Friday, August 29, 2014


  A man six foot four inches tall, weighing 303 pounds and allegedly shot by police while unarmed.  The officer, is of average height and build, and attacked after initial confrontation with the deceased.  There is a physical struggle and necessary for the officer to retain possession of his police firearm.  The officer gains control of his weapon and the assailant/deceased is alleged to retreat. Something in the mind set of the deceased encouraged him to re-engage the police officer and it was a fatal decision.  It is alleged the deceased hands are raised in surrender.

What transpired during and after the incident is really not a mystery.  It is logical in the mindset of a police officer that has been attacked in similar circumstances.  Confronting a person with physical characteristics of a World Wrestling performer and having the ability to inflict great physical harm is more than a challenge.  The officer, if average size, is at a tremendous disadvantage.  Size is a crucial element in physical confrontation.  In real life and death situations I look back over my career and if I had been any smaller I would not be writing this now.  There is not a salary paid that equates to fighting for our lives.  The officer was treated medically for a fractured eye socket sustained from the encounter.

The deceased was the suspected perpetrator of a store unarmed robbery.  The televised video indicates he robbed a store and physically assaulted the clerk, stealing fifty dollars worth of cigars, fifteen minutes before he was shot.  This video should have been released on the day of the shooting.  In Massachusetts Chapter 265-19, Unarmed robbery can carry a felony punishment of twenty years to life sentence.  So, this is not some pickpocket stealing lunch money. We can assume the mindset of the deceased was not one of kindness in the time frame of the robbery to the shooting.

Much is said about the officer not knowing about the robbery and confronting the deceased in broad daylight in the middle of the street.  Police do not customarily use physical force for J-walking, especially on a perpetrator nearly twice our size.  Nor do we awaken and start the day planning a shooting. The officer's service record will reveal how many confrontations he has had over J-walking.  To speculate as the media does on ridiculous conclusions is just plain silly without research.

The gunshot wounds to the victim, six in all, from the front.  He was not retreating or running away, he decided to re-engage the officer.  It is reasonable to deduct that the two head wounds of the deceased are the final wounds.  The other four wounds are in the right hand and arm.  I suggest the four arm wounds are the beginning of a series of discharged bullets indicating the officer was bringing his weapon up to a firing position with necessary haste.  If he had his weapon trained on the deceased intending on execution, as alleged, I doubt if he had been aiming at the victim’s hand.  If the victim’s hands were raised, as alleged, it would be a little improbable that the officer was aiming over the victim’s head, firing as he brought the weapon down.  The bullet trajectory will be assessed and should reveal the position of the arm when it was wounded.  The bullet trajectory of the head wounds should reveal more evidence and will under more scrutiny. If the deceased was not advancing on the officer that would give time for more calculated marksmanship and the wounds do not indicate that.  A toxicology result from the autopsy will reveal any controlled substance abuse.  This is an opinion, based solely on my own practical experiences; we will witness a circus the news media will make of this tragedy.  We have lived through similar events.  It is unfortunate that it ever happened.

Peter Risatti


For the thirty-four years, throughout my police career, I voted as an Independent.  My reasoning was a nonpartisan position could not be associated with being politically biased.  It worked. 

I have learned the political affiliations we create in our lives influence our decisions, our social relationships and our quality of life.  Certain beliefs we adhere to through our environment and experiences will form our ideology.  As an independent it was easier to read the newspaper and whenever a political scandal erupted it was nice not to have the affiliation.  I also learned that “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” one-party rule is just that.  A two party system is the watchdog that keeps the wolves at bay.  The rules of hierarchy in politics dictate that second best is not in control but they are looking for the event that will put them in control.  Control, is the goal for political gain.

There are several political parties, with only two giants in the room.  Hardly a giant in Massachusetts, the Republicans are 11% of the voters.  Democrats are 39% and independent noncommittal voters account for 50%.  About half of everything that happens in life from relationships, work, religion and politics is noncommittal.  When we read this we reject the premise that noncommittal voting is lacking responsibility and deference to good government.  Studying voters around us we can analyze how committed they are and for what duration, it is usually dependent on needs, their needs.
Continuing the same process without getting our hands dirty.  Assessing the government we get is the parody of effective voting.

Sitting on a fence it is easier to switch pastures if the grass looks a little greener in the other fellow’s yard.  The problem arises when the grass can look greener but the eventual flavor might not be of our liking.  The political parties have figured this and just rely on the independents to be very fickle.  Raise the “Problem de Jour” and see how many take the bait without research.  They raise the premise of a “War on Women” they know the fickle vote is not one of reason, mostly spontaneity.  The independent vote empowers Democratic control, as 61% of Massachusetts cannot stand united.

It is not a wonder that so many government programs are never terminated after decades of substantiated failure.  Fifty percent of the voters are not committed to eliminating corruption.  The benefits of voting non-committal are minimal and for influencing governmental change.  When the outcome depends on a fickle opinion how strong can it be?   Change should come about only when there are two closely viable entities vying for the same control.  The only thing that disrupts government more is the apathetic nonvoter, the epitome of a depressed government, “You can‘t blame me, I didn’t vote.”   Now, is that a convoluted conclusion?  Inspiration for change would be new candidates with 11% participation there is little incentive.   Primaries are the tickle processes we use; enough agitation from a loud ideology and the platform of the party will change.  Why?  The apathetic nonvoter relinquishes and the fickle voter guarantees the process. 

How many people know what an independent voter actually has for benefits?  Only one, I know of, they can determine what primary they vote in. Some consider it two chances of eliminating the candidate they do not want to run against the person they want to win. I’ve never heard it was successful. 

The Independent’s voting ballot is the same as everyone’s in the general election, with the same choices. Independents alone, voting without commitment, may readily be part of the problem and not the solution.  Apathetic voters are suppressed not to vote by choice.  So, there we have it, apathy and fickleness determine our governmental process and then we criticize the result.   How many think it was a hard fought, honest campaign that brought us our leadership?   Wouldn’t it be nice?

Peter Risatti


The commonwealth’s gun control regulations are themselves a paradox, creating an undue burden for the disadvantaged on one hand and unintended, sometimes deadly results on the other. Obeying the law, we rarely think about the consequences of owning a firearm. It has been stated that there are more gun owners in Berkshire County than either registered Democrats or Republicans. There is a proposal in the legislature to further tighten access to firearms in our state. Local residents have a vested interest in current and future restrictions and regulations imposed on their right to posses firearms.

We have heard, “If gun control worked, Chicago would be like Mayberry. Guns are like parachutes, we may only need one once and if we do not have it we will never need it again.” Massachusetts licensing procurement is one of the most stringent in the United States. License application is sought at our local police station where we are scrutinized and profiled as to what we deserve a license for. Without criminal or mental history we qualify to be trained and carry a firearm. We pay for a training certificate and a one hundred-dollar license fee. If refused, we can request a hearing before the local court for judicial determination. Imagine, if we did this for 100mph vehicle operation or receiving habit-forming prescription narcotics?  The latter two, drugs and cars kill thousands every year. 

There are costs, often quite expensive for firearms, ammunition and licensing. The costs are discriminatory and unaffordable for many, only accessible to those having several hundred dollars.  The expense punishes the poor, yet in this instance it is deemed acceptable. The irony is poor people are more subject to crime because of the environment they live in.  When the costs of gun ownership rise that segment of society is very limited in their decisions. We are upset when they remain unlicensed and buy cheap illegal guns. Another social consequence of being poor, the government will never subsidize firearm ownership.

Is a firearm necessary?  So many profess it is not.  The epitome of safety is standing beside a police officer because he has a gun and is trained. There is not a more noble profession. The limitation of police is that they cannot be everywhere all the time and most of the time they are completely reactionary to events. They arrive in time to summon an ambulance, photograph the crime scene, or conduct the investigation.  The proactive side of police work is ever changing; whatever criminal opportunity exists, the unsavory will seek to take advantage. It can be devastating to be a victim and deprived of governmental protection, or any protection.  A firearm is not necessary for everyone but vital for many.
Society discourages firearm exposure for our children, while at the same time we increase the exposure to Marijuana, a gateway drug to further drug abuse.  Marijuana possession was one reason for restricting firearms’ licenses. By decriminalizing it, previously denied firearm ownership applicants could now be eligible. Will the people so restricted be applying for gun licenses? What a collateral effect, as we decriminalize drugs we make more drug-using citizens eligible for gun rights they were denied.
Mental health disclosure is a portion of firearms’ safety.  Liberalizing mental health disorder restrictions, not recognizing the danger to society has been disastrous. Labeling a disorder was not politically correct but it was a lot safer, a social consequence.

The left’s amnesty push for illegal aliens may ultimately backfire. The National Rifle Association is expecting a huge membership increase. More people granted citizenship and the "right to bear arms." Having been deprived of personal protection in their previous country, they will welcome their new constitutional right to bear arms. Adamant new gun owners may change the vote in ways we can only imagine.

Peter Risatti


The paradox of freedom, from the right. Have you read or heard the statement, “Fathom the Hypocrisy of a Government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured, but not everyone must prove they are citizens?” Our government has forced many of its citizens to exchange their health care, for a version of health care alleged to help the people that were uninsured. For compliance in Massachusetts our penalties or fines are levied on people filing income tax. We need to file income taxes in order to be fined for not having health care, as I understand it.

If we are working “Under-the-table” without tax consequences what difference does this make? It doesn’t. Without visible income we are considered indigent and entitled to all benefits afforded that classification. The taxpayer will fund their health expense. If the levied fine for uninsured is equal to, or less than the insurance premium is it functional? No. I’m healthy, but if I get sick I cannot be refused insurance for preexisting conditions. If I am young and healthy this certainly discourages me from getting insurance before I am sick. If private insurance companies cannot insure us normally then the coverage gained will have loaded deductibles. It will be handled under a pool of significant illnesses that go beyond simple disorders. There will be millions of healthy people that must insure to compensate for catastrophic conditions to balance what probably cannot be balanced.

It is improbable the government mandate of Affordable Health Care (AHC) can be delivered. Small businesses may have to discriminate in hiring based on health needs. Mandated insurance provided for everyone, including preexisting conditions, created a dilemma. Without a balance of premiums charged and patient needs compensated the insurance companies cannot prosper. There is little reason to be in business without profit. The previous health system in place was in need of restructuring. The results of the new AHC our freedom of choice is compromised . We assign government to pick up where insurance companies fail, subsidizing premiums. We place government in a precarious position. Is this why we have a Congress that is upside down, trying to deliver what it cannot? We provide an insurance to the majority that is marginal with sky rocketing co-payments and diminishing benefits for the people that pay premiums.

Freedom is a state of security for citizens to pursue happiness. This is not a difficult concept, we call it human rights, “Commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.” Happiness should not be gained at the expense of another citizen’s physical pain or submission of property that is taken from them. In this case the pain is enduring loss of adequate healthcare removed by a government.

They started with thirty million residents not having health insurance. There were no estimates as to the number of non citizens. The health care provided was by way of hospital emergency room visits. The reasons for previously uninsured were unaffordable premiums, preexisting conditions, or plainly, insurance was not wanted. With recent subscriptions to affordable health care the emergency room visits by uninsured have not declined. Is anyone asking why?

We are asked to sacrifice a great deal so that process corruption can prosper. What part do our law makers play in this compliance? A great deal, if they collude with partisan groups that border on absurdity. They compromise the freedoms of the people that work and pay.

Somehow, our compassion for the needy has become a means for anyone of a needy mind set to exploit the system. If the government wants to expand coverage to non citizens and non taxpayers they need to establish and fund a clinical system to rival the hospital emergency room. Maybe a solution is in the original idea of clinics, the same as the Peace Corps does in foreign countries. They could actually help more foreigners right here in the United States? We would at least know how the money is spent. Now, we do not. Now, there is a thought for today!

Peter Risatti