Pier 14 is a festive weekend destination with a holiday atmosphere
San Francisco – City dads and booster columnists used to call the Embarcadero the “Chinese wall” that kept the city from enjoying its picturesque waterfront.
Rows of high security open cargo piers with towering facades blocked spectacular views; a double layer skyway created a pre-cast concrete barrier that spewed toxic plumes of diesel smoke from short-haul trucks dropping and picking up freight.
But over a period of four decades, all that changed with the addition of a sports stadium, a revival of electric trolleys, open air produce and flower markets, and the revival of ferry service to the tony bayside cities of Sausalito and Tiburon.
There is a festive, holiday atmosphere that draws pretty women and their kids, families out for a stroll, to this spectacular urban venue.
Like the handgun that sent a .40 caliber slug downrange from the barrel of a double-single action Sig Sauer P226 of the model favored by the Navy’s SEAL teams, a semiautomatic that was stolen from a federal agent of the Bureau of Land Management, Pier 14 should be as safe as can be. That is, as safe as a smoking gun favored by commandos, or a wild west waterfront with a reputation built on a gold rush.
The 226 features a de-cocking lever that will safely return the hammer to a neutral position to lessen the likelihood of an accidental discharge, while a very stiff double action will readily fire a powerful round favored by police worldwide and used exclusively by the Department of Homeland Security from a condition that is least likely to be subject to the kind of negligent discharge that ended the life of Kathryn Steinle, an attractive Bay Area native in her early thirties who was strolling with her father on July 1, 2015.
It’s totally illegal to have a handgun inside the borders of this compact, highly urban consolidated city and county, much less carry it around amongst its population . The city by the Bay is known for its peaceful ways.
Besides, its designation as a “sanctuary city” conjures up images of a saint with pigeons flocking to his hands, a benevolent pastor tending his sheep, a shining city on the hill offering safety and serenity.
Francisco Sanchez admits he fired the bullet that ricocheted off the sidewalk before it struck Ms. Steinle. He has told reporters it was an accidental discharge. But the evidence is sufficient to bind him over for a trial for murder, according to a municipal judge who heard the pre-trial information and arraignment.
His credibility is tarnished by the fact that he is a convicted felon who has served time in federal lockups, and he has been deported from the U.S. five times in his life. His choice of weapon and the caliber of rounds it fires is, however, highly symbolic.
When federal immigration officials requested the Sheriff of San Francisco to detain him in the County Jail following his release from a federal lockup in Victorville, California, he refused because of the City’s policy as a sanctuary city.
The detainer was for a 20-year-old warrant for marijuana offenses.
“We don’t even prosecute that here,” said the lawman.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott says not here, not in Texas, and not now that a legislative session is in the opening stages with bills tumbling into the hopper, both left and right.
In the coming legislative session, he aims to do something about that kind of thing, as practiced in the Texas sanctuary cities of Dallas, Austin, and Houston, the legendary sanctuary city status being largely symbolic due to a refusal to enforce laws already on the books.
He says he’s already cut funding to those cities, and policy wonks both left and right say it’s just a bunch of hot air.
But, wait, there’s more.
Abbott’s legislative program sounds as if it all part of the laws on the books that certain municipalities, their prosecutors and judges, refuse to enforce:
Outlaw any policy or action that promotes sanctuary to people in this state illegally;
Make it illegal for a Sheriff’s Department to refuse to honor a federal immigration detainer request;
Ensure that localities are fully financially responsible for the actions of any illegal immigrants who are released because the county’s sheriff failed to honor an ICE detainer request.
That’s not all, though. Apparently, in the Governor’s eye, the election isn’t really over – until all the money is gone.
Abbott sees a coming battle with “every notorious liberal you can think of – from ultra-liberal billionaire George Soros, to media demagogues, to left-wing federal judges…”
Hillary Clinton’s network of campaign offices and supporters will use their resources to oppose him, Abbott warns. He’s looking to beat a December 10 campaign funding deadline that he says the liberals don’t really have to honor.
As W.C. Fields once said, “What the country needs is money.”
“For daring to take on the status quo, I’ve become a target for Democrats and their left-wing pals in D.C…If we lose this fight, we lose Texas.
“Believe me, George Soros and his pals aren’t going to miss this opportunity to expand Democrats’ reach in Texas. He dumped half-a-million dollars into one Texas county alone this year.”
The .40 cal. Smith & Wesson round is favored by ICE agents
The federal government dumped a lot of money into the ammunition lockers of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division.
Starting in 2003, orders of 50 million and 225 million .40 S&W hollow point ammunition totaling 275 million rounds were purchased. After the expiration of the five year contracts in 2008, ICE purchased an additional 575 million rounds of .40 S&W hollow point ammunition with two separate orders (200 million and 375 million). Now, with the expiration of the 2008 contract, ICE has ordered a maximum of 450 million rounds over the next five years.
But accountants using the buttoned down technique of spread sheet analysis and laptop computers proved in the turning point year of 2010 that it doesn’t take ninja-suited commandos or high-powered hollow point bullets to enforce the law.
In an examination of the books at area poultry farms, inspectors forced the layoff of dozens of workers in the U.S. illegally and told operators such as the international agribusiness giant Cargill’s that they could employ the illegals as long as they wanted while facing very expensive monthly consent orders.