Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I will be discussing my new book, The America We All Want, at the University of Richmond’s Osher Institute on Monday, September 24th from 10:00 a.m. until noon. The book examines the successful steps taken at the local level to help curb the growing gun violence in our country. To register, call (804) 287-6608. There is a $20.00 charge to attend.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Press Release on New Book

The America We All Want is the culmination of over a decade of research and writing on gun violence in the United States. The book is brutally honest in addressing the causes of the gun violence epidemic in the United States. Cariens believes the public shootings are a direct result of the past failures of our national and state leaders to address the root causes of violence. The author also factors in the growth of terrorism, racially motivated violence, and the horrendous targeting and murder of our police.

The America We All Want suggests actions can be taken at the local level to begin to curb these shooting rampages. The book does not have all the answers, but is a clarion call for people to think about what can be done and then follow up with actions.

The book challenges those who, when presented with ideas to curb gun violence say, “That won’t work.” He believes we are individually responsible for developing ideas to curb gun deaths. Cariens presents a clear-cut argument for working at the local level for change; attending town hall or council meetings; and to put forth ideas to stop the killings. And most important – to listen to each other’s ideas. If you are conservative, listen to progressives; if you are progressive, listen to conservatives.

The book draws on research as well as David Cariens’ extensive writings including his books on the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law and Virginia Tech. The author brings to the problem more than 50 years of working in intelligence and crime analysis. He also has the added dimension of having lost a family member in a school shooting.

David Cariens believes the road to curbing gun violence will be long, and painful. If the current trend continues, many innocent people will lose their lives because of our failure to act. We need to take action now.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


When it comes to gun violence, perhaps the most insidious deception played on the public is by state and federal legislatures deals with superficial laws. The Virginia House of Delegates excels at pulling the wool over the eyes of the public when it comes to domestic abuse and gun violence.

After the Virginia Tech rampage, the Virginia Senate unanimously passed a law making security plans a requirement for all colleges and universities in the state. The plan specified that college and university presidents had to certify that they had read and understand the plan.

The Virginia lower house, however, refused to pass the bill until the language stating school presidents understood the law was taken out.  Striking those words means no school president can be held accountable for failing to follow the security plan. They can always say they did not understand it.

On a cynical note, Virginians must be proud of the fact they have a law stating college and university presidents don’t have to understand what they read.

Now, Richmond has done it again. On July 16, 2016 a new provision of the law prohibits a person who is subject to a family abuse protection order (the respondent) from possessing a firearm. Sounds good, but is it?

 Looks and sounds good, right? Well, let’s take a close look.

The law states that after the respondent is served with the protective order, he or she has 24 hours to lawfully possess the weapon solely for the purpose of transferring or selling the firearm to a person who may legally own it. The law does not give the police the power to see that the person being restrained complies with the order. If the respondent says he or she turned in the gun, sold it, or gave it to someone who can possess the gun, law enforcement has to believe him or her. There is no mechanism for ensuring that the person being restrained has truly complied.

Furthermore, if an individual is so violent that the courts have to step in, what makes the legislature think the respondent will suddenly cool off and meekly comply?

And, the law only applies to subjects of family abuse protective orders pursuant to Virginia Code Section 16.1-279.1 and does not apply to individuals subject to an emergency, temporary or other protective order.

The law is nothing more than window dressing; it is in fact, next to worthless. It adds to the growing list of laws in the Old Dominion designed to hoodwink the public into thinking politicians are moving to prevent gun violence.

Friday, July 15, 2016


            My new book, A Handbook For Intelligence And Crime Analysis, was published July 14th.

            It was a long time in the making but was worth it. There are 18 chapters in the book, but it contains two important chapters I am especially proud of—one on the Corruption of Intelligence and the other on Deception Analysis.

            The first should be of interest to everyone because the attempts to manipulate and distort intelligence by our elected officials have reached epidemic proportions. Unfortunately, a significant number of elected Republicans, Democrats, and Tea Party members do not think twice about trying to skew intelligence. I believe the objectivity, integrity, and honesty of intelligence products are vital keys to the preservation of our form of representative government.

            Indeed, perhaps the most valuable service intelligence analysts can perform is to tell policymakers what they don’t want to hear—analysis that differs from their bias, prejudices and, in some cases, their policies.

            The second should also be of interest to a large number of readers because it looks at deception in all its forms as developed and practiced by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Terrorists, human and drug traffickers, and a wide variety of enemies of this country have adopted the principles of Soviet-style deception. And remember, Vladimir Putin is a former KGB intelligence officer, so I am sure deception is a major tool in the arsenal. 

Deception comes in many forms and is an every day problem intelligence and crime analysts face. Most texts on deception concentrate on deception as carried out in a military or political context, failing to recognize self-deception is a major cause of intelligence failures. A friend of mine, with over 40 years experience in intelligence, tells his classes that no analyst can come to a problem or situation with a clean slate. He or she will always have preconceptions or assumptions.  The assumptions may be correct, but the analyst often does not step back and reevaluate when dealing with a new problem. Judgments, he says, tend to get firmer in analysts minds and they rarely revisit them.

Sometimes self-deception and deceptive practices of the opposition come together and result in devastating consequences. This textbook reminds, and in some cases, alerts analysts (and interested non-professionals) to the pitfalls of deception in all forms.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


            On July 1, 2016, two new firearms laws went into effect in Virginia making some progress toward keeping weapons out of criminals’ hands. The new laws are a minor step forward despite lifting restrictions on reciprocity involving concealed-weapons permits from other states.
            The first law states the holder of a valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state may carry a concealed weapon in Virginia. The Virginia law, however, requires that:
1.    The holder of such a non-Virginia license or permit must be at least 21 years old.
2.    The permit or license holder must carry a photo identification issued by a government agency of any state or the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Department of State.
3.    The permit or license holder must show that identification to law enforcement officers upon demand.
4.    The permit or license holder reciprocity does not extend to persons who previously have had a Virginia concealed handgun permit revoked.
The new law does not require other states recognize Virginia permits in order to have a state’s permits recognized in Virginia.
The second law requires the Virginia State Police to be available at all gun shows to do background checks. The law stops short of making the background checks mandatory but is a step forward in ensuring that guns are transferred only to people who are lawfully eligible to possess weapons.
            Private citizen’s participation in these background checks is strictly voluntary. There is an incentive for sellers to have the check done, however, because it documents the seller’s diligence in trying to prevent the illegal transfer of guns.