Friday, July 03, 2015


… did the late Tommie Woodward not understand?

After a several drinks Thursday night in the bar at Burkart's Marina in Orange, Texas, Tommie Woodward,28, and his girlfriend decided to take a post-midnight dip in Adam’s Bayou. The barkeep and several other people told the couple that no swimming was allowed in the bayiu and there was a prominent “No Swimming / Alligators” sign on the marina premises.

Ah, but you know what one too many drinks will do. Ignoring the warnings and the sign, Tommie took off his shoes and sox and jumped off a dock into the bayou. Almost immediately after he hit the water, Tommie began to scream and disappeared in the jaws of an alligator. His girlfriend – ah, what one too many will do – jumped in, apparently to rescue the now departed Tommie Woodward. She climbed out unhurt.

Orange County sheriff's deputies and a Texas game warden found Tommie’s mangled body nearby at about 4:30 Friday morning, some two hours after the alligator attack was reported to the Orange Police Department.

Now we have a teaching moment. Don’t go swimming where a sing clearly states “No Swimming / Alligators.” Don’t go swimming where people warn you there is no swimming allowed. And most of all, do not go swimming anywhere when you’ve had one drink too many.

Thursday, July 02, 2015


CIA Director John Brennan is “deeply concerned” that positions held at the upper levels of the intelligence agency do not reflect America

The political correctness police have struck again. This time their target was the CIA.

A yearlong study commissioned by the CIA and led by CIA advisory member Vernon Jordan, a longtime black civil rights activist, was highly critical of the lack of diversity at the upper levels of the CIA. The study, which was released Tuesday, found that:

The agency does not recognize the value of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, nor consistently promote an inclusive, “speak-up” culture where all opinions are heard, valued, and taken into account.

Agency leaders, managers and supervisors do not prioritize diversity in leadership. This fact is evident at the highest levels of the CIA, wherein the most senior positions - with few notable exceptions - are consistently occupied by white male career officers.

Cia Director John Brennan reacted to the study by telling reporters Tuesday that he was “deeply concerned” about the agency’s lack of diversity. “Without diversity we're not going to be able to do our job,” said Brennan. He vowed the CIA would redouble its efforts to recruit and promote minorities.

Brennan released the following statement:

Achieving that outcome is not only a matter of fairness and integrity, but one that is absolutely critical to CIA’s success. Given our global mission, no government agency stands to benefit more from diversity and inclusion than the CIA.

Excellence in foreign intelligence demands broad perspectives, both in our understanding of a complex world and in our approach to challenges and opportunities. Diversity - of thought, ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences - is essential to CIA’s mission success, and we need it at every level of our enterprise.

Let’s see now. Non-whites (includes Hispanics) make up 30 percent of the general population. Minority employees make up 24 percent of the CIA workforce. 45 percent of CIA employees are women. Now, to me, that comes close to reflecting the diverse population of America.

It is true that with 10.8 percent minorities, the top ranks do not reflect the racial and ethnic diversities in America. There must be a good reason for the lack of diversity in the top ranks, and I do not believe it’s because of discrimination. I suspect the lower ranking minorities simply have not met the skills needed in the upper level positions.

Since its founding in 1947, the mission of the CIA has been to “preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.”

That was then - when the CIA was founded - and this is now. According to Brennan, from now on, the mission of the CIA is to recruit and promote minorities. That will surely make our nation safer.

The CIA is not the New York or Los Angeles police force where diversity at the top is needed to deal with hostile minority communities. If diversity is needed at upper levels of the CIA, then it should consist of Chinese, Russians, Arabs and Iranians to deal with current worldwide threats to the security of the U.S.

Brennan’s statement is a crock of shit meant to appease the political correctness police. It would be nice if there were more ‘qualified’ minorities in upper level positions, but the gathering of intelligence is not dependent on whether whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women or orangutans occupy the senior positions of the CIA. And you can take that to the bank!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


By Craig Malisow

Houston Press
July 1, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week declared all captive chimpanzees "endangered," restricting their use in biomedical research, granting the chimps at San Antonio's Southwest National Primate Research Center more protection.

The Center is one of a handful of federal research facilities housing chimps — it has "more than 129," according to the website — and the endangered declaration has no current impact on them, since there's no ongoing chimp research there, according to a spokeswoman.

Captive chimps were previously listed as "threatened," and the new classification is a response "to growing threats to the species," according to a Fish and Wildllife press release.

Under the new designation, permits for scientific research will only be issued to "purposes that benefit the species in the wild, or to enhance the propagation or survival of chimpanzees, including habitat restoration," the release states.

John Pippin, the Dallas-based director of academic affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which opposes animal testing, praised the decision in a statement on the Committee's site, saying, "Protection under the Endangered Species Act is long overdue for chimpanzees in laboratories. The new status is a tremendous change that ends the unprotected current status of captive chimpanzees."

The endangered designation is the latest chapter in a phasing-out of research chimps. The Institute of Medicine issued a report in 2011 stating that "most current use of chimpanzees for biomedical research is unnecessary." But by that time, more than 200 lab chimps living out their twilight years at a U.S Air Force Base in Alamagordo, New Mexico were called out of retirement and scheduled for transfer to the Southwest National Primate Research Center.

When The Houston Press first wrote about this controversy in 2012, 14 of the chimps had already been transferred; a year later, the National Institutes of Health retired 310 of its chimps.

But scientists at the Southwest National Primate Research Center maintain that chimpanzee testing (as well as other primate testing) has proved beneficial. Southwest Spokeswoman Lisa Cruz told us in an email that "Animal research has saved lives, extended life expectancy, and improved the quality of life for both humans and animals by enabling scientists to conduct critical experiments that identified ways to prevent, treat, and cure disease. Chimpanzees have played a vital role in advancing human health, including critical research with chimpanzees here at [Southwest] in the development of a hepatitis B vaccine and recent breakthroughs in the cure of hepatitis C virus infection."

Pippin, of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, disagreed in his statement: “Chimpanzees have repeatedly proven to be poor models for many areas of human disease research, such as HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases, neuroscience research, and cancer. The new protections for chimpanzees should cause the National Institutes of Health—the country’s largest funder of basic research—to close the door on a dark chapter of its history and expand its investment in non-animal research methods."

The Alamagordo chimps transferred to Southwest had certainly contributed a lot to science. Take Katrina, a 33-year-old chimp who, we wrote in 2012

did most of her time in a private lab in Tuxedo, New York. She has been sedated or anesthetized at least 295 times, endured 36 liver biopsies, four rectal biopsies, three lymph node biopsies and a cervical biopsy. In 1994, after coming out of a ketamine daze, she mutilated her thumb. Between June 2001 and March 2002 (when she was retired), she lost 38.5 pounds — one-third of her body weight.

And we would also be remiss to overlook Ken, who was first used in biomedical research 12 hours after his birth in 1982, when his blood drawn.

Over the next three years, he was studied at Centers for Disease Control labs in Phoenix and Atlanta. He was infected with hepatitis C from a serum derived from infected chimps and with hepatitis A from human feces. He was infected with HIV in 1993.

Ken was retired from medical research in 1996 after undergoing a total of 77 anesthetizations for serial blood sampling and biopsies. In retirement, he remained at the Air Force base in what is known as the Alamogordo Primate Facility. During a routine health exam on Ken in 2005, vets discovered a protein deficiency in his blood that they believe later led to his swollen scrotum and abdomen.

We hope that, if the feds issue any research permits, it really will be worth it. These animals have already been through a lot.


Former Boston mobster Whitey Bulger’s advice to three Lakeville, Massachusetts teenage girls

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the notorious former Boston mobster, was on the lam for 16 years before he was apprehended in California in 2011. In 2013, he was convicted on federal racketeering charges that included his complicity in eleven murders. Bulger, 85, has been roosting in a Florida federal lockup pending an appeal of his conviction.

Three 17-year-old students at Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, Massachusetts chose to write Bulger as part of a nationwide school contest. They requested his opinion on his legacy and advice on leadership. To their amazement, Brittany Tainsh, Michaela Arguin and Mollykate Rodenbush received a handwritten reply which Bulger penned in February. But instead of writing about his legacy and leadership, Whitey advised them not to waste their lives.

Here is what Whitey Bulger wrote:

Feb. 24, 2015

1:10 a.m.

Hello, Brittany:

I’m sorry but I can’t help you with your school project — There are many people more deserving of your time and interests. I’m a myth created by the media to help them generate Revenue and to hurt a relation because they didn’t appreciate his independence and daring to support an agenda they opposed.

May I suggest you and Molly create a website about the heroic service men of Mass. that are patients in, for instance, Walter Reed Veteran Hospital — good men isolated from society due to war wounds — life for some in pain and loneliness — hearing from school girls that care would do wonders for their morale and recovery.

Don’t waste your time on such as I — we are society’s lower, best forgotten, not looked to for advice on “Leadership”. I’m a 9th grade dropout from school and took the wrong road — my brother 5 years younger applied himself in school and worked hard and spent 40 years in Mass State House and retired and was the President of Mass Senate in State House for second term and President of U. Mass after Retirement. Had 9 children all college graduates and 4 lawyers among them. A Better Man than I.

My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame and suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon — Advice is a cheap commodity some seek it from me about crime — I know only thing for sure — If you want to make crime pay — “Go to Law School.”

Brittany Best of Luck in the future to you and Molly and Michaela.

Sincerely James Bulger

While Bulger did not give them what they wanted, he did give them some very good advice. I especially liked the line: I know only [one] thing for sure — If you want to make crime pay — “Go to Law School.” Ain’t that the truth!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Associated Press
June 28, 2015

LOS ANGELES — It all happened in seconds. But those brief moments would forever change life for David Klinger, a self-described “beach kid” who’d dreamt of being a police officer since he was a kid. He’d entered the Los Angeles Police Academy in 1981 with a clear motive. He wanted to try to help make life better for the people of violence-ridden south-central Los Angeles.

Now he was standing with his gun pointed at Edward Randolph, who at 26 was just three years older than himself. Randolph had a butcher knife aimed at the throat of Klinger’s police partner, Dennis Azevedo, who was on the ground trying with all his might to hold back Randolph’s attack.

“Shoot him,” Azevedo cried out to his rookie partner.

Deadly force by police has made headlines from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore. Just this month, a Los Angeles police officer was found “unjustified” in shooting and killing a 25-year-old mentally ill man. Across the country, most officers are exonerated. But more and more people are calling for strategies to make such incidents less common, notably through improved police training.

For Klinger, it has long been a very personal issue — one that led a young cop who entered the “kill zone,” as officers call it, to become a researcher seeking to understand the dynamics of confrontation. In doing so, he hopes to be a voice of reason in an emotional national debate, and an advocate for change.

When Klinger showed up in his ranks on the night shift, Tim Anderson, then an LAPD sergeant, wasn’t sure he was the kind of recruit who’d make it in neighborhoods plagued with gang warfare.

Klinger, a quiet, devout Christian, whose dad was a classical clarinet player, had moved to California from Miami, at age 13, with his mom and two sisters after his parents split up. “Here’s a kid from a very mild-mannered side of life who ends up here,” Anderson says.

But Klinger was determined. “I actually asked for this to be my assignment out of the academy,” he says, sitting in a restaurant north of Los Angeles after revisiting the scene of Randolph’s shooting.

That night in 1981, he was teamed with Azevedo when they were called to a home where an armed burglar had been reported. As a police helicopter circled overhead, a large crowd gathered to watch across busy Vernon Avenue.

“Get out of here!” the officers yelled. Most spectators ran, except Randolph.

Azevedo says he didn’t think Randolph could hear him, or maybe didn’t speak English. So he ran across the street to try to get him to move.

“In the blink of an eye,” Azevedo recalls how Randolph lunged forward and stabbed him in the lower chest with a blow stopped — just barely — by his protective vest. Stunned, Azevedo tried to draw his gun, but he tripped on uneven pavement, he says — and Randolph jumped on him with the knife raised.

Rushing over, Klinger grabbed Randolph’s left wrist, but Randolph broke free. Klinger pulled his own gun and fired at close range.

“I blamed myself for 20 years for not being able to wrest the knife from him,” he says.

Investigators ultimately determined the fatal shooting was justified and that the rookie officer had saved Azevedo’s life. But Klinger still found it difficult to rest easy.

In the year that followed, there were nine more times he says he could have shot a civilian — and believes he would have been justified in doing so. But he but didn’t shoot because the suspects dropped guns, or other officers intervened.

Feeling like a “magnet” for trouble, he moved to a smaller department in Redmond, Washington. But he found no better fit there. It was time for something new.

Today, the 57-year-old Klinger is a professor in the department of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He earned a doctorate and has written a book, “Into the Kill Zone,” telling the stories of officers who’ve shot and killed people.

He also has done research on methods officers can use to avoid deadly force. This spring, testifying at a U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearing on deadly force, one topic he discussed was “tactical positioning,” a strategy in which officers keep a safe distance, unless there is imminent danger.

“Often times, officers find themselves in too close, too quickly, and they don’t have any option other than to shoot their way out of it,” Klinger says. “That’s where I really think we fall down in American law enforcement.”

He uses last year’s police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, as an example. Though he agrees that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Brown, he also says that shooting might have been avoided if Wilson had waited and called for backup.

Such assessments anger some. But Klinger says police agencies must ask, “What can we learn from this?'”

Even now, there is disagreement among Klinger’s own former colleagues about whether the 1981 killing of Edward Randolph could have been avoided. They agree that Klinger was justified in the shooting.

But Anderson, their sergeant, says Azevedo should have ignored Randolph and let him take his chances as they pursued the burglar, who ultimately got away. “He should’ve never engaged this suspect by himself,” says Anderson, a former SWAT team supervisor, who’s retired and now advises police departments on tactical operations.

Azevedo, also retired after a long law enforcement career, stands by his decision. He says it was his duty to try to protect a person he thought was an innocent bystander.

Either way, Klinger has let go of his guilt with the help of a counselor who, as he puts it, helped his heart accept that he “did what he had to do.”

Speaking of Randolph, he says, “He’s 26 years old. His whole life was driven by other people besides me. So why should I blame myself for my inability to control him for that one second that I was in physical contact with him?”

It has been, perhaps, the most difficult lesson the professor has learned.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Edward Randolph most definitely deserved to be killed!

Klinger chose the wrong profession. He should not have hesitated when his partner called out for him to shoot Randolph.

A cop must be prepared to shoot to kill at any moment. Klinger’s advice to keep a distance between a cop and an armed suspect is good advice, but not always possible. And his advice on calling for backup is also good, but backup may not be available in time.


About to give birth, a woman takes a back road, gets lost, runs out of gas, gives birth, is attacked by bees and after being stranded for three days, is rescued when she set mountain on fire

By Gamaliel Ortiz
June 29, 2015

OROVILLE, Calif. —An Oroville woman going into labor decided to take the back roads to her parents' home for help, but soon found herself in more trouble than expected.

It began with her gas and cell service running out in the Plumas County National Forest.

"I was told about this back road and people had showed it to me a few times, but I had never driven it by myself," Amber Pangborn told an NBC affiliate in Oroville.

As she traveled down French Creek Road -- not long before running out of gas and cell service -- Pangborn gave birth to her daughter, Marissa. She did it alone on Thursday.

Pangborn, 35, was stranded for the next three days. In that time, she encountered a swarm of bees and mosquitoes.

"I was trying to get them not to sting her, but I got stung," Pangborn said.

She survived only off a few apples and modest amounts of water.

On Saturday, three days into her ordeal, she decided to start a signal fire, hoping to attract some attention -- but that didn't go as planned.

"I think mommy just started a forest fire," Pangborn recalled telling her daughter shortly after starting the fire.

Within hours, the fire was tracked by a U.S. Forest Service worker, and Pangborn and her daughter were found safe.

"I was just crying, and I was just so happy," Pangborn, said. "I thought we were going to die."

They were admitted to Oroville Hospital, and the baby was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento on Sunday for further evaluation.

The two are expected to be reunited soon.

Monday, June 29, 2015


In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court held that the use of midazolam in executions did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment

The use of midazolam in executions was challenged after the botched Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett on April 29, 2014. Here is how Yahoo News described the execution:

First, a sedative was administered to render him unconscious (which, in this case, was midazolam). Next, a paralytic was added to prevent Lockett from moving or thrashing as he died, while also stopping his breathing. Finally, he received a drug to cause cardiac arrest. In Lockett’s case, the procedure went poorly: He awoke after the administration of the midazolam, which was supposed to render him unconscious, all the while kicking his legs, panting, clenching his teeth, and flailing against the restraints. Lockett continued to struggle, eventually raising his head off the gurney completely and managing to articulate the word “Man” before eventually dying 40 minutes later.

(Please excuse me while I collect myself. The description of poor old Clayton’s agonizing demise was more than I could take. I'm OK now, I've managed to stop laughing.)

In a 5-4 ruling Monday, the Supreme Court turned back challenges to the use of midazolam in executions, holding that its use does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Naturally, the four liberal justices dissented.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, saying that “petitioners failed to establish that any risk of harm was substantial when compared to a known and available alternative method of execution.”

In their dissent, liberal justices Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg went so far as to note their belief that the death penalty itself was unconstitutional.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a scathing dissent, saying that it “would not matter whether the state intended to use midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake.”

Sotomayor’s dissent seems akin to the ridiculous rant of a deranged person. She must have been smoking some funny tobacco just before she wrote it. Or there is always the possibility that her uber-liberal mindset has addled her brains.

While this ruling is a victory for the death penalty, we’d better enjoy it while we can. When Hillary Clinton becomes President, she will get to appoint several Supreme Court justices and you can bet they will all have the same mindset as Sonia Sotomayor. Then you can kiss the death penalty goodbye.


Prison inmates start protest movement in wake of David Sweat shooting with white, black and Hispanic inmates united

By Ima Schmuck

The Unconventional Gazette
June 29, 2015

The shooting of unarmed New York prison escapee David Sweat by a state trooper has riled up prison inmates across the U.S. White, black and Hispanic prison inmates have set aside their fierce rivalry to unite and form a ‘Convict Lives Matter’ protest movement.

Terry “Big Terry” Blake, a general in the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) prison gang, was incensed over the Sweat shooting. Big Terry, who is in custody on federal racketeering charges, told reporters that correctional officers and cops are always shooting unarmed prison inmates who are only trying to get out of the “hell holes” they’ve been confined in.

“If them niggers can protest and riot when cops shoot one of them spooks,” Big Terry said, “then us convicts ought to be able to protest and riot too when one of our unarmed brothers gets shot by the bulls or the cops. I hate to join up with them niggers and wetbacks, but when it comes to us cons getting shot, we all gotta stick together.”

Donna Lieberman , executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the ACLU is supporting the rights of convicts to demonstrate, but she stopped short of supporting their right to riot. “We always support the right of any group to demonstrate peacefully,” she said, emphasizing the word ‘peacefully.’

Lieberman is also concerned that an unarmed Sweat was shot in the back by a New York state trooper while running away. She compared the Sweat shooting to that of 50-year-old Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was shot in the back last April by Michael Slager, a North Charleston, South Carolina cop. As a result, Slager has been indicted for murder.

Prison officials are bracing for the possibility of rioting and are considering lockdowns in those prisons where the “Convict Lives Matter’ movement appears to gaining some traction.

Marshall L. Fisher, Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said “We ain’t about to let a bunch of criminals demonstrate for any reason or cause, Our correctional officers have been instructed to deal harshly with the leaders of the ‘Convict Lives Matter’ movement in our state prison system.”

Burl Cain, warden of Louisiana’s Angola state penitentiary, said he was not worried about any demonstrations at his prison. “Here at Angola,” he said, “our inmates are well behaved because they know how we deal with troublemakers. I ain’t worried about no ‘Convict Lives Matter’ demonstrations. They ain’t about to happen here at Angola.”

As for the Sweat shooting, Amnesty International general secretary Salil Shetty summed it up in his London office by saying, “The shooting of Mr. Sweat is just one more example of cowboy cops in America.”

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Opponents of the Vietnam War alleged that African-Americans saw the brunt of combat in the jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

We are now approaching the 51st anniversary of the Vietnam War. All through the Vietnam War, I heard the shrill voices of the war’s opponents alleging that it was mostly poor blacks who were seeing combat in the jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Here are some interesting statistics forwarded to me by a retired public relations professional:

88.4 percent of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics); 10.6 percent were black; 1 percent belonged to other races.

86.3 percent of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian; 12.5 percent were black; 1.2 percent belonged to other races.

86.8 percent of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1 percent were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.

Overall, blacks suffered 12.5 percent of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5 percent of the total population.

We can see from these stats that the opponents of the Vietnam War lied when they alleged that blacks saw the brunt of combat during that war. The truth is that blacks served and died in numbers approximating their percentage of the total population.

The blacks who served, died and were wounded in the Vietnam War were true American heroes. And, of course, so were all the others who saw combat in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.


Supreme Court ruling has lawyers salivating over an expected divorce bonanza

So you think that homosexuals were overjoyed at the Supreme Court’s ruling on Gay marriage. Of course they were overjoyed, but divorce lawyers were even more ecstatic.

Divorce lawyer are leaping – rather than jumping – up and down with joy over the ruling by the Supreme Court that made Gay marriages legal across the land.

Nationwide the divorce rate among heterosexual couples still hovers around 50 percent. There is no reason to think that the divorce rate among Gays will be any less.

Lawyers are salivating over an expected divorce bonanza. Since many homosexuals are successful professionals and business owners, their divorce proceedings are likely to be protracted and thus very costly. Their lawyers will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


*Look what happens when we cut down too many trees.*

*Global warming is one thing, but see below and look at what is happening if we continue to clear our wooded lands!*

*We have to stop cutting down trees!*

*This is getting really serious!*


5-4 ruling upholds raunchy gay pride parades

The Onion
June 26, 2015

WASHINGTON—Following decades of debate over the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court today handed down a 5-4 ruling in favor of the most buck-wild, balls-to-the-wall gay pride parade this country has ever seen.

“After reviewing the constitutional underpinnings of this case, the court finds that it is discriminatory for states to deny the right to the most out-of-control, bonkers gay pride parade that anyone could possibly imagine,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion, which outlined at length the elaborate floats, billowing rainbow flags, and phalanxes of outlandishly dressed participants, barely scratching the surface of how completely bananas things are about to get. “This decision confirms what should be obvious: The government cannot prevent a nonstop bacchanal surging through the streets of every American city. We’re talking half-naked lesbians covered in body paint, rollerblading homosexuals in brightly colored Native American headdresses and sparkling gold briefs, as well as hundreds of thousands of supporters losing their fucking minds while ‘I Will Survive’ blares at 150 decibels. This is going to be an absolute shit show.”

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision was reportedly appended by a concurring opinion authored by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor in which she agreed that the right to “an uninterrupted three-day batshit insane rager” was mandated by the U.S. Constitution.


By Charles Krauthammer

The Washington Post
June 25, 2015

After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control.

It’s the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the massacre, President Obama was lamenting the absence of progress on gun control. A particular Democratic (and media) lament was Congress’ failure to pass anything after Sandy Hook.

But the unfortunate fact is that the post-Sandy Hook legislation would have had zero effect on the events in Charleston. Its main provisions had to do with assault weapons; the (alleged) shooter Dylann Roof was using a semiautomatic pistol.

You can pass any gun law you want. The 1994 assault weapons ban was allowed to expire after 10 years because, as a Justice Department study showed, it had no effect. There’s only one gun law that would make a difference: confiscation. Everything else is for show.

And in this country, confiscation is impossible. Constitutionally, because of the Second Amendment. Politically, because doing so would cause something of an insurrection. And culturally, because Americans cherish — cling to, as Obama once had it — their guns as a symbol of freedom. You can largely ban guns in Canada where the founding document gives the purpose of confederation as the achievement of “peace, order and good government.” Harder to disarm a nation whose founding purpose is “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

With gun control going nowhere, the psychic national need post-Charleston to nonetheless do something took a remarkable direction: banishment of the Confederate battle flag, starting with the one flying on the grounds of the statehouse in Columbia, then spreading like wildfire to consume Confederate flags, symbols, statues and even memorabilia everywhere — from the Alabama state capitol to Wal-Mart and Amazon.

Logically, the connection is tenuous. Yes, Roof does pose with the Confederate flag, among other symbols of racism, on his Web site . But does anyone imagine that if the South Carolina flag had been relegated to a museum, the massacre would not have occurred?

Politically, the killings created a unique moment. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) was surely sincere in calling for the Confederate flag’s removal. But she also understood that the massacre had created a moment when the usual pro-Confederate flag feeling — and, surely, expressions of it — would be largely suppressed, presenting the opportunity to achieve something otherwise politically unachievable.

But there’s a deeper reason for this rush to banish Confederate symbols, to move them from the public square to the museum. The trigger was not just the massacre itself, but even more tellingly the breathtaking display of nobility and spiritual generosity by the victims’ relatives. Within 48 hours of the murder of their loved ones, they spoke of redemption and reconciliation and even forgiveness of the killer himself. It was an astonishingly moving expression of Christian charity.

Such grace demands a response. In a fascinating dynamic, it created a feeling of moral obligation to reciprocate in some way. The flag was not material to the crime itself, but its connection to the underlying race history behind the crime suggested that its removal from the statehouse grounds — whatever the endlessly debated merits of the case — could serve as a reciprocal gesture of reconciliation.

The result was a microcosm of — and a historical lesson in — the moral force of the original civil rights movement, whose genius was to understand the effect that combating evil with good, violence with grace, would have on a fundamentally decent American nation.

America was indeed moved. The result was the civil rights acts. The issue today is no longer legal equality. It is more a matter of sorting through historical memory.

The Confederate flags would ultimately have come down. That is a good thing. They are now coming down in a rush. The haste may turn out to be problematic.

We will probably overshoot, as we are wont to do, in the stampede to eliminate every relic of the Confederacy. Not every statue has to be smashed, not every memory banished. Perhaps we can learn a lesson from Arlington National Cemetery, founded by the victorious Union to bury its dead. There you will find Section 16. It contains the remains of hundreds of Confederate soldiers grouped around a modest, moving monument to their devotion to “duty as they understood it” — a gesture by the Union of soldierly respect, without any concession regarding the taintedness of their cause.

Or shall we uproot them as well?

EDITOR’S NOTE: To me the Confederate battle flag was never a symbol of racism, nor is it today. It’s part of our history and the banner under which more than 250,000 Confederate soldiers died during the Civil War. Yes, that's more than a quarter of a million soldiers.

Unfortunately, that flag was hijacked by the KKK and other white supremacy hate groups. The media seized upon that to poison the public’s mind, especially that of African-Americans, into believing that the Confederate battle flag represented hatred of non-whites and thus a symbol of racism.