Some monsters are real.

Rick McGee, the Augusta Chronicle

Some monsters are real.

It’s All About Public Safety

Trying to Help Even One Person Makes a Difference

Monday, December 24, 2012
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As members of society, whenever tragedies strike we are always reminded first about what is most important to us: the safety and security of those we hold close and those in our greater community. Whether we are fighting fires, seeking answers to a public heath crisis, or confronting random acts of despicable violence, it all comes down to public safety and what we can learn to better protect ourselves and others. This is especially true when it comes to our most vulnerable victims – those who cannot protect themselves.

From my perspective, the only unacceptable response is apathy; that is, for us to quietly go on because we have become a society of “the learned helpless.”

Joyce Dudley

I call upon myself and each of you to do something to positively affect our public’s safety. For some it will mean volunteering at a local school, for others at a non-profit organization, and for others it will mean fighting for funds for mental health research and treatment, and for some creating new laws that can truly make a difference. Many of you may decide you can best serve public safety in a very public way, while others will seek to help one person who could severely affect our public’s health and safety.

Whatever you think you can do, now is the time to do it. Let the unimaginable pain and anguish of those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy inspire, empower, and motivate you to do what you only once thought about doing but soon got distracted by your own feelings of frustration, inadequacy, and helplessness. Don’t let the fact that you can’t solve the problem delay you from making a difference for even one potential victim.

Our overall goal is to increase public safety. Your action does define who you are and who we are as residents of Santa Barbara County and The United States of America.

Joyce E. Dudley is the Santa Barbara County District Attorney


Independent Discussion Guidelines

How about the battered woman who had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend & called you no less than 10 times[as per your instructions] to report his harrassment & stalking,a vio. of the which you did,& still have done..Nothing about??...

PeterPeli (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 9:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The suggestions made by DA Dudley are excellent. To some degree, we are all responsible for each other. As terrible as we all feel about Sandy Hook (and now the Fireman in New York-when will this stop!) I also think about Adam Lanza's mom and how she suffered up close and personal with her son's mental illness. (Understood that the guns were a huge and fatal mistake on her part.) We can not become callous to this and think that is all part of living in our society. This sucks and having armed good guys at school is not the answer either. Come get involved in some small way. Thanks DA. You are great and we are fortunate that you are where you are!

franforman (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 10:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's not become a society that lives in fear either.

sbfotos (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 11:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The greatest known threat to mankind, is "safety".

>> Trying to Help Even One Person Makes a Difference

Not really. All it means. is one failed attempt at "trying",
that did not even "help", that 1 person, but rather more likely
harmed that person in the process.

Moreover, with all that wasted effort, you are not counting
all of the people that would have been helped, had time been spent
more productively, over the 1 failed attempt.

We all want safety, but it comes at a tremendous cost,
with diminishing points of return, where at some point
it does more harm than good.

Would you invest in a stock that had diminishing returns to the
point where you were required the pay the bank, in order to deposit your
money ? For a negative gain?

Yet you do it here. Why?

With regard to "apathy", you Use the word inappropriately.

Sometimes doing nothing, is the right choice, over more harm.

Alcohol prohibition did not produce less alcoholics, nor did
it create more after it's repeal. It makes no difference.
But, doing "more", causes "more" harm.
Safety is a very dangerous thing.

If the person in charge of protecting "public safety",
causes more harm than good, then that person can not be trusted.

You unfortunately become the aggressor in charge of protecting
the victims, in which you harm more than help.

The fox, in charge of guarding the chicken coop.
That can not be a good thing.

The fox, is telling the chickens, that "you need me to protect you".
"We need to do more", says the fox.
The chickens, sadly believe, the fox gets re-elected.

Until the next election, after another chicken dies,
the fox says "we need to do more".

Its an un-ending cycle.

The chickens were wondering how safety made them so un-safe.
Sadly, there are no chickens left.

Only a distant memory, of what freedom used to sound like.
There are no birds to sing it's sweet melody.

nobody123 (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 11:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It involves ditching the polemics the one-way-or-the-other approach.

Not supporting the segement of the media that glorifies violence is one, other suggestions would be supporting mental health funding (and making sure those funds actually go somewhere useful--and not into the hands of bureaucrats) those in the entertainment growing up and stop hiding behind their lame excuse of "pushing the envelope of creativity" and saying "no, I won't do these shoot-em-up movies". We also need to realize the chickens are coming home to roost on the issue of broken families. When "baby mama/daddy" replaces the concept of marriage, and divorce becomes an easy out for those who simply get bored at having to work at their marriages, the lack of stability affects not only the children these people drag into their dysfunction, but those around them as well. (Including their kids' friends)

As for gun control, I don't have an easy answer. Susan Gratia ( insists that any gun control is bad, while others want all-out gun prohibition. I don't see why people need AK-47's or semi-automatics but I absolutely feel that the "gun-free zone" idea is insanity. (Virginia Tech is a perfect example)

To put it more simply: Look back to when the issue of mass killings was not a mainstream issue, then ask yourselves "what were we doing differently at that time", and the answers will start to become clearer.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 2:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I've always thought a good rule of thumb is if you want to kill somebody start with yourself and see how you feel about it. That way nobody else gets hurt and you've still killed someone.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 26, 2012 at 1:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Billclausen, I agree with you but after carrying a pistol and an Assult rifle for the Federal Government on their property as a Force Protection Officer, I have the problem with the concept of a Unarmed victim, which not having a means of protection is just that. I carried both weapons but also Pepper Spray and a Expandable Baton which is what I went for when a problem was approaching that didn't warranted deadly force.
I own a semi-auto pistol (in Virginia) but don't carry it concealed or openly, I carry a pen everywhere and know how to use it as a weapon, a bullet resistant vest I have worn and wear when I go to heavy populated areas that have suspected unsavory population (all of DC City) but after surviving the "Belt-Way Sniper", 9-11, MS-13, and the general Criminal types, I still don't carry but have my 9mm Beretta secured in a gunsafe with ammo stored in a seperate place, no 15 round magazine fully loaded waiting under my pillow. There are gun laws on the books that many feel were ill pushed into law, most are NOT followed so crazy's do get and use guns but mostly it is in the thinking of most. We want instant satifaction and we want it now, our lives are filled with instant this and instant that, phones, faxes, i-pad, laptops, food, medication, and so on. When a person is under an influance of substance, sleep depervation, anger issues, they grab for a gun for instant resolution to their problems and start pulling the trigger rather than a deep breath or a non-leathal approach. I have training but many do not, resolution to a problem through leathal means is always a last resort and must have a legal justification, immediate threat of loss of life or of another are the legal terms as per Virginia, not in anger or fear, since niether allow a person of reasonable manner to make a reliable assessment of a situation. As for those who lack the mental stability to make sound judgements, should never be allowed access to a weapon but who has authority is the biggest question and that is the dilemma of today.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
December 28, 2012 at 11:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No civilian needs automatic weapons. Creating a shooting gallery will only cause more death; more people will be shot- mistaken for shooters.
Vigilantism is DUMB.
Don't live in fear.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 28, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If more weapons equals less violence, why can't Iran have a nuke?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 28, 2012 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)


We have been over this before. Automatic Weapons in civilian hands, has been regulated since 1934 (NFA), when Congress did not know what to do with 15,000 Revenue Agents that no longer had a job. Only 44 States allow NFA weapons, California is NOT one of them. No legally registered NFA automatic weapon owner, to my knowledge, has ever used one in a crime, Period. No new automatic weapons since 1986. They are very expensive, the ones that can be legally transferred.

My BIL in a Free State has NFA weapons, it takes 7-12 months and a $200.00 tax stamp for each item. For the record he served for 33 years in LE. His home can be searched 24/7 without warrant, these are not the people we needed to be concerned with.

Drop the Media Dribble, Automatic Weapons are not readily available, Period and are Highly Regulated!.

We spend 30 billion dollars a year on Mental Health, we could easily spend 100 billion, it is a big problem in the Urban Jungle.

Mental Heath should be the tip of the spear, these are the people we should be concerned with and we blame something else because we don't want to pay the bill.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
December 30, 2012 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for taking the time to give me the details. And I definitely agree with you about mental health.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 30, 2012 at 5:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)


You like film, I watched Amistad again last night. Djimon Hounsou is one of my favorite actors, the movie is so strong and moving especially John Quincy Adams before the Supreme Court and his reference to the Founders and what had been lost in just a short time, never mind now.

Government has a Compelling Interest under Strict Scrutiny of Rights, to make sure than Mentally Ill or Prohibited Persons do not acquire destructive devices, not just firearms. The laws as they are written, do not do this. The laws as written are designed around Prohibition which angers lawful, law abiding citizens.

We know that it is Human Nature to rebel against Prohibition as alcohol and drug prohibition has not worked.

The Nature of Man is to rebel against Government, whether it be Slavery or Confiscation of Property, legally owned, as some are proposing.

A better logical solution is a intense Background check such as performed Federally for NFA or in California COE, Certificate of Eligibility, then let law abiding citizens buy what they want without all the stupid additional restrictions and convoluted laws.

In Arizona a CCW, Concealed Weapons Permit, allows cash and carry of firearms because it entails a complete and through background check, every two years. The Nanny State Sheriff of Santa Barbara County does not issue CCW, in SBA I have NO Natural Right of Self Defense.

The Supreme Court has all ready ruled that Police have no Duty to Protect my Pink Body, Catch 22?

Check the Person, not the device, the device is inanimate.

We have replaced the Nature of Man with the Nature of the Nanny State and it does not service us well.

Acceptance that in any given year 60 million Citizens will suffer
Mental Illness from simple fleeting depression to more chronic issues. Turning a blind eye to this puts all of society in harms way.

Prohibition does not work, we are not founded on the European model of Monarchy but Individual Freedom.

The constant erosion of Individual Rights and a blind eye to the nature of Man will lead to our demise.


I note your position on alcohol. States have the regulatory rights for alcohol. Many States only have Packaged Liquor, you buy it and take it home, which I think is a great idea. I personally no longer drink in public but prefer to sip my expensive bourbon in the comfort of my own home. In California this model would go a long way in reducing drunk driving without causing Prohibition, that does not work.

Our Nanny State now consumes 80% of the Opiates produced in the World, something is wrong in the Urban Mind, time to return to a model of Self Actualization and Individual Freedom. The Borg Collective Model does not work.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
December 31, 2012 at 11:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes I caught the third act last night myself! It's def one of Spielberg's best IMHO as well.

Happy New Year :)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 31, 2012 at 1:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"confronting random acts of despicable violence, it all comes down to public safety and what we can learn to better protect ourselves and others" - enough BS, we've seen the video of Aron Tudor's violent attack (although not the cell phone videos you refused to release) and recall this and other random acts of despicable violence and corruption you've rabidly supported, as well as your retaliation against vulnerable individuals who publicly acknowledge these evils.
"With their powers of imagination in gear and beamed on themselves, psychopaths appear amazingly unfazed by the possibility-or even by the certainty-of being found out. When caught in a lie or challenged with the truth, they seldom appear perplexed or embarrassed-they simply change their stories or attempt to rework the facts so they appear to be consistent with the lie.They love to have power and control over others. " Robert Hare

14noscams (anonymous profile)
December 31, 2012 at 9:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken V - Citizens do need automatic weapons if you paid any attention to history at any point in time.

Bill - As always, I completely agree with you 100%. I wish more people thought like you and understood the world and history.

howgreenwasmyvalley - Keep your comments coming! Love them!

Muggy (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 4:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gandhi used automatic weapons? Christ? MLK?

And do you really think any amount of automatic weapons you have in your bunker is gonna hold off the US military???

The power is no longer in weapons but in meaningful acts of protest and civil disobedience.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 5:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

howgreenwasmyvalley: Thank you for addressing the most important (and when all is said and done--underlying) issue: Human nature.

As the saying goes "absolute power corrupts absolutely". We see it when we're kids with the playground bully, the beautiful but stuck-up girl in high school, the greedy developers. Sure, there are many exceptions to all these cases but when people come into lots of power--be it through money, good looks, or physical force, they tend to want more.

The idea of surrendering any more of society's rights than absolutely necessary is dangerous. I know there are idealists who are convinced government knows what's best for us and if we only let the cops have the guns we'll all be safe. Look at what happened in Norway and Virginia Tech; these were gun-free zones whose legal architechts thought they had all the answers and then two mentally unbalanced people shot their victims who were like sitting ducks. Where were the cops to protect the 100 people who died in those two massacres? In both these cases, if 5% of the people in those locales had been armed, many lives would have been saved.

One of my chiropractors who is the epitome of the laid-back, peace-loving Old Hippie school of thought is a gun owner and firearms instructor. (As well as Kung Fu teacher) He told me how he had been indifferent to the gun issue until one day a gang of thugs approached him and right when disaster was about to strike and old man with a gun approached the thugs and told them to leave or face the consequences. The group dispersed. One another occasion, a friend of my dad's was driving down the freeway in Chicago and his car broke down, next thing he knew, a gang approached him with bad intentions, he drew his pistol and there was a lot of the "never mind, we...uhm...we're leaving" look on their faces.

I'd rather the power be with the majority than a few with absolute power.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 7:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken V - Did Hitler use automatic weapons? Wait, at first he did then he used gas. What did Stalin use? Mao? What's happening in Myannmar right now? What happened in Indonesia roughly 50 years ago? What's happening in Pakistan? India? Non violent protests aren't going to change anything if you paid attention to human nature and history. What we can learn from history is that nobody learns from history. Apparently you're one of those. No, whatever is in my "bunker" will not hold off the US military but 300 million + firearms in the US plus at least 20% of the current military who will not disarm American citizens says otherwise.

Muggy (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Muggy, notice you use the bad guys for your examples?
Like most Americans, I'm not looking for another Prohibition just some sanity- if only for the very examples that Bill C. described. I'm sure he and the people in his anecdotes would all agree an Uzi would've been overkill.
And yes apparently I have paid more attention than you, I just don't have fantasies of armed insurrection like some people do.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 1:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

300 million people refusing to work or engage in commerce is a far more powerful weapon.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 1:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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