Thursday, June 30, 2005
The Wild West was more peaceful than today: "Roger McGrath, a historian who studied dozens of Western mining camps and towns, found a high rate of homicide in them mainly because it was socially acceptable for young, drunk single men to resolve points of honor by fighting to the death. But other violence wasn't tolerated, he said. "It was a rather polite and civil society enforced by armed men," Dr. McGrath said. "The rate of burglary and robbery was lower than in American cities today. Claim-jumping was rare. Rape was extraordinarily rare - you can argue it wasn't being reported, but I've never seen evidence hinting at that." Deadwood's bad reputation was established by the famous killing of Wild Bill and enhanced with claims that the miners averaged a murder a day. But Deadwood historians like Watson Parker dismiss that statistic. "Pure bilge," Dr. Parker told me. "There wasn't an awful lot of violence in Deadwood except for the crooks and drunks killing each other. When everybody has a gun on his hip, they tend to avoid confrontation." Another Deadwood historian, Bob Lee, said that the best account of the two peak years of the gold rush, 1876 and 1877, lists only 77 violent deaths in all the Black Hills, most outside Deadwood, and most attributed to Indians, who were understandably angry at the invasion of their lands by both miners and troops under George Armstrong Custer".
Texas: Bullet in head for car thief "A northeast Houston man opened fire on suspected car thieves who were trying to steal his vehicle, police told Local 2 Friday. Officers said two men driving a stolen tow truck were trying to tow a car out of the Swiss Village Apartments parking lot on Homestead near Tidwell shortly before 5 a.m. Roosevelt Grant is a neighbor of the car owner. He said he knew something was wrong when he saw the white Buick LeSabre hooked up to a tow truck. Then, he said he saw his neighbor running after his car and shooting a gun at the two men inside the wrecker. "I just heard a loud, squealing noise and I just happened to see a wrecker truck," Grant said. "To take something that belongs to you is just not right." The car's owner fired a total of six shots at the wrecker, hitting Antonio Devon Hunt, 29, who police said was driving the tow truck. He was shot once in the head and transported to Ben Taub Hospital in critical condition. The other man escaped. Police said that the men stole the tow truck a week ago and were using it to steal vehicles... Neighbors supported the car owner who fought back when his vehicle was being stolen. "I didn't even know he owned a gun. I probably would have done the same thing if it was my car," a neighbor known only as Linda said. Police do not expect to file charges against the owner because the shooting appears to be justified."
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Texas homeowner kills 1, critically wounds another: "A northeast Houston resident shot and killed one man and critically wounded another after reportedly catching them breaking into his house early today. The man told police he returned to his house on Lakewood near Jensen just after 1 a.m. today and found four men trying to break in. He opened fire on the would-be burglars, who fired back before fleeing to a house on Willie near Terrell, about a mile a way, authorities said. One man died at the house on Willie and another man with gunshot wounds was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. Neither of the victim's names has been released yet. Police are still questioning the man who shot them."
The results of strict British gun control: "Teenage gunmen are responsible for a huge surge in shootings across London. Police say they are arresting teenagers with loaded guns as young as 16, while one community leader told the Standard there were now 14-year-olds carrying guns. The teenage gunmen are suspected of being behind a rise of as much as 146 per cent in gun crime in some London boroughs in the months since April, during which Met Police figures show a 10 per cent rise capital-wide. One senior detective on Operation Trident, combating armed black drug gangs, said: "The gunmen are getting younger and younger. These kids are less disciplined than older gunmen and more volatile. The terrifying thing is they are getting hold of these guns and they are more willing to use them than older criminals." One youth, 19-year-old Troy Robinson, was shot dead and two other teenagers were injured in a gun battle involving four young men with guns in Wembley on Sunday night."
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
South Carolina: Combining shooting, living spaces: "Bang, bang! Champion shooter John Stillwagon hits the target and pulls down his gun. 'I smoked 'em,' he says. Stillwagon has been a Myrtle Beach developer for 20 years and champion trapshooter for more than 30 years, winning at least 40 state titles. A few years ago, he decided to combine his two loves and develop the first shooting-range residential community along the Grand Strand -- one of the first in the nation. ... Although some people might question who would want to live on a shooting range, Stillwagon says he knows exactly what he's doing. He says there are plenty of people who don't like golf and don't want to live on a golf course. Instead, they want to live where they can do what they love: trapshoot."
Michigan: Gun charge dropped over suspicion of bias: "A weapons charge against a 29-year-old Detroit man was dropped Wednesday after prosecutors refused to submit enough information to help a federal judge decide whether an antigun program unfairly targets black people. U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood dismissed the charge -- being a felon in possession of a firearm -- against James Thorpe, who was arrested by Detroit police in 2003 while sleeping in a car. They found a pistol in the vehicle. Thorpe, who had a prior criminal conviction and wasn't permitted to have a firearm, was prosecuted federally under the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which has stiffer sentences than state law. His lawyer, David Steingold of Detroit, asked prosecutors to produce information including statistics showing how many cases are accepted or rejected for the program by race to determine whether the project discriminates against blacks, as several criminal defense lawyers contend. Prosecutors declined, saying the information either doesn't exist or that Thorpe failed to meet the legal threshold to obtain it."
Monday, June 27, 2005
North Carolina: Teen killed after entering 15-year-old's home: "A prosecutor said Monday that a preliminary review indicates a 15-year-old Swannanoa boy acted in self-defense when he shot and killed another teen, but authorities need more information before deciding whether to file charges. Assistant District Attorney Kate Dreher said it's significant that there is evidence to show that David Eugene Ray forced his way into a home off Buckeye Access Road before he was shot in the chest Sunday ... 'If someone forces entry into your home and assaults you or another person, then there is more than a reasonable inference that you reasonably believed that you were in danger of serious bodily injury or death,' Dreher said. 'Preliminarily, my review does indicate that this is self-defense, but I have asked for some investigative follow up.'"
Thai teachers get guns to combat Muslim terrorists: "The Education Ministry plans to find cheap, second-hand guns for teachers in the southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani to protect themselves because buying brand-new guns is too expensive and time-consuming. Twenty-one teachers have been killed since southern violence flared up in January 2004, including a female principal in Narathiwat yesterday. Deputy Education Minister Rung Kaewdaeng said yesterday he was discussing the idea with Khunying Kasama Vorawan, permanent secretary for education, to develop a market for used guns which were affordable especially for teachers and education staff in the South. Although the Interior Ministry allows teachers and education personnel in the three southern provinces to carry guns for self-defence, the majority could not afford one, he said. ``Guns are hardly available in the region. If the teachers plan to buy brand-new guns, they must wait for their import, the process of which is very time-consuming. ``Besides, each new imported gun is as expensive as 60,000-70,000 baht. Any teachers who need guns must borrow from their saving cooperatives to pay the costs. ``If the Education Ministry helps them by finding cheap, used and workable guns, it will be very good,'' Mr Rung said."
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Florida: Sheriff identifies man shot dead as burglar: "Police are investigating the claims of a man who says he shot two burglars breaking into his apartment Sunday afternoon, killing one and sending another to a hospital for emergency surgery. Eddie Nelson, 58, was being questioned by detectives trying to piece together exactly what happened, said Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Hugh Graf. Nelson told detectives he caught two men trying to break through a sliding glass door into the back of his apartment on the 2200 block of Northwest 55th Way. Nelson said he fired several rounds with a handgun, Graf said. The two men ran, and Troy Fyffe, 25, whose last known address was in Lauderhill collapsed after 50 to 75 yards and died, Graf said on Monday."
Sanity to be forced on D.C.? "As a US Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison splits time between her home state, where she is allowed to own practically any weapon invented and can even carry a concealed handgun, and the District of Columbia, where she can�t even keep a .357 Magnum in her house. For 12 years she has managed to abide this without complaint, but apparently she�s had enough. In May, she filed a bill to overturn DC�s gun-control laws, and this week she indicated that she has more than 30 co-sponsors and intends to push it to the floor for a vote in the near future. The bill would, in one swoop, negate all the gun laws the district has adopted over the past 30 years, including pre-purchase criminal-background checks and bans on semi-automatic weapons and cop-killer bullets. If it passes the Senate, it is expected to breeze through the House, which passed a similar bill last September".
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Wisconsin: Concealed carry bill resurrected: "Supporters of carrying concealed guns will resurrect their fight in the Legislature. Senator Dave Zien (ZEEN) of Eau Claire says he'll reintroduce the bill by July. This one will have private companies and law enforcement organizations issuing permits instead of county sheriffs. The previous concealed carry bill vetoed by the governor required sheriff's departments to do background checks of applicants. But sheriffs complained they didn't have the time or resources to do so. The new proposal gives the responsibility for issuing permits to another group, such as the state Department of Justice, the union representing state troopers or private security firms."
India: Gun licences to be made easy: "Alarmed by the spate of armed robberies in the city, the Cyberabad police have announced that gun licences would be made easier to get for people living in remote localities on the fringe of the city. A week after dacoits bludgeoned to death a couple in full view of their children, Cyberabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy made a night-long inspection visit -- with media personnel in tow -- to check out patrolling and security arrangements around the city. 'Gun licences will be issued depending upon the location of a colony and its susceptibility to dacoities. Farmhouses, poultry farms and remote layouts are the most susceptible,' he said and added that no case would be registered if a licence-holder used the weapon to protect himself."
Friday, June 24, 2005
Michigan: Burglar shot and killed by hostage: "Grand Rapids Police have arrested two men in connection with a robbery in which a third intruder was shot and killed. Twenty-three-year-old Ian Johnson was shot and killed by a resident of the Charles Avenue home that had been tied up. The resident broke free around 3 a.m., got a gun away from one of the suspects and shot him. ... Police say the suspects broke into the house in the overnight hours, searching for drugs and money, when they then took two men hostage. They bound and gagged the men by using duct tape and some wire."
Tacoma, WA: Quick-draw McGraw wins: "A 22-year-old man who had been arguing with his girlfriend was shot and killed early Saturday after another man overheard the argument and tried to break it up, police said. It happened about 2:40 a.m. at an apartment in the 4300 block of South Union Avenue in Tacoma, said police spokesman Mark Fulghum. Richard Matthews, who recently moved into his girlfriend�s apartment, pulled a gun on the man who tried to intervene, Fulghum said. But the would-be peacekeeper, identified by police only as an approximately 30-year-old Tacoma man, also was carrying a gun. He fired �numerous� shots at Matthews before Matthews could get off a shot, Fulghum said. Matthews was pronounced dead at the scene, Fulghum said. No other injuries were reported. Police officers who happened to be nearby heard the gunfire and arrived soon after the shooting, Fulghum said. The shooter was cooperative with officers, Fulghum said. Detectives interviewed him and let him go. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to charge him with a crime. Based on what police saw, �This guy just had a quicker draw,� Fulghum said. �The prosecutor will make the decision, but it looks like he didn�t have much choice.�"
Thursday, June 23, 2005
South Africa: Police can't keep pace with new gun laws: "The government's efforts to get a firm grip on the millions of firearms in circulation are set to misfire spectacularly, with only 163 licence renewals completed so far this year. If police are to keep pace with the stringent requirements of the new law and the programme to tighten gun ownership in South Africa they will have to process 600,000 licence renewals by the end of this year -- or more than 4,000 a day. According to the police, since the new firearms legislation took effect on July 1 last year, they have received only 488 applications for new licences. ... The South African Gunowners' Association (Saga) and the Black Gun Owners' Association (BGOA) insist, however, that about 20,000 appeals have been registered with police by unsuccessful applicants wanting to know why their bids had failed. 'The police are just not coping. The government underestimated the burden of the administration process,' said Martin Hood, the spokesperson for Saga."
Texas: Governor signs bill recognizing gun rights: "Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation aimed at clarifying existing firearm laws, enhancing protections for law-abiding gun owners and reducing barriers for gun ownership, on Friday. 'The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right of every law-abiding citizen of our country,' Perry said. 'This legislation will clarify existing firearm laws, enhance protections for law-abiding gun owners and reduce barriers for gun ownership.'"
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
WOMEN PACKING HEAT
Some might say shooting is a mans sport, but, to that Bruce Wells with the Gateway Rifle Pistol Club says, "Absolutely not."
There is something about guns, that most people don't associate with women. "We're raised to cook and clean, and work and raise children, and safety just isn't our number one priority usually," said Christine Peacock. It's exactly the perception one criminal had when he tried to rob Peacock Thursday night while she was going through a fast food drive-thru. She, along with the robbery suspect, learned quickly the power of having a gun in a scary situation. "That I could pull it, and use it as force," she said. It just so happens she was in her boyfriend's car, along with his gun. Something she didn't necessarily agree with. "I didn't believe that everybody should carry a gun at all times. I thought it was too overprotective," she said.
"I have seen a big increase of women buying more guns, and not necessarily for self defense, but for enjoyment," said Wells. He's seen a great increase of women purchasing guns, but, it's not for reasons you may think. It seems some women get a kick out of the sport of handling a gun. "This lady was ordering about a $2,000 to $3,000 AR-15, because she enjoyed shooting that much," said Wells of a woman he encountered at gun shop. He says, "The women have really taken off and done well in the shooting sports."
Christine may not decide to become a master rifleman, but, her days of traveling unarmed are over. "I plan on enrolling in a concealed weapons permit class, and purchasing my own gun, having one with me at all times."
Machine-gun fiesta: "It sounded more like what would be heard around the war zones of Baghdad or Mosul in Iraq rather than rural Wyandotte. On Saturday, more than 200 avid machine gun enthusiasts from around the nation gathered for the fourth annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show -- and brought with them a full arsenal of fully-automatic weapons. Featuring everything from mini-guns to MG-42s to AR-50s to Quad 50s, the auto shoot drew crowds of nearly 1,500 spectators who, setting up lawn chairs in the shade, sat back and watched the bullets fly. Positioned under a long line of tents atop a ridge, the shooters fired down into an assortment of targets including cars, trucks, buses, washing machines and even a small airplane. Explosions resounded throughout the hills as hot lead tore through car metal and set off "fuel bombs" that were placed in some of the vehicles. "It just keeps getting better and better every year," smiled Mike Friend, owner of "The Firing Line" and co-organizer of the event. "People that own stuff like this need a place to shoot and we feel like we've got a good, safe place for them to do that." Co-organizer DeWayne Convirs, who owns both "The Bunker" army surplus store and the land used for the auto shoot, said the number of people who want to come out and watch the machine guns blaze gets bigger every time. "This is twice the attendance we saw last year," Convirs remarked."
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
WOMEN NEED GUNS
As reported by News 5 Cincinnati, a woman was violently attacked early Monday morning on the 10th floor of the Tower Place parking garage in downtown Cincinnati. With courage and a fair amount of luck she managed to fend off her knife-wielding attacker and run for help from another patron of the garage. He dialed 911. The 911 log tells a chilling story:
Woman: "He has a kitchen knife on him -- a big, long chef's knife."
Woman: "He tried to attack me with a knife and pull me into the stairwell. He kept telling me to go into the stairwell and I wouldn't go."
Police described the suspect as a black man, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a black skull cap, a red jersey with "Griffey" printed on the back, green sweatpants, and green sneakers. The attacker escaped in the elevator. News 5 discovered there were no security cameras in the garage.
With only a little less courage or luck, she might have been raped, maimed for life, and left for dead in the Tower Place stairwell. A better choice would be for her to have been carrying. Tower Place isn't posted against concealed carry--something that should be encouraged and pointed to as the kind of management decision making that saves lives.
Far too many women suffer under the perception that they are too weak or that it is simply "too scary" to defend themselves with a firearm. This is a serious educational gap that needs to be remedied. Food for thought--you never know where you will be when an attack might occur. Do you regularly carry and are you prepared? Is your wife prepared?
In a related story reported by WCPO - 9 News the next day, the husband of the woman attacked at the garage Monday is calling for the changes at Tower Place to prevent future crimes. He asked for notification to all the monthly parkers that the attack occurred so they can take their own due diligence, installation of surveillance cameras in the stairwells and elevators, and increased security patrols.
House rejects .50-cal victim disarmament amendment: "The National Rifle Association and its allies in the House beat back an effort Thursday to restrict gun manufacturers' exports of high-powered, .50-caliber rifles that can bring down jet airliners from a mile away. By a 278-149 vote, the House killed an amendment by Rep. James Moran to block .50-caliber exports to civilians. He said the guns are dream weapons for terrorists."
Monday, June 20, 2005
THE SOUTH AFRICAN DISASTER
In South Africa, violent crime has been increasing dramatically .... In response, the government has passed new laws that require guns to be re-licensed every five years (guns already needed to be licensed to be legal). To be eligible for a license, applicants must complete an accredited training course, pass a police background check, install a safe or strongbox for storage, and prove that they need a gun. Eighty percent of those seeking licenses are rejected, causing gun owners to believe (correctly) that the measure is intended to disarm law-abiding people.
Many South Africans, who rightly fear for their safety, have been trying to find alternatives to using guns for protection. Many "houses are surrounded by razor wire and electric fences," and people are buying crossbows, Zulu fighting spears, swords, battle axes, and pepper spray. The owner of one gun shop said that demand was so great for these items that he had to build a new shop.
Predictably, gun control advocates argue that disarming law-abiding citizens will stop the deluge of crime, even though it is estimated that between one million and four million illegal firearms are in circulation (albeit many of these are likely owned by basically honest people who are in fear of their lives) and that, according to the January 6 Guardian of London, only half of the violent deaths "were thought to be gun-related."
Somewhat ironically, during the time period of apartheid, whites had few restrictions on being able to get guns, large numbers were armed, and gun-related crime was relatively low. Alex Holmes, of South Africa's Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association, says the government has to realize that "the real problem is from 30-40,000 hardcore criminals using a small amount of illegal guns." He added, "Licensed guns are not used in crime at any great rate."
Once again, gun control advocates are overlooking the common-sense aspect of crime, and they're failing to acknowledge that to control crime, criminals must be controlled, not law-abiding citizens. As reported on the website "South Africa in transition," in the east coast city of Soweto, crime is especially bad, and the criminals are so numerous that an Indian doctor who works in a hospital there, named Anushka Lehka, tries to come and leave work during daylight hours. If she does drive in the city at night, "she never stops for red lights for fear of being hijacked."
Home invasion triggers shoot-out: Raymond Rogers says he is lucky to be alive after a man broke into his home and shot at him repeatedly early Wednesday morning. Tyrell Taylor, one of two men accused in the break-in, also survived, although he was struck twice when Rogers returned fire. Taylor, 21, was wanted by police for his alleged role in an unrelated murder. He is in fair condition at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, suffering with a collapsed lung. Rogers said he was roused from his sleep about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday by the sound of someone trying to kick in the front door of his Greenville Road home. Rogers, 24, grabbed his .20-gauge shotgun and hid in a back bedroom with his girlfriend. When two men entered the home and found Rogers with a shotgun, one began shooting. Rogers said he shot back, striking one of the men, but the man continued shooting as he lay wounded on the floor. Rogers fired a second time, striking the man in the chest. "He shot at me about three or four times and he never hit me," Rogers said. "I reckon' I'm lucky to be alive. I had my gun to protect myself." Rogers' girlfriend also escaped injury. The gunman and the second man managed to flee the home. Sheriff's Detective Neil Tyner said authorities were able to identify Taylor after he was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his left leg and chest. Sheriff's investigators are still looking for the second man. Tyner said Taylor and the second man pried open Rogers' front door with a hammer after repeated attempts to kick in the door failed.
KANSAS CITY, Mo: Police are investigating two violent home invasions Friday: The shootings and break-ins appear to be unrelated, officials said. However, in both cases, the victims said the gunmen were strangers to them. One of the crimes happened in southeast Kansas City at 8603 Corrington Ave. Police said a man came to the house asking if a car was for sale. The husband and wife who live there said it wasn't. Less than an hour later, three people burst into the home and ordered the woman to the floor at gunpoint, police said. Then, her husband surprised the intruders by wielding a gun. Shots were fired. Two of the intruders were hit, but they escaped in a truck with someone who was waiting outside, officials said. The second home invasion happened on the east side at 2811 E. Ninth St. A resident said at about 10:30 a.m., the door was kicked in and strangers invaded the house. "They entered through the front door, tried to proceed through the house and then that's when I came out and startled them, and then they exited the premises. Before they left, they rang out some gunshots," the resident said. KMBC's Peggy Breit reported that bullet holes were seen in the walls and ceiling. No one was injured. The resident said he felt lucky that no one else was home at the time.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Florida: Son shoots and kills dad in self-defense: "What started as a fight over respect for one's father -- or the lack thereof -- quickly deteriorated at a St. Petersburg home just before midnight Tuesday and culminated with a son fatally shooting his father, police said. However, Ollie Latodd Flounary Jr., 20, is not likely to be charged in the shooting death of Ollie Latodd Flounary Sr., 43, because he apparently reacted in self-defense, St. Petersburg police said. At the time the son shot his father, the father was beating him with a 14-inch piece of iron pipe."
Louisiana: Bossier City looks to ban paintball guns: ""Playing paintball is a shot-in-the-arm for Paintball Warehouse and Field Owner Pat Cordaro and his son Matt, even if it's one-on-one. Son hit father first in this match-up. You can hear the thud against the elder Cordaro's skin as the paintball broke, and we're sure it did not tickle. Cordaro says, 'these paintballs are weapons, this paintball fires up to 300 feet per second. You could get your eyes shot out, it could break the skin, it's very dangerous.' That's part of the reason why Bossier City Councilman Scott Irwin drafted an ordinance to ban shooting paintball guns within city limits. The other reason for the ordinance? Irwin says, 'a constituent called me saying someone shot a paintball gun at his house.'"
Michigan: Carjacking sparks a gunfight: "Police have a message for carjacking victims who spot their stolen vehicles on the road the next day: Don't pull out your shotgun and confront the thieves yourself. That's what led to an exchange of gunfire Sunday that landed one man in the hospital with gunshot wounds, Eastpointe police said. The bizarre chain of events began Saturday, when two men allegedly carjacked a woman in Detroit. The next day, her husband happened to spot her white Ford SUV at a gas station on Kelly Road north of 8 Mile in Eastpointe. Two men were in the SUV. The husband, armed with a shotgun, reportedly watched as one of the men walked into the station. The husband confronted the other man, who pulled out a small-caliber revolver, said Eastpointe Police Sgt. Richard Hardy. Both men began firing. The man from the SUV was wounded and hospitalized in serious condition with injuries to his head, hand and leg, Hardy said Sunday night. The husband wasn't injured."
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Low type shot: "Deputies say a man was shot and killed in Montgomery County overnight after chasing a woman from the scene of a traffic accident. The shooting happened early today on Calvary Road near I-45 in northern Montgomery County. Authorities said the man and woman evidently were fighting in a moving car before it veered off the road and turned over. The woman got out of the wrecked vehicle and ran to a nearby home for help. Montgomery County Sheriff's Office deputies said the man evidently followed her but was not admitted to the house. When the man began trying to force his way into the home, deputies said the homeowner shot and killed him. It is unclear whether the homeowner will face charges".
South Africa: New shots about museum guns: "The SA National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg is being investigated for apparent irregularities in connection with illegal weapons, said Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula in parliament on Friday. ... Nqakula told the committee that unrelated investigations revealed that certain government departments and municipalities also had firearms. 'The previous government handed out weapons to many organisations in a very uncontrolled manner,' he said.He explained that, as part of the drive to remove weapons from society, he wanted co-operation from his fellow ministers and for them to hand the weapons to police."
South Africa: Big pro-gun demonstration: "A group of gun owners and gun-shop proprietors are demanding that police grant them firearm licences, according to a memorandum handed to the office of Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa on Tuesday. 'We have given them three weeks to respond to our demand. If they don't respond we will go and collect our guns from the gun-shop owners with or without licences,' said Abios Khoele, president of the Black Gun Owners' Association. ... The group, which came in four buses and taxis, met at Beyers Naude Gardens in central Johannesburg before walking to Shilowa's office. Some placards the crowd waved read: 'Guns don't kill people. Guns protect people,' 'New law sucks -- old law still the best' and 'Nqakula, son of H F Verwoerd, stop oppressing blacks.' A handful of police officers monitored the situation."
Friday, June 17, 2005
Feisty ladies: "An armed robber brandishing a revolver and some tough talk entered Blalock's Beauty College demanding money Tuesday afternoon. He left crying, bleeding and under arrest, after Dianne Mitchell, her students and employees attacked the suspect, beating him into submission. Mitchell tripped the robber as he tried to leave and cried aloud "get that sucker" as the group of about 20, nearly all women, some wielding curling irons, bludgeoned him until police arrived. "You can tell the world don't mess with the women here," said the 53-year-old who manages the Shreveport beauty school in the 5400 block of Mansfield Road. Jared Gipson, 24, of Shreveport was charged with armed robbery, Shreveport police said. He will be booked into the City Jail once he is released from the hospital. "He received several lacerations to the head and was taken to LSU Hospital in Shreveport," spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said. "Nobody else was seriously injured besides the suspect.... Bishop jumped on the man's back, driving him into the ground. Seizing the opportunity, Mitchell rallied her students. "We moved some furniture after that," she yelped with joy as she retold the tale. Arming themselves with curling irons, chairs, a wooden table leg and clenched fists, the women attacked. Blood and urine splattered from the victim; stains adorned the white paints worn by many of the beauty school students. Crying in pain, the robber tried to crawl away from the students, Mitchell said.
Florida: 76 year old fatally shoots intruder: "A 76-year-old Polk County man shot and killed a 19-year-old neighbor Sunday night and has told investigators the younger man broke into his mobile home and wrestled away his wallet ... Bright told deputies that Lusk had come to his home earlier in the evening and they argued after Bright accused Lusk of stealing from him. Bright told Lusk he wanted his money back and also asked Lusk to leave, Shanley said. Lusk refused to leave at first, then did, then returned later, and when Bright wouldn't let him in, threw a cement block through a window and got in the home, Shanley said. Bright told investigators Lusk then pushed him down and took his wallet. Bright went and got a .22-caliber rifle and shot Lusk after he still refused to leave and continued to act in a threatening manner."
Louisiana: Carjacker shot: "The assistant principal of Youree Drive Middle School in Shreveport is hospitalized with a gunshot wound after a shootout with a man who allegedly tried to carjack him. Shreveport Police say Charles Washington arrived at police headquarters Sunday with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, saying he'd just been shot by a man and returned fire. Washington says a man approached him at an intersection, demanding his car keys and wallet. Washington says the man shot him and he shot back, wounding the alleged robber identified as Gabriel Robinson. The 20-year-old Robinson was booked into the city jail on a charge of attempted second-degree murder. Washington remains hospitalized in fair condition. Caddo Parish Schools Superintendent Ollie Tyler, who was Washington's boss at the school for several years, visited with him yesterday. She says he seems in good spirits and he told her he was ready to get back to work. Meanwhile, police say Washington, in shooting his alleged assailant, was apparently acting in self-defense. While it's unclear if Washington has a license for a firearm, police say he didn't need one since he had the gun in his car, which is considered an extension of the home".
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Missouri: Shooting ruled 'justified': "The shooting death of a Reeds Spring man by his niece was determined to be justified by the Stone County prosecuting attorney's office this week.Prosecutor Matt Selby announced he would not file charges against Peggy Marxen, 43, who shot Icie Edward Endsley, 68, three times May 28 after he'd shot and wounded two other people. 'I determined the evidence would show that she was justified in believing he was a danger to her and to others,' Selby said. 'Obviously, he'd already shot two people and he still had the gun. The force she used was reasonable under the circumstances.' According to police reports, Marxen shot Endsley in the left wrist, left arm and upper back with a .44-caliber handgun after Endsley shot Eddie Lee Pipes, 48, of Reeds Spring, in the left forearm and Tracie Elaine Bewley, 43, also of Reeds Spring, in the leg, with a .22-caliber rifle."
Gun rights for ex-cops: "Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. yesterday initiated a state program to license retired police officers to carry concealed handguns, making Maryland one of the first states to implement new federal laws expanding gun rights for retired and off-duty officers. "This is good public policy that will make a safer state, which is why I am very proud Maryland has led," said Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican. Surrounded by officers from various local and state law-enforcement agencies, Mr. Ehrlich made the announcement at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 in Baltimore. The setting underscored Baltimore's high murder rate despite crime-fighting pledges by Mayor Martin O'Malley, a likely Democratic rival to Mr. Ehrlich in next year's governor's race. Last week, the FBI reported that violent crime in Baltimore increased 4.2 percent to 11,667 incidents in 2004, while the numbers declined in most other cities. Mr. O'Malley, who took office five years ago promising to lower the homicide rate, but instead watched the city become one of America's deadliest, was not invited to yesterday's announcement... Mr. Ehrlich's initiative buttressed the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, which President Bush signed into law last year. The act allows retired and off-duty officers who meet certain standards to carry a concealed handgun in any jurisdiction. The weapons are barred from airplanes and in other restricted places... Arizona and Idaho also have implemented the federal law.
South Africa: 17,000 appeal rejection of gun licences: "The police have received more than 17 000 appeals so far against their rejection of applications for firearm licences. ... [Director of the communication division of the police, Phuti Setati] gave the lack of sufficient motivation and criminal offences as the main reasons for turning down applications for firearm licences. Applicants did not submit adequate motivation and supporting documentation to justify their need for a particular firearm, he said. But a frustrated member of the police thinks the decision to turn down his application for a hunting gun is absurd. ... 'The licence for the gun I want to use for hunting was rejected because there was not sufficient motivation,' said the policeman.'I want to hunt. What kind of motivation do they still want?' he asked."
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Ohio: Shooting ruled self defense: "The fatal shooting of a Sharon man was done in self-defense according to the Mercer County District Attorney. The Mercer County District Attorney says homeowner Kevin Mcewen shot and killed Robert Flynn after Flynn broke into his home Saturday morning. Flynn allegedly went to the Sharpsville home because his girlfriend was there. He then started waving a gun around and threatening people inside the house."
Georgia: Woman fends off home intruder: "Police are searching for a suspect who entered a home in north Fulton County Monday morning. The homeowner, a 38-year-old woman, told police she was able to shoot the suspect as he fled the residence. Michelle Johnston told police that her attacker threw her to the ground after entering her home located in the 500 block of Alstonefield Drive. 'She was awake. She came downstairs in her home and that's where the struggle began, that's where she was confronted by the suspect,' said Fulton police Lt. Dexter White. She told police she was able to reach for the suspect's gun during the scuffle and shoot at him."
America's gun war is being won in the nation's courts: "Wal-Mart last year settled a California lawsuit alleging widespread violations of gun laws for $14.5 million. The California suit said Wal-Mart stores sold guns to convicted felons and ammunition to minors, and allowed buyers to pick up guns before criminal background checks were complete. Gun control advocates called the settlement an important victory over one of the nation's major firearms retailers. But in the ongoing legal war over gun violence and gun control, the Wal-Mart case was one small skirmish. Large-scale attempts to blame firearms makers for gun violence in American cities have failed. Class-action lawsuits seeking billions of dollars from manufacturers get shot down in courts all over the nation."
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
THE FLORIDA SCENE
Roy Bedard is a karate champion and reserve police officer who calls himself a "use of force expert." Bedard, who runs a security consulting company in Tallahassee called RRB Systems International, said most business owners "tend to carry weapons responsibly." But he believes more should be done to educate gun owners on when � not just how � to use their weapons. "Deadly force isn't something you plan for," Bedard said. "Suddenly you're there and the question is, 'Do I shoot or don't I shoot?' There is no greater decision a person will make than to take another person's life." A pair of recent incidents in Lee County involving guns have raised that issue.
* On May 29, off-duty security guard Donald Biggs pulled his pistol and began firing shots in the parking lot of a Fort Myers Publix store to try to stop a fleeing shoplifting suspect. No one was hurt by the gunfire.
* On June 3, a clerk at Weaver's Corner Pharmacy in North Fort Myers pulled a pistol and shot an armed, masked man who was trying to rob the pharmacy of prescription drugs. Convicted felon James Dan Maroney, 36, was arrested Thursday and has been charged with attempted armed robbery.
Don Coate, who owns Coate-of-Arms firearms store in North Fort Myers, believes the pharmacy worker should be congratulated. "God bless him," Coate said. "Amen. More power to him. He was a store owner who was defending his property and himself. I'm happy for that guy." But Coate said he's not so sure about the actions of Biggs, who tried to shoot out the tires of a truck being driven erratically by suspected shoplifter Matthew Depalma.
Bobby Blanchard of Fort Myers witnessed the incident. "I don't think he needed to be shooting that gun off in that parking lot," said Blanchard, who had just come out of the store when Biggs began shoot. "To me, that's considered a petty theft," Blanchard said. "A petty theft does not require when somebody is getting away to shoot at their tires. It was just scary, the whole thing."
Biggs said he fired his 9 mm handgun at the suspect's tires after the man hit a parked car, ran over a store employee's foot and was turning in circles with another employee hanging out of the vehicle. The state attorney's office is reviewing both incidents to see if any crimes were committed by the shooters, who each had concealed weapons permits.
GUN CRIMES DOWN
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, violent crimes involving guns have been on the decline in the state for years � dropping from 44,885 in 1992 to 26,346 in 2002, the latest year for which statistics are available. But many business owners still keep weapons at the ready.
At the D & D convenience store off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dunbar, store manager Tom Goodrich sometimes has a pistol on hand. But owner Imad Awad, 40, believes he does more to ward off crime by having a top-notch security system and extra people minding the store. "The counter is only two steps from the door," Awad said. "If a person's going to come and rob the store, they're going to walk in with a gun in their hand. Whether I have a gun or 20 guns in here you can't do anything with it."
Corporations such as 7-Eleven and Pizza Hut forbid their clerks and delivery drivers to carry weapons. According to 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris, the company has cut its holdup rate by 68 percent since 1976 simply by keeping most of the money in "time-delay" safes that dispense cash slowly. "Robbers steal for cash," said a 7-Eleven study on the issue. "If stores reduce their cash availability and publicize it, they can deter robberies."
Detroit burglar cops it: "A suspected burglar was shot and killed by a Romulus homeowner early Friday morning. Investigators say a 35-year old man, allegedly armed with a 9 millimeter automatic handgun, was trying to break into a home on Oakbrook Street, south of Metro Airport when he was shot. Police say the homeowner is cooperating with the investigation. Prosecutors will determine if he'll face charges. Investigators are also trying to find out if a second suspect was involved".
Monday, June 13, 2005
Virginia: Shooting ruled self-defense: "A Hertford man will not face charges in the April shooting death of an Elizabeth City woman because he was acting in self-defense, District Attorney Frank Parrish said. Thomas Harvin, 49, of Hertford, fatally shot Stacy Bayles, 39, early April 6. The incident began after Harvin arrived outside the Ivy Neck Road home of his ex-wife, Dawn Teachey. Parrish said Bayles, a friend of Teachey, shot Harvin when he arrived. During a struggle over the gun, Bayles was shot in the head. Bayles died from the wound, and Harvin was treated at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville and released. 'The evidence tends to indicate that the woman who would be killed had laid in wait for Mr. Harvin,' Parrish said."
Scotland to get tougher victim disarmament laws : "Jack McConnell is prepared to take the unprecedented step of extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament to bring in tough new gun laws. The First Minister will introduce a major new licensing system for airguns north of the Border following the Home Office's refusal to take action on the issue. The new rules will mean that anyone who buys an air weapon will have to apply for a permit, provide their details to the authorities and give a satisfactory explanation as to why they need a gun. The first stage of the crackdown would apply only to the purchase of new weapons, but Mr McConnell then wants to go further and extend the permit system to the owners of all existing airguns in Scotland. This could be done by giving everyone who owns an airgun a year or more to register their weapons, with any not registered after that time being declared illegal."
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Tennessee: Store owner shoots would-be robber: "A Memphis store owner shot and killed a would-be robber. The shooting happened at the Citgo on Jackson Avenue at Interstate 240. Memphis police say that just after two this morning a gunman tried to rob the Citgo store. Investigators say the gunman grabbed a clerk who was taking out the trash and entered the store using the clerk as a human shield. The owner was in the back of the store and shot at the suspect killing him. The owner also accidentally shot the clerk sending him to the MED in non-critical condition."
Florida: Gun owners laud deadly force law : "William Haymond, a former Marine, proudly wears a veteran's pin on his black baseball cap. There's also a pin from the National Rifle Association, an organization Haymond has been a member of since 1953. At 73, Haymond considers himself a gun enthusiast and collector. ... Haymond knows his hobby can be used for deadly force, which he isn't afraid to use. 'If some young punk who's 20 years old wants to take my money, I can't fight him,' Haymond said. 'But I can shoot him.'"
Saturday, June 11, 2005
California gun club stands up to be counted: A shooting range here has announced a ban on use of its shooting facilities by employees of the California Department of Justice because the Department is supporting two bills in the State legislature that the club opposes. The bills represent groundbreaking new ballistic identification systems which would give police new crime solving tools. Each would set up systems for markings on gun ammunition in California that would help law enforcement investigators track down the perpetrators of shootings that might otherwise remain unsolved. One bill (AB 352) would require handguns to include a device that stamps a specific number on bullets that are fired by that handgun, while the other (SB 357) would require that ammunition manufacturers mark ammunition with a serial number for potential tracking. The bills have the support of the California DOJ.
Indianopolis: Oldster shoots robber: Aged in his 70's, Alfonzo Gonzales shot a man multiple times after he came into the store and demanded money. Alfonzo Gonzales and his wife were running their Discount Cleaners store when police say 23 year old Lavern Thompson walked inside and demanded money. Thanks to quick action, they'll both keep their business, and if Thompson recovers, he'll face jail time for attempted armed robbery. "Thompson walked inside, pointed his gun and demanded money, that's when Gonzales, a retired police officer came from the back of the store, yelled for his wife to get down, and shot the suspect more than once," says Sgt. Judy Phillips of IPD. "The suspect ran out, but collapsed outside in the back parking lot, he was taken to Wishard and is in critical condition." .... Lavern Thompson remains in critical condition at Wishard Hosptial. Police say he has no criminal history. The investigation is not complete, but so far, investigators say the shooting was justified.
More Papers Barring Some Gun Sales From Classifieds : "Since November 2001, a group called Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence has been trying to persuade newspapers to not accept classified ads for guns from people who are not licensed dealers. Wednesday, its "Campaign to Close the Newspaper Loophole" announced the policy had been adopted by four more Ohio papers, including the Cincinnati Enquirer and its joint operating agency partner the Cincinnati Post, as well as three Iowa dailies and a Nebraska daily. The group said since its campaign began, a total of 26 papers with a combined circulation of 5.8 million have changed their policy after being contacted by the group. In April, the group sent a letter to the publishers of all daily newspapers in Iowa, Ohio, and Nebraska. The Hawk Eye, a 19,000-circulation daily in Burlington, Iowa, was one of those persuaded. "Our publisher agreed there was a loophole, and that when we accepted ads on these transient customer to advertise gun shows, we had in the past not checked to see if they were licensed," the Hawk Eye's advertising director, Janet Stottmeister, told E&P in a telephone interview. The paper changed its policy April 26, but so far has not had to turn anyone away. The classified ad business for guns is "very small" at the paper, she said".
Friday, June 10, 2005
IT'S FINAL: DROPPING GUN BAN DID NO HARM AT ALL
So much for "anti-gun hysterics" and predictions of "blood running in the streets," a Second Amendment group says. Nine months after the Clinton-era "assault weapons ban" expired, the FBI has released crime statistics showing a drop in homicides in 2004 -- the first such drop since 1999. The FBI report said all types of violent crime declined last year, and cities with more than a million people showed the largest drops in violent crime.
When the Clinton ban on certain semiautomatic weapons expired last September, gun control groups warned that violent crime would escalate, including violence against children. But those "doom and gloom" forecasts have been exposed as "pure clap-trap," said SAF President Joe Tartaro. "Where is the news media on this?" Tartaro wondered. He said if the number of homicides had gone up, reporters would be writing front-page stories linking the rise to the end of the semi-auto ban. But that's not the case, and the mainstream press, with the exception of an April 28 New York Times article, has been pretty quiet about it," Tartaro said.
The FBI crime report is more proof that the rhetoric from anti-gunners is bogus, Tartaro added. "The press should now question all the other outrageous claims and predictions from the gun control crowd."
"The gun control movement is, and always has been, built on a foundation of hysteria and lies," SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb said. "From their lawsuits against gun makers to their assaults on the firearm civil rights of law-abiding American citizens, these gun grabbers have been deliberately deceitful and consistently wrong."
Criminals and politicians love gun control: "Even by conservative estimates, more than 800,000 Americans use guns defensively against criminals each year, firing a shot less than 3 percent of the time. In contrast, police officers are more likely than private gun owners to shoot the wrong person in a given confrontation. Statistics showing that a handgun is more likely to kill its owner or an acquaintance than an assailant are deceptive. Gun owners almost never have to kill anyone to effectively defend themselves, and almost all incidents of people dying by their own guns are suicides."
Weapons of choice: "'Smith & Wesson is the handgun of choice among America's criminals.'We know this because Steve Bailey of The Boston Globe tells us so. The columnist berates the gun maker for not pursuing an agreement hatched between its former British owners and the Clinton administration to ward off lawsuits by imposing draconian restrictions on firearms dealers. 'Smith & Wesson's .38-caliber revolver is the handgun traced most often in crimes,' he proclaims. 'As the cops and ministers work the streets in Boston, the gun lobby is working the halls of Congress in Washington,' Bailey whines, anticipating the end of the federal 'assault weapons' ban. What that has to do with S&W .38s is anyone's guess, but it dovetails nicely into the Violence Policy Center's hysterical assertion that 'Drug traffickers are finding that assault weapons provide the extra firepower necessary to fight police and competing dealers. Right-wing paramilitary extremists have made these easily purchased firearms their gun of choice.'"
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Narrow escape in NC: "A store clerk said Monday night that she reached for her own gun after a man with a gun tried to rob her Monday in Burke County. Bonnie Christie said the man walked into the store and pulled a gun on her. Christie said whenthe man's gun jammed, she reached for her loaded gun under the counter. "I said, 'well, if you're gonna shoot me, I can shoot you'" Christie said. The robber ran out the front door. Christie copied down the tag number of the getaway car and called the Burke County Sheriff's Office. Deputies traced the license tag to a home in Marion. McDowell County sheriff's deputies then helped arrest Thomas Mauk and Christopher Cannon. "People think you make a lot of money at a job like this, but you make a living and that's about it," said Christie. Mauk and Cannon were in the Burke County Jail Monday night under a $75,000 bond".
Lovely wife: "A former NSW police officer has been jailed for at least 18 months for possessing illegal firearms, capsicum spray, police uniforms and other police equipment. Steven Lenard Williams, 43, pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including possessing prohibited weapons and police paraphernalia. NSW District Court Judge Mark Marien today sentenced Williams, from St Ives on Sydney's North Shore, to a maximum of three years' jail with an 18-month non-parole period. The court was told Williams was an officer in the NSW police service from 1999 to 2003, and was a member of the Australian Army Reserve and trained Australian army cadets. Judge Marien said that, although Williams had no criminal history and was not involved in the illegal trafficking of firearms, his conduct endangered the community. "It is a contraction in the extreme that the offender, who is so highly regarded in his service to the community ... could engage in such serious criminal conduct which potentially places the very safety of the community in jeopardy," he told the court. Williams had kept some of the firearms and police equipment after he resigned from the police force, the court was told. Williams's wife alerted police to the weapons and equipment. Williams will be eligible for parole in December 2006".
A lesson from experience: "I, too, wish to keep guns away from kids and stop the senseless killings that occur, but I advocate a loaded gun for protection from home invasion or other life-threatening circumstances. I speak from experience. One fateful night there was a crash in front of our house. I thought they had hit my car and went out to assess the damage. The driver was attempting to drive away, and I stopped him. His girlfriend suggested he hit me, and when he got out of his car, I ran into my house. Then I heard others say, ''No, don't do it!" and realized he had a weapon. I managed to keep him from entering, but he broke a window and shot me in the leg. If I'd had access to a gun, I could've let him enter and then had a legal right to shoot him. I vowed to never allow this to happen again, so now my guns are loaded and locked in my bedroom. Once the bad guys realize their lives are threatened, crime will decrease."
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Ohio: AG shoots down Clyde gun ban: "Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro says Clyde's interpretation of state law on concealed weapons in parks is wrong. In a brief filed Friday in a court case, Petro argued that if Clyde is allowed to ban weapons in its parks, it could set a precedent that would render the state's concealed-carry laws useless. Petro's brief said Clyde was misinterpreting the law. 'Concealed carry is meangingless if citizens cannot carry on public sidewalks and streets,' it said. If Clyde's law is upheld, it said, 'then the City of Clyde would also have the ability to prohibit concealed carry anywhere within its borders.' That would defeat the whole purpose of the law, the brief said. Clyde passed an ordinance on the issue last year. It has argued that its land should be treated the same as businesses and private property, whose owners have the right to restrict weapons."
South Carolina: Merchant fires on robbery suspect: "John Vereen, owner of Vereen's Grocery on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston, said he did what he had to do Friday. A man wearing a white bandanna and brandishing a gun barged in about 2:30 p.m. and robbed Vereen and his customers. 'He got my money off of me, off a few of my customers, and then he turned around and ran out the front door,' said Vereen, whose family has owned the business for 47 years. The store owner left a handful of family members and customers inside and chased after the robber, firing four shots as the man jumped a fence behind the building. ... Within hours, police arrested three suspects in connection with the robbery, and a fourth person with the group was arrested on drug charges." [Registration required, or use login "newsdigests/newsdigests"]
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
GUNSPINNING CHAMP A FROG!
The fastest gun in the West doesn't actually live in the West, or even in the U.S., but on a leafy street in Montreal's east end. Raphael Frechette, born and raised in Quebec, recently won his second consecutive world gunspinning championship and, in the process, has brought a whole new dimension to the discipline. An acrobat and circus performer by training, Frechette won his first gunspinning championship in 2004, a year and a half after taking up gunspinning seriously. "There were a bunch of real cowboys there, who have been playing with guns for 10 to 20 years," said Frechette, who goes by the nickname Riff Raph. "It was intimidating. To my biggest surprise, I won. "They were saying, 'Who is this small guy from Quebec spinning the fake guns?' "
Gunspinning is the art of fancy gun handling, the legacy of tricks and smooth moves that informs the legend of Buffalo Bill and was made famous in movies by the likes of John Wayne and Will Rogers. But gunspinning competitions are hardly unruly. Held under World Gunspinning Association rules, they draw cowboys from as far as the Czech Republic. Gunspinning, along with whip-cracking and lasso work, now forms a big part of the Cowboys' shows in the wake of Frechette's competitive success.
The shows also promote gun safety. Frechette's victories have done more than simply establish him as the new gunspinning force to be reckoned with -- they have raised the standard in the discipline. "They knew it as a technical skill," said Frechette. "I brought an artistic side to it." Frechette has even pioneered a series of moves dubbed the "Raphael experience" and another known as the "Sexy holster drop."
Dumb Canadian teens: "Two Lambton County teens got a scare when OPP officers mistook their modified toy cap guns for the real thing and drew their pistols on the pair. The two officers were patrolling on all-terrain vehicles about 5:30 p.m. Thursday near Birchbank Drive in Corunna when they came across two abandoned bikes. The officers walked into the woods nearby to investigate when they saw the boys, 14 and 15, on two platforms in a tree fort, police said yesterday. While one officer spoke to the boys, the other noticed one was trying to hide what he believed to be a black semi-automatic handgun. Both officers drew their weapons and when the boys put their hands on their heads, the officers saw the other boy had another gun tucked in his pants waistband, police said. The boys complied with the officers' orders, but things could have quickly got out of hand if not, said Lambton OPP Const. John Reurink. "Had they inadvertently pointed these things at the officers or been aggressive, the situation could have escalated very quickly," he said. Police quickly realized the weapons weren't real guns, but toy cap guns that had been modified and painted black. "They told the officers they painted them because they wanted to make them look more real," Reurink said."
Paranoid Brits: "The government is to announce this week that it will press ahead with a ban on the manufacture, import and sale of "realistic" replica and imitation guns a year after the Home Office said a blanket ban was unworkable and impractical. The ban will not be as wide-ranging as gun control campaigners had been pressing for but it will be accompanied by a measure making it illegal for anybody under the age of 18 to buy any kind of imitation or replica firearm".
Monday, June 06, 2005
Ben Bova says: "Florida passed a law recently liberalizing the permitted use of deadly force in self-defense. Now we will begin to see lawsuits over who shot whom and why, I'm sure. Meanwhile, conventional gun-control activists are aghast. They believe that the way to control gunshot violence is to outlaw guns. However, as the old saw points out, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. What to do? Defend ourselves or try to eliminate guns from the landscape? The nation's judges are making decisions about this. Not legal decisions they hand down to settle criminal cases or civil suits. Judges are demanding the right to bear arms in their courtrooms. Several judges have been shot and killed, and many more threatened by hotheaded defendants. Judges, both liberal and conservative, have reacted quite naturally by starting to pack guns under their robes. If somebody's gonna shoot at me, they are saying, I'm want to be able to shoot back. That's the kind of gun control we should all aim for. If all citizens were armed and took regular firing-range practice, I believe crimes committed with guns would dwindle. We'd have some shootings, yes. There will be accidents and a certain degree of mayhem, especially at first. But in the long run, crime would decrease, I firmly believe."
British cops great at finding toy guns: "Armed officers swooped on a gang of gun-toting teenagers who were holding a bloody T-shirt in a dark alleyway. But they found eight petrified Media Studies students filming coursework. The guns were toys from a sweetshop. Members of Scotland Yard's SO19 firearms unit pounced on the students just after 2am in Barkingside, Essex, where the A-level students were finishing a film about gangsters. They were today set to visit a London police station to be interviewed. Their tape has been confiscated".
Low types with illegal guns park in police parking lot! "Four people, including two with previous felony convictions, have been sentenced to state prison for illegally possessing weapons in Spring Valley.... County Judge William Kelly sentenced Harvey and Ayers on Thursday to the maximum prison term of seven years each.... Harvey and Ayers were repeat felony offenders, gaining them longer prison terms. Harvey, a former Spring Valley resident who had been living in the Bronx, previously had been convicted of selling drugs and possessing a weapon, District Attorney Michael Bongiorno said. Bongiorno said Ayers, who lived at Highview Court in Nyack, previously had been convicted of possessing a gun and harassing a correction officer. Remy, a former Spring Valley resident who was living on Old Route 202 in Pomona, was sentenced to three years in prison on her conviction for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.... All five defendants were arrested Aug. 7 while they were sitting in a van parked outside the Caribbean Restaurant on North Main Street. The restaurant shares a parking lot with the Spring Valley Police Department and Village Hall".
Sunday, June 05, 2005
CALIFORNIA FINDS NEW WAYS TO INCREASE GUN COSTS
California lawmakers Thursday voted to require weapons manufacturers to ensure that all bullets and cartridges are branded with distinctive serial numbers. Contained in two measures that are intended to help law enforcement solve cases, the proposal would be unique among states if approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The gun industry said the proposals were impractical and would force weapons makers to either write off the huge California market or adopt practices that would greatly increase the cost of their wares.
On the weapons measures, though a number of law enforcement officials backed them, there was strong opposition from Republican lawmakers, manufacturers and gun groups. Opponents said both measures would be useless in tracking most crimes back to their sources, because few criminals obtain their weapons through legal channels. "Criminals don't walk into gun stores," said Lawrence Keane, the general counsel for the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, based in Newtown, Conn. "No other state is even contemplating two such unworkable and ill-considered pieces of legislation."
One of the proposals, from state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer and approved in the Senate, 21-14, would require manufacturers, starting in 2007, to stamp bullets sold in California with a identification number that police could trace to the store where the ammunition was sold. "We can put individualized serial numbers on cartons of yogurt, on almost everything in society, with very little additional cost," said Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana), who sponsored the measure, SB 357.
The second measure, which was approved by the Assembly, 41-37, would mandate that all new semiautomatic handguns, starting in 2007, include technology that would stamp a distinguishing serial number onto a cartridge when it is fired. Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood), the sponsor of AB 352, said the markings "won't always lead to the criminal, but it will create leads" for police.
Though Koretz said no law enforcement groups opposed his bill, Republican lawmakers criticized it strongly. Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) argued that criminals could plant spent shell casings to mislead investigators. "I'm incredibly concerned about the ability to frame innocent people through the use of this technique," Spitzer said.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote to Schwarzenegger last month that he was "strongly opposed to this proposal because of the harmful impact it will have on the manufacturers of ammunition used by our nation's armed services and law enforcement agencies."
New York: Pizza delivery is risky work: "Three robbers ambushed one man at the back door of a West Side house, kicking him in the head and sending him to the hospital. Another man was slammed into a wall on Laird Street and threatened up close with a large combat knife. Still another stared down the barrel of a gun and watched his car being stolen, leaving him abandoned on Domedion Street on a frigid February evening. These victims weren't looking for trouble. They just wanted to deliver some hot pizzas. All three men were on the job - which the federal government describes as one of the most dangerous professions in America: delivering pizzas.... The risk associated with the job is the nature of the business, some say. Others, though, are fighting back. They're carrying weapons or fighting their attackers. That's what happened April 20 in Niagara Falls, when a pizza deliveryman shot a teenager who tried to rob him with a fake handgun. The incident in a Pierce Avenue alley left 16-year-old Anthony Sheard dead of a gunshot to the head. The 54-year-old deliveryman for Mr. Ventry's Pizza is in counseling to help him deal with the incident. The deliveryman, who has not been named by police for fear of retaliation, was licensed to carry a concealed gun and did so because he was robbed three years ago.... "Every night when we come in, it seems there's one or two guys that get stuck up," said Detective Sgt. Thomas M. Vivian of the Buffalo Police Major Crimes Unit. "It seems like a really quick way for some of these guys to get money." That's why Jeff Owens, 20, a deliveryman for Metro Pizza on Clinton Street, will soon finish his pistol permit class with plans to start carrying a gun on his pizza rounds...."
Saturday, June 04, 2005
GUN PERMIT SAVES LIFE
When Ohio's law allowing residents to carry a concealed weapon went into effect last year, a number of people rushed to get permits so they could legally carry a firearm. The right to do that may have saved a man in Westwood early Wednesday morning. Cincinnati Police say he opened fire on three men who shot him after trying to rob him outside his girlfriend's home.
When he arrived at this Robert Avenue home, Pryor found trouble. Right after Pryor parked his car at the end of the sidewalk, he was approached by three men who told him to lay down. Police say he then ran to the front door, that's when he was shot three times, but Pryor managed to return the fire, shooting one of the suspects. Burton heard someone banging on the front door. "I said who is it? And he said, Miss Ola, it's Charles. I've been shot. I've been shot. Open the door." Burton says when they opened the door, Pryor fell in on his girlfriend. She says he left a trail of blood on the living room floor. "He said he didn't want to die. I don't want to die."
They did all they could to keep Pryor calm before paramedics arrived. She's thankful Pryor had a gun permit. "It saved his life. I think it saved him. I think so." Pryor obtained his conceal carry permit last September. Burton says he did so for his own protection. "He's been robbed before. He said he had been robbed several times before." And Burton says after hearing about Charles Pryor's encounter, more people may want to consider a conceal carry permit.
Doctors performed surgery on Pryor Wednesday for the three gunshot wounds. He is expected to recover. After the shooting, one man checked himself into Good Samaritan Hospital with a gunshot wound. Police aren't sure whether he's connected to the shooting. No arrests have been made.
OLDSTER NABS TEEN THIEVES
Two teens, captured by a gun-toting Broad Street resident early Saturday morning, probably played a role in the rash of burglaries plaguing the city during recent weeks, said Police Chief Jon Arcaro. �No doubt, they were behind some of the thefts, but there are others involved, too,� he said. �There�s another group (of thieves) out there, working independently (of the arrested teens).�
A 69-year-old man, alerted by a barking dog and a neighbor�s frantic telephone call, got the drop on the young thieves around 5:22 a.m., police said. Armed with a pistol, the resident caught the suspects � ages 16 and 17 � in his garage, officers said. The youths immediately surrendered, and police found them sprawled on the garage floor, guarded by the homeowner, officers said. The teens were taken to the youth detention center in Ashtabula Township, police said.
Their dog�s barks woke up the man and his wife, and moments later a neighbor called to report seeing someone rummaging through the couple�s vehicle. Police discovered the garage had been ransacked, and some of the couple�s possessions were found strewn around the youths. Officers also found a pipe containing suspected marijuana residue, with the teens. Thieves have been taking tools and other merchandise from garages and sheds across the city the past few weeks, prompting bulletins from police. (1522
Friday, June 03, 2005
Gun-maker wins: "An appeals court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit that the widow of a teacher gunned down by a 13-year-old student had filed against a gun distributor. Pam Grunow's lawsuit argued that Valor Corp. was negligent in selling the cheap handgun used in the shooting and should be held liable for the May 2000 death of her husband, Barry Grunow. He was shot in the doorway of his middle school classroom by Nathaniel Brazill, who stole the gun from the man he considered to be a grandfather. "We certainly sympathize with Grunow and recognize the tragedy of the events that transpired. However, it was Brazill, his grandfather, and perhaps the school that were liable, not Valor," the opinion said. A jury that heard the case in November 2002 had ordered the company to pay $1.2 million, but the trial judge threw out the verdict and Grunow appealed. She could appeal to the state Supreme Court; her attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday. Lawyers for Valor also did not respond to calls. Brazill was sent home on the last day of school for throwing water balloons, but returned with the gun. He shot Grunow because the teacher wouldn't let him speak to two girls in his class. Brazill was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a 28-year prison sentence."
Guns = drugs?? "Law enforcement officials and community leaders gathered at a summit Wednesday to address illegal drugs and guns in Atlanta. The summit, called the CitySafe summit, included Mayor Shirley Franklin, Police Chief Richard Pennington, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Fulton County Chief Judge Doris Downs, and federal officials. �We can act as if we don�t have a problem, in which case we�ll never solve the problem,� Mayor Franklin said. The summit called to immediately hire 100 more Atlanta police officers to work on the squad�s narcotics unit. Currently, there are about 20 in the unit. Pennington said they currently do not have the resources to conduct long-term investigations. �When you look at the magnitude of the narcotics in the city of Atlanta, we have a monumental task in front of us in going out and trying to eradicate the drug problems in all types of neighborhoods,� Chief Pennington said. �There�s no question that we cannot lick or kick illegal drugs and guns in our community without increased police officers,� Mayor Franklin said."
Gun dealer arrested in China: "A former judge from Langfang city in Hebei Province was reportedly arrested early last week in Beijing for allegedly selling guns and bullets illegally on the Internet. Forty-one-year-old Li Tongwen, a former judge in Yongqing County court, allegedly bought 30 guns and 1,000 bullets from Xining, capital of Northwest China's Qinghai Province, between last November and April, according to Yanzhao Metropolis Daily yesterday. He started the business last year after a trip to Xining, where Li met some people offering weapons. Driven by the huge profit generated from the illegal business, Li used the screen names "firearms" and "munitions factory" when he sold on the Internet. As a law enforcer, Li travelled safely with the lethal weapons from Xining to many cities across China. His job helped him evade security checks at airports and train stations. Li sold one type of gun for between 6,000 yuan (US$725) and 7,000 yuan (US$846) to Xu Guangquan and Zhang Haifeng in Changping and Chaoyang districts of Beijing. Li and 14 other suspects involved in the illegal trade were not discovered until an ex-soldier from Southwest China's Sichuan Province discovered Li's advertisement for guns on the Internet. The retired serviceman reported the matter to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. After investigation, the police arrested 15 suspects and confiscated 26 guns and over 460 bullets. Some suspects are still at large."
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Widow downs burglar: "Judith Kuntz, 64, hunkered down in her darkened bedroom late Sunday evening, arming herself with a revolver. A burglar had just broken into her Indialantic home and, fearing for her life, she said she let her instincts take over. When the burglar, who had a flashlight, entered the room, Kuntz fired one round from her .38-caliber handgun. Hit squarely in the chest, the unidentified intruder ran outside, where he collapsed and died. On Monday, Kuntz was still shaken, but she briefly recalled her ordeal. "I'm doing fine under the circumstances," she said. "I don't take any joy in somebody being dead. My self-preservation instinct took over." She would not discuss the incident further. "I don't feel real safe," said Kuntz, who has lived alone since her husband died nearly five years ago. "This has been a horrifying experience." The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said she was justified in defending herself and will not face charges. The revolver was hers, inherited through her family, investigators said. Agent Lou Heyn of the Sheriff's Office said the unidentified man entered Kuntz's home on Avenida del Mar by pulling the window off a back door. "Occupied burglaries are rare, and this underscores that it is dangerous for the burglar and the homeowner," Heyn said. "Crime can be a tough career." The intruder, who was not carrying identification, was described as a white male 35 to 45 years old, with dark-brown hair and a dark-brown mustache.... Investigators are hoping to identify him through his tattoos."
No good character requirements for antigun zealots?: "The ex-treasurer of a leading anti-gun campaign group appeared in court today accused of stealing nearly �17,000 from the pressure group. Maureen Lynch, 55, is accused of the theft of �16,963 from Mothers Against Guns between March 23 and September 19 last year. Lynch, of Park St, Southwark, south London, was bailed to reappear at Tower Bridge Magistrates Court on June 14. Mothers Against Guns was set up in the wake of the Dunblane Massacre in 1996 in which 16 children and their teacher were shot dead in their school by a crazed gunman"
Belgian farce: "The reputation of Belgium�s security forces was left in tatters when almost all of its field agents were disarmed after one agent drunkenly tried to shoot another colleague in the head. His drunken act was the equivalent of shooting himself and the entire force in the foot when the internal spy service decided to disarm all of its agents. With tapping telephones no longer available as an intelligence measure and having their guns confiscated, the Belgian force was left in as helpless a position as the Canadian Armed Forces were left by their federal Liberal government.... The justice minister was unable to confirm reports for media that the weapon-less agents had gone into a virtual work-to-rule mode, including avoidance of risky missions.... That the government took until late April to catch up with one of their own gun happy spies reinforces an image of the Belgian Keystone Cops. As far as Mrs. Onkelinx is concerned, she was more than a little miffed that she only got to learn about the incident, in which no one was hurt, from the media some four months after it took place in Brussels. No one was hurt by virtue of the spy gunslinger completely missing his target.... Intriguing how the Belgian intelligence is kept in tame bunny mode, given that Brussels is home to the crystal palace headquarters of the European Union".
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
WHEN GUNS ARE NEEDED BADLY
Residents in Zimbabwe's eastern Mutare city - driven to desperation after their informal businesses were destroyed by the government - pleaded for weapons at the weekend to wage war against the government because they were just "fed up."
Several hundreds of residents, who attended a meeting held at Sakubva Beit Hall in the working class suburb of Sakubva in the city, told local Member of Parliament, Innocent Gonese, to source guns for them to fight the government.
Even the presence of the police at the meeting did not deter the irate residents with several standing up to openly declare they would rather die trying to "remove President Robert Mugabe from power" because they had nothing to live for after their only source of livelihood was destroyed in the ongoing controversial campaign by the government to clean up cities.
"We want you to provide us with guns because we are fed up," a middle aged man rose from the crowd to declare boldly. With the angry crowd urging him on, the man continued: "This government has no respect for the people. Our houses have been destroyed, our businesses have also gone. We have nothing to live for. We are prepared to die removing Mugabe. We don't want to hear all this talk of going to court (to sue for compensation from the state)."
Illinois: No real progress: "Illinois lawmakers handed victories to both sides of the gun-control issue Monday, approving a measure that cracks down on gun shows but making it easier for people to transport weapons. The victory for gun supporters appears to be shortlived, though. Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Monday he would veto the weapons transportation measure, meant to allow gun owners to travel the state with their weapons without having to comply with local communities' stricter rules on safe gun storage. Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said the governor believes it would be "undermining local gun ordinances." The governor pledged to sign the gun-show bill, which passed the House 89-28. The legislation would close a loophole that has allowed people to buy firearms at gun shows without going through the normal criminal-background check. Unlike a similar Republican gun-show bill, the version approved Monday would not require the destruction of gun purchase records, which Blagojevich opposes.
Guns don't hold people up, boards do : "Is it fair to say that the owners of Hale Mountain Rod and Gun Club have not gone off half-cocked while waiting for a decision from the Vermont Natural Resources Board? Or to say that the club's members have kept their hair-trigger tempers in check? Nope. Because lazy puns like that would portray the club as a refuge for "gun nuts" who spend their time shooting into the air like hillbillies at a wedding. No one is claiming this is the case. Instead, the club, which has a long history as a spot for local hunters and shooters to come and learn to develop their skills responsibly, is in a dispute with neighbors. Any one of us might find ourselves in such a dispute at any time. Neighbors say activity at the club is a disturbance. In short, this boils down to another noise complaint. But while the earlier characterization would be unfair, it doesn't seem like the natural resources board is treating the club and its members much better.... We are certainly respectful of the work the natural resources board does and its members devotion to reaching fair, legal and defensible positions. But this is not a new superstore that will change a river's flow, a complex that will be built over the remains of a forest or a road that will pass through the last remaining habitat of a rare species of bat. We think that both the Hale Mountain club and those who believe the club needs an Act 250 permit have the same right as anyone else to a speedy administration of justice."