Sunday, October 31, 2004

A story from one of my medical correspondents:

"Years ago, I answered a "code call" (for cardiac arrest) in the ER. The "victim" was dead - with about a dozen bullet holes within a few inches of his mid-chest (good shooting by any standards).

Apparently, this guy ignored restraining orders by his ex and he had assaulted her several times; local cops in Lubbock TX (a very conservative place) had encouraged her to get a gun - the results indicated that she did her homework.

On his "final adventure" - he couldn't get into the house because she had locked herself in and barricaded the windows - but, no problem - with a fire axe he chopped a hole in the wall of the house and entered - one last time.

New York: "Gunkeeper" streamlines pistol permits: "The Rensselaer County [NY] Legislature has approved a new system of issuing pistol permits, which it describes as similar to a driver's license and more accurate and secure than the old system. Prior to the measure's passage on Oct. 12, pistol permits were issued on a paper card, to which a photo of the permit holder was attached. Any amendments or changes in condition to the license were written on the card. The new 'Gunkeeper' system is based on a plastic card that is issued to the permit-holder -- a photo is embossed on the plastic card along with name, address, date of birth and other basic information. Conditions of the license's issuance are printed on the back along with a digital image of the holder's fingerprint."

Illinois: Fatal shooting deemed justified: "No charges will be filed in connection with the death of a Lacon man who burst into a home in the middle of the night and was shot by the homeowner. Douglas Sullivan, 37, was shot once in the chest with a 9-mm handgun and died almost instantly, authorities said. Marshall County State's Attorney Paul Bauer said homeowner Brad Burns was justified in shooting Sullivan with his registered handgun. Bauer said there was no clear reason why Sullivan would have targeted the family, but initial reports said he had been drinking at a party near the Burnses' home."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Texas: Teen suspended after gun found in car: "A Tivy High School student was suspended Thursday and had his 12-gauge shotgun confiscated after it was spotted in the back seat of his vehicle on campus. According to school and police officials, School Resource Officer Arnold Harst spotted a gun case on the back seat of the Honda car during a routine parking lot check. A statement from the school said school administrators identified the parking permit holder and brought him out of class to the vehicle, where a shotgun was found in the case. There was no ammunition in the vehicle, and the gun was unloaded. Superintendent Dan Troxell said the student explained he had been bird hunting several days earlier and had forgotten the gun was in the car."

Nevada: Columnist shoots intruder: "Pahrump Valley Times outdoors columnist Dan Simmons shot and wounded an intruder Tuesday morning during a terrifying home invasion .... Simmons said the man told him to step outside; instead he went to retrieve his .357 handgun for the second time in an hour. He ordered his neighbor and her daughter into a backroom. A moment later the inlaid glass of his front door shattered. Simmons returned to the kitchen and saw the suspect in his home. He aimed and fired, hitting the suspect in the left shoulder. The bullet traveled through the man's body and lodged into the doorjamb. Simmons said the man dropped down, uttered an expletive, and then stood back up and fled. Police were once again summoned to the home. "I told them I shot the guy."

Jury clears farmer of injuring thief "A jury has cleared a Northland farmer on a charge of shooting and injuring a man trying to steal his quad bike. After a five-day trial in the Kaikohe District Court, Paul McIntyre was last night found not guilty on a charge that, with reckless disregard for the safety of others, he injured Samuel Hati of Moerewa on October 20, 2002. McIntyre also faced a second charge that, without reasonable cause, he discharged a shotgun and put the safety of others at risk. The jury, which took nine hours deliberating, could not agree on a verdict on the lesser charge."

Friday, October 29, 2004


"Gun law reforms in the past 25 years have led to a 65 per cent drop in gun-related deaths in Victoria, a study has found. The study, by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, showed the annual average frequency of firearm-related deaths fell by 65 per cent from 1979 to 2000, with suicide deaths down 54.5 per cent and gun assault deaths down by half. Researchers examined firearm-related deaths between 1979 and 2000, against gun law reforms in Victoria after the Hoddle St, Queen St and Port Arthur massacres. The study showed firearm deaths remained steady before the Hoddle and Queen streets massacres then fell compared to the national average when Victoria adopted tighter laws in 1988.

Before uniform gun laws were introduced Australia-wide in 1997, Victoria's firearms laws were the nation's tightest. Gun deaths in Victoria and nationally fell to similar rates by 2000 after uniform gun laws came into effect after the Port Arthur massacre. The centre's injury prevention chairwoman, Professor Joan Ozanne-Smith, said Victoria was a world leader in gun law reform. She said a handgun buyback established in 2000 after shootings at Monash University that year had furthered the downward trend. "There's something like a 75 per cent reduction in firearm deaths since 1979 (up to 2002) which is quite remarkable, and we think this is a model for the rest of the world," she said."


I am not going to dispute here that gun deaths have declined in the State of Victoria over the last 25 years. The important question, however, is whether the decline is due to gun control. And what the article above glides over is that the BIG gun-control effort in Australia did not take place until 1996/1997 and that the before-and-after results Australia-wide show no significant effect of the 1996/1997 bans. Just for fun, have a look at a post by Tim Lambert -- an academic supporter of gun control: He presents statistics purporting to show that Australia's 1996 gun-control laws have been beneficial. He disputes John Lott's claim that serious crime in Australia has risen since then. What Lambert's alternative statistics show to me, however, is a pattern of no change rather than anything else. Deaths by firearm are surely the biggest issue but Lambert's table shows that the average rate of murder with a firearm before the bans was 0.37 compared with .30 after the bans -- with the figures in most individual years being .20 plus or .30 plus. Given statistical error and the range of influences which could have affected the averages concerned, the bans would seem to have achieved nothing significant -- a very poor result considering the vast expense in money and the significant loss of liberties associated with the bans. I note too that even the slight difference in averages observed seems to have been largely the result of a single very anomalous year in 1997 -- making the averages used a poor guide to any underlying trend. I think that for trend calculating purposes it would in fact be most appropriate to exclude both 1996 and 1997 -- and when one does that the "before and after" difference becomes very small indeed: .31 versus .28. The differences for other gun crimes also seem to be too small to assert a real underlying difference. And even Lambert admits a lack of a clear pattern when he notes that the "assault-with-firearm rate has increased". So John Lott's statistical selection shows ill effects from the firearm ban and Lambert's selection shows no clear effect. It seems to me therefore that NEITHER set of statistics support the control measures.

And in fact Lambert ended up agreeing. In his post of 18th June, he concluded that Australia's big 1996/1997 spasm of gun control was a waste of time.

A major part of Australia's 1996/1997 changes was a compulsory gun buyback and we see here what little effect that has had on criminal possession of guns. Perhaps most decisively, however, see the red line in slide 17 of this Australian Institute of Criminology report (PDF). (Background to the report here). Note that the "gun buyback" happened in 1997 but the national homicide rate showed not a twitch in response.

There is a comprehensive article on the dishonesty of the Australian gun-control "industry" here. And this article shows that it is only by playing fast and loose with the statistics that gun-control advocates can claim that Australia's recent restrictive laws have reduced the overall death-rate. And there is a recent scholarly paper by G.A. Mauser here (PDF) surveying the results of gun control in Britain, Canada and Australia which describes Australia's gun-buyback scheme and associated bans as a "failed experiment". The article concludes: "In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive and often counterproductive". Also of note is this summary of the Australian statistics -- showing that "The number of (firearm) offences has increased even when 642,000 guns were destroyed".

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Sadly, domestic violence not a top priority: "A district attorney went before the parole board and begged it not to grant her former husband a parole, because, he said, he would kill her. The board ignored his impassioned plea. Eventually, the parolee tracked her (or should I say his property?) down, and as he broke down her door carrying four guns, she blew him away with a shotgun. Without being unkind to those who work for these potential women victims, let's just say our society doesn't put enough pressure on politicians, police and judges to get it right. Perhaps the police should offer issuing a shotgun and two days of training to any woman who gets a protection from abuse order. Maybe the National Rifle Association could do more in this area. That is not being facetious. I have seen some of their ads whereby women are trained in the use of guns and feel better protected."

The equalizer again: Woman shoots armed intruder: "A woman sitting on her couch watching television shot and critically injured an armed intruder who kicked through her door late Monday night, police said. Nakie Thomas, 29, shot Elliot Thompson, 30, as he and another man broke into her home .... Thomas shot at Thompson four or five times, hitting a window once, the television once and him twice in the chest, police said.'She was in her home either seated on or near the couch,' said Bellizzie. 'As they kicked the door in, she proceeds to unload on them with her weapon.'"

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


A long-running neighbourhood feud turned bloody when a man attacked a car with a chainsaw, seriously wounding one of the occupants. Police said the bizarre attack happened as two men drove along the fence line of a neighbouring property at Inglewood, west of Warwick, with their lights on high beam and sounding their horn about 2am yesterday.

The agitated resident responded by starting a chainsaw and rushing at the vehicle, cutting through the passenger door. In the process, a 35-year-old sitting in the passenger's seat received serious injuries to his stomach. The victim was driven to the nearby Inglewood Hospital where he was assessed before being taken the 90km west to Goondiwindi by ambulance. "He had severe lacerations to his abdomen, including a deep 30cm cut," an ambulance spokesman said. He was then flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where he is in a stable condition.

Police confirmed there was a history of ill-feeling between the neighbours. "It's a long and ongoing feud," a police spokeswoman said. But it is unknown what the feud is over. "It's been going on for years," one Inglewood resident, who declined to be named, said. "It all happens out there."

A 38-year-old man from Inglewood was yesterday charged with grievous bodily harm, unlawful wounding and wilful damage as a result of the incident. He was released on bail to appear in the Warwick Magistrates Court on November 23.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


"The relationship between women and guns is one Sigmund Freud would love. I first observed this phenomenon one summer while tending bar at a resort in Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains. I was in college. Most of the staff were students at Bloomsburg University. I brought along a .22-caliber revolver with the idea of enjoying some occasional target shooting.

One Sunday I invited one of the waitresses to join me. She accepted, but with the caveat that she had never fired a gun. "Not to worry," I said convincingly, "I'll show you the basics." Into the woods we sauntered. I handed her the gun. She took hold of it gingerly, grips between thumb and forefinger. Suppressing a smile, I showed her again. This time she planted her feet, took a deep breath, aimed, and squeezed the trigger. The loud bang was followed by a loud yelp. She was laughing uproariously. The glint in her eye said that she was smitten. From then on, she was the invitor and I the invitee.

A similar phenomenon occurred with my wife a few years later. Political science major and devotee of giving peace a chance, she had ingested the liberal's visceral distaste for guns. That was to change one fall Saturday afternoon at her family cabin near State College. A few of us were blasting away at tin cans and cajoled her into joining the fun. At first she dismissed our entreaties, but before long curiosity prevailed and she stepped to the line. Someone jokingly reminded her to keep her eyes open. She had a better chance of hitting something that way. It didn't help. With eyes wide shut, she fired wide of the mark. But the recoil apparently triggered an adrenaline rush. Her face lit up and a sly smile creased her face. Another case of love at first shot. Freud would love it.....

I'll let the experts explore the Freudian undertones between women and guns, but this male has identified four distinct stages, similar to those found in relationships between men and women. The first stage - fear and revulsion - is followed closely by curiosity and fascination. Third up is infatuation, the unbridled obsession with the physical and emotional exhilaration of shooting, particularly the feeling of empowerment it ignites. What I call the mature stage, the last stage, is marked by the self-confidence, freedom, security and peace of mind common to those who boldly step out of a world of fear, bogeymen, and stereotypes ruled by self-appointed guardians to create their own destiny, form their own opinions and think for themselves. This, I think, is the key. Women who confront and conquer their fears are confident, adventuresome, independent and self-assured. Oh, and in one man's opinion, quite sexy.

More here:

Monday, October 25, 2004


"It was July 1998. Newspapers were full of stories about a seeming rash of shootings in schools. About 40 representatives of law enforcement, public health and other fields were summoned to Washington, D.C., to talk about ways to deal with gun violence in America. Alan Lizotte, a University at Albany criminologist, recalls with certain satisfaction the way former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno took notes as he and his colleagues spoke. The premise of the session was not quite right, he said. Like many attempts to address the problem, it was organized after an unusual but high-profile tragedy and was the product of conventional thinking: Someone broke a law, so tougher laws are needed.

Every time we start to do something sensible about gun control, somebody shoots John Lennon and then we legislate to that," he said. So Lizotte and some of his colleagues offered this advice to Reno: "School shootings are not the issue. The issue is kids selling drugs on street corners in big cities."

School shootings are rare. Disarming drug dealers would save more lives than banning certain types of guns or making it harder for otherwise law-abiding people to own one, they said. The panel identified promising strategies to reduce gun violence that appeared to be working in Buffalo, New York City and other places. The programs encourage citizens to get involved in community improvement while police step up efforts to seize illegal weapons from known criminals.

Following that strategy, Lizotte said, New York City cut homicides from 2,245 in 1990 to 598 in 2003. "No new laws were passed," he said. "New York is the shining example that something can happen while enforcing existing laws." When it comes to guns in America, experts agree that debate and legislation are driven largely by politics, paranoia, ignorance and media sensationalism -- forces that rarely result in sensible public policy."

More here

Court upholds state police gun purchase record-keeping: "The [PA] state Supreme Court says a state police database of handgun sales is not an illegal registry of firearm ownership. The court, in a three-two ruling today, rejected arguments by sportsmen who have challenged the database for four years that the database violates the state's 1995 Uniform Firearms Act. Gun owners and sportsmen sued in 2000, claiming that the information state police glean from handgun purchases violates the 1995 law that bars police from maintaining a registry of firearms ownership. But writing for the majority, Justice Ronald Castille found that the database of sales was not tantamount to an ownership registry. He says although the database may be a registry, it is not a registry of firearm ownership because it doesn't maintain a record of all firearms owned by Pennsylvanians."

Sunday, October 24, 2004


I guess almost all readers of this blog will be aware of the hysterical responses American schools undergo if a schoolkid is found in possession of anything like a gun. It is rather accurately called "zero tolerance". If any readers are not aware of how insane American schools are over such matters, there are some examples here. There is also a blog which records such happenings and Taranto often records them too.

By contrast note how much more kindly an Australian school student was treated when he caused a scare by having a toy gun:

"A teenager who sparked a gun scare at his high school sat patiently in a classroom as the drama unfolded, unaware he was the person police were scouring the school for. The school, north of Brisbane, went into lockdown late yesterday morning after the boy was seen entering school grounds with what appeared to be a gun... A police spokesman said it appeared charges would not be laid against the boy with the toy gun. "He was going to the school to pick up some school work and had bought the toy as part of a Halloween costume," he said. "He was taking part in the lockdown. He didn't even realise it was a result of his actions."

More here

They make up the law as they go along: "A [Nashua, NH] man was indicted earlier this year for a crime that does not exist, a judge has ruled. Timothy Geddes, 23, formerly of 3 1/2 Pleasant St., had been charged with selling a pistol to another person 'without being licensed to do so.' Geddes was indicted on the charge Jan. 22, but Hillsborough County Superior Court Chief Justice Robert Lynn dismissed the case Sept. 28. Lynn ruled that there is no such crime, and state law does not require a gun owner to have a license in order to sell a firearm to another person."

Gun owners are nuts? "Consider one person who stated, as though everybody knew, that 'People who carry guns are macho, people who need to abuse power.' Then, without skipping a beat, he said, '... except for the people I know who carry guns; those are really nice people who are responsible about it, and in fact, very low key.' So, we asked, 'Why don't you believe your own personal experience then?' We just got a shrug."

Saturday, October 23, 2004

These are the goons we are supposed to rely on: "The Rock Hill [SC] Police Department is investigating why an officer used an electric stun gun on a 75-year-old woman who refused to leave a nursing home where she had gone to visit an ailing friend. The woman, Margaret Kimbrell, said she suffered bruises on her leg and face after she was knocked to the floor by the force of the weapon, called a Taser."

Backing for gun photo: "Londonderry High School senior Blake Douglass' attorney yesterday said some students have offered Douglass support in his fight to get the picture of him with his shotgun published in the yearbook. Attorney Penny Dean also said she will file her client's suit in federal court next week seeking financial damages. Dean will request an injunction to delay the yearbook's publishing and seek damages, although she will not suggest an amount. 'I can put a dollar figure on a car or property, but constitutional rights are priceless,' Dean said."

Gun poetry illegal: "A 17-year-old Humboldt High School student has pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct after being caught using the St. Paul school's computers to write poetry with graphic references to guns, death and suicide, authorities reported Monday. The boy was arrested Thursday night after a notebook with the writings was discovered at the school, located on St. Paul's West Side. He made his plea Friday, the Ramsey County attorney's office reported. The student's name was not released, because he is a minor and because the charge he faced was not a felony. St. Paul police said Monday that the student did not make specific threats against anyone or mention the school in the writings. But his work caused concern because it referred to guns, death and suicide."

Friday, October 22, 2004


"I work for a major Sheriff's Department in southern California. I am a non-sworn public officer, which means I carry a gun on duty and perform most of the same tasks that sworn deputies do. I am supervised by and work closely with police officers from my own department and other agencies in the L.A. area. You must understand that there is definitely an elitist attitude amongst many police officers. While I share your sentiments regarding my respect for police and the tough job they (we) do, I can provide a unique perspective on the us vs. them mind-set which most police share.

I have been trained to the exact same level as sworn personnel when it comes to arrest and firearms. I have to qualify and maintain proficiency with my weapons just like the sworn personnel. I have been in many situations where I have had to use my weapon to affect an arrest. I have been in fights and I have taken many felony suspects to jail. However I am considered a wanna-be, rent-a-cop in my department. The average citizen does not realize just how low they are in the food chain in the mind of many cops. Almost every agency looks at other agencies as inferior. Hell, even in my own department, if a deputy did field training at a slow station they are immediately dismissed as inexperienced and sub-standard. If your a federal police officer, a county safety police officer, or any one of the many police designations in L.A County which are not working the mean streets, you are nothing in the eyes of the elite cops. If the cops think other cops are losers, how do you think they see you?

Although I and many of my fellow officers have used our departmentally issued firearms in the line of duty to effect arrests of violent felons, we are required to lock-up our weapons every night before going home. I and my partners are prohibited from carrying concealed weapons off-duty. Most of my fellow officers work in extremely violent neighborhoods, yet we are forced to travel home unprotected. I know exactly how the average citizen in California feels.

Although we have fought for the right to carry concealed we are always denied on the basis that we are not sworn and really have no need to be armed. No different from the accountant or the cook in the eyes of the law. Yet politicians, judges, attorneys and the high profile people somehow merit the protection of a CCW.

I know that police officers have to maintain a level of awareness and suspicion when encountering the public during the course of their duty. But I also know first-hand that cops see you and even me, as the enemy. I have even heard officers say that they are glad that the general public can't carry guns, because what fun would it be if everyone could carry. It truly saddens me when I see a police officer confiscate and either arrest or cite-out for a misdemeanor an otherwise law abiding citizen, caught with a handgun in their vehicle or on their person. To be put through the legal system just for wanting to make it home safely every night is immoral. My Sheriff's department badge and civilian I.D. won't get me a cup of coffee at local police station let alone out of trouble if I attempted to carry off-duty. The attitude in CA law enforcement is that only (sworn) police carry guns. Everyone else needs to dial 911.

Now I'm certainly not accusing every police officer of this attitude. And there is a percentage who are pro-CCW for civilians. But I am pointing out that it permeates the majority of the law enforcement community here. And is not helped by the liberal political hacks.

In my opinion law enforcement suffers from the mis-conception that they are truly protectors of the public. While most would like this to be true, it just isn't. We will only rarely stop a crime in progress. Anti-gun elitist politicians prop-up law enforcement officers as god-like heroes who are so well trained, that the average citizen could never hope to match their ability to thwart criminal attack. You must be joking! The average police officer can barely re-qualify each tri-mester at my department. I know private security guards who are more proficient and train harder with their firearms than veteran cops. And I'm not exaggerating. People need to speak-up and take back their right to self-defense through the second amendment. Until then we are all at the mercy of the criminals who are enabled by the out of touch members of our legislature."

More here

Gun permit rules open to interpretation: "The U.S. Air Force trained Maj. Dave Panzera how to fire machine guns, and has certified him to carry a gun at work since 1985. Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas all let him carry a pistol anywhere he went, issuing a concealed weapon permit in no time at all. But New York was different. Despite his military service and training, the 38-year-old father of five had to prove to this state that he's an upstanding citizen before he could have a gun. ... Panzera did get a permit to own and carry a handgun in New York -- all he had to do was pick the right county. After being denied a 'full carry' permit in Saratoga County, he moved to Schoharie County, where the law is interpreted differently."

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The story that an Australian grandmother has recently wrestled a crocodile has rightfully received enormous international press coverage. Yet here in Australia our antigun media has given almost no coverage to how the killer croc was eventually dispatched -- by the woman's grandson using a high calibre pistol. This would seem to reinforce the old gunowner's proverb, "I'd rather have one and not need it, than need it and not have one"

Arizona: Firearms course popular with women (From Prescott Daily Courier -- Story now offline): "Tired of living in fear and of being harassed, more women are taking firearms classes so that they can learn how to defend themselves. Women also have become more conscious of the need to protect themselves following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to Jane Anne Hulen, director of marketing at Gunsite here. 'We don't want to be victims,' said Gina Peacock, an administrative assistant at Gunsite. She was among 14 women who took a Women Only Pistol Training Class that Hulen conducted this past weekend at Gunsite. Gunsite, a private academy that provides firearms training for law enforcement agencies, members of the military and civilians, began offering the class for women in 2001. Since then, more than 200 women have completed the course."

Florida: Gun-toting woman scares off robber: "Pembroke Pines police said a would-be robber tangled with the wrong woman Monday. Investigators said Felecia Moss, 34, was followed when she drove her Lexus into her gated community. When she arrived at her home, a man who was driving a blue Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera pulled up and approached Moss as she got out of her car. Moss said the man, who had a gun, demanded money from her. But when she showed him her empty wallet, he grabbed a cellular phone from her purse. Moss then pulled out a 9mm Heckler and Koch semi-automatic handgun. The man scuffled with Moss, trying to get the gun. Without being able to get the gun, the man took off running. Moss fired three shots at the man, and fearing he would return for his getaway car, she shot the tire out on the vehicle. Police said the man ran into Rainbow Lakes Development where he carjacked Shirley Michaan's silver 2004 Toyota Sienna Van."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Illinois: Principal suspended over alleged illegal guns "Authorities have temporarily removed the principal of a Chicago elementary school from his post after finding a large number of allegedly unregistered firearms at his South Side home. Police say 50-year-old John Lewis was charged with 61 counts of possessing unregistered firearms after the guns were found at his home during a weekend raid. Police said Lewis had a valid firearm owner's identification card -- but for only one of the guns. Lewis was the principal of Libby Elementary School on 53rd Street."

Florida: Gun-toting folks patrol as a river runs over: "Stress builds among the stubborn who refuse to abandon their watery homes. As other Citrus County residents count up cloudless days since Hurricane Jeanne, people who live on the Withlacoochee River watch it continue to rise and fill their lives with misery. Stories of burglaries abound. Many of the independent-minded people who live in Arrowhead have resorted to taking matters into their own hands. They carry guns and patrol the neighborhood looking for looters despite the close watch of the area by the Sheriff's Office and the closure of the river and roads to boat and car traffic. ... With many homes in the neighborhood evacuated and abandoned, deputies cannot patrol all of the mostly rutted and -- now flooded -- dirt roads that carve through the community's thick forest, which hides most Arrowhead homes. 'There's only so much the Sheriff's Office can do,' said Sonny Groves, who lives on River Road. 'We have to protect our own.'"

Arizona: Killer of two Tucson teens acted in self-defense: "Tucson Police and Pima County attorneys say they now know who killed two teenagers last month. But, they can't go after him in court. ... It's [near this South side strip mall] that 16-year-old Buelna and his friend, 19-year-old Johnny Urquidez died in their car, surrounded by weapons. 'Both victims had handguns still in their hands and shotguns right at their sides,' said the County's Chief Criminal Deputy, Rick Unklesbay. Mesa claimed self-defense. After a thorough investigation by Tucson Police, officers agreed with him. He says he fired at the teenagers only after Buelna pointed his gun."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Shooting robber wrong (?) "A service station employee found himself on the wrong side of the law when he allegedly shot a suspected robber and ended up behind bars. Michael J. Budd, 27, of Amherst Street, who was arrested Monday, is accused of grabbing the gun of Joseph P. Davis, 18, of East Ferry Street, chasing him and then shooting him in the left arm. Police said Davis was trying to hold up an Elmwood Avenue gas station Sunday night while Budd was working. Davis, who was treated in Erie County [NY] Medical Center, was charged with two counts of robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. Budd was charged with second-degree assault. ... Police on Monday said Budd was arrested because the shooting was unjustified."

Intended victim shoots would be robbers: "Police say they now believe that two men found shot in the Essex Village Apartments complex early Tuesday had attempted to rob another man at gunpoint. But the attempted robbery victim pulled his own gun and wounded the men after a struggle, said Lt. Doug Perry, a Henrico County police spokesman. The suspects were still hospitalized at VCU Medical Center last night and were listed in stable condition, Perry said. Police said the man who wounded the pair is a 25-year-old Henrico resident. Police did not release his name. He was visiting his girlfriend, who lives in the apartment complex near Richmond International Raceway, when the suspects confronted him about 12:25 a.m., Perry said".

Two elderly women defend themselves in separate home invasions: "Police are looking for this man who they think tried to invade two homes owned by 80-year-old women. "The suspect went to the house on Longcreek Road and tried to kick the front door in. The elderly women let the suspect know she had a gun and when she did, he took of running. Minutes later, there was another home invasion on Middleton Road and she shot at the suspect and he left," says Sheriff Barry Haston. He thinks the invasions are connected because the houses were six miles away from each other. The sheriff says the man didn't steal anything from the second home, but did try to rape the woman. Sheriff Haston says having the guns kept those women alive."


Do-it-yourself guides to making guns have been given the green light by a Brisbane court. But Australian Customs has appealed the decision and wants the man who imported them prosecuted. The Sunshine Coast man was cleared of breaking the law when he imported the books and videos from the United States detailing how to construct the homemade firearms. A Brisbane magistrate ruled that the books fell outside of Customs regulations.

Customs officers in Sydney intercepted a package addressed to Graham Carman's Beerwah home in December 2001. Inside was a video Home Weaponry Workshop - a guide to constructing your own guns, and a series of books, Home Workshop Guns For Defence and Resistance, for handguns and automatic rifles. In May 2002, Customs officers raided Mr Carman's home and found a magazine advertising books on drug smuggling, producing fake ID and more on producing guns. One advertisement, for Expedient Homemade Firearms, The 9mm Sub-Machinegun read: "The book provides step-by-step instructions for an expedient 9mm sub-machinegun that is easily constructed from readily available materials, primarily steel tubing that does not require a lathe and milling machine and can be built by anyone in about a week." Many of the titles are available on websites for under $30.

Mr Carman, 44, was charged with two offences of importing and possessing prohibited imports. The Act prohibits the import of publications that promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence. In November, Magistrate Gordon Dean ruled that while he found Mr Carman's material distasteful, it was not unlawful.

Lawyers for Australian Customs lodged an appeal, and have called on Judge John McGill in the Brisbane District Court to set aside the magistrate's decision. They said the video, aimed at the US market, transcends a mere explanation of techniques and carries an element of encouragement. Their submission says the books are "essentially a step-by-step guide to constructing various weapons".

Mr Carman's lawyers said that even if they did instruct how to make weapons, it did not mean they encouraged crime or violence. "Firearms can be used for many things including prevention of crime and violence or in sport and recreation," they submitted. Mr Carman told The Sunday Mail he believes Customs were guilty of a knee-jerk reaction in the light of the September 11 attacks and fears over homeland terrorist attacks. Mr Carman, who works for an earthmoving company, claims the books, which he ordered from a US website, were for a friend who did not have a credit card.

The material found in his home were the items he re-ordered when the intercepted goods did not arrive. Mr Carman, a member of the Sporting Shooters Association, said he had only recently developed an interest in gunsmithing - the making of guns - but that he had no intention of making one himself.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Teen suspended over Civil War weapon: "A teen-age Civil War buff has been suspended from school and faces serious charges after his replica musket was found in his car trunk at school in the Orange County community of Pine Bush. Joshua Phelps had been at a re-enactment with his Civil War costume, including a musket last week. He threw the uniform and equipment into his truck and forgot about it. Yesterday a security guard at the Pine Bush High School saw it and called police. Phelps was sitting in study hall when the security guard told him to go to the assistant principal. When he was told they saw the rifle he wasn't concerned -- thinking they would understand it's part of his costume. But it didn't happen that way. Town of Crawford Police were called and Phelps was cuffed and charged with a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a weapon."

Wyoming: Hunter kills grizzly after mauling of friend: "An Indiana man who shot and killed a grizzly bear that had just mauled his friend during a hunting trip in Wyoming says he wept after the 600-pound animal crashed to the ground, mortally wounded. ... Hughes and Scott were out of sight of one another when Hughes heard a gunshot followed by the sounds of an animal crashing toward him through the brush. He expected an elk, but was shocked to see a 600-pound grizzly bear break through the brush only about 12 steps from where he was standing. Hughes said he didn't have time to think. 'Instincts took over,' said Hughes, who fired once. When the bear continued its charge, he fired a second time and the dying animal fell a few feet from him. ... he now faces the scrutiny of the federal government for killing an endangered protected species."


If she had been allowed to have a gun she would have had a chance

"The hearing was told Alan Pemberton, 48, killed his wife and 16-year-old son, before turning the gun on himself.

Earlier, the coroner was told Mrs Pemberton pleaded with a police operator that she had "about one minute before I die" as she hid in a downstairs cupboard while her husband rampaged through their home in Hermitage, Berkshire. However, despite receiving the call at 7.11pm, police did not enter the property until 1.53am the following day.

Mr Mullane called for the police response to firearm incidents to be looked at. He also said his sister should have had more protection from her husband.

But Thames Valley Police superintendent Jim Trotman said: "I am confident that Thames Valley Police offered Julia Pemberton advice and support which we felt was appropriate at the time." [advice and support!]

More details here. And more comments here.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Letter to the Brady campaign: "If I choose to protect myself legally and responsibly, I have to go down, fill out paperwork, give a thumb-print and wait ten days to pickup a fire-arm, then I have to keep the fire-arm securely locked up and disabled, and I have to keep the ammunition in a different room, just to be safe, according to the State of California. But my friendly gangster pals just have to go down and pickup up a weapon from what ever source they have, walk into my house and shoot me and my family at leisure ..."

Michigan: Airsoft pistols not considered firearms : "The Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office will no longer criminally charge anyone caught carrying an airsoft pistol, backing off an earlier edict that deemed the realistic toy guns firearms under state law. The policy change came on the heels of a letter sent by the Michigan Attorney General's Office to a state representative addressing the legality of airsoft guns, which shoot plastic pellets but look like real weapons. Washtenaw County appeared to be one of the only counties where prosecutors believed airsoft guns qualified as firearms. Several other county prosecutors and the Michigan State Police disagreed, saying the plastic pellets they shoot are not a dangerous projectile, as defined by the law."

Would-be judge-shooter gets shot: "A man fatally shot by a Rio Rancho judge was to appear before the judge October 25th to resume his hearing on charges of reckless driving and interference with police. Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety spokesman John Francis says 49-year-old Michael Tinervia of Rio Rancho had appeared before Municipal Judge Calvin Shields during a June trial. Shields ordered Tinervia to attend a pre-sentence screening. Francis says Tinervia attended the screening and was to be sentenced October 25th. Tinervia was killed late Friday night during a shootout with Shields in the judge's back yard in Rio Rancho. The judge's wife, Karen Shields, says the shooting was in self-defense." [The police were a great help, of course -- NOT. An armed wife was in fact what kept the judge safe.]


In February 2002, responding to a tip, police in Swinton, England, investigated the home of Father Michael Daggett, an Anglican priest. When they found over 200 rounds of ammunition, they asked him if he had any handgun in his home, and Fr. Daggett told them that, yes, he had a .22. He showed them where he kept it.

He was arrested for violating the 1998 handgun ban, plead guilty, was convicted, and served some time in jail. His bishop, the Bishop of Manchester, had been speaking about gun control at an anti-gun rally only a few days before Fr. Daggett's court hearing, and recommended that Fr. Daggett be defrocked. Apparently the Anglican Church acted on this recommendation, and Mr. Daggett has returned to his prior profession of dealing in antiques.

In an interview with Manchester Online on September 12, 2002 following his release, Mr. Daggett was, in the words of the reporter, "unrepentant" about his right to self-defense. He is quoted in the news report arguing the right to self-defense is necessary to a civilized society, and a civilized society cannot exist if government infantilizes its citizens by depriving them of the right to make moral choices.

"I would claim the gun laws in this country are illegal. Under a 1688 Bill of Rights, which has never been repealed, it says that everyone has the right to possess a weapon for self-defense. ... I am not an advocate of violence but I am an advocate of civilized society. It can only exist when people have the option to make adult choices. It is possible for a gun to be used as a defensive weapon."

More here

Saturday, October 16, 2004

TSA: A continuing government disaster: "In a week marked by no less than three separate official challenges to President George Bush's reasons for taking the United States to war with Iraq, including the posture offered by former Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer by saying that the invading force was grossly undermanned as had been suggested before the invasion by then-Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, the Bush administration and Congress continue to be bullied by an "armchair bureaucrat" who ignores reality, and both the will and the safety of the American people. It is hard to find a more astonishing and comparable bureaucratic incident of domination of both the White House and the Congress on an issue so vital as regards the safety and security of the American people. Perhaps a close runner-up is the bureaucratic dictatorship of William Ruckleshaus, the former EPA administrator who summarily banned the use of DDT without any real meaningful debate or real fact-finding inquiry and analysis. But the current Transportation Safety Administration issue is even more pervasive, as is the threat of continuing terrorist airline hijackings. And at a time when the Congress is introducing even more mind-numbing oppressive legislative expansions of the PATRIOT Act to further crush and destroy America's vital freedoms, the simple alternative of arming airline pilots has now been virtually shelved by anti-gun Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta.

Anything goes at the TSA except arming the pilots: "The government agency in charge of airport security spent nearly a half-million dollars on an awards ceremony at a lavish hotel, including $81,000 for plaques and $500 for cheese displays, according to an internal report obtained by The Associated Press. Awards were presented to 543 Transportation Security Administration employees and 30 organizations, including a 'lifetime achievement award' for one worker with the 2-year-old agency. Almost $200,000 was spent on travel and lodging for attendees."

Photo ban to be challenged: "Londonderry [NH] High School senior Blake Douglass said he will definitely sue in federal court after the school board last night unanimously backed denying his photo submission to the yearbook featuring a broke-open shotgun slung over his shoulder. ... Richard Aldrich, a Gun Owners of New Hampshire board member, said: 'I have a strong interest in the case. Here we have a young man who has the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution behind him and the school (administration) has political correctness.'"


Setting aside the various ad-hominem attacks, one of the most persistent charges laid against him is that of playing fast and loose with the facts. Reviewing Moore's film, Bowling for Columbine, for example, the pro-gun rights attorney David Kopel documented a host of misleading and wrong statements, and cynical editing, all of which were quite clearly intended to private gun ownership, the NRA and its president in the worst possible light.

More generally, it was quite obvious that in making the film, Moore had deliberately set out to interview a selection of gun owners who could hardly have been better calculated to alarm the average movie-goer. Why else in a nation with tens of millions of gun owners did he have to look to James Nichols of all people for a defense of Second Amendment rights? ....

However, when one looks at Moore's vision for American society, and in particular how it is to be achieved, it is all too apparent that behind the cheerful facade of "diversity," economic security, environmental protection and safer neighborhoods lies the mailed fist of state power, always ready to intervene with overwhelming violence against anyone foolish enough to dissent from his semi-socialist project.

One imagines that he and his cheerleaders would be quick to ridicule this idea, most likely with the retort that their policies would be carried out through democratic as opposed to violent means - the old "bullets or ballots" argument! Yet consider for a moment what would happen in Moore's ideal world to anyone who stepped out of line; let us say, a store owner, unwise enough to persist in selling some product that has fallen out of political favor.

Initially he would likely receive some kind of warning, followed perhaps by an attempt by officials to seize the offending product. And what if he resisted this attack on his property? No doubt a warrant for his arrest would soon follow, with due consideration now also being given to his obstructive behavior. And what if he then resisted arrest, perhaps unwittingly brandishing a weapon freshly prohibited thanks to the gun control measures so favored by Moore? Suffice it to say that would find himself in mortal danger - at best.

Now you might say that this all seems rather extreme and highly colored. But a moment's reflection will reveal that the possibility of such an outcome, however rarely things may actually go that far, is a necessary condition for the implementation of any government regulation. Without it, who would listen to interfering government officials?

So we can see that rather than being opposed to the inherent violence of political government as such, Moore merely wishes to redirect its focus to those targets he approves of. Not only this, but because of the far-reaching nature of his goals, such aggressive interventions in individuals' lives would necessarily be far more widespread than is the case today, even under the current oppressive arrangements.

Now if I have misunderstood Moore and his ideas, then I hope he will accept my apologies; but it is surely not without significance that throughout his prolific output, he has been strangely reticent when it comes to questioning the power of the state itself - surely a case of a dog that didn't bark in the night. Indeed, his well-publicized voter registration campaigns only serve to emphasize the importance he attaches to political power - in other words, the threat of state-initiated violence - to fulfill his goals.

In fact, bearing all this in mind, it begins to look as though Moore might not be quite so anti-gun as his films, books and speeches would suggest - just so long as the guns in question are in the hands of the government.

More here

Friday, October 15, 2004

Pupil with unloaded gun jailed: "When the armed teen made a break, Officer Don Koski tackled him, wrestled him, handcuffed him and took a small-caliber pistol from his pocket. It's a routine scene from the streets, but on Friday it played out in the central office of Heritage High School, Saginaw Township police said. ... 'There was a little scuffle,' he said. 'He had to wrestle him to take him into custody. Our school resource officer did a fantastic job.' The weapon, so small as to hide in the palm of a hand, wasn't loaded, the chief said. Police jailed a 17-year-old Heritage student after Koski found a .25-caliber handgun and a small amount of marijuana, Pussehl said."

Gun owners harass the harasser "About three dozen members and supporters of Virginia pro-gun rights organizations appeared, most wearing handguns, at Monday's meeting of the Falls Church City Council. Many came to the microphone during the public petition period to protest a draft administrative policy developed by City Manager Dan McKeever earlier this month that calls on City employees to contact police whenever they discover [a] person to be bearing a weapon. McKeever developed the policy in the wake of 15 new pro-gun laws passed by the Virginia State Legislature in the spring that went into effect July 1. He said that his measures violate no existing state or federal law but simply employs 'reasonable means' for assessing whether someone is carrying a weapon legally or not."

Judge backs foot-dragging county

A judge has ruled that requiring St. Louis County to issue concealed gun permits to its residents would impose an unconstitutional cost on the county government.

St. Louis County, home to nearly one of every five Missourians, filed suit after the state Supreme Court in February upheld the Legislature's right to legalize concealed guns, but found the law's funding mechanism could be illegal in certain instances. The law, adopted last year, allows most Missourians age 23 and older to receive concealed weapons permits from their county sheriffs after passing criminal background checks, a firearms training course and paying a fee.

Jackson County, St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis have refused to accept concealed-gun permit applications. Jackson County was spared from doing so by the Supreme Court ruling; St. Louis has simply refused to issue permits... The fee required for someone to get a concealed gun permit has been the focus of the legal challenges. The Supreme Court said the law does not allow the fee to cover anything beyond equipment and training. That prevents it, for example, from being used to cover the $38 cost of getting a fingerprint background check....

More here

Thursday, October 14, 2004


"Washington, D.C. is becoming an All-American city. First the announcement was made that Major League Baseball would relocate the Expos to the capital. Then a few Congressmen said they would try to repeal the city's gun ban, one of the strictest in the books. It seemed that D.C., with the exception of L'Enfant's city plan, would finally wipe away its European tendencies.

Unfortunately, even if the gun ban was lifted, the city council could likely find some way to keep it in effect. After all, they've managed to get Marion Barry back into public service. And the reason D.C. would be able to keep guns out of the hands of city residents desperate for self protection is because of judicial inaction. Without a stringent definition of the Second Amendment, the courts have empowered states with numerous loopholes to water it down. And what many gun enthusiasts want to know is, does the Second Amendment mean firearm ownership is a fundamental individual right?

The rights of the Constitution have never been absolute. That's a given. Libel sets a reasonable boundary for freedom of speech, and as far as I'm concerned, murder laws are reason enough not to misuse a firearm. But with a definition that is constantly in flux, some states have been able to turn the Second Amendment into a privilege.

Perfect examples of states responding to a gelatinous Second Amendment are bullet laws. Ammunition laws are the spur under the saddle of gun owners in anti-gun jurisdictions. Look at a map of the U.S. and take a guess which two states have the most nefarious ammo laws? Surprise, surprise, it's California and Massachusetts. (New Jersey is a close third.) Those state governments allow their residents to own guns, but then impose license requirements, various fees, and transport regulations on bullets, essentially rendering gun rights useless. And that's because governments at the local level don't see the Second Amendment as an individual's issue.

More here


"A group trying to stop a bear hunt in Maryland sent 600 postcards to landowners in Garrett County claiming that 40 percent of the sportsmen with permits to take part in the hunt are alcoholics, drug addicts or mentally unstable.

The postcards were mailed out by the Institute for Public Safety, a citizens group from nearby Montgomery County, urging residents to exercise special caution during the state's first black-bear hunt in 51 years, which is set to begin Oct. 25. Earle Hightower of Rockville, Md., a real estate agent who serves as chairman of the institute, told the Associated Press that the group simply made up the statistic. "We were just working from general population figures," Hightower said. "If you get 200 people, a certain number are going to be somewhat undesirable."

The postcards drew a sharp response from Steven Christian, president of the Maryland Sportsmen's Association, who called the mass mailing "a cheap shot" that was done "in poor taste and totally without provocation." Christian stated that the vast majority of hunters behave safely and ethically, and he claimed the tactic was used to inflame anti-hunting sentiment before an Oct. 18 court hearing on a challenge by animal-protection groups to call off the hunt... "

More here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Send them guns: "The Darfur problem could be solved in a month if we set the machinists of Connecticut back to work manufacturing M-14 and M-16 rifles and plenty of ammo ('job creation?') and air-dropped these tools of freedom to the black tribesmen of Darfur so they could defend themselves. Add up the value of the guns and declare our U.N. dues paid for the next century. Remember that last great African genocide, in Rwanda? Most of the killings were done with machetes. How do you use a machete to kill someone who has a gun? You can't. That genocide, as well, was caused by a ban on possession of modern, military-style self-defense weapons. Send them guns."


"It was the fear of becoming a target that made Vicki Keefer decide to buy a handgun 12 years ago. Now, at 64, she seldom leaves her Southside Jacksonville home without a 9mm semiautomatic tucked inside her purse. "If somebody tries to get into my car, come into my home or harm me in some way, at least I can even up the playing field," Keefer said. "They have just picked the wrong granny, that's all."

She is among the more than 130,000 Florida residents over age 50 who have a concealed weapons license and is part of an age group that has steadily accounted for about 38 percent of the state's issued permits.

More here

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

This weapon is set to stun!: "It's a fair question: 'What do the anti-gun people say when they see your film, Innocents Betrayed?' No matter what business you are in -- from landscaping to cooking, from health care to accounting, from trucking to making music -- you have to face the customers and the critics. It is no different when you make a strong film designed to persuade. Naturally, people have wanted to know whether Innocents Betrayed can survive criticism from the anti-self defense, gun-prohibitionist crowd. ... The folks at called it 'outlandish' and tried their hardest to just broad-brush and dismiss the message. They wrote that Innocents Betrayed 'attributes most of the 20th century's genocides, as well as lynching, the Japanese-American internment and the rape of Nanking, to gun control.' To describe the film as simplistically as possible, they said: 'it first explains how a particular government passed laws limiting the ownership of weapons, and then cuts to pornographic montages of mutilated corpses.'"

The Democrats' spin on gun control: "Have the Democrats really changed on gun control? Would it matter whether Senator John Kerry or President George Bush won the election this year? Democrats have spent much time and effort trying to alter their anti-gun image. They seem to believe that the answers to gun questions really matter for the campaign."

Self defense banquet: "It was a joyous celebration of life, on the 10th anniversary of Arizona's self-defense law, which allows citizens with permits to discreetly carry a concealed weapon. Roughly half the attendees wore sidearms openly, in traditional, legal, Arizona style. Despite unusually long waits for dinner at the back of the huge Shrine Auditorium banquet hall, staff was treated courteously, the maitre de was pleased, and everyone had an excellent prime rib dinner and a good time. Several piles of cash from the event were counted openly in the hall without incident. 'It's the safest room in town,' said one of the guests."

Monday, October 11, 2004

More seniors are gun owners: "Merilyn P. Senter, a selectman, is a former hunter who still has the .22-caliber rifle her father gave her on her seventh birthday. Over the years, Senter, 69, added a shotgun and a handgun to her collection. She got the handgun for personal protection after she received two threatening phone calls, including one after her efforts on behalf of residents upset about what they believed was a hazardous waste site in town. Senter bought a purse with a special compartment to carry her .38-caliber handgun, including on trips to the [NH] Statehouse when she was a state representative. 'People are shocked when they find out I carried a gun and that I'm a gun owner,' Senter said. 'I don't know why they should be.'"

Arnold vetoes anti-gun legislation: "The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today applauded California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for applying his veto pen to two pieces of anti-gun legislation, including one that would have registered sales of ammunition. 'Although we scolded Gov. Schwarzenegger recently for signing into law a ridiculous ban on .50-caliber sporting rifles, we can honestly say he has used far better judgment in vetoing SB1140 and SB1152."

Rapist's gun turned on himself: "A man is in a coma after a woman shot him in self-defence with his own gun when he rape[d] her. Sergeant Charles Nkosi said the woman was apparently walking home near Balfour in Mpumalanga on Monday when a man wearing a balaclava approached her. He pushed her into bushes and raped her at gunpoint. However, she managed to get hold of the firearm and shot her attacker in the back. She fled to a nearby clinic, from where police was [sic] informed. Police took the man to hospital, where he was reportedly still in a coma. Nkosi said police found a shifting spanner, a crowbar and a bush knife, believed to belong to the attacker, at the place where the woman was raped. Nkosi said the man would be charged with rape. The woman might face attempted murder charges."

Sunday, October 10, 2004


This Eskimo village sits on the edge of the continent, part shantytown, part suburb, part Wild West. One can't go farther west without stepping into the Bering Sea - and just beyond, onto the frosty eastern tip of Siberia. No roads lead to Hooper Bay, which is why the modern world has taken its time coming here, and then only in spots. Clusters of plywood shacks stand a short distance from subdivisions of lookalike modular homes. There's no running water, but lots of VCRs and satellite dishes, and computers hooked up to the Internet.

One of the more curious aspects of life here has to do with firearms. Every household has an assortment of rifles and shotguns. When people are hungry, they go out and shoot something, like a walrus in the surf. Every adult has legal access to guns - except the police. The elders won't allow it. The policy - some would call it an edict - isn't written anywhere in the town's municipal code. It has simply been spoken by the gray-haired men and women with faces like carved driftwood who believe that armed officers would only create more trouble.

Hooper Bay is the only known municipality in the United States that prohibits officers from carrying firearms. Police Chief James Hoelscher wants to change that. For the past two years, the chief, half-Eskimo, has tried to convince leaders that a growing town of 1,200 needs a modern police department. "It's been like pedaling backwards going uphill," says Hoelscher, 28. He has a deep voice and friendly dark eyes that can turn intimidating in an instant. "They [town leaders] think we're still in the days of dog sleds and harpoons."

The debate ebbs and flows in town meetings and wherever else it happens to come up, like the lobby of the post office or the checkout line at the grocery store. It is a passionate, disjointed conflict that signals the larger phenomenon of a traditional people facing the pressures of the modern world, the old confronted by the new. The two sides are divided according to how they view their community. Those in favor of arming the nine police officers tend to see Hooper Bay as an American town; those against view it as an Eskimo village. "There are many ways to deal with dangerous situations," says City Administrator Raphael Murran. "If the police had guns, somebody might get shot. Somebody might get killed. Then there would be real trouble."

More here.


An independent report has condemned the tardy police response to a bloodbath at a family barbecue in Oxfordshire, England, in June 2004. Stuart Horgan ran riot with a shotgun, shooting his ex-wife, and her sister and mother - the sisters both died from their wounds; their mother remains in hospital. But police officers and an ambulance crew refused to enter the house, saying that there was a chance that the gunman could still be at large. Neighbours were left to comfort the victims for an hour-and-a-half, until paramedics finally arrived. Police concerns about their own health'n'safety means that they hold back on one of the few occasions when they might be quite useful.

Meanwhile, home secretary David Blunkett has said that the police 'need a public image boost' - telling them that they have to be better at answering telephones and dealing with the public. So call your local police station for a chat and expect an impeccable standard of service. But should you ever face the barrel of a gun, it seems that you're on your own.

From "Spiked"

Saturday, October 09, 2004


"On the way to the range, I tried to do what few liberals ever attempt: I tried to understand the gun-owner's mentality. (Full disclosure: I'm so liberal that the "Dean Scream" sounded like a whimper to me, but you won't hear me challenging the Second Amendment. No matter where you put the comma, I think it's pretty clear that the Framers wanted us to be able to bear arms.) And Paul makes it easy to like a gun-nut. He doesn't keep loaded firearms around the house. He doesn't get his kicks out of shooting living things. He doesn't show off.

But he does say things like, "I would only use an assault rifle if civil order had broken down and I needed to defend myself." (By comparison, the only thing I fear breaking down is the soft-serve machine at my local Carvel.) And he also says things like, "A loaded gun is the most effective self-defense tool available" (although I suggested that a more-effective tool is the famous "Kuntzman unconditional surrender"). And he really does believe that if everyone was armed, there would be less violent crime in America (there are many statistics that bear this out, but there are other statistics that don't, which explains the expression, "Damn statistics!").

I don't agree with him on any of those points, but I'll allow Paul his opinion because he's so darn safe with firearms. His concern for safety made me feel bad that non-gun owners like me stigmatize people like him simply because they enjoy the company of a deadly weapon. "The vast majority of firearm owners are as responsible, if not more so, than I am about safety," he said, complaining that non-gun people simply can't accept that a "responsible gun owner" is not an oxymoron. "Often there is no distinction made between us and those who are not responsible-criminals. We're not about shooting people."

More here.


Alameda County won a final victory Monday in defense of its ordinance banning gun shows at its fairgrounds, as the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case. The high court's refusal means the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling, which rejected show promoters' arguments that their First and Second Amendment rights were being violated, will stand. San Mateo, Marin and Los Angeles counties have adopted ordinances similar to Alameda County's, and Monday's milestone could invite more counties to do the same.

The Nordykes, doing business as TS Trade Shows, promoted gun shows at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton from 1991 until 1999, when county supervisors adopted an ordinance making illegal the possession of firearms on county property. The ordinance came in response to a 1998 fairgrounds shooting in which eight people were wounded. The Nordykes sued in federal court, but U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins of San Francisco refused to issue an injunction against the law. Among the Nordykes' claims was that the ordinance was pre-empted by state gun laws, so the 9th Circuit appeals court in 2000 asked the California Supreme Court to rule on that; the state's high court found no such conflict. In February 2003, the 9th Circuit upheld Jenkins' ruling.

"We conclude that a gun itself is not speech," wrote Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain. "Someone has to do something with the symbol before it can be speech. ... Typically a person possessing a gun has no intent to convey a particular message, nor is any particular message likely to be understood by those who view it." And, he wrote, "we have squarely held that the Second Amendment guarantees a collective right for the states to maintain an armed militia and offers no protection for the individual's right to bear arms."

The 9th Circuit's ruling was based on a ruling it made in 2002 upholding California's ban on assault weapons, in which it concluded the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the states to maintain armed militias but does not grant individuals the right to bear arms. The U.S. Supreme Court refused that case last year."

More here.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Target practice triggers gun debate: "A couple of times a week, Jean Murray goes into her back yard, sits down in a plastic lawn chair, and aims her .22 caliber pistol at a makeshift target several hundred feet away. Murray is often joined by her daughter, Linda Rall, and Rall's boyfriend, Windy Skillin, each using a gun to fire at the sheet metal propped up by tires, which serves as their target. For the 67-year-old grandmother, target practice is not just a way to relax. Murray, a widow, says she doesn't care for the coyotes that roam the 40 acres of fields hand woods she owns around her home on the Bridge Road, and if she spots a coyote, she shoots to kill. Her weekly target practice sessions have riled neighbors and thrust Murray into a community debate over a new weapons ordinance that would require anyone who target-practices on a regular basis to register each year with Brunswick police."


In a new twist on the idea of concealed weapons, a local gun maker and gun shop are debuting a new type of firearm: one that could almost fit in your wallet. It's a two-shot weapon made from a piece of metal the height and width of a standard credit card, and about a half-inch thick. Each barrel fires seven standard steel BBs. It will retail for $100. "This I can see being the ultimate self-defense weapon," said Mark Koscielski, owner of Koscielski's Guns and Ammo, the only gun shop in Minneapolis.

Koscielski and Patrick Teel, who makes the guns in suburban Blaine at his company AFT Incorporated, gave The Associated Press a preview on Tuesday, a day before they planned to officially unveil the device. They said the guns are meant to be used for close-range self-defense and wouldn't be effective as offensive weapons. "They are very effective at five to 10 feet. They're absolutely useless at 20 feet," Teel said.

The credit card-sized shotgun is a muzzleloader, meaning it doesn't use shotgun shells. The user has to measure out some gunpowder, pour it in each barrel, drop seven BBs in each barrel, and tamp in a small wad of paper. A knob on one end serves as a safety, and two buttons set into a hole in the body are the electrical triggers. Each barrel fires with a loud pop.

Teel said the main value of the new gun is that it gives the owner a chance to get away from an attacker. "This is no more deadly than a .22," Teel said. "But the difference is you have multiple wounds, which means you'll try to get away quicker, and it will cause more pain. ... There will be more blood, which the cops will be able to see."


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Even a picture of a gun is incorrect! "The posture and pose are perfectly acceptable, Londonderry High School's yearbook editors said yesterday. But their consensus judgment deemed the shotgun slung over senior Blake Douglass' shoulder unsuitable for yearbook publication. They added that a firearm is 'inappropriate' for a school with a strictly enforced zero-tolerance violence policy. 'Blake looks appropriate, he's handsome and has a good smile,' said senior Danielle Taylor, the yearbook's senior class editor. 'But you can't have a gun in the photo. Guns are not allowed on campus.'"

New anti-"assault weapons" proposals threaten citizens' rights: "With the arrival of the ban's expiration, the hype over guns has returned. It provides us with an opportunity to counter the deception of the anti-gun movement and bring a dose of reality to balance the buzzwords used to woo congressmen into joining the Brady Campaign to ban guns at the behest of concerned 'soccer moms.' And if you think that there aren't people whose ultimate goal is banning guns, remember that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told us back in 1994 that if she 'could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate ... for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it.' I have news for Senator Feinstein: there is, in fact, a Second Amendment; and I believe it takes more than 51 votes in the Senate to repeal it."

District of inequality : . "It is one of the benefits of being a politician. While handguns are banned for citizens in Washington, D.C., congressmen are allowed to have a gun for self-protection on the Capitol grounds. Well-known liberal politicians such as Senators Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy have armed bodyguards. The wives of politicians, such as Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's wife, Linda, also have bodyguards. Undoubtedly, these politicians and their families have extremely good reasons for this protection, but many other Americans, especially those living with the high crime rates in D.C., also feel the same way."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Illinois capitol murder proves gun laws do not stop killers: "Monday's brutal murder of an unarmed Illinois Capitol security officer by a shotgun-wielding killer proves that restrictive gun laws like those in the Prairie State cannot stop determined criminals, and never have, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today. 'If the Draconian gun laws in Illinois worked,' said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, 'then security guard William Wozniak would still be alive.'"

Let's get rid of other gun control laws, too: "A teacher is hauled out of her classroom and arrested in front of her students in Virginia. A state legislator in Alaska is dragged into court by government agents, simply because the legislator -- a former Vietnam veteran -- is engaging in politically incorrect activity. Another military veteran moves from Florida to California, and later finds that he must surrender one of his firearms in the new state or risk becoming a criminal. What do all of these scenarios have in common? They were all law-abiding citizens. None of them had committed a violent crime. None of them had even threatened another person. All were found, however, to be in violation of gun control laws that quite often punish decent Americans for the mere POSSESSION of a gun, even when no real crime has been committed."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Gun maker not liable in NJ cop shooting: "Two former New Jersey police officers shot by a felon three years aren't entitled to damages from the company that made the gun he used. That's the ruling issued yesterday by a West Virginia judge. Dave Lemongello and Kenneth McGuire, who both served with the Orange police force, had sued Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger and Company, the country's largest firearms maker, and a West Virginia pawnshop. The officers claimed they deserved damages because a Ruger handgun sold at the shop had been used to shoot them in January 2001. But the judge says the company didn't violate its duty to exercise reasonable care in selling its product. The officers had previously reached a one (m) million dollar settlement with the pawnshop."

Gun control pros and cons charge up 'Freedom Forum': "A discussion of gun violence and gun control elicited tears, angry words and extra security Wednesday night. In a "Freedom Forum" on gun safety at Salt Lake City's Main Library, family members and friends shared their pain at losing loved ones. Gun owners accused gun-control advocates of trying to take away their rights. And police patrolled the forum, "just to make sure passions don't get out of hand," said police chief Rick Dinse, who participated in the panel discussion. They didn't. But by the comments from the audience, neither did the participants find common ground."

Government not really interested in preventing gun deaths: "Inner city groups set up to steer young people away from guns and gangs say they are facing a crisis through a lack of basic funding. Some of the groups existed before the New Year shootings of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis while others were launched in the wake of the city's reaction to spiralling gun violence. They include Partnership Against Crime, launched by Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie, Parents United, Young Disciples, Men to Men Mission and Families for Peace.They were meant to work together in a consortium called Prospects Unlimited which was funded by the city council.But a spokesman for Parents United said funding had run out for their group."

Monday, October 04, 2004

Woman who killed intruder won't face charges: "Allegheny County [PA] District Attorney Stephen Zappala says a Harrison Township woman was justified in using deadly force to protect herself and her husband when a masked intruder broke into their Spruce Street home two weeks ago. Police say Eleanor Cash grabbed a shotgun and fired as Ras Saleem Hudson, 20, pistol-whipped her husband on September 13th. After investigating the deadly shooting, Zappala today announced that he won't file any charges against Cash for Hudson's death."

Family Chicken Feud Turns to Gun Battle

(The brainless ye have always with you)

BLUEWELL, West Virgina - A family meal erupted into a gun battle after a father and son clashed over how to cook chicken.

The two men argued Sunday over the best way to prepare skinless chicken for dinner. "It started out as a physical confrontation, but it escalated until both of them were shooting at each other," Detective Sgt. A.D. Beasley of the Mercer County Sheriff's Department said Monday. Beasley said each man fired a .22-caliber handgun at the other. Harley Shrader was struck by a bullet that went through the upper part of his right ear and lodged in the back of his head. He was treated at a hospital and released. The elder Shrader was not injured.

Jackie Lee Shrader, 49, was charged with malicious wounding and wanton endangerment. Harley Lee Shrader, 24, was charged with wanton endangerment.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Pity he didn't have a gun himself

"An Army MP just back from a tour in Afghanistan was shot in a donut shop parking confrontation but then beat his alleged assailant into submission. Jeremy Bailey, 24, of Weymouth, received stitches at South Shore Hospital to close a gash in his forehead left by the bullet, and was released. "He's lucky," Weymouth Police Capt. Brian Callahan said. "This was a dangerous, dangerous incident around 9 at night at a Dunkin' Donuts that is pretty busy."

Police arrested Edward Green, 20, of Mattapan and charged him with attempted murder, and Nicole D. Pina, 21, of 11 McCusker Drive, Braintree, who was with him. Callahan said she assaulted several police officers. "These people were totally out of control," Callahan said.

Bailey went to the Dunkin' Donuts in Weymouth Landing with his 16-year-old brother, Casey Toole, of Braintree shortly before 9:30 last night and found a car with two women and a man inside blocking the parking lot entrance. Bailey said he squeezed past the car, rolled down his window and yelled to the woman driver, "Why not just move over, honey."

He said she yelled something back at him and backed up as though she was trying to hit his car. Bailey said he drove to a parking space, and started walking towards the donut shop with his brother when the man who was in the other car came towards him. "I saw the guy take a pistol out of his pants about 10 feet away. I ducked and charged, and he shot me in the head," Bailey said. He said he managed to punch the man, who police identified as Green, and knock him to the ground.

Bailey said he was feeling dizzy, and as he kicked the gun out of Green's hand, he saw Pina get into his car, where he had left his keys, and begin driving it away. "I jumped in the window and slammed it into park," he said. "She was hitting me, and I pulled her out of the car through the window."

Bailey said that was when he saw Green coming at him with the gun again. "I punched him down to the ground, got on top of him and kept punching and trying to get the gun, and he was yelling, 'stop,'" Bailey said. He said Pina kicked him on the side of the head three times as he struggled, and that Green hit him on the head with the handle of the handgun."

More here.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


"The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to repeal virtually all of the District's gun laws, urged by gun rights groups to deliver a victory before the November election over the vehement objections of Washington leaders who denounced what they called a historic violation of home rule. Voting 250-171, the House approved the D.C Personal Protection Act, which would end the District's ban on handguns and semi-automatic weapons, roll back registration requirements for ammunition and other firearms and decriminalize possession of unregistered weapons and carrying a gun in one's home or workplace. The bill also would prohibit the District's elected mayor and council from passing gun limits that exceed federal law or 'discourage ... the private ownership or use of firearms.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where it has almost no chance of passing. With little more than a week before Congress recesses for the fall campaign, only major legislation and uncontroversial measures are likely to reach the floor, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has indicated."

More here.

Yearbook publisher sides with district on shotgun photo: "Yearbook publishing giant Jostens yesterday said it supports Londonderry High School's decision to nix senior Blake Douglass' submitted yearbook photo featuring a broke-open shotgun. ... 'We support whatever the position of the school is, and in this case the school owns the publication because they signed the contract,' said Cole Harris, a Jostens yearbook publishing consultant, who is based in Portland, Maine.'And if guns are not allowed in the school, I feel it's inappropriate to have it in the yearbook. It's contradictory.'"

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bullets better? "Law enforcement officials and stun gun maker Taser International of Scottsdale, Ariz., argue that Tasers are a safer and more humane way to subdue suspects or mentally deranged individuals than guns, batons, pepper spray or brute force. 'The Taser is just a cleaner, safer way to do business,' Detective Bill Veteran, Fremont police spokesman, told the San Francisco Chronicle. 'I've been in all kinds of wrestling matches, I've been pepper-sprayed, I've been hit by a baton, I've seen people get bit by a police dog.' But civil rights groups are alarmed that some agencies allow officers liberal use of Tasers rather than limiting their use to situations where a life is in danger. Over the past five years, more than 70 suspects nationwide have died after being shocked by Tasers, including 10 in August, according the American Civil Liberties Union."

Armed robber fatally shot: "A 64-year-old man gunned down an armed robber Friday night in an apparent act of self-defense during a card game at a social club on Genesee Street [Buffalo, NY], police said. ... Two masked men -- one armed with a shotgun, the other with a pistol -- showed up and told the five people playing cards not to move, Detective Mary Gugliuzza of the Major Crimes Unit said. A round from the robber's shotgun went off and a man playing cards hit the floor. Meanwhile, the 64-year-old man, who also was playing cards -- apparently believing his friend had been shot -- pulled out his gun and returned fire, police said."