Monday, April 30, 2007
A safer college to go to
Brent Tenney says he feels pretty safe when he goes to class at the University of Utah, but he takes no chances. He brings a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic with him every day. "It's not that I run around scared all day long, but if something happens to me, I do want to be prepared," said the 24-year-old business major, who has a concealed-weapons permit and takes the handgun everywhere but church.
After the massacre at Virginia Tech that left 33 dead, some have suggested that the carnage might have been lower if a student or professor with a gun had stepped in. As states and colleges across the country review their gun policies in light of the tragedy, many in Utah are proud to have the nation's only state law that expressly allows the carrying of concealed weapons at public colleges. "If government can't protect you, you should have the right to protect yourself," said Republican state Sen. Michael Waddoups.
Utah legislators and law enforcement authorities said they knew of no modern-day shootings at the university. But one lawmaker cited a shooting rampage in Mississippi in 1997 as an example of how allowing others on campus to arm themselves can improve safety: After a teenager shot two students to death at Pearl High School, an assistant principal chased the gunman down outside and held him at bay with a .45-caliber pistol he kept in his truck.
Nationwide, 38 states - including Virginia - ban weapons at schools. Of those, 16 explicitly prohibit weapons on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In other states, each school is allowed to formulate its own policy.
For decades, the University of Utah banned concealed weapons. "Our view was that there was an increased risk of both accidental and intentional discharge of a firearm if more firearms are present," said spokesman Fred Esplin. "It was a matter of safety." But in 2004 the Legislature passed a law expressly saying the university is covered by a state law that allows concealed weapons on state property. The university challenged the law, but the Utah Supreme Court upheld it last year.
Utah is easily one of the most conservative states, and the Legislature is dominated by Republicans, many of whom have a libertarian streak. Utah has no motorcycle helmet law, for example, and there is strong affection for the Second Amendment.
The carrying of guns at the university worries students like Timmy Allin, a freshman on the tennis team from Dallas who feels safe on the 28,000-student urban campus. Allin was not aware weapons were allowed on campus until told by a reporter. "I don't see the need for one up here, so that could only lead to trouble," he said.
Lawmakers point to a recent shooting at a downtown shopping mall as evidence that concealed weapons prevent additional deaths. Armed with a shotgun and a pistol, 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic randomly shot nine people at Trolley Square, killing five, on Feb. 12. He died in a shootout with police. An off-duty Ogden police officer carrying a concealed weapon - in violation of mall policy - pinned down Talovic with gunfire until other police arrived.
"Thankfully that officer disobeyed the rule of Trolley Square of having no guns," GOP state Rep. Curt Oda said. Oda said banning guns on campus might do more harm than good. He said people bent on violence might resort to other, perhaps bloodier methods, such as swords.
"A person that's got skill with a sword in a very big crowd could put a lot more people down with a sword than a gun," he said. "They're silent. You'll have people screaming, but nobody knows what's going on."
Some of those who work at the University of Utah said they feel more secure because concealed weapons are allowed. "What happened at Virginia Tech might have been stopped," said Christine Zabawa, a medical researcher at the university. However, she said it is a bad idea to allow guns in dormitories, and fears an accident could happen during a party on campus. "Alcohol and guns. It's a bad combination," she said.
Justin Ligon, 23, a Virginia Tech student and vice president of the school's Pistol and Rifle Club, with about a dozen members who do their shooting at a public firing range, said the Blacksburg, Va., university should drop its prohibition on guns. He said it is unlikely that bringing guns on campus would make school more dangerous. "People with those permits, they go through a background check," he said. "Generally the people who go through that trouble aren't people who are gong to fly off the handle and do something dangerous."
Washington State: Pit bulls shot and killed by neighbor: "A man who claims he felt threatened by his neighbor's two pit bull-mixes shot and killed both dogs. The incident happened on the 12000 block of East Broadway. The daughter of the dog owners came home to her parents' house, who were not home at the time. She let the two pit bull-mixes out of the house when she arrived; those dogs got into a neighbors' yard. The woman called for the animals and heard a yelp. Spokane Valley Police say the man shot and killed the dogs with a rifle. The dogs were burried less than an hour after they were shot. Spokane Valley Police say the neighbor was justified in shooting the dogs if he felt threatened. The daughter of the dog owner tells KREM 2 News she has seen her neighbor point a rifle at the dogs before."
Georgia man shot during home invasion : "A man is recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest after breaking into a house just before 4 o'clock this morning at 3721 Lexington Drive in Augusta. Deputies say a woman living there shot the man once. Then he ran across the street tossed the gun and was found later lying on a picnic table. He is being treated at MCG."
Sunday, April 29, 2007
NC student caught after fleeing shotgun-toting homeowner: "Swansboro High student, Paul Allen Kuerbitz, 18, of Windy Rush Lane in Cary, was charged with breaking and entering, possession of firearm with altered serial number, possession of a stolen firearm, larceny after breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretenses, and attempted breaking and entering, the sheriff's office said. Kuerbitz was arrested after a homeowner who had already been burglarized twice confronted a man attempting to break into his Stella Road home, the sheriff's office said. The homeowner, armed with a shotgun, began to question the man, who ran to a pickup truck and drove away. The homeowner called county detectives, who traced the truck to Kuerbitz. On Tuesday, the detectives spoke with the high school senior, who was identified by the homeowner as the man who attempted to break into his house, the release said. Three guns stolen from the Stella Road home were recovered during the investigation, the sheriff's office said."
California man too late to save cat: "A man opened fire on a group of dogs as they mauled his cat Friday, officials said. The incident occurred about 8:50 p.m. in the 1500 block of Elgenia Avenue, said West Covina police Lt. Dan Brooks. The cat's owner observed a pit bull, a German shepherd, and a mixed-breed dog attacking his pet cat and grabbed a handgun to defend it, said Brooks. The man went outside to aid his pet and the dogs charged at him, prompting him to fire a single shot, Brooks said. The bullet struck the ground and the dogs ran away unharmed to a nearby house, which turned out to be the home of the dogs' owner, said Brooks. The cat was killed in the attack. Brooks said the man will face no charges, as he did nothing wrong and was only acting to defend himself and his property, officials said. The owner of the three dogs was cited for leash law violations by animal control officials, added Brooks."
Illinois cops needed help to put 2 and 2 together : "A 20-year-old Aurora man has been charged with burglary after an alert citizen put together a conversation he overheard in a hospital emergency room with a news story he heard on the radio. Police say suspect Daniel Cerda of the 900 block of Rural Street was shot after breaking into a home on the East Side of Aurora on March 21. According to police, the homeowner had grabbed a gun and called 911 when he heard Cerda at his door. When Cerda confronted him in a hallway, the homeowner fired two shots. Cerda ran away, but after processing the crime scene, police believed the intruder had been shot. The break in the case came later that afternoon when police received a call from a person who had been in an emergency room at a Chicago hospital and overheard a conversation between Chicago officers and a man who was being treated for gunshot wounds. The man at the hospital heard officers telling the shooting victim — who said he was from Aurora — that his story didn’t make sense. While the witness was driving home, he heard a news story on the radio about shots being fired in an Aurora home invasion. The man called Aurora police and they started an investigation with Chicago police and the hospital. Cerda was finally located Tuesday, near Liberty Street and Valley Court in Aurora. He had been treated and released at a hospital in Chicago for non-life threatening wounds. Police say further charges are possible." [More details of the break-in in an earlier report here].
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Media vilify gun makers and sellers for gunman's rampage
Last week after tragedy struck Virginia Tech and a gunman took 32 innocent lives, the media portrayed legal businesses as complicit in the murders. The media coverage quickly turned into a raging debate about gun control, with reporters on the three major networks blaming a number of businesses that committed no crime. ABC's Brian Ross was the worst offender, painting Roanoke Firearms as the villain on several different ABC programs.
Ross repeated that slanted statement in slightly different words on April 17 "Primetime Live," when he called the store one "that has sold guns involved in four previous murders, but none like this one."
Gun makers Glock and Walther were both blamed by Diane Sawyer, who told viewers, "We're gonna be telling you more about the lives those guns took later on in the broadcast." That was on April 18 "Good Morning America." CNN's "American Morning" also maligned Glock by calling the 9 mm a "paramilitary weapon" on April 17.
The Gun Source, an online firearms store, eBay and Dick's Sporting Goods were also implicated by reports. John Markell is the owner of Roanoke Firearms, the store where Seing-Hui Cho legally purchased a 9 mm Glock used in the Blacksburg, Va., shooting. "I was so heartbroken to find out it came from me. I mean I could have done nothing any different. There was no reason for me to deny the sale. We deny sales to people every day," Markell told CNN.
But ABC's Brian Ross made Markell look like a willing accomplice to homicide when he said the store "has a history of selling guns involved in murders," on "Good Morning America." Similarly, CBS "Evening News" also besmirched Markell's reputation on April 17. "Roanoke Firearms sells about 2,500 guns a year, and this isn't the first time his guns have been linked to crime," said Armen Keteyian. The CBS reporter cited ATF records that link 32 guns "to purchases from the Roanoke store" between 1999 and 2003. That would be less than 0.27 percent of all the guns sold at the Roanoke shop.
Since the shooting, people have sent hateful emails and death threats to Markell, and Roanoke Firearms had to temporarily shut down the store's Web site. Part of a message on the site was addressed to those letter writers. "How many of you called the company who sold Timothy McVeigh the diesel fuel or fertilizer he used to make the bomb in Oklahoma City, or the company that rented him the Ryder truck? Should we outlaw diesel fuel and trucks?" the statement said. The backlash against Markell was so severe that he went on CNN's "Larry King Live" on April 18 to defend himself. Regarding the threats against Markell King said, "That's kind of ironic that people opposed to guns are threatening you with bodily harm."
California man acquitted in neighbor's killing : "Three years ago, a jury was split over whether rancher James Grove, 69, was guilty of killing his 61-year-old neighbor in the rural outskirts of Fresno. But after a three-day retrial in Fresno County Superior Court, jurors announced a unanimous verdict Thursday. All 12 found him not guilty of manslaughter. A year and a half ago, Grove turned down a prosecutor's offer to plead no contest to a lesser crime and be put on probation but not serve jail time, Kinney said. Instead, Grove insisted on a trial -- risking a potential 21-year prison sentence if convicted. Grove and Barber lived relatively peacefully for years while they shared a fenced property line in the rural eastern limits of Fresno. The smoke from Barber's chimney -- contaminated by a wood preservative burning in his fireplace -- would waft into Grove's property and bother his wife. One day, as the plumes of smoke rose again, Grove snapped, Skiles said. The 400-pound Barber had been shot in the stomach. He died the next day in a hospital. Five months before he was killed, Barber showed Grove a new handgun he had bought, Kinney said. He said that during the following months, Barber tried to make it clear to Grove he kept it in his coat pocket. Barber suggested they settle their dispute with a gunfight, Kinney said. He said Grove shot Barber only after Barber reached in his coat pocket and told him, "I'm going to shoot you." At first, 10 jurors believed Grove should be convicted. Only two felt otherwise. But, Kinney said, jurors swung the other way after they carefully read a state law that states a person can still act out of self-defense even if the person confronts -- instead of flees -- someone perceived to be a threat."
Feisty Texas clerk killed robber in self-defense: "In the attempted robbery gone wrong, a store clerk turned the tables on two [black] men armed with a Tech-9. Around closing time on Wednesday night, 21-year-old Michael Walker and 21-year-old Andrew Fobbs went into the Fabulous Urban and Sports Wear with intentions to rob it, say police. The suspect and the clerk wrestled for each others guns. That's when the suspect let go of his to reach for the clerk's. As they both fight for control of the weapon, the clerk shot Walker in the chest and leg. Walker later died at the hospital. Meantime, the other suspect, made a run for it. But he couldn't get out because the door was locked. The clerk called 911 and kept him there at gunpoint until police arrived. The clerk won't face any charges because the District Attorney said it was a clear case of self-defense.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Georgia homeowner fights back: "A violent break-in in South Augusta happened shortly before four-thirty this morning, on the 37-hundred block of Lexington drive -- that's just off Rosier Road in South Augusta. The homeowner was no easy mark. She fought back against her attacker. It looks like the victim stopped the suspect in his tracks. The victim is a 57 year old woman who lives alone. But that only made her more prepared to protect herself. Even though she was abruptly awakened while asleep, it didn't take long for her to come to her senses and take aim at the suspect who turned out to be a neighbor. The Mount Vernon subdivision is usually quiet, but that peace was broken in this Lexington Drive home this morning. Detectives say 19 year old Justin Brent Haynie got into his neighbors home while she slept and put a knife to her throat. Sgt. Calvin Chew, Richmond County Sheriff's Office: "He jumped on the bed and he started trying to cover her mouth because she was shouting." During the struggle Sergeant Calvin Chew says the victim, a 57 year old woman who lives alone somehow managed to grab her .357 off the nightstand. That was something haynie didn't know. Detectives say as haynie walked behind her with a knife to her neck, she quickly spun around and shot him in the stomach. Haynie grabbed her gun and ran. But he didn't get far.... The victim wasn't seriously hurt, just a few scratches on her neck... Haynie is in serious condition in a local hospital. He's expected to be o.k. A list of charges is waiting on him when he gets out."
Pennsylvania robber shot in struggle: " A man who witnesses said tried to rob two people Thursday afternoon in Germantown has died of gunshots suffered during the struggle, police said. NBC 10 reported that a neighbor had gone to visit a friend on the 400 block of East Woodlawn Street around 2:30 p.m. and the incident happened when he came out of the house. "When he came outside of the house, a young man jumped up on the porch and approached them, and had a gun, and was attempting to rob them, and then during the robbery and a struggle went on and the gun discharged," said Sam Brackeen, a friend of the neighbor. The alleged would-be robber was shot in the head and chest and rushed to Einstein Medical Center. Police said they are classifying the incident as a homicide and are still investigating"
Georgia man acquitted in shooting death: "A Brunswick man has been acquitted in the shooting death of another man in the parking lot of a Glynn County apartment complex two years ago. Moses Emanuel Walker, who testified that he acted in self-defense, was found not guilty of murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the death of Darrell Hobbs, 27, of Brunswick on Nov. 9, 2005, outside Camelia Apartments, 5800 Altama Ave. A Glynn County jury deliberated about five and a half hours before acquitting Walker, 26. The verdict Wednesday night ended a trial that began April 18. Hobbs was shot twice at close range with a .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol. Walker was seated at the steering wheel of his car when he shot Hobbs who was standing outside at the driver's door, a Glynn County police investigation showed. The shooting occurred during an argument about a woman, according to the investigation. Walker testified that he believed Hobbs had a gun, and shot him as he appeared to be reaching for the weapon. Hobbs had a criminal record, including convictions in 2004 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. He also had been convicted of sale of cocaine in 1997, Georgia Department of Corrections records show. Glynn police records show Walker had been identified as a suspect in six complaints reporting either family violence or public disturbances from 2002 through 2005."
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Ohio student shoots at black intruder: "Two men fired shots at each other Thursday morning near campus. Andre Darnell Smith, a 30-year-old part-time University of Akron student, allegedly fired at 23-year-old Terrell Garr at Garr's apartment on Cross Street, according to police reports. The incident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. after Smith approached Garr's apartment and knocked on the door asking for the location of a fraternity while allegedly brandishing a gun. Garr told Akron police he ran upstairs to retrieve his roommate's gun and when he returned, Smith was in the middle of the road and fired at him. Garr returned fire, claiming it was self-defense. No one was hit. Following the incident UA released a special edition Zipmail requesting students' help. "The City of Akron Police Department and the university are requesting your help in locating a suspect involved in an off-campus incident," the Zipmail said. "If you know about the location of the suspect or have any information about him, please contact APD or UAPD." Smith is described as black, approximately six feet tall and weighing about 250 pounds. APD and UAPD are looking for Smith, who faces charges of aggravated burglary and felonious assault. There are warrants for his arrest."
Texas man kills daughter's boyfriend: "A Dallas man fatally shot his daughter's estranged boyfriend in Pleasant Grove late Tuesday after he attacked her, police said. Byron Hutchinson, 20, died at a local hospital. Larry Overshown, 54, was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was being held Wednesday in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. According to police, Mr. Hutchinson and the woman had been having problems, and she obtained a protective order against him. She has a child with him, police said. Mr. Hutchinson came to the residence in the 900 block of Cedarvale Court about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses told police that he began hitting and shoving the woman in the yard. Mr. Overshown came out of the house and told Mr. Hutchison to stop attacking his daughter, police said. Witnesses told police that Mr. Hutchinson tried to hit Mr. Overshown, who then shot him once in the chest. Mr. Overshown called the police. "He was a very cooperative and concerned parent," said Sgt. Gene Reyes, a homicide unit supervisor. "He got tired of this Byron Hutchinson coming over and causing problems for his daughter." A grand jury will decide whether Mr. Overshown will be indicted."
California man shot in fight with housemate : "One man was shot and another suffered injuries to his upper torso after one roommate shot another in an apparent act of self-defense Tuesday, sheriff's deputies said. About 7:20 p.m. deputies responded to a shooting in the 1000 block of Trabing Road just outside Watsonville along Highway 1 at a house occupied by nine men in their 50s, according to Sgt. Bob MacAulay. When they arrived, they learned that one man had become enraged and for unknown reasons started pounding on the door of a fellow roommate. When he couldn't gain entry, he went to another door and once inside attacked the man with a club. The victim, whose right hand was already in a brace, grabbed a pistol and shot the attacker, hitting him in the neck, MacAulay said. He was transported by helicopter to a San Jose trauma center. It wasn't known if his injuries are life-threatening. The man who was clubbed was taken by deputies to Watsonville Community Hospital for treatment. MacAulay said it appears the shot was fired in self-defense. He didn't know if drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident. The incident remains under investigation, MacAulay said."
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
More gun neurosis: "An adjunct professor was fired after leading a classroom discussion about the Virginia Tech shootings in which he pointed a marker at some students and said "pow." The five-minute demonstration at Emmanuel College on Wednesday, two days after a student killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus, included a discussion of gun control, whether to respond to violence with violence, and the public's "celebration of victimhood," said the professor, Nicholas Winset. During the demonstration, Winset pretended to shoot some students. Then one student pretended to shoot Winset to illustrate his point that the gunman might have been stopped had another student or faculty member been armed. "A classroom is supposed to be a place for academic exploration," Winset, who taught financial accounting, told the Boston Herald. He said administrators had asked the faculty to engage students on the issue. But on Friday, he got a letter saying he was fired and ordering him to stay off campus. Winset, 37, argued that the Catholic liberal arts school was stifling free discussion by firing him, and he said the move would have a "chilling effect" on open debate. He posted an 18-minute video on the online site YouTube defending his action."
CA: Security guard off the hook: "A private security guard who shot and killed a 19-year-old man in a Sacramento apartment complex parking lot Monday morning was acting in self-defense and will not be arrested, police said. The 19-year-old was killed after security guard Gregory Gass, 37, confronted him and two others as they broke into a car parked in the lot of a University Avenue apartment complex about 4 a.m., according to Sacramento Police Sgt. Matt Young. Gass approached the men to detain them until officers arrived after seeing them break into the car, police said. The three men got into a black Honda that was backed into a parking stall and the driver accelerated toward Gass, according to police. As he tried to get away from the car, Gass fired one round through the windshield, striking the driver. The suspect's car slammed into two cars parked in the lot. Gass was detained but later released, police said. The driver died a few hours later, Young said. His name has not yet been released. The two men with the driver -- George Cardenas and Patrick Goodman, both 19 -- were arrested on suspicion of burglary, Young said. The incident is the second this month in which an alleged car burglar has been shot when caught in the act. In both instances, authorities said the shooting was justified."
NC man shot intruder through door: "A Gastonia homeowner says he shot a man through the door of his Log Cabin Road home early Tuesday because the man was trying to break-in. "I just wasn't going to allow (the break-in) to happen. I had no idea what his intentions was and I wasn't going to find out," he said. The homeowner, who didn't want to be identified because he's still frightened, says he was sitting in his house when some time after midnight one of his young children heard something at the front door. "My oldest child alerted me that there was someone on the porch trying to get in," he said. He grabbed his pistol and started walking to the door, but before he got there it began to open. "I saw the door open and I began to fire. I purposely aimed down. I didn't want to kill nobody," he said. The intruder came very close to getting inside, but instead ended up running to a car waiting nearby. "I fired over their heads and scared them off," the homeowner said. Police say a short time later the intruder was dropped off at Gaston Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds to one leg. He had to be flown to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment".
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Mark Steyn comments on the Virginia massacre
I think we have a problem in our culture not with "realistic weapons" but with being realistic about reality. After all, we already "fear guns," at least in the hands of NRA members. Otherwise, why would we ban them from so many areas of life? Virginia Tech, remember, was a "gun-free zone," formally and proudly designated as such by the college administration. Yet the killer kept his guns and ammo on the campus. It was a "gun-free zone" except for those belonging to the guy who wanted to kill everybody. Had the Second Amendment not been in effect repealed by VT, someone might have been able to do as two students did five years ago at the Appalachian Law School: When a would-be mass murderer showed up, they rushed for their vehicles, grabbed their guns and pinned him down until the cops arrived.
But you can't do that at Virginia Tech. Instead, the administration has created a "Gun-Free School Zone." Or, to be more accurate, they've created a sign that says "Gun-Free School Zone." And, like a loopy medieval sultan, they thought that simply declaring it to be so would make it so. The "gun-free zone" turned out to be a fraud -- not just because there were at least two guns on the campus last Monday, but in the more important sense that the college was promoting to its students a profoundly deluded view of the world.
I live in northern New England, which has a very low crime rate, in part because it has a high rate of gun ownership. We do have the occasional murder, however. A few years back, a couple of alienated loser teens from a small Vermont town decided they were going to kill somebody, steal his ATM cards, and go to Australia. So they went to a remote house in the woods a couple of towns away, knocked on the door, and said their car had broken down. The guy thought their story smelled funny so he picked up his Glock and told 'em to get lost. So they concocted a better story, and pretended to be students doing an environmental survey. Unfortunately, the next old coot in the woods was sick of environmentalists and chased 'em away. Eventually they figured they could spend months knocking on doors in rural Vermont and New Hampshire and seeing nothing for their pains but cranky guys in plaid leveling both barrels through the screen door. So even these idiots worked it out: Where's the nearest place around here where you're most likely to encounter gullible defenseless types who have foresworn all means of resistance? Answer: Dartmouth College. So they drove over the Connecticut River, rang the doorbell, and brutally murdered a couple of well-meaning liberal professors. Two depraved misfits of crushing stupidity (to judge from their diaries) had nevertheless identified precisely the easiest murder victims in the twin-state area. To promote vulnerability as a moral virtue is not merely foolish. Like the new Yale props department policy, it signals to everyone that you're not in the real world.
The "gun-free zone" fraud isn't just about banning firearms or even a symptom of academia's distaste for an entire sensibility of which the Second Amendment is part and parcel but part of a deeper reluctance of critical segments of our culture to engage with reality. Michelle Malkin wrote a column a few days ago connecting the prohibition against physical self-defense with "the erosion of intellectual self-defense," and the retreat of college campuses into a smothering security blanket of speech codes and "safe spaces" that's the very opposite of the principles of honest enquiry and vigorous debate on which university life was founded. And so we "fear guns," and "verbal violence," and excessively realistic swashbuckling in the varsity production of ''The Three Musketeers.'' What kind of functioning society can emerge from such a cocoon?
Arizona House OKs bill to make self-defense law retroactive in some cases: "The House on Monday reversed itself and approved the latest attempt to make a 2006 self-defense law favorable to defendants apply retroactively in some cases. The House approved the bill on a 32-23 vote, six days after rejecting the bill 31-27. Four Republicans and one Democrat who voted against the bill on April 17 cast votes for it on Monday. The bill would make the 2006 law apply to cases pending in trial court when the law took effect on April 24, 2006. That time limit and a requirement that defendants had not pleaded guilty or no-contest would have limited the law's reach to about a dozen cases, supporters said. Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a broader retroactivity bill earlier this year, agreeing with prosecutors who argued it would have applied to numerous cases. The 2006 law made it easier for defendants to claim self-defense, and many supporters expected it would help Harold Arthur Fish, a hiker convicted in a trailside shooting in Coconino County. Fish wasn't mentioned by name during either House floor debate, but Republican Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa on April 17 said the bill would have provided an appropriate right to claim self defense to "good people defending their lives." ... Fish supporters hoped the 2006 law would be included in instructions given to jurors in his trial on charges he fatally shot Grant Kuenzli during a 2004 confrontation on a trail near Payson. Fish had claimed self-defense, saying that Kuenzli charged him in a threatening manner after Fish shot a dog that he considered a threat." For more on the Fish case see a post here on June 14, 2006
California boatie strikes back at burglar: "A 19-year-old San Francisco man and a 69-year old Willows man were hospitalized with gunshot and knife wounds, respectively, following what Sheriff's investigators believe was a burglary gone wrong. According to Sheriff's Office reports, Jessie Hawley, of San Francisco, was arrested at Mendocino Coast District Hospital for attempted murder and taken to county jail after being cleared from the hospital with gunshot wounds to his legs. At around 9 p.m., Saturday, April 14, a caller to 911 reported that he had been stabbed at a boat, temporarily moored in the harbor near the Wharf Restaurant. Deputies arrived to find that a 69-year-old male subject had been stabbed in the chest. The victim, whose name was withheld by authorities, told deputies that he returned to his boat and found someone burglarizing it. Sheriff's Office reports said the victim was then stabbed by the burglar. The victim told investigators that he was able to get his gun and shoot the suspect three times in the legs while both were still on the boat. Sheriff's Captain Kevin Broin said while the victim fled the boat, Hawley found another gun on board and shot at the victim out one of the boat's window as he ran away... According to Broin, it is believed that Hawley is a transient. He was arrested about a month ago in Laytonville for allegedly providing false information to a peace officer."
Monday, April 23, 2007
Yesterday's post on Gun Watch was the 1,000th. Time sure does fly!
Idiot Calfornian legislation: "Unsuccessful at keeping guns from gang members and criminals, California may target a new frontier in its crime-fighting efforts: ammunition. Guns don't kill, bullets do, argues Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat who is pushing the idea. "I think it will lead to fewer deaths," he said of regulating handgun ammunition. "But I don't believe it's an end-all or a panacea." The freshman legislator said his bill is particularly timely, given the rampage at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead. De Leon has proposed Assembly Bill 362 as a step toward making California the first state to conduct instant background checks on buyers of handgun bullets. Among its provisions, the bill would require that personal information be collected from buyers of handgun ammunition, that such transactions be conducted face-to-face, not by mail, and that retailers store their handgun ammunition behind counters. Critics claim that tighter regulation of bullet sales would create more hassles and higher costs for gun enthusiasts, but not necessarily cut crime. "I don't consider criminals dumb," said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. "They figure out ways to get around whatever is thrown at them." "You'd have a lot of guys going to Nevada and bringing back a ton of bullets," said Wes Lewis of Guns N Stuff in North Highlands. State law currently requires buyers of handgun ammunition to be 21 or older. But it does little to ensure compliance or to prevent sales to felons or individuals with a history of mental instability who can't own guns legally but might acquire them from friends or on the black market."
Culture, Not Guns, is Important: "For centuries, guns have been plentiful in the United States. Young men, and often young women as well, were taught gun safety and how to shoot before they were old enough to drive cars. Yet your chances of being gunned down by a total stranger at your local school or bank or church in 1644, 1744, 1844 or 1944 were exactly nil. Yes, we had some spectacular political assassinations, but to suggest that the easy availability of guns accounts for the grim social realities we've created in the 21st century is simplistic to the point of foolishness.
The company gun-banners keep: "The Turkish Ottoman Empire established gun control in 1911. It then proceeded to exterminate 1 and a half million Armenians from 1914 to 1917. The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. Subsequently, from 1928 to 1953, 60 million dissidents were imprisoned and then exterminated. China enacted gun control laws in 1935. After the communist takeover, from 1948 to 1952, 20 million Chinese, unable to defend themselves, were murdered. Nazi Germany fully established gun control in 1938. That helped the government to round up 13 million defenseless Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill and impaired human beings. Many were imprisoned in concentration camps, then destroyed. Guatemala passed gun control laws in 1964. Then, from 1964 to 1981, 100,000 defenseless Mayan Indians were exterminated. Uganda established gun control measures in 1970. Predictably, from 1971 to 1979, 300,000 defenseless Christians met a similar fate. Cambodia established gun control measures in 1956. Subsequently, from 1957 to 1977, 1 million Cambodians met their deaths. Our Founding Fathers had good reason to include in the Constitution "the right for each citizen to bear arms."
Sunday, April 22, 2007
GUN NEUROSIS AT YALE
In the wake of Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions. Students involved in this weekend's production of "Red Noses" said they first learned of the new rules on Thursday morning, the same day the show was slated to open. They were subsequently forced to alter many of the scenes by swapping more realistic-looking stage swords for wooden ones, a change that many students said was neither a necessary nor a useful response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
According to students involved in the production, Trachtenberg has banned the use of some stage weapons in all of the University's theatrical productions. While shows will be permitted to use obviously fake plastic weapons, students said, those that hoped to stage more realistic scenes of stage violence have had to make changes to their props. Trachtenberg could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
"Red Noses" director Sarah Holdren '08 said she first heard about the changes in a phone call from a friend as she arrived at the Off-Broadway Theater on Thursday morning. At the theater, technical director Jim Brewczynski told her about the new regulations. The pair then met with Trachtenberg, who initially wanted no stage weapons to be used in the show, Holdren said, though she later agreed to permit the use of obviously fake weapons.
In a speech made before last night's opening show of "Red Noses," Holdren said that Trachtenberg's decision to force the production to use wooden swords instead of metal swords will do little to stem violence in the world. "Calling for an end to violence onstage does not solve the world's suffering: It merely sweeps it under the rug, turning theater - in the words of this very play - into `creamy bon-bons' instead of `solid fare' for a thinking, feeling audience," she said. "Here at Yale, sensitivity and political correctness have become censorship in this time of vital need for serious artistic expression."
Holdren said she is primarily worried about the University's decision to place limitations on art, rather than the specific inconvenience to her production. "I completely understand that the University needs to respond to the tragedy, but I think it is wrong to conflate sensitivity and censorship," she said in an interview. "It is wrong to assume that any theater that deals with tragic matter is sort of on the side of those things or out to get people; they're not - they're out to help people through things like this. I want my show and all shows to be uplifting to people. That's why I'm upset about this - it's not because my props were taken - it's about imposing petty restrictions on art as the right way to solve the problems in the world."
Brandon Berger '10, who plays a swordsman in the show, said the switch to an obviously fake wooden sword has changed the nature of his part from an "evil, errant knight to a petulant child."
Fred Thompson gets it
Some people think that power should exist only at the top, and everybody else should rely on "the authorities" for protection. Despite such attitudes, average Americans have always made up the front line against crime. Through programs like Neighborhood Watch and Amber Alert, we are stopping and catching criminals daily. Normal people tackled "shoe bomber" Richard Reid as he was trying to blow up an airliner. It was a truck driver who found the D.C. snipers. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that civilians use firearms to prevent at least a half million crimes annually.
When people capable of performing acts of heroism are discouraged or denied the opportunity, our society is all the poorer. And from the selfless examples of the passengers on Flight 93 on 9/11 to Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who sacrificed himself to save his students earlier this week, we know what extraordinary acts of heroism ordinary citizens are capable of.
Many other universities have been swayed by an anti-gun, anti-self defense ideology. I respect their right to hold those views, but I challenge their decision to deny Americans the right to protect themselves on their campuses - and then proudly advertise that fact to any and all.
Whenever I've seen one of those "Gun-free Zone" signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I've always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at. Obviously, they don't mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people just a few days ago.
Excerpt from Belmont Club: "Malevolence lives in the mind much more than it does in inamate things. Recently the quarter-century crime statistics of two towns, one in Georgia and the other in Illinois were compared. One had forbidden the ownership of guns and the other had made their possession mandatory. The results as you may or may not have guessed, are that crimes in Guntown had dropped while crimes, especially violent crimes in the Gunfree-zone had soared. Like the Virginia Tech incident, people will debate the meaning of these statistics. But like the Virginia Tech case it ought to raise the question of whether, in regulating things, we are regulating the wrong object."
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Why one man got a gun license:
What I said to my "concerned" friends that asked was, "I like to collect permissions to do things." I lied. Being freaked out that anyone they knew would take gun training and get a concealed weapons permit, they tacitly agreed to believe that lie. It kept everything smooth and "non-political," which I how a lot of my friends and I like it these days. All part of the little lies we tell because we cannot face reality in the world and in our relationships.
I took pistol training because one day it dawned on me that if I ever actually needed a gun it would be too late to shop. It dawned on me after an unarmed mother and daughter were shot to death hiking in the mountains around Seattle. (Mother Daughter Shot While Hiking) It dawned on me after an enraged Muslim had bluffed his way into the Jewish Community Center of Seattle last summer and shot six women and killed one. (Six Women Shot One Killed at Jewish Federation) That was the week I went and signed up for gun training. After the training I felt I would be qualified to get a gun.
I would get it because it was my right to get it. I would get it because I could. I would get it because Washington, no matter how deeply mired in denial and dementia Seattle may become, Washington itself is still a "must issue" state. And how long that would last in the demented rush to disarm and make all citizens effective wards of the state for their "protection" was anybody's guess, but the mindless jerking knees to control citizens' weapons after criminal sprees makes that anybody's guess.
Tracking the killings of over 30 unarmed, effectively disarmed, and therefore helpless students at Virginia Tech this week confirmed me in my decision. It took many bullets for this tragedy to unfold. It would have taken just one going the other way to stop it. That and the training to know what the situation was and how to react.
Unless you are morally, spiritually, and politically blind to human reality, you know that this is the truth. Just one weapon on one person in the hundreds that ran and scattered in front of the maniac could have written a much different ending to this sordid and vile rampage. But there was none because the regents and officials and politicians responsible were mired in yet the persistent liberal utopian dream of a world that never was and never will be. In a very real sense, those students that died were sacrificed to the flaccid and unexamined politically correct beliefs of those charged with their education and their security.
There will be massive lawsuits. There SHOULD be other public consequences of dramatic proportions for those that failed and those that constructed the failed policies. Otherwise the whole thing will drift off into the vague whisps of woulda and shouda and the whole massacre will be repeated, somewhere else somewhere down the line. For those that live in the happy world, the real world never instructs because they always avoid any consequences.
The people who sit around and dream up their "perfect world policies" never suffer any consequences to a great enough extent to give the others of their ilk pause. It's a consequence of decades of dementia among those that gain positions of trust and tenure at our colleges and then hire other similarly demented people to chum up with them. It's the "old liberals' network" that is every bit as protective as the "old boys' network" it so preeningly replaced.
We've handed off our colleges to weaklings and the intellectuallly insane. No surprise when fresh insanity breaks out and kills our kids. No surprise at all. And the kicker is that these people with these mindsets stand ready to do it again in exactly the same way at some other location. What happens in the real world doesn't dent their wooly womb at all. Their school is not now and never will be The Gun School.
In the real world, the Gun School I attended wasn't what anyone here who would never consider taking gun training would think. Everyone I spoke with here when I was taking the training expected a place surrounded by pickups around it sporting Confederate Flag bumper stickers and gun racks. It didn't matter that The Gun School existed a half a mile from Microsoft in the deepest heart of soft and fluffy nerd land. They had their internal image of 'gun nuts' and they were sticking to it. Reality cannot hope to displace insular group fantasies decades old.
In reality my class at The Gun School was composed of about 14 people and it met four times for three hours. It was basic gun safety and handling. Everyone who want to get a gun needs to take such a class. A gun is not a pick-up and go play kind of thing. As we are all aware, it is the kind of thing that will, to say the least, hurt you or someone else real fast and permanently if you get stupid with it. It can hurt you even worse if a maniac has one and you don't. Then you're just a target for their rage and an instrument of their twisted pleasure. You're going to go and you'll go cheap.
Of the 14 people in my class, seven were women -- of which four were lesbian couples -- who one and all told me they were there because of the killings of the mother and daughter who had been shot while hiking near Seattle. They had, I noted, the regulation number of anti-Bush stickers on their cars.
Two somewhat elderly Jewish couples took another four chairs. They were, I discovered, lifelong and committed Democrats and both drove the same model Prius. They were there because of the shootings at the Jewish Community Center. One of the wives, a grandmother type, said almost in passing, "It could happen again."
Then there was the programmer from a company he declined to name ("My coworkers and manager would think it really weird if they knew I was here.") and one man in his 20s who "just wanted to learn how to shoot." He drove a muscle car with no bumper stickers proclaiming his ideological persuasion. And then there was me. The only thing vaguely ideological about my car is the license plate that says LEM for "Law Enforcement Memorial." When I registered the car I had my choice of "theme license plates" that would let me celebrate the woods, the streams and a host of other ecologically correct Washington themes. Way down at the bottom was a new one that gave the extra fee to a memorial in honoring Washington police who have died in the line of duty. These days it somehow seemed more fitting to me, but then again I'm strange in my Seattle set. I go to things like The Gun School. When they ask me about why I have a plate on my car honoring law enforcement -- a function without which their happy perfect world could not exist -- I tell them I think it will give me an edge if I'm ever stopped for speeding.
Like my reasons for going to The Gun School, I'm lying, but it helps keep their happy world intact and, really, once you're armed you always want to keep everything very polite.
But am I armed? Maybe. Maybe not. As far as institutions with demented policies and hardcore fantasies like Virginia Tech are concerned, it really is none of their business. They'd be better off today as would the students they sacrificed if they'd had that attitude to begin with.
Alabama jury rules self defense : "That's the verdict Friday in a Madison County murder trial. Today's verdict could set a precedent for future cases involving the use of deadly force in the state of Alabama. Leamon is now a free man, and his attorney says today's verdict is a victory for all Alabama homeowners. After two days of deliberations, the jury reached their verdict just before noon today. Steven Leamon claimed that he fatally shot Christopher Griffin because the victim was trying to kick through his front door in the middle of the night. The shooting happened at Leamon's Huntsville home back in November of 2005. Leamon's attorney Roy Miller says Griffin intended to rob his client. This could be a precedent-setting case as a result of Alabama's "lethal force law" which was passed by state lawmakers last year. That law allows home and business owners to kill an intruder without penalty if they believe they are in imminent danger."
Virginia man shoots big thug: "A man fatally shot on Harvard Street in February had been attempting to break into an apartment, and the man who fired will not be charged, Commonwealth's Attorney Jack Doyle said in a letter released Thursday. It was about 2 a.m. Feb. 28 when Keith Foreman tried to break into a ground-floor apartment at 416 Harvard St., Doyle wrote in a letter to police, after his review of the case. He said a man and a woman were inside the apartment at the time. One of them called out to the intruder, but he "continued in his effort to pry open the window," Doyle wrote. The man in the apartment fired a weapon, striking Foreman once. Later that morning, Foreman's body was found nearby. Foreman had a 1993 conviction related to a break-in at another home on Harvard Street in which a purse was stolen. He also was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1994, Doyle wrote in the letter. He fought with a man who died six days later of his injuries, The Pilot reported at the time. Foreman was 6 feet tall and 308 pounds when he died. The shooter had a reasonable fear that both he and the woman in the apartment were in danger, Doyle wrote".
Friday, April 20, 2007
Tennessee gets slightly more rational after massacre
In a surprise move, a House panel voted Wednesday to repeal a state law that forbids the carrying of handguns on property and buildings owned by state, county and city governments - including parks and playgrounds. "I think the recent Virginia disaster - or catastrophe or nightmare or whatever you want to call it - has woken up a lot of people to the need for having guns available to law-abiding citizens," said Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains. "I hope that is what this vote reflects."
As amended, the legislation still wouldn't allow guns on school property, however. Niceley's bill aimed to let people holding handgun carry permits take their weapons onto state park property, which is now forbidden. But when Niceley brought the bill before the Criminal Practice Subcommittee, a branch of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Rob Briley, D-Nashville, promptly proposed an amendment to expand its scope. "We've been piecemealing this thing year after year," Briley said. "Why don't we just let you take your gun anywhere you want to?"
Tennessee's handgun carry law includes a listing of places where permit holders are forbidden to take their weapons. Briley has proposed an amendment that repeals a provision prohibiting guns "in or on the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof."
With very little debate, the amendment was quickly approved on a voice vote with only Rep. Janis Sontany, D-Nashville, chairman of the subcommittee, audibly shouting, "No!" She then asked Niceley if he had any comments before the bill, as amended, faced a final vote in the panel. "I'm in shock, and I can't talk," replied Niceley, though quickly adding he thought Briley's proposal was "a good amendment." The panel then approved the overall bill, sending it to the full House Judiciary Committee for a vote next week. Briley is chairman of the committee.
Niceley said afterward that Tennessee should join other states that basically allow licensed people to take their handguns "anywhere they want." The Briley amendment does not go that far, having no impact on separate provisions of the law that, for example, forbid guns on school grounds, in courtrooms or in establishments that serve alcoholic beverages.
But Briley, Sontany and others said afterward that it would allow permit holders to take their guns on most other state, county or city government property - including the Legislative Plaza, where signs are now posted to prohibit weapons except those carried by law enforcement officers.
Briley said in an interview that he and a handful of other legislators in subcommittees have borne the brunt of harsh criticism from some gun owners for opposing past efforts to "nibble away" at restrictions on where handguns can be taken. "This has been on the backs of just a few people," he said. "Now it's time for other people to stand up and say, 'We want these protections in the law' - or not."
Florida man shot in home invasion: "An unidentified man was shot once in the chest Thursday evening after he allegedly burglarized a home in the 2700 block of Hollywood Avenue, Escambia County deputies said. Sgt. Ray Robinson said the homeowners returned to their house on Hollywood and found the suspect inside. One of the residents retrieved a shotgun, while the other called 911, Robinson said. The suspect attempted to leave the home and pushed one of the residents, knocking her to the ground. At that time, the other resident fired one shot that hit the suspect in the chest, Robinson said. The man who was shot was transported to Baptist Hospital. His condition was not known."
Tennessee man shot in home invasion: "A man was shot and injured Tuesday night in what law officers say appears to be another "home invasion" case, the second such case reported here in a week's time. In the Tuesday night case, which occurred on Peppermint Drive, a man named Brian Woods was shot in the leg, allegedly by a homeowner after two men broke into a home and tried to rob the residents. Woods was found on the porch of a nearby house, wounded and screaming for help following the alleged break-in, law officers said. He was treated at the scene by Putnam Ambulance medics and then airlifted to a hospital in another city. According to a report by Putnam Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. David Gibbons, the residents of one house reported that around 9 p.m. Tuesday two men entered the basement of their home and tried to rob them. "One subject was armed with a shotgun and the other with a SKS rifle," the report says. "The homeowner took the rifle away from one of the subjects and fired, and both subjects fled the scene."
Thursday, April 19, 2007
John Lott on the Virginia killings
FEW tragedies make their victims feel more helpless than multiple-victim shootings. Imagine the terror: unable to escape, simply waiting for the killer
With 32 murdered, the Virginia Tech attack this week left more people dead than the two previous most deadly shootings: the 1991 Luby’s Cafeteria massacre in Texas, which left 23 people dead, and the shooting at a California McDonald’s in 1984 in which 21 people were killed.
Of course, these horrors are hardly unique to the US, and Australians need no reminding. In 1996 Martin Bryant killed 35 people at Port Arthur in Tasmania. In the last half-dozen years, European countries including France, Germany and Switzerland have experienced multiple-victim shootings. The worst in Germany resulted in 17 deaths; in Switzerland one attack claimed the lives of 14 regional legislators.
Within hours of the Virginia attack, publications such as The New York Times and leaders of gun-control groups were calling for more gun-control regulation. But perhaps it is time for a different approach. After all, following the Luby’s massacre, Texas and many other states began allowing their citizens to carry concealed hand guns.
There is an important reason to believe that the Virginia attack may also be different. All these attacks shared something in common: citizens were already banned from having guns in those areas. The problem with gun-control laws is not that there isn’t enough regulation, rather that it is primarily the law-abiding, not the criminals, who obey these laws.
Virginia Tech has rigorously enforced its gun-free zone policy and suspended students with concealed hand-gun permits who have tried to bring hand guns on to school property. But whether it is the three-year prison terms that can await those who take guns on to property of K-12 schools in most states, or the suspensions and expulsions at universities, these penalties are completely meaningless for someone intent on killing.
Bill Landes of the University of Chicago law school and I examined multiple-victim public shootings in the US from 1977 to 1999 and found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, the rate of multiple-victim public shootings fell by 60 per cent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell even further, on average by 78 per cent, as the remaining incidents tended to involve fewer victims per attack.
Law enforcement - usually the most effective means of stopping crime - had little effect on multiple-victim shootings simply because more than 70 per cent of these killers, such as Cho Seung-Hui, the killer at Virginia Tech, die at the scene of their crimes. Culpability is negligible. No other gun-control law had any beneficial effect. Indeed, right-to-carry laws were the only policy that consistently reduced the frequency of these attacks.
To the extent that attacks still occurred in right-to-carry states, they overwhelmingly happened in the places where concealed hand guns were still banned. The impact of right-to-carry laws on multiple-victim public shootings is much larger than on other crimes, for a simple reason: increasing the probability that someone will be able to protect themselves increases deterrence. Even when any single person might have a small probability of having a concealed hand gun, the probability that at least someone in the crowd will have a gun is very high.
While right-to-carry laws - now operating in 40 states - do reduce violent crime generally, the effect is much larger for multiple-victim shootings. Normally about 2 to 6 per cent of adults in any state have permits, and for most crimes that means some deterrence. But for a shooting in a public place where there might be dozens or hundreds of people, it will almost ensure that at least someone - someone who is unknown to the attacker - will be able to defend themselves and others. People won’t have to wait helplessly for the killer to get them.
Police are extremely important in deterring crime but, as this latest attack showed again, they almost always arrive after the crime has been committed. Annual surveys of crime victims in America by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics continually show that, when confronted by a criminal, people are safest if they have a gun. Just as the threat of arrest and prison can deter criminals from committing a crime, so does the fact that victims can defend themselves.
Other countries wonder how millions of Americans can be allowed to legally carry concealed hand guns. They must be crazy. Won’t blood flow in the streets? Many Americans also initially shared the same fears, but not any longer. The permit holders have proven to be extremely law-abiding. There is a reason no state that has allowed citizens to carry guns has reversed course.
Most people understand that guns deter criminals. Suppose you or your family are being stalked by a criminal who intends to harm you. Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying “This home is a gun-free zone”? Would it frighten criminals away? Good intentions don’t necessarily make good laws. What counts is whether the laws ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals.
McCain stands firm
Republican presidential candidate John McCain declared Wednesday he believes in "no gun control," making the strongest affirmation of support for gun rights in the GOP field since the Virginia Tech massacre. The Arizona senator said in Summerville, S.C., that the country needs better ways to identify dangerous people like the gunman who killed 32 people and himself in the Blacksburg, Va., rampage. But he opposed weakening gun rights and, when asked whether ammunition clips sold to the public should be limited in size, said, "I don't think that's necessary at all."
GOP rival Rudy Giuliani, too, voiced his support for the Second Amendment on Wednesday, but not in such absolute terms. Once an advocate of strong federal gun controls, the former New York mayor said "this tragedy does not alter the Second Amendment" while indicating he favors the right of states to pass their own restrictions.
Other candidates in both parties have stayed largely silent on the issue in the immediate aftermath of the killings, except to express their sorrow. McCain has opposed many gun controls in the Senate over the years but broke from most of his party - and his past - in supporting legislation to require background checks for buyers at gun shows. In one such vote, he relished taking a position at odds with the National Rifle Association.
In a speech Wednesday to a crowd of 400, McCain was unequivocal in support of the right to bear arms. "I do not believe we should tamper with the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States," he said. A woman shouted that George Washington's troops used muskets, not automatic weapons. "I hope that we can find better ways of identifying people such as this sick young man so that we can prevent them from not only taking action with guns but with knives or with anything else that will harm their fellow citizens," McCain said.....
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Australia: Would-be robber shot in buttocks by security guard: "A man was shot in the buttocks and leg after he and an accomplice allegedly threatened a security guard with a gun at a Sydney factory last night. The 24-year-old security guard was leaving the complex in Arncliffe in Sydney's south about 7.15pm (AEST) when a car pulled up next to him and one of two masked men pointed a gun at him, police said. When the guard drew his own gun, the car's passenger got out and ran off. The car then sped away while being peppered with gunshots. Some two hours later, police were called after two men appeared at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, one with gunshot wounds to the buttocks and right leg. An 23-year-old was in hospital under police guard while a 24-year-old Belmore man was being questioned by police"
Arizona Store Owner Holds Suspected Burglars At Gunpoint: "Two Florida men were arrested in Ash Fork after Yavapai County sheriff's deputies found them being held at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Texaco gas station, a sheriff's office spokeswoman said. Deputies were called to the Texaco around 12:30 a.m. Monday on reports of a burglary in progress. When they arrived, they said they found the owner of the store holding 49-year-old Juan Luis Ruiz and 38-year-old Angel Borges Sanchez at gunpoint. The owner told the deputies he'd found the men at the diesel pumps with the service panel off. The men had keys to the panel that no one but a technician should have had, deputies said. According to deputies, the men said they'd had trouble getting their credit cards to work, but neither man was found in possession of credit cards or any other form of payment. Ruiz and Sanchez were arrested on charges of felony trespass, possession of burglary tools and third-degree burglary. Bond for each was set at $25,000."
Philadelphia Man Acquitted After Pulling Gun at Football Game: "A Philadelphia judge has found a pistol-packing parent of a "peewee" football player was justified in pulling his gun on a substitute coach who was beating him during a sidelines altercation during a game in the Burholme section of Northeast Philadelphia last October ... . The defense conceded that defendant Wayne Durkotch pulled out a gun, but said it was in self-defense after he was beaten to the ground by the coach. Defense attorney Brian Quinn: "He is someone who has a permit to carry, he's licensed to carry. He only pulled the gun when he was in fear of dying. He was getting beat. He acted responsibly. Once he pulled the weapon, he put it away right away after the situation cleared. He waited for the police as he should have done." But coach Jermaine Wilson, who was filling in as coach that day, testified that parents including Durkotch were hollering and cursing him and that Durkotch had pushed him, and that's when he started hitting Durkotch. The judge has found Durkotch not guilty of all charges, but the judge said he was extremely disappointed to see all of this happen around children, who are five, six, and seven years old."
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR GUN-FREE ZONES
If the teaching staff had all been armed, many lives would have been saved
The background -- from January 31, 2006
A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly. House Bill 1572 didn't get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws.
The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink would not comment on the bill's defeat other than to say the issue was dead for this General Assembly session.
Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." Del. Dave Nutter, R-Christiansburg, would not comment Monday because he was not part of the subcommittee that discussed the bill.
Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus. The legislation was designed to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun." The legislation allowed for exceptions for participants in athletic events, storage of guns in residence halls and military training programs.
Last spring a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, despite having a concealed handgun permit. Some gun owners questioned the university's authority, while the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police came out against the presence of guns on campus.
In June, Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy reiterating its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus facilities.
A shooting spree by a lone gunman has left at least 33 people dead at a Virginia university in the bloodiest mass shooting in US history. The killer first opened fire in a dormitory at Virginia Tech, the state's biggest university, killing at least two people. Two hours later he was able to continue his rampage in an engineering classroom on the other side of the campus. A lone male is believed to have been responsible for the carnage, before turning the gun on himself.
There were unconfirmed reports that the killer was an Asian man in his twenties who may have been motivated by jealousy, believing that his girlfriend was being unfaithful. By lunchtime, local time, the death toll had risen to 33 and a further 26 had been injured.
University authorities and police struggled today to explain why they allowed students on to the campus after the first shooting and failed to issue proper warnings. The internet was buzzing with postings purporting to be survivors' tales, including a dramatic description of students barricading themselves inside a classroom while the killer tried to shoot his way in.
Speaking from the White House President George W. Bush told a press conference: "Our nation is shocked and horrified." The massacre began at 7.10am, local time, when a gunman entered a dormitory at Virginia Tech, the largest university in the state. He killed two people, a man and a woman, on the fourth floor of the West Ambler Johnston Hall, one of the largest halls of residence with sleeping quarters for 895 students. At 7.15am the first emergency call was made. Police cars and ambulances rushed to the scene and armed teams fanned out around the hall, on the southwest side of the 2,600-acre campus, trying to find the gunman amid swirling snow.
Police and university authorities believed that the incident was "domestic" and was contained. They said later that there was reason to believe that the gunman had fled. By this time around 14,000 students and staff were on their way to the campus. The university sent e-mails to all Virginia Tech members but decided against shutting down the campus. Charles Steger, the president, said: "We concluded that once they got to the classroom, that was the best place to lock them down."
The e-mail had few details. It read: "A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating." The message warned students to be cautious and contact police about anything suspicious. But at 9.40am gunfire began again. Shots came from Norris Hall, an engineering building filled with classrooms. One student, Jamal Albarghouti, filmed the scene on campus with his mobile phone, images that were broadcast on CNN even before the full scale of the massacre had been revealed....
Missouri: 3 men charged in botched kidnapping: "Three men face second-degree murder charges in an attempted kidnapping that left a fourth suspect dead. According to police, the four men plotted to kidnap another member of their gang and demand a $50,000 ransom. Police said the suspects lured the man to a house Saturday claiming they wanted to buy drugs from him, then bound him with duct tape and called his brother, demanding the ransom be paid within 30 minutes. The kidnap victim, a man in his 20s, managed to escape without injuries and call police after shooting one of his captors, police said. Police Sgt. Richard Sharp said the shooting was considered self-defense and the man has not been charged. However, Marlyn L. Standifer, 18; Robertico Cooper, 19; and Antwan Wooden, 21, were charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action. Standifer and Cooper were in custody, but police were still looking for Wooden, who also is wanted in an unrelated shooting death in January. According to court records, the shooting happened when Antwan Wooden, Standifer and Cooper went to meet the victim's brother, who had gone to the police station. Court records say the victim was left alone with Keith Wooden, 24, the older brother of Antwan. The hostage worked his hands free from the duct tape and took Keith Wooden's gun from him, court records say. When Wooden lunged at him, the victim fired, court records say. He then fled the house. Wooden was pronounced dead at the scene."
Monday, April 16, 2007
South Carolina Woman Shoots and Kills Alleged Burglar : "Beaufort Police are investigating a shooting that left a 17 year old Yemassee man dead. It happened around 11pm Saturday at the Wilderness Cove Apartments. Police said Alphonso Bright was shot and killed when he forced his way into the home of a 20 year old Beaufort woman. Officers said Bright asked Aileen Sugano if her boyfriend was home. When she told him no, he left, only to come back moments later and push his way inside. Police said he grabbed a bag of marijuana and some cash that was on the table. They said Sugano pulled a gun out from under the couch and fired a shot that hit Bright. Then she called 911. Bright died later at the hospital. Sugano is charged with possession of marijuana. Beaufort Police are still investigating the shooting."
Nevada Resident Shoots Suspected Car Thief : "According to police, a resident on Winter Street shot a man Saturday night after finding him in his car. Police say the suspect in the vehicle approached the resident. The resident was armed with a shotgun and police say he fired one round, striking the suspect in the upper chest and upper arm. The suspect was transported to Renown Medical Center where he listed is in serious condition. The investigation is on-going."
Florida domestic: "An argument between a Cottondale woman and her estranged husband resulted in a shootout Saturday night. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call around 11:40 p.m. from Paul Barber Jr., 52, stating that a man and a woman had been shot at his home, located in the 3400 block of Omaha Trail in Cottondale just west of Marianna. When deputies arrived, the front door had been kicked open and Julian Shiver, 44, and Felisia Shiver, 45, were lying on the floor. According to reports, Felisia Shiver was visiting Barber when her estranged husband arrived. He wasn't let in so and (sic) he allegedly kicked the front door open. The confrontation grew into an argument where Julian Shiver pulled out a handgun and shot Felisia Shiver at least once in the head. Maj. John Dennis said Barber pulled out a shotgun and the two men exchanged gunfire. Reports said Barber struck Julian Shiver twice in the torso. Both Julian and Felisia Shiver were taken to Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Ala., and have undergone surgery. Dennis said Julian Shiver is in stable condition, and Felisia Shiver is in critical condition. As of now, Julian Shiver could faces charges of attempted murder and armed burglary."
Sunday, April 15, 2007
FL: Case poses early test for "Castle Doctrine" law: "Norman Borden hopes to become a trailblazer -- the first defendant in Florida to have a murder charge dismissed because of the state's fledgling 'Castle Doctrine' law. ... Borden, 44, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three other felonies in connection with the shooting deaths of Christopher Araujo, 19, and Saul Trejo, 21, and the wounding of a third man, Juan Mendez, who was 20 at the time. ... Public Defender Carey Haughwout argued that Circuit Judge William Berger should dismiss the indictment against Borden at a future pretrial hearing, saying that a preponderance of the evidence establishes his right to use deadly force. ... Borden and a friend were walking his dogs in his Westgate neighborhood in suburban West Palm Beach around 3 a.m. in October when he exchanged words with either Mendez or Araujo, according to witnesses. Araujo got behind the wheel of a Jeep, accompanied by Trejo, Mendez and a juvenile and drove toward Borden, with more yelling back and forth. After the juvenile got out of the Jeep, the men drove at Borden and his friend again. Trejo had a bat, according to Borden's attorneys, and he or Araujo also may have had a gun. This time, Borden opened fire on the Jeep until he had fired 14 rounds from his 9mm handgun. Then he went home and called police."
Ohio shootout leads to car accident : "A Warren man exchanged gunfire early Tuesday morning with someone who then tried to steal the man’s car, a police report shows. Martin Bonish, 55, 1625 Youngstown Road S.E. told police a man walking by his home as he was pulling into the drive about 12:45 a.m. opened fire after a brief conversation between the two. Bonish, licensed to carry a concealed weapon, returned fire, which is when the man jumped in Bonish’s still-running car and tried driving away, according to the report. But the man, who was trying to back out of the drive, hit a street sign and then accelerated forward across the street, through a fence and into a junk vehicle in a nearby parking lot, the report states. The man hopped a fence and got into a car that drove up to the crash, the report states.
New Hampshire: Shooter acted in self-defense : "Prosecutors dropped charges against Frank Meisel, accused of shooting his stepbrother, saying he acted in self-defense when he fired his .38-caliber revolver into the chest of David Richardson. Richardson, 53, went to Meisel's business, Windham Autobody at 47 Roulston Road, threatening to hurt him about 10 a.m. on March 1, police said. Meisel, 43, of Cluff Road in Salem fired his weapon after Richardson had swung a large bat at his head and threatened to hurt him, said Rockingham County Attorney James Reams. Police had charged Meisel with misdemeanor simple assault after the altercation, saying they would either upgrade or drop the charge, based on the investigator's conclusion. "Everything we had was consistent with self-defense," Reams said yesterday. Police had been to the garage hours before the shooting when Richardson, who lived about a half-mile away, showed up drunk and got into a fight with Meisel. Neither of the men were seriously hurt or wanted to press charges. Police told Richardson not to return to the garage, but he showed up a couple of hours later, armed with a large club. The arguments were the result of Richardson wanting to borrow money, police said. Meisel's account of what happened was supported by his bookkeeper, who saw both fights between the men, according to police."
Saturday, April 14, 2007
SC: Man glad he didn't "freeze up" for intruders: ""A judge has refused to grant bond to two men accused of breaking into a Charleston Highway home in February, including the man deputies say was shot by the homeowner. ... That decision from the bench came after 1st Circuit Assistant Solicitor Bryan Jeffries asked the court deny bond to the trio accused in the Feb. 20 invasion of the Charleston Highway home of 80-year-old Newman 'Ted' Jackson. ... Prior to Wednesday's hearing, Jackson talked about that night and his decision to pull the trigger, which apparently stopped the incident from going further. ... But it was that moment of decision Jackson was questioned about, the moment he decided to fire. A man brandishing a weapon that looked like an automatic kicked open his bedroom door moments after he'd retrieved one of several handguns he owns. 'When he saw my gun, he said, 'Whoa!,' like that,' Jackson said. 'He was going at 90 mph to get out of there.' It was decision time. 'I thought for a second, 'What if he gets clear and then turns around and shoots up my house with that submachine,' Jackson said. 'Oh, hell no. 'Boop!' I shot.'"
IL: Gun-haters try to shut down range: "A judge toured a shooting range today that lies within a glide path of Scott Air Force Base and poses a potential danger to planes and participants, according to St. Clair County officials who want to close it. But the president of the Caseyville Rifle & Pistol Club told St. Clair County Associate Judge James Radcliffe as he toured the enclosed site on the edge of Mascoutah that if rules are followed it would be impossible for a bullet to leave the confines of the range. ... The operation of the range is currently the focus of an eminent domain lawsuit brought by the county on grounds that the operation of a shooting facility so near to a flight path poses danger from bullets hitting aircraft, and people on the ground being killed by a crashing airplane."
West Virginia woman shoots dog she claims attacked her: "A woman in a trailer park shot a dog that she claimed was attacking her while she got out of her car Wednesday night. The woman, who lives out on Howells Mill Road, reported to Cabell County Sheriff's that two German shepherd dogs approached her near her vehicle and became very aggressive. Officers said the woman apparently shot one of the dogs with a .38 revolver, leaving it wounded and causing the other one to run off at the time of the report. No arrests were made and the owners of the dogs were not present at the time. The woman and neighborhood witnesses told officers that the landlord has warned the owners about leaving their dogs without a leash. Officers notified Animal Control about the two dogs."
Friday, April 13, 2007
No charges in California property protection shooting
Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully will not prosecute the man who police said shot a 17-year-old boy breaking into his car and then fired several more times as the boy and two other men fled. Sou Saechin, 42, was arrested April 4 on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for firing three or four shots at the fleeing suspects, according to Sacramento police. He was not arrested for shooting the boy and, had he not fired at the group as they took off, "it is unlikely that an arrest would have occurred," Sacramento Police Sgt. Matt Young said.
Saechin confronted the boy and his two alleged accomplices outside his south Sacramento home after hearing a noise about 3 a.m., police said. The three were trying to break into Saechin's Honda Civic, parked in the driveway of the family's Rock Creek Way home, to steal its air bags, authorities said.
One of the alleged burglars -- a 17-year-old boy who has not been identified because he is a juvenile -- reached into his sweat shirt and appeared to step toward Saechin, who feared "he was about to be attacked," according to a news release issued by Scully's office. Saechin shot the boy once in the chest with a .22-caliber rifle, police said. He is recovering in a Sacramento-area hospital; his injuries are not life-threatening.
Although Saechin then broke the law by firing at the boy and his two alleged accomplices as they tried to flee in a car, authorities will not prosecute the father of four because "he didn't hit the car," Scully said. Had he injured or killed anyone in shooting at the car, Scully said, she likely would have charged him. "Fortunately, he didn't hit anything," Scully said....
Scully said she had to choose between prosecuting Saechin and prosecuting the alleged car burglars. She said she needs Saechin's testimony and that the suspects -- Marco Virelas, Larry Tran and the 17-year-old boy -- are "the ones I believe pose a risk to the community." "For me, I can't (prosecute both Saechin and the suspects), and the answer is pretty easy," Scully said. Scully's office said her office would prosecute the two adult suspects on burglary-related charges, and noted that both have prior criminal records.
Tennessee robber makes 2 mistakes : "Sometimes an apology's just not good enough. A would-be robber found that out the hard way today when he came back to say he was sorry after trying to rob a Northwest Knoxville store, authorities said. "Within 10 minutes, he came back to apologize, and he was in custody," Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk said. Police said the move was the second mistake of the day for William Jones, 33. The first came when he tried to rob the R&H Market, 1601 Beaumont Ave., with a toy gun just before 1 p.m., authorities said. The owner, Nihad Saah, pulled a real pistol, and Jones ran, police said. "I didn't want to hurt him," Saah said. "But I worked too hard for my money for somebody to just come in here and take it from me." Police still were searching the neighborhood for Jones when he came back to the store. Saah and some customers kept him there until officers arrested him".
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Antigun Laws Help Stalkers Victimize Women
What do you do when the police can't protect you? Police may be the single most important factor for reducing crime, but there is something the police themselves understand: They almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred. Expecting people to trust the police to protect them and to behave passively is a recipe for disaster.
The last couple of weeks have seen a couple prominent murders where restraining orders did women little good. Numerous news organizations, such as ABC News, have run headlines asking "How Do You Stop a Stalker From Killing You?"
Unfortunately, despite acknowledging that "many women find themselves on their own," the media are drawing the wrong lessons. To simply advise that women "Get the hell away from him" often doesn't go anywhere near far enough. With her tragic murder last Monday on the campus of the University of Washington, Rebecca Griego learned this the hard way. Twice she had filed for restraining orders against her abusive and physically violent former boyfriend, Jonathan Ghulam-Nabi Rowan, but the police didn't know where he lived and could never serve him. It wasn't like they didn't try, for in January they couldn't even locate Rowan for an outstanding warrant for a drunk driving conviction.
Rowan made Rebecca's life hell. In police reports as well as her request for a restraining order, she described Rowan as a "suicidal alcoholic" who had "punched," "slammed" and "thrown" her to the ground. To no avail, she moved a couple of times and changed her cell phone number. Nevertheless, on March 7 and 14, Rowan called her at work, threatening both her and her dog. He then called and threatened Rebecca's older sister.
But restraining orders often aren't worth the paper on which they're written, even when they are served. For a stalker intent on killing his victim or committing suicide after the attack, the penalty for violating a restraining order is irrelevant. With Seattle police's response time of seven minutes for the highest-priority emergency calls, the police simply can't be there to protect you even with a restraining order. Seven minutes can seem like an eternity.
With such rampant failures in the system, there is one piece of advice that could have saved Rebecca's life: Practice self-defense and a get a gun. Indeed, the University of Washington goes in the opposite direction and tries to protect people by declaring the campus a "gun-free zone," with the school's code of conduct banning the "possession or use of firearms ... except for authorized university purposes."
Gun-free zones may be well-intentioned, but good intentions are not enough. It is an understandable desire to ban guns; after all, if you ban guns from an area, people can't get shot, right? But time after time when these public shootings occur, they disproportionately take place in gun-free zones.
It is the law-abiding good citizens who would only use a gun for protection who obey these bans. Violating a gun-free zone at a place such as a public university may mean expulsion or firing and arrest, real penalties for law-abiding citizens. But for someone intent on killing others, adding on these penalties for violating a gun-free zone means little to someone who, if still alive, faces life in prison. Unfortunately, instead of gun-free zones ensuring safety for victims, ensuring that the victims are unarmed only makes things safer for attackers.
One of us conducted research with Bill Landes at the University of Chicago that examined all the multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999. We found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent. To the extent that attacks still occurred, they overwhelmingly happened in the special places within right-to-carry states where concealed handguns were banned. The University of Washington is a good example of this. There is no evidence that there are any more accidental gun deaths that occur from right-to-carry laws. Permit holders also tend to be extremely law-abiding.
Ironically, earlier this year University of Washington President Mark Emmert began consideration of making the school's ban somehow apply to students living off campus as well. Students are sitting ducks on campus, but the change would make them vulnerable off campus as well.
Not only did the gun-free zones fail here, but it is extremely unlikely that Rowan could even legally own a gun. As a non-resident alien, Rowan needed an alien firearms license to even own a gun, something that rarely is granted.
There is an even simpler point to make. It is the physically weakest, women and the elderly, who benefit the most from having a gun to protect themselves. The U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey has shown for decades that resistance with a gun is by far the safest course of action when one confronts a criminal. Good intentions don't necessarily make good rules. What counts is whether the rules ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many rules primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals.
OR: Homeowner chases burglars off with pistol "An East Multnomah County man faced with at least two burglars in his home turned the tables on them by grabbing his own gun and opening fire while chasing one of them down the street. But it wasn't a bullet that stopped the one suspect who didn't get away -- an asthma attack tripped him up. ... Newsome [pic above] and one to four other suspects allegedly forced their way into the home of a 21-year-old man at Southeast 160th Avenue and Powell Boulevard north of Powell Butte at about 12:30 p.m. Once inside, the suspects -- at least one of whom was armed with a handgun -- confronted the victim. A verbal and possibly a physical struggle ensured between Newsome and the victim, during which the victim managed to get his own gun, a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. With that, the suspects fled the scene with the victim chasing after them."
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
TOUGH TIME FOR OHIO OLDSTER
"The West Sunset Drive man who set a trap to catch the person he said was stealing from him faced another burglar Saturday morning. This time, the 78-year-old William Kenneth McComas lost the struggle for the gun and sustained muscle strains and bruises on the back, neck and head. He was treated and released from WRH Health Systems, where he was transported by Rittman Emergency Medical Services. A few hours after the incident, Casey Wood, 18, of Fairlawn Avenue, and Charles Mattingly, 21, of Fourth Street, were arrested, police Chief Larry Boggs said. Wood is being held on a burglary charge with a $10,000 bond, while Mattingly faces a charge of receiving stolen property and $5,000 bond.
Saturday's incident is the second time in a week McComas faced an intruder, but police say it appears to be unrelated. On March 31, McComas waited in the dark with a handgun and a telephone for a man he suspected of stealing from his home. Chris Lively, 26, of Front Street, was arrested in that incident. McComas held a gun on Lively until the police arrived a few minutes later.
The most recent incident began about 6:30 a.m., by McComas' recollection. He heard someone hitting the newly installed unbreakable glass on his kitchen door. He said he looked out the window to see if there was a car in his driveway, but saw none and went back to bed. Moments later, the wood on the kitchen door gave way to a kick, and an intruder burst into McComas' bedroom door.
Later at the police station, McComas identified the man who he saw in the bedroom as Wood. He recalled performing Wood's father's wedding some years before and remembered meeting the young man, he said. The police press release said Wood and Mattingly entered the home, but McComas said he remembers seeing only Wood. When Wood burst in the bedroom door, he called McComas by name and shouted to give him his money and billfold, McComas said.
McComas said he pulled a firearm out from under the bedcovers, but was holding the barrel. The intruder struggled for the gun. McComas let go because he was afraid the younger man would shoot him, McComas said. He said his body was twisted during the struggle, resulting in the bruises and muscle strains.
The man threatened to kill him and claimed to be on crack, McComas said. The intruder left with about $500 in cash, medication and the handgun, McComas said. McComas dialed for the police as Wood walked out the door. He recalled Wood turning around, spying the phone and calling out, "I love you, Kenny." Four police officers arrived two minutes after getting the call at 6:38 a.m., Boggs said.
Georgia store clerk shoots would-be robber: "Macon Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery at the BP Station on Eisenhower Parkway. The incident happened Tuesday morning at 8:30. The store clerk told officers he shot the would-be robber after he allegedly entered the business, displayed a weapon, and demanded money. The suspect then ran from the business. Shortly after the robbery, police received a call from the Houston Coliseum Hospital Emergency Room about a gunshot victim. When police arrived they found the gun shot victim was the armed robber from the BP Station. The 20-year-old Macon man is being treated for a gun shot wound to the wrist. He is in stable condition."
Pink Pistols: The gay group that's getting armed: "On a crisp Sunday morning, Nicki Stallard closes one mascara-coated eye and focuses intently on her target. Her long fingers are wrapped around the handle of a Colt .45; black go-go boots hug her muscular legs, which are firmly set in shooting stance. As she rapidly fires off rounds of ammunition, shells fall to the ground, rolling under her stacked platform heels. Nicki Stallard isn't your average lady. She was born a man. Stallard, who has been living as a woman for the past year and a half, is the coordinator of the San Jose chapter of the Pink Pistols -- a national organization that encourages gay, lesbian and transgender people to arm themselves to prevent hate crimes. Part social gun club, part political platform, the group's slogans are, 'Armed gays don't get bashed' and 'Pick on someone your own caliber.'"