Author Archives: Jason Pye

The more things change…

I’m watching Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life and there was a quote from her from 1979 that I think rings so true today:

“I want to make something clear, I am not a conservative. I think that today’s conservatives are worse than today’s liberals. I think that they are, if anyone destroys this country, it will be the conservatives because they do not know how to preach capitalism, to explain it to the people…because they do nothing except apologize and because they are all altruists. They are all based on religious altruism and on that combination of ideas, you cannot save this country.”

That is the state of the Republican Party today.

Informant cries foul

Fox 5 is reporting that the informant involved in the Kathryn Johnston never went to her home and he claims that the police are lying. You can watch the video here.

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington is taking action:

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington has put the entire narcotics unit on administrative leave while several agencies conduct an investigation about the shooting of an 88-year-old woman.

Officials said the FBI will lead an investigation into the fatal shooting of an elderly Atlanta woman during a drug raid last week. The announcement was made by Pennington at a news conference Monday, where he was joined by officials from the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office, the GBI and District Attorney Paul Howard.

Shooting shows need for reform

Instapundit has some information that is worth reading on the shooting involving Kathryn Johnson, including some observations by Radley Balko:

According to the Atlanta assistant chief of police:

1) The search warrant was in fact a no-knock warrant.

2) Police claim there was an undercover buy at the residence. The seller was apparently a man — obviously not Ms. Johnston.

3) “Suspected narcotics” were seized from the home, and have been sent to a crime lab for analysis. The assistant chief wouldn’t say how much of the suspected narcotics they found.

4) He also wouldn’t speculate if Johnston herself was involved in dealing drugs, or knew if drugs were being dealt from her home, saying only that both were “under investigation.”

5) He maintains that despite the no-knock warrant police still announced themselves before entering, though he acknowledged moments later that the announcement came as police were battering down the door.

It isn’t at all difficult to see how a 92-year old woman may not have heard or comprehended the announcement.

A reader reminds me that the incident is pretty similar to a police shooting in Alabama this past June, where an innocent, elderly man was shot when police forced entry into his home while looking for his nephew. The man — who had done nothing wrong — also mistook the officers for criminal intruders, and met them with a gun. Fortunately, he survived.

Even assuming the controlled buy, the incident still illustrates the folly of these raids. Paramilitary tactics don’t defuse violent situations, as police groups and their supporters sometimes claim. They create them. They make things more volatile for everyone — cops, suspects, and bystanders. Does anyone honestly believe that Ms. Johnson would have opened fire had a couple of uniformed officers politely knocked on her door, showed her a warrant, and asked if they could come inside?

Violating the sanctity of the home with a violent, forced entry — all to enforce laws against consensual acts — simply isn’t compatible with any honest notion of a free society.

This situation is similar to the Cory Maye case in Mississippi, except Maye didn’t get killed, a police officer in the raid did.

The biggest issue at hand is is the use of “no-knock” warrants (more at Wikipedia). This woman lived in a less than great neighborhood, she had bars on her doors and the fact that she was 92 years old…I cannot fault her for opening fire when she heard someone trying to come through her door. I also cannot fault the police for returning fire.

I can fault the Supreme Court though. Earlier this year the court decided that the use of no-knock warrants was constitutional. I told myself when I read the ruling, “people are going to die because of this.”

Of course there is always the underlying issue of the drug war. Which is an issue I try to avoid with my non-libertarian friends. Most of them seem to believe that legalization is approval. I’ve always said that the Libertarian Party needed to moderate it’s stance on the drug war, if not shut up about it. The shooting of Kathryn Johnson should be an eye opener, it has been for me. We need an open and honest debate of the facts and put every possible solution on the table as means to fix the problem and save the lives of innocent individuals that are caught in middle.

Hello all…

First let me say thanks to Brad for allowing me to post here. This is a blog that has been a regular read for me for a several months now and I’m honored to be given the privilege to post here.

As Brad has said, I have my own site, JasonPye.com, which is a blog which is generally focused on my home county and Georgia politics. I live in a very “red” county and my blog has become a source of news to my community, so it’s hard for me to get into libertarian and capitalist philosophy. I also contribute to Peach Pundit, a blog dedicated to Georgia politics.

I look forward to posting here so I can get more into libertarian philosophy in current events.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go watch the third season of Bullshit! that came in the mail today.

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