When Mania Goes Mainstream: Experts Claim Nunes Could Be Indicted Next

Devin_nunesBelow is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the recent column in the New York Times by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe and others that Devin Nunes could be charged with obstruction of justice. The column contains highly dubious uses of both history and precedent to advance this latest claim of criminality.  The ABA Journal and other papers have reported on the theory without any objective of its meritless foundation in constitutional law.  The basis for such claim is so attenuated as to border on the fanciful.   There are serious possible crimes being alleged without twisting the criminal code to go after supporters of President Trump.

For a year, some of us have questioned calls for the prosecution of President Trump for obstruction of justice. Every ill-conceived statement or tweet by Trump is proclaimed as “smoking gun” evidence of this seemingly catch-all crime. As the “resistance” to Trump grew, so did the expansion of the interpretation of the crime. It became increasingly more difficult to determine not what is obstruction but what is not obstruction. A recent column in the New York Times seems to have the answer: Prosecute them all and let God sort them out.

120406010959-laurence-tribe-headshot-story-bodyThe column by Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Tribe, (right), American Constitution Society president Caroline Fredrickson and Brookings Institution fellow Norman Eisen argued that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) could now join Trump in the criminal dock. His crime? Writing a memo alleging FBI abuses that was released by a vote of the majority of a committee overseeing the FBI.

The column entitled “Is Devin Nunes Obstructing Justice?” captures the distemper that has overtaken legal analysis. It appears that anyone deemed as supporting Trump can now be charged with the same nebulous crime. After all, if Trump is actively trying to obstruct a federal investigation, surely those who actively support him or oppose the investigation are no less guilty of the same offense.It is not that easy for federal courts, which traditionally follow the opposite inclination under the “rule of lenity.” Courts tend to not only define criminal laws narrowly but rule in favor of defendants in areas of ambiguity. These and other experts appear to view ambiguity as an invitation for creativity in finding ways to indict Trump. There is a real danger to civil liberties by the continuing effort to endlessly expand criminal definitions. Trump will not be our last president and these new overarching definitions will remain with us as a type of unpaid bill. It will be citizens who pay that legal bill.

The latest obstruction claim asserts that “by writing and releasing the memo, the chairman may just have landed himself, and his staff members, in the middle of Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation.” Of course, there is the obvious complication of the immunity afforded to members of Congress under the Speech and Debate Clause of Article I.

440px-Mike_GravelIn Gravel v. United States, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this immunity for not just members but staff after Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) read portions of the Pentagon Papers before a congressional committee. Ironically, Gravel was supporting the New York Times, which first published the papers in defiance of the Nixon administration.

While acknowledging the “strong bulwark” of immunity, the authors work mightily to limit the possible use of immunity, including some creative use of history. For example, they note that the Supreme Court did not extend immunity as far as Gravel’s publication of the papers in a later book. However, the court supported the immunity over the disclosure through the committee.

If anything, Nunes is in a much stronger position than Gravel. Nunes did not unilaterally release the memo like Gravel and he did so in a committee with direct oversight of the FBI. Conversely, the Pentagon Papers were read at an entirely unrelated subcommittee on buildings and grounds of the Senate Public Works Committee.

It is equally dubious to suggest that the memo may be found to have “mere peripheral connection to legislative acts” or a pure political act to deny immunity. The basis for this claim is simply that the authors and Democrats disagree with the conclusions of the memo. No competent federal judge would rule that such a memo is unrelated to the legislative purpose of oversight over the FBI.

DanielbrewsterEven more bizarrely, there was this warning: “Nunes would do well to remember what befell Senator Daniel Brewster of Maryland.” Nunes would be understandably confused by the historical reference. Brewster claimed immunity over the acceptance of alleged bribes. This facially ridiculous argument was rejected by the Supreme Court, though Brewster was later acquitted of bribery and had the remaining convictions overturned on other grounds.

Where experts argued for months about the dubious crime of “collusion” with the Russians, these experts are now arguing for a crime of “collaboration” with the White House. The idea is that, if Nunes or his staff coordinated in the issuance of the memo, they could be charged for casting doubt on the conduct of the FBI in the early investigation of the Russian matter.

The suggestion of an obstruction case against Nunes reduces the criminal code to a virtual professorial parlor game. For a year, experts have assured eager (if not desperate) audiences that a criminal case against Trump is now in sight. For example, Tribe and Eisen have been alleging a host of unlawful acts, including a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional emoluments that was thrown out by a federal judge in December.

Tribe previously argued that Trump could be charged with witness tampering for dictating a misleading statement on the Trump Tower meeting. Tribe previously found compelling evidence of obstruction of justicecriminal election violationsLogan Act violationsextortion and possible treason by the president or his family. He also found grounds for impeachment.

Eisen previously declared the meeting at Trump Tower with Russians promising evidence of illegal contributions to the Clinton Foundation to be the long-sought “smoking gun” for prosecution. Eisen invoked the Logan Act, a law from 1799 that makes it a crime for citizens to intervene in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments. It has never been used to convict a single U.S. citizen and is widely viewed as facially unconstitutional.

There has been an accordion-like flexibility in these interpretive approaches. While adopting expansive interpretations to allow the prosecution and impeachment of Trump, Eisen and Trump have adopted narrow interpretations to prevent Trump from granting himself a pardon.

There appears no price too high to pay in the pursuit of Trump. It is not enough to simply disagree in today’s politics. Your opponents must not only be wrong but criminally culpable in our extreme political discourse. The New York Times column shows how this mania has gone mainstream.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He has been lead counsel in national security cases for more than two decades and has testified before congressional intelligence committees. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

227 thoughts on “When Mania Goes Mainstream: Experts Claim Nunes Could Be Indicted Next

  1. When I read some of the comments that have been made by Lawrence Tribe regarding supposedly illegal acts committed by President Trump, I am concerned about where the institution of Harvard is leading the United States. Those comments also give me reason to question his sanity. But why bother? Everyone else is questioning the President’s sanity at the same time.

    I can take solace in the fact that I don’t live in a country where Mr. Tribe gets to write the laws we must all live by. But I do fear the fact that many young minds are being mal-educated by him and other like-minded people of the IYI class.

    And I hope my comments were not too inflammatory or judged as strongly personal attacks against another named individual.

  2. “If anything, Nunes is in a much stronger position than Gravel. Nunes did not unilaterally release the memo like Gravel and he did so in a committee with direct oversight of the FBI.”

    The FBI and DOJ both warned Nunes not to release the memo. That was the direct oversight that actually happened. https://www.axios.com/devin-nunes-release-the-memo-statement-c809e142-d695-4adc-b0aa-39cc9be2553c.html

    If it weren’t for lies, exaggerations, and omissions, Turley would be silent.

    But he’s not silent. He’s doing all he can to defend the indefensible. America was attacked by Russia and will be attacked again and Turley is trying to make it happen. I posted this before here at this sewer of a web site:

    “We (FBI, NSA, CIA) assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

    We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence”
    https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

    It shows the US was attacked by Russia. What did Turley do? He lied about Schiff’s statement for more clarity and transparency re FISA and FISC operations…a statement made in 2013 prior to the Russian attack. Why did Turley do that? To paint Schiff as an opportunistic hypocrite.

    But that’s Turley’s wheel house.

    Turley is a snake. He cares only about his next FOX booking bc he sure as hell does not give a damn about the USA.

    Now with the 16 indictments of Russian people and businesses for conspiracy against the US from Mueller which pretty much shows that the president is lying again: “Russia gate is a hoax” will Turley admit as much as well? Will Turley be a loyal American?

    Don’t count on it. Expect another attack on Mueller or Clinton or FDR. That’s what FOX wants and Turley the Traitor delivers it in spades. Don’t say you weren’t told about your betrayal Turley. Everyone can see it.

  3. All this everyday theoretical bunk is that which is detrimental to this country and should stop . Yes, you bunch of Democratic far- left loones !

  4. I don’t know if this is just wishful thinking on my part but I seem to remember a time when there were many more people of integrity on both the “intelligentsia” of the right and left. Now it just seems like it’s egos and pay checks.

    Our nation is literally falling apart. Our people are suffering. Our infrastructure is collapsing. We are devastating the ecosystem around the world. We have laid low whole nations though war and destruction. Yet I do not believe Tribe and other neoliberals along with their good friends such as Will Kristol and hero of the resistance, George Bush, care one iota about the suffering around them.

    If they are not paid provocateurs of the deep state, they might as well be. It is not that Trump hasn’t done anything wrong, nor that he isn’t worthy of impeachment for war crimes. He is a bad man, an evil, ignorant, horrible man who cares nothing for others. Yet those who accuse him share many of his traits and enable his war crimes. They care nothing for this nation, for the people of the world, for the ecosystem, nothing. They want power. They want notoriety. They want adulation. They want money. That is all.

    For these things they will bring down our nation. They are shameful, hideous people. I wish there was something that would make them care but I think they are too far gone for that. It therefore behooves we the people to stop listening to such evil women and men. We can read memos. We can make our own judgment about information. These people should be shunned, all of them. I want no part of such people. They can speak all they want but they speak only words of harm, cruelty and lies. We should all want our nation to flourish. They want it destroyed. Know them and do not give them your time or support.

    There was a time when people had integrity and would never support such people. It is time to build integrity within our selvesland our society again.

    • “… I seem to remember a time when there were many more people of integrity on both the “intelligentsia” of the right and left.”

      LOL — I guess you aren’t old enough to remember when William F. Buckley called Gore Vidal a queer and Vidal called Buckley a crypto Nazi.

      Ideologues, right or left, have always been idiots and they always will be.

          • David Benson – this was on national tv during one of the political conventions. Gore Vidal sued, Buckley won. It went to the SC. This is partially why Vidal moved to France.

                  • My first impression of your reply was that you were calling me a pinko queer. That’s fine. I get called all kinds of names online. If I disagree with a liberal, I’m a right wing nut job. If I disagree with a conservative I’m a communist.
                    Ideologues are literally the stupidest, most twisted morons on Earth (and probably every other planet), and it seems like they never stop trying to prove it.

                    I’ve never actually been able to make out what Buckley said, but every written account I’ve read about it just says “queer.” I watched that “debate” live in a motel room in Tennessee (my dad wanted the family to visit a few Civil War battleground sites — that wasn’t long after the Civil War Centennial). Neither of them ever impressed me. At age 15, I couldn’t believe grown men were behaving that way on TV — two raging, egotistical narcissists. You see that sort of thing on TV a lot these days, but not back then. Later, I read Vidal’s books about Lincoln and Burr and thought they were pretty good, well-written, and to the best of my knowledge, accurate history. But I had to put forth some effort in forgetting about who’d written them while I was reading.

                    As people, however, I thought Buckley and Vidal were stuck-on-themselves jerks with very small minds. I still think that.

                    • William Bayer – Buckley used to have a weekly tv show that I watched that was entertaining, educational and increased my vocabulary. He never really took himself too seriously on that show and he often interviewed people he did not agree with. There is something about that last debate with Vidal that set both them off.

                    • William, I believe the video of the affair is on the net.

                      Bill Buckley was a brilliant mind and though a despicable individual Vidal was as well.

                      Don’t shortchange the mind just because you don’t like the individual.

  5. The basis for such claim is so attenuated as to border on the fanciful.

    Or

    The basis for such claim is so attenuated as to border on legal malpractice.

  6. NUTCHACHA is doing her nut cha cha at the expense of her “Affirmative Action Privilege”, ostensible duties at the office because the @real investigation is going through the FBI/DOJ/”deep state”, Hillary et al. on its inexorable path to Obama. McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Page, Rosenstein, Mueller et al. are the “secret society” as one big happy crime family attempting a coup d’etat in America but the layers of that onion are being peeled back.

    All roads lead to Obama.

    • George, adjust your expectations. Nothing is going to happen to Obama…or Hillary. There may be one or two lower level fall guys (I predict Steele will be one) but other than that, no accountability whatsoever. The Obamas will be going in May to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and then they will continue living their “lifestyles of the rich and famous” and will come out in the end with hardly a scratch from all of this — not because Obama and his administration wasn’t dirty dealing, but because the MSM will make sure of it.

      • I presume that is time and date stamped? I don’t see a potential, ancillary, monetary forfeiture alluded to anywhere in that glorious narrative. Oh, I get it! You’re quoting Marie Antoinette’s entourage on October 15. Am I right? I’m right, huh?

        • I don’t understand your comment. All I said was adjust your expectations. Obama ain’t goin’ down with the ship. And I’m no fan of Obama’s either.

  7. Jon: you’ve got it wrong. The problem with Trump isn’t politics–it’s him and his complete lack of fitness for office. He is a pathological liar. He colluded with the Russian government to win the Electoral College. He brags about grabbing womens’ genitalia. He dreams up petty, childish nicknames for anyone who opposes him. He insults heads of other countries. He has the most unstable and chaotic administration in U.S. history and consistently historically low poll numbers. He is racist, xenophobic and lacking in knowledge of basic civics. His lawyer bribed a porn star to shut her up about a sexual encounter shortly after his son was born. On his third marriage, which is a sham. He’s filed bankruptcy 7 times. He has a short attention span. He goes after anyone and everyone who doesn’t do as he says. Now, he wants to waste millions with a military parade to honor him, even though he was too cowardly to wear the uniform himself.

    The Justice Department is investigating ties with a hostile foreign government, so he goes after the Justice Department and the FBI. Nunes is conducting a shadow investigation of the investigators. You don’t think there’s anything wrong with this? What right does Nunes have to try to undermine the Muller investigation in the first place? It’s a wasted effort, anyway. Most people in this country know what a sham and disgrace he is and want him gone. We’re waiting for the indictments and either voluntary or involuntary resignation. His disciples will believe whatever Reverend Hannity dreams up.

    • Rinsey Priebus said it is 50 Times worse in the T rump helll hole than anyone could have imagined. Pray for da abusers and abusees that work in that awful administration.

    • aka Trump is the opposite of everything YOU think he should be. That’s what he’s going for — it drives people like you crazy — and that’s what some of us like about him the most — that, and the hilarity of the fact that people like you just don’t get it.

      “18. All warfare is based on deception” — “20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”
      _____________________________Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      Trump is twice as smart as you could possibly imagine, and he proves it regularly and hilariously at your expense.

    • Natacha, at least your undisciplined and unhinged rants are entertaining. It’s nice to know there is a percentage of the population that you do not have to consider when assembling a rational argument.

    • “He colluded with the Russian government to win the Electoral College.”

      How exactly did he do this Natacha? As far as I’ve heard, after nearly two years of investigations, there is no evidence of this “collusion” – which is not a crime in and of itself anyway.

        • Exactly. I was hoping Natacha could explain to us how Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump “colluded with the Russian government to win the Electoral College.”

          • It’s really quite simple: Trump helped 20,000 Russians sneak into the country, then, disguised at sailors in the Amish Navy, they blockaded voting booths in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, preventing I’m-With-Herpes supporters from casting their ballots.

    • “Most people in this country know what a sham and disgrace he is and want him gone.”

      No, actually recent polling showed that Trump had MORE support and favorable ratings by several points better than Obama had on the same day in his first term as president.

    • Natacha, Hillary is a pathological liar, Hillary is married to a rapist and sexual predator, Hillary has destroyed women’s lives and reputations, Hillary has VERY bad judgment, Hillary is corrupt as all get out, Hillary rigged the Democratic primaries, Hillary paid off Bernie’s silence with a $600k lake house, Hillary colluded with Russian spies to compile a phony dossier on Trump, Hillary coughed and hacked her way through the campaign (when she wasn’t MIA) and then literally collapsed on the anniversary of 9/11, Hillary sold US foreign policy to the highest bidder, Hillary destroyed 33,000 emails that were property of the USG, Hillary lost a winnable election while having every single advantage any presidential candidate has ever had in their corner including mega-money and the media. And yet, somehow, you actually believe SHE would have been the better choice to sit in the White House running the country? Oh hell no. And just about everyone who thinks clearly, and pays attention with eyes wide open knows Trump was the correct choice for the good of the country.

    • Natacha said, “We’re waiting for the indictments . . .”

      There’s a report, today, February 16th, that Rick Gates has nearly reached a plea agreement with the special counsel. If so, that would make three cooperating witnesses thus far. How much longer can Manafort hold out before he cops a plea as well???

  8. I think some of the left is getting quite loopy. But criticizing them while getting your news from the Fox evening programs lies somewhere between a paralyzing lack of self awareness and total insanity.

      • Newbie here on this site, but the rabid partisanshit that goes on elsewhere is raging here as well. The Oracles on the one side (left and right are becoming meaningless words) owned by the Deep State, like Tribe, and Turley and those on the other side who represent the factions that are even deeper state entities, or another cheek on the ass of a democratic republic, are bent on keeping controversy going 366/24/7 for all eternity.

        That way, the Deep State, those unelected protean chameleons behind the scenes, the major contributors who have always had all the power can merrily go along with their nefarious schemes, wars, and other money making projects. While we sit here proselytizing on one side or the other, the Offense Budget, the Roads, bridges and Highways budget, the Welfare state budget which ate up ALL the income and other federal and state taxes, and added another trillion dollars to the debt of ourselves and our progeny went sailing thru Congress with the imprimatur of both parties, with a tiny bit of argument about pennies, a dog and pony show for the producers in this country.

        So, like the dupes we are, we argue about the Mess media vs Fox.

        You have to be just a tad disingenuous to say that one channel out of the several hundred available, which attempts to capitalize on those of us who want to present another side of the electorate’s ideas, while there are dozens of channels in mess media have been, for 60 years, the propaganda voice of the socialists, leftists, and communists in the Deep State.

        We are wasting our time which is playing precisely into the hands of the Deep State who love nothing more than to keep us chasing after that fire in the trashcan down the street while they walk into to the bank and take all of our money, and sneak off like Bedouins into the night with all our treasure.

        And I just spent 15 minutes of my life spouting off about something I cannot ever change.

        Brilliant.

  9. “His crime? Writing a memo alleging FBI abuses …”

    If that’s a crime, the FISC (FISA court) had better hire a team of defense lawyers, ’cause it’s written a memo alleging abuses after abuses after abuses within the “intelligence community” and the quasi-intelligence FBI.

    Page Four of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Memorandum and Opinion begins:

    “On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court.”

    And it’s all downhill from there.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/349454375/2016-Cert-FISC-Memo-Opin-Order-Apr-2017

    Outrageous. Seditious! I am indignified by these audaciously defamacious slanderizations.
    (Don King impersonation off)

      • Yes, however the school shootings will not stop until people begin to recognize that the current crop of juveniles are vacuous twits whose brains have been marinated in junk “news” and fed violence via video games and Hollywood crapola since birth, in a society and culture that demands instant gratification which they “think” can be gotten by trigger-pulling.

        The FBI can knock down all the doors it wants, but the violence is merely a symptom of the mentality, and there’s an army of Nintendo Ninjas for every one that’s stupid enough to post his plans online.

          • Better than even money. He got expelled from school. Ten bucks says some shrink slipped him a prescription not long thereafter. Las Vegas Journal (I think it was) had some good reporting on pharmaceuticals in the aftermath of the big kill. Apparently Paddock had a prescription — and that might have something to do with the refusal to release the autopsy results. Probably lots of pressure from the pill industry to keep a lid on that.

          • Kinda hard to arrest people before the crime is committed — in our justice system anyway. Maybe in Saudi Arabia, but not the USA. No grounds. Plus, the FBI would be swamped in tips. Part of the problem is that, as one writer put it, with limited resources the FBI has to deal with a firehose of incoming information. They’re probably neck deep in incoming information, and just reading all the incoming tips, much less checking them out, would be a crushing load. Probably thousands of tips per day, tens of thousands of man-hours per day checking them all out. People making revenge accusations. People being suspicious over nothing at all. People wanting that $100,000 bounty. You’re thinking logically, but most people don’t. If they thought logically, most of these problems wouldn’t exist.

            Gotta change the culture. The one we have is nearly all garbage but for a small minority of people with a bit more insight into what makes life worth living.

            The old anti-drug promo was, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” — but I’m not seeing where nonstop texting, yammering on the phone, violent video games and movies, etc. is any less of a waste of a mind than drugs.

      • Good point! Might I make a sensible suggestion? Why don’t states raise the legal age to own a gun to 21, the same as they do for liquor. If 19 year olds, as a group, are too stupid and immature to drink booze, what makes them mature enough, as a group, to own weapons? You could still allow them to go hunting as long as an adult is along.

        Or maybe just restrict the class of weapons they can own until they are 21? Or, they have to undergo firearms training if they want a gun before age 21, so they can be vetted for maturity, etc.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        • Might I make a sensible suggestion?

          You have before, so the odds are with you. Just not in this post.

          Why don’t states raise the age to 25 or 45? Because the only people deterred by age limits are those inclined to respect the law.

          • I think Squeeky made a very sensible point based upon the fact that the maturing child undergoes a lot of different problems that the 45-year-old has already passed and frequently that age group still lives under someone else’s roof. Her question encouraged me to look up school shootings and the age of the shooter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting

            It didn’t provide me the information I was looking for regarding American students and I didn’t want to put the time in, but this article gave the ages of Canadian school shootings.

            These shootings extended past 100 years, but very noticeable was the ages of the shooters predominantly below 21. I think we need to look at the ages of the shooters before we make such broad-based statements as to who will or will not most likely violate the law.

          • The same thing is true for “felon in possession” laws. Yet, the availability of the law allows the arrest of the felons. So, that it is better to have the law, even if the people it is aimed against ignore it. Plus, an age restriction would only affect that group for three years, and give them a little more chance to grow up some.

            Plus, look at all the black gangsters that could get arrested! True, most of them already have records, but this would allow the arrest of gang bangers before they have banged!

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

        • Well, that affects states with large hunting populations and the kids who like to hunt alongside Dad or Mom. I see no reason to change any law. You are going to have crazies no matter what you do. To penalize responsible gun owners for the crazies makes no sense. Might as well outlaw left turns because of all the accidents that would stop. I say raise the tip bounty on potential school shooters to $100,000. Tips would come like flies to honey.

          • True, and there would have to be an exception for the military. I am just having problems with an 18 year old being able to buy a weapon with a huge magazine. I own an AK47, so I am not against that type of gun. I just think they don’t need to be owned by some teen age freaky twerp like this kid. Not if we recognize that people in that age group are too immature to drink alcohol responsibly. (Does anybody drink responsibly???)

            As far as hunters, there are lots of them in my family, and the kids usually start shooting by the time they are 9 or 10, with supervision. While I don’t hunt because I am not going to kill some poor critter if I don’t have to, I support their right to do so. So an age restriction would definitely be a bummer. But, if I understand things right, you can’t use guns like AK47s to hunt with anyway unless you have less bullets or something.

            IDK, that’s just my 2 cents worth.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

        • These days, before any of these shoot-’em-up clowns has ever pulled the trigger on a real gun, they’ve probably pulled the trigger on a video-game gun several million times. If you train your brain that way right out of the womb — train it to enjoy the trigger-pulling for the sake of trigger-pulling — you’re gonna get a brain that enjoys pulling the trigger and doesn’t discern much difference between virtual targets and living targets. Zap zap zap — it feels so good — and it’s totally disconnected from reality.

          Virtual trigger pulling is a form of instant gratification, and we live in a society junked out on instant gratification. That’s the real American dream these days — instant gratification. Kids aren’t supposed to drink alcohol or smoke pot while they’re growing up because their brains are still developing — physically and psychologically — yet those same developing brains are being trained that zap zap zapping the “enemy” feels so good — awesome O.

          Postponing the age to own a gun by three years just means an extra three years of training their brains that trigger-pulling feels good and has no real consequences. True, it would provide some kids time to grow up and at least realize that high school is only a blip on the radar and the growing pains don’t last forever, but without redirecting the mind away from junk nonsense, the instant-gratification trigger-pulling problem would persist — I believe.

          Add to that the time spent online and on the phone and watching TV, and you end up with a generation of empty-headed trigger-pullers that don’t know how to interact with people face to face and don’t care. Real people are, to them, less real than the images of people they see on their screens and monitors.

          Gotta change the culture if you wanna fix the problem. Otherwise, get used to the new norm, and worse to come.

          Meanwhile — zap zap zap — Ooooooh, awesome O.

          • Back when I was a kid, I read part of a book my father had about this subject. I don’t remember the name, but it was by some military dude, and it said the same thing. That soldiers in earlier wars often had trouble shooting directly at another person, but by now, they no longer had the problem. This was probably in the mid 90s or so.

            Also, I love these talking heads who talk about the kids seeing all the blood and guts, but WTF? Haven’t they been to a horror movie lately, or even watched one on TV??? Blood and guts everywhere. Even on broadcast TV, they had a show a few years ago called Hannibal(?) and it was very gory. So no, these kids aren’t going to have massive traumas from that.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            • “Haven’t they been to a horror movie lately, or even watched one on TV??? Blood and guts everywhere. Even on broadcast TV, they had a show a few years ago called Hannibal(?) and it was very gory. So no, these kids aren’t going to have massive traumas from that.”

              I think that’s a valid point. I’ve made mention to how the left have eroded values through Hollywood. Just about every TV show is an exercise about how the law is always short-sighted, and the goal is how to skirt the law. Champions of situational ethics. Add to that the rampant violence and gore-shock porn, and you have a reset of malleable minds. Without the lack of a full-time adult mentor, I propose this young person might be thinking he was applying Hollywood-style justice. ??

              • Who knows? I read somewhere it was a girl that sent him over the edge.About the law being short-sighted, how true! What I don’t get though, is why come people aren’t associating Trump with Jason Bourne, who was framed by higher ups in the intelligence agencies. I mean, isn’t the whole FISA thing like a Hollywood script?

                I tried a week or so ago to do a mspaint job with Trump’s face on Bourne’s body for Twitter, but I could not make it look respectable, sooo I gave up. This was when I was high on perc coffee. I may try again now that I am back to normal.

                As far as Hollywood, I rented Hostel 2 back 10 years ago or so. I was maybe 23-24. Anyway, I was watching it with a friend of mine who seemed normal. SPOILERS! So, in one of the scenes, they did an Elizabeth Bathory scenario where this rich b*tch paid for a young American girl, who got hung upside down over the bathtub, and then “Elizabeth” started cutting her with this sickle looking thing. The blood starts pouring into the tub, and the movie chick vic was screaming and writhing and blood was spurting into the tub and all over the rich woman. It was sooo gory I couldn’t watch. But my friend was laughing! She thought it was funny!

                I could not believe it! It wasn’t hysterics or anything, she just found it funny, I guess because the vic was kind of a nudnik in the movie. But still, to laugh while this was going on???

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

                • Yep. I did catch some of one those films. When I work late, I’ll cruise TV while doing a light workout so I can sleep. I caught a darkly-lit setting on some movie, and it turned out to be some cannibal guy who bought a young man, and was slicing steaks off his thigh while conscious, and the man would sit down by his candlelight dinner and start cutting up and eating the human meat. I think that was a read light moment for me, personally. It is troubling that your friends laughed at it. I would imagine that they were most likely laughing at the preposterous nature of the scene (since they were your friends, we’ll assume you associate with fairly educated and like-minded people), but it shows the empty narrative that the entertainment industry has some claim to a moral high ground over Trump. OK, not “empty narrative,” but rather, hypocritical. Another example of the left removing western ethics and morality, was article on the hedge today (I believe) discussing the sort of non-voluntary euthanasia that is occurring the liberal low countries. It should really be no surprise, we see it just about every day from the short-sighted, knee-jerk understanding wish rash and uniformed judgement and solutions for just about anything the Professor posts on this blog.

          • It was bugging me that I could not remember the name of the book, sooo I called my dad, and he found it on the shelf. It is called, “On Killing”, which wiki says:

            On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is a book by Dave Grossman exploring the psychology of the act of killing, and the military and law enforcement establishments’ attempt to understand and deal with the consequences of killing.

            The book is based on S.L.A. Marshall’s studies from World War II, which proposed that contrary to popular perception,[1] the majority of soldiers in war do not ever fire their weapons, because of an innate resistance to killing. Based on Marshall’s studies the military instituted training measures to break down this resistance and successfully raised soldiers’ firing rates to over 90 percent during the Vietnam War.[2]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Killing

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            • (1) Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was thinking about — what the effects of video games are on a generation that was brought up on them after they became ultra-violent. Could be that’s military mind-conditioning infiltrating the popular culture and making sure there’s enough people ready and willing to sign up.

              (2) “… contrary to popular perception,[1] the majority of soldiers in war do not ever fire their weapons …”

              Sort of like the popular misconception about lawyers, most of which (I believe I read somewhere) never even see the inside of a courtroom.

              • The idea that video games might remove some of our children’s inhibitions about killing others is interesting and something that needs study, Though a horrible act these acts are very low in numbers compared to the number of children committing these crimes. I am not concluding a relationship one way or the other but considering the numbers of children playing these games wouldn’t the number of killings be much greater?

                • “…but considering the numbers of children playing these games wouldn’t the number of killings be much greater?”

                  I don’t think so. I don’t think the video games cause young people to cross the threshold of crime in reality, but they could provide self-reinforcement, and notably, preparation and practice for someone already suffering from mental illness. I remember reading a military person’s analysis of the columbine shooting–the kid was way more effective in the number of shots fired than this guy’s seasoned military professionals.

                  And to restate, the calls for “gun control” are made by simpletons who are totally unable to conceptualize the depth of the problem. One major contributor that should be analyzed is the perceived goal of the attackers. It seems consistent that they identify themselves as being “losers who have totally lost,” and that blazing away in glory is the ultimate act of narcissism. Basically realizing the zenith of the contemporary mindset of the left these days.

                  • slohrss29, “they could provide self-reinforcement, and notably, preparation and practice for someone already suffering from mental illness.”

                    That is my assessment as well, but IMO what makes it tolerable in our society is the lawlessness on our streets and the terrorism that we have seen. Some killers actually like to increase the stakes. The generic idea of “gun control” is as you say developed by simpletons. This young man is still alive. I am hoping he will provide more insight, but over time I think we will learn how many times the public, one way or another, was warned about what he intended to do. If we observe gun shootings in Israel by Israeli youth we note very little misuse of firearms even though almost every ~ 18-year-old Israeli citizen has a weapon available.

                    AS I brought up to Squeeky teenage years are very volatile and some make mention that adolescents tend to act out in a fashion that might be thought of as schizophrenia if the young person’s personality was already developed. I had mentioned at that time that I looked up school shootings to see the age of the shooters. The age wasn’t apparent in the article on the US shootings, but for over a hundred year period in Canada, the bulk of shootings were among those below 21 and many were before video games. I noted one additional item recently when I looked at VR, Oculus in particular. There were warnings that this VR apparatus should not be used until after age thirteen because the brain is still forming. I don’t know how real the risk is because companies are always worried about suits.

                    • The whole sensory captivation thing for a young mind is pretty troubling I believe. Parents should be made of aware of this. I was always arguing with my wife about gaming, which my son did and does, but we controlled it. It was never done during the week. I witnessed first hand, and should have kept a journal of my son’s behavior after playing. I hope there are studies of brain wave comparisons before and after noted time periods of participating in VR. I would not allow my son to participate in VR games at this point in time.

                      Also, a sidebar; After all this yelling about guns, guns, and more guns, it appears that this shooter had a shopping list of crimes and other poor behavior that should have at least put him in juvie. This is just another example similar to how I point out above that there is only profound disrespect for law. It is either wrong, too intrusive, or some other short coming. There used to be respect for the law as a practical way to live an ethical day to day existence, and that we all had a responsibility to that. Now we are stuck with the notion that laws are to an inconvenience to always we worked around, like some legacy technology that hasn’t kept up with the times. Example, phone texting laws. What a joke. If negligent driving was enforced, and enforced as it should be since any automobile is itself a deadly, if not the deadliest weapon, there would be no need for the bandaid of “texting laws.” Of all the automobile deaths every year, I never hear an argument for people to give up these deadly devices. People frequently just want what they want, and appear to virtue signal the rest.

  10. God forbid that someone has the courage to tell the truth so the American public will be able to see the lies and under handed methods the past Democratic administration used to take down an opponet. If that doesn’t work find a “crime” he can be charged with. The real crime has been covered up for years! Pay attention, America!!!!

  11. Oh, and by the way how ’bout we just appoint a special investigator to look into Hillary Clinton? That’s the obvious answer. Jesus! Do these people really think we are so blind as to fall into their pit? The American people, by and large, are not idiots.

    • Voted for Dubya twice and tRump once, so the American people are fools. All you have to do is read what the yahoos on this site write. If you do not recognize the problem you can not fix it.

      • I guess what you are trying to feebly argue here is that there is a notable difference between clinton, bush, obama, and clinton? Thanks for the chuckle, it’s been a long week.

  12. Most of the time I keep my mouth shut. Hate politics. But this is a bridge too far. I am so relieved I had the foresight to leave the Dem party years ago. Don’t want to be associated with a single stupid brainless fantastical fascist thing the Resistance does.

      • Squeeky, You are young and female so it is not surprising that you would demographically fall into the Hillary camp.You probably had little or no inkling of politics before Bill Clinton and probably didn’t recognize at the time how Hillary destroyed women that were molested by her husband Bill Clinton while carrying the torch for some of the most despotic nations. GWB didn’t do the greatest job (and was destroyed in the media) so it might have been a relief to you when Obama was elected. What was it in the Obama administration that permitted you to look for “his third term” before your awakening?

        • Actually, in 2004 I voted for George Bush. I was Hillary because I think she is way more conservative than people think. She will lie about all kinds of stuff to get elected, but when it gets right down to it, she is for locking up super predators, securing the borders, and a strong defense. Remember, she was once a Goldwater Girl. Obama? No way. I thought he was an idiot stoner liberal who was embarrassed about all us bitter clingers.

          Call me cynical, but I figured she would just be running against a liar from the Right. But then the email thing, and Trump, who I think is a really brilliant, competent, good and decent person.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          • Interesting, but Hillary is an Alinsky girl. She is also totalitarian in nature and has always been a liar. She gave up on Goldwater. He believed in individual freedoms along with the Constitution and followed the more diverse Buckley path.

  13. This is rapidly becoming a lynch mob, and that’s no good for anyone. I am at a loss for words, the depths of the DNC’s ruthlessness and lack of ethics is seemingly without bounds. They are teetering on the precipice of abandoning all sanity completely at this point, there is literally nothing resembling thought or foresight transpiring anymore, this is madness.

    • Obama was a student of, and research assistant for, Tribe. But then, Tribe’s former students also include Chief Justice John Roberts, Senator Ted Cruz, Chief Judge and Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan.

      • I guess we can only hope that some of our federal judges were not and still possess a shred of committment to principles and law.

        • They do, I believe, but their numbers are dwindling. Fortunately, we have a fair-minded constitutional law professor who is not afraid to stick to his principles and the law to keep us informed…thanks, Prof. Turley.

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