Monday, September 19, 2011

Dumbass Letters the JT Prints

A gloomy Monday doesn't need dumbass letters in the Journal Times to make the day more painful. Today, we have two:

First, a prize by Mount Pleasant's Gary Dulek. This letter is so dumb that the various treads of dumbness interweave like an Escher drawing of a staircase that keeps leading you back to the origins of dumbness from which one cannot escape. Concealed handgun prohibitions for businesses and employers is his topic and he gets basically the entire thing wrong.

The JT working overtime to fact-check nothing once again... 

Let's start with what he got right. Dulek states in the new conceal & carry handgun law gives immunity to businesses who permit the concealed carry of handguns on their property or in their premises. This is true.

If you are in Mileager's and some asshole carrying a licensed handgun trips over the bird seed and accidentally discharges his weapon and shoots your 10 year old - Mileager's is immune from the liability. Don't you feel safer?

Or - say you are in a grocery store attending a meet & greet with your local Congressperson and some asshole decides to shoot them in the head. Everyone else whips out their pistols and before you know it, Grandma is dead in a pool of blood by the avocados. Piggly Wiggly is not to blame.

So the law is written to protect Mileager's and Piggly Wiggly from assholes with guns who may - for various reasons - decide to discharge their weapon. We are sure they will feel really bad about little Justin and Grandma.

However where Dulek is completely and dangerously wrong is assuming that if you are a business or an employer and post a "no handguns on premises" and a gun fight breaks out - your business is automatically liable for the collateral damage that occurs. Wrong. Dumb. Dangerous.

He states:
"That little sign implies that people will be safe on their property and measures have been taken to keep everyone safe. Personal protection isn't needed because we told people that weapons are prohibited in this building. Can you imagine the cost to localities, business owners and insurance companies when someone is hurt?"
This is simply not true. Just because the new law adds an immunity clause if you allow handguns doesn't mean it also adds a new liability if you choose to prohibit handguns. It says nowhere in the statute that businesses and employers are tacitly expressing any reasonable degree of safety by posting a handgun prohibition.

Nothing regarding present day liabilities change once the law goes into effect. You will have no more or no less liability as a business should a gun be discharged on your premises than you do today. 

This attempt to frighten store owners and employers into accepting handguns onto their property or in their stores is shear dumbassery and the JT should have checked it before they allowed it to be printed. The Siren for one will appreciate shopping in a store which requires people to leave their guns in their car.

Okay, second dumbass letter of the day.

This one is from regular contributor, Angelo Karamitos. Angelo who the general manager for Master Brew coffee vending company in Racine. Angelo writes letters from time to time and he is usually brief - which is nice. Angelo doesn't like to spend money on the library, he isn't so high on public schools, he doesn't think much of firemen and he doesn't care for the mayor.

Today, Karamitos makes the case to recall Racine Mayor, John Dickert. This marks the first time a mention of the widely rumored campaign has made it to print. The Siren has no problem with Mr. Karamitos opinion and we all know people have been threatening it around City Hall and Labor Fest.

Since the idea has made it to print, we shall revisit why it is such a dumbass idea that will never work.

The Siren wrote back in July that such an effort will require around 8000 signatures because the number to trigger a recall is based on gubernatorial vote percentages not votes for Mayor. (5600 specifically, and if you count in challenges etc. the Siren wouldn't go to the GAB with less than 8000.)

When you look at votes cast for mayor by comparison, the challenger, Eric Marcus pulled in an anemic 4200 votes on election day. Doubling the number of votes cast in recall signatures is simply not happening. A Mayor who got more than 70% of the popular vote is not going to be recalled even IF you did get the signatures.

Lastly, the burden for cause is higher for local municipal officials than it is for state officials. The reason for recall must be related to the execution of official responsibilities - unlike state and federal recall guidelines. While the GAB favors the electorate, none of Karamikos reasons seem to meet even the most lenient interpretation of the requirement.
~Jobs? Sad but not impeachable.
~The candy shop? Please, it was a past policy the council chose to overlook and he withdrew the veto.
~The Oasis? That's a committee recommendation and the new business put in a better bid.
~City contracts? A total non-starter. Not liking the outcome of settling contracts up for renewal is going nowhere. It passed 11-3 which doesn't make Dickert look even close to having vacated his official responsibilities.

More clever observers (which poor Angelo is not one of) are pining their hopes on the slander case. This angle may be more promising but it all hinges on the outcome of the case. If Dickert wins, they got bupkis. Who even knows when it would be settled?

However, the irony is that those pressing the case are saying he wasn't acting as Mayor, but as a candidate. It would be tricky to go back and file a recall case based on official responsibilities, wouldn't it?