Colorado movie theatre shooting

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:46 pm

I have to agree Petty, there is one thing the press using the story to sell newspapers and tv stories etc, and us as individuals trying to make sense of it in a forum for serious discussions. Trying to avoid discussions like this on the grounds that it somehow empowers the killer is ridiculous. sorry.

As a side note Humans have always gawped at the macabre, ever since the Romans fed the Christians to the lions and until relatively recently in history people went to see hangings and the 'lunatics' in Bedlam as entertainment, there is something in us that cant take our eyes off a bloody scene even if it makes us sick to the stomach, its something that I cannot explain logically.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:21 pm

Okay - you've got me gawping!

So, what you're saying Petty is, we 'learn' something about 'mental health' from watching sensationalist, speculative, imaginative, semi-factual tales as presented on the news!

Curious how the young man gave up without a fight. Just like the guy in Norway. I know of similar tales in Australia. If only one cop would gun these pricks down... if only...

You may glean from this that I don't care why the guy did it. There will always be nutcases who do this kind of thing. Each probably a 'special' case. Who cares why? Society has no guard against it. I don't want to know. I don't see what 'good' can be achieved by looking too far into it. Improve the funding for Mental Health Research generally - that may help. But give people like this bare publicity to feed their egos and further torture family and friends, those that remain - and excite copy-cats.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by David H on Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:57 am

Orwell wrote:
Improve the funding for Mental Health Research generally - that may help. But give people like this bare publicity to feed their egos and further torture family and friends, those that remain - and excite copy-cats.

I think you're right on the mark with most of this. In recent years the US government has cut funding for mental health care, and it shows. Also the FCC used to mandate that our news was a community service requirement of any broadcaster, NOT for Profit! With deregulation the news has had to support itself with advertizing, which means that every story gets sensationalized to get the highest possible ratings. That's a recipe for glorification and copy-cats. Evil or Very Mad

Where I don't agree is this:
If only one cop would gun these pricks down... if only...
A few years ago one of the kids I used to work with got a full clip discharged into him by a federal officer for being big and slow and in the wrong place at the wrong time. By all accounts completely unnecessary. I don't believe officers should be put in the execution business. I don't think it's fair to the cops, or to the civilian population. It does NOT make me feel any safer. It only escalates the violence on both sides into more of a war mentality.
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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:53 am

I don't think killing teenagers on a whim (however understandable) is what I'm talking about here, David! Very Happy

If a cop is confronted by a guman who he has seen shooting people drops his gun, then I admire that cop's restraint for not extending the same grace as the gunman meted out on the innocents. If he metes out some instant street justice, my tendancy would be to forgive that lack of restraint.

These cops who gunned down an innocent boy are now in gaol, I assume?

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:03 am

[quote="David H"]
Orwell wrote: A few years ago one of the kids I used to work with got a full clip discharged into him by a federal officer for being big and slow and in the wrong place at the wrong time. By all accounts completely unnecessary. I don't believe officers should be put in the execution business. I don't think it's fair to the cops, or to the civilian population. It does NOT make me feel any safer. It only escalates the violence on both sides into more of a war mentality.

The more I study this comment, the more I think it does not relate (except vaguely) to the case I'm talking about. Suspect


Mmmmm...

Cop: There is a guy pointing a gun at me, what should I do?

Civil Libertarian: Let's have a meeting of all interested parties and see if we can come up with a plan to deal with the current situation, with one eye on preventing circumstances like this in the future, and focussing especially on public safety.

Cop: He has just shot a civilian... Ouch! And now he's got me and I'm bleeding to death...

Civil Libertarian: This is proof germane of my theory that we live in a violent time and that a general militarist mentality rules the collective mind of a too high number of the populace, demographically speaking.

Cop: Could you just ring an ambulance, please?

Civil Libertarian: That's another thing. The Ambulance Service should be here by now. We should have a meeting to address poor response times...

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by David H on Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:00 am

[quote="Orwell"]
David H wrote:
Orwell wrote: A few years ago one of the kids I used to work with got a full clip discharged into him by a federal officer for being big and slow and in the wrong place at the wrong time. By all accounts completely unnecessary. I don't believe officers should be put in the execution business. I don't think it's fair to the cops, or to the civilian population. It does NOT make me feel any safer. It only escalates the violence on both sides into more of a war mentality.

The more I study this comment, the more I think it does not relate (except vaguely) to the case I'm talking about. Suspect

Orwell, this is a very serious discussion in which I think you and I agree more than disagree, both of us based on experiences that probably aren't appropriate to share in detail on this forum. I do respect what you do. I've had friends in law enforcement going all the way back to my best friend's dad when I was a kid (a sergeant in the State Patrol).

But to the point. You said,
Curious how the young man gave up without a fight. Just like the guy in Norway. I know of similar tales in Australia. If only one cop would gun these pricks down... if only...
which seems to imply that you'd favor shooting people who were surrendering.

The young man I was talking about was unarmed and surrendering. He was 20 and I'd known him for 6 years through an after school program. He had no criminal background but happened to be visiting in a house that was being raided by the FBI on weapons charges. He also happened to be 6ft8 (over 3 meters) tall and over 300 pounds so the officer felt threatened. When the officer told him to put his hands up and turn around he moved slowly, so the agent fired. The agent discharged his whole clip because the boy didn't fall. The inquest found the agent at fault. Mistakes happen.

And precisely because mistakes do happen, I think it's inappropriate for officers of the law to shoot people who are attempting to surrender. Especially as they rarely know the whole story at that time.

When these things happen it erodes the line between the good guys and the bad guys. It erodes respect and replaces it with fear. I'd like to see kids growing up respecting police officers like I did, and still do, rather than fearing them. From fear it's easy to progress to that gang war mentality I was referring to, but that's kind of a different point, you're right.

Orwell, we may banter on this forum, but this subject is too serious for that. I want you to know I wouldn't even discuss this subject with you if I didn't respect your opinion.

David


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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by David H on Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:17 am

double post
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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:18 am

Sometimes I may sound light, but my purpose on these Big Bad Chats is generally serious (and deliberately provoking).

Look, I am one whose job calls on me to have all care and all responsibility. It is easier for those who don't deal directly with this sort of stuff but have all care and no responsibility. (I don't mean you, David, I mean those who pontificate and have all the answers and lay all the blame, but go missing when hard decisions are made. You know the type, I'm sure).

If I was in the position (theoretically) of arresting a surrendering individual, I would. I have no stomach for gunning anyone down. But my point about these cowards was well put, I thought.

The idea of anyone shooting a slowly turning person is actually beyond my comprehension. Supreme panic?

I have been in several hairy situations - indeed, only about six weeks ago I received my second Commendation for bravery. I am no stranger to this stuff. Also, I was the lucky one when four of my comrades were shot - none fatally, fortunately. This back in 1999. (My first Commendation). I only mention these things to indicate I have some experience in confronting violent people in highly charged situations. I have remained surprisingly (to me) cool in all the dangerous situations I can think of. I have never shot anyone - though the gun has come out a few times. I have never desired to shoot anyone, though I believe I would in self defence or to protect others. Cops I know who have shot (for good reason) go through hell - mainly because of armchair experts and the chill of seriously injuring someone or taking someone's life. I would not want to go there. I would not want to kill anyone. Give me a warm cup of chocolate, a snuggly bed, and The Hobbit to read anytime.

Why am I ranting? To make sure you know I take these things seriously. And Life seriously. But I despise these fame seeking cowards and feel for their victims - including the loved ones still standing.

And yes, I still would forgive a cop who shot a person who was gunning down people then surrendered when someone offered to return the favour - forgive not necessarily condone.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:24 am

Actually, what would go through one's mind, I wonder, if one saw a guy shoot a kid in front of him, then surrender? Maybe I would pull the trigger after all. Who can tell?

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:28 am

Whilst there is justification in what you say Orwell as a liberal leaning leftie living in a country where the cops are not armed so for the most part neither are the criminals (outide of London anyway which is as good as a seperate state from the rest of the UK these days) I do find it worrying when you say Orwell, "If he metes out some instant street justice, my tendancy would be to forgive that lack of restraint."

My tendency would be to forgive but not to leave it at that. The Law must apply equally to those who enforce it or it is worthless. We have courts and laws to dish out the sentence and the punishment- not the instant judgement of a cop.
In the UK the only police who are armed are dedicated armed response units. The cops who use guns here are in continual training to avoid unneccessary shooting, or fiing out of fear or any of the other things a poor cop, who most likely has not drawn their gun outside of the shooting range, might do when having to respond with potential lethal force. Nor does it seem fair on the average cop that they might have to live with taking a life because of a spilt-second decision in uncertain circumstances. And if subsequent findings show, even if it felt warranted at the time, it was not, the cop can be facing a life time of persecution, or even jail time.
That seems to heavy a burden to put on an individual who is not in a day to day sense trained to react with lethal force.
Arming the average copper seems like madness to me. Allowing cops to mete out on the spot justice even worse.

Orwell to your last point about a guy who shoots a child- thats why its best not give the street cop the gun to make the choice- the trained armed response guys can do that- and they get payed accordingly for it too, unlike the poor street cop who would just get all the shit for it.





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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:42 am

I guess "instant justice" might seem natural at the time. I've been shot at. It's not a nice feeling. You go into an altered state in such highly charged situations. Fortunately, I have been blessed by going into a mindset where everything seems very slow. Very much like when I have been in-the-Zone playing sport. Everything so far has gone okay - I'm still kicking after 22 years - but what would happen, what would I do if my mind were to panic? I don't know what I would be capable of then. Maybe I'd shoot a toddler carrying a stick that in my heightened state seems to be a firearm. Scary.

Luckilly, as I said, I have always gone into a slow-mind plenty-of-time-to-think-state in heoghtened situations ---- though the plenty-of-time-to-think-state is probably not that at all, just tunnel vision under stress.

What I know is, every situation has it's own dynamic. You can't put dangerous situations into a jar that fits all - but I know I can suggest 'better outcomes'; and make moral judgments after the fact, from my armchair, I'm no diffrent to anyone else in that regard.

If a cop shoots someone, it's probably rarely an "instant judgment' come to think, but a sheer reaction to the entirety of what's happening at the time. A rush (and response) to chaos.


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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:45 am

Yes but is that all not a good argument for why street cops should not be armed? And why it should be left to specially trained cops who do nothing else but train for such situations and how to react to them? (and who get payed suitably for it)

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:49 am

I think cops are humans, frail folk like the rest of humanity, and not trained anywhere well enough, but what can you do? Unarmed cops in Australia would be seriously at a disdavantage in the gun-toting society we live in. And could you imagine cops in America going around unarmed? There would be even more cops killed than there are now. Would dangerous felons in gun cultures throw away their guns if cops threw there's away?

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:55 am

But one side feeds the other- if the cops are armed the crims need to be armed. And if arms are freely available to buy in stores then youve a real problem.
I wouldn't know where to begin in getting hold of a gun- and thats true for the average Brit I reckon.
In general I would have to say I prefer it that way as there are no circumstances in my life, and I've been a few tight spots over the years, where having a gun would have improved matters any.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:04 pm

We have tighter gun laws than America, but I wouldn't go on operational duty without my gun. I would feel naked without it - and very vulnerable. As an aside, I'm trained in taser now, and I like having it, as it can be used in a lot of situations that would otherwise be gun day. Of course, there is capsicum spray for dangerous situations short of taser moments. I also have an asp baton. And I'm reasonable good at wrestling - not brilliant though. My best defence, however, is my mouth (though it does tend to get me in trouble here!) It's got me out of more dangerous situations than any of my other tools of trade. You know, it's kind of funny talking about all this. I rarely talk about the tintacks of my job...

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:05 pm

I live in a country where even the traffic wardens have guns, but its very rare to hear of a shooting as the general public dont generally hold guns, only hunters and farmers normally. Here its only the mafia and Albanian bands of criminals that shoot each other, people do get shot by mistaken identity and in the South its sometimes the case where in celebrations people shoot into the air and accidentally kill innocent bystanders. Thankfully though this is quite rare.
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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:07 pm

The cops here have batons, spray and tazers. Only the armed lot get guns.
More or less it seems to work.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:10 pm

Actually, in Australia crims tend to kill each other and it's generally only accidental if your average citizen gets shot --- or someone's wife. It's guys who shoot their wives who are my biggest worry, truth be known. Domestics are the most dangerous jobs you can go to. Baseball bats, knives, machetes, syringes, guns.. eek... Maybe I'm in the wrong job after all. Shocked

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by David H on Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:55 pm

Yeah domestic violence is ugly, and police usually don't even get a think you for stopping it.

Last spring 4 of us were walking back to our boat one night when we heard/saw a man beating his girlfriend with a large stick on a hill above the road. We ran over and stopped it, keeping them engaged until the police arrived. He took our statements and thanked us, explaining the frustration of how there's nothing he can do without witnesses willing to make statements, and usually in domestic situations nobody is willing to speak.

Sad. I really don't envy you your job, but I'm sure grateful somebody is doing it!

I know the feeling of wanting to give this guy a taste of his own stick, and I can see how an officer might be tempted to provoke a confrontation with a murderer like Dirty Harry "Go ahead, make my day!" for exactly the same reason. But I don't trust all cops to make that decision wisely. Some of them are best at desk jobs. I'm sure you know some like that too.
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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:32 pm

David H wrote:I know the feeling of wanting to give this guy a taste of his own stick, and I can see how an officer might be tempted to provoke a confrontation with a murderer like Dirty Harry "Go ahead, make my day!" for exactly the same reason. But I don't trust all cops to make that decision wisely. Some of them are best at desk jobs. I'm sure you know some like that too.

But don't forget the heat of the moment. In the middle of something a cop goes through a host of emotions, which may include fear, horror, anger, sadness, stunned inability to believe what's happening, etc. etc. Every dangerous event is different. The mental and physical reaction of cops (or anyone) is remarkably varied by situation to situation, individual to individual. Saying this should not have happened or that should not have happened is something for experts to discuss over a coffee later on. I also know from personal experience that people can react to situations in ways that to me at the time did not require the reaction they induced. And I too have been asked why I acted in a certain way by other cops with me. Well, because I read the situation at the time the way I did - even if sometimes I haven't been able to properly explain it in the cool (safe) light of day. And me, who has never had a complaint in twenty two years, though I have used force many times to control a volatile situation.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:10 pm

I know policemen and they say the last thing you want is to get in any physical conflict especially with drunks, best staying at arms length unless they take a swing and then you have to drop em with a well aimed punch, or truncheon. well that was in the 70s when you could twat someone without getting sued, I dont know what its like now.
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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by David H on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:16 pm

One of the things that's changed in recent years is all the surveillance cameras, dashboard cams, taser cams, etc., not to mention that every passerby has a video camera in their phone. It's kind of a game changer, isn't it? The officer's report is no longer the final word on what happened at the scene.

One of the things that it's shown time and again is that police officers are amazing at being able to control difficult situations with limited resources. When force is used, it's often less force, and much more controlled, than I'm sure I would have used in the same situation. But then they're professionals. I'm not.

But on the other hand, because I often don't match the neighborhood I'm traveling through, especially when I was in my 20's, I've spent a lot of time being "checked out". From time to time I've been handled roughly when I was doing everything in my power to be respectful and cooperative. I've had batons drawn and holsters unsnapped, and though I've never been beaten or had a gun actually drawn and aimed at me, I know that's mostly just good luck.

Even today, driving a farm truck through certain neighborhoods will get me stopped for half an hour for a dim turn-signal or equivalent, and a very clear message that my type isn't wanted here (though I was going to visit an old friend by invitation).

I try not to judge when I know that I don't have the facts, but from time to time there are cases that do really trouble me, especially where racism seems to play a part. The one that's out there now is of the 68 year old marine who accidentally triggered the alarm for his heart condition, and though he and his family made every effort to cancel the call, the police taunted him for half an hour before breaking down his door and killing him in his own home. I just listened to a lot of the tapes on the radio last week and it's hard to imagine what the officers were thinking. I'd feel safer with these kind of men behind desks.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/09/marine-new-york-police-kenneth-chamberlain



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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:35 pm

It's interesting how the longer I've been a cop the less I've had to wrestle drunks, Mrs Figg. Why?

Let me see.... well, just maybe....???

I don't take abuse as personally quite as much as once I did;

I am (generally) more adroit at getting a drunk into the back of the divvy van nowadays - they don't think very clearly and I can usually have them climbing in the back while they are still attempting to persuade me of their sobriety;

Back at the station the violent (and/or theatrical) have no audience to cheer them on, and many become co-operative for all their drunkeness. The stubbornly violent, however, are greeted by a welcoming committee, which most drunks decide not to offend. The few who want to box on are subdued by weight of numbers but rarely does anyone - including the drunk - get injured. Yes, sometimes are so nasty that a cop gets an injury, and/or the drunk does. For some, capsicum spray does the trick - again, no real harm done. We could leave such drunks in our van to sober up a bit and calm down a bit - sometimes we can, but what if the rest of the community rings the Emergency Line for urgent help?)

I must admit, I have few of the 'troubles' with drunks that some younger cops (and some old fools Rolling Eyes ) have with drunks. For a start I don't try too hard to reason with the unreasonable, or attempt to win a debate. (Drunks in my experience are almost as hard to move from their viewpoint as Petty is! Very Happy )

The extremely aggressive drunk on the street gets dealt with by OC foam or spray, or weight of numbers if it comes to that.

Btw nearly every drunk in my experience, when sobered up and released, claims satisfaction with the service. The naughtier ones are often quite embarrassed and apologetic. The genuine arseholes remain arseholes, of course.

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:52 pm

David H wrote:One of the things that's changed in recent years is all the surveillance cameras, dashboard cams, taser cams, etc., not to mention that every passerby has a video camera in their phone. It's kind of a game changer, isn't it? The officer's report is no longer the final word on what happened at the scene.

One of the things that it's shown time and again is that police officers are amazing at being able to control difficult situations with limited resources. When force is used, it's often less force, and much more controlled, than I'm sure I would have used in the same situation. But then they're professionals. I'm not.

But on the other hand, because I often don't match the neighborhood I'm traveling through, especially when I was in my 20's, I've spent a lot of time being "checked out". From time to time I've been handled roughly when I was doing everything in my power to be respectful and cooperative. I've had batons drawn and holsters unsnapped, and though I've never been beaten or had a gun actually drawn and aimed at me, I know that's mostly just good luck.

Even today, driving a farm truck through certain neighborhoods will get me stopped for half an hour for a dim turn-signal or equivalent, and a very clear message that my type isn't wanted here (though I was going to visit an old friend by invitation).

I try not to judge when I know that I don't have the facts, but from time to time there are cases that do really trouble me, especially where racism seems to play a part. The one that's out there now is of the 68 year old marine who accidentally triggered the alarm for his heart condition, and though he and his family made every effort to cancel the call, the police taunted him for half an hour before breaking down his door and killing him in his own home. I just listened to a lot of the tapes on the radio last week and it's hard to imagine what the officers were thinking. I'd feel safer with these kind of men behind desks.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/09/marine-new-york-police-kenneth-chamberlain





I think what you say is quite true, David. When I work I am always keen to pay respect to everyone I deal with, and am only 'firm' when I see the genuine need to be firm. You sound a bit of a hippy, mind. Laughing Actually, I am myself - at least mentally. (I keep a neat and tidy uniform, mind - don't think I wear flowers or scuffed boots when on duty!*)

You may or may not be surprised to know that I am not always happy with the attitudes of certain police I work with. (I mean does everyone enjoy the company of ALL their workmates?) Luckilly, I am nearly always the Senior man on the van nowadays. So things are done my way - which includes showing younger members how to behave professionally - and how to ease up on the arrogance. (Yes, I am arrogant here, but that's because I know I am superior to everyone in Forumshire and look down down my nose at all of you Nod But note: I'm never here while on duty!)

And as to 'stereotyping', I am not prone to it. It smacks of shallow thinking to me - and is not 'practical' thinking, even if certain fools think it is; even though hippies are all drug addicts, gun runners, and underminers of all things Decent and Legal - including questioning Authority! Shocked


*Of course, I let my hair down a bit here in Forumshire. And as to to stereotyping - it's my greatest joy here! Though always tongue in cheek. I love human diversity; though human ideological thinking is something I'll always pillory and prod and poke with a passion - whether Left, Right or Middle!)

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Re: Colorado movie theatre shooting

Post by David H on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:24 am

Orwell wrote:You sound a bit of a hippy, mind. Laughing

hippies are all drug addicts, gun runners, and underminers of all things Decent and Legal - including questioning Authority! Shocked

Yes Sir! That's a brilliant bit of stereotyping, Sir. Is there anything else I can do for you before I go, Sir? Wink
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