Diverting 911 Funds

Cash-strapped states raid 911 funds

More than $200 million collected from cell phone users for upgrades to the 911 system has been diverted in the last two years to plug state budget holes, keep campaign promises and, in at least one case, buy police uniforms, an Associated Press analysis has found.

Never, ever rely only on the authorities to keep you safe or help you when you need it. Especially if anyone in power has campaign promises to keep.

Oregon, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Tennessee are among the states that have dipped into their 911 money recently. New York and Rhode Island have been diverting their funds for at least five years. States started collecting the funds in the 1990s.

In the fiscal year that ended in June 2008, Rhode Island collected $19.4 million in 911 fees and used $5.8 million for 911. The rest went to the state’s general fund.

If only politicians would make campaign promises to upgrade the 911 system, they could raid the 911 upgrade funds to keep their promise to upgrade the 911 system.

BB Gun Shooting Spree

From May in Hawaii:

Just after 8 o’clock [on Friday, May 29th], police say 20-year old Michael Danner and 21-year old Daniel Womack… were driving around in Miliani armed with a high-powered BB gun. They allegedly shot a woman near Walmart, who was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Police say the two men then made their way toward Wahiawa and opened fire at businesses and shot several people. A witness took down the license plate number and police caught up with them near the intersection of Mango and Kilani streets.

Wahiawa residents say it’s an ongoing problem. Their homes and businesses have been used for BB gun target practice for years.

I had been expecting it to be kids. But 20 and 21-year-olds? Give me a break.

Double Tap Airsoft Exercise

An airsoft enthusiast blends in with his surroundings to take a shot on his enemies during Hawaii\'s first airsoft military simulation exercise, hosted by Double Tap, a Hawaii airsoft team comprised of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Marines and sailors Dec. 13. The five-hour exercise featured several real-life combat scenarios for the airsoft enthusiasts to react to.  Photo Date Taken: 12/13/2008  Unit: Marine Forces Pacific  Photo ByLine: Lance Cpl. Cristina Noelia Gil
An airsoft enthusiast blends in with his surroundings to take a shot on his enemies during Hawaii's first airsoft military simulation exercise, hosted by Double Tap, a Hawaii airsoft team comprised of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Marines and sailors Dec. 13. The five-hour exercise featured several real-life combat scenarios for the airsoft enthusiasts to react to. Photo Date Taken: 12/13/2008 Unit: Marine Forces Pacific Photo ByLine: Lance Cpl. Cristina Noelia Gil
Jason Wright, a former soldier and airsoft enthusiast, prepares to take down an enemy during a military simulation exercise held by Double Tap, an airsoft organization founded by Marines and sailors of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Members of the Hawaii airsoft community were invited to take on the members of Double Tap in a series of combat scenarios.  Photo Date Taken: 12/13/2008  Unit: Marine Forces Pacific  Photo ByLine: Lance Cpl. Cristina Noelia Gil
Jason Wright, a former soldier and airsoft enthusiast, prepares to take down an enemy during a military simulation exercise held by Double Tap, an airsoft organization founded by Marines and sailors of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Members of the Hawaii airsoft community were invited to take on the members of Double Tap in a series of combat scenarios. Photo Date Taken: 12/13/2008 Unit: Marine Forces Pacific Photo ByLine: Lance Cpl. Cristina Noelia Gil

No Barretts at the Luau?

Hula Dancer

No Hawaii .5-0

Rustmeister: Ronnie G. Barrett, Man of Principle

Here is the letter Mr. Barrett sent to the chief of the Honolulu Police Department in response to said department’s push to ban the .50 caliber rifle.

Money (as in $$$) quote from the letter:

If Hawaii or any state bans the sale of the .50-caliber rifle, we will immediately stop the sale and service of all Barrett products to that state’s government agencies.

Kim du Toit says Tit For Tat.

There are so many crimes and drive-by gangland shootings with .50 caliber weapons, you know. And something needs to be done about the rising numbers of accidental deaths from .50 caliber mishaps in the home.

It’s for the kids.

Strong Opposition to Hawaii HB 2999

Via Alphecca: Mark Plischke, Legislative Co-Chair for the Hawaii Rifle Association, publishes some clear criticism of some omnibus gun control legislation being considered in the Aloha State. In particular, I noticed this:

2) The requirement that a purchaser of ammunition provide proof of ownership of a firearm for the ammo being purchased arose 2 sessions ago. There was “room filling and overwhelming” opposition to this issue, and the citizens of Hawaii have already made their opposition to this idea well known.

This is utterly ridiculous. As I’ve said before, gun control advocates are waking up to the fact that they’ve lost most of the battles to take the guns, so now they’re targeting the ammunition. I expect this campaign will be waged on many fronts simultaneously, with some going after “assault weapon”-type ammo on the grounds that “no one needs military ammunition,” some will go after the basic right to buy ammo (as seen here in Hawaii HB 2999), some will go the “serialize the bullets” route as seen in the just-derailed Hawaii SB 2020, and finally others trying to limit the amount of ammunition any one individual can buy.

On Monday, Dr. Maxwell Cooper, another Legislative Co-Chair for the Hawaii Rifle Association also published opposition to HB 2999, in particular arguing against limits on .50 BMG rifles.