January 23, 2006

This Just In: Nick Coleman Still Sucks

Media bias against guns is a given. And media ignorance about guns is even more of a given. Ask your run-of-the-mill journalist to explain what an "assault" weapon is, and you'll likely be give the wrong answer. Which of course means that the media-consuming public is generally woefully misinformed, and often outright misled, about guns. I certainly don't claim to be an expert about guns, but I've fired a variety, and I'm for the right to own and bear arms, although I start to get squeamish when it comes to "Street Sweepers" and guns that tout "finger-print proof" handles, but that's just me. But, I own my own guns, for my own personal reasons, so there you have it. I'm betting, however, that people like, say. . . Nick Coleman, haven't owned a gun in their life, and would probably wet their pants and shit themselves if they found one pointed in their direction, or even if they wandered into a gun show, or probably if they even imagined holding a gun.

State's Exhibit No. 1 in the murder trial of Harry Jerome Evans is a 15-ounce piece of cold steel whose history is a mystery.

Perhaps Nick would be more comfortable if the gun was warmed up a bit? Simmer it over a stove perhaps? One wonders if Nick took the gun's temperature before he determined it was cold. Just a guess here, but I'm betting it was probably at room temperature.

All we know for sure about State's Exhibit No. 1 is that it is an old, beat-up Smith & Wesson Model 37, a .38-caliber five-shot revolver that was emptied in an alley on the East Side of St. Paul at about 2 a.m. on May 6, ending the life of St. Paul Police Sgt. Jerry Vick. Once upon a time, it was called a Chief's Special. But it became an officer's nightmare.


Two weeks into the trial of Evans, the most important questions about State's Exhibit No. 1 remain unanswered:

Who was carrying it that night? Who pulled the trigger? Who threw it onto a sidewalk between two homes on Reaney Avenue, leaving it in plain sight next to a drain pipe, where it was found after sunup when police combed the area near Erick's Bar for evidence and practically tripped over the murder weapon.

Nick Coleman. . . Attorney-at-law!

The trial may provide the answers. Or maybe not.

The U.S. justice system. . . MEH.

"Potent, highly concealable, top of the line." Those are some of the qualities attributed to the Model 37 in an online sale, where you can pick up one for under $300. Another feature: You can hide it in your pants easily, especially if you are going out for a night on the town and are afraid you will bump into an undercover officer or two while you are relieving yourself.

Because you'd be more enticed by an online gun sale that touts the gun as "Unwieldly, weak as a newborn fawn, about 125th on the list of guns we'd recommend. Your's for only $7,000." You know what else you can hide in your pants easily? A knife. An asp. A condom. A wallet. A sling shot, according to Bart Simpson. Newsflash: Hand guns are concealable! Film at 11.

I should note here that I think the death of Sgt. Vick is deplorable, but Coleman's attempt to position Vick's death as an anti-gun diatribe is pathetic, as is most of Nick's writing in general.

On Friday, the jury heard more testimony from Evans' friend, Antonio Kelly, who was arrested with Evans after Vick's killing but who has become the star witness against his erstwhile pal. Kelly testified that he and "Mo" went to a karaoke club and -- answering a question that was the subject of speculation in the courthouse -- performed a song by country star Tim McGraw and rapper Nelly. Sadly, Kelly (his nickname is "Oil") could not remember the name of the tune. But maybe it was "Over and Over," which has this chorus:

"I think about it over and over again;

I replay it over and over again

And I can't take it, I can't shake it."

For those not familiar with Nick's writing "style," this is his was of straying away from anything resembling a point. He thinks he's being creative and smart and, sadly, there are apparently readers who actually think he's creative and smart. People also believe the Holocaust never happened, and that man never walked on the moon. Oh, and the earth is flat.

Maybe it's about someone dying in an alley. I've never heard it. But I know the feeling.

Nick knows what it feels like to die in an alley? What is he? Catwoman?

One mystery: Patrons at the karaoke club were "wanded" -- electronically checked for weapons. Where was the battered Smith & Wesson Model 37? No one has said yet.

Quick poll: who here has been wanded? I have. Several times, in fact. Practically every visit to an airport earns me a wanding. And I'm here to tell you that, even at airports, a wanding can be a half-hearted exercise on the part of the wander. I can imagine that a wanding at a Karaoke bar is even less so. If someone really wanted to hide a .38 from the all-seeing wand, particularly if they may, perhaps, know the person doing the wanding, I imagine it's pretty easy to do so. But Nick Coleman, attorney-at-law, doesn't seem to understand any of that.

Oil said Friday that he did not see a gun on Mo that night. Or so he said before apparently contradicting himself later, when he testified that Evans raised his shirt to flash the butt of the gun at the undercover officers who got into an argument with Mo and Oil outside Erick's Bar.

Anyone here guess Nick's point yet? Anyone at all? Is he making a case for the defendant? Against guns? Against Karaoke?

As long as Nick is playing the role of Columbo here, here's my two cents. Isn't it possible "Oil" didn't see a gun on Mo that night until he raised his shirt and flashed it? Nevermind. Nick seems determined to make a case to his readership (which, sad to say, he actually does have) and play the role of attorney to the accused, which is always such a good idea for journalists.

Did Vick or his partner that night, Sgt. Joe Strong, see the gun?

Oil didn't know for sure, but he said one of the officers, the big one (which would be Vick), seemed to back down and said, "That's cool, that's cool. You ain't gonna go there."

Minutes later, Vick was dead, his service pistol, still in its holster, on the pavement. The empty murder weapon -- spent cartridges tossed in the grass -- lay on a sidewalk between two houses nearby, waiting for sunup. Its work was done.

The gun was waiting for sunup. It even set the alarm clock. Bad writing. . . such. . . bad. . . writing.

Because its serial number has been illegally altered, it is impossible to tell much more about State's Exhibit No. 1.

Quick question here, but can a gun's serial number be LEGALLY altered?

Other than it is old, so old that someone covered the gun's worn handle in black tape to give a better grip.

I've never actually heard of black tape being used for a better grip, although I'm admittedly not a scholar of guns. However, I'm wondering if the black tape had more to do with preventing fingerprints than providing a better grip.

And that it was entered into evidence at the start of the trial after Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin first made sure that it was empty and locked, a steel cable running down the 17/8-inch barrel, preventing the cylinder from being closed.

Yeah, because most courts like to have a freshly-loaded gun with the safety off entered as evidence.

"It's secure," the judge reassured the jury, awkwardly displaying Exhibit No. 1 from the bench.

On what basis does Nick decide the judge was "awkwardly displaying" the gun? Was the judge wearing clown shoes? Stick their pinkie finger down the barrel? What made it awkward.

Secure, but still "serviceable," as a firearms expert described it. Somehow, "serviceable" does not seem like the right word for a gun that was used in the dark of night to kill a cop.

If Nick were a firearms expert, I imagine he'd deem the weapon "cop-killerable," or "officer-smiting-worthy" or "dark-of-night-police-shootable."

Just a cold hunk of stupid steel, worthless and useless, until it cut short a life.

It's still cold! Take that fucker out of the freezer already! And it's worthless. . . except that you can buy it for under $300. And it's useless. . . except for when it's used. Nick, a lighter is useless until the moment it's used to light something. And, where's your freakin' point again? Somewhere near Oregon?

A neat little gun, a nifty little gun. Guns don't kill police officers. People kill police officers.

With guns.

Oh, that's right: it's an anti-GUN column. I nearly forgot.

"The 37 Chief's Special is a 'must have' where deep concealment is an absolute," it says on the Internet site. Yes, yes, a handy thing to have.

Especially when you go out for karaoke.

I don't know. . . I've been to more than a few karaoke bars where I'd liked to have had a pistol handy.

Posted by Ryan at January 23, 2006 12:07 PM | TrackBack

Nope, black tape fingerprints pretty easily. But it does work pretty good when the grips are loose because the screw is stripped. Anyway.
Priceless Ryan, just priceless. Karaoke bars and pistols, lol......

Posted by: Donna at January 23, 2006 09:57 PM

Great work!
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Posted by: Roy at July 17, 2006 04:22 PM
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