A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Danziger Update

Today, a former New Orleans police lieutenant entered a guilty plea stating that he conspired to obstruct justice regarding the Danziger Bridge Massacre. Federal prosecutors say Lt. Michael Lohman took part in a scheme to plant a gun at the scene, and helped rewrite police reports to make a fabricated version of the tragedy seem more plausible.

New Orleans police officers Sgt. Robert Gisevius and Sgt. Arthur Kaufman have received letters stating they are targets of the federal investigation into the killings on the Danziger Bridge in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Gisevius is accused of being one of the shooters. There is not yet any word whether the other officers involved have been notified they are targets of the federal investigation, but the bill of information against Lohman is clear that others wil be charged. It is quite possible the Feds are waiting to see if the news of Lohman's plea bargain and cooperation will turn another witness, perhaps one who was present at the scene of the killings.

Six civilians were shot by police officers on the bridge on Sept. 4, 2005. Two of them, Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man with the mental capacity of a child, and 19-year-old James Brissette were killed. The other civilians were severely wounded. Police officers were responding to a report that snipers were firing at helicopters from the bridge. This report was later shown to be untrue.

"In any circumstance, that's a critical call, a high-risk call," Eric Hessler, the attorney representing Gisevius stated. "It raises your adrenaline, it automatically puts you in fear for your life. And when you are responding to that call in the midst of Katrina, when all kinds of misinformation is being given out, you are certainly going to be in a heightened state."

"I can assure you, when my client left the back of that box vehicle, there was gunfire all over," Hessler claimed. "And in that situation, he is reasonably fearing for his life."

Sgt. Kaufman was one of the lead investigators assigned to get to the truth of what happened on the Danziger bridge. The investigation claimed the shooting was justifiable. Federal prosecutors are now describing the investigation as "corrupt." Last August, the FBI conducted a surprise search of Kaufman's office and seized files and computer hard drives. The New Orleans police has maintained that the officers involved only fired upon the group of civilians when they themselves were fired upon. Charges against the seven officers involved in the shooting were dismissed on a technicality by Criminal District Court Judge Raymond Bigelow in August, 2008.

This week, the FBI confirmed they are also investigating the police shooting of a 41-year-old Connecticut man in the Faubourg Marigny five days after Katrina, and the NOPD acknowledges the agency has received federal subpoenas for documents related to two other post-Katrina police shootings.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

100 Strangers Question

I just joined this group and plan on starting my 100 strangers in about a month or so.

Here's my question: I only own a compact digital camera. Is that good enough to get some nice shots? Do you guys all use a digital SLR or is a compact enough? I really want to buy a SLR, but it's way expensive and I'm not that skilled with photography yet.

To those of you who use a compact: don't people decline way more often because the camera doesn't look "professional" enough?

Thanks a lot!

It is the photographer, not the camera, that makes great shots.

If you use your compact well, know it intimately, and tweak it's settings to get the most out of it, you will shoot more beautiful photographs than 98% of the people who own DSLRs. 82/100 CarmenThis is aptly demonstrated by several award winning journalists going into war zones, and similar situations with only point and shoots. They are getting the shots, great shots, on the fly with incredible light. The work is making national and worldwide publication and acclaim. The first was Magnum photographer Alex Majoli in 2003.

The point and shoot has several advantages over the DSLR. It is quiet. Discreet. Ideal for candids. It is light. It is simple and quick. The LCD screen is perfect for off hand shooting. That is why a Nikon S52 is my constant companion. Even when I am carrying two (yes two!) Nikon D200s.

The DSLR gives you a bit more credibility in regards to stranger photography, but it also gives a false impression of a photojournalist. With some strangers, this can be a plus, with others it can be a hinderance. I am often asked if I shoot for a magazine or newspaper.

Until I finally bought my first D200, I shot digital exclusively with point and shoot cameras that I purchased used in pawn shops for under $60. I ride my equipment hard, and considered them disposable. Then one day a D200 was on the pawn shop shelf..........

Get started in the project. The type of camera you have is not a limitation, unless you make it one.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

On the Super Bowl

I only have one thing to say about the total annihilation, the total smack down of the blue and white used to be favorites in Super Bowl XLIV...... When Peyton Manning was a kid, chances are he went to bed at night dreaming about throwing the winning touchdown for the Saints in the Superbowl. Last Sunday, he did.

Who Dat?

Now back to the regularly scheduled blog.........

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pawn Shop Circuit: Bad Guns

It has been said that there are no "bad" guns. I would disagree with that. A bad gun is one that is unreliable. A bad gun is one that goes snap when it should go bang. Bad guns are the ones that don't do their job.

Today, I swung into Kenny's Pawn Shop to see what was on the shelves. He had a Smith & Wesson M&P (the new plasticky kind) a couple of Glocks, and a Springfield XD compact. Among his little guns was an Iver Johnson 25 caliber pistol that resembled a Walther PPK, and a well worn Charter Arms Undercover for $129. What grabbed my interest though was a stainless AMT pocket pistol, the AMT Back-Up. I remember years ago when these were a staple among the police. I looked it over and asked Kenny if it came with an extra magazine. It did not. One mag only.

I'm not too interested in shooting another caliber, and the pistol would not carry any easier than a J frame in my pocket, or my Colt Defender on my hip. Three-eighty is some expensive ammunition to practice with too. I got rid of my .380 pistols years ago. I am not that familiar with AMT, but I have not heard a lot of good things about them. In fact, the usual range cussing would be the opposite. Still, it was a classic back-up gun. Kenny was wanting $239 for the flat little pistol, but I decided I should do a bit of research first.

When I got home, a quick Google search revealed my suspicions. Here is a sampling from The High Road, from people I correspond with and respect:
The early guns had SERIOUS safety flaws, in that the safety was "off" after the lever had moved less than 10% of its entire length of travel.
As far as AMT goes, let me just say that during the last 40 years well over 300 guns of various makes and models have passed through my collection. Only two stand out in my mind as truly BAD guns. One was the original 380 Backup (SA) and the other was the 45 Backup (DAO). Both were such total POS that throwing them into the Atlantic Ocean could be considered environmental pollution.
If it says AMT on the slide, there's a 50/50 chance that the gun will be either trouble-free or not run at all. The AMT Backup seems to be the worst offender of the line.
At $169, that AMT 380 is about $170 over priced! If it was thrown in with a trade or came along w/ some cash, maybe! It would depend on the main gun in the trade, what I was giving up & how much cash!
Sorry Kenny, I won't be back after that one. Maybe the Undercover...... If the price drops.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010


It sits on a Corvette C6 chassis. Front clip styled like a 57 Chevy. Side like a 58, rear like a 59. Hence the designation "789."

More here.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

It's been a few days. I'm unable to determine if the criminal has been nabbed.

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Saints in the Superbowl.

Mitch Landreau the Mayor of New Orleans.

Take that Nagin! Who Dat?


Monday, February 01, 2010


By inserting a Wein Peanut Slave into the the PC cord socket the Vivitar 283 speedlight that a friend mailed me, I can convert it to a slaved unit. That will make the old flash safe to use with my camera if the D200 is used in Commander Mode.

I will need an umbrella swivel adapter for the top of my existing lightweight light stand. Thus equipped. I will have a portable single light strobist unit. I'll need a bag too.......