Shanks, Shivs, and Sliming

Life behind the bars and miles of looping razor wire of our country’s prisons and jails is not an easy existence. Not only do the inmates have to deal with the emotional stresses associated with being away from their families and homes, they have to adjust to living inside a six-by-nine concrete box. Sometimes, they even share that claustrophobic enclosure with one or two other prisoners.

Tensions can run high as the men and women in these institutions struggle to survive.  Sometimes, they find themselves fighting for their very lives. To assist them in their efforts to stay alive, inmates make weapons out of whatever materials they can find.

Prisoners are quite creative it comes to making their weapons. They’ve used material such as, toothbrushes, metal of any kind, rocks, glass, wire, newspaper, plastic, nails and screws, ping-pong balls filled with lighter fluid, bars of soap, padlocks, and even human feces.

A weapon made from a nail and electrical tape.

 

A large spike wrapped with tape and string.

Three nails and a piece of steel make for a nice punching/stabbing weapon.

A shank made from a piece of plastic. Tape is wrapped around the handle.

Stabbing, cutting, puncturing, and striking weapons.

Inmates often fill toothpaste tubes with feces and urine. Then they squirt the foul mixture on passing guards, or other enemies. This is known as sliming.

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of the officers who sacrificed everything to keep us safe.

Officer Jennifer Lynn Sabena, 30

Wauwatosa Wisconsin Police Department

December 24, 2012 – While working the midnight shift, Officer Jennifer Sabena stopped to take a short break at a local fire station. As she exited the building she was ambushed and was shot twice in the back of the head. The suspect then took the officer’s service weapon and used it to shoot her three more times. The shooter was her husband. He has since been arrested and charged with murder.

Corporal Jimmie Norman, 53

Bellaire Texas Police Department

December 24, 2012 – Corporal Jimmie Norman was shot and killed while attempting to take a combative suspect into custody. A civilian who tried to assist the officer was also shot and killed.

Officer Norman is survived by his wife and children.

 
*123 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty this year. 47 of those have been killed by gunfire.

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The Thompson Sub-Machine Gun

thompson-machine-gun.JPG

This is what it looks like to peer down-range from behind a Thompson fully-automatic sub-machine gun. You can actually see a spent cartridge ejecting at the lower right-hand side of the picture, just above the major’s right elbow.

The Thompson is an extremely heavy weapon that’s capable of firing 600-900 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition per minute. And let me tell you, that’s fast. The experience of firing one of these babies is like no other. I took this photo and was peppered with gunpowder during each burst of gunfire, even from the distance where I stood, which was as you see it. I didn’t use the zoom.

We took this shot in a controlled situation while wearing full protective gear, and employing other safety precautions. I say this because I don’t recommend this method of photography. It’s not safe. Gee, the things we do for research.

The Thompson was extremely popular in the 1920s among both law enforcement and gangsters alike. The notorious John Dillinger and his gang amassed an arsenal of these “Chicago Typewriters.” The FBI and other agencies, such as the NYPD, also put Tommy Guns to use in their efforts to battle crime. In fact, the weapon became so popular in law enforcement circles it earned another nickname, The Anti-Bandit Gun.

Here’s a brief video of the Thompson, complete with a 100 round drum magazine, in action.

Imagine one of these in the wrong hands.

 

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Gun Violence: Is There A Solution?

We had out-of-town friends visit us yesterday, and it was embarrassing, and sad, that we had to advise them against following GPS directions in order to avoid certain areas of the city. But, it was a necessary evil due to the number of seemingly random shootings that have occurred there over the past few months. Of course, several of the gang-related killings were accidental shootings—the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. But dead is dead, no matter how the unfortunate person became a murder victim.

Our police chief seems to be doing everything humanly possible to combat the gun violence, including assigning a special task force to work nothing but gang-related crimes. He’s saturated the trouble areas with patrol cars, officers on foot, undercover officers, and more. He’s even asked council to approve the hiring of dozens of new police officers. The same is true for surrounding jurisdictions.

Still, the shootings continue…and continue, and continue.

For example (just this week alone):

– local deputies conducted a traffic stop where the driver jumped out of the van and began firing a revolver at the officers.

– narcotics agents arrested a drug dealer who was carrying a .22 pistol containing a 100 round magazine.

– a man came home for the holidays, and then shot and killed his mother before taking his own life.

– a man walking in a local park was robbed at gunpoint, and after handing over his money, he was shot by the robber. The victim, a convicted felon, then pulled his own weapon and returned fire.

– a man broke into a local residence and forced the homeowner to the floor at gunpoint.

– a man walking down the street on his way to a store was shot and killed.

– a man dressed as Santa Claus robbed a downtown bank at gunpoint.

– a suspect wearing a black hoodie robbed a grocery store at gunpoint.

The good news is that our overall crime is down from 2011. The bad news, though, is that gun-related crime is up—over double the number of the same type of crimes in 2011.

So what’s the answer? After all, the chief of police in our city has already attempted, with no luck, to reduce gun-related crimes by increasing the number of good guys with guns.

Will new, more restrictive gun laws do any good? How about banning large capacity magazines?

If more restrictions/laws are enacted, will the bad guys then suddenly come to their senses and begin obeying the law? Will they stop using high-powered rifles with 100 round magazines, and pistols with 30 round capacities, as their murder-weapons of choice?

Honestly, I don’t see a good, solid solution to the problem. However, I know we have to do something, and we have to start somewhere. But where?

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