Tuesday, November 30, 2004


"I grew up hating guns and being very fearful of them. I was raised to fear them, as for the first part of my life, I was told to fear them, and for the second part of my life, I had a parent who kept a firearm irresponsibly. So I was definitely not one for the NRA member recruitment team. However, I married a man who kept several firearms, and before long, I learned to shoot handguns. I'm not a great shot, but I'm well within the 9" paper plate requirement, and some days, I'm on-target and impressing myself. When I bought my first gun, a Smith & Wesson 38 Special snub with a hidden hammer, I took a step that frightened me. I was holding in my hands a weapon that could kill someone. It was a heady, terrifying notion. I realized I did not trust myself. What if I got angry? What if I went insane? What if I was sleep-walking? Hey, I know it sounds crazy....but I was shocked by the implications of owning a firearm. It took several years, but here is what gun-ownership has taught me: self-ownership.

1. I am not a murderer. I would no sooner kill a mouse (and I have one in the house - with a stupid humane mouse trap that the damn thing is not fooled by) than kill another human being. That being stated, if you so much as dare break into my house with intent to do harm, if someone tried to do a violent act to someone I care about....I would do whatever was in my power to stop them, including take a life. Now I'm not talking silly things like boyfriends and annoying bosses. I'm talking about someone who is out to maim or kill someone I care about. I would defend my loved ones with every inch of my life, gun or no gun.

2. I also own several knives, both of the kitchen and non-kitchen variety. I love knives, though I'm a novice at understanding and collecting them. I find them fascinating. If you have a baseball bat in your garage, a steel pipe, a 4x4 board....these are all killing devices. Many things can be a weapon if wielded appropriately. Guns are merely one of many weapons. (Hell, airport security is convinced nail files are pretty dangerous, so if you've got one of those lying around....)

While these things may seem trivial, or frightening, to some, I learned something incredibly valuable about myself....something no one could teach me or instill in me. I am a trustworthy individual. I can now handle my guns with complete comfort because I know who I am and what I am capable of. As I learned to appreciate the sport of target shooting and the danger of handling a weapon irresponsibly, I became more and more competent. I appreciate their danger, and enjoy the challenge and power as a user. I do not fear them in any way - because it is not the metal that has a heart. It is the finger pressing against the trigger that makes the choice. And if we did not have guns, if they completely evaporated from existence, murder would still exist. Violence did not begat gun-crafting. Just as gun-crafting did not begat violence. They exist outside one another....and it is only the flaws in the human heart that bring them into the same playing field.

I cannot tell anyone how to feel about guns and gun-ownership. We all have our reasons for the way we feel. But if you've ever been to a country where the citizens cannot own guns, yet the criminals possess firearms and are rampant, you start to appreciate the "right" to own a gun. When those who are evil in the world can threaten you and you have nothing with which to respond, you are helpless. The right to defend ourselves is a precious one. Our society believes that we have a right to the lives we are given. If we lose the right to protect it, we lose part of who we are as individuals, as parents, as a community.

Side note: for those who are interested, I've since moved over to the dark side and own two semi-automatic pistols: a standard Glock & a Kel-Tec. The S&W was traded, as I can no longer shoot revolvers due to a pinched nerve in my trigger finger".


Monday, November 29, 2004


Minutes after four young men robbed a Hiltonia resident of $1,500 cash Sunday night and threatened to rape his teenage daughters, one of the suspects lay dead under the victim's sport utility vehicle on nearby Route 29. The unidentified young man was killed after he jumped from his car and began shooting at the SUV driven by Robert O'Neal, 54, who had given chase. O'Neal ran him over, police said.

"I didn't mean for this to happen," O'Neal said yesterday, fighting back tears. "I'm a single parent with two daughters. They had my credit cards, my wallet. They knew where I lived." A union iron worker with Local 68, O'Neal has lived in the Hiltonia section of the city almost two decades. "This (criminal activity) has got to stop," he said. "If we don't stand up for ourselves, it won't stop."

Detectives said yesterday that the four men robbed O'Neal in front of his home about 9 p.m. Sunday.... Witnesses to the two-vehicle chase said numerous shots were fired before and after the cars crashed. A .25-caliber, silver handgun was found at the scene, police said. O'Neal said he knew he was being shot at but doesn't remember running anyone over. "I don't remember exactly what happened on Route 29," he said. O'Neal followed the robbers from his home at the corner of Cornwall and Stanley avenues toward Hilvista Boulevard, a police report said. Both vehicles then went down Hilvista to Sullivan Way and made a left. When the vehicles came to the intersection of Sullivan Way and Route 29, O'Neal's sport utility vehicle struck the rear of the station wagon.

The gunman who was eventually run over began firing from a rear window of the station wagon, the report said. Both vehicles then turned onto Route 29 north and O'Neal struck the station wagon a second time, which sent both vehicles onto the large, grassy median that separates the highway's northbound and southbound lanes. One of the robbers then jumped from the car, which had been disabled by the collisions, and began firing at O'Neal's SUV, the report said.

While O'Neal can't remember what happened next, police and a gas station attendant at the Sunoco across the street from the crash said the SUV ran over the gunman. "Right now, you could say this is in self-defense," Medina said. "The suspect shot more than once (at O'Neal). Definitely the (robbery) victim felt like his life was in immediate danger."

The incident began as O'Neal and his teenage daughters arrived home, police said. The 16- and 17-year-old girls went inside while O'Neal was locking his car, but he didn't make it to the front door before the four robbers approached him demanding money. "When they threatened to rape my daughters, that was it," he said. "They put a gun to my head. . . . I was afraid they were going to come back." O'Neal said concern for his family's safety overwhelmed him and he jumped in his vehicle and gave chase. "This happens all the time and (robbers) always get away," he said. "The safety of my kids and I came first."

More here

A 79 year old woman could get 5 years for having an unloaded single shot pistol in her air travel carry-on bag

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Scissors and large pieces of wood to go next?

First Minister Jack McConnell has announced a five-point programme to clamp down on knife crime. The maximum jail term for possessing an offensive weapon will be doubled from two years to four under the proposals. He wants to ban the sale of swords and introduce a licensing scheme for retailers selling knives. He also announced plans to give police more powers of search and arrest and to increase the age limit for buying a knife from 16 to 18....

"We had a particular discussion on the issue of knife crime recently and we have agreed a package of measures that we will be consulting on early in the New Year," said Mr McConnell. "We will be putting forward the action we believe is required to tackle the scandalously high level of knife crime in Scotland." He said that 50% of the homicides in Scotland in 2002 were caused by knives or other sharp instruments.

There can be no reason for people buying swords off the street for use or to have in their homes," he said. He said too many young men thought it was acceptable to carry a knife or other offensive weapon. "It is not acceptable. The law in Scotland must be clear, the system must protect innocent victims and the culture of Scotland, particularly in our cities, in relation to knives and violent crime, must change," he said.

Dr Andrew Murtay, a surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, backed the crackdown. He said: "If you stab someone in the chest, it's just a random chance whether you end up giving them a minor wound, or whether you kill them. "I don"t think people are aware that as soon as they take a knife out, they become potential murderers."

BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor said the most controversial aspect of the proposals would be the new powers for police to search those they suspect of carrying a knife. "The reason for the clampdown is that the knife culture, the possession of knives, is actually on the increase," he said. "I'm sure that opposition politicians, when they get hold of the details of the first minister's proposals, will look at them closely but probably fairly sceptically and wonder if in practice it will make a difference."

The Conservatives' justice spokeswoman, Annabel Goldie MSP, said: "Jack McConnell is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that imposing longer sentences for knife crime whilst his justice minister fails to end automatic early release is a crackdown on crime. "Increasing the sentence for possession from two to four years means that anyone convicted for the full term will still be automatically released after two years."

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South Carolina: Man shoots home intruder: "Jamie Harris woke up Tuesday morning in his southwest Charlotte apartment and realized an intruder was inside his home. He grabbed his gun and shot the intruder. 'My girl was sitting on the couch and all of a sudden I hear two booms. After the second boom, I got up and the dude was already in the house,' said Harris. Not knowing if the intruder was armed, Harris grabbed his gun, but quickly lost control of it. 'He had it to my head, but somehow I reversed it,' He said. Harris then shot the intruder in the leg. He said he had no choice. Knowing his fiance and baby were inside the apartment, Harris said, 'That's what gave me the intention to shoot.'"

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Six people dead because of regulations that prevented them from carrying guns

On the second day of the nine-day annual hunting season in Wisconsin, Vang, 36, got lost looking for deer. The former soldier and Laos immigrant carrying a loaded assault rifle stumbled on a tree stand which happened to be on private property. A tree stand is an aerial platform used by hunters to get a shot at passing deer from above. He climbed onto the stand - a move that sparked off a shocking chain of events. He was ordered off the stand by other hunters who appeared on the scene.....

According to Vang, 15 minutes after he climbed on to the tree stand, he was confronted by Mr Terry Willers. Mr Willers radioed others in his group and, soon, five more hunters confronted Vang. According to one of them - Ms Lauren Hesebeck, 48 - one hunter wrote Vang's deer license number in the dust on an all-terrain vehicle. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Vang and the hunters agree that Vang began walking away, but details of what happened next differ sharply...

In his statement to investigators, Vang said he believed Mr Willers was the only hunter in the initial group of six with a gun and that after he walked about 30m away, he turned and saw Mr Willers allegedly point his rifle and fire a single bullet that struck the ground 9m to 12m behind Vang. Vang said he removed the scope from his rifle and fired two shots at Mr Willers. He saw him fall to the ground. The authorities said Mr Willers suffered a gunshot wound to the neck.

The others ran towards their vehicles as Vang continued shooting. He said he saw two or three men drop to the ground.

Around this time, one of the hunters radioed for help. Vang said that when he saw three more hunters approach in their vehicles, he reversed his orange hunting jacket to camouflage and reloaded his magazine with five or six bullets.

Vang said he did not shoot at the arriving hunters because they were armed. The hunters left shortly, taking the wounded Mr Willers with them.

He added that when two more people approached him, he began to run and, as the vehicle passed him, he claimed he saw the driver allegedly remove a gun from his shoulder. Vang said he fired three or four times at the pair.

Four hours after the shootings, Vang was arrested as he emerged from the woods on Sunday with his empty SKS 7.62mm semi-automatic rifle.

Ms Hesebeck, who was released from hospital after treatment for a shoulder wound, told investigators that Mr Willers shot at Vang after Vang allegedly fired first but missed.

The US authorities said that there was only one firearm among the eight hunters and it was not clear whether anyone returned fire.

The Associated Press reported there have been previous clashes between South-east Asian and white hunters in the region.

White hunters have complained the Hmong do not understand the concept of private property and hunt wherever they want.

The tension once led to a fistfight in Minnesota, and a Hmong hunter in Wisconsin had reported having at least two white hunters point guns at him.

More here


Throughout the United States, the number of Hmong gangs and the level of their criminal activity is increasing in severity. Their participation in criminal activity has evolved over time. During that evolution, they have become involved in a wide range of crimes, such as homicides, gang rapes, prostitution, home invasions, burglaries, auto thefts, and, most recently, the sale and distribution of illicit drugs.

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Friday, November 26, 2004


To raise money for a local school project, residents in Lampasas, Texas, are turning to a time-honored tradition, the raffle. But their fundraiser has a unique twist -- the winner walks off with two rifles. Lampasas, located in central Texas Hill Country, wants to raise about $15,000 to build a fence around parts of Hanna Springs Intermediate School, where a known sexual predator has been seen near campus.

Officials said it is easier to raise money selling guns in the area, which is a popular hunting spot, than to peddle cookies and sweets. "In this part of the state, it is difficult to raise money, and a bake sale just doesn't do the trick," said Katherine Yoder, chief of staff for Republican state Rep. Suzanna Hupp, who donated a high-end rifle from firearms maker Kimber.

The winner of the raffle will also receive a .22 caliber rifle donated by a parent and hunting t-shirts. The drawing will be held Dec. 8. "This rifle will go toward protecting our children," Hupp said in statement explaining why she donated the firearm. Many who bought raffle tickets visit the Hill Country for deer-hunting season, which begins in late fall. Lampasas, home to about 6,700 residents, usually sees its population double during hunting season. The winner of the raffle must be over 18 years of age and is subject to local, state, and federal regulations regarding the transfer of firearms, officials said.


Utah: Homeowner with gun holds two burglars at bay: "Police say two men who attempted to burglarize a Midvale home Friday were met by the homeowner -- and his shotgun. According to Midvale police, the men broke into the home, located near 200 East and 6900 South, just before 11:30 p.m. Friday. They were then confronted by the home's owner, who held them at bay with a shotgun until police arrived, said Sgt. Ken Jarvis. No shots were fired. Jarvis said the men began resisting orders while standing on the home's front porch, prompting police to unleash their police dog. One man was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, while the other was taken to a local hospital for treatment of dog bites."

Thursday, November 25, 2004


In nominating Condoleezza Rice to head the State Department, President Bush said Tuesday that her early years in segregated Alabama helped shape her world view. "As a girl in the segregated South, Dr. Rice saw the promise of America violated by racial discrimination and by the violence that comes from hate," Bush said. Rice has "an abiding belief in the value and power of liberty because she has seen freedom denied and freedom reborn," Bush said.

Rice, 50, head of the National Security Council, was raised in Birmingham by parents who believed strongly in religion and achievement through education. Her mother taught at Fairfield High School. Her father was a minister at Birmingham's Westminster Presbyterian Church who also worked as a high school football coach to augment his salary.

Rice has said memories of Birmingham's racial turmoil shaped some of her core values. During the bombings of the summer of 1963, her father and other neighborhood men guarded the streets at night to keep white vigilantes at bay. Rice said her staunch defense of gun rights comes from those days. She has argued that if the guns her father and neighbors carried had been registered, they could have been confiscated by the authorities, leaving the black community defenseless.

Rice said the violence of 1963 is "burned into my consciousness." That was the year four little girls -- about the same age as Rice at the time -- were killed in the fire-bombing of a Birmingham church.

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Want a successful protest? Arm your women: "This fall, when scores of Mazahua Indian women took up arms and marched on Mexico City, they caught the country's imagination. 'Women warriors fight for their rights,' newspapers declared in 72-point type after the Mazahuas, rifles slung over traditional satin dresses, stormed Congress. TV crews swarmed this impoverished valley for the scoop. Then last month, less than eight weeks later, the Mazahua Army of Women for the Defense of Water won millions of pesos and huge concessions from a government that had ignored their community's pleas -- reparations for damage from a dam built in 1977 -- for more [than] 25 years."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

DJ acquitted in shooting of husband: "A Caddo Parish jury has agreed with a former Shreveport deejay's assertion that she shot her husband in self defense. Julia Austin was found not guilty late this afternoon of illegal use of a weapon. She could have faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Austin was a disc jockey at radio station 92.1 The Buzz when she shot her husband, Patrick, two years ago at their home in Shreveport. The couple had a tempestuous marriage. Patrick Austin testified his wife shot him after he told her to move out. Julia Austin said her husband beat her and she had to shoot him in self defense."

A reply to a gun control critic: "Even when Canada's gun control laws were (relative to today) lax, the crime rate in that country was low relative to the United States because the United States has historically had a higher crime rate. The important question is whether the presence of firearms is the cause of that high crime rate and whether gun control is a proper policy to adopt in combating crime."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Illinois: Court dismisses anti-gun lawsuit: "The Illinois Supreme Court yesterday threw out two lawsuits accusing gunmakers of knowingly letting weapons fall into the hands of gang members and other criminals. In two unanimous rulings, the court said the manufacturers cannot legally be blamed for street violence. But five of the seven justices were so disturbed by allegations raised in the case that they wrote a separate opinion urging the Legislature to create tougher gun regulations. The lawsuits, filed by the city of Chicago and victims of shootings, claimed the defendants created a public nuisance by pouring guns into the Chicago area that are used to kill."

Hunt for the key-fob guns in UK: "Police across Britain have been put on a major alert after guns disguised as key fobs and mobile phones were smuggled into the country. The four-inch long weapons, probably made in Poland, are so realistic they would fool virtually anyone and could easily be taken on to planes.Police have been giving a special briefing to watch out for the guns which, if fired from close range, would be lethal."

Monday, November 22, 2004

"9/11" bill leads to national ID cards: "I've come to appreciate Gun Owners of America over the past year. They continually and faithfully send me information on legislation at the state and federal levels that is harmful or has the potential to be harmful to our Liberty or Freedom. ... This is a huge concern because these federal standards can easily be used by a future Hillary Clinton administration to keep certain groups of people (such as gun owners) from receiving these National ID cards."

UN hates private gun ownership: "The U.N. has defined arms control as keeping guns out of the hands of non-government individuals because they want to protect the "integrity" of existing governments, no matter how murderous those governments might be. "Human rights" is a cynical phrase used by the U.N. to get the Dan Rathers of the world to retail their propaganda to the gullible. At the U.N. there is no human right to self-defense.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


I do understand that there is nothing unusual about owning firearms. Surveys show almost half of American households have them. But I live in the District of Columbia, which has one of the nation's toughest gun laws. Residents are not allowed to own handguns, and if one of us feels a need to discharge a weapon, we are supposed to file a request with the chief of police asking for permission. (He must spend all his time answering yes, as D.C. has one of the country's highest murder rates.)

So anathema are guns among my friends that when one learned I was doing this piece, he opened his wallet, silently pulled out an NRA membership card, then (after I recovered from the sight) asked me not to spread it around lest his son be kicked out of nursery school. My entire experience with guns consisted of a riflery class at summer camp back when Millard Fillmore was president, and an afternoon 20 years ago shooting at tin cans with a friend....

I located Ricardo Royal from his listing on the NRA Web site. He is an African-American, a D.C. native, and a retired paramedic who learned to shoot as a teenager through a local marksmanship club. He's frustrated that such sporting clubs have been replaced in his city by a culture that glamorizes guns as illegal weapons. (At our first meeting, I realized how difficult it would be to separate guns from politics when Ricardo tried to enlist me to help lobby Congress to overturn D.C.'s gun law.)

Ricardo had me watch a short film as part of my gun-safety training, and in it the narrator explained that guns are simply machines. Machines can't hurt you, he said; the danger lies in the person operating the machine. OK, I thought, but if I am inept in the handling of my blow-dryer, I am unlikely to vaporize anyone's kidney. As he went through his safety lectures, Ricardo emphasized which firearms would be best for my "personal protection," even though as a District resident this was virtually out of the question, and even though I assured him that no one was after me. Undeterred, his top recommendation was a pump-action shotgun. "Nothing else makes that sound," he said, and even I could conjure up that ka-chung. "Hearing that sound alone can negate the need to fire. It makes such a sweet song."

Ricardo met me across the border in Maryland, at the Prince George's County Trap and Skeet Center, where he rented a shotgun for me. The plan was to shoot one box of ammunition (25 shells). I hoped I would avoid utter humiliation and hit one target, if just by accident. As we stood in the dusk, the quiet interrupted by the pop-pop-pop of gunfire from the neighboring stations, making me think how lucky I was that it wasn't the sound of insurgents, a family of deer emerged to calmly regard us. I read in their look the knowledge that the lady with the Volvo was no threat.

The ammo itself made me uneasy, as if it could explode on contact, and I fumbled as I tried to load the shotgun. The first few shots didn't go well. I could hear my blood pumping in my ears, and I realized that when you close both eyes as you pull the trigger, your clay target will fall to the ground intact. I slowed my breath, forced myself to keep one eye opened, and miraculously hit the thing. In the end I blasted 11 out of 25. Ricardo was thrilled and so was I. I felt even better about myself when, after I made Ricardo shoot a box of ammo, he hit only two more targets than I did.

It's not unusual for a woman to quickly shoot well, he said. "She tends to listen to detail more precisely, and she has no preconceived notion she knows what to do."

Before I slinked back to my now-embarrassing Volvo, I stopped to watch two men shooting. They were fast and fluid and the targets shattered one after another. I am happily married, but I found myself thinking these two -- whose faces I couldn't even make out -- were awfully attractive. It brought to mind a newspaper article from a few years back. After the death of Hugh Culverhouse Sr., the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his various entanglements caused his widow to sue his estate. During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Culverhouse had an affair with the wife of a now-deceased television anchor. Culverhouse's son testified that the caretaker of his father's ranch told him that the caretaker would escort the anchor's wife and Culverhouse "into the woods and they would shoot guns and basically have sex." I thought the article was hilarious at the time. Now I understood.....

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U.K. Councillor advocates use of lethal force towards burglars: "North Cornwall prospective parliamentary candidate Mark Formosa has controversially called for householders to be allowed to use lethal force against burglars. Newquay councillor Mark Formosa is campaigning for Government to introduce stronger rights for householders when their homes are invaded. He believes the current law is inadequate and that householders should have the 'right to fight back.' Mr Formosa says the change should go up to and include the use of lethal force. The Government is currently reviewing its law on the issue. Mr Formosa said: 'The present law allows intruders to sue the householder for any injuries suffered while they are robbing our homes.'"

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Race, politics guns: "My simplistic view of the two parties forty years ago: the Democrats wanted to include, despite the risks, and the Republicans, at least the Republicans I knew, wanted not so much to exclude, as to insulate. I didn't know any members of hate groups. None of my friends would be discourteous to blacks they passed on the street or in the store. ... Over the years, my views about the two parties evolved, along with the parties themselves. Eventually, the Democratic Party morphed into something I no longer felt I understood at all. The biggest change that puzzled me (and still does) was the gun issue. Why were so many of the Democratic candidates for all offices so dead-set on taking away my gun rights? Why would you take a large group of people who a) pay more taxes than the average American and b) have no criminal records, and alienate them so thoroughly? It made no sense."

North Carolina: Store owner returns fire, foils robbery: "Robbers are finding out that one North Raleigh jewelry store just isn't worth targeting, unless they're willing to risk being shot at for their trouble. Police are crediting Larry Dickerson, owner of Walls Jewelers, with foiling on Saturday yet another attempt to rob his store. Raleigh Police Lt. Hil Miller said two men walked into Walls Jewelers at 2923-A Brentwood Road at 1:23 p.m. Dickerson said he saw them acting suspiciously, with their hands in their pockets, so he slipped a pistol into his own pocket. One of the men pulled out a gun. 'When he wheeled around, I hit the floor,' Dickerson said. 'He fired three shots at me.' Dickerson, a retired Raleigh police officer who never fired a shot in more than 20 years of duty, said he returned fire."

Brazil: "Brazil's gun buy-back programme has been so successful that the government is considering extending it for another six months, Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos said on Monday. Since the nationwide programme was launched in mid-July, Brazilians have relinquished 160,000 guns and rifles, Bastos told Agencia Brasil, the government's official news agency. That number is double the 80,000 the government had originally estimated would be turned in by December 23, as part of a tough new gun law. ... Under the new law, gun owners have to reapply for permits and only police, people in high risk professions and those who can prove their lives are threatened will be eligible to receive new permits. Those caught carrying weapons without permits could face up to four years in prison."

Friday, November 19, 2004


A judge who condemned federal sentencing laws as "unjust, cruel and irrational" said he had little choice Tuesday but to sentence a first-time drug offender caught with a handgun to 55 years and one day in prison. U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell gave record producer Weldon Angelos the minimum 55 years for carrying the gun - and one day for dealing marijuana and money laundering while in possession of the weapon. Cassell said Angelos, 25, will serve more time than rapists, murderers or airline hijackers - and won't be eligible for release until he's 70.

"I'm disappointed the judge didn't go the extra step" of ignoring the sentencing guidelines, said Angelos' attorney, Jerry Mooney, who plans an appeal. Cassell said he would call on President Bush to commute Angelos's sentence and Congress to change sentencing laws for drug offenders. Before trial Angelos was offered a plea bargain with a 16-year sentence, but he strongly denied carrying a gun outside his home during alleged drug transactions. That testimony came from an informant "of some disreputable background," Mooney said.

A jury exonerated Angelos of two other gun charges but convicted him of twice wearing a gun in an ankle holster and once carrying it in a briefcase. Prosecutor Robert Lunt said Angelos has been suspected of drug trafficking and money laundering for years and got what he deserved.

More here

New York: Lawmakers mull new victim disarmament measures: "City lawmakers are trying to reduce the number of gun-related crimes and deaths by getting the weapons off city streets. The City Council's Committee on Public Safety met Monday to discuss a package of gun safety legislation. Among the proposals are a bill that would limit New Yorkers to the purchase of only one shotgun or rifle every 90 days, and another bill which would create a code of responsible conduct for gun manufacturers."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Oklahoma: Law allows guns on company property: "In Oklahoma, 'Take Your Gun to Work Day' could be every day -- but some employers are trying to change that. Whirlpool Corp. has sued to block a new law that allows employees to keep guns in their locked vehicles on workplace parking lots. The law was scheduled to take effect Nov. 1, according to the Associated Press, but a federal judge blocked it. Only Kentucky has a similar law. Whirlpool, which is trying to save its ban on firearms on company property, believes 'workplace safety' should override the rights of gun owners. 'This is a standard company rule that's intended to protect employees ... and to minimize the risk of any incident occurring,' Whirlpool said in a statement to FOX News. Tulsa police are similarly concerned about the prospect of violence in the workplace."

Illinois homes soon to be fortresses, not just castles: "Home intruders beware. The Illinois legislature is poised to allow residents the right to defend their castles. On the second day of the fall veto session this past week, the Illinois Senate overrode Governor Rod Blagojevich's veto of legislation allowing homeowners the right to protect their property from invasion. ... SB 2165 says that an individual who uses a firearm while defending his home will be allowed an affirmative defense to a charge he unlawfully possessed the firearm. The legislation was initiated after a Wilmette resident faced local city officials who charged him with using a handgun -- banned in Wilmette -- to defend his family when a burglar entered his home last year."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Guns And Sudan

"The last decade-plus in the United States has shown the success of empowering people to defend themselves. As more people have been enabled to carry concealed firearms, violent crime has declined. The crime rate has declined nationwide, but even more so in states that have made it easier for citizens to carry guns....

One would think that with all of this information available, those concerned about the genocide being committed by the Islamic government of Sudan would want to get arms to the hands of the targets. That's supposed to be the job of the U.N., right? Aiding the oppressed? Well, no. The U.N. is a thugocracy which operates to protect the continued existence of criminal governments -- and to profit while doing so. The U.N. has defined arms control as keeping guns out of the hands of non-government individuals because they want to protect the "integrity" of existing governments, no matter how murderous those governments might be. "Human rights" is a cynical phrase used by the U.N. to get the Dan Rathers of the world to retail their propaganda to the gullible. At the U.N. there is no human right to self-defense.

The Oil for Food scam was a sanctions program levied against Sadam and run by the U.N. Now we are hearing -- even in the Congress of the U.S. -- a call for sanctions against the thugs running the Sudan. Can you see who will support this with a high five? Another Oil for Food program (the Sudan has oil), another U.N. rip-off, and another scheme for profiteering by the Kofi Annans and Jacques Chiracs of the criminal syndicate at the U.N.

What is really needed is to give or even sell surface-to-air missiles to Sudanese freedom fighters so they can shoot down the bombers that rain death from the sky on their villages and hospitals. Also needed are RPGs to kill the truck and train loads of men and materiel pouring into the killing fields. And certainly needed are AK-47's and tons of bullets to kill Janjaweed thugs that are operating with franchises from Khartoum.

Oh, some object, these weapons could get into the wrong hands and be used to take down a civilian airliner or some other evil purpose! Listen to that argument carefully. What you are hearing is the same lament of the anti-self defense crowd at the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, when they warn us that average folks can't have guns because they might get into the wrong hands. Politicians like Frank Wolf (R-VA) embody this same confusion regarding domestic and foreign self-defense. The thought that a criminal might get a gun ends up sanctioning the loss of lives at home and abroad as victims remain unarmed to face armed attackers. Wolf and others think that sanctions will save lives in the Sudan. Like they did in Iraq?

"Keeping guns out of the wrong hands" sure has worked fine in the District of Columbia with its gun ban, hasn't it? D.C. has the highest murder rate of any jurisdiction in the U.S. Chicago's gun laws are almost as criminal-friendly as the District's, and its murder rate is similarly high. The Sudan has stringent gun control laws. There, the problem is not street crime. It is genocide, carried out under direction of the Khartoum Islamofascists called the government. It is time for Congress to get guns into the right hands. Arms are already in the wrong hands, and the disarmed are dying like flies.

More here

DC: Gun ban repeal in limbo: "Washington, D.C. homeowners shouldn't expect to lock and load anytime soon as an effort to repeal a nearly 30-year ban on handgun ownership in the district has hit a snag despite Republican gains in the U.S. Senate that might draw more gun-friendly lawmakers to Capitol Hill. 'It still has an improved chance,' said Dan Whiting, spokesman for Sen. Larry Craig [R-ID], who had co-sponsored legislation to repeal the gun ban and had hoped to attach the measure to the 2005 D.C appropriations bill. But opponents of the gun ban say D.C. residents are wary of turning back the clock prior to 1976, the year the ban on all handguns was put into place and the nation's toughest gun law was enacted."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Eight years of trying and still no UK gun register

And these are the bunglers who are supposed to keep people safe! I am sure everyone must feel greatly reassured. What a great substitute for self-protection it all is!

"The national firearms register ordered in the wake of the Dunblane tragedy will not be in operation until next year at the earliest, eight years after parliament agreed the move in a bid to get a grip on more than a million weapons in private hands across the country. The government has admitted that the roll-out of the long-delayed project has been suspended until the New Year, after it ran into a series of technical problems during its pilot period. The huge computer system set up to support the scheme is unable to print firearms certificates, and the police and other authorities involved in the licensing process complained it was running "incredibly slowly".....

Ministers agreed the national register after post-Dunblane investigations, including the inquiry led by Lord Cullen, found alarming disparities in the records of legally-held firearms, maintained by different police forces across the country. Hamilton had legal certificates allowing him to own the guns in his arsenal.

Latest Home Office figures estimate that 1,325,385 shotguns are held legally in the UK, along with 316,669 other firearms. But the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, finally pushed through in the early months of the new Labour government, aimed to prevent "unsuitable applicants" from holding guns by creating a central register of everyone who had applied for, been granted or refused a firearm or shot gun certificate.

The flagship project has been hit by delays including problems developing a link between the national DNA database and the criminal records on the police national computer, and a freeze on all new applications to allow an essential upgrade of the police national computer. The latest complaints over delays in the scheme come four years after the MPs� Home Affairs Select Committee said it was appalled by the failure to implement a measure it regarded as "absolutely central to the safe and effective operation of the firearms licensing system". The government signed a contract for the management of the system a year ago, but ministers have now admitted it has already run into problems. Home Office minister Lord Rooker said: "Clearly, there have been unacceptable delays, but the delays were known about and not easily avoided." ....

The Police Information Technology Organisation, which is developing the register as part of a national firearms licensing management system that links into the police national computer, finally signed a contract with Anite Public Sector Limited to create the database last October. The system was declared ready in the summer, but Rooker has now admitted that the project has been suspended until the New Year at the earliest, blaming "a number of technical difficulties". He said: "A database on its own is not of much business benefit to the police. It has to work. It was set up and operational this summer and was piloted. Two key problems were discovered during the piloting. "The system was unable to print the certificates, which I understand has mainly been dealt with now. Secondly, the system was running incredibly slowly - much too slowly for the police operational services."

But North warned that, even once the register finally becomes available to police forces, it might not fully close the loopholes laid bare by the Dunblane tragedy. He said: "We recognise that the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) will not include all weapons used in crime, partly because of the number of illegal weapons in circulation and also because many of the guns now used in crime do not have to be registered, such as imitations, airguns and so on. "Nevertheless the system would provide a means of monitoring any movement of weapons from those who hold them legally into the hands of those who use them for crime. "It also remains a concern that even when the NFLMS is up and running it only covers firearms in England and Wales.""

[So nip up to Scotland and buy any guns you want! And don't forget that it was a massacre in Scotland that started all this! British bureaucracy is beyond belief]

More here

Monday, November 15, 2004

Texas: Store owner fires back at robbers: "Two crooks with guns stormed into a west side grocery store Monday night, but they got a surprise when the store owner took justice into his own hands, pulling a gun on them. ... 'I was coming from the storage room carrying a case of beer, when two guys came in with a gun,' store owner Ernesto Trejo said. Trejo emptied out his cash register. But he said the robbers then asked for even more money. They took about $150 and a box of cigarettes, but Trejo was determined to stop them. 'As soon as they left, I pulled out my gun,' Trejo said. 'The door was still open and I shot,' he said. Police believe Trejo hit at least one of the robbers."

Pennsylvania: Man suffers stab wounds, scares off attackers with gun: "A 29-year-old [Bethlehem, PA] man was stabbed in the back outside a city nightclub Sunday morning, but he was able to escape his attackers and scare them off by firing a gun, police said. Arturo Robles Jr., of the 1000 block of Livingston Street, told police he was jumped by at least three men at 40 West on Broad Street. The men followed him to a friend's car and then stabbed him three times near his left shoulder blade, police said."

Mexico: Parishioners protest firing of pistol packing priest: "Angry parishioners chained shut a church in central Mexico on Friday in protest at the sacking of their priest, whose habit of tucking a gun under his robes has earned him fame and the nickname "Padre Pistolas." Hundreds of people from the town of Chucandiro demonstrated outside the cathedral in the city of Morelia after Catholic church leaders there defrocked their gunslinging priest, Alfredo Gallegos, local media reported. "We have closed the church with chains and that's how it will stay until Father Alfredo comes back," protester Gilberto Moron was quoting as saying, adding that locals would accept no other priest. Gallegos is wildly popular with parishioners but has angered his Catholic superiors with his habit of wearing a shiny pistol beneath his robes, despite strict laws in Mexico banning private citizens from carrying guns. Also known for his love of cowboy boots and country music, Gallegos says he only carries a gun for protection, noting several of his friends have been killed over the years. Locals say he has brought them huge social benefits, helping the marginalized and raising money for roads and hospital projects. "He has united us as a people," said Moron. Church leaders gave no reason for sacking the priest"

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Illinois: Senate overrides vetoes on gun legislation: "The Illinois Senate on Tuesday overrode the governor's vetoes of a controversial gun bill .... SB 2161 was prompted by an incident in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, where a man was charged with violating a municipal handgun ban after he shot a burglar in his home. The bill would allow a court to clear a defendant of charges of violating such a ban if the gun was used in self-defense or in defense of another on the owner's property. ... The bill now heads to the House, where it must get at least 71 votes in order to become law in spite of the governor's objections. It got 90 votes in the House in May."

Virginia: Student returns from shooting course, triggers lockdown: "A student who carried a firearm into Orange County High School earlier this week, prompting a two-hour lockdown that delayed dismissal, was simply returning from a school shooting course, the sheriff's office said Friday. The student was wearing camouflage pants and a black T-shirt when a teacher saw him with the firearm Monday. The student came forward Wednesday and will not be punished, Sheriff C.G. Feldman said before detailing another problem the situation sparked."

Man says he shot hitchhiker to death: "A man told Richland County [SC] deputies he shot to death a hitchhiker Monday who tried to rob him at gunpoint, Sgt. Chris Cowan said. ... No charges have been filed against John Sox who said he picked up Olden on Beatty Road Monday night, Cowan said. Sox said Olden tried to rob him and told him to get in the rear cab of his pickup truck, Cowan said. Sox, 64, of Irmo, had a gun hidden in the back of the truck and said he shot Olden in self defense."

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Effects of UK gun-control: "Levels of violent crime recorded by police soared by 11 per cent in the second quarter of this year, Government figures showed yesterday. Recorded gun crime rose by three per cent to 10,590 incidents in the year to June - an average of 29 a day and more than double the rate when Labour took power - although firearm killings were down.... Despite a claim by Home Office ministers that Labour had significantly reduced crime, the recorded crime figures showed that more than 3,000 offences of aggression and violence, from spitting and threats to murder by bullet and blade, take place in England and Wales every day..... David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "No amount of Government spin will hide the fact that violent crime is out of control. "There is now one gun crime an hour and by the Government's own admission this is fuelled by drugs, both of which they have let get out of control."

Maine: Homeowner said he had no choice but to use gun "David Oeser, an Eliot resident who shot an intruder in his home identified as Mark Murphy, described the incident Wednesday morning as a few minutes of complete terror. 'I did what I had to do to save my life,' said Oeser. 'I didn't want to shoot him. I have to live with that for the rest of my life."

Minnesota: Students suspended for bringing fake derringer to school: "Two teen-age boys have been suspended from Hastings High School for playing with a laser pointer that looked like a derringer pistol. The boys are 14 and 17 years old. They were suspended last Monday. Police said the replica derringer had been part of the 14-year-old boy's Halloween costume. The boy apparently brought the fake gun to school to show friends. A teacher saw a red dot in the hallway and suspected a laser pointer. The teacher later saw that the pointer looked like a derringer -- a small pistol -- and brought the boys to the principal's office. The school has a zero-tolerance policy that extends to replica weapons. It's possible the boys could face a year-long expulsion."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Your police will protect you: "An Albany man turned himself into police after seeing himself on TV news robbing a bank but was turned away by officers who told him to come back the next day, police said on Tuesday. Albany resident Darrell Lewis, 40, surrendered to police hours after his Nov. 1 holdup of a downtown bank but was told to come back the next day to be arrested. Lewis went to a different station the following day and was charged with robbery, Albany police spokesman Jimmy Miller said".

Knives and axes to be banned in UK. Will they ban cars next? "New laws banning high street shops from selling assault knives, machetes and other weapons could be introduced by the end of next year. Sales of replica guns will also be banned because they can be converted into useable firearms. First Minister Jack McConnell has been in talks with chief constables on how to combat the rising level of knife crime, which is at its highest level for 10 years. There will also be tougher sentencing powers for knife assaults, and a proposal to give police random stop and search powers is being considered. The age at which young people can buy household knives and axes may also rise from 16 to 18."

Arizona: Police expand use of Taser: "Tasers have replaced batons, chemical spray and physical restraint as the weapons of choice for Phoenix police. The electric stun guns are touted by law enforcement authorities as a safe, non-lethal alternative to using a gun in a violent confrontation. But an Arizona Republic analysis of police reports of Taser-related incidents from 2003 found that Phoenix police were far more likely to use the stun guns to make someone obey orders at a traffic stop than to bring down an armed robber. ... With medical examiners finding that Tasers may have played a role in the deaths of eight people around the country, ethical, legal and procedural concerns are being raised about the guns' use in situations involving drunken drivers, shoplifters, family fights and the mentally ill. At the heart of many of these concerns is the potential liability for a police department or city in an expensive wrongful-death suit."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Pennsylvania: Court OKs the seizure of weapons: "In a decision that pits the rights of gun owners against domestic abuse victims, the state Superior Court has ruled a judge acted properly when he ordered law enforcement to search an alleged abuser's home and seize his weapons and those belonging to another family member. The controversial 2-1 ruling, issued Thursday, also extends the ability of authorities to seek weapons of an alleged abuser. Previously, a judge could order weapons to be turned over, but did not have the authority to direct a search to ensure compliance. The ruling was based on a Montgomery County case, but will have statewide impact because it expands the interpretation of the state's Protection From Abuse Act. ... In a dissenting opinion, Judge Justin Morris Johnson said he believed the ruling went far beyond the bounds of the PFA Act and equated to a 'gross infringement on a constitutional right.'"

Colorado: Court rules on gun laws: "Colorado's new gun law suffered a blow Friday as a Denver District Court judge upheld the city's right to enforce some of its stricter firearm ordinances. The decision could bring an end to a yearlong court fight waged by Denver to retain its home-rule authority to regulate firearms and weapons -- unless state officials decide to appeal. ... Denver has some of the strictest firearm laws in the metro area. The court upheld three of Denver's ordinances, including its ban on assault weapons and so-called Saturday-night specials, its prohibition against openly carrying firearms in public, and its requirement for safe storage of all firearms. The court's decision focused on five specific local gun laws and upheld the state's right to overturn, in part, two of Denver's ordinances."

Maine: Victim justified in shooting intruder: "The question was raised following the recent shooting of a home invader in Eliot, Maine, as to whether the resident had the right to use deadly force and shoot the man in the chest. The answer is unequivocally yes. While the tragic incidents of accidental shootings at home are valid points in the argument for gun control, there is no better argument for the right to bear arms than protecting yourself and your home from harm."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Some wise words from a few years ago:

Smart Democrats have always hated and feared the issue of gun control. Like the Sirens that used to lure Greek sailors onto fatal reefs, the gun control issue is the great liberal temptation. It is an easy way to appeal to the liberal contempt for rural America and hunters in particular. And serious leftists know that they cannot implement their most aggressive social engineering plans if too many Americans are armed. And at first glance it is a political winner - it polls well. But preference is not intensity. Preference gets you a "yes" answer on to a pollster. Intensity makes gun owners contribute, organize and drag their spouses and neighbors to the polls. A pro-gun control speech to one hundred citizens might get polite applause from the soccer moms who will have forgotten the speech by next week. Five gun owners in the audience will remember to hate that politician for life. Marginal congressional districts are won and lost by smaller swings than that five percent.

In the House, the strength of the second amendment forces can be seen in their vote on March 22, 1996 to repeal the Clinton assault weapon ban by a margin of 239 to 173.

Some liberals have argued that gun control is now a safer issue for Democrats because they have lost almost all their rural, Western and Southern congressional seats. This was the same reasoning that drove Clinton to declare war on tobacco. Democrats had once been the tobacco industry's major supporters, but after a decade of losing Senate and House seats in North Carolina, Kentucky and other tobacco growing states they felt they had nothing to lose in declaring war on an entire region. This trend can also be seen in Al Gore's war on western mining. Look at a map and there are only three Democrat House seats in the Rocky Mountain region and most of the Plain states.

The gun issue is becoming increasingly important and powerful as a result of a series of legislative victories at the state level that have enacted "shall issue" concealed carry laws. After the Civil War, many states passed laws against individuals carrying concealed weapons. These laws were not all anti-gun, but often flowed from the belief that honest men wore their guns out where folks could see them. Most states allowed permits be given to individuals by the local sheriff or police chief for individuals who had a need to carry concealed weapons. But over time these permits were given out in a discriminatory manner - in New York City - the rich and politically connected can get gun permits, shop keepers who fear robbers cannot. Some cities made it impossible to get permits.

In 1987, Florida passed a law that requires law enforcement officials to grant a permit to any law abiding citizen who passed a gun safety and competency test. No longer could police withhold concealed carry permits at their discretion. This legislation was hard fought with gun control advocates predicting wild west shoot-outs, road rage killings and an increase in crime. The `shall issue" law had the support of the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs association and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Florida was important because it was a large state with substantial urban population and it attracted media attention. Before Florida's "shall issue" law only Georgia, Washington state, Indiana, New Hampshire, Maine, North and South Dakota had "shall issue" right-to-carry laws. Alabama and Connecticut gave local authorities the power to issue permits at their discretion but gun owners felt they did so fairly. Vermont did not require a permit for its citizens to carry concealed weapons.

Today, there are 3l states with "shall issue" concealed carry laws which have 127 million Americans almost half the population. And the momentum is growing.....

Concealed carry laws have greatly embarrassed the Sarah Brady gun control advocates by exposing their dire predictions as lies. (In Florida where more than 300,000 concealed-handgun licenses were issued between October 1, 1987 and December 31,1995, there were only five violent crimes involving permitted pistols and none resulted in a death.)

Metaksa has compiled a strong collection of anecdotes of women defending themselves against criminals using guns. One of the most powerful stories in her book is that of Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, a Texas woman who was with her parents in Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas on October 16, 199l when George Hennard crashed his truck through the window of the restaurant and began to shoot patrons. Because Texas had not yet passed its concealed carry law, Dr. Hupp's pistol was in her car glove compartment and both her parents were killed. Dr. Hupp ran for the 54th Legislative district in Texas and was elected to the state legislature as a supporter of concealed carry laws. Sarah Brady cannot look Suzanna Hupp in the eye.....

The Republican governing majority is made up of individuals who are independent and wish to be left alone by government. Citizens who take their own defense and self-protection into their own hands rather than depending on the police are a natural part of the Republican base. It used to be said that Bill Clinton's worst nightmare was a self-employed American with a 40lK--because that person didn't want anything from the government other than to be left alone.

More here

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

California: Officials to decide fate of gun club: "Will the gun club get shot down? Or will the 58-year-old business, a favorite of local cops honing their shooting skills, continue to operate at the base of the Angeles National Forest? The [Azusa, CA] City Council will likely decide tonight during what promises to be a heated public hearing. The council has received complaints from neighbors about the San Gabriel Valley Gun Club at 4001 Fish Canyon Road, particularly those from the tony Mountain Cove development, saying the sound of gunshots is driving them crazy. Some claim lead shot into the mountains winds up in the San Gabriel River. ... Because the gun club was already established at the time Azusa annexed the property, the city's noise ordinance doesn't apply, according to state law, city officials said."

More British hysteria: "Stunned cops found two guns in a car they stopped and searched during a series of routine roadside checks.The guns - both duelling pistols - were discovered wrapped up inside the vehicle.Officers seized the firearms, which are now being checked by police ballistic experts who are concerned they could be used as lethal weapons.Later one source said: "These may be old guns, possibly antiques, but they could be converted and easily turned into live firearms."We don't want guns of any kind falling into the hands of criminals. If that happened someone could be seriously injured or even killed."Last night officers were quizzing the driver of the
car and inquiries were continuing. The motorist may now face charges."

Monday, November 08, 2004

Self defense: A right not a privilege

The law must be changed to give citizens rights against police who interfere with self-defence, lie to them, or prevent them from helping each other, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today in commenting about the nightmare attack on the Bentleys last weekend.

"The Government has long forgotten the founding principle of policing: that constables have no more powers or privileges than ordinary law-abiding citizens - they merely do full-time what any citizen can do part-time," Mr Franks said. "The police have to work within the Government's culture of hostility towards self-reliance. When the police don't want to charge people who've successfully defended themselves, Attorney-General Margaret Wilson's officials in the Crown Law Office will overrule the police and insist on a prosecution. "Last weekend, the police prevented the Bentleys' neighbours from exercising their right to make a citizen's arrest, from being called to shoot the intruders, and from ever again believing in police reassurances.

"I have a law amendment which would direct judges to recognise that self help is the only effective help for most rural people. Accordingly, it would encourage them to exercise the right every New Zealander was comfortable with until the 1970s. That is, the right to expect praise, not condemnation and bankrupting prosecutions for successful self defence.

More here

How awful! A soldier with toy guns: "A 22-year-old soldier from Darwin's Robertson Barracks has been fined $600 for firearms offences involving replica pistols that were found in his house in October last year. Geoffrey James Brotherton was cooperating with a police search for drugs at the Barracks when the firearms were found. The Darwin Magistrates Court heard Brotherton was not licensed to handle the replica pistols. His lawyer told the court the firearms had small plastic pellets and his client had used them to shoot at figurines when he was a teenager. Magistrate Daynor Trigg heard the soldier had served in Iraq and East Timor and was an exemplary soldier. He was fined
$600 and no conviction was recorded."

Court ponders gun control law: "The Supreme Court considered Wednesday whether people convicted of a crime overseas can be barred from owning a gun in the United States, with the argument at times centering on how the absent Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist might rule. .... U.S. law forbids felons from owning guns, with a few exceptions for antitrust and trade violations. At issue in the case is whether Congress meant to include foreign convictions when it criminalized firearm possession by anybody convicted in "any court." 'I''m going to ask a question the chief justice would ask if he were here because he always asked it," said Justice Antonin Scalia. "If you had to pick your best case in interpreting the word 'any,' what would it be?"

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Illinois: Court ruling helps set legislative agenda: "As expected, a Cook County Judge ruled against a Wilmette man who shot and wounded a home invader in late 2003. The homeowner, Hale Demar, was arrested after shooting the burglar and charged with violating Wilmette's prohibition on handgun ownership. Demar's arrest sparked a nationwide furor and spurred the passage of a homeowner protection bill in the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois Governor Blagojevich, a staunch supporter of gun control, later vetoed that bill. At present, the bill is awaiting an override vote when the General Assembly convenes its veto session this November."

Suspect picks wrong house to rob: "There's a young burglary suspect who no doubt wishes he'd picked another house. That's because Fairfax County police say the one they found him in is owned by a guy with a gun. Investigators say shortly before 2 a.m., the homeowner heard some noises in his house in the 3900 block of Collis Oak Court, in the Fair Oaks neighborhood. The man grabbed his gun and went to take a look. According to police, he found a 17-year-old wearing a ski mask and gloves. Turning the tables on the teen, the homeowner ordered him to call police, which he did. Officers arrived and took him into custody. The suspect was later released to his parents, and charges are pending."

Texas: Homeowner shoots two suspected burglars: "A north Harris County homeowner shot two men suspected of trying to break into his home. It happened on Chisholm Trail near Rankin overnight. They were both in the hospital Saturday morning. The homeowner told investigators that he heard a noise at the front door, and when he checked he confronted two men. The homeowner shot them both. They were taken to Ben Taub Hospital. Deputies plan to turn the case over to a grand jury."

Saturday, November 06, 2004


The NH Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules approved new rules - now, someone with a valid license to carry from any state, not just their own home state, is eligible for a license in New Hampshire. (Before, only home state licensee's were eligible)....

For example: Florida offers a "shall issue" carry license to any U.S. citizen. With any one of those licenses anyone can get a New Hampshire carry license, even if one's home state does not issue (such as New Jersey).....

Gun Owners of New Hampshire (GONH) www.gonh.org, the NRA, and individual Free State Project (FSP) members working together can take credit for this change. Specifically GONH President and State Representative Hon. Elbert Bicknell (R-73), GONH Director Sam Cohen, and NRA Board of Directors Member Scott Bach, Esq. (NJ) www.bachbio.com were the primary movers of this important change...

More here

Senior shoots tough guy: "An elderly man defending his hurricane-damaged home fatally shot an intruder as the two scuffled, Escambia County sheriff's deputies say. Retired oil industry worker James Workman, 77, and his wife, Kathryn, have been living in a trailer outside their home since it was damaged by Hurricane Ivan on Sept. 16. Deputies said the intruder, whose identity was being withheld Thursday pending positive identification and notification of relatives, entered the couple's yard about 2:20 a.m. Wednesday. Workman told investigators he confronted the man and when he refused to leave tried to warn him away by firing a shot from his .38-caliber handgun into the ground. The intruder then entered the trailer, where Workman's wife was. Workman told deputies he went in after the man who grabbed him and then he shot the intruder as they struggled. Prosecutors were reviewing the case to determine whether the killing was justified or if Workman should be charged with a crime. The shooting in a hard-hit area just west of Pensacola occurred about 100 from an unrelated situation Oct. 8, when a neighbor fired a .22-caliber rifle to fend off a growling, machete-wielding man later subdued by deputies with a bean bag projectile and Taser".

Friday, November 05, 2004


"Senate Summary: Change from pro-rights to anti-rights: Colorado, Illinois.

Change from anti-rights to pro-rights: Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota.

This is a net +3 for the Second Amendment in the Senate - probably enough to pass a bill to prohibit abusive lawsuits against gun manufacturers, without crippling antigun amendments. To be precise, the pro-rights gain is slightly more than +3.0, since the outgoing Illinois senator was only weakly pro-gun, and the incoming Colorado senator is only sometimes antigun.

House Summary: Pro-rights incumbents defeated: One in Georgia, Illinois.

Anti-rights incumbents defeated: One in Texas.

The House retains a solid pro-gun majority and leadership.

Governors: Shift to anti-rights: New Hampshire.

Shift to pro-rights: Missouri.

President of the United States: The people of the United States defied the United Nations, and reelected their pro-rights president. President Bush's reelection helps ensure that the 2006 United Nations conference on small arms will not become a back-door path to destroying the Second Amendment. President Bush will almost certainly sign any pro-rights legislation that passes Congress. After lawsuit reform, the most important bill would be the restoration of Second Amendment rights to citizens of the District of Columbia."

Detailed State-by State results here

Thursday, November 04, 2004


David Blunkett has given his backing to The Sunday Telegraph's campaign to change the law to give homeowners more rights to protect themselves against burglars. The Home Secretary said yesterday that he was "deeply sympathetic" to those who thought the law should do everything possible to help householders against intruders - and signalled that government action was likely. Ministers are said to have an "open mind" about changing the current law, which allows homeowners to use "reasonable force" to protect themselves. What this term means is unclear, and many people who have defended themselves against intruders have faced criminal charges.

Mr Blunkett's comments follow backing for this newspaper's campaign from David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, who said last week that the law should be "rebalanced" in favour of householders and against burglars. The Home Secretary's intervention is also further clear evidence that the Government will do all it can to hammer home the message in the run-up to the general election that it is "tough on crime". Any government action specifically aimed at tightening the law is likely to have to wait until after the election - expected next year - although Labour is expected to promise a review in its manifesto.

The Sunday Telegraph launched the campaign last weekend following the fatal stabbing of Robert Symons, a London teacher, during a burglary at his home. Mr Blunkett said last night: "I am deeply sympathetic to those who feel the law should do everything possible to protect householders. That's why I changed the law last year to prevent homeowners being sued by intruders who injure themselves while breaking in. What's lacking is a clear alternative to the definition of 'reasonable force', which has thankfully been interpreted by the Crown Prosecution Service and the judiciary in favour of householders just in the last few weeks."

More here


"Clint Smith looks natty in a green bulletproof vest and a holstered, ivory-gripped pistol as he strides across his unfinished shooting school in the mountains north of Lakeview. But the man who teaches gunfighting to Navy SEALs, Delta Force operators and assorted civilians is nothing if not modest. "Almost everyone on the planet is a better shot than me or faster than me," Smith says with a slow smile. "The issue is, who is using cover best? Who is using better tactics?"

Smith, 55, and his wife, Heidi, 37, are relocating Thunder Ranch, their Texas-based tactical shooting school, to an 886-acre ranch in remote Lake County on the California border. It will open in February in a county with high unemployment and limited tourism. In a more urban community, the influx of hundreds of gun-toting strangers might cause some concern. But Ray Simms, adviser to Lake County's Board of Commissioners, doubts it will cause undue alarm, especially during hunting season. "Out here for the most part, every other pickup going down the road this time of year has a rifle in the window," he says.

The 11-year-old Thunder Ranch in Texas is the largest among dozens of tactical shooting schools across the nation, says firearms expert Roy Huntington of San Diego, editor of American Handgunner and Guns magazines and a longtime friend of the Smiths. The school teaches gunfighting to 1,200 students a year on a 2,400-acre ranch near Mountain Home, Texas, and grosses $1 million annually. Students shoot at targets moving on cables and learn to clear rooms and stairways, among other techniques. Most of the action happens outside. In Lakeview, military and police teams will train at the ranch, but 80 percent of the students probably will be "Sam and Suzy homemakers," Smith says.

His philosophy is more about not shooting than shooting, he says. The 6-foot, 170-pound Vietnam veteran and ex-police officer teaches avoidance of violence, even when it means hiding behind the bed and dialing 9-1-1 when something goes bump in the night, he says. "Most of what keeps people out of fights is personal awareness, thinking ahead," he says. But criminals sometimes leave no avenue for people to avoid fighting back. When that happens, "I need for them to shoot well," he says.

To be admitted to Thunder Ranch, prospective students must bring a concealed weapon permit or letter from a sheriff or police chief attesting to their law-abiding character.

Portland Police Sgt. Larry Baird has trained under Smith 12 times and returned to Texas in September for one final class before Thunder Ranch moves to Oregon. "Most police agencies can't put on this intense a training class," says Baird, a 24-year police veteran. "Firearms skills are easily lost, and so it is just a way to keep my skills honed." Smith is regarded as something of an iconoclast in the shooting fraternity, says Huntington, the magazine editor. The proprietor of Thunder Ranch regards handguns, even powerful .45 caliber pistols, as poor fighting instruments and prefers rifles because the bullets hit harder. "The reason people carry pistols is they haven't ever got in a fight with one and haven't figured out they are not very good," Smith says.

As a young Marine, Smith did two tours in Vietnam and was shot in the right shoulder by an enemy with an AK-47 rifle. He returned to combat after three months of recuperation. Later, he worked for 10 years as a police firearms instructor and SWAT team sniper for the Allen County Police Department in his home state of Indiana, he says.

Heidi Smith decided to learn to shoot while a college sophomore after being robbed at gunpoint in Bellevue, Wash., she says. Later, she became a firearms instructor. Now, she regards her skills as "the best form of equality." Pointing to her husband, she says, "I know I can protect him."

Lakeview town manager Roberta Huddleston thinks most of the 7,400 residents of economically strapped Lake County are delighted about the arrival of the shooting school. The county never recovered from the loss of the timber industry, and unemployment last year averaged 10 percent compared with 6 percent nationally and 8 percent statewide. The new business is expected to fill motel rooms and help restaurants and retail businesses, she says. "It is going to bring people in from all over," she says. "This is the most incredible thing I can think of." "

More here

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


From Mrs Du Toit

Women are afraid. I know that men are sometimes afraid, too, but it is a different kind of fear. A man is at a higher risk of assault (getting into a bar fight, getting mugged, etc.), but women are at higher risk of being attacked, just because they are women. It's about hurting women, not robbing them--totally different animal. Rape is a reality for women that exists in much greater percentages than male rape.

The other difference between men and women is that we are, by size and strength, more vulnerable.

All of these things contribute to a type of daily and routine fear that men just don't experience. A woman walks to her car from her office, goes into the quiet and desolate parking structure, and a man is walking towards her. Regardless of how he looks or dresses, there is a sense of panic and hope that he isn't going to hurt you. Until you've passed him, until you're in your locked car, you are afraid.

It's constant. It isn't debilitating, in the sense that we don't go out or do what we need to do, but many of us think about the neighborhood we might have to drive through, if we really need that milk at 9:30 at night, or if it can wait until morning. In essence, we are driven by fear, or limited by the realities of what is out there, behind that bush, down that alley, or hiding behind the garbage cans.

We go out anyway. We have to. We have to function in the world. Most of us operate in a sense of denial, choosing to put it out of our minds because there isn't a whole lot we can do about it. Women don't talk about this subject very much, if at all. Some women refuse to even think about it. They still have the tummy flutters in the parking structures, they still decide to stay home rather than attend the party on their own, or defer going to the mall after dark.

Tummy flutters. Loss of feeling in the legs when confronted with a scary looking man in an alley. A knock at the door, after dark, or the thought that you heard someone open a window or a door handle jiggle. Light headedness verging on an absolute panic attack. We know what these are, physiologically. They are fight or flee responses. Our bodies are responding to the situation, despite our denial or the conversations we have in our own heads, convincing us we'll be OK.

If we did think about it, if we did actually come to terms and let ourselves feel all that anxiety, expressed all that pent up fear, we'd never go outside. We'd check out from the world and hide under the covers--until we heard the door handle jiggle and we'd be right back where we started.

I never knew another way. I never knew there was any other option. I remember having scary moments like that with my mother--hearing a noise outside and cowering in fear, or holding the telephone, ready to dial 9-1-1. I remember putting a chair under the door handle of my apartment. I remember buying a baby's toy, that rattled when it moved, and putting that by the door, too. It becomes normal, common, the way you deal with life. You don't think about these things after they've happened. You just continue on, as if nothing happened. It just didn't occur to me that all women didn't go around dealing with all of this, but never actually thinking about it.

Until I became armed.

It happened, literally, the day I left the range for the first time. I knew how to fire my own gun. I knew how to defend myself--and was "equal" to the strength of any man with that gun. It didn't matter that it was a small caliber. It didn't matter that I wasn't an expert marksman. I knew I had a better than fighting chance and it was a feeling I'd never had before.

I knew I'd never have to choose my route to avoid the bad neighborhoods, even if it took me way out of my way. I knew that if I heard a noise in the backyard, I go could out to investigate, rather than cowering and hoping the noise would go away. I knew I could protect my kids and that no one, NO ONE, would ever be able to harm them without getting past me.

It was the most exhilarating feeling I'd ever had. And, despite banners, arguments, slogans, and chants, spent in support of women's rights and the E.R.A. all of my life, it was the very first time I was a liberated woman. I was liberated from everything--from fear, from the requirement that I be protected by someone else, and I gained a sense of empowerment I've never felt before. It made all my past dalliances in liberation seem petty, and stupid.

I could take care of myself, in every sense.

You don't have to take up gun sports as a hobby. You don't have to become a gun geek or understand the various powder densities or ballistics formulas, or any of the other gobble-de-gook the gun geeks talk about. You just have to know how to handle your own gun. You have to learn about proper gun safety and feel comfortable enough to rely on the gun you own. Riding a bicycle is more difficult. Driving a car is infinitely more detailed. A power lawn mower is more complicated to operate.

Imagine, living without fear. Freedom!


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Boston: Two shooter cops said to be untrained: "Two officers who fired pepper-pellet guns near where a 21-year-old college student was fatally shot last week were not trained to use the weapons, including Deputy Superintendent Robert E. O'Toole, according to two sources, an officer involved with weapons training at the Boston Police Department and an individual briefed on the investigation. As officers attempted to bring an unruly crowd of students on Lansdowne Street under control after the Red Sox won the American League pennant, O'Toole grabbed a pepper-pellet gun from a police supply vehicle and fired at a group of students who had climbed the girders of the Green Monster, according to accounts from the sources. O'Toole then handed his gun to Patrolman Richard B. Stanton, who had told the commander he was not trained to use the gun and did not fire it, according to information from the sources."

Tennessee: Woman shoots ex-boyfriend: "A Madisonville woman shot her ex- boyfriend after he allegedly broke into her house and cut the phone wires Saturday night. Cindy Isbill, Warren Street, told Madisonville Police her ex-boyfriend Michael Parker came to her house just before 9 p.m. and opened her locked door with a knife. Isbill said she told him to leave or she would call the police. Parker told her he had cut the phone lines. Isbill said she got away from Parker and she met her mother in the driveway. As they were leaving to go call the police, they saw Parker leaving. Isbill said she went back to her residence and didn't call the police, figuring Parker wouldn't return. Parker did come back, though, and started cursing and threatening Isbill. Isbill said she had a handgun a friend had given her for protection and she pulled it out of her pocketbook and walked toward Parker. Isbill said she fired three or four shots in the direction of Parker and he took off running in the direction of Rodgers Lane."

Monday, November 01, 2004

Tennessee: Man recounts being attacked in bed: "Local attorney Ed Robertson recounted in court Monday the night he and his brother, Mac, were attacked in their Ryes Chapel Road home by a knife-wielding intruder. While testifying in Circuit Court, Ed Robertson told the jury a noise from upstairs awoke him just after 5 a.m. on Dec. 21, 2001. Seconds later, he opened his eyes and saw someone standing over his bed. 'I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman,' Ed Robertson said. 'I sat up in bed real abruptly and said 'Who's there?' Soon, Ed Robertson was engaged in a physical fight with the intruder, who managed to cut him more than a dozen times with a knife before his brother shot the intruder with a .45-caliber pistol."

Arkansas rejects many gun purchases: "A Justice Department report shows that Arkansas has rejected a higher proportion of applications to buy firearms than most other states. One of every 48 prospective gun purchases in the state is rejected. On average, the survey of 40 states shows one of every 65 attempts to buy a gun is rejected. Arkansas uses FBI background checks to enforce provisions of the Brady Bill, enacted 10 years ago. The law makes it illegal to sell guns to people with criminal records. The Justice Department study shows that since 1999, 15,438 Arkansans have been rejected for gun purchases. In Connecticut, one buyer is rejected for every 330 purchases, while in Tennessee, there is one rejection for every 26 purchases in Tennessee."