Anti-Game Violence Crusader Leland Yee Arrested On Charges Of Bribery, Corruption And Arms Trafficking

from the and-you're-the-guy-pushing-a-moral-superiority? dept

Well, I'd like to say this is ironic, but it isn't anything of the sort, although it does carry with it a little bit of schadenfreude. Leland Yee, a longtime combatant of free speech (via his attempts to regulate the sales of violent videogames), has been arrested for bribery and corruption charges.

California State Senator Leland Yee (D), a driving force behind California's legislative efforts to restrict minors' access to violent video games, has been arrested on charges of bribery and corruption, according to numerous local media reports.

Yee, who is running for California Secretary of State, saw his office raided by FBI agents this morning in service of multiple arrest and search warrants, according to San Francisco's KCRA. The raid follows a grand jury indictment of Yee, as reported by San Francisco's ABC7. Sacramento's Fox 40 reports that concurrent, related raids are being conducted on Chinatown locations with possible drug connections.
As more new came out, the story got even more ridiculous as the politician who was so against video game violence is also charged with arms trafficking. Fake guns? Ban 'em! Real guns? Let's get down to business!
Yee and an intermediary allegedly met repeatedly with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for setting up a deal with international arms dealers.

At their first face-to-face meeting in January, "Senator Yee explained he has known the arms dealer for a number of years and has developed a close relationship with him," an FBI affidavit says, noting Yee told the agent the arms dealer "has things that you guys want."
At this point, all wrongdoing is still alleged (including possible ties to drug dealers) and, it must be noted, this is based on a grand jury indictment, something often entirely unrelated to any actual evidence of wrongdoing.

Still, if you're someone who actively strives to regulate the moral choices made by your constituents, you had better make sure your own life is damn near spotless. And let's not forget that Yee spent nearly $2 million in taxpayer funds fighting for the government's "right" to regulate speech. This is its own form of abuse, one that no legislator ever seems to be punished for: riding political hobby horses at the expense of a public that is broadly opposed to the legislation being pursued.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 3:22am

    if you're gonna fuck up, don't go halfway I guess.....kee-rist.

     

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  2.  
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    Lurker Keith, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 3:34am

    win-win

    This is a win-win. An allegedly corrupt politician gets busted (or at least investigated), & someone who doesn't believe in the 1st Amendment loses, at the very least, his soap box.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 3:48am

    Fatass

     

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  4.  
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    William Webster, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 3:51am

    Response to: Tom Landry on Mar 27th, 2014 @ 3:22am

    Let Yee who is without sin cast the first stone. No, wait there's corruption stone flue back and snacks him upside the head lol!

     

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  5.  
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    William Webster, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 3:55am

    That should have been smacks but smartphones are almost as stupid as Yee

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 4:02am

    I'd say that history dictates he will be the next president

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 4:03am

    Karma is such a bitch, but dear god do we love her

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 4:03am

    This sets control freak liberals back quite a ways and exposes their phony agenda for the closet fascism it really is. Rot in jail with Shrimpo, pal.

     

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  9.  
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    ReallyEvilCanine (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 4:30am

    $5 says he was playing GTA when the cops came in

    From the ars article:
    "This is the same technology the armed forces use to help soldiers kill the enemy. All we're saying is, 'Don't sell it to kids,'" he told The San Jose Mercury News in 2008.
    So it turns out he knew what he was talking about after all!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 4:42am

    Re:

    Judge not, lest Yee be judged!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 4:46am

    Re: $5 says he was playing GTA when the cops came in

    The funny thing is in the ways that he is actually technically correct but logically fallacious. Controllers used for drones and remote control robots like bomb-squad bots. Of course keyboards are also used by predator drone pilots. That is obviously completely irrelevant. The military also utilizes technology in that they wear clothes - which also helps in killing the enemy.

     

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  12.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 5:32am

    Proof that video-games create psychopath-drug-dealing-murderers. After all he had to play them to assert they are violent, no? /sarc

     

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  13.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 5:36am

    Hold up

    An FBI sting? I'm going to wait for details.

     

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  14.  
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    Nicholas Weaver (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 5:55am

    Ha, arms dealing...

    Leland Yee is also a notorious anti-gun legislator, to the point of ridiculousness. His biggest focus was on the "bullet button", which is actually something gun control people SHOULD actually embrace. [1]

    A link to the complaint here: http://media.nbcbayarea.com/documents/complaint_affidavit_14-70421-nc.pdf

    Thus the gun charge is particularly amusing, basically its setting up a deal (in return for a campaign contribution) with a gun importer.


    [1] Namely, in CA, "Assault weapon" is defined as a rifle with "removable magazine + 1 scary looking feature (pistol grip, flash suppressor, adjustable stock, etc)".

    So someone came up with the "Bullet button": a magazine release that requires a tool, so its no longer removable, and a legal limit of 10 round magazines.

    Now these are great: The gun-types can have their ARs with all the features they think are so cool, they are great home defense guns (far better than a pistol or a shotgun: 5.56 breaks apart much easier in walls and is much more accurate), yet they, well, can't be quickly reloaded!

    So its perfect: The tacticool guys get their tacticool shit, people who want a home defense gun get 10 easy to hit with, break-apart-in-walls shots, but the crazy-wakko-spree-killers are SOL. And the gangbangers always used pistols: its hard to stick an AR down your pants.

    Yet Senator Yee viewed this as a "loophole" and has been fighting it for years. He and a couple of colleagues got a sweeping "assault weapon" ban passed that would reclassify effectively EVERY rifle as an "assault weapon"! (It was so bad that Governor Brown actually vetoed it!).

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 5:58am

    I'm waiting to see if the arms dealer is actually an FBI agent and all the players involved are FBI.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re:

    If you are going to say it, include the context.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged.
    For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.


    It's nothing more than a warning to pursue Justice with Faith and Mercy in your judgements for righteous people, BUT a dire warning for Hypocrites!

    I tired of people using it to push the idea that people should not judge. People definitely should judge... but should do so fairly and to recuse themselves of making judgements in cases where they themselves have conflict of interest, or are guilty of the same as well!

     

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  17.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 6:18am

    Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    but the crazy-wakko-spree-killers are SOL. And the gangbangers always used pistols: its hard to stick an AR down your pants.

    If you think passing a law is going to stop people who have already proven they are willing to break the law, you sir are horribly sadly mistaken.

     

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  18.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did you fall in the no-humour excessive pedantry kool-aid this morning? The quote was sufficient, apt, and making a humorous point.

    Go troll some Yahoo Answers/Youtube comments...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    No worse than any other control freaks like most of the Republican establishment...

    Any control freakery is bad, unwarranted control freakery is really bad.

    And no, protecting people from harm isn't control freakery, if used with some discretion and sense. The problem is the absolutism, and too much or not enough regard for other peoples' rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    yes, but laws can reduce easy access to dangerous things and give additional legal sticks for DAs to use. And given the deadliness and scale of death from guns, any little help is important.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    Really the last thing DAs need are more legal sticks. They have way too many of them already.

     

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  22.  
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    Crazy Canuck, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 7:09am

    But on to the more important issues... What version of Grand Theft Auto does Yee play? He must play it right? Isn't that what turned a pure innocent man into a corrupt gun-running politician?

     

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  23.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    More people are killed a year by cars than are killed by guns. The only way to get guns to have have anything nearing any statistical significance is to include suicides, which likely won't be stopped either even if all guns are removed completely (which any suggested legislation A: wouldn't do, and B: would never pass if suggested).

    Time would be far better focused on solving the issues that lead to gun violence, rather than trying to limit anything related to guns. Limiting guns hurts the 99% of guns owners who have done and will do nothing wrong with them.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    The UK has an effective total ban on hand guns for civilians, and the criminals still obtain them, and use them with depressing regularity.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 7:45am

    Just one thing...

    ...Bwaaaaa ha ha ha!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    More artists are robbed a year by labels than are hurt by potential customers downloading their songs. The only way to get Dl's to have have anything nearing any statistical significance is to pretend they are lost sales, which likely won't come to be even if all files are removed completely (which any suggested legislation A: wouldn't do, and B: should never pass if suggested).

    Time would be far better focused on solving the issues that leads to labels stealing, rather than trying to limit anything related to DL's. Limiting DL's hurts the 99% of fans who have done and will do nothing wrong with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Since we're being all serious and stuff, let's go for a more appropriate biblical quote.

    "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    If you'd left the irrelevant liberal reference out, I would have agreed with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    GeeC, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    If you look at gun fights and home defense scenarios, then you would know that many times 10 shots is rarely enough to incapacitate one target. This includes trained individuals (ie. police officers) and doesn't take into account multiple aggressors.

    People don't want 30 round magazines, AR-15's, and easily interchangeable magazines because they are "tacticool"... they want them because they are effective in protecting their families.

    If 3 people came in armed to rob your house or even just 2, then would 10 rounds be enough to engage all the targets.

    In the end, this story shows us that only law abiding people obey the law, and that criminals will always get illegal items (drugs, weapons, etc.). Why do we let these government criminals consistently handcuff us and take away our rights? Safety? Security? They have proven failures at both and show that they are only concerned with lining their own pockets.

     

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  30.  
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    Michael, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:16am

    Yee and an intermediary allegedly met repeatedly with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for setting up a deal with international arms dealers

    Well, I suppose there is a pretty good chance that the FBI initiated the meetings, set up fake arms dealers, and possibly installed Yee in office as a puppet so they would have someone they could dup into this so they could arrest him - to stop terrorism.

     

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  31.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    I would agree completely. However that doesn't matter at all to the topic discussion of firearms and their attempted bans or limits.

    And while I was drawing attention to the idea that nobody would want to ban cars, I would find it amusing to attempt to ban labels to save the artists. =)

     

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  32.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re: Hold up

    That and the grand jury part of it are what made this post a bit more restrained than it would have been otherwise. Not so much dancing-on-the-grave as it is tapping-toe-rhythmically-at-the-plot's-periphery.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I actually know the full quote.

    Oddly enoughm I was making a bad pun, but so bee it.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    yeah but they will try to make dl's illegal but never guns

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:33am

    Terrorism?

    I thought the FBI was all terrorist all the time now. This looks more like the white collar crime they gave up on. Does this mean, by extention, that Yee is a terrorist?

     

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  36.  
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    Nicholas Weaver (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:55am

    See page 83 and 84...

    Its great, describing the gun deal Yee was brokering. You want automatic weapons? Shoulder fired RPGs? Senator Yee is the man for you!

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:55am

    Re: Terrorism?

    In the eyes of the FBI, everyone is a terrorist. The fact that you don't believe you are doing anything wrong just reinforces how irrational and dangerous you really are. That's what publishing information in a public forum is considered by the government to be "providing information to the enemy."

     

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  38.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 9:01am

    "As more new came out"

    More new what?

     

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  39.  
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    Shmerl, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 9:16am

    So

    which game does he blame for corrupting him?

     

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  40.  
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    Pragmatic, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    Oh, not this again. I suppose we ought to re-think laws against burglary and such, for the same reason. The point is NOT to stop people doing bad things, but to have a legal framework within which they can be held to account.

     

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  41.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    "I was drawing attention to the idea that nobody would want to ban cars"

    I know a handful of people who seriously want to ban cars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    laws can reduce easy access to dangerous thing

    Uh, how so? I was offered pot several times in high school in the 10th grade. By other 10th graders. This in a small town, not a big city. So no, laws do not erect such barriers. They only define logical boundaries and provide punishment for those who cross those boundaries.

    Much like a cop is really just an historian. They show up after the crime, take notes and pictures, ask some questions and hopefully, eventually catch the perpetrator of the crime. They do not, in fact, protect you. Not that they wouldn't if they could, but the can't so they don't.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    Yes, and having a clip that holds more than 10 rounds is not something anyone should be held accountable for. Now shooting people, that should be a crime. Having 11 rounds, not so much.

     

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  44.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    But compare pot to alcohol. Pot is easily available to pretty much anyone of any age anywhere in the US. Alcohol, however, is much more difficult (although certainly not impossible) for minors to get.

    Laws can certainly reduce easy access. Prohibition doesn't work well to accomplish this, but reasonable regulation certainly can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    *facepalm*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    "I know a handful of people who seriously want to ban cars."

    I'd love to ban cars. However, the problem is that like everything else, the lawyers would get involved and draft exceptions to the ban, and then the only thing left would be a ban on cars for me. Which actually wouldn't be bad if my employer would remove the stupid ban on telework that only bans me from working at home.

    In seriousness though, banning anything is never the solution to anything. I wish the politicians would get the picture. There is never a worthwhile 100% solution to any problem that involves banning. I would love to use iodine to sanitize my carboys, but the government has seriously reduced the amount of iodine I can purchase to sanitize stuff because I could possibly use it to manufacture meth, even though I don't. But yet, the guys who make meth have no problem accessing iodine. Same is true with guns, cars, and everything else. If we could somehow convince the government to make a ban on banning things, I would be a very happy camper.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    Alcohol is easily available too, just ask all the party goers in high school. I have no idea why you think illegal stuff is or will ever be hard to get. Those who want will get it easy enough.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    Rekrul, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 10:35am

    Bribery and corruption? Is it wrong that my first thought was that he wasn't corrupt enough and wasn't taking his bribes seriously?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 11:07am

    Apparently, Raymond Chow was also indicted. If you're not familiar with Chow, he's the head of an infamous Tong in San Francisco. He's a really shitty person who has led a life of crime.

    If Yee is actually associated with Raymond Chow, it's probably safe to assume there's some truth in the indictment.

     

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  50.  
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    Alto, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    Most of them ride motorcycles...

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 11:59am

    Indictment is Really a Movie outline

    Sfgate has made a copy of the indictment available on their website.
    http://www.sfgate.com/file/757/757-complaint_affidavit_14-70421-nc.pdf

    It reads like an outline for a crime novel. Its well written and engrossing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    "Alcohol is easily available too"

    It is available, as I acknowledged, but not nearly as easily as pot is.

    "I have no idea why you think illegal stuff is or will ever be hard to get"

    I have no idea why you think that I think what you think I do. I never said making things illegal makes them hard to get. I explicitly said that prohibition completely fails at this and that regulation can reduce easy access. The contrast between pot (trivially available) and alcohol (available, but with much more hassle) illustrates this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    regulation can reduce easy access

    This is entirely false. How can something being outlawed completely make it easy to get and something being regulated is harder to get? That argument fails the logic test.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    If it's so false, why are there so many examples of it happening?

    In any case, there's a nice logical reason why this is true. I'll walk you through it. First, we have to correct your statement a little. I'm not talking about easy or hard to get for everybody, I'm talking about easy or hard to get for certain subgroups (in this case, children).

    The answer is the black market. You can buy pot everywhere because there is a heavy, nationwide demand for it but it isn't (outside of two places) legal. In that environment, the black market has taken up the job of filling the demand. The black market doesn't care who their customers are. It will sell to anybody with the cash.

    Alcohol, however, is legal and regulated. The heavy demand for it is met through legal channels, so the black market can't grow to any significant size. Regulations help to discourage the sales of alcohol to subgroups that society has decided shouldn't have it (children). If you are a child, you can't buy booze readily because there is a minimal black market for booze and the legitimate booze sellers won't generally sell to children because they'd be kicked out of the market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 27th, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Ha, arms dealing...

    Holy crap. If I lived in a place where such scenarios were anything but exceedingly unlikely, I still wouldn't bother buying any guns. I'd move somewhere that isn't a war zone.

    Once the gunfight has started, regardless of whether I come out on top or not, I've lost more than I'm willing to lose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 1:29pm

    I wonder who he pissed off, because usually a blind eye is turned for people in high political offices. Someone with a lot of political pull, wanted him gone. He must have pissed an extremely powerful person off. Someone more powerful and well connected, than himself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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