Sunday, April 30, 2006
NH: House reverses course, supports self-defense: "Gun owners and advocates carried the day in the House on Wednesday. In a surprise turnaround, the House supported legislation it defeated last month that would give people more leeway to use guns to defend themselves in public places. It also voted for a bill to bar the state from taking guns or ammunition from people during a state of emergency. 'Nothing should chip away at our freedom,' argued Rep. Lynne Ober, R-Hudson. If weapons had been confiscated centuries ago, 'we might have been singing God Save the Queen,' she said."
TN: Disabled man fights off home invaders: "A disabled Red Bank man foiled a home invasion early Thursday morning by getting off four shots at a man busting in his bedroom window. Red Bank Police Lt. Jim Kyle said the incident happened at 1:30 a.m. at 203 Euclid Ave. He said David McCutcheon was asleep in his bed when he heard his bedroom window breaking, then saw a masked man coming through the window. Mr. McCutcheon reached for a .32-caliber revolver and began firing, causing the masked man to make a hasty retreat."
Patriots Day: "I grew up in Massachusetts in the 1950s. April 19th was celebrated each year as Patriots Day. The holiday commemorates the ride of Paul Revere, and the battles of Lexington and Concord in the colony which birthed the American Revolution. ... Growing up in New England in the fifties, there seemed to be no great public concern about guns. At a fairly tender age, I was responsible enough to be entrusted with a BB gun, which I used to protect the household from marauding tin cans, birds in the cornfield, and squirrels robbing the bird feeders. A few years later, I enrolled in a neighboring town's NRA Youth program, shooting .22 rifles in the basement of the armory. A young boy with an air rifle or .22 drew little interest from passersby on the country roads along which I'd walk on the way to the range, or to an abandoned quarry where I often practiced. Even the local police would wave and drive on by."
Saturday, April 29, 2006
MT: Intruder prompts elderly Sula woman to get her gun : "Phyllis Friesen sat in her bedroom Sunday night with a .357 pistol in her lap while a strange man raided her refrigerator and trashed her house. Law enforcement officers arrived at the 80-year-old woman's cabin 15 miles up the East Fork of the Bitterroot River near Springer Memorial more than an hour after she called 911 to report the alleged intruder, 42-year-old Jerry D. Gensamer. 'I asked what the heck he was doing in my house and he never answered me -- just started trashing the living room,' Friesen said. ... Gensamer entered Friesen's house through a door at about 10:15 p.m., she said. Friesen, who lives by herself, said she doesn't normally lock the door. After he ignored her questions, Friesen said she went into her bedroom, pulled out a gun and called 911. 'It wasn't as frightening as it would have been if I didn't have the gun,' she said."
Despite Brady efforts, pro-gun victories continue: "After more than two decades of trying to destroy the firearms rights of more than 80 million law-abiding American gun owners -- and statistically failing to show any impact on violent crime -- the Brady 'Campaign Against Illegal Guns' being launched Thursday is yet another crusade whose ultimate goal is to trample the Second Amendment into dust. That's the reaction from Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). 'This isn't a new campaign against illegal guns,' he stated, 'it's the same old campaign against all guns, and the American citizens who own them.'"
Friday, April 28, 2006
Amazing shot cited as self-defense. Police bullet lodged in gunman's weapon: "A highly improbable shot left an officer's bullet in the cylinder of a gunman's revolver, and police say it's a pretty clear sign that the officers who shot the man faced a deadly threat. "Physically, it is impossible to conclude anything other than the fact the suspect was pointing directly at the officers," Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer said Wednesday, adding, "I've not seen anything quite like that in my 24 years." Wednesday, the King County Medical Examiner's Office had yet to release the identity of the gunman and were still trying to notify his next of kin. Kimerer said the man turned 18 about a month ago.... At a news conference at police headquarters Wednesday, Kimerer said investigators learned that the gunman had had an argument with a female friend shortly before the shooting.... A merchant called 911, as did others. Two East Precinct patrol officers arrived in less than two minutes, he said. The two officers approached the young man near a bus stop. Though the man was suspected of being armed, the officers did not see a weapon, so at first they planned to restrain him. When the man turned to face them, the officers ordered him to get on the ground and show his hands. The warning, Kimerer said, was heard by several witnesses. Instead of complying, "the suspect reached behind his back with both hands," he said. Out came a revolver, police officers said. The officers ordered the man to drop the gun. Instead, police said, he squared up against them. "The officers returned fire in response to that deadly threat," Kimerer said... Fire medics arrived but were unable to revive the man."
Michigan progress: "Lawmakers are working on a package of bills that would strengthen the right of Michiganians to shoot felons who are breaking into their homes or attacking them on the street. Fleeing or retreating no longer would be the first duty of law-abiding citizens facing physical harm. They could meet force with force and not fear prosecution or lawsuits, under measures that worry prosecutors but nevertheless are moving through the House and Senate. "Why on earth should we have to retreat from the criminal element in society?" asked Sen. Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt, the leading sponsor of one of the main bills in the Senate. He said the goal is to create a new law that better lays out the ground rules for self-defense. Clear regulations also have become important now that more people are carrying handguns for self-protection. Citizens are permitted to defend themselves under current law, but they are supposed to flee if possible. In testimony at hearings, a University of Michigan professor told lawmakers the existing rule gives criminals the advantage by making their victims hesitant."
Thursday, April 27, 2006
AZ: Napolitano signs self-defense bill: "Governor Napolitano today signed into law a bill to strengthen Arizonans' rights to claim self-defense and to use force against intruders. The bill was supported by the National Rifle Association and opposed by prosecutors. It imposes a new burden of proof on prosecutors to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant's self-defense claim was unfounded. It also implants the so-called 'castle doctrine' in Arizona law to give a person the right to use force in a home or vehicle against an intruder without having to retreat."
Gun industry seeks seat at victim disarmament summit: "In a letter faxed today to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office, the trade association representing the firearm industry officially requested a seat at the table at tomorrow's national summit on illegal guns organized by Bloomberg and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston. Lawrence G. Keane, who signed the letter on behalf of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), said the industry shares the mayors' concerns about further reducing crime by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. 'Our industry has developed programs that are working to reduce criminal misuse of firearms, as well as reduce firearms accidents. We would welcome the opportunity to educate mayors about these programs, including Don't Lie for the Other Guy, the straw purchase deterrence initiative developed in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,' said Keane, senior vice president and general counsel."
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
NY: Big city mayors host victim disarmament summit: "Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will host a summit next week for about a dozen of their colleagues to discuss gun violence, a problem that has long frustrated big-city mayors. Mayors from Dallas, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., and Seattle are among those scheduled to attend the meeting at Gracie Mansion, the historic Upper East Side house where Bloomberg holds official events."
AZ: Bill strengthens right to use force: "The state House passed a bill today to strengthen Arizonans' rights to claim self-defense and to use force against intruders. The bill would scrap a decade-old state law by imposing a new burden of proof on prosecutors to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant's self-defense claim was unfounded. It also would implant in Arizona law the so-called 'castle doctrine' that gives a person the right to use force in a home or vehicle against an intruder without having to retreat."
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Comment on California idiocy: "State Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, has introduced a bill to require all semi-automatic handguns to make microscopic indentations on all shell casings for identification. Supporters of the bill contend that the gun feature will allow the police to catch more criminals. Opponents believe the markings could easily be adulterated by sanding or filing the firing pins, thereby making the law academic. My take is that it's just another attempt by gun-control advocates to hector gun makers and owners and to make ownership of a weapon more expensive. If the bill is passed, I predict it will have no statistically significant impact on the crime clearance rate.
Louisiana victims shoot back. Thugs flee: "A group of men fired bullets into a cluster of children at a birthday party on Lash Street on Saturday night, injuring a Shreveport woman in a shooting that police believe was retaliation for an earlier gunfight in the neighborhood. The woman, who was in her mid to late 20s, was taken to LSU Hospital in Shreveport with non-life threatening injuries. Police didn't immediately identify the woman. Police were dispatched to the intersection of Lash and Linwood streets just before 9 p.m. after getting reports of a gunfight that sent nearly 100 children scattering from the neighborhood block party. By the time police arrived at the scene, the shooters had fled on foot and all of the children at the party had cleared from the streets. Witnesses told police that the group of men stood at the corner of Lash and Linwood streets and opened fire on people attending the party. While ducking a hail of bullets, some people at the party pulled out guns and started firing back, police said. Police have identified some suspects in the shooting but wouldn't release any information."
Another black "victim": "As a lesson in gun safety, it could not be bettered. While delivering his message, Special Agent Lee Paige shot himself in the leg as children watched in disbelief. Now, since it happened in America - and since the bullet miraculously missed the femoral artery - there is to be the inevitable sequel. Mr Paige, 45, is suing his employer, the Drug Enforcement Administration, for leaking footage of the incident. He claims that the agency is liable for "mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation and anxiety" because a videotape of his "accidental discharge" has gained a global audience on the internet. His career has allegedly suffered - after 347,000 hits on Google, undercover work is no longer an option - and he says he has been ridiculed in public. He is not demanding payment for the damage to his leg."
FL: University professors shape laws: "Type the words 'Gary Kleck' and 'guns' into Google, and you'll find links to about 50,400 Web pages. Many of those link to gun-rights groups such as the Second Amendment Research Center and Gunowners.org. Kleck, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University, has become the darling of gun-rights advocates thanks to his studies into the use of firearms for self-defense. His research found that as many as 2.5 million victims each year have used guns to defend themselves during crimes. It also showed that victims who submitted to criminals' demands were twice as likely to be injured during crimes as those who defended themselves with guns. His research did not conclude that looser gun laws lessen crime, Kleck said, only that guns altered crimes that were already under way. All of which, Kleck said, can be boiled-down to a bumper-sticker slogan: "Bad guys have guns, bad effects. Good guys have guns, good effects." And this year, lawmakers such as Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Melbourne, have cited his research in defending bills such as one that would force employers to allow workers to keep guns locked in their cars on company property."
MS: 85-year-old man shoots burglar: "Deputies arrested a suspected burglar Monday after an 85-year-old Saucier man reported he had shot a man who broke into his home. Harrison County sheriff's investigators said the resident knew Wayne Thomas Clark and identified him as the burglar. Deputies went to Clark's home on Mack Pete Road and found him asleep with two gunshot wounds to his back, said Sheriff's Capt. Ron Pullen. The break-in and shooting occurred Saturday but wasn't reported until Sunday. Clark was shot with a small-caliber handgun, said Pullen. Clark, 42, was taken to a hospital for medical treatment and was held without bond at the Harrison County jail. A judge declined to set bond on the burglary charge. At the time of his arrest, Clark was out of jail on bond for a pending stolen property charge. The resident, who lives in the 25400 block of Mississippi 53, told investigators the burglar assaulted him, said Pullen. The charge against Clark and the shooting will be presented to a grand jury. The elderly man was not arrested, but the incident will be presented as a matter of concern "to be sure he acted within the law," said Charlie Wood, an assistant district attorney."
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Identity theft imperils firearm owners: "'Envision a hypothetical law-abiding Bob Citizen who attempts to purchase a revolver from a local gun shop,' suggests gun law expert John Snyder. 'Imagine further,' he continues, 'that when the store clerk runs the necessary criminal records check through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Bob Citizen learns his identity has been stolen and he cannot make the purchase. His name, date of birth and Social Security Numbers have been used by someone else. He is a victim of identity theft, the fastest growing crime in the United States. This imaginary scenario is bad enough as it is,' says Snyder, 'but let's follow it another step or two. The criminal with a mile-long rap sheet who steals Bob Citizen's ID uses the good name to purchase a firearm and subsequently misuses it in the commission of a bank robbery, rape or murder. Bob Citizen now faces criminal charges as well as a loss of good reputation.'"
FL: 69 year old man fends off robbers: "A 69-year-old man was grazed by a bullet on his cheek during an attempted robbery in the driveway of his Hollywood home Sunday, but escaped with his life when he pulled out his gun and fired back. Francesco 'Franco' D'Arpino pulled into his garage at about 5:10 a.m. after working the night shift at his North Miami Beach restaurant, Franco's Pizza, when police say a white car rammed into the back of his car and someone opened fire. A bullet grazed D'Arpino's cheek. He grabbed his gun, which he keeps on him, and shot back, driving off the attackers."
OH: Gun shows in the crossfire: "It's easy to build an illegal [sic] machine gun. Or to get the recipe for exploding gelatin.Everything you need is available at hundreds of gun shows held across the country this time of year. While gun businesses must be federally licensed, gun shows enable private individuals to sell scores of weapons each weekend with little, if any, oversight. And the shows are flourishing. In the past two months alone, promoters have hosted 20 gun shows in Ohio, including one April 9 in Niles."
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Few New Orleans residents getting back stolen guns: "A handful of people showed up Monday to try to get back guns confiscated by the New Orleans Police Department after Hurricane Katrina -- and not many of those walked away with a weapon. 'They told me the police took them the first two weeks after the hurricane, after that it was the ATF,' said Charles Clark, 62, a retired law officer, who had an antique gun taken from his house after the Aug. 29 storm. 'It's very frustrating. I know we had a storm and all, but there should be a way to find out who has your property.' ... Percy Taplet, 73, said the national guard and state police confiscated his shotgun from his house when they evacuated him. He said he kept it for protection at his house and adjoining business. Police told him he would have to contact state police about the weapon. 'I won't ever see that gun again believe me,' Taplet said. 'It's gone like everything else in that storm.'"
The purists and New Orleans gun confiscation: "New Orleans balked and stalled. The City was found in contempt and was then ordered again to return them, at which time they agreed to do so through a process which included new background checks. This is, of course, harassment of lawful owners. As usual, officials like to abuse the law abiding with acts of power which never touch the criminals.Now, not only do the rightful owners have to jump through hoops, but some of the weapons are turning up lost according to early reports. ... This is where the Purists come in. The Purists of the liberty movement in America have been characterized as extremist, but let's look at them for a moment. They have warned America of social disaster to come, they have courageously spoken out with details, not vague predictions, and they have been most accurate in their report of history and in making a most reasonable connection to modern current events in worrying about the safety of the nation. The Purists have observed social trends that sound horribly familiar to the known historical fates of doomed nations and show just where we're headed. I'm going to join them in reporting this milestone on that road."
NE: Gun group urges lawmakers to close "Omaha loophole": "Passage of a concealed carry statute in Nebraska was a good first step toward insuring the safety of Cornhusker State citizens, but the new law has a gaping loophole that apparently allows cities like Omaha to continue denying their residents the right of personal protection. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) is encouraging residents of Omaha, Lincoln and other communities to start contacting their city councils, demanding that they reject any attempt to prohibit concealed carry as the City of Omaha is apparently planning to do, based on a 70-year-old ordinance. 'A report in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper pretty much said it all,' noted CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. 'Anti-public safety lawmakers in Omaha are against the new law, and are defending a local ordinance that bans concealed firearms, even when the majority of Omaha legislators voted for it.'"
WVA: Funeral director innocent in son-in-law's shooting: "A Fayette County funeral home director was found not guilty Monday of murdering his son-in-law. Larry Hess, who managed Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, never denied shooting Jerry T. Chesterfield. He fired five bullets from his Glock semi-automatic, and four of those struck Chesterfield. But Hess testified Monday that he shot his son-in-law in self-defense. 'I always kept the shell in the chamber,' he said. He said he had to keep firing because Chesterfield kept coming at him."
Louisiana: Good riddance to bad rubbish: "A man who kept beating his 3-year-old daughter even after St. Martin Parish sheriff�s deputies tried to use a police dog to stop the attack was shot to death, authorities said. State police, who were called in by Sheriff Ronnie Theriot to investigate, said the shooting occurred about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday outside a mobile home. Two deputies responding to a disturbance call ordered the man to stop hitting the girl before releasing the dog. The man was shot after the canine was unable to break up the attack, state police said. The child was taken to Lafayette General Hospital in critical condition. The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was pronounced dead at the scene".
AZ: Gun bill among Napolitano's vetoes: "Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a slew of Republican-approved bills Monday, including a National Rifle Association-backed gun bill and one that looks to have local police arrest illegal immigrants on trespassing charges. ... The governor also vetoed a bill that would have restricted her powers to limit gun and ammunition sales during a time of emergency. The NRA has been pushing similar bills in other states in the wake of attempted emergency powers being invoked in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Napolitano said the bill undermines emergency powers of the governor and state National Guard. Advocates argued the bill would protect Second Amendment rights during emergencies."
Thursday, April 20, 2006
OH: Armed man shot by ex-girfriend: "A Goshen man was charged with felonious assault, aggravated burglary and kidnapping after he forced his way into his ex-girlfriend's home early Monday.Gary L. Glass, 37, of the 1800 block of Main Street, was shot in the legs after Cassandra Gray, 28, got control of a shotgun Glass brought to her home, the Clermont County Sheriff's Office said. According to the sheriff's office, Gray was awakened by her dogs barking about 7:30 a.m. and found Glass standing in her doorway pointing a shotgun at her. Glass allowed Gray to let her dogs out and she used that chance to call 911. When Glass realized Gray had called police, the two struggled. Gray got the gun away from Glass and shot him, the sheriff's office said."
Reflections on deaths caused by gun control laws : "CNN has some interesting video as well as a .pdf transcript from the flight voice recorder on United Air Lines Flight 93, the plane which crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11. Obviously, this pertains to the ongoing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, where the government just rested its case. 40 brave people died in that crash. Reading the transcript reminded me that this entire incident could have been avoided if the government hadn't stripped us of our right to self-defense while on an airplane."
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
CA: City to test gunshot location system: "A city councilor hopes to curb a rising murder rate by installing a gunshot-locator system that uses sensitive microphones attached to buildings to remotely pinpoint shootings. Oakland councilman Larry Reid, whose district includes some of the East Oakland's most violent neighborhoods, said Tuesday his office will pay $10,000 to test the ShotSpotter system that is already in use in parts of Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Reid hopes to have the system in place by the end of the month. Police hope the technology will help dispatch officers more quickly and catch fleeing criminals. If the test is successful, the city would need to raise about $400,000 to install nearly 100 sensors in an 8-square-mile section of the city, said Oakland police Lt. Pete Sarna II. The system uses microphones mounted on flat roofs and connected to telephone lines to triangulate the location of the gunshots to within 10 to 30 feet, said James Beldock, president of the Santa Clara-based ShotSpotter Inc."
CA: Glitch in victim disarmament law triggers rush: "Gun components that can be used to build assault weapons [sic] have flooded into California under a loophole in state law. The glitch has delighted some gun owners, who hope to register the weapons before any state legislation is passed barring their possession. Frames of more than 30,000 AR- and AK-series guns have entered California, according to estimates from some gun advocates, and can be purchased from many weapons dealers in the state and online."
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
KY: Use of force bill passes: "Kentuckians could use force to defend themselves against an attack in their home or car under a bill that received final legislative passage Monday. The Senate passed Senate Bill 38 by a 36-1 vote, sending it to Gov. Ernie Fletcher. The House had passed the bill earlier. The measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, specifies that people have no 'duty to retreat' -- or attempt to flee -- if they believe they are being threatened on their property or in their vehicle. 'Calling 911 is sometimes -- instead of a rescue project -- it becomes a recovery project if you're not able to use force,' said Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville."
LA: Bill would protect evacuees' gun rights "With little debate, the Senate voted 39-0 Monday for a bill that would prohibit police from confiscating firearms of law-abiding citizens in times of emergencies or disasters. The vote on Senate Bill 93 by Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth, an outdoors enthusiast and gun-rights advocate, sends the measure to the House for debate. McPherson filed the bill in response to actions by New Orleans area police who confiscated firearms from evacuees during Hurricane Katrina. He said that the federal and state constitutions recognize the right of citizens to bear arms and that a hurricane or an evacuation from a natural disaster or emergency does not eliminate that right."
NC: For self-defense, women take up firearms: "A single mom wanting to protect her children. A mall worker fearing a dark parking lot. A real estate agent meeting strangers in empty homes. They are Charlotte-area women. And they own guns. More women, gun advocates say, are buying, shooting and carrying firearms -- in briefcases, purses or even on their hips. For some, it's sport. But with violent crime up from five years ago and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police actively searching for a serial rapist, many women say it's about self-protection."
JOHN LOTT IN THE WARS AGAIN
A scholar known for his work on guns and crime filed a defamation lawsuit Monday against University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, co-author of the best-seller "Freakonomics." John Lott Jr. of Virginia, a former U. of C. visiting professor, alleges that Levitt defamed him in the book by claiming that other scholars had tried and failed to confirm Lott's conclusion that allowing people to carry concealed weapons reduces crime. Publishers Weekly ranked "Freakonomics" eighth this week for non-fiction hardcover books. According to Levitt's book: "When other scholars have tried to replicate [Lott's] results, they found that right-to-carry laws simply don't bring down crime."
But according to Lott's lawsuit: "In fact, every time that an economist or other researcher has replicated Lott's research, he or she has confirmed Lott's conclusion." By suggesting that Lott's results could not be replicated, Levitt is "alleging that Lott falsified his results," the lawsuit says. Lott is seeking a court order to block further sales of "Freakonomics" until the offending statements are retracted and changed. He is also seeking unspecified money damages. Lott acknowledged in the suit that some scholars have disagreed with his conclusions. But he said those researchers used "different data or methods to analyze the relationship between gun-control laws and crime" and made no attempt to "replicate" Lott's work.
The lawsuit alleges that Levitt and his publisher, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., made the statements with reckless disregard for whether they were true and that the book damaged Lott's reputation. Neither Levitt nor HarperCollins officials could be reached Monday.
According to the lawsuit, Levitt also defamed Lott in an e-mail that Levitt sent to an economist in Texas last May. The e-mail described work that Lott published in an academic journal in 2001. It falsely stated that Lott's work had not been peer-reviewed and that Lott had blocked scholars with opposing views from appearing in the same issue of the journal, the lawsuit said.
Lott's books include "More Guns, Less Crime: Analyzing Crime and Gun Control Laws," published in 1998. Levitt won the John Bates Clark Medal for economists younger than 40 from the American Economic Association in 2003.
Note the following statement from the "Chronicle of Higher Education":
"In the years since Mr. Lott's first publication, at least six scholars have published studies that tend to confirm his findings, while at least four other studies have tended to cast doubt on his findings."
I would say Levitt is in trouble at that rate.
Business owner shoots robber: "An Anniston business owner is in the clear after shooting a robbery suspect in self-defense. The robbers attempted to shakedown a pawnshop. Now, three are in jail and one's got a gunshot wound to remember it by. The owner of the 202 Pawn Shop says four people charged in the attempted robbery worked as a team, trying to distract him while one stole some jewelry and ran out. Investigators say the bandits jumped into a car. The store owner, who didn't want to give his name, ran after them armed with a pistol and ready for action. "He pulled up like he was gonna run over me and at that point I pulled down on him," said the owner. One jumped out and ran into a dead-end alley behind the building. "He couldn't get out so it was between me and him, you know, hit brick wall or me, and he tried to come through me and when he did that's when he pushed me back like, that's when I fired, pistol went off and evidently shot him in the foot," said the owner. By that time, deputies had arrived along with paramedics.... Amerson says Alabama law already covers such a situation. "That man had a right to use his weapon in self-protection and he did so and from everything we can see he faces no legal liability for that," said Amerson."
TX: Man cleared of assault linked to shootout: "A 20-year-old Longview man has been cleared of an aggravated assault charge in connection with a shooting last year after prosecutors argued he fired a gun in self-defense. Travale Henson had been indicted in connection with a May 14 shooting with Keethan Harnage outside a birthday party on Avalon Street. A bullet from Harnage's gun left 15-year-old Sierra Foster of Longview dead. Prosecutors argued in a motion to dismiss that an investigation proved Henson fired two shots at Harnage in self-defense after Harnage 'began firing wildly' at him. Judge David Brabham of the 188th District Court signed the order to dismiss April 5."
Monday, April 17, 2006
TX: Shop owner opens fire on robbers: "The owner of a southwest Houston pawnshop opened fire on three armed men who tried to rob his business and the shootout was caught on tape, KPRC Local 2 reported Tuesday. Gunmen entered the A Plus Pawn Shop, in the 11200 block of South Wilcrest, on March 28, and started shooting, according to witnesses. 'I grabbed the first gun I could find and started firing,' owner Steve Smith said. 'They planned on taking us out, I think. That's the way I figured because they never said a word.'"
IL: Security still worries some on east side: "A month after devastating tornadoes roared through Springfield, Tim Williams finds himself living in a camper parked in the driveway of what remains of his garage in the 2000 block of East Cedar Street. ... Williams can't leave his property -- which has been in his family since 1943 -- because the garage door is gone and he is wary of looters. The phrases 'You loot I shoot' and 'You try you die' are spray-painted on the east side of the garage, just in case anybody might be tempted. He's not kidding, either. Williams keeps a pistol and his 150-pound dog, Tyler, with him to deter looters. 'I just ran one off last night. He had so much stuff with him, he couldn't carry it all,' Williams said Tuesday afternoon, during a break from filing out insurance forms. 'I pointed my pistol at him and told him I was calling the police.'"
New Orleans: Nagin still has stolen guns : "Law-abiding citizens of New Orleans who were forced to relinquish their legally owned firearms to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will have to wait, indefinitely, to regain their property. The City of New Orleans revealed they have not returned any firearms, as Mayor Ray Nagin and the city have yet to set up a return process. 'Mayor Ray Nagin continues to deny freedom by denying lawful citizens their Second Amendment rights,' stated National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. 'First, he confiscates law-abiding citizens' firearms and lies about it. Then, he fails to comply with court orders. Now he refuses to return the legally owned firearms to their rightful owners by dragging his feet. It's a disgrace.'"
Sunday, April 16, 2006
NC: High Point man killed man in self-defense: "A High Point man who shot and killed a man inside his apartment April 3 acted in self defense, police today said detectives and the prosecutor determined. Kendrix Jones told investigators he shot Daniel Cyrus Dixon, who was found dead inside Jones' apartment at 117 E. Swathmore Ave., apartment 2A, according to High Point police. On Tuesday, detectives met with Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Randy Carroll and reviewed the case. It was determined Jones, 25, acted in self defense when he shot Dixon"
Arkansas: Man won't be charged for murder: "Drug and weapons charges have been filed against a man believed by police to have shot and killed two people during an apparent robbery at an indoor marijuana-growing site. But they said the man will not be charged in the deaths Sunday night. Bradley Webster of Mena was charged with possession and use of a machine gun -- simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms -- manufacturing marijuana -- first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor -- possession of drug paraphernalia -- and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Prosecutor Tim Williamson said Webster will not be charged for the deaths of 34-year-old Chris Pangle and 23-year-old Thai Flores, both of Henryetta, Oklahoma. Williamson said Webster was defending his property, even if it was illegal property."
TN: Market owner shoots robbery suspect: "Convenience store owner Karim Barakat feared for his life when an armed robber demanded money and cocked his handgun about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at J.D.'s Market in downtown Murfreesboro, a police spokesman said. Instead of giving up any money, Barakat reached for his own handgun and shot suspected robber Edward Christopher Evans, 24, in the arm, said Murfreesboro Police Lt. Alvin Baird."
Saturday, April 15, 2006
NY: Man receives 3-year sentence for self-defense: "A Mount Vernon man cleared of homicide charges in the slaying of an ex-convict who had shot him years earlier was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for possessing the gun used in the killing. Mark Powell could have faced considerably more time in prison had jurors not found that he was justified in shooting Curtis Liburd Sept. 17 on East Fourth Street in Mount Vernon. The White Plains jury acquitted Powell of murder and manslaughter charges in January after believing his claim that he shot the unarmed Liburd in self-defense. Powell testified that he fired after Liburd threatened him and tried to grab his gun. He was also cleared of a more serious charge that accused him of intending to use the gun unlawfully. ... Powell acknowledged that he illegally possessed the gun. Westchester County Judge Rory Bellantoni said he would have liked to sentence Powell to the maximum seven years as prosecutor George Bolen requested. But he said he could not because that would have required him to consider that the possession of the gun led to Liburd's death -- which the jury verdict precluded the judge from doing."
IN: Intruder shot, killed: ""A 20-year-old man was shot to death about noon Wednesday as he tried to break into a home on the Far Eastside. Xavier Rashard Ivory, 1800 block of South State Street, was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital after being shot once in the chest. Capt. Phil Burton of the Marion County Sheriff's Department said the owner of a home in the 8000 block of East 37th Street heard his doorbell ringing incessantly but ignored it in hopes that the person would go away. Shortly thereafter, the homeowner heard a pounding at his back door. On the way to the back door, he grabbed a firearm from a closet. At the back door, he heard and saw someone trying to force open the door. As he pulled back window blinds, he saw an arm come in through a broken window, Burton said.The homeowner fired one shot, striking Ivory in the chest."
Friday, April 14, 2006
FL: Two Martin County deaths deemed acts of self-defense: "Authorities have deemed two separate cases first investigated as homicides as actual acts of self-defense, police said Wednesday. In one incident, Stuart police evidence led state prosecutors to determined Daniel George Griffin, 67, was protecting himself when he was confronted in his home by the man whose wife he was allegedly having an affair with, Sgt. Marty Jacobson reported. Barry Nordstrum, 47, allegedly broke into Griffin's home June 25 about 9 p.m. in the Circle Bay Condominiums and found the man with his wife. That's when Griffin grabbed a gun and shot Nordstrum to death. The wife, who was present, was not hurt. In the second case, police said Shawn Harshall, 24, was legally allowed to defend himself against an alleged attack by his co-worker Derek Huffman, 22, after a fight about a pool game earlier the night of January 14. Harshall told investigators he stabbed Huffman after he was attacked inside a room at the extended stay Suburban Lodge, where the Pennsylvania men had been staying.
Missouri self-defence rights to be expanded: "Despite opposition, State Rep. Marilyn Ruestman says she will "hold tight" to her defensive use of force bill that passed last week in the Missouri House. The legislation, originally filed by the Newton County lawmaker as HB 1461, would protect from civil or criminal litigation citizens who kill in the act of self-defense and expands the circumstances when deadly force could be used. Under current Missouri law, a person may kill another person when it's reasonably believed such action is necessary to protect one's self or another against death, serious physical injury, rape, sodomy and kidnapping. The law also states persons may use deadly force, when necessary and under the same described circumstance, to prevent stealing, property damage or tampering. In both instances, citizens are first required to use "all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so" before using deadly force in defense of self or property. But Ruestman believes the law is ambiguous and that it's assumed victims must retreat when attacked. She previously told the Daily News it's "ridiculous" for someone to stop and determine if an assault could be fatal before using lethal force in self-defense. Her bill says that a person doesn't have to run away when attacked provided they are at a place where they have a legal right to be.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Vang update: "A Minnesota man convicted of killing six deer hunters and wounding two others in a shooting spree in northwestern Wisconsin was moved to an Iowa prison because of security concerns. Corrections officials moved Chai Soua Vang to the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa, in January, according to state records. He had been imprisoned at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. Officials moved him because they had safety concerns for corrections staff, inmates and others, said Dan Westfield, security chief for the Department of Corrections' division of adults institutions. Westfield compared the case to that of convicted Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was killed in 1994 by another inmate. "The reasons we move an inmate, and I'll use the Dahmer situation, is that there is a lot of media attention and it stirs a lot of emotion," Westfield said Friday. "Wisconsin is a state with a lot of deer hunters, and we have a lot of inmates who are deer hunters, and there are some racial concerns." During his trial, Vang, a Hmong immigrant, testified he shot in self-defense at the white hunters after they hurled profanities and racial slurs and took a shot at him. Two survivors testified no one pointed a gun at Vang. The shooting occurred on the second day of the 2004 deer hunting season after Vang trespassed in a tree stand on private land in Sawyer County. Vang, 37, of St. Paul, Minn., was sentenced Nov. 8 to six consecutive life prison terms with no chance for parole."
Bum rap in Vermont? "A teenager was charged with first-degree murder Monday in a weekend shooting death in Burlington's Old North End. Looking slight and saying nothing Skylar Underhill, 19, pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge. Police are continuing to build their case against Underhill, who they said shot and killed fellow partygoer Rhynell Lewis during an argument Friday night at an upstairs rear apartment on La Fountain Street. Detectives said they have recovered another piece of evidence from the neighborhood: the ammunition clip they believe Underhill tossed as he fled the scene of the shooting. Officers said when police arrested him nearby, he was still carrying the 45-caliber handgun. The defense is already raising possibility the shooting was self-defense, because two witnesses say the victim punched Underhill and threatened him before the shooting".
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Maryland: Two killings test right of self-defense
Karen L. Foxx had sought court orders to keep her estranged husband away, had filed criminal assault charges against him and changed her phone number. She also bought a gun to protect herself, and last Saturday, her lawyer says, Foxx did just that when she fatally shot her husband.
Now the Randallstown woman awaits word on whether she will be charged with a crime - one of two recent cases in which the legal right to self-defense is under examination. The Randallstown shooting occurred two weeks after a 57-year-old gas station owner was attacked by three would-be robbers at the upscale Village of Cross Keys shopping center in North Baltimore, grabbed his own gun and fatally shot one of the assailants.
In such cases, the decision to file charges often hangs on whether prosecutors or grand jurors determine that the shooters reasonably believed that their lives were threatened before pulling the trigger, legal experts interviewed this week said. In a 2001 case involving two brothers who killed a man after lying in wait for burglars, a Baltimore County grand jury decided the shooting was justified, even though the intruders were unarmed. In a 2003 case, two businessmen were acquitted of murder charges after shooting a man who broke into their East Baltimore warehouse.
Given the police accounts of the two recent shootings, the experts interviewed say it's unlikely that either Foxx or the gas station owner, Mark A. Beckwith, will be charged. "I don't think a crime has occurred. I don't think it's even close," said Richard M. Karceski, a criminal defense attorney who represented one of two brothers cleared in the 2001 shooting of three unarmed intruders at the brothers' concrete plant in Glyndon. "Just because an unfortunate situation occurs and someone loses their life does not mean a crime has been committed."
Prosecutors in both cases say no decision has been made. A homicide can lead to a first-degree murder charge, to such lesser charges as second-degree murder or manslaughter, or to no charge. S. Ann Brobst, an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore County, said it could be "a while" before all the necessary witnesses are interviewed and documents are gathered to be presented to a grand jury.
Baltimore police have said that Beckwith had a permit for his gun and would probably not face criminal charges. Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office, said that prosecutors have not decided whether to charge Beckwith, present the case to a grand jury or rule the shooting a justified use of deadly force.
Both jurisdictions have seen high-profile cases in recent years of people claiming self-defense after the use of deadly force. In April 2001, a Baltimore County grand jury declined to indict Dominic "Tony" Geckle and Matthew Geckle, brothers in the shooting of three unarmed intruders at the Geckles' concrete plant. The brothers had armed themselves with shotguns and were spending the night in their warehouse after break-ins the two previous nights. One intruder was killed and two others were shot in the back.
Two years later, in January 2003, a Baltimore judge acquitted Harford County businessmen Kenny Der and Darrell R. Kifer of charges in the shooting of a drug addict who broke into their warehouse - and who, according to the defense, brandished a hammer and threatened to kill the men. Under Maryland law, a person may use deadly force to defend himself if he believes his life is in imminent danger, if that belief is reasonable and if he uses no more force than is "reasonably necessary." Legal experts said those issues will be at play in the cases of Foxx and Beckwith.
Baltimore County police said that Foxx, 35, called 911 last Saturday afternoon to report that she had just shot her estranged husband, 45-year-old Herman E. Bullock, in her Randallstown home - a two-story, end-of-row condominium to which officers had been dispatched numerous times on domestic calls. Foxx, an office secretary, told officers that her husband threatened her with an ax handle, police spokesman Bill Toohey said. Foxx shot him in the torso with a handgun, Toohey said. He said police did not know how many bullets struck Bullock
She filed criminal charges against Bullock in April 2003, telling police that he had scratched her, torn her shirt and punched her during an argument over her late work hours, court records show. Bullock was acquitted of second-degree assault in 2004.
Bullock's first wife also accused him of abusing her, filing for a protective order in October 1998 and for divorce six months later, pointing to "cruelty and excessively vicious conduct." During the ensuing custody battle, Bullock's first wife alleged that he had abused her in front of their children, dragged her down the stairs by her hair and abused their dog....
Beckwith, who lives in Bel Air and owns two Baltimore gas stations, pulled into the parking lot at Cross Keys the afternoon of March 17 to deposit several thousand dollars at his bank, defense attorney David E. Carey said. He apparently had been followed by three people intending to rob him, the lawyer said. "He got out of the car, stood up and, as is his practice when carrying a large amount of money, looked around," Carey said. Beckwith saw two assailants coming at him and tried to get back into his car, Carey said. The three men - one of whom had a gun, Beckwith told police - beat him and grabbed paper bags filled with money before Beckwith pulled a 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol from a shoulder holster, Carey said. Beckwith fired 16 shots at his assailants, police said, killing one man and wounding another.
Legal experts said Beckwith's case will likely depend on the statements of witnesses at the shopping center. "If this guy gets indicted on this case on those facts, there ain't no cows in Texas," Karceski said. "This is a case of perfect self-defense. If it were a slot machine, he'd have three cherries on this one because everything lines up."
Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said state laws should be recast to grant crime victims the unquestionable right to protect themselves with force. "When a crime occurs, it's between the victim and the criminal," he said. "Law enforcement cannot get there in time, very often. The politicians aren't there and the gun control lobby certainly isn't there. What victims of crime need is options - and they need the law on their side."
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
All I am going to put up today is the complete story of what an Australian justice system did about a serious criminal who was found in possession of an illegal handgun. Not only did he get zero jail time but they found it hard to decide whether they should take his gun off him or not!
A Hell's Angel bikie, a key figure in a bloody street shootout which left three rival gang members dead, has been given a suspended jail sentence after being caught with a loaded high-powered pistol. In the District Court on Monday, George Petropoulos, 40, was handed a five-month suspended sentence by Judge Andrea Simpson. He had pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing the 9mm semi-automatic Glock pistol, which was found concealed in the dashboard of the car he was driving. The maximum penalty for the offence is a seven-year jail term or a $35,000 fine.
The sentence has outraged rank-and-file officers involved in policing bikies. They believe their efforts are not being supported by the court system. "It's disappointing to say the least," a senior detective said. "What is the point of catching these guys with weapons like this if they are not going to be penalised? "This wasn't a .22 rifle � it was a damn Glock. And it's not the first time he's been charged with the same offence." The 9mm Glock pistol, which can hold up to 15 rounds in its magazine, is used extensively worldwide by the military and police, including SA's STAR Group.
The Major Crime Investigation Section case against Petropoulos and two other Hells Angels bikies over the murder of three Rebels members in Wright St, city, in October 1999 is still open. Petropoulos was charged with the latest offence after the Mazda RX7 he was driving was pulled over and searched by police on Bartels Rd in the city at 5am on May 3 last year. The Glock was found when a detective removed a panel in which a speaker was installed under the glovebox. The loaded handgun was wedged behind the dashboard bracing. Forensic tests revealed Petropoulos had been handling it, with his DNA found on the trigger and the guard.
His lawyer, David Edwardson, told the District Court in sentencing submissions last month Petropoulos was not aware the gun was hidden in the car until it was found by police. He said Petropoulos had lent the car to a friend, who also owned the gun, the day before. Mr Edwardson told the court Petropoulos had also handled the gun the same day.
Police records indicated the handgun was registered to a friend of Petropoulos � a Hells Angels associate member � but his licence for it had expired just over a year earlier. When police questioned the friend he told them he had handed the handgun in to police at the Netley station several months after his licence expired. "That was obviously wrong," Mr Edwardson told the court. [The police clowns did not know!] Shortly after Petropoulos was charged, police searched a Mercedes owned by the friend and found a 12mm handgun, silencer and ammunition in a black case under the front seat. The friend was fined $9301 in Whyalla Magistrates Court last August after being convicted of seven charges relating to the incident.
While prosecutor Jane Abbey did not oppose a suspended sentence for Petropoulos in his case, she did request the Glock pistol be forfeited. "Mr Petropoulos is a known member of a motorcycle club and so it's considered important that the order be made," Ms Abbey said. She said his membership of a motorcycle club was not relevant in sentencing, but relevant in the gun forfeiture. "What I say is it shows Your Honour something of the circumstances of which the gun would be in were it to be returned and not forfeited to the Crown," Ms Abbey said. Judge Simpson asked if the gun would be returned to Petropoulos's friend if it were not forfeited, to which Ms Abbey replied: "Yes." Judge Simpson asked Ms Abbey if she was suggesting the associate was also a gang member, to which Ms Abbey replied: "Yes, that they both are, yes."
Sentencing Petropoulos on Monday, Judge Simpson said he had a conviction recorded in June 1995 for the same offence, but "otherwise, you have no relevant prior criminal offending". "A sentence of imprisonment is the only penalty that is appropriate," she said. "I impose a sentence of five months in prison. But for your plea of guilty, it would have been a term of six months in prison." "Having regard to the fact that the one previous conviction for similar offending was recorded over 10 years ago . . . it is appropriate to suspend the sentence on your entering into a bond with a condition that you are of good behaviour, that is, you do not break the law for a period of 12 months . . ." Judge Simpson ordered the Glock be forfeited and Petropoulos be disqualified from holding a firearms licence for a year.
In October 1999, Petropoulos and fellow Hells Angels members Faoud "Fred" Chaptini and Peter John Threadgold were each charged with three counts of murder. The charges followed a shootout in Wright St in the city in which three members of the Rebels � Graham Nixon, 33, Sinibaldo Palombi, 35, and Hubert Weston, 32, were killed. Threadgold was arrested just hours after the October 8 shootings while Chaptini and Petropoulos fled. Arrest warrants for three counts of murder and two of attempted murder were subsequently taken out against them. Murder charges against the trio were dropped in Adelaide Magistrates Court in June 2000, after the case against them collapsed when members of the Rebels refused to give evidence.
Premier Mike Rann declined to comment, other than to say he would ask Attorney-General Michael Atkinson to get advice on the matter from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Monday, April 10, 2006
BABES WITH BULLETS
Debbie Ferns didn't touch a gun until she was 45 years old, but since then, guns and shooting sports have become one of the focal points of her life. The Tucson, Ariz., native was at the Bass Pro Shops on Thursday night, speaking to about 25 area women about her love of shooting and how learning to shoot can give them more self-confidence. "I'm often asked if learning to shoot does anything for me personally in terms of self-defense, and I answer unequivocally, 'yes,'" Ferns said. "It very much empowered me to know that I can take care of myself. When the going gets tough, I know I can respond."
Ferns penned the "Babes with Bullets: Women Having Fun With Guns" book which features numerous testimonials from women who discovered a love for shooting in their 30s, 40s and 50s. She was in town last week participating in the 2006 Ladies Shooting Camp in Princeton under the direction of Kay Clark Miculek. The camp bills itself as a combination firearms training and pajama party. The Babes With Bullets camps offer practical pistol training for novice, intermediate and advanced shooters. Instruction is offered by three of the best women practical pistol shooters in the country.
Local outdoors woman Rose German attended the Thursday clinic in the Camo Department at Bass Pro. She was on the rifle team at Southwood High School "a few years ago." "I like to shoot for fun and I've shot a .410, .22 and 12 gauge," German said. "But I haven't done it a lot lately." German is active in the Women In The Outdoors Program of the National Wild Turkey Federation, which will hold a program at Bodcau Dam in June. "My dad likes to deer hunt and he always tried to get me to go," she said. "I went one time and sat in the woods freezing to death and didn't see a thing. I swore that I'd never go back."
Although Ferns makes a living as a corporate meeting planner and a special events producer, she spends a lot of time talking to women around the country about taking up shooting. "Women are very willing to be instructed and don't have the preconceived notions that men have," Ferns said. "That often allows them to learn quicker than men." She said she's amazed at how many divorced, widowed and single women in the Tucson area have become interested in shooting. "The biggest thing for them is overcoming their fear of going to a range and using a gun," Ferns said. "What they will probably find is that they will be welcomed with open arms."
Ferns encourages women who have begun shooting to invite their friends and family members to join them. "Don't hide what you do," she said. "These camps that we put on are like the beginning of a sisterhood and allows those attending to better understand what we do with guns." Ferns is scheduled to appear on a future Rush Limbaugh show and the radio host wants to discuss page 94 of her book, which talks about the meaning of PC. "To me, PC does not mean politically correct. It means please conform and I'm not buying that anymore," Ferns said. "Don't say or do anything that other people find disagreeable. I'm okay with people agreeing to disagree."
Ferns sometimes speaks to groups of anti-gun folks and discusses the second amendment with them. "I talked with one man in California who was very much against the use of automatic weapons," she said. "When we finished talking, he bought my book. I asked him if he wanted me to sign it and he said 'no.' Then he walked off. At least he bought my book."
Ferns said that getting a woman to go to a shooting event alone is difficult because "women like to go with other women." "Women wait to be invited and they like to do things in groups, even go to the bathroom," she told the Bass Pro attendees. "And there's a lot of growth for women in shooting sports. Women make up about 14 percent of the National Rifle Association membership but we make up a whole lot more of the population the last time I checked."
Without exception: "Last week, I was searching through news headlines when I found another story about another state working for passage of a 'stand your ground' law (that's a law that says you aren't obligated to retreat before using deadly force if you believe that deadly force is warranted). While I thought the law was a good thing, when I passed along the news to others online I also pointed out (just a little tongue in cheek) that all of us already had one of those, no matter where we lived, and that it's called 'The Second Amendment.'"
Sunday, April 09, 2006
GA: Man shot by police after break-in, two murders: "The violent end of the search for a man suspected of killing his newborn's mother and grandmother capped months of violence between the couple, police and neighbors said. Edward Jenkins III, 33, was shot to death by Clayton County police Tuesday in the parking lot of the police station. Police had been looking for Jenkins, saying he kicked in the door and shot the two women to death shortly after 2 p.m. at an Ellenwood home, Assistant Chief Jeff Turner said. Anasa Williams, 32, the mother of Jenkins' eight-day-old daughter, was shot multiple times. Williams' mother, Fredia Butler, 55 - who was visiting from Oakland, Calif. - was killed as she held the infant and talked to a 911 operator. "She dropped the baby right there," Turner said. "The baby is covered in blood but is OK." The woman's 11-year-old son ran from the house to a neighbor's and called 911, he said. Turner said Jenkins appeared in the police station about three hours later, with a blue-jean jacket draped over a gun and looking around nervously, then left. "Two of the officers recognized who he was and attempted to stop him, basically to talk to him about the double homicide," Turner said. "He fled from the building and walked out into the parking lot." The officers followed and "he turned around and fired several shots at the officers," Turner said. "The officers took cover and returned fire." Jenkins was taken to a hospital where he died, Turner said.
Defense of community, family, property: "Let us examine the issue more closely. What are the deeper underlying motives of those seeking to disarm their fellow citizens? What is their reasoning for desiring this? The most apparent motive and reasoning would have to be fear. Accepting this, one then has to ask what are they afraid of? Has the person, from which this fear emanates done something which would provide just cause for retribution by their fellow citizens? Does the way in which they normally conduct themselves, on a daily basis. Aggravate those with whom they come into contact? If that is the case, then how does their fear justify the disarming of other citizens? Leaving the others wide open to the whims of those who practice evil? Can that be considered as 'Just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty?' That argument doesn't make sense. Yet, it is the commonly accepted practice."
2nd annual TCF Combat Rifle Postal Match : "The 2nd TCF Combat Rifle Postal Match will be taking place in the month of April! This match will be dedicated to the memory of Mordechai Anielewicz and the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. For those of you not familiar with postal matches, the idea is that a bunch of people all shoot the same course of fire and then mail their targets to a single person for scoring. It allows us to hold a rifle match without needing to get everyone together at the same shooting range. For the privacy-minded, you may scan your targets and email them in rather than using a mail carrier. Everyone with a military-style rifle is encouraged to participate, regardless of skill level. ... Targets must be received by April 29th to be eligible for scoring."
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Kansas bartender shoots strip club patron: "The man started by harassing the dancers at Baby Dolls, a north Wichita strip club. Then he started belittling staff members and the manager, who was tending bar. When he grabbed a beer bottle, threatened her with it and then swung at her with it, she shot him once in the chest with a gun she kept at the club for protection, Wichita police said. The shooting victim and his friend left the strip club shortly after midnight Wednesday, Lt. Jeff Easter said, and were driving to the hospital when they were pulled over on I-135 by a Park City police officer. The driver ran from the stopped car, and the shooting victim slid over to the driver's side and took off for the hospital. The 36-year-old man is in serious condition at Wesley Medical Center, but Easter said he is expected to recover. The bartender was taken downtown for questioning and then released. Detectives also interviewed several witnesses to the incident. "There is a self-defense issue here, and that is why she was not put in jail," Easter said. State law permits business owners who can lawfully own a gun to have one on the premises, he said. Authorities are still looking for the second man from the car."
TX: Shooting was justified, police say: "An Irving teen-ager accused of trying to rob a man at gunpoint Wednesday night was shot by the victim in a parking lot of an apartment complex, police said Thursday. The 16-year-old remained in intensive care in critical condition Thursday at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, police said. The teen suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, police said. The man was not injured, police said. Police declined to identify the man or the teen. No other injuries were reported in the shooting that occurred about 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 9400 block of E. Valley Ranch Parkway. The attempted holdup victim, a 45-year-old Irving man, told police that he was sitting in his pickup truck in the parking lot, talking on his cellphone, when the teen walked up. The teen � armed with a semi-automatic handgun � demanded the man�s cellphone and wallet, police said. The man told the teen he would give him his wallet and acted as though he was going to get it, but instead grabbed a larger caliber revolver that was lying on the seat, police said. As he pushed the teen�s gun away, the man shot the suspect, police said.... �At this point, we believe it was self-defense,� Irving police spokesman David Tull said. The teen is expected to be charged with aggravated robbery, Tull said. The shooting case will be turned over to a Dallas County grand jury for consideration, Tull said."
Friday, April 07, 2006
Idaho Self-defense rights bolstered in House vote: "The House voted 61-to-just-six on Tuesday in favor of a National Rifle Association-backed measure giving Idaho residents the right to defend their homes and businesses by whatever force is necessary, without fear of a lawsuit. The bill has already passed the Senate, and heads to Governor Dirk Kempthorne for his signature. The bill was modeled after a Florida law that makes residents immune from civil or criminal prosecution if they injure someone who breaks into their home. Senator Mel Richardson, the sponsor, has said the bill comes from the doctrine that "a man's home is his castle and he should be able to defend it." The NRA has been pushing this so-called "Castle" legislation in several states. According to the bill's text, "This in no way is intended to apply to if such force is used against law enforcement officers." That was added to win police agencies' support."
CO: No charges filed in shooting : "The Craig man who shot and killed an intruder at his home in Craig last week will not be charged with a crime, the district attorney announced Tuesday. Mario Cruz Vigil, 60, was shot March 26 at a house in the 800 block of Washington Street after police say he broke into the home, armed with a gun. The homeowner, Josh Jackson, 33, shot Vigil twice, once in the chest with a shotgun and once in the thigh with a .30-06-caliber rifle. An autopsy showed Vigil died from the thigh wound. District Attorney Bonnie Roe-sink said that after reviewing police reports, her office decided the incident was "a clear case of justifiable homicide." In a statement released Tuesday, Roesink said no charges would be filed in the case. "It's not only self-defense, it's under what we call the �make my day law,'" Roesink said, referring to the Colorado law that gives residents immunity if they kill intruders. Roesink said that in her 19 years at the District Attorney's Office, she has never dealt with a case that was such a clear example of self-defense. "This is a classic case of it," she said".
Thursday, April 06, 2006
AL: Supporters try again to pass deadly force bill in House: "One of the most vigorously debated issues in the Alabama Legislature this session will be back on the agenda Tuesday as the House attempts to give final passage to a bill to expand the instances where a person can kill someone to protect a home or vehicle. The Alabama House and Senate have previously passed different versions of the legislation that removes language from current law that says a resident should not use deadly force during a break-in if he or she can 'avoid using force with complete safety.' The legislation was recommended by the National Rifle Association. It gives a person who uses deadly force while protecting his home immunity from lawsuits, but it does say a person must feel threatened before using deadly force."
South Africa: Gun licence wait triggers anger: "While police publicly destroyed thousands of firearms on Wednesday, furious gun owners said police were giving them the 'runaround' when they tried to hand in firearms for destruction or have their gun licences renewed. Friday is the deadline for millions of panicky gun owners, who have already had a three-month extension of the deadline, to renew their firearm licences. Many have complained the process of renewing their licences was taking a long time, with applicants standing in queues at police stations for many hours. One Durban resident, who did not want to be named, said that when he went to hand in a licensed gun at a police station they refused to accept it."
NE: Concealed carry adopted : "On a 33-12 vote, Nebraska lawmakers have passed a measure to allow Nebraskans to carry concealed weapons. The measure is expected to be signed by Gov. Dave Heineman, which would make Nebraska the 48th state that allows people to pack hidden guns in some fashion. It would take effect on Jan. 1, 2007. Residents would have to complete training, pass a background check and pay a $100 permit fee. Concealed weapons will still be prohibited in schools, athletic events, churches, hospitals, bars, banks and anywhere else business owners don't want them."
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Legal guns still plentiful in Australia
Guns bans in recent years still allow for permits to own guns, permits that are more easily acquired than in some U.S. States
Despite the hundreds of thousands of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns surrendered since John Howard announced the gun buy-back after the Port Arthur massacre ten years ago this month, the public remains well armed with more than 2.5 million firearms registered across the country. There are now more than 750,000 individual gun licence holders and each has an average of three weapons. The greater concern however is for the unknown number of unregistered handguns currently in the community.
Don Weatherburn, the chief of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, said the pattern of firearms had made a "horrendous change" for the worse with handguns now responsible for between 50 and 60 per cent of annual gun deaths. "Handguns are a real worry. They have become saleable commodities on the black market," Dr Weatherburn said. "There may be fewer gun homicides but handguns make up a larger proportion of those homicides than they used to. "Handguns are not being used as long arms were in the context of dreadful domestic homicides or by deranged murderers killing lots of people. They are being used in the context of turf wars between rival gangs and by organised criminals. He said firearm theft was now a nationwide problem with handguns stolen in one state turning up in another. Dr Weatherburn said that while many of the handguns were illegally imported there was a disturbing trend of holding up security vehicles not to get the money but to get the guards' handguns.
Samara McPhedran, 28, who founded the International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting to help dispel myths surrounding women and guns, said one of the tragedies of the emphasis on gun control had been the focus away from the cause of broader social problems such as suicide and domestic violence. "It is very easy to blame firearms for violence, but very hard to engage in constructive action that can address the causes of violence," she said. Ms McPhedran said policies on gun control should be based on evidence and that homicide rates overall have remained relatively static since the Port Arthur massacre despite the gun buy-back, while suicide rates have actually gone up. "Appalling events like Port Arthur make headlines around the world but there are victims of violence every day that go unrecognised," she said.
NY: Bloomberg takes gun fight to Congress: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted Congress on Tuesday for considering what he called a 'God-awful piece of legislation' on guns. A congressman charged he was just trying to spur more lawsuits against the gun industry. Bloomberg went to Washington to speak out against a bill offered by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, which would make permanent a bar on federal authorities' sharing gun trace data with local governments; the governments had used such information to launch lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers. Congress has moved to squelch lawsuits brought by U.S. cities against gun manufacturers and dealers, charging they are misguided attempts to undercut the Second Amendment right to bear arms."
Congress told of more ATF abuses: "An Arizona police supervisor Tuesday said the federal agency charged with regulating the nation's firearms industry 'absolutely devastated' his career and his personal life, all because he gave a gun to a friend as a gift. Tucson Police Lt. Michael Lara was among a panel of witnesses who told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is in need of serious reform. ... Richard Gardiner, a Virginia attorney and an expert in federal firearms laws who often represents FFLs and gun owners under ATF scrutiny, argued that Lara's case is actually closer to being the rule than the exception. 'The ATF tends to focus or has a significant focus on trivial, immaterial violations which are unrelated to public safety,' Gardiner said. 'And they impose unreasonable standards of perfection which are simply not humanly achievable.'"
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
ILLEGAL GUNS FLOURISH IN AUSTRALIA
Illegal guns can be bought "as easily as a pack of cigarettes" through a booming weapons black market in Queensland. Despite official denials, The Sunday Mail has been told that weapons are freely available through underworld dealers. Prices start at $300 for a pistol and range to $4000 for the firepower of an Uzi sub-machinegun, capable of firing 10 heavy-calibre rounds a second.
Police Minister Judy Spence assured Parliament this week that tough laws had brought gun crime under control. However, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, leading criminologist Paul Wilson, retired hero policeman John "Bluey" O'Gorman, legal gun dealers and even an ex-bank robber have confirmed the illegal trade is thriving.
The revelations about the extent of the firearms black market comes as Australia approaches the 10th anniversary on April 28 of the Port Arthur massacre in which a lone gunman killed 35 people. It also follows questions about how rival bikie members involved in a shootout at a Gold Coast resort two weekends ago were able to obtain their weapons. Some of the bikies had travelled from interstate and police have confirmed they were under surveillance in the lead-up to the incident, in which five people were either shot or stabbed.
In a statement to The Sunday Mail, the Queensland Police Service maintained there was no black market in weapons, conceding illegal guns were only sold "from time to time" by individuals. Unlawful possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail or a $22,500 fine. Yet an underworld source who contacted The Sunday Mail said "guns are everywhere" in a flourishing black market. "Buying a firearm is as easy as buying a packet of cigarettes if you have the right connections," the source said. "You can get anything you want. The new laws didn't change anything except push them further underground." The unnamed source said a Glock 19 pistol could be bought in Brisbane for $2500. The Sunday Mail was sent a photograph of the weapon. The high-powered Glock is similar to those issued to police. It has a shorter-than-average barrel length of 100mm, making it easily concealed and more attractive to criminals. The source said a lightweight Uzi sub-machinegun could be bought "from the right people" in Brisbane for $4000. The Israeli-designed 9mm automatics are favoured by special forces troops -- and crime gangs -- around the world.
Mr Springborg confirmed that police officers had privately told him of an estimated "hundreds of thousands" of weapons on the black market. "They tell me that they get traded around the bars, among organised criminal outfits and between the bikies," he said. "It's organised and there is lots of it. It's not just one or two -- there is a whole subculture that exists and anyone that says it isn't is just telling fibs." Mr Springborg called on the Government to target gun dealing "rings". "The resources aren't put in to the covert operations like they are with checking licensed shooters because they are the easy touches," he said.
Decorated former policeman John "Bluey" O'Gorman said denying the existence of a guns black market was "insulting the intelligence of average people". "It's always going to be there -- anyone who tries to trot out figures to say the black market has been reduced is really fooling themselves," he said. "The figures might be going down in the detection rate but there is no possible way that anyone could claim to have accurate figures of the number of criminals who have got handguns because they don't participate in surveys. "Some groups around the place have no difficulty in getting a handgun. "People who have a criminal lifestyle don't care about any legislation. "
Bond University criminologist Dr Paul Wilson said there was "universal agreement" that it was easy for criminals to buy guns in Queensland. "There are huge numbers of illegal handguns circulating on the black market," he said. "It's not very difficult getting a handgun. If you are a semi-professional criminal and you know which pub to go to it is that easy. People have told me that, people I trust." Dr Wilson said he believed weapons continued to be smuggled through Customs and that separate parts could be mailed to people and then reassembled in Australia. He said home-made handguns were also available on Brisbane's streets.
Reformed armed robber and journalist Bernie Matthews revealed that a weapon he was arrested with in 1996 had been bought in Queensland. "I have no problem going on the record to say there is a black market in weapons in Queensland," he said. "It was easy when I was a bank robber and my sources give me no reason to think that it is any more difficult now."
NH: Father claims self-defense in son's shooting : "A father who shot his son in the arm Tuesday night said he acted in self defense to prevent his son from assaulting him and his wife with a metal pipe. Police told John Ouellet Jr., 30, the son of John Ouellet Sr., that he was under arrest Monday while he was en route to Elliot Hospital in Manchester.Officials said Ouellet Jr. drove to his parents' home at 21 King Charles Drive on Monday and smashed in their glass storm door with a metal pipe he brought with him. Police believe his actions stemmed from an earlier argument he had with his parents about his pregnant girlfriend. Court documents reveal Ouellet Jr. threatened to kill his parents multiple times before Ouellet Sr. fired at least two shots at his son with a .38-caliber pistol, injuring the younger man's left arm. Detectives confiscated the gun and the metal pipe as evidence for their investigation.Police said they initially responded to a call from neighbor Kenneth Tomaswick, who lives directly across the street. Tomaswick told officials he heard tires squealing and three minutes later gun shots at the Ouellet home. His story coincides with the written statement police received from Ouellet Sr.'s wife, Linda Ouellet. She told police she had been chatting online with her son Monday night when she told him she thought his girlfriend's pregnancy was a mistake."
MI: Gun trumps bat: "One driver rammed his car into the other, causing minor damage. The drivers then pulled into a Burger King parking lot. One driver got out of his car with a baseball bat and approached the other driver, who then pulled a gun. Police arrived and arrested the driver with the bat. Police say the man with the gun had a legal permit to carry the weapon."
Monday, April 03, 2006
Don't be flip about gun rights; they may be needed: "What I found to be most poignant about Mr. Hannick's comments was not just what he was saying, but the fact that elsewhere in the newspaper was an article about a photographer who was forced to take pictures for the Nazis at Auschwitz .... This was and is reality, not some philosophical nonsense by some science-fiction writer. If the Germans' forefathers had had half the insight ours had, that young girl might still be alive today, along with millions of her countrymen. ... I recommend that Ron Miller, before he trivializes our Second Amendment rights, get his head out of his science-fiction books and look at the reality of history, both past and present."
PA: Intended victim kills man trying to rob him: "A man being mugged on a residential street last night in the city's West Oak Lane section fatally shot the 34-year-old man trying to rob him, authorities said.The robber approached his would-be victim, who police said may have been a retired SEPTA police officer, about 10:15 p.m. on the 6500 block of North 16th Street and announced a holdup. The victim, who apparently had a handgun on him, shot the man once in the chest."
AK: "Stand Your Ground" bill passes Alaska Senate: "Alaska is a step closer to allowing citizens to use deadly force against muggers, carjackers, sexual assailants and others. The state Senate today voted 17-to-2 in favor of Senate Bill 200. The measure expands the state's 'castle law' which currently allows a person to use whatever force is necessary to protect their home. The bill allows the use of deadly force outside the home under certain circumstances. Sponsor and North Pole Republican Gene Therriault says a person must be able to prove they reasonably believed such action was necessary for self defense. Similar laws have been passed in Florida, Indiana and South Dakota. More than a dozen other states have legislation pending. The bill now goes to the House."
Sunday, April 02, 2006
MO: Home invasion leads to death: "Kansas City police responding to a report of a home invasion on Sunday afternoon found two men dead in a truck that had crashed into a tree. Officers were called to the 5700 block of Newton Avenue about 12:30 p.m. Police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sanders said a homeowner told police that two men in their 20s had kicked in his front door. The homeowner told police he had been involved in a short exchange of gunfire with the men. Officers found the two men, who had suffered gunshot wounds, dead inside the vehicle, which had crashed into a tree a short distance away."
CO: Homeowner shoots mom's crazed ex-boyfriend: "A domestic dispute Sunday evening left a Moffat County man dead, shot in the chest by his ex-girlfriend's son in an incident police say was justifiable self-defense. Craig Police say Mario Vigil, 60, of Moffat County, broke into a home in the 800 block of Washington Street armed with a .30-30-caliber rifle. The homeowner, whose name has not been released, grabbed a shotgun, shot Vigil once in the chest, and hid in a bedroom with his 9-year-old son, according to a statement from police. The gunshot wounded Vigil but did not stop him, according to police. Vigil shot through the door of the room the homeowner was hiding in and tried to break down the door, according to police. The homeowner grabbed another gun, a .30-06-caliber rifle, and shot Vigil through the door, striking him in the hip, according to police. When police arrived, they found Vigil dead, lying on the floor outside the bedroom, according to the statement. The homeowner and his son were still hiding in the bedroom, according to police."
Saturday, April 01, 2006
A BLACK DC OFFICIAL WHO UNDERSTANDS
Crumbling rowhouses, liquor stores, and pockmarked streets highlight the neighborhood where D.C. city official Sandra Seegars lives-but a hand-painted sign near her home boasts, "There have been no murders on this block." Miss Seegars draws a diagram on the back of an orange flier to illustrate how dangerous her neighborhood is. Crisscrossing lines in a grid represent a five-block area around her home. She points her pen to streets on her map: "Several people have been killed up here, and at least two in the last year here. There was a drive-by right here. There was a shooting right here, but the guy didn't die."
All those murders happened after the city's near-total prohibition on guns took effect in 1976. "How dare they have a gun when it's against the law?" she asks sarcastically. D.C.'s Firearms Control Regulations Act, unique in America, restricts anyone from owning a handgun not registered with city police 30 years ago. Police refuse to issue permits for any weapon obtained after that time. Weapons registered before that date must be stored "unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device," rendering the weapon useless.
Even though no one has ever been murdered while on Miss Seegars' block, she speaks of burglaries in terms of "the last time someone broke into my house." Several years ago someone set her car on fire. A prostitute standing on the corner described seeing a man in an orange, hooded shirt set the blaze. "I think we should have guns at least in our homes and be allowed to have them loaded," Miss Seegars says-but such comments anger her boss, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a pro-gun-control Democrat like almost every other members of the D.C. city council.
When the U.S. House of Representatives voted in 2005 to allow residents to defend themselves with guns in their homes, Mr. Williams called the amendment "a slap in the face." Nearly every member of the city council protested lifting the gun ban, and the Senate never acted on the bill. Miss Seegars vocally opposes her colleagues and, as head of the D.C. Taxi Cab Commission, wants taxi drivers to be able to protect themselves from thugs by carrying a holstered pistol. A Metropolitan Police press release on Dec. 23, 2005, detailed six taxicab robberies since November.
Not all cab drivers could arm themselves legally-some are felons and many are not U.S. citizens-but, Miss Seegars says, criminals "wouldn't know which ones did and which ones didn't have a gun." Under her proposal cab drivers would "need to go through all the proper regulations and training [and] be a citizen of sound mind." She estimates that 700 of the 7,000 drivers she represents would be both able and willing to carry a weapon on the job.
Her proposal has stirred up controversy, as did her earlier comment that cab drivers should avoid dangerous, low-income black neighborhoods and "dangerous looking" passengers, such as the "young black guy . . . with his hat on backwards, shirttail hanging down longer than his coat, baggy pants down below his underwear and unlaced tennis shoes."
Appalled city officials called her statements racist, and interim commission chairman George W. Crawford said that drivers following Miss Seegars' recommendations would be subject to a $500 fine and license suspension or revocation.
But Miss Seegars, a street-tough black woman, knows about dangerous neighborhoods. Raised in public housing until she was 18, her brothers became involved in drugs and thug activity. Her oldest brother, James Seegars, took up robbing banks in the mid-1970s, until a friend who betrayed him shot him in the head. Her younger brother, Marvin Seegars, was one of the "Pizza Hut Bandits" who targeted those restaurants and stuffed employees into freezers before making off with cash. He is serving a life-plus-20-year sentence for murdering a man in 1980.
Part of the reason Miss Seegars is so adamant about legalizing guns is because she is familiar with the mindset of bad guys: "I know from my brothers being criminals that they like easy targets. . . . The drivers are just out there trying to make a living, and they're going to get killed for a couple dollars."
The Metropolitan Police's Third District Auto Theft Unit agrees with Miss Seegars. Officer Farid Fawzi stood up from behind his desk in the basement-level office of the police station when asked about guns and said, "Make them legal. In [Prince Georges County, Maryland] you can have a gun and even though things are getting bad now, they have never had the problems we have." Gathering his gear from around the office, he strapped on a Kevlar vest and continued: "I think it would be interesting to see what kind of changes there would be if guns were legal. I know shootings would be up . . ." Officer Norman Rahman interjected: "Just at first." "Sure, for a while," Officer Fawzi said, "until we go through the whole campaign of training residents about how to use guns to defend themselves. When you live in the city what are you supposed to do to defend yourself?"
Officer Joe O'Rourke walked through the door and joined the discussion: "I feel no safer working in a city with strict gun laws than in a city without gun laws." He should know. Before joining D.C.'s Third District, the well-traveled officer served 26 years on the New York City police force, then spent several years in the Secret Service and a little while with police departments in Florida.
If stricter gun laws stopped crime, D.C. would be the safest place in the country. But crooks still have guns and the homicide rate has been among the worst in the nation for more than 20 years. Guns are prevalent on D.C. streets in spite of aggressive law enforcement. MPD recovered 2,316 guns in 2005.
Guns alone are not the problem to Officer Fawzi. He owns nearly a dozen. He is, however, aggressive about enforcing the law because in D.C. illegal guns are owned by people wanting to commit illegal activities. Officer Fawzi says a legal gun in well-trained hands can save lives: "I think everyone should have a gun in their house for self-defense." And as for the risk of his gun falling into the hands of the crook? "Train yourself so it won't be used against you. You go to school to learn how to drive. Learn how to use a gun."
The controversy about gun laws is one that top city officials do not want. Late last year Miss Seegars learned that she will not be reappointed for another term. That very day a cabdriver was killed during a robbery. She says, "I really wasn't too concerned about guns until I was appointed to the taxicab commission. City officials get mad at me for not touting the government line. But just that someone would think about [drivers] enough to say that they should be allowed to arm themselves to defend themselves. That means a lot to them."
OH: Altercation leads to fatal shooting: "Police in Dayton are investigating a fatal shooting that happened at an apartment complex on Burkhardt Avenue on Sunday night. Investigators said the shooting may have been in self-defense. According to people at the scene, the shooting victim was going from apartment to apartment in a rage, banging on doors after allegedly hitting and threatening his girlfriend. ... His girlfriend, who claims Abrams beat her, called her ex-husband to the apartment to help her. Investigators said the ex-husband confronted Abrams, who he claimed had a knife. Police said he ended up shooting Abrams."
MS: Governor signs no-retreat law: "Governor Haley Barbour has signed into law a bill that expands [recognition of] a person's right to claim self-defense against intruders to an individual's car, business and the vicinity of the business. The bill takes effect July first. It also provides that the person would not have to retreat before using deadly force. Under current law, a person can claim self-defense against intruders in their home. Under the bill, it would be presumed that a person who used deadly force acted prudently and therefore would be immune from civil liability. The bill prohibits civilians from claiming self-defense if deadly force is used against a law officer. "