Sunday, December 17, 2017

Honolulu Police Back off Order for Medical Marijuana Users to Turn in Guns

On 28 November, 2017, the Honolulu Star Advertiser wrote that the Honolulu Police Department had been sending letters to people that were both registered gun owners and registered medical marijuana users. The letters ordered the medical marijuana users to turn in their guns. From the
The Honolulu Police Department has told legal marijuana users who own guns that they must turn in their weapons within 30 days.

In a letter to about 30 medical marijuana card holders on Oahu, the police said “you have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms.” Police have been sending the letters since at least January.
The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive issued a letter in 2011 finding that medical marijuana users may not legally possess firearms or ammunition under federal law. The Supreme Court has ruled that states are not required to use their resources to enforce Federal law. It is not clear if Hawaii law prohibits medical marijuana users form possessing firearms or ammunition. Hawaii law requires that a person who applies for a firearms permit must include a release to the police of your medical history. Doctors are required to release any mental health information that is pertinent.

The use of medical databases to confiscate firearms has been controversial. The Honolulu Police have retracted their confiscation letter in order to study the issue. From
The department said that it won’t ask medical marijuana patients to give up their guns while it consults with other government agencies and reviews recent court rulings.

“This is a new area of concern for cities across the country, and we in Honolulu want to develop a policy that’s legally sound and serves our community,” said new Police Chief Susan Ballard in the release. “Formulating the policy will take time, but we want to do it right.”

Carl Bergquist from Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, an organization that advocates for the legalization of marijuana, said Tuesday he wonders why the agency is going to continue denying gun permits to medical cannabis license holders.

“The denial in the first place doesn’t seem to be based on any particular sound policy reasoning,” Bergquist said.
The Honolulu police are currently refusing to grant permits for the possession of guns to those who are medical marijuana users.

Hawaii is one of the few states that require all new firearms in the state to be registered with the police.  You have to apply to the police to purchase a handgun. If you are approved, the permit to purchase is good for 10 days. Permits to purchase long guns are good for a year. Long guns owned before July 1, 1994 are grandfathered and need not be registered. Any firearms transfers in the state since 1994 are required to go through the registration process.

Hawaii is in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has upheld most infringements on the Second Amendment.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup NC: No Charges for Woman who Shot DeShawn Tatem

CONCORD, N.C. -- The Cabarrus County District Attorney's Office will not be pursuing charges against the female business owner who shot and killed a man at her pet spa back in November.

The DA Roxann Vaneekhoven, said the business owner Sarah Shoe shot at a man, later identified as DeShawn Tatem, for forcefully and unlawfully entering her business while her boyfriend and two young grandchildren were inside.

More Here

KY: Armed Woman at Home Shoots Woman Attempting Break-In

Officials say a woman in her 40s was home alone when a woman in her 20s came banging on her door, eventually breaking through a window.

Police say the homeowner fired a shot at the intruder.
More Here

Followup AK: No Prosecution in Clift-Landon Shooting

The Anchorage District Attorney's Office has decided not to prosecute the owner of a Spenard business who shot one of his customers last month.

The owner of Determine Design, Daniel Clift, said he acted in self-defense when he fired his handgun Nov. 15, shooting Shelton Landon once in the torso.

More Here

ID: Armed Woman Defends Home, Son, with Gun

Police say Zumr got into the home, located on the 200 block of East 47th Street, at about 9 a.m. The resident was inside with her young son at the time.
The woman confronted Zumr with a gun, and he ran away, police say. She called 911, and was able to provide officers with a description of the intruder.

More Here

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Right to Bear Arms

The Supreme Court of the State of Delaware has upheld the right to keep and bear arms provision of the State Constitution, which was enacted in 1987, passing through two separately elected legislatures.

The case was a challenge to the state ban on the possession of weapons in state parks and forest.  In Bridgevile Rifle & Pistol Club v. Small, the court ruled that a ban on the possession and carry of guns, enacted by unelected bureaucrats, was unconstitutional under the Delaware Constitutions Article I, Section 20. From
This appeal concerns guns and, as such, has attracted numerous amici curiae raising politically fraught questions concerning gun rights.1 However, at its core, this case raises straightforward questions of Delaware constitutional and administrative law. We are asked whether unelected officials from the State’s parks and forest departments, whose power is expressly limited, can ban (except for a narrow exception for hunting) the possession of guns in state parks and forests in contravention of Delawareans’ rights under the State’s constitution. Clearly they cannot. They lack such authority because they may not pass unconstitutional laws, and the regulations completely eviscerate a core right to keep and bear arms for defense of self and family outside the home--a right this Court has already recognized. As such, the regulations are unconstitutional on their face. Thus, we REVERSE for these reasons and those that follow.
Here is Article I, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution. The meaning is clear:

“A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use.”
It is interesting to see the logical pretzels the dissent turns in attempting to keep the ban in place. They amount to a number of assertions of Progressive dogma.

Essentially they are:
  • There are no pre-existing natural rights to arms.
  • The State never explicitly granted a right to arms in its Constitution, early on, so any legislative acts done before the right was added are grandfathered in.
  • The legislature never really intended Section 20 to mean what it says.
  • England restricted the right to arms in some times and places, so we can do so as well.
  • The Second Amendment never applied to the States until recently, so any reasoning based on Heller and McDonald does not apply.
  • Nobody challenged the law before, so it must be Constitutional
The dissent drones on for dozens of pages. But it all comes down to the same old Progressive doctrines: the state can do what it wants, and guns are bad.

It is sad that two of five Delaware Supreme Court Justices are willing to ignore the clear words of Delaware's constitution to obtain a result they want. But it is basic Progressive practice and dogma.

It is heartening that three of the five Justices upheld the clear meaning of Article I, Section 20.

Only six states do not have some provision in their state constitutions that protect the right to keep and bear arms. Those states are California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York.

California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York are, arguably,  the four states that most egregiously infringe on the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
State constitutions provide another layer of protection for the right to keep and bear arms.  States, in a federal system, serve as part of the checks and balances that limit government power in the United States.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MO: Homeowner Shoots Intruder inside his Home

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Police were called to the 3400 block of S. Appleton Ave., Thursday afternoon after a homeowner called to report he had shot an intruder in his home.

The suspect was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered serious. It happened shortly after noon Thursday at a home near Winner Rd., and Sterling Ave.

More Here

England: Fatal Shooting Justified Self Defense, Go to Jail for Unregistered Shotgun

Gregory had applied to register the shotgun, but was refused. Self defense is not considered a valid reason to own a gun in England. Gregory had been attacked previously, robbed and tied up.

A 72-year-old man who shot dead a burglar he caught breaking into his caravan in the middle of the night was today jailed for illegally owning the shotgun without a licence.

Reuben Gregory told police who arrived in woodland near Heathrow airport and found Wayne Digby's body that he 'was the one that did it, mate'.

The pensioner was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but later released and told he would not be prosecuted for the death of Digby, 48.

Digby was caught trying to remove the door from his caravan and armed with a meat-tendering hammer and a makeshift Molotov cocktail fire bomb.

Later Mr Gregory was charged with possessing a firearm without a certificate - an offence he admitted in court last September.

He was today jailed for 10 months, with the final half of his sentence to be served on licence, Judge Paul Dugale said.

More Here

TN: Gunfight, Victim and Suspect both Wounded in Cell Phone Store Robbery Attempt

Investigators say one person was hit and taken to the hospital in non-critical condition. One of the suspects was also shot and was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle. He was last listed in critical condition.
More Here

Friday, December 15, 2017

A look into Nancy Pelosi's False Assumptions about Guns

Nancy Pelosi is ignorant about the state of gun laws. It is not surprising. Many people base their decisions about guns and laws on ignorance. It is possible that she is lying. I suspect ignorance. Most Progressive decisions about guns are made from false assumptions about reality. Once those assumptions have been internalized, there is no need for further thought or learning about guns and gun laws. Those decisions have already been made. The assumptions are obvious in the following statement from Nancy Pelosi. From
"Far from making Americans safer, this deadly, extreme Republican bill would make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places and would inexplicably try to make the weakest and most dangerous state concealed-carry laws the law of the land in all 50 states," she said.
The assumption is that more guns in public places make those places more dangerous. She does not need evidence to support her assumption. It is an assumption, an article of faith, something that is intuitively obvious to her.

Readers will recognize it from a hundred comments about guns and gun laws from those who fear guns and want more gun laws. The assumption is, simply, more guns, more danger. Reality is far more nuanced and subtle. More guns do not mean more danger. More guns can mean less danger.

A fairer reading of this assumption could be: If you know nothing about guns, more guns will seem to mean more danger. The more you know about guns, the less dangerous they will seem.

Former Speaker of the House Pelosi goes on to say the proposed law would invite concealed weapons into schools, churches, bars and public lands.
If the concealed-carry bill is approved by the House and Senate and signed into law, key state and local laws protecting against gun violence could be overridden, Pelosi said, "inviting concealed weapons into schools, churches, bars and public lands."
Guns do not have volition. Inviting a gun into a bar results in no action. The gun will simply stay where it has been left until someone moves it to another place.

Attributing volition to inanimate objects is an old animist belief that Western Society overcame hundreds of years ago. Nothing in the bill changes where guns may legally be possessed. That is left up to state law, which is not changed. If Arizona forbids the open carry of guns in bars, the bill does not change that.

People who can legally possess and carry guns have shown themselves to be much less dangerous than people in society as a whole.  Some studies have shown that more guns make areas less dangerous. Other studies have shown more guns do not make a difference. No credible study shows that more legal guns in public areas make those areas more dangerous.

Most will notice that Nancy Pelosi ignores the Constitution, the Second Amendment, and the rule of law. Progressives do not believe in the Constitution, the Second Amendment and the rule of law. They believe in the power of government. Constitutional arguments mean little to them, because they believe the Constitution is almost meaningless. They express this by saying the Constitution is a "living document" or that it has to be interpreted for today's society. Those words simply mean the Constitution only means what they want it to mean when they want to use it for their purposes.

Nancy Pelosi cannot afford to become educated about guns and gun laws. To do so would be dangerous to her position in the Democrat Party. She might not be able to lie as convincingly as she can speak from ignorance.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

AZ: Fugitive invades Home, is Shot in Hand, Flees

YUMA, Ariz. - A 38-year-old man was shot during a home invasion on Augusta Drive Wednesday afternoon. 

More Here

OK: Clerk Disarms Robbery Suspect, Holds Him for Police

They say Ezell Brown, 48, entered the store, pointed a gun at the clerk and said he he'd kill him if he didn't give Brown the money.

The clerk did what he was told. The clerk, Gary Adams, then grabbed the gun and a baseball bat and chased the robber outside, where Adams held him until police arrived.

"I circled, back tracked around him and kept him this way here, and he kept telling me, 'I've got a gun,'" Adams said. "I said, 'if you pull the gun, I'm gonna shoot you with the gun that I have of yours."
More Here

IL: Target Parking Lot, Armed Victim Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect

Police are still on the scene and questioning witnesses. According to early reports, the would-be robbery victim had a concealed carry permit, and fired shots during the robbery attempt. The robber was struck multiple times and transferred to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
More Here

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Deep State Coup Trap

Good graphic to show the relationships of major players in the Mueller investigation. Remember that Comey illegally leaked information as part of a conspiracy to get Mueller appointed by Rosenstein as the special prosecutor.

All done with *no* evidence of a crime ever being committed.

From Alan Dershowitz:

Alan Dershowitz tells FOX News' Melissa Francis that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gone "well beyond his authority as a prosecutor." He said the people Mueller are investigating may have comitted "political sins if they are sins at all," but "they are not crimes."

Here is a clip where Alan Dershowitz talking about prosecutorial misconduct and Mueller.

 Well worth watching.

Dean Weingarten

2017 Trump Era NICS on Track to Second Highest Year Ever

When President Trump took office 10 months ago, the bottom was supposed to drop out of the firearms market. It did not happen. We have the numbers for the National Instant background Check System (NICS) for the first eleven months of 2017. They are on track to be the second highest year on record. It is hard to see how they can miss that mark. December has been the highest month of the year for eight out of nine years. In two anomalous years, 2013, and 2014, it was the fourth highest and second highest month, respectively.

November of 2017 had 2,382,788 NICS checks. It was the second highest November on record. The total number of NICS checks for the year is now 22,649,077. If there were no NICS checks in December, that would be the third highest year on record. The second highest year was 2015, with 23,141,970 checks. 2017 only requires 492,893 checks to become the second highest year. No full month, since the NICS started to maintain records in 1998, has ever been that low.  June of 2002 was the lowest month on record. There were only 518,351 checks conducted by NICS in that month. 2017 is on track to have 91% of the NICS checks that took place in 2016.

The total NICS checks for 2017 will likely be between 24.5 million  and 25 million NICS checks.

Because the ATF is not allowed to release production, import, and export figures for a year after they are collected (to protect proprietary information), we will not know the actual increase to the private stock of firearms for another 14 months. The increase in the private stock is calculated by adding imports to the number of guns manufactured, and subtracting the export numbers. Guns made for the military are not counted.

NICS checks are being used for an increasing number of purposes. Those include, but are not limited to, checks for concealed carry permits; background checks for employment; renewal of concealed carry permits, and more. The state of Kentucky runs a NICS check on everyone in the state that has a concealed carry permit every month, greatly inflating the total number of checks.  One NICS check can be used to purchase several firearms; conversely a NICS check used to purchase a used gun counts as a check, but does nothing to increase the stock of privately owned firearms in the United States.

Based on performance from the last few years, one hundred NICS checks result in an increase of the private firearms stock in the United States by 56 newly produced or imported firearms.

Using that criteria, over twelve and a half million firearms have been added to the private stock in 2017 so far. The total for the year is likely to be between 13.5 million and 14 million additional private firearms.

Those numbers would place the number of privately owned firearms in the United States at about 418 million firearms at the end of 2017.

Many have stated that one of President Obama's accomplishments was to be the "Greatest firearms salesman, ever". About 97 million firearms were added to the United States privately owned stock during the Obama presidency, 2009-2016.

President Trump has a good start on breaking that record.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup WA: Fatal Shooting at Randle Campground was Self Defense

Five months after a man died of a gunshot wound to the head at a Randle campground July 4, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office has formally concluded that the shooter acted in self-defense.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer sent a letter Tuesday to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective in charge of the case declining to file charges against John D. Arnold, 63, of Glenoma, who told detectives that he shot a man who fired multiple shots at him and his wife in their vehicle.

“I have reviewed the reports, statements, lab results and photographs,” Meyer wrote. “A thorough review makes it clear Mr. Arnold acted in self-defense.”

The victim of the shooting was identified by the Lewis County Coroner’s Office as Dusty Phelps, a 51-year-old transient. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.
More Here

Followup TX: Teen Robber Shot and Killed had been Shot at and Missed 1 Week Prior

When local real estate broker Stephen Manion saw the news that a young father, carrying a concealed weapon and having dinner with his two children at a Popeyes restaurant on the South Side, had shot and killed a masked robber last week at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, it struck him as weirdly familiar.

Around 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday two weeks prior, Manion said, he was at a Dollar General on W.W. White Road “and stopped a robbery by firing at the very same guy.”

Manion missed. A San Antonio Police Department spokesman, Officer Doug Greene, confirmed that detectives believe the suspect who fled the Dollar General that night was Andres Herrera, 19, who was killed a week later at Popeyes.
More Here

CT: Armed Homeowner Shoots Burglary Suspect

According to police, the homeowner arrived at his house to find an unfamiliar pickup truck parked in his driveway, backed up near the garage. A woman he didn’t know was in the passenger seat. When the homeowner asked what she was doing, she said she and the driver were lost and looking for directions from the homeowner’s neighbor.

The homeowner then heard a noise behind him, and when he turned around he saw a man running toward him with something in his hand. Fearing for his safety, the homeowner pulled his handgun and fired at the stranger. He owns the gun legally, police said.
More Here

FL: Armed Man Shoots Teen Burglary Suspect

Police have not identified the man with the gun or the youngster who was shot.

Police have not said whether the man was justified in shooting the would-be burglar.

Another neighbor said the man has a military background.

The teen is hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Moreno said she had heard that the 16-year-old youngster had an accomplice. But that has not been confirmed by police.
More Here

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Democrat, Jones Beats Republican Judge Moore in Alabama

Pro Second Amendment Judge Roy Moore was beat in an upset special election by Democrat Doug Jones.

It is a bitter loss for Second Amendment supporters.

The election was extremely close, with only 20,715 votes separating Jones and Moore out of 1,344,367 votes. That is 1.54% of the vote. From the Secretary of State Office of Alabama:

Total Ballots Cast: 1,346,147 Total Registered Voters: 3,326,812 Voter Turnout: 40.46% Counties Reported: 67 of 67 Last Updated: 12/12/2017 10:46:17 PM The election results presented on these pages are unofficial and presented as a courtesy of the Alabama Secretary of State and Alabama’s Probate Judges. The accuracy of the election results is the responsibility of the Probate Judge for each county reporting.

Doug Jones (DEM)
Roy S. Moore (REP)

When the entire power of all the establishment media, combined with the might of the establishment Republican party, was focused on one senate race, they could energize enough Democrats, and confuse enough independents and conservatives, to win in a deep red state.

Outspent 14 to 1, the level of propaganda must have been deafening. The Democrat candidate, for the the most part, was able to simply keep quiet.

It is a lost battle. The war rages on.

Second Amendment supporters can gain several seats in the Senate in the mid-terms. The Progressives will have to divide their resources among 33 races.

It will be much harder to push allegations against all the Republican challengers.

Second Amendment supporters can win, but they must fight.

To make the numbers clear: 

The vote totals and percentages from the Secretary of State of Alabama.

Jones 671,151 votes, 49.92%

Moore 650,436 votes, 48.38%

Write-In 22,781 votes 1.69%

 Moore lost by 1.54% of the vote.

Total votes 1,344,367 (40.46% of registered voters) 

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup MI: Homeowner who shot Knifeman Ruled Justified

FLINT, MI - Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has ruled that a homeowner who shot and killed a man earlier this month outside his home was acting in self-defense.

More Here

IL: Calumet Heights, Amed Victim Shoots Robbery Suspect

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A would-be robber was shot and critically wounded early Tuesday when the victim of the robbery fired shots in the Calumet Heights neighborhood on the South Side.

More Here

IL: Clerk Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect

No charges have been filed against the store employee who shot one of the three men who tried to rob a 7-Eleven store in Oak Park late Monday, a village spokesman said Tuesday morning.

The clerk had a valid firearm owner's identification card, said Oak Park spokesman David Powers.

More Here

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gun Control is in Progressivism's DNA

Progressive infatuation with gun control and population disarmament stems from their foundational premises about the nature of reality.

Progressivism was born out of the end of the frontier and of frustrations with the restraints of the Constitution.  Politicians wanted more power than the Constitution allowed. They rejected the entire theory of natural rights, and the idea that governments exist by the consent of the governed. From, a quote from Charles Merriam, an early, leading Progressive political scientist:
The individualistic ideas of the "natural right" school of political theory, indorsed in the Revolution, are discredited and repudiated…. The origin of the state is regarded, not as the result of a deliberate agreement among men, but as the result of historical development, instinctive rather than conscious; and rights are considered to have their source not in nature, but in law.
 Progressives believed (and still do) that experts should rule society, that the "average man" was incapable of knowing their own best interest. Progressives believe, generally, there is no absolute right and wrong, right and wrong is defined by Progressives and their experts at any particular time.

To Progressives, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are obstacles to be overcome, not pillars of American society that must be defended. Because Progressives generally view the State as god, or at least the manifestation of God on earth, right is anything that advances Progressivism. Wrong is anything that hinders advancing the Progressive agenda.  President Wilson, one of the political foundational Progressives, is attributed as believing that "limits on government power should be abolished".

To Progressives, the Second Amendment is simply a wrong idea, long discredited, that should either be ignored, re-defined as meaningless, or removed from the body of law. They do not believe in natural law or individual rights. The Second Amendment is simply a political inconvenience.

When I attended the University of Wisconsin, decades ago, professors would put forward this statement as a shortcut to discussion. It was usually done in math or science courses: 
"It is intuitively obvious upon casual observation."
What is intuitively obvious, however, depends on what the observer holds as basic assumptions about the nature of reality.

If you believe the state is god, that unlimited government power is a positive good, that experts are far better at determining what is good for you than you are for yourself, and human nature is something created by the state and its educational organs; it is intuitively obvious the Second Amendment was a historical mistake.

The Second Amendment limits government power. The belief in natural law, that the Second Amendment is based on, defies, and is in direct contradiction, to the theory of Progressivism.  The idea that people have a right and the ability, to rule themselves is treated by Progressives as absurd.

No Progressive idea is absolute. Progressive policies change with the times. When Woodrow Wilson was President, prohibition and racial segregation were progressive policies. Now they are not. A few years from now, they could be embraced by Progressives again. George Orwell's ideas in the novel, 1984, are a direct outgrowth of Progressive theory.  In the novel, the state controls history by controlling the flow of information. The purpose of the power of the elite is to maintain their power.

The resurgence of Constitutionalists and belief in natural rights and natural law is the result of  bitter experience over the last hundred years.  Over and over again, various iterations of Progressives have taken over governments and instituted their theories, backed by the absolute power of the state. They have uniformly ended in failure, often spectacular failure. Here is a partial list:

Italy and Germany during World War Two. WWII Japan could fit, but is complicated by the Emperor and the corrupted code of Bushido in the Japanese military. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,  China under Mao, Cambodia under Pol Pot, Cuba under Castro, Zimbabwe under Mugabe, and currently, Venezuela and North Korea.

You do not see these spectacular failures under governments that are limited under law which recognize natural rights.  To be clear, there are very few of them. The United States, Switzerland, post war Austria, Australia, Canada, perhaps the UK. Many countries in Europe seem to be sliding into unlimited government, while former East Block countries such as the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, and others, have moved toward limited government.

Unlimited government is an old idea that started before the Pharaohs. Progressives believed they had something new because of the industrial revolution, widespread literacy and the ability of the state to control citizens with industrial methods of education and indoctrination.

They have been shown to be wrong through numerous real world examples.

"Experts" have been shown to disagree about everything from eugenics to race to sexuality to industrial policy to climate change. Pick your topic, and you can find an "expert" to agree with you.  Therein lies the failure of Progressivism. The choice of policy depends on the choice of experts, who are people and fallible.

Government officials have their own desires, prejudices, personal interests, and the desire to remain in power. The unlimited power of the state is put in their hands, leading to disastrous consequences.

The theory of natural law, based on fallible human nature,  and the need to limit government power, has been shown to optimize society far better than the theory of Progressivism, based on beneficent, unlimited government and the rule by experts.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

IA: Poll: More Restrictions Won't Stop Mass Murder with Guns

A majority of Iowans believe increased controls on gun purchases won't reduce mass shootings, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

Fifty-six percent of Iowa adults say additional controls won't lead to fewer mass shootings. Forty percent believe stricter controls would reduce them. Four percent aren't sure.
More Here

CO: State Representative Accidentally Brings Gun to Airport

Most "guns at airports" are this sort of incident. Busy people, when they carry every day, can make a mistake about the location of a gun. It often occurs because of a distraction. At a critical point of decision, something happens to distract the person, and they pass the decision point without doing what was intended.

Corporon told reporters Wednesday that Saine simply forgot that the gun was in her bag.

“This was clearly an accident. She said it was an accident. She asked if she could put it in her luggage and instead was promptly arrested, put in handcuffs and marched off to a holding cell. … I don’t know why it says ‘knowingly’ in the affidavit. That’s crazy,” Corporon said.

Saine was elected in 2012 and represents a largely rural, agricultural area about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Denver that’s seen intense oil and gas activity and growing residential development.

More Here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

Open carry at The Vertical Church in Yuma is common. It is not so common to see a rifleman outside of the front entrance.

The Church takes security seriously. There is a dedicated security team that has several members at each service. Some members carry openly, some carry discreetly. There is nearly always double coverage as most security team members serve at one service and attend worship at another. Team members switch between open carry and discreet carry as is convenient.

Members of the security team have a high percentage of active, former, and retired military and police. The Church is located less than a mile from the Marine Corps Air Station. Yuma Proving Grounds is only 20 miles away, and most people who work there live in Yuma. Yuma is a favored retirement area for members of the military, many of whom became familiar with the area while on active duty. Arizona is a state the supports the Second Amendment. It is a Constitutional Carry or permitless carry state. No permit is required to carry, openly or discretely, if you are 21 years old. 18 to 20 year olds carry openly without a permit.

The members of the security team maintain contact over a radio net. In addition to designated areas of responsibility, some members rove the entire complex and parking lots during services.

The exact percentage of the membership with military or police experience is unknown. While assigned to roving duty, I have counted the number of vehicles parked facing out, as a percentage of the over all number of parked vehicles. Parking facing out is known as "combat parking".

All members of military and police forces are taught to combat park, for safety and operational reasons. Combat parking does not take any more time than parking face in, because the vehicle has to be backed out if it is parked face in. Combat parking allows for speedy and safe movement away from the parking area if necessary. Most accidents are backing accidents. Backing accidents are more common backing out than backing in. Once combat parking becomes a habit, it tends to stick.

On the Sunday the rifle picture was taken, the 19th of November, 2017, 27 percent of the  vehicles parked for Church services were combat parked. The percentage of combat parked vehicles has been consistently between 25 and 30 percent for the last couple of years. 

Many Church members who are not on  the security team also carry, both openly and discretely.  While the number who carry discretely is difficult to determine, several members that I did not know were armed, confided to me that they were armed at church on a regular basis. Occasionally, I am able to "make" a church member that is not too concerned about the necessity of concealment while carrying discretely. It is easy to adopt a casual attitude when there is no legal penalty for such a minor indiscretion.

Church membership has been skyrocketing in the last few years, requiring remodeling of the existing facility and acquiring neighboring property for an expanded parking lot.

The Vertical Church exists to see people far from God become the hands and feet of Jesus.

Protecting the innocent is a legitimate Christian activity. If you doubt this, I suggest reading  A Time to Kill (The Myth of Christian Pacifism). Here is a review I wrote.

The Vertical Church is prospering and growing. It is heavily involved in helping people in Yuma, in Mexico, and in other mission areas. The security team is dedicated to making sure the Church is able to accomplish its mission in a secure environment.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MI: Shooting or Package Theif Suspect under Investigation,

"The guy held him down in the street until police came, and when police came he said, 'I have my CPL,' and cops disarmed the guy and put him in handcuffs, and [an] ambulance took the kid who got shot," a witness said.

Police said it's unclear if the suspected thief also had a weapon.
More Here

LA: 62-Victim Shoots 1 of 2 Carjackers

NOPD said in that incident, the victims, two men ages 57 and 62, drove back to their house, got out of their car and were approached by two men wearing masks and dark clothing.

One of the subjects told the 57-year-old victim to put his hands on the vehicle and the other shoved the 62-year-old to the ground, demanding the car. The second victim then pulled out a handgun and fired it toward one of the subjects, striking him in the abdomen, police said.
More Here

CA: 70-Year-Old Man Holds Suspect at Gunpoint for Police

JURUPA VALLEY >> A 70-year-old armed homeowner was able to stop a would-be burglar Friday afternoon, holding him at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department received a call Friday afternoon from a 63-year-old female in the 5300 block of Riverview Drive who said her husband, who had a permit to carry a gun, had gone outside to investigate what they believed was a burglary in process.
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AL: Man, Attacked by Dogs, Accidentaly Wounds Woman in Hand

According to McLean, one woman who came to help was able to grab one of the dogs that was attacking. At that point police say, the man pulled out a gun and shot, hitting the woman in the hand.

It is unknown at this time if the dogs have an owner or if they were strays.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gun used in Kate Steinle Case: Facts, Distance, Richochet, Bulle

The Sig Sauer P239 is a compact semi-automatic pistol that holds seven .40 caliber rounds in the magazine.  The .40 caliber bullet recovered from Kate Steinle's body was a hollowpoint design. It appears to have entered her body while tumbling after ricocheting off Pier 14's paved surface.

The Sig Sauer pistol was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger in San Francisco on June 27, 2015, four days before the homicide.  His vehicle was locked. The gun was out of sight, in a holster in a backpack. The rear passenger window had been smashed in. The pistol was legally secured according to agency policy. From
“My fiancee yells out, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this,’ ” Woychowski testified. “The back-seat passenger side window was smashed out.”

He said he called 911 and also reported the theft to his own agency. A BLM investigation found the way he transported and stored the gun did not violate the agency’s policy at the time, and he was not disciplined.
It is easy to understand how even a federal agent could be intimidated into not carrying a gun in San Francisco, when he was not on duty.  One of the problems exacerbated by policies that create gun free zones, is they encourage people to store guns in vehicles. That facilitates the theft of the guns.

The pistol was fired once. The bullet that hit Kate Steinle in the lower back was traveling upward when it hit her.

 The .40 caliber bullet hit Pier 14s paved surface about 12-15 feet from the shooter's position, then ricocheted into Kate Steinle's back 90-95 feet further down the pier. Kate Steinle and the illegal alien shooter were about a hundred feet apart when the shooting occurred. From
Evans said he believed the gunman was seated in a chair on the pier 12 to 15 feet from the strike mark. He estimated that the bullet traveled another 90 to 95 feet “in a straight line” before striking Steinle in the lower back as she walked with her arm around her father’s shoulder.
The entrance wound in Kate Steinle's back was elongated, indicating the bullet was destabilized and tumbling when it hit her. From
He said that due to the "rectangular" shape of the entry wound, before the bullet entered the victim's body, it either ricocheted off a hard surface, traveled through something, or there was a defect with the barrel of the gun.

He said, in his expert opinion, that it was consistent with a ricocheted bullet.

A photograph of the bullet, which normally would be cylindrical, shows that the one taken from Steinle's body is crushed and covered in striations.
The Sig Sauer P239 is a modern, safe firearm. It will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. The defense argument in the Kate Steinle case is the shooter did not intend to fire the pistol.

The jury seems to have accepted that argument. The shooter has been found not guilty of all charges except the illegal possession of the firearm by a convicted felon.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TN: Gunfight, two suspects and store employees, Suspect Wounded

There is a video of the gunfight at the source, Fox 13 in Memphis, TN

The store owner fired his gun and started shooting at the two men. He hit one of the suspects who immediately dropped to the ground.

The man was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay. The other suspect is at large.

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PA: 84-Year-0ld Korean Vet Shoots, Kills 1 of 2 Intruders


An 84-year-old man shot one intruder to death and fought off a second one at his Lawrence County home early Friday morning, police said.

"Two guys tried to rob me, and I killed one of them," Don Lutz said. "Maybe the other one, the bullet hit him, too. I hope so."

Lutz, a Korean War veteran, said that he was asleep at his home on Jamison Avenue when he heard the sound of someone breaking in the front door. He said he grabbed a gun that was underneath his pillow and encountered two men in the hallway.
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LA: Armed Homeowner holds Suspect for Police

BATON ROUGE- A homeowner held a burglar at gunpoint and broadcast the entire thing on Facebook live Wednesday until police arrived.

Caesar Ray said his daughter's car alarm went off in the middle of the night. They were working on their home that flooded. That's about the same time that a neighbor called to let them know that she saw a man mulling around their house.

Ray, who has law enforcement training and past experience working for the Department of Corrections, met Roberto Garcia head on in the front yard. He handcuffed him and made sure he stayed put until police arrived.
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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Political Benefits of National Reciprocity for Republicans

The U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to vote on H.R. 38, recently amended to be the "Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017".  The vote is expected to occur today, 6 December, 2017. (The bill passed the House 231-198)

Voting for and passing the bill in the House, and then in the Senate, is a smart political move on the part of Republicans.  Democrats oppose the bill for partisan ideological purposes. Opposing an armed population is in Democrats (Progressives) DNA. That opposition has never made any real sense.

Every state in the United  States has law that allows for the issuance of permits for the carry of concealed weapons. It is in the interest of people in those states who have concealed weapons permits for those permits to be valid in the rest of the United States.

People who can legally carry concealed weapons have been found to be exceptionally law abiding. Evidence exists that the carry of concealed weapons decreases the violent crime rate a small amount. At the worst, the evidence shows that the crime rate is not increased.

The leadership of the Democrats come from states that have resisted the restoration of Second Amendment rights with all the power and tools at their disposal.  Those states are Deep Blue California, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island.  Senators there do not face significant Republican opposition.

If the Republicans in the House pass Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which seems very likely, pressure will mount in the Senate to pass the bill as well. The Senate has a small majority of Republicans, 52 to 48.

Every Republican Senator comes from a state that has either a Shall issue law, where every person that may legally purchase a handgun from a federal dealer can obtain a permit to carry one concealed, or Constitutional Carry, where the same group of people do not need a permit to carry concealed.  18 Republican senators are from Constitutional Carry states, 34 are from Shall Issue states.  Of Democrat Senators, 16 are from restrictive May Issue states, 24 are from Shall Issue states, and 6 are from Constitutional Carry states.

Image from wikipedia

It will be a difficult trick for Senators from Shall Issue and Constitutional Carry states to explain why they voted to prevent their constituents from exercising their Second Amendment rights in other states.

8 Democrat senators will be running in states that President Trump won in 2016. Six of those states have Shall Issue concealed carry permits. Two of them have Constitutional Carry. Wisconsin has Shall Issue and  a Constitutional Carry bill that is being considered in the state legislature. Concealed Carry reciprocity is a wedge issue that makes those Democrat senator's seats more precarious.

Shall issue: Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin

is a radical far left lesbian feminist. Her campaign ads in 2010 showed her with a man and children, implying that she was heterosexual and married, though that was not true.

Shall issue : Florida, Bill Nelson

Shall issue: Montana, Jon Tester.

Shall issue: North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp

Shall issue: Ohio, Sherrod Brown

Shall Issue: Indiana, Joe Donnelly

Constitutional Carry: West Virginia, Joe Manchin

Constitutional Carry: Missouri, Claire McCaskill

The Republicans need to show significant differences from their Democrat opponents. Donald Trump ran on national reciprocity for concealed carry. This  issue can energize Second Amendment supporters to vote for the Republican, or at least, vote against a Senator the voted against exercise of the Second Amendment.

It makes sense for the Republicans to force a vote on the bill. It would make sense for the eight Democrat senators above to vote with the Republicans and pass the bill, to aid in their re-election.

That does not mean they will. Infringing on the Second Amendment has become part of modern Democrat's DNA.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

ME: Armed Woman Shoots Rabid Skunk that Attempted to Enter Home

A rabid skunk attacked two dogs inside a fenced-in area and attempted to enter a house on Hilton Road in Whitefield earlier this week, but the homeowner shot and killed it in her dooryard.

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IN: Armed Homeowner Shoots Shotgun Weilding Intruder

GARY — A homeowner reportedly scared off two would-be burglars Nov. 28 and sent one to the hospital with a gunshot wound in his groin area, according to Lake Criminal Court records filed Thursday.

Nicholas Jonathan Reeves and Leventes Avery Strong, both age 24 of Gary, were charged Thursday in Lake Criminal Court. Both face two counts of burglary and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm as a serious violent felon, a probable cause affidavit shows.

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AR: Armed Woman Shoots Intruder

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Police in Fort Smith say a woman fatally shot a man who she said forced his way into her apartment. 

Police were called to the apartment in south Fort Smith Thursday afternoon where the woman said she shot the man after he entered her apartment.

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More TX: Father Shoots, Kills Armed Teen Robber in Popeye's

That's when the robber pointed his gun at the family.

The father pulled out his own gun and killed the robber in the middle of the dining area.

Police say the father is a licensed carrier. He is not facing any charges.

More Here

Friday, December 08, 2017

English Gun Surrender: Most Not Firearms or Functional

The UK gun surrender that has been ongoing over the last two weeks has ended.  A lot of airguns, imitations firearms, replicas and antiques have been turned in. A couple of AK47s made headlines. Here is a headline from Northumbria:
AK-47 gun shock as assault rifle among huge haul of weapons handed in to Northumbria Police
A closer look at the Northunbrian article reveals some interesting information. The AK-47 and two machineguns were all turned in together. They were legally deactivated collectors items. But the requirements for deactivation have changed and become much more restrictive. From
From 2 May 2017, the new legal provisions on firearms in the Police and Crime Act 2017, prohibit the sale, loan or transfer of any firearm that has not been deactivated to the current Home Office Technical standard.
Guns deactivated under old standards could still be owned, legally. It appears the two machine guns and the AK-47 fell into this category.  From
This terrifying AK47 assault rifle that was being kept in a Tyneside home is now off the streets.

The gun, which police say is the type of weapon favoured by lone wolf terrorists, has been handed in to police as part of a firearms surrender campaign.

It was being kept in a home along with two equally fearsome machine guns, all of which had not been fully deactivated and could have fired fatal rounds.
The article reports  "a total of 280 firearms" were turned in to police over the last two weeks. Here is the break down in types reported.
The weapons handed in are as follows.

6 Pistols.

8 Revolvers.

22 Rifles.

92 Shotguns.

40 Imitation/Blank firers.

102 Air weapons.

10 others(including ornamental, taser & flare gun).
The total of those numbers is 280. Over half are not firearms. 152 are air weapons, imitation/blank firers, and "ornamental,taser & flare gun".  This is a greater percentage than what I observed in Australia, where about 25% of the guns that I observed being turned in were air guns.  The 102 air guns are 36% of all the guns turned in in this sample from Northumbria.

Air guns in both Australia and the UK were virtually unrestricted for decades until fairly recently. In the United States air guns are not considered firearms and can be ordered by mail in most states, with the exception of New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Only a few of the items turned in were valuable antiques, at least in this sample. It is hard to know how costly the double barrel shotguns turned in are. Some English makers such as Holland and Holland, Westley Richards, Purdey, Boss, and others. Many of those shotguns are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Many are still being made today, with wealthy Americans providing enough work for those fabulous gunmakers to thrive.  Boss, Westley Richards, and Purdey all celebrated centennials in the last five years.

A couple of percussion revolvers more than a hundred and 50 years old were turned in for destruction.  In a small bow to reason, museums will be offered a chance to take historical guns for their collections.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MI: Armed Woman Stops Attack

"He grabbed the back of her jacket and tried to grab her and pull her towards him," Dwojakowski said.

The woman says she saw the man holding something shiny, possibly a knife.

"She put the gun into the suspect's stomach and said, 'I don't want to kill you,'" Dwojakowski said.

Police say the man appeared shocked and quickly ran off. The woman describes him as a black male in his 30s, medium build, clean shaven, with a scar on his upper lip.
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TX: Mistaken Identity Tragedy, Caregiver Shot, Killed

The sheriff's office said that Samuel Gene Wilson, 60, was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was sent to the Central Texas Autopsy Center in Lockhart.

The elderly caller is cooperating with investigators and not being identified. No charges have been filed.
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SC: Homeowner Holds Suspect at Gunpoint

The Clover homeowner told police he came outside when he heard gunshots and saw the York man run into his barn. He drew his gun and ordered the man to the ground until police came, the report says.

Read more here:

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GA: Armed Woman Shoots Suspect who Attacked Deputy

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A woman is being hailed as a "Good Samaritan" and hero after shooting a suspect who was attacking a deputy - one who had just given the suspect a ride.

The Dawson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the altercation, which happened at a gas station on Georgia 400 in Dawsonville, Georgia around 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
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Thursday, December 07, 2017

AZ: New Trial for Self Defense, School Shooting, at Flagstaff NAU

On 18 October, 2015, an 18 year old student, Steven Jones, was attacked by a drunken mob of fraternity members. One member ran up to Jones and sucker punched him. Jones two friends were on the ground defending themselves. Jones ran to his car and retrieved a legally owned pistol. At least one of the fraternity member ran at Jones, who fired, killing one and wounding two others.

The incident was initially characterized as a school shooting. Jones cooperated with authorites.  They charged him with first decree murder. As more evidence became available, it was learned that everyone Jones shot was legally intoxicated with alcohol. Most had traces of marijuana in their system. No alcohol or drugs were found in Jones blood.

The trial ended in a hung jury and mistrail. The judge immediately stated that Jones would face a new trial, starting on 1 August, 2017.  This is a bit unusual. Prosecutor offices usually take a little time to decide whether a new trial is in the best interest of the community, or not. Judges do not make that decision. Apparently, the prosecution informed Judge Slayton of their decision before he made the announcement. From
The retrial of accused Northern Arizona University shooter Steven Jones won’t happen in October because a member of his defense team is medically unable to proceed to trial at that time.

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton on Wednesday set a new trial date for March 27, 2018, despite objections from prosecutor Ammon Barker.

The trial had been scheduled to begin Oct. 10 after being postponed once in August.

Slayton also said there were offers made by the Coconino County Attorney’s Office that would have "significantly reduced the exposure Mr. Jones would suffer if he proceeded to trial." But Slayton said that “Mr. Jones, acting on the advice of counsel, has decidedto reject the offer and proceed to trial."
The Steven Jones case is being prosecuted by the Coconino County Attorney's office. The office has not been Second Amendment friendly. It was the Coconino County Attorney's office that persecuted Harold Fish.  Harold Fish spent years in prison before the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed the conviction. The Arizona legislature changed Arizona law on self defense back to what it had been, 9 years earlier, because of the Harold Fish case.

Judge Slayton had refused to allow body camera video taken at the scene, minutes after the shooting, to be shown to the jury as evidence.  Here is the officer body camera video taken at the scene, minutes after the shooting.

Link to bodycam video from the scene

A motion for mistrial by the defense was refused by the trial judge, Dan Slayton. on 27 April, 2017.  Slayton previously took the unusual stance of ruling the police video from the scene as "prejudicial".  In the video, a bloodied and hysterical 18 year old, Steven Jones, tells the police how glad he is that they are there, and that he thought he was going to die.

Then, in the closing arguments, the prosecution claimed that Steven Jones had never claimed self defense until he was at the police station. The defense called for a mistrial over this false assertion. Judge Slayton ruled that a transcript of some of Jones statements in the video would be allowed to be shown to the jury, to offset the bad information put forward by the prosecution.

Two days later, the judge declared a mistrial due to a hung jury.

The new trial is set for 27 March, 2018.

It would seem to be a good time to have a different judge supervise the new trial.

Judge Slayton will be the judge in the new trial as well as the old one.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

FL : Armed Woman Shoots Ex who Attacked Her

According to a police report, Bishop said he wanted to talk, and when the woman agreed, he attacked her.

The Sheriff's Office said the woman had a gun and fired at Bishop, hitting him in somewhere in the face.

Action News Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said she had every right to protect herself.

“She was in fear and her fears came to life when he assaulted her outside. She did the next best thing and protected herself and is well within her rights to protect herself,” Jefferson said.
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SC: Aggresive Dogs Shot, Killed After Mauling, Killing 8-Year-Old

"As they approached the home to try and make contact with the homeowner, the dogs were able to exit the fence," explained Major Turner. "They approached our deputies aggressively and our deputies had no choice but to put two of those dogs down."

The coroner said the third dog was killed Saturday morning by a resident when it showed up on his yard and became aggressive. After testing was conducted, DHEC said all three of the dogs tested negative for rabies.
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Followup TN: Police Save Burglar Shot by Store Owner

The owner stated he held on to the van and was being dragged when he fired a shot in an attempt to stop Noe. The owner eventually let go and sustained road rash due to the incident.

Cheatham County Police say they went to Nashville after gathering information for a "chance search" for the vehicle. After finding a vehicle "oddly parked," investigators looked inside and found Noe in the back seat "internally bleeding and slowly dying from the inflicted gunshot wound."
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H.R. 38, Concealed Carry Reciprocity, Passes House, 231-198

The United States House of Representatives has passed H.R. 38, the national concealed carry reciprocity act.

The vote was 231 to 198 on Wednesday, 6 December. The fate of the bill now goes to the United States Senate.

The official results will show up at in a few hours.

In the Senate, it is uncertain if enough Democrats will vote for the bill to overcome the 60 vote fillibuster barrier. Eight Democrat Senators are from states with either Shall Issue or Constitutional Carry law in their states.

Six of the Democrat Senators  are from Shall Issue concealed carry states, and two are from Constitutional Carry states. They are:

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin, Shall Issue

Bill Nelson, Florida, Shall Issue

Jon Tester, Montana, Shall Issue

Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota, Shall Issue

Sherrod Brown, Ohio, Shall Issue

Joe Donnelly, Indiana, Shall issue

Joe Manchin, West Virginia, Constitutional Carry

Claire McCaskill, Missouri, Constitutional Carry

The way to bet is that the above Senators will vote for the bill when they can be assured it will not pass, thus allowing themselves cover in their state when they are accused of being against the exercise of the Second Amendment.

It will likely fail in the Senate with 55 to 59 votes for it.

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Pastor Stops Home Invasion with Gun, Protects Wife, Children

The father, who Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach confirmed is the pastor of a Baptist church in Bartow County, then grabbed his gun.

Deputies said he shot Simmons in the head as he was coming in the house.

A neighbor, Bill Kennedy, told Gehlbach the Beck family heard the intruder breaking into their basement window.

"Come to the door and she was screaming, 'Invader in the house!' and her two kids were still in there asleep," Kennedy said.

The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old Donavan Simmons. He was rushed to the hospital and now faces charges.

Beck does not face any charges.

"I think he did the right thing, protect his family," Kennedy said.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appearl to Maryland Assault Weapon Ban

The Supreme Court refused to grant a writ of certiorari in the appeal of Maryland's ban on certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The ban includes non-detachable magazines, but exempts rimfire firearms.  The State Police list 200 firearms manufacturers with numerous models that are banned by the law, including some of the most popular rifles in the United States.

The case is a continuation of the Supreme Court's reluctance to enforce and clarify the court rulings in the Heller and Mcdonald cases. Four justices are required to grant a writ if certiorari. From
Maryland's Firearm Safety Act of 2013 bans the AR-15 and other military-style rifles and shotguns, often referred to as “assault weapons,” and detachable large-capacity magazines.

The petitioners, however, argued that these weapons are commonly used for self-defense in the home and should be protected by the Second Amendment.

“This Court recognized and protected the principle at the heart of the interests enshrined by the Second Amendment: The individual — and not the government — retains the right to choose from among common arms those that they believe will best protect their person, family, and home,” they wrote in briefs.

By denying the case, the court refused to step into the national debate over gun control that has been raging on Capitol Hill following a slew of mass shootings in recent months in which assault weapons were used.
Attorneys General from 21 states had asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

The Maryland ban is particularly troublesome because the 4th Circuit, in upholding the ban, did so by making the claim that AR-15 rifles and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are "weapons of war" and therefore  are not protected by the Second Amendment. This claim appears absurd on its face. In the Miller decision, one of the first Supreme Court direct Second Amendment cases, a law was upheld because only weapons of war were protected. One of the clear purposes of the Second Amendment is listed in the present participle "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,".  It is hard to see that "weapons of war' would be excluded from the protections of the Second Amendment.

In the Heller decision, and in the Caetano decision, the Supreme Court explicitly said that all commonly owned arms are protected by the Second Amendment.

In 1925,  after being lobbied by the Supreme Court, Congress passed a law to allow the Court to choose what cases it would accept.

This is how the Supreme Court grant writs of certiorari (effectively agreeing to hear a case). 

Parties who are not satisfied with the decision of a lower court must petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case. The primary means to petition the court for review is to ask it to grant a writ of certiorari. This is a request that the Supreme Court order a lower court to send up the record of the case for review. The Court usually is not under any obligation to hear these cases, and it usually only does so if the case could have national significance, might harmonize conflicting decisions in the federal Circuit courts, and/or could have precedential value. In fact, the Court accepts 100-150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review each year. Typically, the Court hears cases that have been decided in either an appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals or the highest Court in a given state (if the state court decided a Constitutional issue).

The Supreme Court has its own set of rules. According to these rules, four of the nine Justices must vote to accept a case. Five of the nine Justices must vote in order to grant a stay, e.g., a stay of execution in a death penalty case. Under certain instances, one Justice may grant a stay pending review by the entire Court.
People are often astounded that the Supreme Court has the power to refuse to hear cases. As the nation grew, appeals to the Supreme Court proliferated. There were far more cases than could be heard by the Court. The first attempt to solve this problem was the formation of the appeals court system in 1891. That did not solve the problem.

This case illustrates the problem of allowing the Supreme Court to decide what cases they can hear. There is a clear conflict of interest. Choosing cases to hear makes decisions about the law based on feelings, politics, and media influence, instead of evidence, the Constitution, and precidence. It gives the judicial branch far more power than it was ever designed to have.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup IN: No Charges for Armed Witness who Shot Teen Attacker

MUNCIE, Ind. – A Muncie woman who fatally shot a teenager in August will not face criminal charges, prosecutors said Monday.

Allayzia Jackson, 17, was shot in the chest during a confrontation in a parking lot in the 300 block of West Main Street shortly after noon on Aug. 31.

She was pronounced dead a short time later at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

In a report issued Monday, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said the woman who shot Jackson, 43-year-old Marilyn S. Wilson, “did so in self-defense.”
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MO: Gunfight, Suspects, Defender, and Bystander Wounded

It started when a man and woman, 23 and 37, walked out of Euclid Market at 2318 Euclid Avenue about 12:15 p.m. Sunday. That's when two robbers armed with handguns tried to rob them, police said.

The male victim pulled out his own gun and exchanged shots with the robbers, police said. Both robbery victims were hit, as was a 24-year-old bystander inside the market, police said. It's not clear who fired the shot that injured her.

The robbers ran off. But a 17-year-old with a gunshot wound later showed up at a hospital, and police believe he was one of the robbers. He was taken into custody, police said.
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FL: Off Duty Officer Shoots Chicken Killing Dogs

She said her neighbor shot her dogs after the animals somehow got out of her house, ran into his yard and killed his chickens.

Captain Dave Walesky with Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said that neighbor acted within his rights to defend his property.

"It's my understanding that the dogs aggressively charged towards him and then he fired his gun. People have the right to feel safe in their own yards," said Walesky.

The family admits the dogs were at fault but they say they can't believe what happened after the dogs were shot.
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CA: Domestic Defense, Father Shoots Son

BEN LOMOND, Calif. —

A Ben Lomond father shot and killed his son Sunday afternoon at their home on the 100 block of Ridge Road.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office has not disclosed what led to a confrontation between the father and son. But investigators said the killing could have been a case of self-defense.
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TX: Gunfight, Off Duty Officer Shoots Suspect Shooting into Occupied Vehicle

According to Capt. Chris Jett of the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, the unnamed officer was driving home around 10:11 p.m. in the 12000 block of FM 1431 when he came across a man firing a gun into a vehicle. The officer exchanged gunfire with the man before hitting him twice.

Neighbors said the shots sounded like fireworks. Those who called 911 said deputies arrived very quickly to assist the off-duty officer, who was not injured.

The 55-year-old suspect was found unconscious in the brush and was taken by helicopter to Dell Seton Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries and was in stable condition Friday morning.

“From what I understand the facts to be, our detective saved lives last night,” Manley said.
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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Grizzly Bear Charge Stopped with a .44 Magnum (video)

The video was filmed by Leon Lorenz on 14 June, 2010. Lorenz originally filmed grizzlys without carrying a pistol. His mother insisted that he start carrying a .44 magnum a decade earlier. The video has not seen much play in the United States.  From
Mr. Lorenz has filmed grizzlies for the past 19 years and knew well how to prepare for an encounter with a bear. He'd washed with unscented soap and was sure to walk without making any noise. He knew he could likely talk his way out of a grizzly attack by calmly reassuring the beasts. After all, he'd done it before.

Most importantly, he'd packed his .44 magnum stainless steel handgun, a safe companion he'd toted on many of his excursions since his mother asked him to get one 10 years ago.

Link to video on Youtube

 The video got my adrenaline flowing. It shows all bear attacks are unique.  Sometimes, bears approach slowly. Sometimes they charge head on. Sometimes they go away and come back. Sometimes gunshots draw them in, where they learn to associate gun shots with food. This is a real problem in Montana during elk season.  Sometimes gunshots scare them off. In this one, the bears run zig-zag toward the cameraman. They are likely following his scent in the nearly still air. 

The cause and the effect of the .44 shot is obvious in the video.  It dispels the notion that pistols are useless as a defense against bears. There are over a dozen cases where pistols have been used to stop bear attacks. I have been unable to document one case where the pistol failed to stop the attack or drive off the bear.

The cub follows its mother very closely. A two year old cub is a serious danger in itself. Sows with cubs make up a significant percentage of grizzly bear attacks. Lorenz estimated the bear weighed between 400 and 500 pounds. The cub appears to be less than half the sow's size. It is still a large and effective predator that can do enormous damage.  From the quoting the Vancouver Sun:
“She was a blur, going by me, she was so fast. Even if I had hit her, her momentum would have carried her forward. She was running on so much adrenalin, she would have made sure I was dead before she died, and her cub probably would have attacked, too.”
Lorenz has grown closer to his God after the experience:
Mr. Lorenz said he always prays with his wife and two sons before heading out on his filmmaking missions, but is doing it a little more fervently now.
This incident was covered by The Globe and Mail, the CBC,  the National Post, and The Free Press, and the Vancouver Sun in Canada. It has strong visual values. It touches our primordial instincts and fears.

The video is dramatic. It doesn't seen to have been considered news  by any American establishment media.

If you find a case where there was a failure of a pistol defense against a bear, please share it with us. I am not interested in 40 year old rumors or second and third hand stories. Stories of bears found with .38 bullets under the skin do not make the grade.

With an increasing number of successful defenses against bears, using pistols, there should eventually be a failure. It should make the news.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MO: Armed Homeowner Stops Home Invasion

The homeowner, Levi Strodman, said his wife heard the knock and sent him to the door. He grabbed his pistol, which he said he always carries in the home.

"It's kind of taboo but I encourage it, obviously now," he said.

When he got to the door, he saw the peephole was obstructed but he thought a neighbor was just having fun. When he cracked the door, an armed suspect tried to force his way in.

"He rushed it and I put force back on him and was able to stop him immediately," said Strodman. "He was still fighting to make his way through and was gaining ground. Then he presented a pistol."

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OH: Dog Shot, Owner Cited

A resident two doors down who shot Tank had a valid CCW permit. He told police the dog came into his yard and that he feared it would attack him or his two poodles. He said he fired two shots from about five feet away, and that the dog then ran away, the report stated.

The neighbor told police Tank is the offspring of a dog that two years ago killed his dog.
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UT: Gunfight, Diamonds, Gold, Cash and Credit, 2 Wounded

After verifying the authenticity of the diamonds, the two drove together to downtown Salt Lake City. But near 45 West and 300 South, after Mullahkhel had paid for the necklace, he pulled out a gun to rob the victim of the money he had just paid him, the diamond necklace, a second gold necklace the victim was wearing and a credit card, Shearer said.

As Mullahkhel was getting out of the car, the necklace seller drew his own weapon, according to a jail report.

"Gunshots were exchanged," Shearer said.
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IL: Gunfight, Armed Robber and Off Duty Officer

CHICAGO, IL - A man with a handgun attempted to rob an off-duty Chicago police officer Friday night in Beverly. The officer responded by firing shots at the offender, who fled. A significant amount of police activity began after 7 p.m. in the 10100 block of South Bell, where police say the attempted armed robbery and shots fired incident took place.
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FL: Another Mass Murder Stopped by Legal Gun Carriers

In Rockledge, Florida, at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, the 25th of November, 2017, two armed citizens stopped a mass murder in progress.  Police Chief Joseph P. LaSata of the Rockledge Police Department, made clear the intervention of the armed citizens was responsible for stopping the murderer.  Two employees were shot, one killed, in the parking lot. Then two armed employees intervened. From the transcript of this video from
Matt Lupoli, reporter:
Another employee, a manager, came out with a gun of his own and shot and wounded Baily. That man has not been named, but police say he saved several other lives, customers and employees alike.
Rockledge Chief Joseph Lasata:
Mr. Baily had multiple magazines on his person.  He was intent on doing harm. The employees stepped up and prevented customers, employees, and other vendors who were in the business at the time from sustaining further injuries. They did a good job.
The murder suspect, Robert Lorenzo Bailey, Jr, 28, of Cocoa, is in critical condition at the Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melborne. The suspect has not been connected to Schlenker Automotive. The murder and gunfight started in Schlenker's parking lot.  The suspect opened fire on a 25 year old employee, paralyzing him. He shot and killed 50 year old Roger Lee Smith, who had been employed at the shop for numerous years, as Smith came out the door to the parking lot. Then two armed employees, who had concealed carry permits, intervened. From
The gunman killed one employee and paralyzed a second. That's when the employees at Schlenker Automotive fought back with equal force, Rockledge police chief Joseph La Sata said.

"The manager, who was a concealed weapons permit holder, came out and engaged in gunfire in the parking lot," La Sata said. "The manager fled back inside the building, being chased by the gunman. Another Schlenker employee, who also had concealed weapons permit, engaged in gunfire with the suspect."
This is the second time in three weeks armed citizens have intervened in a mass murder, preventing further murders from taking place. The first was Stephen Willeford, an NRA instuctor who grabbed his AR-15 and engaged the mass murderer at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017. We do not know the names of the two armed citizens who stopped the casualty count at two in Rockledge, Florida on 25 November. We know they had concealed carry permits, and that citizens who carry guns legally are extremely law abiding.

When armed citizens intervene, lives are saved. Those who want a disarmed population use the effectiveness of interventions to claim they do not occur. As only one victim was killed before the murderer was stopped, some will say it was not a mass murder, therefore no one can say a mass murder was stopped by an armed citizen.

Here is a list, with links to more than two dozen cases where armed citizens stopped mass killing.

Mass Killings Stopped by Armed Citizens, Updated

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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