Friday, September 30, 2005
California: Alleged robber shot by taco stand employee : "An armed teenage boy was shot and critically wounded by an employee of a Compton taco restaurant that he was apparently trying to rob, according to sheriff's deputies. .... The wounded teen was allegedly armed and trying to rob the restaurant when an employee shot him. Detectives recovered two handguns at the scene, according to NBC4's Angela Chee. Chee said the employee of the store who shot the alleged robber is believed to be the restaurant owner's brother. Restaurant workers said the wounded man robbed the same taco stand last Wednesday and returned Monday night. Detectives said they could not yet confirm that and were working to determine if the shooting was justified."
Pennsylvania: Clerk shoots robbers : "A store owner and one of three men who tried to rob his shop were shot Monday afternoon, according to York City Police. .... Shortly after 4 p.m., three men went into the store and tried to rob Winter. When he wouldn't comply, one of the men shot him once in the hip, said York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Graff. A part-time store clerk, Steven Gray, fired several shots from a .45-caliber handgun, hitting one of the men, police said. The robbers ran out of the store."
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Kashmiri women take up arms for self-protection : "Women in Jammu and Kashmir have now picked up guns against Islamic militants to protect their homes. At least 30 Muslim women in the disputed region to the north of India and Pakistan have constituted a separate all-women Village Defense Committee (VDC) and are operating with the Indian army in the forested mountains of Surankote in the Poonch district bordering the Pakistani side of Kashmir to fight militants."
Nevada: Deputies continue to investigate Spanish Springs shooting death : "Sheriff's deputies continued Monday to investigate the death of a 44-year-old man they believe was killed trying to break into a Spanish Springs home. .... Deputies are investigating the possibility that the shooter was acting in self defense because Cruz was shot after he tried to break into a house in the 6000 block of Hibiscus Court, Rice said. At least one person was in the home when the break-in happened, Rice said. Rice didn't know whether the shooter was inside the house.When deputies arrived, Cruz already had died of a gunshot wound, Rice said."
In defense of freedom: "Guns are good and terrible things. Whether they are good or terrible depends on whether the hands that wield them are good or evil. Guns can, of course, be a lot of fun if they're used for target shooting or hunting. They can also be -- and often are -- lifesavers in the event of a threat. Since self-defense may be the single most basic of all the human rights, that's a whole lot of good going on! The obvious good of protecting yourself and your loved ones from harm is so integral to all of us and to society as a whole that even the drastic action of killing another human being can be excused under the law as 'justifiable' homicide, or, more simply and accurately, 'self-defense.'"
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
HAWAII ARMING UP, DESPITE RESTRICTIONS
Police are issuing gun permits at a strong pace this year, with the number of people buying firearms on Oahu up significantly. The Honolulu Police Department said it approved 10,467 gun permit applications in 2004, up 4.8 percent from 2003, buts slightly behind 2002. Through August of this year, police said they issued 7,408 gun permits, with the stream of applications running ahead of last year. "We're on a record-setting pace," said Richard Brink of the firearms section in the Records Division of the Honolulu Police Department.
Some of the increase comes from the growing number of private security companies deploying armed guards. Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy outsourced the security of its Hawaii bases to a private company, whose guns boosted the number of permits issued on Oahu.
But police and gun dealers also describe a general concern about personal safety that swelled after the Sept. 11 attacks. More recently, Hurricane Katrina has prompted some people to consider buying guns to supplement their family's emergency preparedness kits. "We've seen about a 20 percent increase in sales since Katrina and had a lot of people inquiring about what it takes to get a gun," said Brian Takaba, a salesman at Magnum Firearms in Kakaako. "The gun business thrives on disasters. Every time something bad happens, gun sales go up."
Property crimes and widespread public attention to the epidemic of addiction to crystal methamphetamine -- "ice" -- have also attracted customers who have never before owned a gun. "Gun dealers are making a lot of money for sure," Brink said. "And those 10,000 guns we're registering a year come through four major dealers, who on average are charging between $500 and $600 for a firearm."
Len Carlson, a salesman for Young Guns in Mapunapuna, said the most popular weapons are shotguns and handguns. He said the most popular handguns cost more than $500. Gun buyers can pay between $500 and $600 for a Glock semiautomatic pistol, or can spend as much as $1,000 for a .45-caliber Kimber Custom, a version of which is used by the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT team. "People are more sensitive to law enforcement not always being available and are buying guns," Carlson said.
Hawaii is considered one of the more restrictive states for firearms ownership. Licenses are issued by the police departments in each county. On Oahu, the permit costs $24. Applicants are fingerprinted and screened for such things as misdemeanor domestic abuse convictions, court-ordered mental competency tests and other disqualifying offenses. A 14-day wait period is required for buying a gun. Brink said not everyone who applies gets licenses to own a gun. Last year, Honolulu blocked 14 purchases, up from 10 the previous year. Through August, nine have been denied, he said. In addition, others have had their permits confiscated, mainly because a restraining order had been issued against them, or they committed a crime, which disqualifies them from owning a gun, Brink said.
Police are quick to point out that there is a big difference between a permit to own a gun and a license to carry one. Unlike many other states, getting a "carry permit" in Hawaii is extremely difficult and they are rarely issued to individuals. However, businesses whose employees are armed -- security firms and armored car services, for example -- can receive the permits. Last year, 195 of those permits were issued to businesses, up from 182 in 2003. And so far this year, 108 licenses to carry weapons have been issued to businesses.
IRISH REPUBLICANS GIVE UP THEIR GUNS? MAYBE
The IRA has scrapped the weapons it used to wage war on British rule in Northern Ireland, monitors said on Monday, but the historic move appeared to do little to reconcile opponents in the bitterly divided province. An international monitoring group said it had seen put beyond use what it believed was the Irish Republican Army's entire arsenal, including rifles, explosives and machine guns. The move is unprecedented for an organization that has fought for a united Ireland since the island was divided more than 80 years ago.
The governments in London and Dublin hailed the event as a landmark, but it drew a skeptical reaction from the province's main pro-British party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The DUP has been pressing for photographic evidence that IRA guns and explosives have been destroyed and a full inventory of the material put beyond use. The IRA, anxious to avoid anything that could be portrayed as surrender, has refused. "We do not know how many guns, the amount of ammunition and explosives were decommissioned, nor were we told how the decommissioning was carried out," DUP leader Ian Paisley said. Without DUP support, the restoration of a regional government in which pro-Irish Roman Catholics and pro-British Protestants share power, seen as key to lasting political stability in Northern Ireland, is impossible.
The IRA was believed to have one of Europe's largest illegal arsenals. Two months ago it pledged to get rid of its guns in a move aimed at unblocking years of political distrust between pro-British unionists and Irish nationalists. "We are satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal," disarmament watchdog, the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), said in a statement on Monday.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
MORE ON BLACK GUNMEN IN "GUN-FREE" BRITAIN
Britain's inner-city streets are awash with guns. They are being used routinely by gang members to murder, intimidate and settle scores in scenes reminiscent of the 'hoods' of Los Angeles. Black people are just 10% of London's population, but 70% of shootings are now 'black on black': teenage squabbles over imagined slights, drugs and territory. Graeme McLagan in vestigates one horrifying case that began with nothing more sinister than two boys trying to chat up a girl. It sparked a cycle of gun crime and gang warfare that cost the police 5 million pounds to resolve
This is the story of how one simple act - an attempt to chat up a girl - spiralled into gang violence, and death, in the summer of 2003. Two teenage boys in a car, out cruising the streets of east London, had tried to "pull" the girl. Her boyfriend, Pepe Brown, was outraged. Although just out of his teens, Brown had a long record of violence, glorying in his street reputation as his neighbourhood's "god" and its "baddest gunman". But he had been shown "disrespect" by the youths. Their error led to a spiral of gang violence on the streets of London more akin to the hoods of Los Angeles.
Brown, the 20-year-old leader of a gang of youths in Hackney, wanted revenge on the two erring youngsters, who belonged to a rival gang. He and his gang, the Holly Street Boys, were joined by another gang, the Square Boys, based in Clapton. They had different reasons for striking at the two teenagers from the London Fields Boys (known as the LFB). One of the Square Boys' leaders, Aaron Salmon, a 17-year-old crack-cocaine dealer handy with a gun, had just been robbed by some of the LFB. At gunpoint, his car and heavy jewellery were taken, and worse - it was in front of his girlfriend.
The two gangs struck on a hot summer evening. There were at least nine of them in the hunting party, in a convoy of three cars. The senior members of the LFB, men in their mid-twenties and thirties, were known to be at a wake for a Jamaican who had been shot. The two disrespectful youths had been spotted with friends in the shadow of a tower block overlooking an area of worn green called London Fields. When the posse found them, they were playing "money-up" - throwing o1 coins at a wall, trying to win all the cash by getting their coin closest to the brickwork. As three hooded men emerged from the cars, a long-barrelled handgun alerted the targets. "It's what Clint Eastwood rolls with," an eyewitness recalled. Another gunman was seen aiming from the back of one of the cars. After shouts of "drive-by" and "machines" (guns), the group scattered.
But the two youths who had offended Brown were not there - they had left about 30 minutes earlier. Nevertheless, the hyped-up attackers were determined to get somebody. Four loud bangs were heard. One bullet smashed into a windscreen. Another whizzed by the head of a 10-year-old boy on a bike. Young Jadie Brissett, 18, was hit twice. A bullet smashed into his upper left thigh, and a shotgun blasted a two-inch hole in his chest. Despite his wounds, he clambered over a wall, ran across a small patch of grass, over a fence, and finally collapsed and died next to some dustbins. The cycle of violence had started.
Brissett was popular. His only conviction involved possessing cannabis. That same evening his friends and relatives started tracking down those they believed responsible. The resulting retaliation caused more bloodshed, more grief and a criminal investigation that culminated in an estimated 5 million pounds in police and court costs.....
More -- much more -- here
Major Victory For Firearms Owners And Freedom In Louisiana
The United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana today sided with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from peaceable and law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
"This is a significant victory for freedom and for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The court's ruling is instant relief for the victims who now have an effective means of defending themselves from the robbers and rapists that seek to further exploit the remnants of their shattered lives," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
Joining LaPierre in hailing the U.S. District Court decision was NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox. "This is an important victory. But the battle is not over. The NRA will remedy state emergency statutes in all 50 states, if needed, to ensure that this injustice does not happen again."
The controversy erupted when The New York Times reported, the New Orleans superintendent of police directed that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns and that "only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons." ABC News quoted New Orleans' deputy police chief, saying, "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."
The NRA also pledged that it will continue its work to ensure that every single firearm arbitrarily and unlawfully seized under this directive is returned to the rightful law-abiding owner.
Monday, September 26, 2005
INTERESTING COMMENT ON THE NEW ORLEANS GUN SEIZURES FROM A READER:
"I would like to bring you up to date with a comment heard on Fox News Channel during the reporting on preparations in Texas for hurricane Rita. Shepard Smith noted that Texas has a culture of individual independence and ownership of guns is common. He stated that any looter in Texas was likely to be confronted by armed citizens should police not be present, with the probability they would be shot. He opined that it was unlikely that police in Texas would even attempt to disarm citizens, and any force which did attempt to break into homes and disarm the homeowner might be met with armed resistance from the citizen.
Having lived and worked in New Orleans for a short period many years ago, and worked in the city temporarily several times since, I can certainly say there is a distinctly different culture in that city. Poverty and welfare have produced a dependency culture not found in the general population here in Texas. While most Americans generally would comply with reasonable governmental requests, I believe there are many US citizens, if not most, who would ignore government demands which they believe impinge on their rights and freedoms. Those citizens who would comply with an order to give up firearms are generally found in larger urban areas primarily in "Blue" states (and obviously vote Democrat).
I highly doubt that our Governor, and other state officials, would countenance any suggestion that disarmament be undertaken. While I'm not in the impact area, woe be unto any person who comes to my house and attempts to enter forcibly to disarm me and my family (or for any reason for that matter). And for the record I'm a retired federal Senior Special Agent and do have a significant respect for the law. However, I have a greater respect for the US Constitution and my rights and responsibilities as a citizen".
THE LAW ALLOWED THIS GUY TO RESELL GUNS BUT HE WAS STILL PROSECUTED FOR IT
A federal jury on Friday found a former Alton man not guilty of violating federal gun laws. Derek Leland, 25, of Dover, N.H., was charged with three counts of lying on applications to purchase five 9mm pistols from Frati's Pawn Shop in Bangor in November 2003. The all-male jury deliberated for an hour before delivering its verdict following a day-and-a-half long trial in U.S. District Court. Leland grinned as his attorney, Stephen Brett of York Beach, playfully punched him on the arm each time the court clerk read, "not guilty." Leland's girlfriend, Rebecka Miller, 25, of Dover, N.H., who testified on Thursday on his behalf, wept as the verdict was read. "We're very happy that it went this way," Leland's mother, Linda Leland, 51, of Alton, said after the trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James McCarthy, who prosecuted the case, declined to comment on the verdict.
Brett said the jury saw Leland's honesty when he took the stand on his own behalf. "Derek told his story honestly and openly," the attorney said after the trial. "He didn't wane, he didn't waver and what he did is not against the law." What Leland did, according to McCarthy, was purchase five "Saturday night specials" between Nov. 22 and 29, 2003. When he purchased them, Leland told pawn shop owner Orlando Frati that he wanted them for Christmas presents, the prosecutor said Friday in his closing argument.
It is illegal for a person to buy a gun on behalf of another individual. Federal law allows a person to purchase weapons for possible resale or as a gift. Leland did not give them as gifts, according to court documents, but sold three of the guns to his roommate, Ian J. Nasino, 20, and one to a friend, Jeffrey H. Pulver, 27, in Berwick within 24 hours of purchasing them.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Idaho: Deadly shooting may have been justified: "The shooting death of a Clark Fork man on Tuesday night appears to be a case of self-defense, Bonner County Sheriff's officials said on Wednesday. The identity of the shooting victim and the woman who pulled the trigger were not released on Wednesday. 'She's claiming she was physically attacked and had to defend herself,' Sheriff's Det. John Valdez said, declining to elaborate. ... Valdez said the 34-year-old woman was an acquaintance and former co-worker of the man. 'She was giving him a ride home, ostensibly because he had a broken down vehicle,' said Valdez. The man died of a single gunshot wound to his torso."
Nevada: Man shoots alleged home invaders: "A Henderson man shot and wounded two brothers who allegedly broke into his home near College Drive and East Horizon Drive on Monday night, Henderson Police said. ... The preliminary investigation indicates that the homeowner was acting in self-defense, so he has not been charged in connection with the shooting, Rasmussen said. Rasmussen said the Boldens and possibly one other suspect broke into the home through a back door. The homeowner heard the men inside the home and fired in their direction, striking the brothers, Rasmussen said."
Saturday, September 24, 2005
A reader has just sent me the following article, apparently an editorial from the October issue of "Model Engineers Workshop" magazine. The magazine is not online, however, so I have not been able to verify it. One hopes it is an urban legend, but with the British gun paranoia it sounds all too likely
And then the Workshop Police?
I am told that some bright spark in Whitehall has come up with the idea that workshop machinery should be registered in much the same way as cars.
Apparently this has been set off by worries that decommissioned or replica firearms could be turned into weapons. (Presumeably by an army of disaffected octogenarians) If so, then this would have serious implications for all model engineers. All such schemes cost massive amounts of money to set up and administer, so who pays, and how much? What machines would be covered? To be properly effective, it would have to cover every Black and Decker Drill, since with attachments and ingenuity, even these can be converted to operate as precision lathes.
An Email query on this to a government contact is at time of writing still, after several weeks, unanswered!
This looks like yet another hare-brained idea spawned by a Civil Service bureaucrat, probably holding an Oxbridge "first" (history, arts, or political science?) but with zero qualifications as regards practical life experience; clearly not enough to do and too much time to think (but without the attention span to properly think through).
For my money, because of the growing numbers of metal detectors, the future threat in unauthorised firearms will come, not from reactivated replicas, but from new high tech designs using ceramics, carbon fibre and advanced plastics. Thinking laterally in terms of weapons of modest destruction, just consider the
possibilities open to any anti-social teenager with a radio controlled plane and a box of fireworks.
Virginia: Gun show owner, patron, may file law suit: "The owner of a gun show targeted by federal law enforcement for a half dozen undercover enforcement operations may join with some of his customers in filing a federal class action civil rights lawsuit against the agencies that participated in the operations. Virginia State Police (VSP) records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Cybercast News Service confirm that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted 'Task Force' undercover surveillance and enforcement operations in connection with six gun shows in Richmond, Va., between July of 2004 and June of 2005. Richmond City and Henrico County, Va., police also assisted in at least some of the events. Steven Elliot, owner of C&E Gun Shows, noted that all of the shows listed on the VSP records were hosted by his company."
Illinois: Gas station worker fires at robber: "A gas station attendant who was robbed early Sunday turned a gun on the robber, who was arrested hours later by police. No one was injured in the robbery, which occurred shortly after 6:30 a.m. at the Clark gas station, 3606 N. Prospect Road. The employee told police a man, later identified as Derek B. Horn, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue bandana over his face, and carrying what appeared to be a handgun, called him to the register. The clerk then surrendered an undisclosed amount of money.As the robber fled the store, the attendant grabbed a revolver under the counter and gave chase. While outside, the gas station employee yelled for the robber to stop before he then fired two shots in the robber's direction, but the robber kept running."
Friday, September 23, 2005
Americans NEED Guns
Post lifted from Interested Participant
The Second Amendment guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms, however, some people believe that the right only applies to organized militia and not individual citizens. I would argue that the framers of the Constitution knew that the ultimate last protection for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is an armed citizenry.
As demonstrated by the complete breakdown of law and order in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the general population was completely powerless against a wave of crime. The extent of the crimes committed will probably never completely be known, however, it is known that there was no police protection, or even presence, in much of southeast Louisiana for about a week. A law-abiding citizen was, literally and figuratively, a sitting duck. Dedicated advocate for the right to bear arms, John Michael Snyder, offers this:
"Right now, our professional military is prosecuting war on foreign soil. National Guard and police forces have been working to bring order out of chaos in New Orleans and our Gulf Coast states generally. So who in this crisis guards Americans' homes and, in fact, Americans' lives, but Americans ourselves? And how can that be done against violent criminals without the presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens who know how to use them?"
Precisely! When other protections disappear, Americans with guns will persevere. I believe that the framers of the Constitution had the prescience to envision a circumstance such as the aftermath of Katrina. And it is with the Second Amendment that the framers gave all Americans the protection of last resort. In some circumstances, the individual armed citizen becomes the only defense against barbarism.
Georgia: Carjacker killed: "An armed bystander shot and killed a carjacker Monday morning in Acworth, Ga., after the suspect caused an accident that killed his female victim. ... According to police, sometime after 9 a.m., 30-year-old Kimberly Boyd of Acworth stopped at a gas station at Highway 41 and Upper 92/Lake Acworth Drive in Cobb County. A man there approached Boyd and carjacked her, taking her with him. ...Traveling down the roadway, the sport-utility vehicle ultimately struck a guardrail before the carjacker tried to turn eastbound onto Lake Acworth Drive from southbound Cobb Parkway. He veered the sport-utility vehicle directly into the path of a large green cement truck traveling northbound, police said. The cement truck T-boned the Sequioa, killing the young mother when the truck struck the passenger side of her vehicle, police said. Still carrying a handgun, the carjacker fled from the SUV on foot, running toward the Raceway gas station on the northeast corner of the intersection. A man who had witnessed the carjacking and followed the Sequioa in his black 2004 Dodge Ram truck confronted the gunman in the intersection. According to police, the citizen -- identified as Shawn Roberts -- shot the suspect three times, killing him."
New Mexico: Car owner shoots thief's accomplice: "A man who drew his weapon on a suspected thief attempting to steal his pickup from in front of his house wound up shooting and critically injuring a third person. The incident happened Monday afternoon on Ricardo Road south of Belen. Deputies say a homeowner went outside and pointed a gun at the car thief and told him to get out of his truck. That's when deputies say an accomplice drove another car directly at the homeowner at a high rate of speed. 'Our calling party, our victim, turned around with his gun and fired a round into the windshield of that vehicle, striking the driver of it,' said Valencia County Sheriff's Department Spokeswoman Shannon Brady."
Thursday, September 22, 2005
South African Gun Act failing dismally
"The Democratic Alliance has asked for a special parliamentary debate on the problems relating to the implementation of the Firearms Control Act. Giving notice of a motion in the national assembly on Tuesday, DA MP Roy Jankielsohn said his party believed the government would have to reconsider whether it was able to properly implement the act. Firearm owners had experienced a number of problems when trying to renew their firearm licences. "While the number of accredited training institutions has increased, in many rural areas training is still a problem due to long distances and bureaucratic obstructions," he said.
The costs involved with training, obtaining competency certificates, and the licensing process was, for many people, unaffordable. This was especially true for pensioners. Backlogs with licensing and appeals were causing a great deal of frustration among applicants for both renewals and new licenses. In many instances, licences were refused with the only reason given as "a lack of sufficient motivation".
The police were having their own problems with a lack of resources and personnel, as well as problems with communication between the central firearms registry and various police stations. Documentation and fingerprints were often lost, which led to further delays and frustration, said Jankielsohn. Many firearm owners were unaware of what was expected of them in terms of the act. The general feeling among the public was that the government was deliberately trying to disarm law-abiding citizens while many of the 20 000 murders each year were committed with illegal firearms, he said.
Responsible firearm owners had a legitimate concern that they would become criminals if they were unable to comply with the act, while it appeared that the criminals were able to murder, rape, and plunder with impunity. "The government has a responsibility to ensure that all individuals, rich and poor, urban and rural, are able to comply with legislation. "In this respect the Firearms Control Act is failing dismally," said Jankielsohn.
Michigan bills would allow residents to fatally shoot intruders: "Michigan residents could fatally shoot someone who breaks into their home or vehicle without facing criminal or civil prosecution under proposed legislation. The two-bill package, which is opposed by anti-gun violence groups, would assume that a person who forcibly enters or intrudes in a home or occupied vehicle intends to kill or hurt the owner or occupant. It is patterned after a law signed earlier this year in Florida. The bills, introduced Wednesday, also would eliminate the requirement that people who are being attacked have to retreat before responding, as long as they're in a place they legally have a right to be. Republican Reps. Tom Casperson of Escanaba and Rick Jones of Grand Ledge introduced the bills. They said the legislation will prevent residents from having to worry about whether they are justified in using force to defend their families and property."
Still no effect of gun-ban expiry: "The predictions were dire. The expiration of the 10-year-old federal assault-weapons ban would flood the streets with AK-47s and other weapons of war. With the one-year anniversary of the expiration of the ban passing quietly last week, the reality has proved much less grim. The assault-weapons ban went out with a whimper, not a bang. Although precise figures are not available, police in Delaware have not reported an increase in crimes committed with previously banned weapons. And area gun dealers say they have not seen an increase in demand, possibly because so many guns that had been legally manufactured before the law remained on the market through the decade-long ban".
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
GUN-BANNED SCOTLAND THE MOST VIOLENT COUNTRY?
The report below originated from the United Nations so whatever it says the opposite could be true. But I am inclined to think that there is a lot of truth in it. About half of the Scots live in Glasgow and its environs, which has long had a large population living on welfare. And the Glasgow "Jimmies" have for many years carried knives -- and used them to fight with one-another in brawls -- usually drunken. And you don't need to know much about Scottish history to know that the Scots have always been great fighters. To this day there are considerably more Scots in the British army than you would expect on a per head basis. They are a pugnacious lot on the whole, but sentimental too!
And I say that as someone who has a great affection for Scotland and some background in studying the Scots.
And you will note that the report specifically states that knives, not guns, are the problem. So Glasgow is a very good example of where banning guns has done no good at all. It is the culture and the individual that leads to violence, not guns.
"A United Nations report has labelled Scotland the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America. England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest. The study, based on telephone interviews with victims of crime in 21 countries, found that more than 2,000 Scots were attacked every week, almost ten times the official police figures. They include non-sexual crimes of violence and serious assaults. Violent crime has doubled in Scotland over the past 20 years and levels, per head of population, are now comparable with cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Tbilisi.
The attacks have been fuelled by a �booze and blades� culture in the west of Scotland [a polite way of saying Glasgow] which has claimed more than 160 lives over the past five years. Since January there have been 13 murders, 145 attempted murders and 1,100 serious assaults involving knives in the west of Scotland. The problem is made worse by sectarian violence, with hospitals reporting higher admissions following Old Firm [football] matches.
David Ritchie, an accident and emergency consultant at Glasgow�s Victoria Infirmary, said that the figures were a national disgrace. �I am embarrassed as a Scot that we are seeing this level of violence. Politicians must do something about this problem. This is a serious public health issue. Violence is a cancer in this part of the world,� he said.
Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, head of the Strathclyde Police�s violence reduction unit, said the problem was chronic and restricting access to drink and limiting the sale of knives would at least reduce the problem.
The study, by the UN�s crime research institute, found that 3 per cent of Scots had been victims of assault compared with 1.2 per cent in America and just 0.1 per cent in Japan, 0.2 per cent in Italy and 0.8 per cent in Austria. In England and Wales the figure was 2.8 per cent. Scotland was eighth for total crime, 13th for property crime, 12th for robbery and 14th for sexual assault. New Zealand had the most property crimes and sexual assaults, while Poland had the most robberies.
Chief Constable Peter Wilson, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, questioned the figures. �It must be near impossible to compare assault figures from one country to the next based on phone calls,� he said. �We have been doing extensive research into violent crime in Scotland for some years now and this has shown that in the vast majority of cases, victims of violent crime are known to each other. We do accept, however, that, despite your chances of being a victim of assault being low in Scotland, a problem does exist.�"
Colorado: Weld County shooting under investigation: "Weld County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting of a 19-year-old man wounded as he allegedly broke into a neighbor's home. The shooting occurred in a home in the 2100 block of Meadowlark in the Meadow Vale subdivision near Weld County Road 5 and Highway 119 near Longmont, according to a press release issued by Weld County Sheriff John Cooke. The sheriff's office did not identify home owner or the wounded man, Nathan Weathers. Weathers was shot with a 9 mm handgun, according to the sheriff's office. He is being treated at Longmont United Hospital. Cooke's press release noted that the shooting may fall under Colorado's "Make My Day Law," which allows a home owner who feels threatened by an intruder to shoot the suspect."
Michigan: Suspect arraigned on assault charges: "After a loud noise jarred a Briarwood Drive resident awake about 2 a.m. Thursday, the 38-year-old looked outside to see that a Jeep Wrangler had crashed into his attached garage. Then his doorbell started ringing incessantly. When he looked out the door, he didn't see anyone, so he stepped outside, armed with a handgun. He found a man in the driver's seat of the Jeep trying to dislodge it from the garage door. With the pair yelling at each other, the driver backed out of the driveway and drove off .... the Jeep driver came back down the street ... then drove up the man's driveway again. The homeowner, who told police he was afraid the driver was trying to hit him, hid behind a vehicle parked in his driveway. But the driver of the Jeep ... smashed into the parked vehicle twice. At that point, the homeowner fired about four shots at the Jeep before the gun jammed. He ran to his house to get a second gun. ... the driver of the Jeep began accelerating directly at him. The homeowner fired two more shots at the Jeep. The driver then left the subdivision... Police caught up with Wooten driving a Jeep with bullet holes in it, near Square Lake and Dequindre roads."
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
GUN REALITY IN BRITAIN
Nobody's saying so but I don't think we are talking about whites here
Research and interviews carried out by The Independent reveal that schoolchildren are increasingly carrying weapons that give a lethal dimension to fights that break out over items as trivial as PlayStations. Youth workers estimate that as many as 80 per cent of youngsters from tough inner-city areas are involved in gangs. Three fifths of those have guns. �People get killed over stupid stuff. Because I scratch your car and I don�t want to pay for it. I know people of 14 who have their first gun. It is a fashion accessory,� said one south London teenager yesterday. For those with the right contacts, firearms are readily available and sub machine guns are the current preferred weapon. �They are easy to get hold of. It is as simple as someone older asking you to hold on to it,� explained the teenager.
A third of those convicted of possessing guns are now under 18, with campaigners revealing that children as young as 11 are wielding firearms�whether imitation or real. One of the country�s foremost experts in the field, the head of Scotland Yard�s Operation Trident, a special unit to combat black-on-black gun crime in London, has revealed that the most common age of suspects and victims he now dealt with was just 19. Detective Chief Superintendent John Coles explained that when the unit was launched six years ago, most of the perpetrators were in their twenties. Now the age range is 17 to 25. Det Chief Supt Coles explained that the youngest offenders were just 14 and referred to a recent case when a gun fight broke out in south-east London between teenagers over a game console. �That was one of the most ridiculous things I had heard, a disrespect issue over a PlayStation,� he said.
Just weeks ago, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old were charged with shooting Zainab Kalokoh, 33, dead in front of guests at a christening party in Peckham, south London. In the first eight months of this year, Trident charged nine young people in connection with shooting incidents, whereas there was only one such case in the same period last year.
Today, the Metropolitan Police and its partners in the community are trying to educate children as young as seven as to the dangers of guns. �The 19-year-olds of today are the group who were about 13 or 14 when we started and didn�t receive that kind of attention. They are now emerging as the new generation committing these crimes because they have not had that attention either operationally or in terms of intervention,� Det Chief Supt Coles said. He blamed underlying social issues, such as lack of education and dysfunctional families, as well as the availability of guns coming in from former conflict zones. Whereas once, organised criminals used firearms specifically and temporarily for a crime, now they are often carried routinely and fights which might once have been settled with fists are with handguns.
�Kids see it as normal life. They carry the guns mainly for machismo and power. They fear if they have not got a gun they will get shot. They get into disrespect issues and they fire the gun. �They want everything fast, the cars, the ladies. They think �I am only going to live to 25 so I might as well have it now�. There are thousands in circulation. In the past two weeks we have seized three or four Mac-10s [machine pistols].�
Pastor Nims Obunge, of the Haringey Peace Alliance, agreed: �It seems the ages are getting younger. I know of a girl of 11 who used an imitation gun to rob somebody of �5. I also heard of a youth worker who confronted a young boy and got shot in the foot. That is not the norm, but it shows that if a young person feels disrespect they will take it out on you.� He agreed that many vulnerable teenagers he dealt with considered it normal to carry a gun or a knife. They told him they felt �untouchable� with a weapon, a sign of the underlying fear behind the practice. �I was speaking to young people a few days ago. Whereas we think it is sensational [for them to be carrying guns], they do not. It is their reality,� he said.
BLACKS AND GUNS IN THE USA
Some years back, a group called Violence Free Duluth in Duluth, Minnesota, studied a year's worth of the city's gun crimes. They looked into type of gun used, whether liquor or drugs were involved, the relationship between shooter and victim; age, race, and sex of criminal, etc. But when they released their report they left one thing out: race of perp. Frank Jewell, head of the organization, explained that "we didn't include it because it might be misinterpreted."
Duluth's deputy police chief Robert Grytdahl added that race might distract whites from the real problem: "It's a comfortable place for white people to park the [gun crime] problem. It would be a huge distraction, and we wanted to focus on firearms." [Duluth Gun, Crime Study Withholds Race Data, [Pay Archive] By Larry Oakes, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 30, 1999.]
Mr. Jewell and Mr. Grytdahl are saying, almost in so many words, that the people of Duluth can't be trusted with the truth. Duluth is about 90 percent white. What if it turned out most of the gun crime was committed by the other 10 percent? Someone might think Duluth has, not a gun problem, but a minority problem.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Minnesota: Candidate holds robber at gunpoint: "A guy in a white shirt almost became a historical footnote about 4:30 last Sunday morning. He almost was the first guy to get himself shot by a candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. 'I'm in the dark, holding a gun on him and telling him to get on the ground, but he keeps backing away from me,' Mark Koscielski was saying. 'Then the guy points at his shirt and says, 'I have a white shirt on, and it'll get dirty if I get in the mud.' And I say, 'It's going to get red if you don't get on the [expletive] ground.'' In the end, the guy got muddy, and he got arrested, too, charged with attempting to break into Koscielski's Guns & Ammo .... Koscielski, 51, was a distant also-ran in Tuesday's mayoral primary. His campaign to keep open his heavily secured gun shop, watched over by electronic surveillance and a pair of raucous parrots called Toto and Cleo, may be running out of ammo, too: The Minnesota Court of Appeals is scheduled next month to decide whether the city has acted illegally in trying to zone Koscielski into oblivion."
Indiana: Shooting deemed self-defense: "The owner of a discount tobacco store on South Lafayette Street was justified when he shot a man police said was trying to rob the business, the Allen County Prosecutor's Office has determined. Prosecutor Karen Richards said store owner Mike Venable acted in self-defense when he shot Lee J. Church after Church pulled a gun and demanded cash. Richards said she watched a videotape of the incident, and was convinced Venable had reason to believe he would be harmed if he did not comply with Church's demands."
Illinois: Unsolved murders frustrate police : "Springfield's latest homicide, that of Reginald Brown on Aug. 21, was an exception to what is becoming the rule. It was solved. Brown was shot during an attempted drug robbery, police say. Jason Marshall, 28, is thought to have shot Brown in self-defense."
Sunday, September 18, 2005
MORE NEW ORLEANS PROTESTS
New Orleans as case study: "My fear us that the gun confiscation in New Orleans was merely a trial balloon to see how the public would handle a major move in gun control. Gun control isn't moving fast enough, so with the very next emergency it'll be tried in order to see the reaction. That emergency came in Katrina. A lot of people believed that an emergency would be cover to confiscate guns. Then it happened. It was a cover to confiscate guns."
2nd Amendment nixed in New Orleans: "New Orleans is no longer part of America. It is a brave new world devised by FEMA and the Ministry of Homeland Security. In the new New Orleans, there are no constitutional rights. Not only are soldiers allowed to break down doors (as they do in Iraq) in violation of the Fourth Amendment and even 'shoot to kill' if they believe they are threatened (as soldiers in Iraq 'shoot to kill' grandmothers and kids at Israeli-styled checkpoints), now the Second Amendment no longer exists."
New Orleans: Gun seizures "creating more victims": "Few people objected when police began gathering firearms they found in abandoned New Orleans homes, to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminals. But one gun policy expert says confiscating guns from law abiding citizens who remain in the city is increasing the danger posed by criminals. ... John Lott, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and the author of 'More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws,' told Cybercast News Service that he is 'very disappointed' with the decision by New Orleans leaders. ... Lott said he is also disappointed that police appear to be engaging in 'selective' gun confiscation. After Compass expanded the original order, the New York Times reported that it, 'apparently does not apply to the hundreds of security guards whom businesses and some wealthy individuals have hired to protect their property.' Police officials would not respond to reporters' questions about allowing the guards, who are private citizens with firearms training similar to concealed weapons permit holders, to keep their guns."
Bad decision, dangerous precedent "Gun owners and gun owner rights groups across America are rightfully outraged at the recent decision by New Orleans law enforcement officials to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens. According to city officials, while the crisis spawned by Katrina exists, no one but law enforcement will have guns in New Orleans. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a little something in the United States Constitution that specifically prohibits this sort of thing?"
Saturday, September 17, 2005
CCRKBA wonders why Wisconsin police chiefs think citizens less trustworthy: "Following reports that police chiefs in Wisconsin are campaigning already against legislation that would allow concealed carry by citizens of that state, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) is challenging those lawmen to explain why Wisconsin residents are less trustworthy with licensed, concealed handguns than residents in 46 other states. According to WBAY-TV in Green Bay, 'police chiefs across Wisconsin say they need to keep all the guns they can in officers hands only.'"
CCRKBA calls for investigation of gun seizures : "Following low-key inquiries that were met with stony silence and official indifference, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today is calling for a federal investigation into reports of gun seizures from law-abiding New Orleans residents, and is demanding that officials there immediately account for all confiscated firearms. CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb is also demanding that New Orleans police officials immediately stop the seizures, disclose where those firearms are being kept, how they are secured, the type and number of firearms involved, and how those guns will be promptly returned to their rightful owners, in the condition in which they were originally taken. 'I also want to know under just what authority New Orleans officials are confiscating lawfully-owned firearms from law-abiding citizens,' Gottlieb said. 'Where does it say that the state and federal Constitution can be nullified, even briefly, simply because of a hurricane?' ... Gun rights activists have been outraged by a film clip showing a police officer tackling an elderly woman who was armed, in her own home, and later removing her from the premises."
Gun seizures are unacceptable, Mr. President!: "This is more frightening than any horror movie coming out of the inventive minds of Hollywood or terrorist attack coming out of the Middle East. When the Government of the people, by the people, for the people, becomes a government against the people, I begin to fear for the survival of this great nation. The Mayor of New Orleans is attempting to do in a couple of days that which has eluded the power of the anti-gun factions in this country for 218 years, strip law-abiding citizens of their right to keep and bear arms. In spite of the fact that the Constitution clearly reserves this right for the people, and under the 9th and 10th Amendments proscribes those rights among the many Americans have, specifically from the Federal and State governments; this is being allowed to occur. Mr. President, you must step in and stop this violation of the Constitution. What part of 'shall not be infringed' don't you and your administration understand?"
Friday, September 16, 2005
Good old gun-free Britain again: "British police said two people were killed on Tuesday night in a shooting at the exclusive Harvey Nichols department store in west London. Scotland Yard said they received reports of a gun being fired at the store's Knightsbridge shop at 7.45pm (4.45am on Wednesday AEST). London's Metropolitan Police said a man and a woman, both aged about 30, were pronounced dead at the scene. A spokesman said officers were not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident. Police said they were trying to identify the two people killed. Police cordoned off streets around the shop, which has a reputation as the store of choice for Britain's rich and famous. "We are trying to ascertain the circumstances," a police spokesman said".
Katrina educates world on need for owning guns: "'All our operators are busy right now. Please remain on the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us.' Can you imagine any words more horrifying after dialing 9-1-1? Your life's in danger, but there's no one available to help you. For several days, life was absolutely terrifying for many New Orleans residents who got stranded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. There were no operators ... there were no phone calls being handled. Heck, there was no 9-1-1. Even if the phone lines had been working, there were no police officers waiting to be dispatched."
Connecticut: Neighbor shoots attacker who beat woman to death : "A Bristol man was arrested Saturday in the fatal attack on a city woman. Michael Foster, 37, faces several charges including assault, burglary, assault of a person over 60 and possession of a pistol without a permit. Selina Brewster, 36, died in the attack. Police said Brewster ran screaming into a neighbor's home early Friday morning and was followed by a crow-bar wielding man, later identified as Foster. He allegedly beat Brewster until Victor Ventrello shot him in the head with a .22-caliber rifle he keeps in a closet, police said. ... 'We couldn't hold the door closed. He got into the foyer and started beating her with a crowbar,' Victor Ventrello, 66, told the Courant in a phone interview from a relative's house Friday afternoon. He said the attacker hit his wife in the arm with the crowbar. 'I told him to stop beating her, or I'm going to get my gun,' Ventrello said. 'He said 'I got a gun too,' so I went and got the gun. I said 'stop or I'll shoot.' He didn't stop, so I shot him.'"
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Louisiana: Five nights alone in the dark with a shotgun: "Five nights alone in the dark with a shotgun. Looters rattling at the door. And his wife and two beautiful daughters asleep upstairs. Keeping his family safe amid the chaos and rioting that followed Hurricane Katrina has taken an immeasurable toll on Gabriel Whitfield. His once square shoulders are slumped. His steely eyes are brimmed with tears. His faith in his country is shattered. 'Do you know what it's like to sit in the lobby with a shotgun and little napalm containers to burn up people trying to come in and kill your children and steal your water?' he asked, voice cracking as he slouched forward on a chair in a darkened conference room at the Best Western hotel in downtown New Orleans."
NRA: Disaster can't destroy gun rights: "National Rifle Association (NRA) leader Wayne LaPierre slammed New Orleans authorities Monday for seizing legal firearms from lawful residents. 'What we've seen in Louisiana -- the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster -- is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves,' LaPierre said. 'When law enforcement isn't available, Americans turn to the one right that protects all the others -- the right to keep and bear arms,' LaPierre added. 'This attempt to repeal the Second Amendment should be condemned.'"
Alabama: Jury acquits man in double slaying : "Bessemer Cutoff jury acquitted 24-year-old Calvin Burns of capital murder charges in the shooting deaths of two teenage girls. The victims, 17-year-old Terrin Greer and 19-year-old Krystal Bennett, were killed July 2004 in a shootout at a Fairfield gas station. When the verdict came Friday, the victims' relatives screamed at jurors in protest. Burns of Wylam claimed he feared for his life after a threat from Bennett's boyfriend, Mario Gibson. One shot from a rifle killed both girls."
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
A GREAT STORY FROM NEW ORLEANS
The Algiers Point militia put away its weapons Friday as Army soldiers patrolled the historic neighborhood across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter. But the band of neighbors who survived Hurricane Katrina and then fought off looters has not disarmed.
"Pit Bull Will Attack. We Are Here and Have Gun and Will Shoot," said the sign on Alexandra Boza's front porch. Actually, said the woman behind the sign, "I have two pistols." "I'm a part of the militia," Boza said. "We were taking the law into our own hands, but I didn't kill anyone." She did quietly open her front door and fire a warning shot one night when she heard a loud group of young men approaching her house.
About a week later, she said, she finally saw a New Orleans police officer on her street and told him she had guns. "He told me, 'Honey, I don't blame you,' " she said. The several dozen people who did not evacuate from Algiers Point said that for days after the storm, they did not see any police officers or soldiers but did see gangs of intruders. So they set up what might be the ultimate neighborhood watch. At night, the balcony of a beautifully restored Victorian house built in 1871 served as a lookout point.
"I had the right flank," Vinnie Pervel said. Sitting in a white rocking chair on the balcony, his neighbor, Gareth Stubbs, protected the left flank. They were armed with an arsenal gathered from the neighborhood: a shotgun, pistols, a flare gun and a Vietnam-era AK-47. They were backed up by Gregg Harris, who lives in the house with Pervel, and Pervel's 74-year-old mother, Jennie, who lives across Pelican Street from her son and is known in Algiers Point as "Miss P." Many nights, Miss P. had a .38-caliber pistol in one hand and rosary beads in the other.
Much more here
Ice cream man pulls gun on would be robber: "An ice cream man used a gun to scare off a potential robber in Vancouver, and police say he did the right thing. He's a salesman who packs heat along with his ice cream. 'This is the third year I've been in business,' Chris Sanders said. Along with his ice cream, before heading out, Sanders also grabs his gun. 'It's a Keltek .380,' Sanders said. It may seem odd for an ice cream man to be armed, but Sanders says the gun came in handy last Saturday. 'Right up here at the top of this bridge is where the guy flagged me down,' Sanders said. He pulled over, but instead of ice cream the man wanted a ride. Sanders said no. 'As he was walking away he turned and ran towards my vehicle trying to go in through the sliding door which was locked. At that point I grabbed for my .380, chambered a round. Then he'd already come in the window. I pointed it at him and he said, 'Oh s***,' and he takes off running.'"
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Louisiana:Maine man arms self, bicycles to safety: "Mike Stanford armed himself with a .45-caliber handgun and rode his bicycle through the filthy flooded streets of New Orleans last week before finding safety 175 miles away and flying to Maine. By last Wednesday, as the nation got its first good look at the devastation across the region and the sewers backed up into the city streets of the city, Stanford decided to pack up and get out. He strapped on a backpack, took his handgun and he and a friend pedaled their bikes through sewage-soiled water, two feet deep in places. He soon lost track of his friend and continued alone toward the interstate in 100-degree heat."
Kansas: Not guilty verdict in murder case: "Joe Sutton is not guilty of murder. A jury acquitted Sutton in the Dec. 5 shooting of Tyrone 'Anthony' Lewis this afternoon. Sutton had argued that he shot Lewis in self-defense. The jury of seven women and five men deliberated about eight hours, beginning Tuesday morning, to reach their verdict. ... Sutton had testified that he went to Lewis' apartment in the 5300 block of south Lincoln that Sunday afternoon. Lewis had beaten his girlfriend, Sutton's cousin, and the woman had left behind her baby son. Sutton went to retrieve the 6-month-old.When Sutton arrived, he testified, Lewis entered the apartment with a gun. Sutton said he had taken his own gun because of Lewis' gang affiliations. Lewis died of two gunshot wounds to the back."
India: Target practice -- they mean business: "Rising instances of crime against the business community has industrialists getting their aim right at a shooting camp. They are not just aiming for the annual profits this time, but have set targets to hone their shooting skills at a training camp organised by the Indian Industries Association (IIA), UP, in collaboration with the police department. Organised from August 1 to September 30, the camp elicited an enthusiastic response from the traders. 'One month back a trader in Dalmandi was shot by two robbers when he tried to resist their attempt to snatch the bag he was carrying. Had the trader been trained to use the pistol, which he was carrying, he would have saved himself,' says Tarun Khetarpal, president IIA, UP."
Monday, September 12, 2005
Colorado: Three men arrested after home robbery: "Fort Collins police took three 18-year-old men into custody after a home robbery shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 1200 block of Remington Street. A fourth suspect is in Poudre Valley Hospital recovering from gunshot wounds. ... According to the victims, a man entered their home through an unlocked front door, head covered in a stocking mask, carrying a shotgun and demanded cash or drugs. The suspect grabbed a male and threatened a female in trying to force entry into an adjoining apartment. An apartment resident shot the suspect after he appeared to threaten him. The intruders then picked up the injured man and fled in a car."
Pennsylvania: Shooting self-defense, says DA: "The Bucks County District Attorney's Office has dropped attempted murder charges against two men in connection with the fatal shooting of 19-year-old William Collins III of Bensalem. ... The June 5 shooting at Route 1 and Old Lincoln Highway in Bensalem was justified, First Assistant District Attorney David Zellis said Wednesday, after attempted murder charges were dropped against Jason Anderson and Samuel Balogun, both 26-year-old Bensalem men. Anderson and Balogun fired a total of six shots, Zellis said. A shot from Balogun's 9 mm handgun struck Collins after he had smashed the windows of a car carrying Anderson, Balogun and two other people with a baseball bat, said the prosecutor."
Florida: Teen intruder shot and killed: "A homeowner shot and killed a young intruder who was found in a Gulf Breeze residence about 3 a.m. Wednesday. The homeowner received a gunshot wound to the hand in the altercation that took place about 3 a.m. in the 3400 block of Tibet Drive, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff?s Office. ... 'At this point no charges have been filed, no arrests have been made. It's a matter that's still under investigation,' said Assistant State Attorney Harmon Massey. Massey said it's possible further investigation may be required, but that a decision on whether charges will be filed would come quickly."
Sunday, September 11, 2005
First take away their guns.... : "Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here. No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. 'Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons,' he said.But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons." (Hat Tip: Digital Irony)
Mississippi: If you try to loot, he will shoot: "From beneath a blue pillow on the tan striped couch he had slept on for the past week, Paul Marsh pulled out a black Walther PPK .380 handgun. 'We haven't had a problem with looters, but the clip is already loaded,' he said, pointing the barrel of the gun away from us and at a far wall lined with cowboy hats. There's about a half-million dollars' worth of merchandise in Rodeo's Boot Outlet in Gulfport, Miss., which Marsh's family has owned for the past 10 years. And he plans on keeping it safe, as evidenced by the cardboard sign -- Owner Inside With Gun in black spray-painted letters -- propped up in rubble from the destroyed front wall."
Mississippi:Picking up pieces in land laid bare: "David Vickers rode out the storm with his family in their six-year-old condominium, shielded by aluminum hurricane shutters. He used another kind of protection to save his truck?s gasoline and to scare away squatters. 'I came home and these guys were siphoning gas from my truck,' said Vickers, 44, a restaurant owner. 'I cussed them like the dogs they were and then I pulled out my pistol -- and I cocked it.'"
It takes a pillage: "If ever there was an event which solidified the relevancy of the 2nd Amendment, it was the recent sacking of New Orleans. As we witnessed, a large segment of our population is just looking for an excuse to resort to savagery. Thank God our Constitution provides the right to 'keep and bear arms' in the face of such barbarism. ... The looting and violence which took place in New Orleans should be a wake-up call to all law abiding Americans. Disasters (natural and man-made) can occur anywhere. We must all be prepared to defend our families and our property in times of such turmoil. Once the winds lessen, and the flood waters subside, or the ground stops shaking -- a more ruthless adversary may darken your doorway."
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Utah: Even a picture of a gun is incorrect: "A poster featuring members of the Kanab High School football team decked out in camouflage bullet-resistant vests, military helmets, khakis and holding a variety of automatic weapons and a high-powered rifle is destined to become a collectors' item. On Friday the principal said the posters will be pulled back from the businesses where they were distributed this week and replaced with a toned-down version. 'No more guns,' declared Doug Jacobs of the poster featuring seven senior-class members of the football team. The photo was meant to show determination and toughness. ... The new poster, printed Friday, pictures members of the team dressed in their red-and-white uniforms. Team members try to outdo the previous year's poster in conveying a sense of toughness, said Jacobs. Last year's poster featured team members dressed like Cowboys -- the team's nickname. They also wore guns, but it did not raise eyebrows."
North Carolina: Weapons counseling stays in bill: "The House decided Wednesday to keep a new policy on advising domestic violence victims about carrying a gun, rejecting Gov. Mike Easley's request to nullify a law he signed a few days ago. The law requires court clerks to give victims information on applying for a concealed weapon permits. Advocates for domestic violence victims wanted something akin to a repeal because they think it's a bad idea to encourage domestic violence victims to get weapons. ... Victims advocates had hoped Easley would veto the bill. Instead, he signed it and his office worked with House leaders to change it. But a bill that would have repealed the section of the new law pertaining to notifying victims about the weapon permit was defeated, 49-57. ... Rep. Mark Hilton, the Conover Republican who sponsored the law, objected to a last-minute change after the legislature had already approved the idea overwhelmingly. 'Simple educational information is all we're asking for,' Hilton said. 'This bill would gut what we're trying to do.' The gun-rights group Grass Roots North Carolina pushed for the law."
Friday, September 09, 2005
New Orleans: A wakeup call: "The lessons learned from New Orleans are: 1. Keep enough food and water to last for a minimum of one month. 2. Keep a lot of flashlights and batteries around along with a couple of portable radios. Keep a well stock first aid kit as well. Keep a portable stove for cooking and boiling water. 3. Own guns and plenty of ammunition. Know how to use them and that includes everyone in your family old enough to handle a firearm. 4. Be prepared to use your firearms in defense of your life and the lives of your family members and neighbors. 5. Share what you can with your neighbors and form a neighborhood security team to keep unwanted people out until government authorities have secured the area. 6. When politicians tell you that only law enforcement and police should own guns in today's 'modern society,' tell them to go to hell ... or New Orleans. There's no difference between either at this point in time."
South Africa: Black gun owners sue for 3 billion: "The South African Black Gunowners Association (Sabga) is suing the government for billions of rands because of gun-licence applications constantly being turned down. They claim 99.9% of all Sabga members' applications for gun licences have been rejected. Sabga chairperson Amos Khoele said on Friday the application had been submitted to Pretoria High Court. 'More than 10,000 of the 20,000 association members have been robbed in the past year. 'Many were wounded and some were even murdered. They are not allowed to use their weapons in self-defence as applications for renewal of their licences are rejected en masse.'"
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Good advice from Canada: "Who does Police Chief Bill Blair think he is? Advising legitimate firearms owners to consider whether they are representing a danger to society by owning guns is insulting at best. Firearms owners and businesses are investigated, licensed, inspected and registered to death. All firearms have to be safely stored to the letter of the law. Handguns have been registered since 1934 and the Feds sold Bill C-68 to the Canadian public as the means of preventing gun crime. Two-billion dollars later, drug- and gang-related gun crimes sweep Toronto and once again, law-biding owners are the problem? Enough, Chief Blair! Quit playing politics. Do your job, go out and catch some crooks".
Hey! Aren't guns banned in Britain? So how come these guys could act the way they did? "Two schoolboy members of a vicious gang of teenage muggers who posed with guns on a sickening website and bragged about their love of street crime were today jailed for a total of six-and-a-half years. Inspired by rap lyrics, the wannabe gangsters brought a 'reign of terror' to a south London school with a spate of violent muggings. Masked members of the street gang - called Man Dem Crew - posed nonchalantly with a pump action shotgun on their own website. Police believe that two of the teenage tearaways - Falco Moludi and Ipaon Mosengo - racked up a staggering 35 offences between them, including possession of an imitation firearm, in a matter of months. Today the brutal duo, both just 15, were under lock and key after admitting their mugging spree. As they were led to the cells the swaggering young yobs, who smirked and giggled throughout their sentencing hearing, shouted at the investigating police officer "Two bullets. Bang! Bang! You're dead!" Inner London Crown Court heard how the nasty duo preyed on their peers in and around playgrounds wearing face masks and balaclavas. They attacked so many children from the Bishop Thomas Grant School in Streatham, south London, that police had to send a minibus to transport their victims to an identification parade."
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Arizona: Resident exchanges gunfire with intruders: "The shooting happened about 11 p.m. in the back yard of a home on South Avenida Don Arturo, near West Valencia Road and South Camino de Oeste, Barkman said. She said a woman and her two sons, both in their 20s, were watching television inside when they heard their dogs barking in the back yard. When one of the sons went to see why the dogs were barking, he was confronted by a man with a gun, Barkman said, adding that the other son got a gun, went into the back yard, and was confronted by the gunman and another who had joined the gunman. The gunmen and the armed son started shooting at each other and all three were wounded, Barkman said. ... She said it was too early in the investigation to say what the gunmen were doing in the yard."
South Africa: Gun act failing dismally: "The Democratic Alliance has asked for a special parliamentary debate on the problems relating to the implementation of the Firearms Control Act. Giving notice of a motion in the national assembly on Tuesday, DA MP Roy Jankielsohn said his party believed the government would have to reconsider whether it was able to properly implement the act. Firearm owners had experienced a number of problems when trying to renew their firearm licences. ... The costs involved with training, obtaining competency certificates, and the licensing process was, for many people, unaffordable. This was especially true for pensioners. Backlogs with licensing and appeals were causing a great deal of frustration among applicants for both renewals and new licenses. In many instances, licences were refused with the only reason given as 'a lack of sufficient motivation.'"
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
West Virginia: Man not guilty in slaying: "Three years, four months, 18 days and about an hour later, John W. Jenkins Jr. lifted his eyes skyward, then closed them after a court clerk read aloud these two words: 'Not guilty.' A Berkeley County jury of nine women and three men deliberated for less than two hours Tuesday before acquitting Jenkins in the shooting death of his second cousin, Steven Cole, 37, of Martinsburg, on April 12, 2002. ... Jenkins has maintained he shot Cole in self-defense after Cole pulled a gun on him and fired one bullet toward him. Jenkins was the first and only witness to testify Tuesday -- the fifth day of the trial. He testified about his family, violent outbursts from Cole and the shooting. ... Jurors had five options -- finding Jenkins innocent or finding him guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. They deliberated for an hour and 38 minutes."
Washington: Watchman fires at car: "What was initially reported as a 'drive-by shooting' early Monday morning turned out to be a shot fired in a quite different circumstance. Longview police were dispatched a few minutes after midnight after a young man called from his home in Longview, reporting that someone in a brown van shot at his vehicle when he and two passengers were driving around in the area of the Mint Farm. 'There wasn't any warning,' the 22-year-old driver said Monday evening. 'There aren't any 'no trespassing' signs out there.' ... Police checked out the Mint Farm area and spoke with the night watchman of a truck-driving school, Duscha said. The watchman told police that he saw a vehicle driving recklessly in the parking lot and cutting cookies on the property. He said he thought the vehicle was going to run him over, so he fired his handgun, Duscha said. No one was injured."
Monday, September 05, 2005
Too tight a line on gun possession : "The case, Washington v. Gurske, involved a man stopped for an illegal left turn while driving. Police discovered his driver's license had been suspended, arrested him and searched his truck. Behind the driver's seat was a backpack that contained three grams of methamphetamine. He was convicted of felony possession of an illegal drug and sentenced to an extra 18 months because his backpack also contained a pistol and ammunition clip. To fire the gun, he would have had to stop the truck, get out of the driver's seat, flip it forward, unzip the pack, find the gun and clip, and insert the clip. The court ruled unanimously that he was not armed."
Georgia: Pawn shop employee, burglary suspect exchange gunfire: "A pawn shop employee escaped injury in an exchange of gunfire with a burglar late Friday night, Warner Robins police say. Warner Robins police Lt. Bobby Brantley said the suspect also was not hit and fled with a stolen handgun. The suspect was interrupted by the employee who arrived at the Northside Pawnshop at 1313 Green St. just before midnight. According to a Warner Robins police news release, the employee responded to the business alarm, which automatically calls his residence when the alarm is sounded. The employee was fired upon as he entered the store and he returned fire. The employee fled the pawn shop and called 911. The suspect also fled."
Texas DA: Screw the law, persecute gun owners: "Motorists arrested for carrying pistols in their cars without a concealed handgun license will continue to be prosecuted in Houston, despite a new law that purports to give them a legal defense, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Monday. ... 'It is still going to be against the law for (unlicensed) persons to carry handguns in autos,' the district attorney said, adding that the new legal defense can still be challenged by prosecutors. The new law, enacted during the regular legislative session last spring, seeks to clarify a longtime law that allowed Texans to carry handguns while traveling, a qualification that was subject to a number of inconsistent court interpretations over the years.The new statute says a person is 'presumed to be traveling' if he or she is in a private vehicle, is not engaged in criminal activity (except for a minor traffic offense), is not prohibited by any other law from possessing a firearm and is not a member of a criminal street gang."
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Guns a big help in New Orleans: "I went looking for the Big Easy yesterday. I found Dodge City instead. Looters ran wild, some desperate for food and water, others just taking advantage of a chance at free cigarettes and beer. In the Carrollton neighborhood, two armed men -- self-appointed sheriffs in a white pickup -- confronted them. Spotting thieves who had commandeered a forklift and smashed into a Rite Aid store, the two men fired above the looters' heads and ran them off. ... Not far away, at Cooter Brown's Bar & Grill, the weary owner stood sentry with a pal to keep the looters at bay. He had a .357 magnum, a 9-mm. handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun and no hesitation about using any of them. 'The cops are busy as it is. If more citizens took security and matters into their own hands, we won't be in this situation,' said owner Art DePodesta, 30, as he warily scanned the street."
Mississippi: Residents fend off looters : "Many people stayed in their homes during the storm, including Nanette Clark, who lives several blocks behind the boulevard. She and her friend, Jayne Davis, spent the night and day of the storm moving furniture to a higher floor as water lapped, then pounded, at the front door. Some water did seep in, but the door held. On Tuesday night, Davis said, she and Clark shot at looters from the second-floor balcony of her pink house with gingerbread trim. Nobody was injured and the looters scattered, she said. Many hand-painted signs in that neighborhood warned looters that they were likely to be shot by armed homeowners."
North Carolina: Intruders chased off by armed teen: Sampson Independent "Two men, one of them armed with a handgun, entered the back door of a Clinton-area residence and pointed a gun at an 18-year-old resident of the home last night, according to reports at the Sampson County Sheriff's Office. The men fled after the teenager ran further into the home to get a weapon of his own, authorities say."
New Jersey: Store owner shoots thief in legs : "A township liquor store owner hid inside in the darkness early yesterday and confronted a brazen burglar, hitting him with pepper spray, then shooting him in the legs. Though the suspect, Patrick Falcey, managed to escape from Sherwood Liquor Fair at Spruce Street and Arctic Avenue, police later surrounded his house in Trenton and he surrendered."
Saturday, September 03, 2005
How often do Americans use guns for defensive purposes?
By Larry Elder
Forty-six-year-old Joyce Cordoba stood behind the deli counter while working at a Wal-Mart in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Suddenly, her ex-husband -- against whom Ms. Cordoba had a restraining order -- showed up, jumped over the deli counter, and began stabbing Ms. Cordoba. Due Moore, a 72-year-old Wal-Mart customer, witnessed the violent attack. Moore, legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out his gun, and shot and killed the ex-husband. Ms. Cordoba survived the brutal attack and is recovering from her wounds.
This raises a question. How often do Americans use guns for defensive purposes? We know that in 2003, 12,548 people died through non-suicide gun violence, including homicides, accidents and cases of undetermined intent.
UCLA professor emeritus James Q. Wilson, a respected expert on crime, police practices and guns, says, "We know from Census Bureau surveys that something beyond a hundred thousand uses of guns for self-defense occur every year. We know from smaller surveys of a commercial nature that the number may be as high as two-and-a-half or three million. We don't know what the right number is, but whatever the right number is, it's not a trivial number."
Criminologist and researcher Gary Kleck, using his own commissioned phone surveys and number extrapolation, estimates that 2.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes each year. He further found that of those who had used guns defensively, one in six believed someone would have been dead if they had not resorted to their defensive use of firearms. That corresponds to approximately 400,000 of Kleck's estimated 2.5 million defensive gun uses. Kleck points out that if only one-tenth of the people were right about saving a life, the number of people saved annually by guns would still be at least 40,000.
The Department of Justice's own National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study titled "Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms," estimated that 1.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes every year. Although the government's figure estimated a million fewer people defensively using guns, the NIJ called their figure "directly comparable" to Kleck's, noting that "it is statistically plausible that the difference is due to sampling error." Furthermore, the NIJ reported that half of their respondents who said they used a gun defensively also admitted having done so multiple times a year -- making the number of estimated uses of self-defense with a gun 4.7 million times annually.
Former assistant district attorney and firearms expert David Kopel writes, ". . . [W]hen a robbery victim does not defend himself, the robber succeeds 88 percent of the time, and the victim is injured 25 percent of the time. When a victim resists with a gun, the robbery success rate falls to 30 percent, and the victim injury rate falls to 17 percent. No other response to a robbery -- from drawing a knife to shouting for help to fleeing -- produces such low rates of victim injury and robbery success."
What do "gun control activists" say? The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence's website displays this oft-quoted "fact": "The risk of homicide in the home is three times greater in households with guns." Their web site fails to mention that Dr. Arthur Kellermann, the "expert" who came up with that figure, later backpedaled after others discredited his studies for failing to follow standard scientific procedures. According to The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Kellermann now concedes, "A gun can be used to scare away an intruder without a shot being fired," admitting that he failed to include such events in his original study. "Simply keeping a gun in the home," Kellermann says, "may deter some criminals who fear confronting an armed homeowner." He adds, "It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide -- i.e., in a limited number of cases, people may have acquired a gun in response to a specific threat."
"More Guns, Less Crime" author John Lott points out that, in general, our mainstream media fails to inform the public about defensive uses of guns. "Hardly a day seems to go by," writes Lott, "without national news coverage of yet another shooting. Yet when was the last time you heard a story on the national evening news about a citizen saving a life with a gun? . . . An innocent person's murder is more newsworthy than when a victim brandishes a gun and an attacker runs away with no crime committed. . . . [B]ad events provide emotionally gripping pictures. Yet covering only the bad events creates the impression that guns only cost lives."
Americans, in part due to mainstream media's anti-gun bias, dramatically underestimate the defensive uses of guns. Some, after using a gun for self-defense, fear that the police may charge them for violating some law or ordinance about firearm possession and use. So many Americans simply do not tell the authorities.
A gunned-down bleeding guy creates news. A man who spared his family by brandishing a handgun, well, that's just water-cooler chat.
The story Larry Elder refers to above is here: "A fatal shooting at an Albuquerque Wal-Mart last week was the state's first by someone with a concealed-carry gun permit, authorities said. Police said Felix Vigil was attacking his ex-wife with a knife near the store's deli counter where she worked when an armed customer intervened and shot him. The woman, Joyce Cordova, was treated for multiple stab wounds and later released from an Albuquerque hospital. The armed customer, 72-year-old Due Moore, was interviewed after the shooting last Thursday and released. Police spokeswoman Officer Trish Hoffman said it appeared the shooting was justified. However, it will be up to the district attorney to decide whether Moore, a volunteer with the police department's cold case unit, will be prosecuted. Moore could not be reached for comment. New Mexico allows citizens age 21 and over to carry concealed weapons if they complete firearms training and pass national and local criminal background checks".
Friday, September 02, 2005
A CANADIAN RETHINK
By one Edmonton editorialist, anyway
When we first read the headline in last Thursday's Sun - "Feds taking aim at gun violence" - we thought that there must have been some mistake. Gun violence? What gun violence? We have a very expensive national gun registry that was put into place to ensure that every firearm in Canada can be tracked. We have cumbersome regulations in place that make it more difficult for Canadians to buy guns. We have armies of bureaucrats shuffling paper to and fro to make sure that everything related to guns in this country is all very above-board and law-abiding. So there can't possibly be any gun violence in Canada!
OK, we made our point. There is still lots of gun violence in Canada, and the gun registry hasn't done a single thing to stop it. And it's not like we'd ever wish daytime street shootings on anyone, but surely the irony of the latest spate of gunplay to plague Toronto - where shootings have become almost a daily occurrence - is not lost on people. The gun registry was originally put in place by the Liberals to placate urban Ontario voters. And who is currently being terrorized by rampant gun violence? Torontonians. There's a lesson here to be learned, but neither Toronto voters nor the Liberal party is going to learn it.
Edmonton cabinet minister Anne McLellan declared that "I'm very concerned about the whole question of gun violence and about the whole question of gun smuggling." Great. Although she immediately blunted the impact of those remarks by insisting that "we have no evidence that there are more guns being smuggled into the country than ever before."
Well, there's only one of two choices here, and neither one reflects terribly well on current Liberal crime policies. Either these guns are getting into the country through the United States or from other countries through our ports of entry and the federal government's customs agents are not able to prevent it, or these guns are, in fact, originating from here in Canada and the $2-billion boondoggle of a gun registry is - surprise, surprise! - not stopping criminal from using guns.
Back in late 1994, when then-justice minister Allan Rock first unveiled the gun-control program, he declared, "This tough new gun-control program will improve public safety and also send a strong message that the criminal misuse of guns will not be tolerated." Eleven years later, the Liberals are suddenly worried about gun crime because Toronto has been blitzed by gun violence. In a more sane country, Toronto would realize that the gun registry has been exposed as an expensive waste of money and would punish the Liberals for lying to them by voting them out. And the Grits would shut down their useless registry and put the money into actual police officers fighting crime.
Arizona: Man shoots intruder: "Russell Wagner, 54, told police he shot Aaron Prescott, 19, after Prescott tried to enter his home about 2:30 a.m. He said he opened his door after hearing yelling outside and Prescott tried to enter through a screen door. Wagner claims he shot in self-defense and told investigators he didn't know Prescott, Detective Tim Gaffney said. Police questioned Wagner and released him."
Georgia: Victim shot burglar: "A Savannah woman says she was a burglary victim twice before she turned the tables and shot the man she says was trying to rob her for a third time. We first told you Friday night about a shooting at Westlake Apartments on Greengate Court. Police say the woman's apartment was broken into several times last week. Friday night she says the same man tried breaking into her apartment again and she shot him. "
Thursday, September 01, 2005
New York: Bar security guard returns gunfire : "A security guard at the Copacabana Bar, 751 Fillmore Ave., returned fire early Sunday after shots were fired at him, according to Ferry-Fillmore District officers. Bobby D. Lee told police that several shots were fired at him at 3:45 a.m. and that 'he saw a weapon pointed at him and flash from the muzzle.' He fired three shots from his gun, for which he has a permit, and the man fled east on Broadway."
Israel: Quarter of a million Israelis own firearms : "A quarter of a million Israeli citizens possess personal firearms, according to an Interior Ministry survey. The survey said that as of June 2005, 236,879 Israeli citizens had guns. At the same time, the survey pointed to a downwards trend in personal weapon possession. The study also found that a worrying [sic] number of guns were held without valid license, 34,000, due to a failure by owners to renew their licenses. ... In order to qualify for a license, an applicant must pass a number of conditions set, including an assessment of their medical and mental health, and whether they live or work in dangerous areas. A decade ago, there were almost no limitations on the ownership of guns."