Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Canada's Conservatives still set to kill long gun registry
But registering handguns is still a good idea????
Canada's new minister of public safety says the government has no plans to back off on its intention to scrap the controversial long gun registry. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his plan to kill the registry during the election campaign, and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day told CTV's Question Period the plan hasn't changed. "We're not backing away at all," Day said on Sunday. "We're moving ahead on this. It was an election promise. It's something we've been talking about for years."
The government recently formed a committee that includes Day, Justice Minister Vic Toews, and long-time registry critic Garry Breitkreuz, a Saskatchewan MP. The committee is charged with studying the issue and determining the best course of action for scrapping it. Day said the total registry costs could be approaching $2 billion, while the registry has not had a positive impact on gun crime. "It has not reduced gun crime," he said. "As a matter of fact, homicide rates in the last two years have gone up in Canada. And we have committed to scrapping it." .....
Day said all angles must be explored before the registry can be taken out of circulation. "We're in that process," he said. "It takes a while to sort through the regulatory stuff, what can be done through regulation, what has to be done through change of legislation. That would involve my colleague Vic Toews in terms of the justice ministry. There's a lot of mechanical things that have to be done."
He added that the government will battle gun crime by putting more police on the streets and creating crime prevention programs for at-risk youth and gang related activity. It will pay for these programs with the money saved by killing the registry. "We believe a lot of savings that will come from doing away with this ineffective registry will actually meet those goals," Day said. "We are not backing away." As for about 200 government employees in Miramichi, New Brunswick who work for the registry, Day said the government is committed to making sure they don't lose their jobs.
Although the government plans to scrap the registry, it has no plans to make it easier to legally own firearms. Day said the process to obtain a firearms license is difficult, and it will remain so. Day also said the handgun registry will remain in place.
Australia: Gun ownership explodes: "Gun ownership is on the rise in Queensland with evidence the tough restrictions introduced after the Port Arthur massacre nearly a decade ago are losing their effectiveness. Despite bans on certain types of weapons and a successful buyback and amnesty, police figures show there are more firearms in the community now than three years ago. Police Minister Judy Spence yesterday foreshadowed possible changes to the Weapons Act, to be reviewed this year, saying she was 'aware of some operational suggestions from police and these will be considered as part of this review.' Queensland police Weapons Licensing Branch manager, Inspector Mike Crowley, said gun ownership applications had increased 30 per cent since 2002. Up to 11,000 of last year's 26,000 applicants were first-timers. 'There has not been a decrease in the number of firearms, but an increase. It shows they do not really depreciate and are a resilient commodity,' Insp Crowley said."
Monday, February 27, 2006
GUN RIGHTS ARE EXPANDING
Instead of embracing a citizen's "duty to retreat" in the face of a physical attack, states may be taking cues from the days of lawless frontier towns, where non-deputized Americans were within their rights to hold the bad guys at bay with the threat of deadly force. First enacted in Florida last year, "Stand Your Ground" bills are now being considered in 21 states including Georgia, according to the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The South Dakota senate approved one just last week.
These new measures would push the boundaries beyond the self-defense measures already on the books. Twelve states already allow citizens to shoot intruders in their homes, and 38 states permit concealed weapons in public places. The "Stand Your Ground" laws would allow people to defend themselves with deadly force even in public places when they perceive a life-threatening situation for themselves or others, and they would not be held accountable in criminal or civil court even if bystanders are injured.
Laws putting more judgment in an individual's hands stem from people's increased concern about crime in their communities. Proponents say it helps shift the debate from gun control to crime control, and that these laws are part of the rugged individualism of Americans. "These laws send a more general message to society that public spaces belong to the public - and the public will protect [public places] rather than trying to run into the bathroom of the nearest Starbucks and hope the police show up," says David Kopel, director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo.....
Currently, Florida's new law is being tested for the first time. In Tampa, a tow- truck operator who shot and killed a man he said was trying to run him over used the "Stand Your Ground" law as a defense. The district attorney is evaluating other forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony that the shots came from behind, and therefore were not in self-defense.
To be sure, the laws challenge the notion of "duty to retreat" from attack upheld by many state supreme courts. Yet the US Supreme Court came down against the "duty to retreat" in a 1921 ruling....
Indeed, those lobbying for the "Stand Your Ground" legislation say the proposed laws are more symbolic, sending a powerful message to would-be criminals. These laws "make it very clear that the good guy has the advantage, not the bad guy," says Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Va.
FL: Homeowner kills intruder : "A homeowner fatally shot an intruder Tuesday afternoon after the man had approached four homes and kicked in the front door of one home, police said. Melbourne resident Pete Frink told police he feared for his life when the man approached him 'aggressively' and 'irrationally' in his Colbert Circle home. He used a small-caliber handgun to shoot the man once near his rib cage, Melbourne police Cmdr. Jim Gibbens said in a statement. Witnesses said the man approached four homes: First on the west side of Colbert, then headed north on the road's east side. He approached homes, banged on or broke windows, jumped over chain-link fences and ultimately broke through the Frinks' front door. ... No charges have been filed and an investigation continues. Pete Frink said he initially tried to get the man, whom he described as out of control, to leave his house, Gibbens said. When that failed, he fired."
Sunday, February 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO BAN HEARING UNDERWAY
The National Rifle Association urged a state judge Thursday to overturn an ordinance voters overwhelmingly approved in November banning handgun possession and firearm sales. Chuck Michel, an attorney for the NRA and gun enthusiasts suing to repeal the law, said he was "sympathetic with the victims of gun violence" but said lawful weapon owners "are part of the solution, and not part of the problem." Without addressing the Second Amendment dispute over whether individuals have a right to bear arms, Michel said a local government cannot ban weapons because the California Legislature allows their sale and possession, and has almost exclusive authority to regulate them.
Measure H was put on the November ballot by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, who were frustrated by the alarmingly high number of gun-related homicides in this city of 750,000 residents. The NRA sued the day after 58 percent of voters approved the law.
Deputy City Attorney Wayne Snodgrass told San Francisco County Superior Court Judge James Warren the city can adopt such an ordinance because state law "is simply not protecting San Franciscans enough." He noted at least two California court decisions that he said vested San Francisco with the right to enforce Measure H. In 1998, a state appeals court upheld West Hollywood's ban on the sale of so-called Saturday night specials, small and cheap handguns that city leaders said contributed to violent crime. And three years ago, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of Los Angeles and Alameda counties, saying local governments could ban the possession and sale of weapons on government property, such as fairgrounds. The high court, however, did not address the issue of private property sales and possession, as outlined in the San Francisco law.
Michel said that a San Francisco state appeals court in 1982 nullified an almost identical San Francisco gun ban largely on grounds that the city cannot enact an ordinance that conflicts with state law. San Francisco's Snodgrass replied that the ban was a municipal affair and was slightly different from the city's earlier version. The new version only applies to city residents, meaning nonresidents in the city or even tourists are not affected. He said the West Hollywood, and Los Angeles and Alameda county cases weighed in San Francisco's favor.
Judge Warren asked Snodgrass that if the real intent was for the safety of San Francisco residents, why wouldn't the measure apply to outsiders and tourists. Snodgrass said he didn't think the ordinance would be lawful if it applied to all, and said the measure was directed at gun violence in the homes of San Francisco residents. The NRA's Michel wondered how the law protects a San Francisco family with "somebody coming through your bedroom window at 2 o'clock in the morning."
The law bans gun and ammunition sales beginning March 1 and handgun possession April 1. The NRA and Snodgrass said they would probably agree to shelve the law pending Warren's decision, due in about 90 days. The city has not approved penalties for violators.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is considering a challenge to a similar handgun ban in the District of Columbia that alleges the law violates a Second Amendment right of individuals to bear arms. The NRA lawsuit here avoids those allegations.
NC: Authorities investigate deadly home invasion : "Robeson County authorities are investigating a home invasion that killed one man and left a homeowner in the hospital. Officials say Mario Sosa was at home with his wife and two young children about 8 a.m. Sunday morning when he heard gunshots.The Robeson County sheriff says a gunfight broke out between Sosa and three armed men. Sosa shot and killed one of the three men but not before he was shot himself. Sosa underwent surgery at Southeast Regional Medical Center. Deputies say they're still looking for the two other men who ran away."
Saturday, February 25, 2006
SANITY FINALLY DAWNING FOR COWARDLY CANADIANS
Whatcom County sheriff's Deputy Stuart Smith spotted two murder suspects in a vehicle at a rest stop about five miles south of Blaine, Wash. When Deputy Smith tried to arrest the pair, they sped north toward the Canadian border on Interstate 5. The deputy gave chase.
The murder suspects blew past the U.S. Customs station, and at that point the deputy sheriff took his last chance, managing to ram their vehicle with his squad car, spinning it down an embankment and across a broad lawn that separates the U.S. border checkpoint from its opposite number on the Canadian side. The suspects fled on foot. In a blaze of gunfire at the Peace Arch, a graceful marble monument that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border near Blaine, one suspect was wounded. In the end, both were captured.
The shots that stopped them were fired by U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors, according to Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo. And how did the Canadian border guards a few yards away prepare themselves, in case the fleeing murder suspects made it across into their jurisdiction? They ran away. And were the Canadian guards later disciplined or dismissed for this abandonment of their posts?
Just the opposite. They were responding appropriately to the risk by "walking off" their posts until the danger had passed, explains Ron Moran, president of the Canadian border guards' union. Canadian border guards are not armed. Their standard operating procedure if danger looms is to run away -- the Los Angeles Times in a recent article adopted Mr. Moran's more diplomatic term "walk off" -- and call in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to give chase. "Primarily this has been an image thing," Mr. Moran explained. "We're a peaceful nation, with Canadians being proud of the fact that we don't greet people at the border crossings with someone who's armed. ... It is strictly a question of these men and women wanting to make sure they get back to their families at the end of the shift."
Canada disallows visitors from carrying self-defense arms almost entirely. This is the nation, after all, that demurred a few years ago when the United States military offered some of its most prized decorations to members of the Canadian armed forces who had saved American lives in Afghanistan. In al-Qaida's eastern mountain redoubt, Canadian snipers using .50-caliber rifles from hard-to-believe ranges took out a machine gun nest that had U.S. forces pinned down in open ground. But the Canadians said no, it was not appropriate to honor members of their military for actually, you know, shooting enemy soldiers.
Where has this attitude led? Roughly a dozen times in the past four months, Canadian border crossings have been closed for as long as several hours, backing up border traffic for miles, as Canadian guards have "walked away" from their posts in response to reports of dangerous suspects heading north. The practice became an issue in the recent Canadian national elections, with victorious Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowing during his campaign to "give our customs and border guards the training and equipment they need, including sidearms."
Mr. Moran of the border guards' union agrees the time has come. "The reality is that we don't live in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood anymore," Mr. Moran told the Times. "The reality is that our officers should be armed." It is indeed nice to see a country where -- unlike much of the Third World, and nowadays even Britain and Spain -- police and border guards still look more like civilian helpers and less like shock troops, suited up in combat boots and machine carbines. But in a day and age when those "running the border" almost certainly include would-be terrorists and members of a drug culture for whom murder and torture are standard business methods, Canada's anti-gun fetish may have reached the point of absurdity.
Pro-gun bills signed by S.D. Governor: "Governor Rounds signed the self-defense bill on Friday, Feb. 17. As many will recall, HB 1134 strengthens South Dakota�s existing self-defense laws and explicitly states that you do not have a duty to retreat from any place you have the right to be. The concealed carry in parks bill was signed by the Governor on Tuesday, Feb. 21. This bill limits the authority of state agencies to promulgate rules restricting concealed carry by pistol permit holders. Under the current administrative rules, not even folks who have a permit are allowed to carry a handgun for self-defense in any state park, campground, lakeside or recreational area. A change that would partially remedy this situation has been proposed... By requiring the individual to obtain a government license before he can exercise his right to bear arms, this language stops short of recognizing the Right to Carry. However, it is definitely a step in the right direction."
Friday, February 24, 2006
Progress in Michigan? "The debate over Michigan's gun and self-defense laws is intensifying. Bills in a state Senate committee would give law-abiding people more self-defense rights against criminals in certain situations, including away from home. Gun control groups say the bills are reckless and could create a public safety hazard. The bills would establish a presumption of reasonable fear of death or injury when a law-abiding person uses force in certain circumstances. A threatened person would have no duty to retreat and would be able to meet force with force in situations such as a home invasion or, in certain situations, a carjacking. People would have to have permits to carry concealed weapons when used outside the home. The state already has a process to obtain a permit".
SF ban has few friends: "On Thursday morning, a lawyer with the city attorney's office will try to convince a judge that a voter-passed initiative banning handguns and restricting other firearms is allowed by state law. But save the four members of the Board of Supervisors who placed it on the ballot last November, the ordinance appears to have few prominent friends, even among national gun control advocates. Mayor Gavin Newsom all but disowned it just before Election Day. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, strong advocates of assault-weapons bans, have taken no position on the San Francisco law. Of four national gun control groups, only one, which is based here, has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief supporting it. Meanwhile, national and state gun rights organizations, along with groups representing movie industry armorers and San Francisco police officers, have jumped into the fray, offering briefs to overturn the law".
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Big new Taser: "America's largest stun-gun manufacturer is working on a new way to deliver electricity to the human body - through 12-gauge shotgun shells. Though it's still being developed, Taser International Inc. says the new product will allow police officers and US troops to hit someone from a much greater distance than its current line of Tasers, which Amnesty International has cited in more than 120 deaths. The eXtended Range Electro-Muscular Projectile, or XREP, will be a shotgun shell designed to combine the blunt-force trauma of a fast-moving baseball with the electrical current of a stun gun. "It will truly cause incapacitation," company spokesman Steve Tuttle said. Taser hopes to release the product in 2007. The Office of Naval Research funded the approximately $677,500 it took to develop the shotgun shells, Tuttle said. The company has been selling its stun-gun weapons to law enforcement agencies since 1998."
"Negroes with Guns": "For me, one of the revelations of Black History Month has been the life of Robert Franklin Williams ... thousands of KKK members met in Monroe met from time to time. After burning copious crosses, they hopped in their cars, honking horns, shooting off guns, and threatening to kill people. The object again: racial terror. During that time Williams had personally started organizing armed squads of black people for self-defense. ... And when push came to shove back in Monroe, when the Klan came raging into the black section of Newton one night, they were met by a cordon of armed black men. The Klansmen panicked and fled every which way. And this was the last time they rampaged through Newton."
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
VT: Pub owner acquitted of murder: "A jury deliberated five hours Wednesday before acquitting Timothy Grover of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a Vernon man in November 2004. ... Grover, the father of two children and the owner of Emil's Pub in Brattleboro, was charged with second-degree murder, a crime that carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. He was accused of shooting Kellom, a former part-time police officer in Vernon, on Nov. 7, 2004. Jesse Corum, Grover's attorney, had argued that the shooting was justified because Kellom was about to use a baseball bat to strike the 'final, fatal blow' to the head of James Cleveland, a Grover family friend and one of Kellom's neighbors on Homestead Way in Vernon. Grover testified Tuesday that that he told Kellom to drop the bat several times before shooting the 52-year-old man once in the chest with a .22-caliber pistol. He added that Kellom had already knocked Cleveland's wife to the ground and was about to kill his friend."
Firestorm and media brimstoning: "The mainstream media's petulance peaked this week after they disapproved of Vice President Dick Cheney's notification method about his hunting accident in Texas. Once again the White House press corps reminded us that it's not about the story, or the victim, but about them. The usual journalism suspects who always exhibit "objective" criticism of the Bush administration displayed especially feral cattiness, and I'm not even talking about the demonstrative David Gregory of NBC News. No, the think-strained wretches of print did themselves proud as well."
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Violent "lover" shot: "Victor Russell, who allegedly was shot by a former girlfriend during a fight Sunday in west Mobile, died Monday night at a local hospital, Mobile police said. He was 39. Cpl. Marcus Young, a police spokesman, said no charges had been filed against the woman, Lashonda Cole, 30. But he said that the case would be presented to a Mobile County grand jury. ... Todd lives at a house on Williams Street off Dauphin Island Parkway near Government Street. She said Russell had gone to Cole's house Sunday to pick up some of his belongings. According to police spokesman Young, Russell struck Cole several times in the head with his fist. The spokesman said Cole locked Russell out of the house, then fired a 9 mm pistol through the back door as Russell tried to break through. The bullet hit Russell in the face."
HI: Group supports concealed carry bill : "These are just four examples of innocent women in Hawaii who were viciously attacked, raped and murdered, by men who overpowered them -- women who never had the chance to call 9-1-1 for help -- women who could not have been protected by police in time to prevent their attack even if they had the opportunity to pick up the phone, dial 9-1-1 ... A group of local women say they will fight against such violent acts -- not with a demonstration or protest -- but with legislation they plan to endorse. They are spending this Tuesday, Feb. 14, their Valentine's Day, at a hearing at the Hawaii State Capitol, where they will ask state lawmakers to pass a bill that allows law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm for protection."
Monday, February 20, 2006
SC: Self-defense bill clears House: "A bill rocketing through the Statehouse could give you greater rights to defend yourself with deadly force. It's called the 'Protection of persons and property act.' It passed the House unanimously ... now it's in the Senate. If it passes there, the new law would let you use deadly force against an intruder or attacker in your home or vehicle. There are exceptions but, generally speaking, if the bill becomes law, and if you lawfully use deadly force ... you would be immune from criminal prosecution and may not be arrested."
OR: Self-defense cited in fatal shooting: "A Veneta man who shot and killed an intruder early Friday acted in self-defense and will not be charged with a crime, the Lane County district attorney said. Tony Gilbert Hernandez, 58, shot the intruder at least twice with a 12-gauge shotgun as the man beat him with a collapsible metal baton, investigators said. The baton left deep cuts in Hernandez's scalp that had to be stapled shut at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene. He also had injuries on his back. 'This is what we would call self defense,' District Attorney Doug Harcleroad said. 'You're allowed to use deadly physical force under Oregon law when you're in fear for yourself or your property.'"
Sunday, February 19, 2006
LA: Store clerk kills suspected robber:An Alexandria man was shot and killed on Sunday during what is believed to have been a failed holdup attempt, Alexandria Police Lt. Mike Rennier said. Walter Louis Walker, 39, of 1244 Huffman St., was shot in the head at least two times by a clerk when he attempted to rob Tobacco Hut No. 2, located at 2350 Overton St., Rennier said. According to police records, the clerk told police that Walker approached the counter at 12:07 p.m. and demanded money while holding his hands in his pockets.Rennier said the clerk then shot Walker and called police to the scene. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police reports."
AZ: House OKs deadly force expansion: "The House wants to have Arizona follow Florida's lead and enact a so-called 'castle doctrine' law that permits use of deadly force against an intruder who illegally enters a home or vehicle -- not necessarily just when force is believed to be necessary to protect someone from physical force. Besides expanding the legal justification for using deadly force, the legislation backed by the National Rifle Association would state a person has no duty to back away before threatening or using force. The House's 36-21 vote on Monday sent the bill (HB2392) to the Senate, where similar legislation is pending."
Saturday, February 18, 2006
THE FUTURE OF GUNS IN CALIFORNIA?
IN: No charges in intruder killing : "Criminal charges will not be filed against a South Bend man who shot and killed an intruder during a botched robbery. ... The homeowner, 79-year-old Donald Van Dusen, shot Phoenix Coalmon. Coalmon later died at the hospital. Police say Coalmon planned on robbing Van Dusen's home. However, during a struggle between the two men, Van Dusen was stabbed. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Prosecutor Mike Dvorak said he felt there was no need to file charges. 'All indications are we will not be charging Mr. Van Dusen. (However), the investigation is not complete,' said Dvorak Tuesday. Investigators have not had an opportunity to interview Van Dusen, but family members say his health is improving. He remains in the hospital recovering from his stab wounds."
Americans take personal protection more seriously than ever: "Americans are feeling the need for gun ownership to protect themselves like never before. This trend started with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. 'For decades, Americans have been brainwashed into taking a passive role in their own survival,' says Chris Bird, a journalist and handgun expert. 'On Sept. 11th, we learned that the government and the professionals could not protect us.' Bird is so convinced of the need for people to take their protection seriously that he wrote a book titled, The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self-defense."
Friday, February 17, 2006
BRITAIN HAS LOST IT
Injured police officer Rachael Bown remains in a serious but stable condition in Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre hospital, after she was shot while on duty in the city in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 14 th February 2006). The 23-year-old probationer officer, and an experienced male colleague, had responded to a 999 call of a burglary at a house in Lenton Boulevard, Lenton, shortly before midnight. During a search of the area the two officers approached a man in nearby Forster Street. It was there that the suspect produced a firearm and shot PC Bown. Her colleague was not injured. PC Bown, who was wearing body armour, was taken to hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. Shortly after 5am she was transferred to intensive care where she remains in a serious condition. Her family are with her at the hospital. The officer's family has asked the media to respect their privacy and will not be commenting publicly at this time. Police immediately cordoned off several scenes for forensic examination. House-to-house inquiries have been conducted throughout the day, along with searches. These are expected to continue overnight and into tomorrow. An incident room has been opened at Radford Road Police Station and Detective Chief Inspector Dave Giles is leading the inquiry team. No arrests have been made in connection with this incident.
Comment from "The Telegraph" below. Note that attacks on female police arouse great outrage in Britain. The Brits love their WPCs
The casual way in which Pc Rachael Bown was gunned down in Nottingham raises disturbing questions about the level of armed crime in Britain. This was not a major armed robbery, or a shoot-out between drugs gangs. It appears to have been the work of two petty thieves, caught in the act of a fairly routine domestic burglary. Why should they have been carrying firearms? And why did they not hesitate to use them?
Understandably, the conclusion drawn by the public is that armed crime is out of control, that the police do not have the strategies to deal with it and that even small-time criminals do not fear the consequences of going equipped with a gun. Unfortunately, I think the public are right.
The outright ban on handguns since the Dunblane massacre has not had the desired effect. Illegal possession and use of firearms has rocketed and more firearms are in the hands of criminals than at any time in our history. Firearms amnesties and enforcing a largely irrelevant law against the law-abiding has had no appreciable effect on the problem.
The sociology of Britain is changing. Possession of guns and willingness to inflict violence is seen in some quarters as desirable, even heroic. Weapons are now available from a seemingly infinite range of sources.
Jamaican Yardie cocaine traffickers began the recent proliferation of sophisticated firearms in Britain in the late 1980s, importing semi-automatic pistols and Uzi submachine guns from America and the Caribbean. The television presenter Jill Dando was probably assassinated with a converted replica handgun with a modified 9mm round, useless for accuracy but deadly at point-blank range. There are thousands of these guns available to criminals, who, thanks to word of mouth and the internet, have no difficulty in converting them from ornaments to lethal weapons. Eastern Europe is also the source of much weaponry. Former Warsaw Pact guns form the bulk of recovered weapons in the United Kingdom. Drugs and guns go together, and the ability to smuggle large quantities of drugs is coupled with the ability to smuggle firearms. There is clearly an internet trade in firearms and HM Revenue and Customs cannot possibly monitor the vast number of parcels entering the country.
The gun problem is enormous and growing. The courts do their best and usually pass stiff custodial sentences on those convicted of possession. The trouble is that there are not enough criminals being convicted.
And what are the police doing? Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, talks of a "holistic" approach to policing and advocates the use of dedicated teams - each comprising perhaps a sergeant, two constables and two community support officers - to provide a visible policing presence and reassurance to the public. One has to question if that is the best they can do as a cutting edge against violent crime. Sir Ian should remember it is not the number of police that matters, but what they actually do. Very few people would suggest that the community support scheme has been a success against real criminals. They are poorly trained and largely left to their own devices, and are defined by what they cannot do. They have been brought into the fray in order to reassure the public, rather than to combat crime.
There is nothing complicated about policing, but political interference and downright lies about crime figures confuse the issue. The simple solution is not to increase numbers of ineffective support officers, but to empower the professionals. There is insufficient incentive and reward given to those police who do try to attack the problem of lawlessness in a robust manner. Senior officers too often find it easier to stand back than to become involved in confrontation. If policing is to meet the challenge posed by this new generation of hubristic armed criminals, the first priority must be to improve the quality of intelligence. This can be achieved - if the will is there - by providing more and better-trained detectives with strong leadership to encourage the development of informers. Senior officers have for years shied away from the informer and supergrass because of the potential accusations of corruption. They should remember that they are in the risk management business and it is their job to manage all informer-handling situations. They are police officers, not public relations executives or social workers.
A few years ago, Scotland Yard actually closed the world-renowned detective training school at Hendon. Thankfully it has since been reopened, but its closure showed the contempt in which the skills of the CID were held. The prejudice against detectives still exists and, until they are recognised for what they can achieve, it is doubtful whether any serious inroads can be made into the firearms problem.
A coherent approach is required. The reduction of gun crime should be a priority in all major conurbations. The lead agency should probably be the National Serious and Organised Crime Unit, with links to the intelligence-gathering throughout the country, including the security services. But real information is gathered on the streets and it is here that the intelligence gathering must start. The physical danger to front- line or response officers is clear and the number of officers shot is the tip of the iceberg. There are many more officers who are shot at, threatened with firearms or knives, and one needs to analyse those figures to get a true perspective of what is happening on the streets of Britain today.
The debate about whether the police should be armed will continue to rage, but, even if the decision is eventually taken, a major project to arm the police would take years to implement, with major changes to recruitment and training being the starting point. In the meantime, the danger to unarmed officers will continue to increase and something must be done now. A storm is gathering and, if they are to weather it, the police must reclaim the streets. If they fail to do so, they will have many more Rachael Bowns on their conscience - and worse.
Elementary -- and appalling: "The first rule of gun handling is never to point at anything you don't want to shoot. That means your gun muzzle should never cross another person at any time. That means that, when hunting birds, you should always carry your gun with the muzzle pointed downrange -- and up. That Vice President Cheney did not observe this elementary precaution, that he apparently turned and fired a shot level with the ground, I find appalling. It is not my job to call for his resignation. But I can certainly call his behavior and judgment into question."
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Activist: Take mystery out of guns for safety: "When snipers were killing people during October 2002 in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Nicki Fellenzer's coworkers sometimes asked her to accompany them on errands outside their office building in Vienna. 'They know that I carry a gun,' said Fellenzer, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon with her at all times. ... Fellenzer said she doesn't worry about having guns in the house because she and her husband have taught Daniel and their daughters, Sarah, 10, and Anna, 16, about gun safety. 'The No. 1 rule around this house is that a gun is not a toy,' Fellenzer said. 'Our children know this and understand it. They are drilled regularly on gun safety.' ... 'What is the No. 1 rule?' she asked Daniel. 'Don't point a gun at anyone you don't intend to shoot,' he said. 'And where do you keep your finger, when holding a gun,' Fellenzer asked her son. 'Not on the trigger, unless you're ready to shoot,' he said."
IL: 87-year-old woman fatally shoots man in her home: "An 87-year-old East St. Louis woman fatally shot a [black] man early this morning as he was trying to break into her house. Police said they found the man, Larry D. Tillman, 49, of East St. Louis on the enclosed front porch of the woman's house in the 2100 block of Gaty Avenue. He had pulled the telephone wires from the side of the house, then removed security bars from a porch window. As the man was breaking through a storm door that leads into the house itself, the woman fired several shots through her front door, striking Tillman once in the chest. Police said the shots were fired from a pistol, most likely a gun that her daughter had given her after a man broke into the elderly woman's house in December, battered her and stole some items. The man may have been dead for as long as four hours before police arrived. Police said that the woman was not sure that she had hit Tillman when she fired the shots about 2 a.m. However, she was too afraid to go outside to check and could not call for help because the telephone lines were dead. When the woman's daughter arrived about 6 a.m. to bring her mother breakfast, she found the dead man on the porch, police said."
The Million Moon March: "An international citizen disarmament coalition, Control Arms, is sponsoring a 'Million Faces petition' and 'is collecting photos and self portraits from around the world to reach [their] goal of one million faces by June 2006. [They] will use these faces to send a powerful, global message of support to the world's governments for an International Arms Trade Treaty.' The idea of The Million Moon March (as in 'mooning') is to send them photos from the side that believes in the right of the people to keep and bear arms -- to let the rights grabbers know there are untold numbers of people who refuse to be disarmed, and quite candidly, to taunt and hopefully enrage them."
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
GA: Mystery man shoots robber: "Gwinnett detectives are searching for a Hispanic man that they know only as 'John' who may have shot and killed a would-be armed robber in Norcross last week. Police think 'John' acted in self-defense, and if he comes forward to talk to detectives, he most likely will not be charged with a crime. 'We just want him to come forward and tell his side of the story,' Gwinnett police Detective Steve Shaw said. 'I believe that he is scared and is probably in hiding, but we will search for him until we find him.' Homicide detectives found the body of 18-year-old William D'Juan Jones of Decatur Jan. 25 in the breezeway of an apartment at 3229 Sunrise Village Lane. Jones was carrying a loaded gun and had a red bandana covering the lower part of his face . Investigators have learned that Jones was part of a robbery crew that had driven to the apartment complex that day, Shaw said. The robbery crew had randomly picked 'John' to rob and followed his dark-colored or burgundy Intrepid or Stratus, police said. Police learned about 'John' in interviews with members of the robbery crew."
Alaska: Teens fail to rob gun store: "Three teenagers are in jail after the owner of Alaskan Guns and Ammo withstood a blow to the head Wednesday afternoon and pulled a gun on his assailants, according to Fairbanks police.One of the would-be robbers struck store owner Stevan Smith on the back of the head with a crowbar. Smith said he thwarted the robbers when he pulled a gun. One robber fled and Smith said he held the other two at gunpoint until police arrived. 'As soon as I got the gun out, the situation changed dramatically,' the 62-year-old said."
Going postal in gun-free zones: "Persons who are determined to kill large numbers have often targeted United States Post Office facilities. Other popular murder spree sites have been schools and churches. What these places have in common is that all ban law-abiding citizens from legally carrying personal defense weapons, access for criminals with weapons is relatively easy and unchallenged, and armed security is limited or absent. Mass murders are more likely to occur in designated gun free zones and not where others are armed. Large numbers of people are not shot in gun stores and at shooting ranges."
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
OK: "What's up, fool?": "'What's up, fool?' David Anderson said as he opened fire with a .45-caliber pistol. The startled intruder scrambled through the broken door of Anderson's northeast Oklahoma City business and hit the streets -- but not before taking a bullet. Friday's shooting still is under investigation, but so far, police said, Anderson is thought to have acted in self-defense, firing his weapon to protect his business from at least one would-be burglar."
Anti-gunners still at it -- keep watch!: "Every once in a while, it pays to sit back and take a look at what the anti-gun people are trying to do. So being a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and gun rights, I did just that. Here are a few observations I would like to share. ... I noticed that they have pulled back some and moved into small pockets where they still have a chance. ... For example look at California and the cities in that state. San Francisco, for one, has attempted to pass laws banning handguns. New York City has reacted in the same manner. Both cities have stepped up measures to make their unconstitutional laws have more strength and go after those who have, or bring into the city, handguns."
The gun vote: "Much like most members of the establishment media don't know anyone that voted for President Bush they also don't know anyone that admits to owning a gun. For many the only exposure they have to guns, and gun owners, is when they are covering a murder or working to sensationalize the rare case when a child is accidentally killed by gunfire. The establishment media has therefore tried to downplay the role of the pro-gun movement by attempting to create the impression that gun owners are camouflage wearing militia members on the fringe of society. Their attempt has failed because soccer moms, real estate agents, lawyers, and teachers own guns. Even the sweet little old lady standing behind you in line at the grocery store is often carrying a gun as well."
Monday, February 13, 2006
GA: Homeowner shoots back: "Deputies were called to the Timesaver on Deerfield Street after a man apparently walked in with a gunshot wound. Deputies now say that three men -- David Wiltz, Burney Cobb, Jr., and Timothy Sikes -- forced their way into a home on Zeigler Road and tried to rob the man living there at gunpoint. They had a shotgun, but the homeowner had his own gun and opened fire, hitting Wiltz. The men took off, but when they got to Highway 80, they kicked Wiltz out of the car at the Timesaver. That's where where police and ambulance crews found him."
First duty is to yourself: "The law says you must act like a coward. In your own home. Even when your life is threatened. Many states have criminal-friendly 'duty to retreat' laws. A victim in his house is mandated to retreat from an attacker until he is cornered. Only then is the prey allowed to use lethal force on the predator. Prosecutors in those states have been known to victimize the victim (such as charging him with manslaughter) who prefers to fire back rather than to back off. The National Rifle Association has been trying to end the insanity state by state. Florida came to its senses last year. It enacted a law based on the 'Castle Doctrine' -- that one's home is one's castle. A person now is not legally required to be hunted down room by room by an intruder before the victim pulls the trigger. The law allows the victim to shoot back without fear of being prosecuted for being overzealous about protecting his life. And it prohibits criminals from suing their more aggressive victims. All their victims, actually."
Good old gun-controlled California -- where even 14 year old Asians have guns: "A 14-year-old boy was arraigned Friday on charges he used a gun to shoot a pregnant woman in what Sacramento police describe as a murder-for-hire plot involving four other people. The boy, Xeng Saetern, who turned 14 two weeks before the slaying, is accused of using a .38-caliber revolver to shoot Si Choy Saeturn, 28, in the head and in the abdomen as she left work on Dec. 29. Saetern, who is being prosecuted as an adult, and Nai Loung Saechao, 25; Lo Fou Saephanh, 24; Cheng Vern Saephan, 21; and his brother, Khae Vern Saephan, 19, were each charged in Sacramento Superior Court with two counts of murder and special circumstances that carry the death penalty. Although the boy's charges carry the death penalty, he is too young to be executed if he is convicted, according to federal law. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment for juveniles under 18 was "disproportionate punishment." The special circumstances filed in the case are for multiple murders and lying in wait. The other slain victim was identified in court as "Baby Saeturn." The woman's relatives said she was four months pregnant."
Sunday, February 12, 2006
OK: Charge against Wyandotte man dismissed: "Ottawa County prosecutors dismiss a first-degree murder charge against a Wyandotte man after authorities determined that the shooting was self-defense. Twenty-one-year-old Michael Anthony Morrison was charged May 2nd in the shooting death of Keith Alexander Gordon. Gordon was found on a Wyandotte road with a gunshot wound to the face. U-S marshals arrested Morrison in Kansas City, Kansas, and he returned to Miami in October. District Attorney Eddie Wyant says an investigation revealed that Gordon was running at Morrison with a belt-like vest containing several shotgun shells, knives and machetes. Wyant says Gordon's relatives removed the vest from his body and hid it in their home nearby. Witnesses say Morrison grabbed his gun from his vehicle and shot Gordon when he began running at him with a machete in his hand."
The gun heard 'round the West: "A famous ad that most boy baby boomers will recall from Boys' Life, the old scouting magazine, showed a happy lad, carrot-topped and freckly like any number of Peck's Bad Boys, his teeth haphazardly arrayed within his wide, gleeful mouth under eyes wide as pie platters as he exclaimed on Christmas morn, 'Gee, Dad ... A Winchester!' All gone, all gone, all gone. The gun as family totem, the implied trust between generations, the implicit idea that marksmanship followed by hunting were a way of life to be pursued through the decades, the sense of tradition, respect, self-discipline and bright confidence that Winchester and the American kinship group would march forward to a happy tomorrow -- gone ... if not with the wind, then with the tide of inner-city and nut-case killings that have led America's once-proud and heavily bourgeois gun culture into the wilderness of marginalization."
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Good for the country: "Many people believe people like me are gun nuts. Actually, we're Liberty Nuts. For us, it's not all guns; for us, it's a much broader picture of generations of liberty, sacrifice, connectivity to it all. ... Personal weapons ... is an integral part of our way of life, and any interference with this choice means other interferences to come. This is consistent around the world. How is America immune? Well, she isn't. This is how the carrying of weapons is a barometer -- a predictor -- of the health of all our other civil rights, including freedom of speech, assembly, religion, security in our person and papers."
The latest "study" on gun owners: "I recently had the displeasure of reading a paper about the latest study from David Hemenway, Mary Vriniotis and Matthew Miller. If those names sound familiar, it's because these researchers from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center are well-known for ejaculating anti-gun propaganda under the guise of legitimate research. ... these authors not only mischaracterized the behaviors that define road rage, they also drew no direct causative link between gun ownership and violent behavior on the road. They failed to prove that the presence of guns necessarily precipitates their use in road rage situations, although they're quick to make offensive implications about the subject. 'If someone is giving you the finger, it may be useful to have some sense of whether or not they have a gun,' they claim. They never directly state what they obviously allude to: that if you retaliate, you might get shot. They cannot make that claim, because they have established no factual evidence that points to this risk. However, they appear anxious to make that intimation."
Friday, February 10, 2006
NC: Surry man shoots home intruder: "A homeowner shot and injured a man who broke into his house this morning, the Surry County Sheriff's Office said. Greg and Ashley Durham of 2769 Old Highway 52 woke up about 3:30 when they heard their dog barking outside, the sheriff's office said in a statement. They saw a person wearing what looked like a hood walking near the back of their house, and called 911. The man forced open a locked door and came in the front of the house.Greg Durham 'shot the disguised unknown person after the entry into the living quarters of the house, using a .22-caliber rifle,' the statement said. Deputies arrived and found Jason Garrett Chilton, 20, lying on the floor in the front room with a gunshot wound. He was wearing a pillowcase over his face, the statement said."
Guns, gun laws, and liberty: "The heart of virtually every citizen of America went out to the family of little Kayla Rolland after a classmate took her life with a .32 caliber revolver on February 29 in Mt. Morris, Michigan. As with the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado last year, we all feel pained and distraught about such senseless violence, and we wonder what has gone wrong and what can be done to prevent any recurrences. In the wake of these tragedies, legislators in every state are taking up the issue of gun control. The challenge is to express appropriate grief and concern about these things without allowing hyped emotions, rhetorical window-dressing, or futile �quick fixes� to rule the day. Political jockeying to prove who is most outraged by violence must not overwhelm facts, logic, and experience. One superficial but unfortunately popular reaction to school shootings is summarized this way: �Guns are bad; more laws are good.� The facts are more complicated. Guns are not bad when they are not misused, not accessible to people who misuse them, and used harmlessly in sport or recreation; they are good when they thwart crime. Laws are not good when they injure the rights, property, or lives of the innocent; when they are ineffective or unenforceable; or when they act as cheap political substitutes for a problem�s real cure."
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Indiana: Elderly man acted in self-defense, likely no charges will be filed: Neighbors react to the stabbing of an elderly South Bend man, attacked in his own home Sunday morning. But police say that elderly man shot his attacker to death and their investigation isn't over yet. The crime tape still remains at the home on Brookfield Street. The investigation is far from over, but at this point the county prosecutor does not believe charges will be filed against the 79-year-old man who shot his attacker. "I been knowing him for about five years. He's the best neighbor I have ever had,� said Markitta Sanders. Sanders lives next store to Don VanDusen, a 79-year-old man who fought in WWII and earned the honors of the Purple Heart. "He had everything, this man got everything, this man got tools, a boat, everything,� said Sanders. Which could be why another [black] neighbor 29-year-old Phoenix Coalmon tried robbing VanDusen early Sunday morning, an attempt that cost Coalmon his life. "He had been shot two times,� said Tim Corbett, Commander of St. Joseph County Metro Homicide. Police believe VanDusen shot Coalmon during the attempted robbery, but not before neighbors say Coalmon stabbed the elderly man several times.... Coalman was just released from the county jail on Saturday, after serving time for habitual traffic violations. Less than 24 hours later he apparently tried to rob his neighbor."
MI: Not just guns -- thugs with guns: "Police Chief Gerald H. Cliff advised Saginaw City Council members Monday against buying citizen's guns to thwart violence, saying buybacks didn't get the types of high-powered weapons used by gangs off the streets.Cliff's straightforward evaluation of gun buy-backs was right on target. Gun buy-back initiatives, in which officials purchase guns from citizens, ostensibly to keep them out of the hands of criminals, aren't effective. A handful of studies since the 1990s, when the federal government gave cities cash to buy guns, show they tend to lure law-abiding citizens to bring in small caliber guns. More importantly, Cliff said the studies indicate buying "closet guns" doesn't have a measurable impact on reducing violence. "
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
KS: Gun advocates press for permit bill: "Kansas is one of only four states that offers no concealed-weapons permits. Advocates of concealed weapons say they hope election-year politics may change that. As they have for years, pro-gun lawmakers are pushing a bill that would set up a permit process for residents who want to carry a concealed firearm. Similar measures have passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate in recent years, but have always met with a gubernatorial veto. The bill by Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, would allow concealed weapons permits for state residents over age 21 who pass a background check, complete a training course, and have never been convicted of a felony. Residents with a criminal background of domestic violence, two drunken driving convictions or other certain offenses would be barred from the permit process. Concealed weapons would be prohibited in certain areas, such as state government offices, schools, colleges, day cares, bars, sporting events, and any business that posts a sign banning them."
SC: 70 year old cleared in shooting : "Investigators said a 70-year-old man shot his 39-year-old neighbor in self-defense after he was attacked with a chair at his home. Prosecutors said Thursday they would not charge John Black. Black handed over a gun to police and told them he shot Marc Anthony Pringle on Monday. Anderson police Lt. Layton Creamer said an investigation found that Pringle had a "tendency to become violent.'"
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
NY: Mount Vernon man not guilty in slaying of ex-con : "A Mount Vernon man was acquitted of murder yesterday in the slaying of an ex-convict who had shot him seven years earlier, after the jury accepted his claim that he fired at the unarmed man in self-defense. Mark Powell, 40, bowed his head, then thanked and hugged his lawyer after the jury forewoman announced the not-guilty verdicts to charges of murder and manslaughter. Powell was found guilty of a felony weapon charge because the gun he used was not licensed. He faces up to seven years in prison for the gun conviction. Westchester County Judge Rory Bellantoni scheduled sentencing for March 22 in White Plains. Powell shot Curtis Liburd on Sept. 17, 2005, on East Fourth Street in Mount Vernon. He testified that someone told him Liburd had a gun and that he grabbed his own gun from his car to protect himself when Liburd confronted him and threatened him. He said he fired as Liburd came after him and tried to grab the gun."
Gun owners take a stand : "The decision of whether or not to own a firearm and whether or not to carry concealed is a personal one. Those who obtain CCW licenses and who feel comfortable carrying in public places are taking a stand against violent crime. People who carry concealed put themselves in the unique position of being able to defend themselves and others if faced with a potentially life-threatening violent criminal action. The decision to use force if necessary to save lives is one of conscious responsibility and forthright courage. It means standing up for what is right rather than forfeiting all power to the criminal. It also means standing up when everyone around you acquiesces."
Monday, February 06, 2006
CA: Second visit proves fatal for robber : "The Bakersfield Police say two suspects involved in a home invasion robbery in the Northwest last week robbed the same home last summer. The BPD says Jose Covarrubias and a juvenile, stole several firearms and other valuables from the Laxson home on Kearney Hills Drive in June. Last Monday, the BPD says they, along with Jermaine Dabbs broke into the home again. This time, Nathan Laxson shot and killed Dabbs, in self defense."
Research on guns and road rage : "There are multiple concerns with this analysis. There is not attempt to differentiate whether the person who had the gun in the car had it legally or not. No attempt to determine whether they had a gun when the rage occurred. While one regression with a few very basic variables was apparently run (but not shown), no explanation was offered for why such a limited set of control variables were used (e.g., why not trouble with law enforcement, education, income, smoker, race). Trouble with law enforcement (past arrests) would have been obvious (though it would have been even better if they had asked whether the person had convictions for felonies (I wonder why they didn't include that question) .... After a second telephone call, Hemenway said that while he will not give out the data used in the paper, he may reconsider providing a portion of the data, but that he can't make a decision before talking to his co-authors. He is also very busy and would not say when he would check into even this."
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Glue gun will mean police can stick to fleeing drivers: "Police in Los Angeles are hoping that a new high-tech device will rid the city of its reputation as the car chase capital of the world. Patrol cars are to be fitted with a Batmobile-like gun behind the radiator grill that fires a sticky globule containing a GPS tracker on to the fleeing vehicle. Officers will then be able to track the car by satellite instead of racing after it along crowded freeways. If fugitives stop to remove the tracker, police say that they will be caught easily. "Rather than pushing them because they are going 70-80 mph and we are attempting to keep up with them, we will just basically monitor where they are going," said William Bratton, the police commissioner. "Let them run. We will just basically track them to where they dump the car. We do that now with helicopters." [Who's nuts here? What if the crooks stop the car and run off while nobody is there to observe them?]
Good old gun-controlled California -- where 9 year old kids carry .38s: "An 9-year-old boy showing off a handgun on his school bus Friday accidentally shot another student in the elbow, authorities said. The 10-year-old victim was hospitalized in good condition. The bus was a short distance from Longfellow Elementary School at 8:20 a.m. when the .38-caliber handgun fired, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Oscar Butao said. "The other student was showing the handgun to his friend, and it accidentally went off," Butao said. "The driver just heard a gunshot."
Saturday, February 04, 2006
CA: Prosecutor: Shooting was self-defense: "An ex-convict will not be charged with murder for a Jan. 18 killing police believe sparked a retaliatory attack last week that left two people dead and three wounded, authorities said Monday. Police said prosecutors have determined Derrick 'Dirty D' Knockum, 39, acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Purnell Brewer, 26, of Berkeley in the 2000 block of East 26th Street. Knockum was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a gun and violating parole.On Monday, witnesses to the shooting confirmed that both Knockum and Brewer, who were longtime friends, had guns, homicide Sgt. Ersie Joyner III said. Joyner said Knockum 'had a legitimate fear he might be shot' and defended himself. " [So, let's punish him anyway for managing to defend himself successfully]
AK vs AR, the REAL data speaks: "There's been the ever present, unending debate over which is best, ARs or AKs. This debate rages on across the internet and in gun shops every day sending bile and bitter insults spewing both ways. Thise debate has turned fathers against sons, best friends against one another, and, well you get the point. Your host is of the opinion that there are of course pros and cons of each family of rifle, and I refuse to engage in what is 'best.' As one who loves them all, especially the AK and AR series, I thought I'd pass on some of the knowledge I have gained over the years concerning these wildly different weapons. As a bonus, I'll toss in my knowledge of the third favorite family of weapons at the Bunker, just because they are very popular these days and I often ramble about them. So, here, for the aid of those hammering one another with debate, some unbiased, non-slanted, untainted raw knowledge about the Ak, the AR and the Mosin Nagant."
Friday, February 03, 2006
Texas: Elderly homeowner shoots drunk intruder: "A 26-year-old Texas City man was shot and killed late Friday night after he apparently mistook someone else's home for his own. Texas City police Sgt. Brian Goetchius said David Wayne Stewart was shot after he kicked in the door of a home in the 900 block of 26th Street North around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Police said they believe Stewart, who was walking home after picking up some food at a nearby fast food restaurant, was intoxicated and was trying to get into the wrong house. Stewart's own home is just blocks away, police said. Texas City police received a call from a woman saying her husband had just shot someone trying to break into their home. When police arrived, they found Stewart lying inside the front doorway. Goetchius said the 74-year-old homeowner fired a single shot from a handgun. While an investigation is ongoing, it is unlikely the homeowner will face any criminal charges."
Canada: Police chiefs fear end to firearms controls: "The head of Canada's police chiefs says he will impress upon the new federal government the merits of the national gun registry, a much-maligned system the Conservatives have promised to scrap. Jack Ewatski, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said he wants to open a dialogue on firearms with the ministers to be named early next month to the justice and public safety portfolios. ... The federal requirement to register shotguns and hunting rifles, initiated by the Liberals in 1995, has long rankled critics who say it is a wasteful exercise that does not reduce firearms-related crime. A 2002 report by the federal auditor general put the computerized registry's price-tag at $1 billion, a figure that dwarfed the original $2-million estimate and further riled opponents."
Thursday, February 02, 2006
(Black?) teens say getting guns is easy: "Protecting yourself against violence is something the teens we spoke with say is a must. On Monday their classmate at Menchville High School, brought a loaded 45 caliber handgun to school. The 15-year-old told police there had been a fight in his neighborhood just days before, he felt threatened and he wanted to protect himself. "Students feel threatened in this school all the time. They do wild things so they think they've got to be protected or whatever," said Chris Freeman, a Menchville High Junior. The students we spoke with say: all students know the penalties for bringing weapons to school, but it often comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils. "It's either he could get hurt or you could get expelled. I probably would have done the same thing if I was so worried that somebody was about to get me, said Menchville freshman Matthew Stallings. "I can understand somebody being scared cause like if somebody gets their faces cracked you never know it could happen to you!" added Chris Keefer a Menchville Sophomore. Police say Newport News has no more teen on teen violence than any other city and that there are no real territorial rivalries between high school students."
The Taser light begins to dawn: "One year after forgoing the purchase of 83 Taser guns because of mounting safety concerns, Fort Wayne police said Tuesday they will reinstate deployment of the weapons in a pilot program. The announcement came two days after an armed man was shot and injured by police officers. Fort Wayne police have also been involved in two standoffs in which officers killed barricaded people last year. Tasers temporarily immobilize people with a 50,000-volt shock. Police Chief Rusty York said the decision had nothing to do with those cases but with his confidence in the Tasers� safety after the Police Executive Research Forum � a national organization of police executives � compiled guidelines for their usage last fall. The department will purchase six Tasers and began training 28 officers with the Emergency Services Team, the department�s SWAT team, in March, York said. The team will use Tasers for hostage situations, barricaded subjects as well as narcotics raids and warrant executions for high-risk suspects. Police will set its own guidelines for the use of Tasers by modifying the one created by the Police Executive Research Forum, he said".
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Georgia police catch and kill crazy robber: "A 19-year old man is dead following a police chase that ended in Clayton County. Officers said 19-year-old James Blacey, Jr. was one of two men suspected in the robbery and beating of a man at the Victory Landing Apartments in DeKalb County Saturday. According to police, the incident began around 4 a.m. when someone living at the complex called officers to report a fight.... Police arrived at the scene and found a man who they said told them that two men had just robbed and pistol-whipped him, then sped off in two separate cars. One set of officers at the scene spotted one of the cars speeding from the area and took off after that car. The chase continued for several miles along I-675 through DeKalb County and into north Clayton County, police said. Clayton County officers assisted in the chase and eventually helped end the pursuit by laying down a spike strip to slow down the speeding suspect. The suspect drove over the spikes and blew out a tire as he sped past the Clayton County police headquarters building and came to a stop. Officers said the suspect then stepped out the car. He had guns in both hands, police said. "He pointed one handgun at his head and then at one point, lowered one of his handguns and directed it in the direction of one of the officers," said Clayton County Assistant Police Chief, Jeff Turner. "The officers then reported hearing a gunshot at one point which time they returned fire."
Why I am a pro-gun pacifist: "Through my association with Libertarian gun owners, I have come to learn that owning a gun, in and of itself, is a peaceful choice. I am surrounded by wonderful people who fully understand that individual choice and personal responsibility go hand in hand. I see that the vast majority of gun owners take the same attitude in making their choice. Over time, I have become comfortable with someone wearing a sidearm sitting next to me at a meeting, or being a passenger in a car when I know there's a gun stashed in the glovebox right in front of me."