sure, I get mail from many of you, and I truly appreciate it, but now I have some real statistics to back up the idea that Americans are, indeed, interested in following crime and justice stories. [click to continue…]

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Why The Erosion of Public Trust? Here’s Why

by Diane Dimond on January 13, 2014

Why Aren’t Bad Bankers Held Liable Too?

If you robbed a bank and got caught you would go to jail, right?

If you waited in the getaway car while your cohort robbed the bank you would go to jail as an accomplice, right? Of course you would.  That’s what the law mandates. 

So how come, after a bank stands mute as customers are robbed, do they get “deferred prosecution?”

I ask these questions after this week’s decision by the feds to merely fine JPMorgan Chase for failing to report their very real suspicions about mega-fraudster Bernard Madoff. No criminal charges, no one is held responsible and faces jail time – just $2.5 billion in fines and penalties for an organization, that experts say, will likely make as much as $23 billion in profit this year.

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Death On-The-Job Dips For Cops

by Diane Dimond on January 6, 2014

Deputy Wyatt Earp circa mid 1800’s

Not since the days when Wyatt Earp worked the Wild West wearing a badge and a gun has there been such good news for law enforcement.

The number of federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers in the U.S. who died in the line of duty last year dropped to a total of 111. Think about that. In the whole United States of America we lost only 111 officers during 2013. That’s the lowest number since 1959.

The most encouraging news in the latest report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) is seen in the death-by-gun category. At a time when there is so much worry about rampant gun deaths only 33 officers, nationwide, lost their lives in the line of duty due to a firearm fatality. The number would have been even lower had it not been for a former Los Angeles cop named Christopher Dorner who went on a shooting spree last February and killed four people, including three L.A. police officers. [click to continue…]

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