Monday, November 3, 2014

Poorly engineered weapons like the Lorcin 9mm are typically shunned by hobbyists and law enforcement because they pose a safety risk.

“They’re so cheap they could blow up in your hand,” said Pat Popolizio, owner of Taylor & Vadney Sporting Goods in Rotterdam. “I wouldn’t take one simply because of the safety risk.”

That doesn’t stop criminals from coveting Lorcins and other cheap guns sometimes referred to as Saturday night specials. Lorcin 9 mm handguns sold new for roughly $150 and now have an approximate value of about $60, low enough to make them popular among street thugs.

“It’s just a low-end 9 mm with real cheap ammunition,” Popolizio said. “And unfortunately, it’s a favorite among gangsters.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The high cost of free speech in NWI:

The First Amendment to the US Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
One of many Americans’ most valuable inalienable rights, is the right to free speech, right? Well I thought so until a few years ago. But in NWI, more specifically Gary and Hammond, we find the right to free speech often comes at a price. The high costs of freely expressing one’s opinions publicly are often met with some form of retaliation. The Constitution does not intend for us to be allowed to speak freely, but then be subject to reprisals by the government at which criticisms are being directed. It surely means that we Americans should be able to publicly criticize our government—either local or national—without the fear of reprisal.
Too bad this is not the case in NWI. In NWI, if you plan to exercise your right of free expression, you had better be prepared to field some kind of flak from whomever your criticisms are directed towards. This type of intimidation has been relatively effective. This tactic probably explains the reluctance of individuals or groups to openly be critical of their local government officials.
There have been numerous instances of local government officials abusing their powers of office to intimidate those who are critical of their performance or behavior. There have been illegal searches of private property. There have been many times when code enforcement has been used as a weapon to silence critics of different local administrations. There have been personal attacks against the character of individuals that opt to vocalize their opinions that local officials find displeasing. There have been either threats to litigate, or at times, even legal actions brought against private citizens that choose to speak their minds freely. There have been statements made which some individuals perceive to be threats to their well-being. There have been numerous cases of individuals that are critical of local officials being harassed by the police.
Citizens should not have to live in fear of these various types of retaliation just for voicing or otherwise expressing their opinions.
There is something very wrong when local government officials can tap the city’s coffers to hire attorneys to silence their critics or use the full resources of the government bodies over which they temporarily preside to intimidate certain members of the public.
This type of behavior is the province of tyrants; the likes of Hitler, Stalin, or Kim Jong IL. Our forebears fought to be Americans because we refused to submit to this kind of oppression.
So don’t now let it get a toehold in our own backyard! Speak freely. Speak truthfully. Speak fearlessly.  And speak as often and as loudly as necessary to communicate your views to your desired audience. Don’t let them bully you into submission! Be heard! Be seen! Be read! Be “liked”! Be “friended”! Tweet! Text! Message! Email! Network! Converse! Communicate with any and every tool at your disposal!