Friday, May 15, 2009

Hot and humid today, and I'm beat,

so I'm just going to point out some things. First, from the Real Gun Guys, a response to Jimmeh Carter's blathering:
Isn't it interesting that the same people who say us peasants have no business owning 'assault weapons' because 'they're only for spraying bullets and murdering groups of people' have no problem with cops of all stripes running around with them? Apparently they don't have a problem with minions of the state who are armed to spray bullets and murder groups of people. Kind of like how they keep pushing for 'smart' guns that only the owner can fire, but always exempt law enforcement from having to use them.

Also from these folks, a note that 911 isn't to be counted on in Australia, either:
“Seven times, teenage hiker David Iredale used his cell phone to call Australia’s equivalent of 911, pleading for rescue after he became lost in tough scrubland and ran out of water in 100-degree heat.

Each time he got through, he was told he needed to give a street address before an ambulance could be sent. Shortly after the final call, Ireland collapsed and died of thirst.

An inquiry into the 2006 death of the 17-year-old exposed deep flaws in the country’s emergency response system, including what a coroner called an astonishing lack of empathy by the operators who took his increasingly desperate calls for help
As Lawdog might put it, sweet suffering Shiva, how the hell difficult would it be to grab a supervisor, or just call the cops and get the work started and to hell with the damn computer demanding an address?
Milovanovich's 35-page report released Thursday recounts the calls, and Iredale's rising anguish as time and again operators "interrogated" him about a street name that could be entered into the service's computer. He could only name the walking trail and Katoomba, the town where the trio began their trek.

On the third call, an obviously distressed Iredale tells operator Laura Meade: "I'm lost. I need water. I haven't had water for a long period of time."

She interrupts him to ask, "Sir, do you need an ambulance?" When he says yes, Meade asks for a suburb and street name, which prompts Iredale to yell that he is not in a town. Then the connection drops out.

Iredale called back and cried out, "Hey, this is an emergency ... emergency!" before the line dropped out again.

During the final call, Iredale, groaning audibly and breathing heavily, tells the operator he had fainted and needed a helicopter, Milovanovich's report says. She put him on hold twice before then line dropped out.

After this call, ambulance officials contacted the police and the two services began cooperating on a search. Police planes flew over the area, and a major ground search began

The mind just boggles. I used to dispatch for a LE agency; if I'd handled a call like this, I'd have lost my ass for it.

Milovanovich said he did not want to criticize the individual ambulance operators, instead blaming a system he said did not allow them to override a computer that demanded a street name before an ambulance could be dispatched.

"The relentless focus of all the call-takers in further attempting to establish an address or precise location, having regard to the nature of the calls, was astonishing," Milovanovich said
Oh God no, can't hold them responsible. At all.
David's father, Stephen Iredale, declined to criticize the ambulance service but said he hoped the inquiry would help prevent anyone suffering a similar fate to his son.

"We hope that this will result in a useful legacy for David," he told reporters after the coroner's report was released
This gentleman is far more understanding, or something, than I. I'd be wanting the heads of the people involved. And damn right I'd be criticizing the ambulance service. At the top of my lungs. This was a disgusting failure, and the people involved ought to pay a price for it. SOMEONE DIED OF THIRST, and when they weren't putting him on hold they repeatedly asked for the street address of someone lost in the bush.

And last, Kevin has a post on the Reasoned Discourse™ he's been carrying on with a guy in Scotland. Who says, among other things,
...But if like me you see the right to own a gun as a relatively meaningless, one-dimensional freedom, and thus interpret the banning of handguns as merely a minor disappointment to the minority of people concerned, then it's obviously perfectly rational to put those people through some inconvenience even if it will only save a very small number of lives.
Translation: "Screw that the right to arms is a basic human right, screw all the people who do defend themselves and others with arms; sometimes evil people do bad things, therefore your rights mean nothing.

It's a long piece, so take a drink. And note this, which I will steal without regret and post here because even if you don't read Kevin's whole piece, you need to read this:
"Former Chief Inspector Colin Greenwood of the West Yorkshire Constabulary, an acknowledged authority on gun control in the UK, from his report Evaluating Britain's Handgun Ban (PDF):
We could fill page after page with statistics and do little more than confuse the true picture. Let me suggest that if something as Draconian as the handgun ban was to have any effect at all, it would show in the six years following the ban taking effect. If we look at a period of six years before the ban and six years after, as in Table 2, and consider the use of pistols alongside other weapons favoured by criminals, we might see the real effect the ban.

If we average out the total homicide figures for the six years before 1997 and the six years after (ignoring the Dr Shipman cases*), we see that homicide has increased from an average of 706 to 825 and despite yearly fluctuations, the figure is steadily upwards. This is also so with homicide involving firearms, where the six−year average has grown from 61 to 72 and again with a steady upward trend. The use of shotguns, however, has fallen from an average of 20 down to 11 and sawn−off shotguns from 9 down to 5, but the use of pistols has increased from an average of 29 to 42. But in none of these cases does 1997 mark a watershed. Trends that began long before 1997 have continued entirely unchanged.

In Table 3, increases in the total robbery figure are much more marked and much more consistent and the firearms robbery figures tell us more about the impact of the handgun ban. Contrary to many claims, the use of firearms in robbery did not increase after the 1997 Act; it fell slightly from a six−year average of 4700 to 4100. The use of shotguns fell more sharply, but the use of pistols also fell, though by only a small amount.

Looking at the figures in Table 3 will show, however, that these trends were well under way before the 1997 Act and there is no way that the changes can be attributed to that law. The only possible conclusion is that the handgun ban was a complete and pathetic irrelevance to protecting the British public from armed criminals. It has not changed a pattern of increases in crime that existed before the ban. (bold mine)

Here's a report from one of The Experts, stating flatly that the ban was a waste of time and money(not to mention trashing the rights of freeborn Englishmen, to borrow a phrase) and their government didn't care; because what they wanted to do, even without real cause, was disarm the British people.

And much good that's done, hasn't it?


Fire said...

F*CK the computer and F*CK the woman who took the call, STUPID BITCH!

I hope to hell she has nightmares for the rest of her damn life. May God show no mercy on her.

Windy Wilson said...

I'm with Fire on this, I hope the woman resigns as an operator because she is disturbed by this, but I doubt she has enough conscience to even think twice about it.

As to the second issue:
"because what they wanted to do, even without real cause, was disarm the British people.

And much good that's done, hasn't it?"

I think the purpose of the ban has been met perfectly. It's not about safety, it's about infantizing adults, taking away the power of "freeborn Englishmen" to do for themselves what the "anointed ones" want them to have to beg government to do for them.
Mark Steyn has a[nother] excellent essay based on a speech he gave last month at Hillsdale College on that very issue.
Children do not make decisions regarding their lives, and every action of the formerly great Britan has been to ensure that the only decisions their erstwhile adult citizens can make is what CD to buy, and with the British Government sending people around to homes to do an audit of refrigerator contents, I wonder how long before there will be regulations on that.

Daniel Newby said...

A bit more empathy with the operators is in order. They all failed in precisely the same way. It is almost impossible that personal inattention or stupidity could have produced such a string of cookie cutter mistakes. As far as I can tell, this is a case of conscientious people following their training as best they could.

Anger should be directed at the bureaucrats who failed in their leadership duty to look at the big picture, who developed hidebound procedures without thinking through the possible failure modes. Those folks need their three-ring training manuals and clipboards shoved up their asses. Sideways.

Firehand said...

Daniel, I tried. I keep coming back to the idiocy of following the book after they've been told multiple times that he wasn't in a town or on a street, and my sympathy dries up.

I fully understand following training; I also know that there are times you just call who you need to and say "We've got a big problem" and deal with it. Or call a supervisor and say "The book doesn't cover it, and this guy's in trouble."

I have no disagreement on the idiots who put this training together; they sound like someone I used to know who thought if he put enough rules down, nobody could make a mistake. Which, of course, not only ignored the "Well, THIS is new" factor, but that attitude causes other problems as well.

Fire said...

Another thing, she's supposed to be a HUMAN BEING, FIRST! After that, she can be a computer all she wants. How hard is it to say, "Okay, do you know where you're at? Tell me what you see."? I just typed it out and it wasn't that hard, speaking it would be easier.

If people need a computer to tell them how to help someone in need, then we're in bad shape as a society.

the pistolero said...

And the Australians are just as lost as those in the benighted British Isles. I am currently involved in a discussion in another forum with someone who thinks Australian gun laws are "reasonably strict," who seems to think the average law-abiding citizen is a criminal-in-waiting, and who doesn't seem to understand the concept of liberty being inherently dangerous.

"Well I was thumbin' from Montgomery, had my guitar on my back, when a stranger stopped beside me in an antique Cadillac..."

Ride Fast said...

It's also hard to imagine how that 911 computer system got approved for use. I can think of several common scenarios where a person reporting an emergency can't or doesn't know a street or address.

Appalling lack of common sense.