Friday, February 12, 2016

How was Gun Control Imposed Upon an Unwilling World?


Image by C.E. Skipp, 1900. 

Disarmists use the bandwagon fallacy, (argumentum ad populum) to promote citizen disarmament.  In essence, the non-argument makes the claim; everyone else disarms their population - so we should do the same.  This is a logical fallacy.  Perhaps you remember a parent telling you "if everyone is jumping off a bridge, it does not mean that you should".

How did most of the rest of the world come to have gun control imposed on them? It was done by force of arms.

Guns are a fairly recent innovation.  They did not become common until the middle 1400's.  Guns that could effectively be used by a single person were available by 1500.  We have about 500 years of gun history.

Gunpowder was first discovered/invented in China.  It may have been reinvented or discovered in Europe.  It was Europeans that developed the gun into a practical weapon.  In 1500, there were almost no guns anywhere but in Europe.

China may have suppressed the development of guns deliberately.  The record is unclear. 

Europeans underwent the black death shortly before the introduction of the gun.  The loss of up to a third of the populaiton made the remainder much more valuable. The development of the gun, the Reformation, the Renaissance, much wider availability of literacy and printed material, all interconnected and interrelated, followed.  The technological advances among competitive states, spurred by numerous wars, including wars fought to roll back Muslim invasions, led to the abilities of the Europeans to navigate around the world, dominate other cultures, and to create vast empires.  

The first reason for gun control around the world is war, conquest, and empire.  The masters of the European Empires did not want their subjects armed, for fear of revolt.  They had a clear technological superiority of arms, and they desired to keep it.  The United States as a set of colonies, was already armed.  They refused to disarm, revolted, and escaped the fate of other parts of the British Empire.

Japan resisted colonization.  It imposed strict gun control to protect its elites from its people, actively suppressing gun technology.

India had strict gun control imposed by the British Empire, and the local ruling elites. When India became independent, the Indian government kept gun control and strengthened it.

Africa had gun control imposed by various European empires, British, French, German, Italian.

The Dutch imposed gun control in Indonesia; The French in Vietnam; the Spanish and then Americans in the Philippines. The Portuguese imposed gun control in Brazil and the Spanish in South and Central America.

World War I started the next great wave of gun control.  Instead of Empires disarming their foreign subjects, elites feared revolution by their own people and worked to disarm them.  Communism is part of this wave.  One of the first priorities of the Communists in the Soviet Union was to implement strict gun control.  In much of the rest of Europe, gun control was implemented as a reaction to Communism.  The assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which is credited with starting the First World War, certainly did not help.

In England, there were virtually no gun controls until after the First World War.  Joyce Lee Malcolm and Colin Greenwood conclusively show the impetus for British gun control was fear of revolution, not crime.  As part of the British Empire; Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand laid down the foundations of their current gun control schemes in the 20's and 30's. The basis for federal gun control was established in the United States in the 1930's, as part of the Franklin Roosevelt regime's consolidation of power.

Most of European Gun control was created in the turbulent time between WWI and WWII.  Gun control was imposed on much of Eastern Europe by the Soviets after WWII.

Switzerland was and is a clear exception. Guns are fairly easy to get in Switzerland, even with the controls added in 1998.  Switzerland has murder rates so low that only a tiny number of countries can match them.

The Middle East had gun control imposed by the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire.

China had gun control imposed by its Imperial government.  As China revolted against colonial rule, the European powers imposed gun control on the Chinese government, then a corrupt Nationalist Government did so against its own people, then the Communist imposed even stricter controls when they gained ascendancy after WWII and the defeat of the Japanese by the allies.

Some countries came out from under the thumb of gun control after they gained independence from Europe.  Guns were generally available after the Bolivian revolutions in Central and South America.  They were freely available in Costa Rica up until the 1980's.  Guns were easily available in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil for a few decades.  Mexico had a period when guns were not terribly hard to get, from the 1930's to the 1970's.   Gun control carried over in Brazil from the Empire, after independence, becoming progressively harsh. A combination of threats of revolution  and crack downs on the individual ownership of arms by authoritarian regimes of the left and right, imposed severe gun control on all those societies over the last 40 years.  Jamaica had relatively mild gun control laws in the 1960's, and imposed strict gun control after independence.  The United States Virgin Islands inherited their strict gun control laws from the Dutch empire.  The United States bought the Islands in 1917.

The pattern is clear.  Disarmament of people is not done to save people from criminals.  It is done to keep them under the thumb of the ruling government.  In large portions of the world, it was imposed by outside conquerors, aided by the fact that many indigenous populations did not have the technology necessary to make their own firearms. 

Revolutions in other countries gave lip-service to the right to be armed, but always left the State in charge.  Mexico, for example, guarantees a right to arms - regulated by the State.  Mexico has devolved to the point that there is only one legal gun store in the entire country, in Mexico city.  It is state run, and sells few guns.

Only two societies have escaped the tyranny of gun control imposed by ruling elites.  They are the United States and Switzerland.  Both are federal republics.  In both, the power of the state is limited by using divided government power as a means of checks and balances.

American armed society is truly one of exceptionalism. We have been able to keep government power limited, most of the time, in some ways.  Most other countries have not. 

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

MI: Legally Armed Man Saves Woman during Knife Attack




Image from fox2detroit.com


Didarul Sarder, above, was legally armed when he heard a woman pleading for her life.  It turned out to be another employee at the GM Technical Center where he works.  He did not freeze.  He acted. From fox2detroit.com:
WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - An employee at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren stabbed by someone visiting the plant Wednesday.

The 52-year-old victim was hospitalized and suspect arrested by police - but the valet service supervisor with a valid CPL who pulled his gun to stop the attack, says he was fired.
GM says that an investigation is ongoing and that they have not been informed that Didarul Sarder has been fired.  Police and the Mayor both praise Sarder:
Police and Mayor of Warren Jim Fouts say Sarder is a hero who should be honored.

"Had it not been for his quick action and quick thinking, pulling out his concealed weapon, she might have been murdered on site," Fouts said.
GM is likely concerned  about a public relations backlash; it is entirely possible that Didarul will find that he still has his job.  It is hard to come across as well intentioned when you fire someone for performing a heroic action.

It is noteworthy that the local government officials have placed themselves as supporting the legally armed hero.  The disarmists have tried to convince people that such a person is irresponsible by merely possessing and carrying the means by which he effected the salvation of the woman.

It does not come across well.  Who are you going to believe?  The disarmist or your lyin' eyes?

Update: Didarul has his job back, courtesey of "higher ups" at GM, according to Mayor Fouts.  From freep.com
Fouts said he also heard the valet service fired Sarder because he violated his contract, which prohibited him from carrying a weapon. E-mail and voice mail messages from the Free Press were left with the valet service. Fouts later said on Facebook that the "decision was over-ruled by higher ups and he now has his job back."
Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch


AL: Armed Citizen lnvolved in Stopping Mass Shooting


 Image from wvtm13.com

Another legally armed person has stopped a potential mass shooting in Hamilton, Alabama on February 10th, 2016.  The shooting occurred in the morning, a little over an hour before noon, over a distance of a couple of  blocks.  Two people, 67-year-old Donny Miller and 61-year-old Linda Cole were killed in separate offices.  The second victim was shot in an accounting office close to the bank pictured above.  A WVTM13 crew was on the scene less than two hours after the shooting.  Here is video from Marlei Marinez, from WVTM13.

Link to video

In the video, Marlei Martinez reports that she spoke with a man who was waiting in the accounting office to file his taxes.  He heard the initial gunshots,  then pursued the shooter, and took cover behind the bank pillars shown in the image above.  He exchanged gunfire with the shooter.  The legally armed man believed that he hit the suspect, Jimmy Cooper, twice.  That is consistent with the reports that the suspect has gunshot wounds to the arm and leg.

The shooting by the armed citizen is only mentioned in the video report; there is no mention of it in the transcript.

The account appears to be verified by the Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement.  From abc3340.com:
Although, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the officer involved shooting, the initial indication is that the deputies, officer and private citizen acted without hesitation and probably prevented the further loss of life," Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier said in a release.
It is not clear if the legally armed man shot Cooper before the Sheriff deputies arrived, or during an ongoing gunfight.  Most reports seem to be downplaying his actions.  From wbrc.com:
Two Marion County sheriff’s deputies and a Hamilton police officer engaged Cooper behind the First State Bank. A private citizen assisted law enforcment during the exchange of gunfire.

Authorities took Cooper into custody behind the Bank.

“He was not going to surrender. Not at all,” Sheriff Williams said.
It may be some time before we learn the precise details of the shooting; but this is likely another case where a legally armed person on the scene, was able to deter and/or stop the perpetrator until the peace officers arrived.

 
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Thursday, February 11, 2016

PA: Armed Citizen Saves Police Officer from Mob Attack


There have been a number of cases where armed citizens have saved police.  It is not a common occurrence, but it is not extremely rare.  It is part of why police come to see armed citizens as allies instead of enemies.   In this case in Upper Darby Township, which is a part of the Philadelphia metroplex, less than three miles from downtown Philadelphia, a legally armed man saved a police officer from a mob.    Murder of a police officer seems a bizzare affair for a group of High Schools students, but we are in the aftermath of the media blitz that engendered the "Black Lives Matter" attack on police authority and legitimacy.  From philly.com:
An officer who broke up a fight between two teen boys that had attracted a large crowd at that location was holding one of the combatants at bay when the teen's opponent attacked the officer, Chitwood said.

"As he breaks up the fight, he takes one kid and then the other jumps [on] him. Now he's fighting two of them and he's calling for an assist officer at the same time," Chitwood said. "There's a crowd of 40 or 50 kids watching the fight, and they all move in towards the officer."

That's when the good Samaritan, who lives on the block, came out of his house with a gun in his hand and told the teens to get away from the cop, Chitwood said.
The officer suffered significant injuries to his hand, and the backup officer who was called suffered a significan injury to his leg.  They may not be able to return to work for some time.

Some will say that the officer should have left them fight.  Then the officers are criticized when severe injuries occur.  This isn't the first time that Superintendent Chitwood backed up an armed citizen.  A year ago, in another incident, Chitwood had this to say, from 6abc.com:
"He was really shook up - really upset. And I told him point blank. I said, 'You did what you had to do and as far as I'm concerned I don't see any criminal charges forthcoming,'" said Supt. Chitwood.
When the officers back off, homicides go up.  We are seeing it in many metropolitan areas across the country.  It even has a name: The Ferguson Effect.  Some people are predicting that the homicide rate for the entire United States will measurably rise as a result.
Two things are likely to result from this altercation.  The police will be less likely to intervene, and they will be more tolerant of armed citizens.  Cooperation between legally armed citizens and police is a powerful antidote to lawless behavior.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

FL; Senator Portilla, R-Miami, Threatens to Kill Open Carry Bill



Senator Diaz de la Portilla has been the main obstacle to restoring some open carry rights to Florida.  He refused to let a bill out of committee in 2015.  The bill has been reintroduced in 2016.  Now that the bill has overwhelmingly passed the house, he has become more vocal with his threats.  From cbslocal.com:
Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, said on Monday that he had grown uneasy with the proposal. The House passed its version of the bill last week after adding an amendment that would allow state lawmakers to carry sidearms into legislative meetings.

“I am concerned that it may become a vehicle for some very, very bad amendments. I think that’s what we learned last week,” Diaz de la Portilla said. “Because of those concerns, I’m very, very seriously considering not hearing it at all.”
Portilla seems to be throwing excuses against the wall to see if any of them will stick.  The last one was that he was afraid that people exercising their Second Amendment rights would scare tourists.  It is hard for that one to be credible, when  45 other states have the same or more freedom to exercise Second Amendment rights. 

The House voted 80 to 38 to pass the open carry reform.  The Senate seems to have majority support for the bill, if it would get out of the Judiciary committee that Portilla controls.

45 states have open carry of holstered handguns.  30 of those states do not require a license to carry.  The mild reform that Senator Portilla is holding up requires a license for open carry in Florida.  A case before the Florida Supreme Court argues that the lack of the ability to legally open carry, with or without a license, violates the Second Amendment.

Florida had open carry until 1987, when the shall issue concealed carry bill was passed.  The shall issue bill has been wildly successful, with 1.5 million people having permits.  Their crime rate is a small fraction of that of police. From yourobserver.com:


Consider, too, these facts, courtesy of Rep. Steube: “After 28 years of data in Florida, licensed conceal-permit holders are six times less likely to commit a crime than law enforcement officers. Specifically, permit holders only commit misdemeanors and felonies at a rate of .0002% annually.”

Janet Reno, known for her role in the Waco massacre, was State Attorney for Date County at the time.  Miami is essentially Dade County.   She created a government led coalition to lobby for an open carry ban.  She was able to have the ban passed in a special session without going through the usual committee or public vetting processes.  It has been in place ever since, though there have been several attempts at reform.


It is not surprising that another Miami politician is blocking the reform now.  The surprise is that he is a Republican. 

If open carry dies in 2016, this will be the second year that Senator Portillo has been instrumental in killing it.  Some credit should be given to the Republican Senate leadership, who assigned the bill to his committee.


Senator Portilla's email can be found here.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch



AL: Taxi Driver Shoots Customer During Struggle


"We don't know exactly what that was, but there was some type of struggle,'' Edwards said. "A witness even saw that the customer that was sitting in the car began to attack the taxi driver. He was striking and all of the sudden the taxi driver grabbed his firearm. I guess he wanted to defend himself and during that process the customer was shot."
More Here

Followup SC: Fatal Shooting Determined to be Self Defense



Williams left the party in Ladson and was dropped off at 1729 Pearson St. because he was afraid to go home after the argument. Benjamin showed up at the Pearson Street address and shot at Williams. Williams pulled a gun, returned fire and fled on foot. Both firearms were recovered.

“Following consultation with the solicitor’s office, it has been determined that this was a case of self-defense and no charges will be filed against Williams (who) was not prohibited in carrying a firearm and legally purchased the weapon,” Pryor said in an email.
More Here

MS: Armed Father Shoots Intruder During Break-in

The father happens to be an off duty police officer.  Off duty, he is another armed citizen.

"I could hear moans and groans," Rosamond said. "And he was kind of hollering a little bit, so apparently he'd been shot, but I didn't know who shot who."

Neighbors also said they saw the officer running out the door holding his two toddlers and brought them to a neighbor’s house for safety after the shooting.

More Here

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

OH: Armed Homewoner Wins Short Gunfight


Springfield Police Sgt. James Byron said officers were dispatched to a reported home break-in with shots fired in the 1600 block of Mound Street just after midnight Monday.

Byron said a preliminary investigation found a man attempted to break into the home, but only made partial entry, and fired a single shot. The homeowner retrieved a handgun of his own during the incident and fired a single shot back.

More Here

Black Market Pistol Factory in India


I have been interested in clandestine manufacture of firearms on the Indian subcontinent since my close friend and associate, Norman Whisler, brought them to my attention in the early 1980's.  Finding articles is much easier now, with the Internets.  Illicit, black market pistols are commonly available in India for about $10-$15.  These pistols show a level of sophistication a bit higher than most, but hand craftsmen have been making semi-autos for as long as they existed.  Many Belgian and Spanish semi-autos were hand crafted.  Semi-autos are routinely handcrafted in small Philippine shops.  From newindianexpress.com:
TALCHER: An illegal small arms unit was unearthed here and police seized firearms, including 31 Mauser pistols, 500 live cartridges, gelatin, gun powder, equipment needed for making gun, documents and a list of names and bank accounts. The unit was operating for the last four months.

At least five persons have been arrested in this connection. One of the arrested is a juvenile.

Acting on a tip off, a raid was conducted last night on the unit, operating from a rented house at Champasi here, and arms comprising revolvers and pistols were seized. Police then cracked down on the house of the owner of the illegal unit Tukuna Swain (40) at Paikasahi. Tukuna, however, managed to escape.

Many unsophisticated and ignorant disarmists think that guns will gradually be confiscated and disappear in their gun control dystopias.  When they see the reality of small clandestine shops such as this, they tend to despair. The gun control laws in India are severe.  Guns, ammunition, tools, parts, components, are all under severe control.  The result has been a thriving black market in clandestine guns, mostly handmade.  Powder is scavenged from ammunition purchased or stolen on the black market.  Shotgun and rifle cartridges are converted to pistol ammunition.  Notice the relatively crude tools compared to an ordinary American hobbyist shop.  Consider what this shop could do with a Harbor Freight drill press, $500 mini-lathe/milling machine, and access to a 3D printer or a CNC machine. 

Consider the many billions of rounds of ammunition stored in attics, basements, and garages.  Consider that 100 years is a resonable shelf life for modern ammunition.

Many years ago, my Father, trained as a machinist and who oversaw a shop full of women making munitions in WWII, told me that revolvers would be very simple things to make with minimal machine tools.  Simple sub-machine guns are even easier.

These are things every American voter should know about.  Education is a good thing.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

AZ: Reloading Accident Fires House; Bullets Bounce off Firefighters, Trucks

Picture courtesy 12news.com

A house fire in Gilbert, Arizona, appears to be a rare case of a reloading accident getting out of hand.  No one has determined the cause of the accident.  I hope that smoking was not involved.  One of the things forbidden to reloaders is to smoke while engaged in the hobby.  The reloader suffered burns to his face and upper body.  That is likely why the fire got out of hand.  It would not have taken much to get the three vehicles out of the garage.  Their loss was certainly a substantial percentage of the total loss of the house, which looks to be in the $200,000 range. From 12news.com
"As the ammo was kicking off, one actually hit me right in the face mask," Gilbert firefighter Mase Mattingly said. "It bounced up and landed right in my hand."

Fire officials said the ammunition did not have enough velocity to penetrate their protective gear.

Even so, the fire truck Mattingly rode in to the fire had several bullet strikes in the paint.
Sad, all that ammunition going to waste, not to mention the vehicles and the house...
But when you consider the millions of reloaders in the United States, this sort of accident is extremely rare. This is the first one I have heard of in 50 years. Yes, I have been reloading that long.
Notice that the bullets did not have enough force to penetrate the fireman's protective gear, or even do more than chip paint on the fire trucks.  

Firefighters have known for years that burning small arms ammunition produces a very low level of danger  to firemen.   This is from the SAAMI paper, "Facts About Sporting Ammunition Fires":

 Ammunition fired in the open, not enclosed in a gun's chamber, discharges with such inefficiency that the projectile will not even penetrate an ordinary fiberboard shipping container panel at very close range. When not strongly and tightly confined, smokeless propellant powders burn relatively slowly and do not explode as we know they do when fired in a gun. Pressure within a cartridge case must build up to several thousand pounds per square inch to cause the cartridge to discharge as it does in a gun. Unless it is tightly confined, as in a gun chamber, no ammunition shell case will withstand the growing pressure of gases generated by burning propellant powder without bursting before the bullet or shot is expelled with violence or velocity.  
Casings propelled by this type of action would have to impact exposed skin or eyes to have any effect. Notice what appears to be a 12 gauge metal base and a 9 mm bullet lying together in the street.  Of course, the photographer might have put them together for dramatic effect.
The point is that they have little velocity to do damage, and are not very dangerous.  Gunpowder is somewhat less flammable than gasoline, and we do not worry about people having much more gasoline than people have, generally, gunpowder for reloading cartridges.  Even 10 gallons of gasoline is equivalent to 70 pounds of gun powder, which is enough for 100,000 rounds of 9 mm or .45 ammunition.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch



How to File a Complaint Against an Illegal Texas 30.06 Sign


One of the reforms of old gun law passed during the last Texas legislative session, and signed into law by Governor Abbott, was a statute to prevent local governments from infringing on Second Amendment rights in public buildings.  The law was passed with teeth and and real penalties for willful infringement on the right to bear arms of Texans; at least those with accepted carry permits.  From texasattorneygeneral.gov:
When uncooperative governments post signs to ban Texas citizens from carrying where it is legal, they are breaking the law and infringing on Texans' Second Amendment rights. Pursuant to Senate Bill 273 passed by the 84th Legislature, citizens may file complaints against these political subdivisions that unlawfully post signs prohibiting concealed weapons on property where concealed handgun license holders are legally permitted to carry.

Individuals who observe violations must first file a complaint with the government that appears to be in violation. If the entity does not remove the sign within three (3) days, citizens may file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's Office to investigate the matter and enforce the law. If you believe a political subdivision is unlawfully posting 30.06 signs and you have already filed a complaint with that entity, you may call The Texas Attorney General's 30.06 Hotline at 1-844-584-3006, or fill out the form below:

Complaints and Investigation Procedures for the 30.06 Concealed Handgun Sign.
Notice that there is a three step process to complete before a complaint should be sent to the Attorney General, Ken Paxton. 

First, file a complaint with the local government entity. I recommend taking a picture of the offending sign, preferably with some sort of date/time stamp.

Second, Wait three days and see if the sign is taken down.  If not, then:

Third, file a complaint with the Attorney General at the convenient website set up for the purpose by AG Ken Paxton.

Several other  states have made it illegal for local governments to infringing on the Second Amendment rights of citizens.  Some of those states have found that mere illegality was not sufficient to stop scofflaw governments from flagrantly violating the law.  Both Florida and Ohio have had to reform their preemption laws to create penalties for local government scofflaws.

Ken Paxton has shown that he takes his oath of office and his job seriously.  It would not surprise me if Texans move him to a higher office once he finishes his tour as AG. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Wisconsin Knife Reform Effective 7 February, 2016



The inscription on the Pro-Tech TR-4 includes the Wisconsin Seal, Governor  Scott Walker's name, and a commemoration of the event.  Representative Kathleen Bernier, Senator Terry Moulton and Travis Hakes, a peace officer who suggested the reform to Representative Bernier, all received Hogue EX-A01 automatic knives to commemorate the occasion.

Laws in Wisconsin do not go into effect immediately.  They have to be published, which usually occurs a day after the Governor signs them.  The acts become effective the next day.  Governor Scott Walker signed Act 149 on Saturday, February 6th, the Act was published on Sunday, 7 February, and went into effect on Monday, the 8th of February, 2016.  From wisconsin.gov:
  Date of enactment: February 6, 2016
2015 Assembly Bill 142 Date of publication*: February 7, 2016

* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. "Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
The enactment of the act ends a long train of abuses, especially of minorities, where innocent people were fined, jailed and/or had their property confiscated for merely exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Nearly all local knife laws are made invalid in Wisconsin with the enactment of this long awaited reform legislation.  Political subdivisions of Wisconsin, such as cities and counties, will still be able to enact ordinances banning the carry of knives in specific buildings.

It appears that under relevant Wisconsin law, the University of Wisconsin does not qualify as a political subdivision of the state.  From wisconsin.gov:
66.0409  Local regulation of weapons.
(1) In this section:
(a) "Firearm" has the meaning given in s. 167.31 (1) (c).
(b) "Political subdivision" means a city, village, town or county.
(c) "Sport shooting range" means an area designed and operated for the practice of weapons used in hunting, skeet shooting and similar sport shooting.
(2) Except as provided in subs. (3) and (4), no political subdivision may enact or enforce an ordinance or adopt a resolution that regulates the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permitting, registration, or taxation of any knife or any firearm or part of a firearm, including ammunition and reloader components, unless the ordinance or resolution is the same as or similar to, and no more stringent than, a state statute.
The University of Wisconsin has there own school regulations, that can be used to suspend or expel students and staff of the school.  But those regulations do not apply to people who have no contract with the University of Wisconsin; union rules may apply to many of the University of Wisconsin staff, making the carry of tools such as knives a subject for union negotiation.

The ban on switchblade knives never made any sense.  It was enacted in 1956 as part of the emotionally driven, fact free media frenzy about urban gangs.  The play "West Side Story" may have been the driver that finally pushed enactment of the silly legislation over the top. 

Wisconsin law also allowed people to be charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mere possession of a pocket knife.  I recall being told of a case where a Milwaukee judge found a man guilty of concealed carry because his Buck folding knife was "concealed" in the leather scabbard on his belt!

Those bad old days are now over.  Governor Walker may well be the best Wisconsin Governor, ever.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

OH: Armed Victim Wounded


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland man was shot in the shoulder after he exchanged gunfire with a robber on the city's East Side.

More Here

WA: Concealed Pistol Beats Shotgun



The man said that he noticed the car went around the block, again drove past him slowly before stopping at the end of the block, where one of the passengers allegedly got out of the vehicle and began walking toward the man, carrying what appeared to be a shotgun, while the car was moving slowly next to him.

The 29-year-old said he was concerned about the intentions of those approaching him and shouted at them to stay away, but they continued toward him. He said he feared for his safety, drew a handgun and fired at the individual who was walking, whom he said turned and ran to the car, which sped away.

More Here

LA: More on New Orleans Mass Shooting Stopped by Armed Victim



According to New Orleans police, three men were shot by a wanted felon during an altercation at a gas station in the city. One of the men targeted by the gunman, however, was legally armed and pulled his own handgun, shooting back at suspect Richard Macklin.

Reports indicate Macklin approached a group of men in an interaction that soon became heated. Police believe he opened fire on the men, shooting three and fleeing after he had been shot.

Macklin, who has a lengthy record of violent crime charges, is now facing three charges of attempted second-degree murder in addition to related weapons violations. Police found him at a local hospital, where he had been admitted with a gunshot wound to his head.

More Here

MI: Constitutional Carry Introduced for 2016




 A virtual restoration of constitutional carry was introduced to the Michigan legislature in 2015, but to my knowledge, it did not move.  This may have been because a scandal involving an extramarital affair involving the sponsor, Cindy Gamrat.

Int 2016, constitutional carry bills were introduced in the House, numbered 5301 to 5304.  From upnorthlive.com:
"These bills simply place into law the Second Amendment rights of Michigan residents to bear arms without asking the government's permission to do so," Rep. Barrett said, sponsor of HB 5302. "The current concealed weapons permit amounts to nothing more than a state tax on a freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution."

Rep. Cole, who wrote HB 5304, said the current permit requirement in Michigan is a government over-reach that places a burden on residents who want to defend themselves against criminals.
We have little history to go by.  Michigan has been making steady, incremental gains in restoring Second Amendment rights, which had been severely degraded during the "progressive" era of the last 100 years.  Initially, the laws were used to ensure that black people were disarmed; there are still remnants of that policy today in urban centers like Detroit.

Here are links to the pdf files for this series of bills: 5301(pdf)5302(pdf)5303(pdf)5304(pdf).

Tom Lambert, a Michigan gun owner and Second Amendment activist, is quoted as supportive of the bills.  From 248shooter.com:
 “I think they are very well done. They are clean and they are focused. Rather than trying to do everything at once, they focus in on a specific issue and address it in the way it should be addressed. For example: rather than just deleting 750.227 (2), they change it to apply only to those prohibited from possessing a firearm. That is how this statute should work. Law-abiding citizens are not the problem, it’s the criminals.”
Michigan Second Amendment supporters are well organized, active, and politically savvy.  They have been able to pass several roll backs of "progressive" era infringements on Second Amendment rights in Michigan in the last few years.

The governor, Rich Snyder, is not an enthusiastic supporter of Second Amendment rights, but with enough pressure, he has shown that he can see the light.

Constitutional carry is definitely taking ground and advancing in many states.  In a dozen years, the number of states with constitutional carry has increased from 1(Vermont) to 7;  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming are clear.  West Virginia and Idaho are likely candidates to add to the list this year.

In addition to Michigan, legislation is also being considered in Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.  Mississippi enacted a law last year that is very close to Constitutional carry.  Constitutional carry is the law in 99% of Montana and Idaho.

15 years ago, Constitutional carry was a dream for most Second Amendment supporters.  Many derided it as unobtainable.  It has been restored in 7 states, and is being debated in 15 others, some of which have passed bills with veto proof majorities in previous years.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

WI: Concealed Carry Permits Top 280,000 in 2015



Wisconsin concealed carry permits topped 280,000 in 2015, according to Wisconsin Governor Walker.  From WSAW.com:

"We have over 280,000 people who in the last five years have gone through concealed carry. There's people all across the state, like my wife who went through a course, got the training, add that added protection."
The official Department of Justice report on CCW permits for 2015 have not been released yet.

The permits have been a success by most observers standards, following the pattern in other states.  The first permits were issued late in 2011.  Only one person with a permit has been convicted of a homicide since that time.   Wisconsin has an adult population (21 or over) of about 4.4 million.   Thus, people with permits are about 1 out of every 16 Wisconsin adult residents.    The one manslaughter homicide by a person with a permit (who claimed self defense, but was convicted by a jury)  in four years translates into a homicide rate for Wisconsin permit holders of about .22 homicides per 100/000 people per year.  That is less than 1/13 of the homicide rate for Wisconsin on average.   It is similar to the rate for permit holders in Minnesota.  According to the FBI, the Wisconsin homicide rate for 2012 was 3.0, 2.8 for 2013, 2.9 in 2014.   

Part of the reason that Wisconsin has achieved significant numbers of permits is that they learned from the mistakes made by previous states.  Requirements for the permit were not burdensome.  The original fee was set at $50, but experience proved that $40 was sufficient to meet state costs.  The state lowered the fee to that number.  Wisconsin does not require fingerprints or photographs for their permit.  Wisconsin has never required any licensing for the open carry of weapons.

Wisconsin Carry has offered free classes to meet the concealed carry requirement for the permit.  Here is their notice of the next free class: 

Free Concealed Carry License Class: Fond du Lac, WI (click here to register)

2/27/2016, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Free Concealed Carry License Class at Izaak Walton League Clubhouse Saturday Feb. 27th Required: You must visit the following link and download the class handouts and bring them with you to the class. http://www.wisconsincarry.org/documents/documents.aspx NOTE: If you sign up for this class but cannot attend we ask that you please notify us at webmaster@wisconsincarry.org If you sign up for the free class but do not show up, you will not be permitted to sign up for future classes unless you notified us 48 hours ahead of time you couldn't attend. There are *far* too many people we have to turn away because a class appears to be full to have people "no show" a class. *Note, you do NOT need to own a gun to attend, nor do you need to bring one for the class.

Izaak Walton League Clubhouse - A.D. Sutherland Chapter
N6491 County Road K
Fond Du Lac, WI 

Wisconsin seems ripe for Constitutional Carry.  They have strong state constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms in Article I Section 25:

 The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.
 Governor Walker just signed Act 149, which effectively implements constitutional carry for knives in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has come a long way in four short years. The state shows how fragile the media cartel mythology of more guns/ less safety is.  The state concealed permit system has been a resounding success.  Wisconsin is incrementally  restoring Second Amendment rights for its citizens and residents.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

TX: Brook's Place BBQ offers Discount for Open Carry



The award winning Texas BBQ place in Houston, Brooks Place, LLC, offered a 25% discount for open carriers on the first effective day of open carry reform. 

Brooks says that it is "not a political thing".  I suspect he is right.  It is a business thing.  After the initial surge, the discount was reduced to 10%.  From yourhoustonnews.com:
There is a place where Houstonians can get BBQ at a discount simply for exercising their right to openly carry their gun. The BBQ trailer located in the parking lot with ACE Hardware and Kroger on FM 529 is owned and operated by Trent Brooks. He opened the food trailer in 2009 after he lost his job. Brooks’ Place BBQ is a popular smokehouse trailer located in Cypress that awards its’ customers a 10 percent discount for carrying their gun to the establishment.

“We support the second amendment. We want to reward those who protect themselves, businesses, families, and neighbors,” said Brooks. “I’m a business man, not a politician. It’s not a political thing. “
For a BBQ business, you may have great product, but you have to find a way to let your potential customers know that you exist.  Brooks Place has found a significant marketing niche.  A discount that costs him little; gains fabulous publicity that he could not possibly afford to buy (articles were run about his business in the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times), and attracts his target market.  Even Governor Abbott noticed, and sent out an approving tweet:



It is hard to see a Second Amendment friendly BBQ in Texas losing any significant business, while it is likely to bring in many customers.  Controversy actually helps.  An idiot threatened Brooks on facebook.  From houstonpress.com:
A facebook post claimed "I'll shoot up the place on Saturday. Let's see how your gun toting patrons will stop me.
Brooks  Facebook page is loaded with rave reviews and pictures of delicious looking meals.  He appears to be doing very well. 

A poor second to attracting customers is not driving them away.  Most businesses can accomplish that by simply not posting any anti-Second Amendment signs.  There may even be a few businesses that attract customers by putting up signs to offend Second Amendment supporters; but it is clear that Second Amendment supporters outnumber disarmists by 3-10 to one, as measured by online polls.  Online polls may not be scientific, but they do a good job of measuring intensity.  When you are worried about attracting or at least, not offending, customers, intensity is what is important.

 Legislators are encouraging the trend to be neutral.  In Texas and Arkansas, there are penalties for public officials who prevent people from exercising their Second Amendment rights without legal authority to do so.  In Wisconsin and Kansas, a measure of immunity against lawsuit is gained if the business allows the carry of weapons.

More and more businesses are finding that being Second Amendment friendly is good business.  Early adopters like Brooks Place receive a disproportionate share of the benefits.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch




FL: Real Gun Beats Fake Gun



Blackmon then came behind the counter and pulled out a pistol which the cashier assumed to be real.

The robber managed to take cash from the drawer and 10 cartons of cigarettes before he fled the business. Before Blackmon escaped, the cashier, Abed Alsaq, 20, of Pensacola shot him.
More Here

CA: Man Arrested for Shooting, Killing Carjacker



ANTIOCH (BCN) — An Antioch man has been arrested on suspicion of murder for allegedly shooting and killing a man who tried to rob him at gunpoint Friday night.

Police said Leo Lopez, 37, of Antioch, shot and killed a man during an attempted carjacking.

More Here

SC: Victim Disarms Robber, Shoots Same



NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — An armed robbery suspect was shot in the leg Saturday evening after a would-be victim wrestled the suspect's gun away from him, police said.
More Here

PA: Owner of Store Fires Shotgun at Robber


Police were dispatched for a report of gunshots in the area of West 15th and Peace streets, a block from the store, around 10:15 a.m. and later they received multiple calls about a fleeing vehicle, which was located at Fifth and Arthur streets.

Police at the scene said the owner of the store fired at the robber. An officer outside the store held a bag with four shotgun shells, which had been lying in the parking lot.
More Here

GA: Woman Shoots Man who Harassed Her


According to an Atlanta police incident report, the man, whose name has not been released, was chasing the unidentified woman through a parking lot on the 500 block of Jefferson Chase Circle when he “approached [her] in a manner that reportedly caused [her] to fear for her safety.”

The woman allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot the man once in the chest, killing him. The woman remained at the scene and is cooperating with homicide detectives, authorities said.


More Here

Monday, February 08, 2016

Mounted Shooting: Horsemanship is King



While I was in Texas this past December, I attended a mounted shooting competition about 50 miles from Fort Worth.  The competition was organized by Texas Smoking Guns. I had not attended one before.  The event was held at Salt Creek Arena and Stables, on FM 51, just south of Boyd, Texas.

Several things are different about Mounted Shooting compared to more conventional shooting competitions.  The most obvious is that they do not use conventional ammunition.  They use blanks.  Special blanks, that are not provided by the shooters, but are issued to them by the organization holding the meet.

This makes a lot of sense, given the restrictions of the competition.  They use real guns. All that I saw were Ruger stainless single action revolvers.  The rules require single action guns, and Rugers have proven to be the most durable and reliable, according to contestants that I talked to.  Because the blanks are black powder, the guns selected are stainless steel, to make cleaning less of a chore.
The left hand blank has been fired

The blanks are made for visual effects; they project burning sparks and voluminous white smoke 20 feet, in about a 20 degree cone. The shooting is point shooting, and does not involve precise aiming. It does a good job of simulating the requirements for armed mounted combat with repeating pistols. This was a form of combat common from 1850 through 1900. Winston Churchill used a broom handle Mauser during a cavalry charge in the River War in 1898.

If you want to see an example of this kind of combat on the screen, look to the final combat scene in The Outlaw Jose Wales.

Watching the competition, where individual competitors run through a complicated course, firing at 10 balloons on sticks, makes it clear why the pistol armed cavalry man was so effective.   Shooting is fast, and good gun control is necessary, but the winning skill is horsemanship.  The horse is every bit as much of a competitor as the rider.   You are allowed two revolvers, with five shots each. There are ten targets, so there is little room for error.  A missed target or a knocked over barrel on a turn costs you five seconds.  The fastest time wins.



Much of the cavalry combat from 1850 to 1900 was against savage warriors armed with bows, swords, spears, or muzzleloading muskets.  Against those opponents, the pistol armed cavalryman is effective and dangerous.  Against repeating rifles and machine guns, horses are simply too vulnerable.  Cavalry today rides in armored vehicles.

This competition is a good spectator sport.  The combination of horsemanship and shooting skills is exciting to witness.  The safety afforded by using blanks, allows spectators to be close.  The balloon popping, smoke, tight turns and fast horses are dramatic.  I suggest hearing protection.  Those blanks are loud!

I was fascinated by the display of horsemanship, and skill of the horses.   I grew up with horses, but generally considered them more of a chore than an asset.  Others disagree.

If you are going to participate in this sport, you need a horse, so you can train together.  This makes the sport moderately expensive, unless you already regularly work with horses.  My suspicion is that a large number of real cowboys, outfitters, and working ranchers number among the competitors.

I was told by people who had participated in many equestrian sports, that this sport is the most demanding.

As I watched the action, I thought of Churchill, of the Civil War, of cavalry charges on Afghanistan's plains.

If you get a chance to attend one of these competitions, I recommend it.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

FL Police Tip: Don't Shoot Just Because you see a Gun

Image courtesy of wftv.com

The indoctrination of police against the Second Amendment needs to be reversed.  It is costing lives and treasure.  It was not always so. 

Under long standing precidents in American, and before that, English law, a person's home is their castle, which may be protected against intruders.  If a person may not use force to protect their home, they no longer really own it.

In a recent case in Florida, police went to the wrong house on a domestic call at 1 in the morning.  From wftv.com:
The man, who asked to not be identified, said he awoke to someone banging on the front door of his Belhaven Falls Drive home shortly before 1 a.m. When he asked who it was, he got no response.

Fearing a burglar was at the door, the homeowner grabbed a gun.

When he returned, he said he saw a bright light shining through the glass of his front door and he heard someone outside holler “gun.”

That’s when bullets started flying.
Fortunately, no one was hit, though extensive damage was done to the house, with bullet holes in the door, walls, furniture, and appliances.


Image courtesy of wftv.com

It is prudent and reasonable to have a gun in your hand when answering the door to unexpected and unknown visitors, especially in the early morning hours before sunrise.  In this case, the homeowner says that he never fired a shot.

There is no excuse for police to shoot at a homeowner simply because they are armed when answering the door. 

It has happened before, with fatal results.

In 2011, Jose Guerra was shot and killed when police saw that he was armed s the were breaking into his home in Tucson, Arizona.  They recently settled for 3.4 million.  Guerra never fired at police, either.

Police are learning from the mistakes made in cases like that of Jose Guerra.  

In many departments, training has changed to move away from equating seeing a gun with the command to fire.

Police are being taught to use their lights and the public address system on their car to identify themselves before knocking on a door.  They are taught to differentiate between a man with a gun and a man threatening them with a gun.

Both officers in the Ocoee case are on admin leave while an investigation is accomplished.  The investigation is being done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, not by the Ocoee Police Department.

Family handcuffed and removed from house while an police searched it and investigated.  They were allowed back in after 10 hours.

If the department and city are smart, they will immediately offer to pay for damages and apologise to the homeowners.  They were in the wrong place, and the homeowner was fully within his rights, even if he pointed his gun at the door.

In the United States, a person's home is still their castle.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Sunday, February 07, 2016

OK: Intruder Attempts Disarm, fails, is Shot


"There was a struggle that ensued and the suspect attempted to try and take the shotgun away from the victim," Peters said.

Eventually the homeowner got full control of the gun and Wyatt began running away, but not before one round of birdshot was fired from the shotgun. Police caught up with Wyatt down the street, near Lawrence's home.
More Here

TX: Armed Resident Shoots, Kills Armed Intruder


DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An East Dallas resident shot and killed an armed suspect who police say tried to burglarize his house.
More Here

GA: Robbery Victim Shoots at Suspects

A robbery victim in Peachtree City’s Kedron Village shopping center Wednesday night shot a gun at robbery suspects, who Peachtree City Police say fled the scene toward Fulton County in a silver Toyota Camry.

More Here

GA: Armed Woman Shoots 1 of 3 Intruders

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —
Police say three teenagers kicked in the door to an Ellenwood home on Bosenberry Way Friday. The woman, who lives at that house works for the Dekalb County Sheriff's Office and shot one of them.

More Here

IL: Shooter Released without Charges



The shooter called 911, remained at the scene and was questioned by police, according to the alderman. He has a valid concealed-carry license.

As of Friday afternoon, he had been released without charges, according to police.
More Here

FL: Police Shoot up Wrong House Because "Gun"


The man, who asked to not be identified, said he awoke to someone banging on the front door of his Belhaven Falls Drive home shortly before 1 a.m. When he asked who it was, he got no response.

Fearing a burglar was at the door, the homeowner grabbed a gun.

When he returned, he said he saw a bright light shining through the glass of his front door and he heard someone outside holler “gun.”

That’s when bullets started flying.

Two bullets flew past the man’s head, and more bullets pierced walls and shattered glass windows, he said.
More Here

LA: More on ATV rider and Volvo Shootout



The suspect, 30-year-old Richard Macklin, claimed he fired in self-defense, but police say he was the aggressor.

Macklin was released from the hospital and booked at the Orleans Parish jail on Monday on three counts of attempted second-degree murder, one for each of the three men police say he shot. Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman set his bail at $375,000.
More Here

WI: Governor Walker Signs Constitutional Carry for Knives




Knife Rights and Wisconsin Force worked together to pass a significant reform of antiquated knife laws in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin knife laws date back to the muckraker days, when the media was able to pass nonsensical laws based on "trendy", "progressive", emotional notions rather than on common sense, or any consideration for the the Constitution.  Wisconsin's silly and dangerous switchblade ban dates to 1956.  It has been used to fine, convict and incarcerate hundreds, if not thousands of people who were only exercising their Second Amendment rights.

In 1998, Wisconsin finally finished the arduous process to pass a right to keep and bear arms amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution.  It ended any argument about weather the Second Amendment applied to Wisconsin. From Article I Section 25:
 The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.
It is hard to see how a ban on the carry of knives, which are clearly "arms" could withstand any serious consideration in a Wisconsin Court.  An appeals court in Wisconsin recently confirmed that knives are arms protected under the Constitution.

Votes for the bill were uncontroversial.  It passed with unanimous voice vote in the Senate, after passing the Assembly in October of 2015 with one dissenting vote.

As more people are bearing arms, violent crime has been going down.  Violent crime has dropped by half since 1993; the number of people with firearms permits has increased by more than 1,000 percent in that period.  Wisconsin was the next to last state to enact a law reforming their concealed carry law, in 2010.

People who may legally possess firearms will have the right to carry knives concealed.  Otherwise there will be almost no restrictions on the carry of knives. 

Governor Walker signed the bill today, 6 February, 2016, at a bill signing ceremony at the annual meeting of  Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators (FORCE). Governor Walker was presented with a fancy and utilitarian switchblade knife by Knife Rights. From wi.gov:
Assembly Bill 142 – as amended, repeals the prohibition on manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing or possessing a switchblade knife. Additionally, the bill would prohibit political subdivisions from enacting ordinances or adopting resolutions that regulate knives more stringently than state law. While no local ordinances can be written regulating knives in general, they can pass a local ordinance regulating them in municipally-owned buildings. The bill would also allow a person to carry a concealed knife, unless that person is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law. Finally, the bill would provide that a person may not be convicted of disorderly conduct for concealed or openly carrying a knife, unless other facts and circumstances indicate a criminal or malicious intent on the part of that person. Authored by Representative Kathleen Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls) and Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote. It is Act 149.

AB142 has now become Act 149. After it is published, it will become law. That is normally only a matter of two business days.  I expect Act 149 to take effect by Wednesday, February 10th, at the latest.

Knife Rights may well be the most effective organization, per dollar spent, as a Second Amendment defender.  There motto is that knife rights is the second front in the war for the Second Amendment.  They have been winning major battles every year.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


What is a Reasonable Upper Limit on Gun Ownership in the United States?



January of 2016 had the highest number of NICS checks for any January on record.  There were 2,545,802 million checks, which translates to a bit less than 1.9 million new firearms. The industry is producing firearms as fast as they can, and they are being purchased just as fast.  The demand side is crowded with first time buyers, women, and young urbans.  Where will it end?

Disarmists, those who wish us to be disarmed, constantly talk about "need".  Need is something they seem to think that they are the only ones qualified to define.  The idea of "need" is a semantic trick to appeal to parents, especially women.  Parents are constantly required to determine "needs" versus wants.  This is because the parents are paying for what their child obtains.  "Needs" are finite.  Wants are infinite.  If parents allow children to get whatever they want, the family goes bankrupt, or the children never learn self discipline.  With adults, this is not normally a problem.  Reality makes the distinction between "needs" and wants.  No one can get everything they "want", because resources are finite at any given time.  I might "want" a completely manned aircraft carrier fighting group; but I cannot afford it.  Neither can Donald Trump.

The disarmists attempt to translate parental requirements for "needs" and "wants" onto other adults.  Much of disarmist rhetoric focuses on defining adults as children that must be taken care of.

In the United States, we advanced beyond "needs" a long time ago.  Most "poor" people in the United States would be upper middle class in most of the rest of the world.  People do not "need" central heating, air conditioning, television, cell phones, or microwave ovens.

In the U.S., such things are taken for granted.  We are a consumerist society.  We mostly divide our disposable income into things that we want, rather than what we need to survive.

The United States has the highest number of automobiles per capita, on the planet.  We also have the highest number of firearms on the planet.  The current firearms number is approaching 1.25 for every man woman and child in the United States.

But what is a practical upper limit on the number of firearms produced?  Firearms are not like most consumer products.  They seldom wear out; their expected life, given moderate care and use, is centuries.  It is likely that completely different weapons technology will eclipse firearms before the modern stainless steel and composite stock firearms wear out.  It is one of the reasons that the current number of firearms in the United States is over 400 million.

Firearms are closer to finely crafted utensils than they are to automobiles.  People still have and use utensils that were made in the 1800s.  Often, they become family heirlooms, occupying a prominent place in a display cabinet, even if they are seldom used. A person is likely to have a pitcher or a gravy bowl that has been in the family for several generations; such objects are far more fragile than firearms.

Once a person becomes familiar with firearms, they realize that one firearm does not serve for all situations.  In times of normal ammunition availability, a .22 rifle and pistol are virtually required for practice and training.  A centerfire handgun is the favored tool for personal carry;  a centerfire rifle for hunting, perhaps another for zombie defense, home defense, and neighborhood security during times of unrest; and the ubiquitous shotgun for hunting and home defense.

In that short paragraph, we have six firearms.  It is not unreasonable that each adult would want to have their own.  There are about 237 million adults in the United States as of the end of 2015.

Six times 237 million is 1.4 billion firearms, about 3.5 times the current number.

Even at the current fevered pace, we are producing only 17 million firearms per year. It would take about 50 years of such production to meet the measly 1.4 billion minimal "limit" that I have arbitrarily set. 

Some firearms, for some people, some of the time are a clear "need".  But most firearms, for most people, most of the time, are a "want".   For people who explore the finer points of firearm ownership, owning a hundred firearms is not unusual. 

Firearms are fun, are easy to store and take care of, have a good history of maintaining value, and offer a hedge against hard times and difficulty that even gold and silver do not.  They are safer than swimming pools, stairs and bicycles. There is little reason to believe that the numbers have an upper limit based on market saturation, for decades to come.  Human "want" has no limit.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

TX: Benbrook Police Chief opts for Controversial 30.06, 30.07 Signs


In January of 2016, on the first day of the restoration of some open carry rights in Texas, I stood in front of the Benbrook Police Station, looking at the recently placed 30.06 and 30.07 signs.

I noticed that the signs were not of the required dimensions, so they are likely not enforceable in a court of law.  But police, like fire in the quote attributed to President Washington,  (employed in various forms since the 1500's) are "dangerous servants and a fearful master".  I tread lightly around police, just as I do around high explosives or high powered machinery.  All are extremely useful, and all desire proper care, caution, respect, and safeguards.

A couple of days later, sans Glock and holster, I entered the department to determine the origin of the signs, and the reasons for their obviously recent emplacement.  I talked to an agreeable Sargeant.  The public relations officer had just retired.  The Sargeant very kindly gave me the police chief's email, suggesting that such policies were above his pay grade.

I contacted Chief James Mills, and asked him who made the decision to erect the signs, and what was the purpose and expected benefit? 

Chief Mills was kind enough to reply.  He said that the foyer of the police office is also the waiting area for the Municipal Court.  Here is the paragraph about the decision to post the signs:
It was my decision to post the 30.06 and 30.07 signs. There was nothing controversial about the decision, as state law already prohibited the carrying of firearms onto this premises. The signs were simply a measure to ensure license holders are aware they are entering the premises of a government court. Of course, the desired benefit would be compliance with state law. I hope this helps with your article. Thank you for your kind words about Sgt. Gray. I will make sure to pass it along.
James Mills, Chief of Police
Benbrook Police Department
1080 Mercedes Benbrook, Texas 76126

I was skeptical of Chief Mills decision.  I see nothing in state law that requires him to post the signs, nor do I see any benefit, as I do not see any state law being broken by the presence of legally armed citizens in the police foyer.  Before the  open carry law, no 30.06 sign was posted. It appears that the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, agrees with me. From abajournal.com:
Rather than simply the area bounded by the courthouse walls, Paxton’s view of what premises include means “that people with a license to carry should be able to go into [the] courthouse in non-essential areas,” Shannon Edmonds, who serves as director of governmental relations at the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, told the station. “I think most counties don’t read the law that way, but some of them are taking steps to comply with the opinion, even if they don’t agree with it, because they don’t want to get sued.”
In September, the state legislature authorized the AG to sue government entities that ban firearms improperly in their buildings, and it appears from Paxton’s views on the definition of courthouse premises that they could potentially be subjects of enforcement, the article explains. The attorney general’s homepage has a prominent link for citizens to report government entities which may be unlawfully prohibiting concealed firearms.
The Benbrook police department has not been listed among those who have had complaints filed against them with AG Paxton, at least not yet.  But I will not be surprised if I find them on such a list, eventually.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

TX: Houston Video Shows Disarm of Robbery Suspect

Picture from click2houston.com

In the video, you see the armed suspect bring the pistol very close to the victim.  It is just the opportunity for the victim to successfully attempt a disarm.  The victim uses both hands to grab the pistol to lever it away from the suspect.  Eventually, the suspect flees the scene, chased by the now armed victim. From click2houston.com:
The man then pulled out a gun and demanded money.

The owner, who asked to be called Enrique, and the man began to struggle, and the man punched Enrique multiple times in the face. The two men wrestled each other to the ground.
Link to Video

There are important lessons here for those who chose to go about armed.  If you  are holding someone at gun point, do not get within arms length of them.  The minimum distance that you should be from them is 5 feet.

Do not push the gun out in front of you within easy grabbing distance of the person you are holding at gunpoint.  You are practically begging them to attempt a disarm.  Keep the gun back by your side, if you must be close.  Use your off hand to defend the gun.  If someone attempts to disarm you, shoot them.  A person who is attempting to take your gun away, is almost always a deadly threat. 

I expect readers to know that they must be reasonable.  a three year old who attempts to grab your gun is not someone you should shoot.  If the disarm is not serious or plausible, do not shoot that person.

If you are being held under threat of gun point, decide if the person is more likely to shoot you or to leave you without harming you, as well as the chances of a successful disarm.  It is a cost - benefit decision. 

If you attempt a disarm, go all out, fast, hard, ruthless.  Your life is in the balance.

More defenders appear to have successful disarms than criminals.  That is likely because they have greater incentive.  The defender is risking his life.  A criminal is often competing for a few dollars of value.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch





Saturday, February 06, 2016

AR: Armed Man Wounded in Struggle with Intruder


The man told police he returned home at 9:44 a.m. and found a man inside. The resident said he got his gun and a struggle ensued, according to the news release.

The man told police his gun went off and he was injured, according to the news release.
More Here

A Big Win for the Second Amendment



It’s been a bad week for What’s-His-Name. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley dropped out of the Democrat presidential race Monday night after a predictably pitiful showing in Iowa. Then on Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court struck down his signature “assault weapons” ban, rammed through in Democrats' exploitative gun-grabbing frenzy after Sandy Hook. The Maryland law — a ban he promised to replicate at the national level if elected president — prohibited some semiautomatic rifles and so-called high-capacity magazines (by which they mean standard capacity). But the court concluded those instruments meet the Supreme Court’s measure of being “in common use by law-abiding citizens,” and the three-judge panel sent the case back to U.S. District Court with instructions to apply “strict scrutiny.”

Here’s the money quote from the ruling: “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — ‘the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home,’ District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions, to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard of review for Plaintiffs' Second Amendment claim.” In other words, though other appeals courts have failed to uphold the Constitution, the Fourth Circuit says the Maryland ban clearly violates the Second Amendment, and the lower court needs to figure that out.

Gun writer Bob Owens explains the significance, writing, “If the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision stands (it will almost certainly be appealed) and the courts hold that strict scrutiny should apply to Second Amendment cases as they do every other law restricting constitutional rights, then most of the gun control laws in the United States will eventually fall like dominoes.”

http://patriotpost.us/posts/40501