Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gun control: Politics without reason

In 2000, Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership posted an article by Dr. Sarah Thomson which explained in psychological terms exactly how gun control advocates shield themselves from reality. When I read this, I thought it was an interesting idea, but it seemed a little extreme to say that the bulk of gun control advocates feel the way they do not merely because of ignorance, but because of complete irrationally.

My experiences with antigun nuts since then, and a bit of thought, have made me realize just how nutty these people really are. For example, one time when a libertarian friend and I were doing outreach at my college, two obnoxious socialists started trying to talk us into corners on a variety of issues. They would not address any of our rebuttals with anything more than a derisive "interesting" or "I see" and quickly fired off more questions. When they randomly got to September 11 and we explained how armed passengers or pilots could have prevented the tragedy, one of them asked something like "What happens if people just start shooting in the air around the plane?" to which my friend replied "I don't think people are that retarded." I sat there wondering if maybe these guys were.

Amusing anecdotes aside, such comments are typical in the gun control debate. Too often, claims are made that armed passengers or pilots would shoot each other over minor disputes and bring down the plane in doing so, or that guns are too complicated for anyone not trained by the government to use. Of course, these claims are ludicrous.

1. Armed people interact on a daily basis without shooting each other. I am one of the estimated 80 million gun owners in the United States. Sure, people anger me sometimes, but that does not mean I (or over 99.9% of gun owners) want to shoot them over it.

2. Large commercial aircraft would not be destroyed by a few holes in the fuselage. Even if cabin depressurization occurred, this would only rip the airplane apart if it happened to be in a movie at the time. Passengers and staff who wished to carry firearms aboard planes would probably be restricted to frangible ammunition that would not penetrate the fuselage anyway, but even if someone were to break the rules, a huge catastrophe would not result.

3. Firearms are not very complicated to use with a little bit of training, which can be received at courses offered all over the country. It is especially silly that antigun nuts would trust their lives to a pilot's ability to fly a complex aircraft, but would not trust him to be able to possess a simple handgun without randomly killing someone.

Of course, none of this is groundbreaking to seasoned defenders of the right to keep and bear arms. Such people are used to hearing the hysteria and misperceptions of hoplophobes. But is such hysteria the result of mere ignorance, or of irrationality?

When the arguments in favor of gun control are examined for their underlying premises, all that can be found are ridiculous ideas that would be funny if they weren't so widespread. We will first examine the above example a little more.

1. Could someone reasonably be ignorant of the fact that most gun owners do NOT shoot people over disagreements? You could say hoplophobes might not realize just how many gun owners are in America, but they must know that there are a lot of them. America is, after all, that scar on the face of otherwise gun-free Western Civilization. I would submit that gun control advocates are just not thinking rationally about the world around them.

2. Perhaps it is ignorance fueled in part by Hollywood that leads people to believe that airplanes will be ripped apart by depressurization resulting from small arms fire. But is it rational to actually believe that airplanes are this fragile? I would not say so. How are these machines able to fly if they fall apart so easily? And who would travel on them?

3. I will accept that a person who has never used a firearm might rationally believe that they are complicated to use (although it is still a bit outrageous to think so). However, this relates to a premise commonly found in the gun control debate, and in debates involving libertarianism in general. This premise holds that government agents are somehow mentally and perhaps physically superior to common citizens.

This premise is also ridiculously irrational. Government workers are merely individuals who happen to work for a certain employer. Their badges do not make them any more capable of making life or death decisions than the individuals in the seats next to them. Are they better trained? Maybe in some cases, but is a cop who passed a pistol certification course ten years ago and then requalifies annually really more capable of using firearms than a jewelry store owner who practices at the range almost every weekend? I would not expect this to be the case. This is obviously not meant to bash police officers, but to bash the mentality of always depending on them to save us.

We see the belief in the superiority of government officials throughout the arguments of gun control advocates. "What could a private citizen need an assault rifle for?" they ask. Well, what do government agents need them for? To engage multiple targets in a gunfight. Sometimes private citizens need to do this. Why should a person be denied the chance to defend himself with the best weapon he can afford (or to defend himself at all, depending on what the specific debate is) simply because he is a privately-trained or self-trained shop owner and not a government-trained police officer? (Of course, taxpayers buy guns for the government, and a lot of gunfights result from inhuman government policies, but don't even get me started on this.)

Much more here

Texas: Clerk Turns Tables On Would-Be Robber: "Dallas police say a store clerk came face to face with a [black] would-be robber, but this time it's the suspect that ended up in the hospital. On Wednesday police say a man came into the store at 4 a.m. and found that clerk Benny Brown was more than a match for him. Police say what Brown did was defend himself when he saw the suspect with a semi-automatic handgun. Brown took a gun, that's left at the store, and fired it three times. The suspect staggered away from the store empty handed and hours later a man, matching the suspect's description, showed up at Parkland Hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. "Parkland Hospital called us regarding this gunshot victim," explained Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse with the Dallas Police Department. "We're not sure if he had been in the hospital that entire time or if he tried to tend to his own wounds." The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Christopher Marquis Wade. Wade, who was listed in fair condition at Parkland, will be charged with aggravated robbery. According to police reports Brown had seen the suspect several times in the past. He told authorities that when the man showed up at the store today it seemed 'suspicious'."

Another Texas clerk shoots at would-be robber: "A Bosque County store clerk refused to be a crime victim for a second time in less than a year by shooting at a masked man who tried to rob him Tuesday morning. No customers were in the Lake Stop Store at 340 State Highway 22 in Laguna Park at 10:16 a.m. when a man wearing a mask entered, said owner Balbar Deo, who wasn't at the store at the time of the attempted robbery. The masked man was carrying an unknown weapon under his jacket, according to a Bosque County Sheriff's Department press release. When the clerk saw this, he reached under the counter and pulled out a .22-caliber gun and shot twice at the would-be robber. The store clerk, in his mid-30s, left early because he wasn't feeling well, Deo said Tuesday afternoon. Deo said the clerk had been robbed and badly beaten at the store last summer. But Tuesday, the would-be robber fled the store after the clerk fired. The man drove away in a silver vehicle, according to the sheriff's department. A vehicle matching that description was stopped later that day by deputies in Hill County. Officers arrested Stafford L. Jones [above], of Waco, in the case. Jones, 28, confessed to the attempted robbery and told deputies he had been grazed by the clerk's bullets, the release stated. He was treated at Goodall-Witcher Hospital in Clifton, then booked into the Bosque County Jail on a robbery charge, the release stated."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Georgia: Homeowner shoots burglar in leg: "The Thurman family says after two people stole from them they got a security system and a gun. Now, they say, they've both come in handy. "As soon as [the motion sensor] went off, we were able to look out the window and see that he had opened the door to the truck," said Michael Thurman. He says he thought it was a burglar. So he grabbed his gun, ran downstairs and went outside. "When I saw him right here I said hey what are you doing?" Thurman said. An incident report shows the [black] suspect, Jeffery Whitt, started to run to a dark part of the yard. Thurman says he couldn't see him and was afraid he might be going to get a gun. "Anything could've been in [the] area, so I did what I thought I needed to protect myself and my family. I fired a few shots," One of those shots into the dark hit the suspect in the leg. Whitt kept running down the street and ended up at Macedonia Baptist Church. Deputies arrested him and took him to MCG. Thurman says his GPS system was missing and deputies found one between his house and the church."

Texas mother fights back: "A North Side mother fought off an armed intruder inside her apartment early Tuesday morning. "I was telling him, 'Please do not kill me in front of my baby,' " said the 24-year-old victim, who does not want to be identified. According to police, a masked man broke in through a downstairs window in an apartment complex in the 8000 block of Bentley. Then, he made his way through the victim's home. "I thought I heard somebody trying to open up my door," the victim said. "I jumped up, looked in my hallway, and I didn't see anybody." A short time later, the armed intruder started kicking in the woman's bedroom door. The woman tried to knock out her bedroom window to scream for help and call 9-1-1 at the same time. But the man made it into the room with her and her 2-year-old son. "I was crying just telling him not to kill me, that I would do anything he wanted me to do," the woman recounts. The mother says she hit him with a lamp, bit his hand, and even tried to shoot him with his own gun, but the weapon would not go off. The suspect ran out the room, giving her a chance to call the police after she barricaded herself in with a dresser. The woman describes her assailant as an African-American male"

Bigotry towards gun-owners: "A Bristol Virginia man sparked a statewide political reaction after he said he heard the state Senate’s majority leader insult rural gun owners while standing in a public elevator. "He turns to his companion and says, ‘You can tell we’re debating a gun bill today. Half the cast of "Deliverance" is in town,’ " said John Pierce, a local gun-rights activist who was in Richmond to lobby the General Assembly against a bill to close the so-called gun-show loophole. "I was absolutely floored. ... I think what you’re seeing is bigotry aimed at rural voters and the issues that they tend to support," Pierce said. "Deliverance" is a 1972 film based on the novel by James Dickey in which Atlanta businessmen encountered a backwoods Appalachian culture on a canoe trip in the north Georgia mountains, where rape and murder ensue."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Georgia: Wheelchair-bound Man Shoots Attacker: "A homeowner who is confined to a wheelchair shot and wounded a man who confronted him on his door step, Atlanta police told 11Alive News. The homeowner was on his way out of his house on Flat Shoals Avenue Friday morning when he ran into a man at his door. The homeowner asked the man to leave, but the man started to assault the homeowner, authorities said. During a struggle, the homeowner grabbed a gun and shot the attacker in the arm and chest. The suspect was taken to the hospital. His condition was not known. The homeowner was not injured. [The great equalizer at work again]

Delaware: Teen bandits flee after store clerk takes gun: "A store clerk turned the tables on a pair of armed robbers during an attempted holdup at a convenience store, Dover police said today. Two teens walked into the Little Grocer convenience store on East Division Street about 9 p.m. Sunday and demanded money, Lt. James Hosfelt said. When one of the bandits brandished a sawed-off shotgun in the direction of the clerk behind the counter, the gunman and clerk got into a physical confrontation, Hosfelt said. The clerk refused to hand over any money from the register and then grabbed the shotgun out of the hand of the would-be robber. After the clerk established control of the situation, the two bandits went running from the store, Hosfelt said."

VA: Students push for concealed guns on campus: "College students across Virginia are heading to Richmond this weekend to lobbying for two bills allowing concealed weapons on campus. `There was a lotta talk after Tech that a lot of different issues would have to be dealt with, and this is one we felt needed to be addressed,' explained George Mason University student Andrew Dysart. Dysart heads the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. They are against an administrative ban at GMU and other state schools that forbids anyone to carry a gun on campus, even though Virginia law allows citizens to have guns with a permit."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Texas: Attempted robbery ends with shootout: "An attempted robbery outside a convenience store in north Houston on Friday afternoon ended in a shootout between the robber and his intended victim, police said. Both men were taken to hospitals and described as stable with gunshot wounds to their torsos following the shooting in front of Handi Food Mart in the 500 block of Yorkshire. According to police, the gunman approached the son of the store's owners in the parking lot and tried to rob him at gunpoint about 3:20 p.m. But the intended victim managed to pull out his gun, said Sgt. Robert Odom of HPD's homicide division. Several shots were fired and both men were wounded, Odom said. The suspect was taken to Memorial Hermann-The Texas Medical Center while the intended victim was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital, where he was in surgery. The names of both men were withheld."

Missouri: OK to shoot loony: :The prosecuting attorney in St. Charles County rules that the fatal shooting of a mentally ill man by his stepfather was justifiable homicide. Prosecutor Jack Banas says no charges will be filed against Dr. John Gentles in the death of his stepson, 26-year-old Marshall Fink. Banas says Gentles acted in self-defense. Fink was shot on Jan. 11. Banas says Fink had shown increasingly erratic and often violent behavior over the past 18 months, and relatives feared for their safety. His mother says Fink was bipolar and had lived at home since being discharged from the Navy because of his illness. Authorities say Fink threatened both his mother and stepfather on the day of the shooting."

Justice for gun owners: "Martin Luther King Jr. put it best: 'A right delayed is a right denied.' The lesson appears to have been lost on the Department of Justice and Solicitor General Paul D. Clement in the amicus curiae brief submitted recently for the government in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, which challenges the city's 31-year-old handgun ban, a horrible gun law that has had its day in court and lost. In a transparent exercise of political pandering, Clement and his colleagues named on the brief have strenuously, and correctly, argued that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right, yet they insist that every restrictive gun law currently on the books should stand."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ohio: Double Shooting Kills 1: "Miami Township police said a shooting in the 5100 block of Miamisburg-Soldiers Home Road killed one person Friday night and seriously injured another person. According to police, the shooting happened just before midnight. A male intruder, 38-year-old Richard L. Coyle of Miamisburg, allegedly entered the residence on Miamisburg-Soldiers Home Road and shot 34-year-old Deidre S. Webster. Webster was Careflighted to Miami Valley Hospital where she was listed in serious condition Saturday evening. Police then said the homeowner at that residence allegedly shot and killed Coyle. Police have not identified the man who allegedly shot Coyle. That homeowner is being held in the Montgomery County Jail, but he has not been charged."

Texas: Grocery Store Guard Shoots At Shoplifting Suspect: "A grocery store security guard opened fire on a shoplifting suspect on Tuesday, KPRC Local 2 reported. Houston police said the guard at the Fiesta store on Hillcroft Street near Bellaire Boulevard spotted the man inside the store at about 6:45 p.m. The guard was waiting for the man as he left the store, officials said. The man elbowed the guard as he tried to stop him, police said. Investigators said the guard fired a warning shot as the man ran away. Police tracked the man down about a block away. An ambulance was called out to treat the man for an injury he suffered when he fell on concrete."

CO: Make my day better: "Rep. Cory Gardner is taking another shot at passage of his 'Make My Day Better' legislation. Under Colorado's current Make My Day Law, people can use deadly force to protect themselves in their own homes. ... Rep. Gardner, a Republican whose district covers part of Southeastern Colorado, wants to extend the right of self-protection to people in the workplace. As it is, there are disparities in how such incidents are handled by prosecutors. In Denver, a man was charged with manslaughter for protecting himself from a burglar, but in Colorado Springs in the same type of crime, the store owner who protected himself wasn't charged with anything. ... If you are killed by a criminal at work, you are just as dead, dead, dead as if you are killed at home. Why not allow people to protect themselves at work just as they can protect themselves in their own abodes?"

Arizona Bill Allows Guns in Schools

(Phoenix, Arizona) Out of concern that existing policies do not provide adequate protection, Arizona Senate Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor, R-Gilbert, and Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa, have proposed allowing concealed-weapons permit holders to take guns on school grounds.
The proposal, Senate Bill 1214, would exempt concealed-carry permit holders from a state law that bars individuals from knowingly carrying deadly weapons onto school property.

If it becomes law, the measure would allow teachers and anyone else with a valid permit to carry their weapon onto the grounds of any public or private K-12 school, college or university in the state.

Supporters say the measure would provide an additional ring of security on campuses hit with a string of shootings in recent years. The most recent of which was last year's at Virginia Tech, which left 33 dead. The shootings have come in spite of heightened campus security and policies that are increasingly aimed at scrubbing any and all weapons from school grounds.
Obviously, gun control measures to keep weapons out of schools simply haven't worked. Even so, gun-control advocates are uncomfortable with the proposed measure. Expect heated debate.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

PA: Man won't be charged for shooting intruder: "Allegheny County prosecutors say they won't charge a man who shot an intruder at a suburban Pittsburgh apartment. Authorities say 68-year-old James Bodnar told them he shot the man in both legs when he tried to enter Bodnar's Plum Borough apartment about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 9. Police believe 21-year-old Justin Jones of Auburn, N.Y., thought he was entering his ex-girlfriend's apartment in the same complex. Police say Bodnar opened the door and showed Jones the gun after Jones tried to kick in the door. Police say Bodnar shot Jones when he still tried to enter."

TN: Homeowner Shoots and Kills Burglar: "A burglar, caught redhanded breaking into man's garage, was shot and killed Thursday. The incident happened around 2:00 a.m. in the 800 block of Avalon, near Henry Street. Police say the homeowner heard a noise in his garage, and when he confronted the intruder, the man tried to attack. Police say the burglar went after the homeowner with a weedwacker, and the homeowner shot him. Police say at this point, the homeowner is not facing any charges because it appears he shot the burglar in self defense.

Another "success" for British gun control: "Crime recorded by police in England and Wales is falling at an accelerating rate, according to official figures published yesterday. The continuing drop in recorded crime was marred by a 4 per cent increase in gun crime, although the number of deaths from such offences has fallen. The total has risen because of offences where no one was injured or where the firearm was used to threaten the victim. The latest crime figures will be a relief to Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, after the controversy caused by her remarks that official advice to people would be that they should not walk through any unfamiliar place after midnight. Ms Smith added on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "That's a sensible answer isn't it?" Recorded crime fell to 1.24 million offences between July and September last year compared with the same period the previous year. There were sharp drops in criminal damage, offences against vehicles, robbery and offences against the person where no injury was caused."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Virginia: Security guard shoots man: "A security guard at Lake of the Woods in Orange County shot a man in the hip shortly after midnight Sunday, causing a minor injury. According to State Police spokesperson Sgt. Les Tyler, the guard was investigating a 911 call from a residence on Wilderness Lane. Tyler said a man answered the door, became combative and assaulted the guard, who then drew his gun. The man was taken to Mary Washington Hospital, then sent to the Medical College of Virginia Hospital in Richmond. His injuries are not life-threatening, Tyler said."

CO: Teen shoots robbers: "A Fountain teenager who woke up to the sounds of robbers in his home said that he didn't hesitate to shoot the men before they took off with his flat screen television. Fountain police spokesman Sgt. Jess Freeman said the suspects are currently hospitalized for treatment of gunshot wounds. ... Cody Buckler, 19, said he was asleep at about 11 p.m. Sunday when he heard unfamiliar voices in the living room. He told authorities he overheard someone tell a child in the house that they were a police officer, so Buckler crept down the hall and saw two men who were wearing masks, hats and gloves. Buckler then went back to his bedroom, grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and shot one of the men as the man carried out Buckler's flat-screen TV. He then shot the second man as the man came up the stairs toward him. Both men escaped but were apprehended at a nearby hospital by police. They both had semiautomatic handguns, according to police. Buckler's girlfriend, her young daughter and two other children live in the home. Police said they don't plan to file charges against Buckler at this point because the shooting appears to be covered by Colorado's "Make My Day" law, which allows a homeowner to use deadly force if they believe lives are in danger."

In Election Season, Mum's the Word about Gun Control: "Are this year's U.S. presidential candidates avoiding the gun issue? Last week, San Francisco's First District Court of Appeal struck down that city's two-year-old law that confiscated all handguns and rendered all other guns useless by banning ammunition sales. And on March 9 of last year, a federal court of appeals invalidated District of Columbia laws that banned handguns and precluded keeping any gun for defense in the home. That case is now in the Supreme Court, which many expect will hold that such laws violate the Constitution's guarantee that law-abiding, responsible adults may have guns to defend their homes and families. Ironically, though these laws represent the ultimate goals of the gun "control" (actually gun ban) movement, they epitomize that movement's political downfall. For Democratic candidates, an Eleventh Commandment has evolved: "Don't mention guns"-while formerly anti-gun Republicans Romney and Giuliani now declare themselves faithful advocates of gun rights. Democratic politicians are well aware that (as Bill Clinton himself says) Congressional Democrats' anti-gun efforts caused the 1994 voter revolt which-for the first time in 50 years-gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alabama invader shot: "Witnesses say three men kicked down the door to a Montgomery man's home and only two made it out without being shot. Montgomery police responded to the shooting in the 2700 block of Cherry Street around 6:30 Monday evening and found 22-year-old Tavaris Trammer lying on the floor with gunshot wounds to the neck and leg. The resident was also shot in the arm. According to MPD spokesman Captain Huey Thornton witnesses reported that three men kicked in the door, attempted to rob the resident and then shot him in the arm. The resident then used a 9mm handgun and shot Mr. Trammer in the neck and leg. The other two suspects fled the scene, one ran out the front door and the other jumped out a window. Trammer was taken to Jackson Hospital where he is in serious but stable condition. Doctors say he may be paralyzed from the neck down. The resident was also treated for his wounds."

Tennessee Home Invasions: "Home invasions plagued North and South Nashville homes overnight. The first home invasion happened at a home off McKinnie Avenue where police said four men entered through the opened front door and ransacked the house. The victim was able to grab his hand gun and fire several shots before the suspects fled. Police thought some of the men drove off in a car, while others may have made their getaway on foot. A K-9 unit on the scene did pick up a scent but was not able to track the suspects. The victim was not able to give police a good description of any of the suspects."

TX: Some worried by law that allows drivers to have weapon: ""The state's new castle law has grabbed the spotlight. But some say a lesser-known gun law, which also took effect in September, could have greater consequences. The law allows Texans to carry guns in their cars, even without a concealed handgun license. As long you meet the law's other requirements - such as not being a gang member, refraining from criminal acts and keeping the gun out of sight - you can pack heat in your glove box. `Castle is just kind of yawn,' said Alice Tripp, legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association. Texans have always enjoyed robust rights of self-defense. But the gun carrying law `is dramatic,' she said."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CA: Man not stopped by restraining order is stopped by firearm : "A 47-year-old man was shot by a homeowner Friday after he allegedly broke in to the home to get to his ex-girlfriend.The suspect, Andrew Giebler, 47, was later arrested on suspicion of violating a domestic restraining order, burglary and stalking, according to a news release by the Kern County Sheriff's Department. At about 5 p.m., Giebler had broken into a home located in the 8000 block of Shannon Drive and began fighting people, the news release said. His ex-girlfriend was staying at the home and has a domestic violence restraining order against him.The homeowner shot Giebler in self-defense, the news release said. The suspect was hit in the shoulder."

PA: Man shoots man in the head after breaking-in: "A Beaver County man shot an apparent burglar in the head after finding him prowling in his bedroom. Police say 23-year-old Keith McCue shot Gary Brooks as he fled down the steps of the house. Police say 26-year-old Brooks and an accomplice, 41-year-old Kelvin Raines, broke into the McCue house by kicking in the front door. They took a rifle from the living room and headed upstairs. McCue was alerted by his dogs' barking. He shot Brooks with a handgun he keeps by his bed. Police say McCue's actions were just. Raines is in Beaver County Jail facing burglary charges. Police say Brooks will face similar charges if he recovers. Brooks is being treated in a Pittsburgh hospital.

Citizen's group blasts Va. Gov. Kaine for using tech crime law to attack gun shows: "Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has fallen back on one of the oldest, and most shoddy, tactics in the gun grabber playbook by using the Virginia Tech tragedy to launch an attack on gun shows, when the crime had nothing to do with gun shows, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today. "Neither of the guns used by Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho was purchased at a gun show," noted CCRKBA Legislative Liaison Joe Waldron. "Attacking some mythical `gun show loophole' will do nothing to prevent criminals from getting their hands on guns illegally, because it has been shown statistically that criminals rarely get firearms at such shows."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

FL: "Sweetest, kindest gentleman" shoots suspect : "A white-haired 85-year-old man, rushing to his son's defense, shot and wounded a would-be car thief Monday morning in Little Havana, Miami police said. The suspect, Norberto Fernandez, 29, had been trying to steal Jorge Jauregui's white Honda Accord in front of his house, 1368 SW 14th St. Jorge Jauregui, 50, armed with a handgun, ordered Fernandez out of the car, police said. I don't care," responded the alleged thief, according to Miami police spokesman William Moreno. The two engaged in a "vicious fight," Moreno said. Then his father, Florentino Jauregui, also armed, rushed out of the house and "fearing his grandson was being overpowered," shot and wounded Fernandez, Moreno said."

FL: Homeowner shoots burglar: "A homeowner shot a burglary suspect who was trying to break into his home early today, the Bartow Police Department said. Police said their preliminary investigation indicates the suspect, 37-year-old Shaun Lynn Hause, had reached into the victim's residence via a broken window in the door. The homeowner saw Hause's hand on the door knob and fired a shotgun."

SAF applauds DC court dismissal of lawsuit against gun industry: "The Second Amendment Foundation today applauded the unanimous ruling by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that dismissed a lawsuit against 25 gun manufacturers filed by the district and families of nine gun crime victims in the city. The lawsuit was filed in January 2000, but according to the opinion written by Associate Judge Michael William Farrell, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 required the court to dismiss the case. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the ruling was proper, and recalled that it was municipal lawsuits like this which led to passage of the federal legislation in the first place. At one time, several cities filed a string of junk lawsuits against gun makers, and SAF actually filed counter suits against big city mayors who launched the legal attack. SAF was not a participant in this litigation. "We're proud of the tenacity shown by American firearms makers, and their refusal to be bullied by this kind of legal harassment," Gottlieb stated. "Such lawsuits threaten the gun rights of all law-abiding citizens by posing a threat to the very life of the nation's firearms industry. It is no secret that such lawsuits have been launched not simply to blame gun companies for out-of-control crime, but to put them out of business through a financial and legal war of attrition."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Texas: For gun owners, clearer protection in self-defense cases but no shooting upsurge

And optimism about good neighbor Joe Horn

The shootings came fast, a bang-bang-bang cluster of cases starting in early autumn that quickly had police, prosecutors and the media wondering about the sudden impact of Texas' new castle law. A business owner who lives at his West Dallas welding shop killed two men in three weeks as they tried to break in. A 79-year-old homeowner in east Oak Cliff, awakened by his dog, struggled with an intruder before grabbing a shotgun and wounding the man. A retired Army warrant officer managed to kill a gun-wielding robber at a Far East Dallas dry cleaners after his wife surprised the intruder and handed her husband their own 9 mm handgun.

Texas has long had a reputation as a shoot-first-ask-questions-later place, dating back to its frontier days. But the spate of shootings begs the question: Did the castle law - which gives people the right to use whatever means necessary to protect themselves and their property without fear of civil liability - unleash a flurry of gunfire? Perhaps just as important, has the law changed people's perceptions about fighting back? Are they more likely to shoot first even when safe retreat may be an option?

"I think the castle law has more citizens thinking about fighting back, knowing they're protected from being sued later," said Dallas homeowner Dennis Baker. He shot and killed a burglar in October after seeing the man enter the garage where he stored thousands of dollars worth of tools.

But Dr. Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology at Florida State University, doesn't think the castle law governs someone's thinking when they hear a window softly opening late at night, or the crash of a door coming down in a home invasion. "In situations in which people would be making a decision to use defensive violence, it's very unlikely they'd be thinking about laws and penalties," he said. "That would be the furthest thing from their mind."

Certainly the castle law has become a high-profile addition to the Texas statutes since it took effect Sept. 1, but police and the district attorneys association argue that it brought little substantial change. While it appeared to apply to each of these cases, so did a batch of other laws, along with the tradition of Texas juries giving people every benefit of the doubt when protecting themselves, their families and their property.

None of these property owners was charged. Police referred a few cases to the Dallas County grand jury, which declined to indict. In others, police determined that the shootings were justified. And they see the rash of shootings as part of a normal cycle, not a trend. Dallas police homicide investigators said they've yet to encounter a self-defense situation since the castle law took effect that would have been barred under previous laws....

One Texas case in particular has attracted national attention, in part because of the circumstances: It was a neighbor, not the homeowner, confronting and killing a pair of burglars Nov. 14. And the neighbor mentioned in a 911 call that a new law gave him the right to protect himself if he confronted the burglars. The 61-year-old Pasadena man, Joe Horn, told the police operator: "The laws have been changed in this country since September the first, and you know it." .... Seconds later, Mr. Horn can be heard saying, "Move, you're dead," followed by two shots and then a third. "I had no choice," Mr. Horn said in a second 911 call. "They came in the front yard with me, man."

Mr. Edmonds said other property laws could provide a defense for Mr. Horn, whose case is under investigation. "The laws governing the use of force to defend property instead of a person are very broad and very favorable to someone who wants to use that force," Mr. Edmonds said.

More here

Michigan: Four intruders, one shot: "Ann Arbor police have called off the search for a man they originally suspected in a fatal shooting. Andrew Myrick, a 28-year-old University of Michigan student, was inside his house in the 1500 block of Jones Drive on Wednesday night when David Copeland, 29, of Ypsilanti and three other men broke in, Ann Arbor Deputy Police Chief Greg O'Dell said. Two of the suspected intruders were arrested Thursday and charged with robbery. But on Thursday, the Washtenaw County prosecutor called Copeland's death "justifiable homicide," O'Dell said. A third man, Michael Bailey, 20, of Ypsilanti is still wanted, O'Dell said. [More details here]

Individual Right to Arms for Self-Defense Enjoys Solid Support of Public and Police, notes Gun Law Expert: "As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider arguments in the District of Columbia v. Heller case on whether or not the Second Amendment refers to an individual right to keep and bear arms, it's important to realize that both general and law enforcement opinion appear to support an individualist interpretation," gun rights expert John M. Snyder stated here today. Snyder cited an ongoing USA Today internet survey indicating that, out of nearly 600,000 participants to date, 97 percent support the individualist approach. He recalled a Rasmussen Reports national survey of 800 likely voters just a few weeks ago revealing that at least 50 percent state someone in the household actually owns a gun. Snyder said that, "for the last two decades, annual national opinion surveys of Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs in the United States conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police (NACOP) show that America's command officers support the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense and sporting purposes by over 90 percent".

Sunday, January 20, 2008

National firearms ban 'reasonable'?

Gun owners warn arguments endanger Second Amendment

A Second Amendment advocacy organization is asking the Bush administration to withdraw a legal brief that leaders fear could be used to support "any gun ban - no matter how sweeping," as long as some court somewhere determines it is "reasonable." The concern comes from Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, whose group is pleading with the Bush administration to withdraw an anti-gun brief filed by the U.S. Solicitor General in a Supreme Court case regarding a District of Columbia ban on handguns.

The document from U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement noted since "unrestricted" private ownership of guns clearly threatens the public safety, the Second Amendment can be interpreted to allow a variety of gun restrictions. His brief suggests gun rights are limited and since they are subject to "reasonable regulation," all gun limits imposed by the federal government should be affirmed as constitutional. "Given the unquestionable threat to public safety that unrestricted private firearm possession would entail, various categories of firearm-related regulation are permitted by the Second Amendment," he wrote in the brief.

But Gun Owners of America, a grass-roots lobby representing more than 300,000 Americans, said the opinion creates a huge threat to the constitutional provision banning the "infringement" of the right to bear arms. "If the Supreme Court were to accept the Solicitor General's line of argument, D.C.'s categorical gun ban of virtually all self-defense firearms could well be found to be constitutional." Pratt said.

Worse, when the standard for evaluating gun bans becomes "reasonable," there is nothing else needed in order for a court somewhere to decide that all guns should be forbidden. "In contrast to other provisions in the Bill of Rights, which can only be trumped by 'compelling state interests,' the Second Amendment would be relegated to an inferior position at the lowest rung of the constitutional ladder, should the Justice Department prevail," said Pratt.

He said the legal opinion could have been written by a gun limit lobby and it could be used in support of a ban on all guns by a government proclaiming "this is a reasonable regulation" even while affirming the "right" to bear arms. Paul Helmke, of the pro-gun control Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence, in fact earlier said he saluted the position paper.

But Pratt said it would be analogous to the situation in the state of Illinois, where the state constitution provides a right to keep and bear arms, "subject to the police power," he said. Not surprisingly, Illinois has one of the most restrictive atmospheres in the nation regarding guns, he told WND.

"Under the administration's amicus brief, a national ban on all firearms - including hunting rifles - could be 'constitutional,' even if the Supreme Court decides - on ample historical evidence - that the Founders intended the Second Amendment as an individual right," he continued. "Rather than argue that 'shall not be infringed' is a categorical prohibition on government gun-banning, the administration has chosen to align itself with those who do not believe in self defense or civilian gun ownership," Pratt said. He said his organization is issuing a public call for the Justice Department to withdraw the anti-gun statements, and is inviting other organizations to join in its battle against such a precedent.


Florida victim turns gun on 4 robbers: "An armed citizen surprised four men who robbed him at gunpoint last week. After being ordered to his knees, Russel Olofson warned the men that "they should think about it," according to an Orlando police report released this week. A private investigator with military training, Olofson, 24, told police the robbers snatched his cell phone and a wallet containing his concealed-weapon permit shortly before 10 p.m. Friday outside Ridge Club Apartments. After the robbers took his items, Olofson stood up, drew his Springfield XD sub-compact 9 mm handgun "and fired two rounds toward male #1 with the silver handgun, possibly striking him," the report states. "Males #2, #3, and #4 then ran southeast . . . and male #1 ran northeast . . ." A search by police quickly turned up a pistol likely used in the holdup, the report said. The .45-caliber Ruger pistol and clothing believed to have been worn by male 1 were found in the backyard of a home on Alrix Drive, reports state. The serial numbers on the pistol had been scratched off, a common sign the weapon may have been stolen. Olofson, who had been conducting an investigation for Briggs Corp. Solutions, was not injured. A check by police of area hospitals did not find any reports of patients treated for gunshot wounds."

Alabama: Murder charge dropped in case of self defense: "Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against Frederick Espy II because of a lack of evidence. Espy, 25, has claimed he was defending himself when he shot Joseph Thomas Burton on April 3, 2005, at the Club Oasis on Plummer Road. The shooting occurred about 3:30 a.m. at the nightclub. Witnesses told deputies Burton was near the door of the club where Espy, then an engineering student at UAH, was handing out fraternity flyers. Espy and Burton began to argue after Espy made a lewd remark about Burton's girlfriend, a witness told the officers. The two men got into Espy's car where they argued and Burton assaulted Espy, according to Robert Tuten, Espy's lawyer. Espy reached behind the seat, pulled out a .40-caliber pistol and shot Burton, he said. A grand jury indicted Espy on the charge of murder in May 2006. "This is one of the best examples of self defense, I've ever seen," Tuten said. A person has a right to defend himself against an assailant who attacks him in the front seat of his car, he said."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pennsylvania robber shot: "Police said a man shot a robber during a home invasion in Darlington Borough, Beaver County, Friday morning. According to police, two robbers entered a home, taking control of the homeowner's rifle. At that point, police said, the homeowner pulled out a handgun, shooting one of the robbers. The second robber fled the scene with the man's rifle, police said. When police arrived, they found the wounded suspect and called for medical assistance. There is no word on that person's condition. Police continue to investigate. There is no word on whether the homeowner will be charged in the shooting".

Missouri burglar shot at: "A man reportedly burglarizing an apartment Thursday morning in an area off Battlefield Road was captured after being shot at by a resident and chased down by a police dog and several law enforcement officials, according to Capt. Randy Gibson of the Greene County Sheriff's Department. The incident began around 10:30 a.m. at the Valley apartments just off West Battlefield when someone staying home sick awoke to the sound of a window being pried open in another room, according to Gibson. The suspect fled back out the window after the resident saw him, according to Gibson. A neighbor then apparently went after the suspect, firing shots at him, Gibson said. No one was hurt from the gunshots. The Greene County Sheriff's Department, the Springfield Police Department and the Battlefield Police Department responded to the scene and a K-9 unit was deployed to track the suspect, Gibson said. The suspect led the officers on a short foot pursuit and was taken into custody several blocks away in the vicinity of the West Bypass/West Battlefield area, Gibson said. Gibson said he expects burglary charges to be filed against the suspect this morning."

Some progress in Georgia: "A bill that would expand the rights of Georgians to carry concealed weapons sailed through the state Senate on Thursday, over the objections of some law enforcement groups. The bill would allow those with concealed weapons permits to carry their weapon in a state park or historic site. And drivers legally eligible to obtain a gun license could also have a weapon in their car, under the legislation. It passed 41 to 15. A much-disputed provision sought by the National Rifle Association that would have allowed employees to leave a firearm in their locked car at work was watered down following a furious lobbying campaign against it by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. The business group argued the change would have trampled the private property rights of business owners. Under the bill that passed on Thursday, only the 300,000 Georgians with concealed weapons permits would be eligible to take advantage of the parking lot provision. And workplace property owners would have a say in the matter. In publicly accessible parking lots, the same rules must apply to customers and employees. Guns could only be banned for employees if they are prohibited for customers as well."

Friday, January 18, 2008

West Virginia: Female burglar shot: "A Fayette County burglary suspect was shot by a homeowner who police said was burglarized by the same suspect at least one other time. Nighttime burglary charges are pending against Tracey Ann McQueen, 25, of Kaymoor Road, Fayetteville, Sheriff Bill Laird said. McQueen was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center Wednesday morning for treatment of a single gunshot wound to her left hand. She was under evaluation at the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon. At 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, the Fayette County 911 Center was notified of a burglary in progress at a Pleasant View Road residence, near Fayetteville, Laird said. Later, the alleged burglar was reported to have been shot in the hand by the homeowner. When deputies arrived at the scene, the homeowner said the female suspect fled. A short time later, deputies identified the suspect as McQueen, Laird said. McQueen was located at a Kaymoor Road residence and taken to Plateau Medical Center. She was later transferred to CAMC. The preliminary investigation indicates the female victim was awakened to find McQueen inside the residence, Laird said. The victim confronted McQueen, attempting to hold her at gunpoint while awaiting deputies’ arrival. A struggle ensued, during which McQueen was apparently shot by the victim’s .22 caliber revolver. Laird said McQueen had been charged with burglarizing the same residence Nov. 4, and she was free on bond when the latest incident occurred."

New York Deli Owner Shoots Robber: "Thirty year old Shaun Ford allegedly went into the West Side Market on Carolina Street in Buffalo with a shotgun and a mask. His get away car with license plate partially covered was waiting outside. Police say he pointed a gun at the owner and got more than he bargained for. The owner had a gun too. "He relaxed like he was going to cooperate and then when the guy raised the gun again at him, he believed it's time to shoot, otherwise he was going to be shot at." said Buffalo Police Lt. David Stabler. "Verbal testimony can be skewed. Things can be forgotten. The video is going to tell us everything." said Lt. Stabler. Charges are not being filed against the owner, but police are thoroughly investigating the shooting. The owner was unharmed. As for the alleged robber, he left, not in his get away car, but in an ambulance after being hit at least once in the leg. He was transported to ECMC, and is expected to survive. "I think anybody has a right to self defense. Of course, we don't encourage vigilantism, but these store owners or anybody else has the right be safe." said Lt. Stabler."

Alabama thief shot: "A would be thief tried stealing copper but ended up with lead instead. Mobile Police say Thursday morning around 9:30am two people appeared to be stealing copper wiring from a home on Hathcox Street. The home owner, Fifty year-old, Gregory Hudson who lives next door to the home under renovation, confronted the two people after seeing them in the home. One of the intruders, police say, threatened Hudson with a bladed weapon, Hudson and the suspect became involved in a physical altercation during which time Hudson shot the man striking him once in the abdomen. The injured intruder was taken to USA Medical Center to be treated and could face charges of burglary and menacing once he is released from the hospital.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

South Carolina Woman Comes Home, Kills Intruder: "A Cross Hill woman returned home to find an intruder inside, and then shot and killed him. The incident happened about 8pm this evening on Pineland Shores Road. Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain tells News Channel 7 that the woman heard someone in the home, grabbed a weapon, and saw him hiding in one of the rooms. She then shot him. It was not until after she shot him that she realized she knew him. Chastain says robbery appears to be the motive. Investigators will now present the case to Solicitor Jerry Peace to determine if the woman will be charged."

Alabama: Robbers' cock and bull story not believed: "The shooting occurred shortly after midnight Feb. 4, 2006, when Vanderpool, David Fowler and two others pulled their Jeep into a private lane in the Bon Secour area of Baldwin County. Styron testified he was sleeping on his nephew's property in his vehicle, looking after a home under construction because vandals had set fire to it the week before. Styron testified that the four men, while unarmed, threatened him and he fired in self-defense. "I kept backing up until they surrounded me," he said. "I did what I had to do to survive." But Fowler, 20, testified he and the other men stopped because they believed a person inside the vehicle might need help. He said Styron, armed with a rifle, ordered them out of the Jeep, and that he ran back to the Jeep when Styron shot Vanderpool twice. "I was chased down like a dog and shot," Fowler said. "He leaned inside of the Jeep and shot me." Fowler was flown to a Pensacola hospital with injuries to his arm, back and lung. Vanderpool, 23, testified he underwent $38,000 worth of treatment for his wounds. But prosecutors challenged the credibility of the victims, and the judge questioned it, too. "I frankly think these young men were in a place where they shouldn't be," she said."

CA: Sheriff cracking down on gun permits for crooks: "Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness has revoked concealed weapon permits of a gubernatorial appointee and a state parole official while also vowing to overhaul permit record keeping, both in the wake of a Bee investigation. The Bee reported that at least 30 of the 550 people issued local carry permits from 1996 to 2007 had records of criminal convictions - and at least seven had failed to disclose them in their concealed weapon applications. Most of those permits were granted by McGinness' predecessor, former Sheriff Lou Blanas. McGinness said he revoked the permit of Julie Motamedi, whom Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and one of the permit holders profiled in The Bee's story. Motamedi was arrested Sept. 1, 2005, on suspicion of drunken driving and cited by a California Highway Patrol officer for having a gun with her in the car. Under Sheriff's Department policy, drinking alcohol while carrying a loaded gun invalidates the permit. McGinness also revoked the permit of Robert T. "Bobby" Rodriguez, the state Board of Parole Hearing's associate chief deputy commissioner, who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Merced. Merced police said Rodriguez's blood alcohol level at the time of the November arrest was 0.16 - twice the legal limit. The Sheriff's Department can allow people to carry a loaded gun if they have "good moral character" and prove they have "good cause" for needing a gun, according to state law. But the state grants leeway to local law enforcement in determining which applicants fit those definitions."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not clever to pull gun on cop: "Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney David Stengel said Darren Pickerill pulled a gun on retired Jeffersontown Police officer Richard Koenig during an altercation in a parking lot June 3, leaving Koenig with little choice but to shoot Pickerill in self-defense. Stengel, who recommended to a grand jury that they not indict Koenig on any charges today, said lab testing on Pickerill’s weapon, which was later found in the console between the two front seats, showed blood splatter on both sides. “That backed up the Koenig’s story that he (Pickerill) … had the gun up in a threatening manner,” Stengel told reporters minutes after Koenig was cleared by a grand jury. “There’s no evidence whatsoever to say Koenig pulled his (weapon) first.” Stengel said Pickerill, according to the evidence, ran a stop sign at a four-way stop in the parking lot of the Kroger at Hurstbourne Parkway and Taylorsville Road, blocking Koenig and leaving the vehicles just inches apart. The men exchanged words, Stengel said, before Pickerill pulled his weapon. “I’m certain Mr. Pickerill brought that gun up for some reason,” Stengel said. “Logic tells me it was to scare somebody. From there on the reaction of Koenig was completely within the law.” Pickerill’s gun was not fired. A Jefferson County grand jury returned a “no true bill,” declining to indict Koenig on any charges, including one count of first-degree assault and two count of wanton endangerment for putting two women at risk who said bullets passed by their windshield. As for why Koenig continued firing, between six and eight shots, Stengel said police officers are taught to “fire until it’s over.” The grand jury’s decision ends the case for police and prosecutors."

New York Pizzeria owner fires shot, thwarting two robbers: "The 78-year-old owner of a Clinton Street pizzeria averted a robbery Monday night when he fired a single warning shot, prompting two robbers to run away, police reported. The attempted robbery took place inside Bocce Club Pizzeria, 630 Clinton, at about 7:40 p.m. when two men entered his business and one pointed a handgun at the owner, according to Ferry-Fillmore District Police. The owner retaliated by pulling out his own gun and firing a single shot through the pizzeria's plexiglass, which scared off the thieves, police said. This is the second time this month that robbers have targeted this pizzeria."

Lead-free bullets!: "Massachusetts legislators seek to remove toxic chemicals from ammo. Too deadly. Have all the liberals gone stupid or just the ones in Massachusetts? The NRA reported that Democratic State Representative Jay Kaufman and Democratic State Senator Steven Tolman introduced “The Safer Alternatives Proposals” legislation which will curtail the use of 10 chemicals. This upsets the NRA. “On the top of the list of targeted substances is lead, the common element used to make virtually all bullets. As proposed, this legislation could virtually shut down all shooting ranges as well as ban the sale and use of lead ammunition for self-defense, hunting and target practice in Massachusetts. Non-lead alternatives exist for ammunition but are significantly more expensive and, in many instances, have sub-standard performance characteristics. Shooting ranges already fall under federal EPA regulations concerning environmental impact and recent science and EPA guidelines show that lead ammunition on shooting ranges can be managed without detrimentally affecting the environment. Predictably, this legislation does not account for the serious impacts on shooting ranges and the sportsmen and gun owners who use them,” the NRA reported."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Florida Intruder Shot Dead: "Police are investigating a shooting on the Southside that left one man dead. Jacksonville Sheriff's Officers say the shooting happened at a home on Ivey Road Sunday night. Authorities say Gary Gene Wright, 25, called 911 and told them he'd shot someone. Wright told police he believed the man tried to break into his house. Police found 21-year-old Cordero Duran Jones dead at the scene. Detectives say there's no sign of forced entry. Investigators interviewed and released Wright Sunday night. They also questioned his girlfriend, who lives with him. Wright told First Coast News that he knew the man he shot but he wouldn't elaborate on their relationship. In a prior police report filed Thursday, Wright told police that someone broke into his home and stole several pistols and a plasma television."

Pennsylvania: Man Shoots, Kills Bobcat That Attacked His Pet Goat: "A man shot and killed a bobcat, after the bobcat attacked one of his pet goats. The attack happened around 9 a.m. Thursday in a remote area of Conemaugh Township in Somerset County. The man said he shot the bobcat because he was protecting his pet. The goat, Brownie, only suffered a few cuts. The man said he was worried if he just got the bobcat to go outside the fence that it would come back later and hurt Brownie. Game commission officials told Channel 11’s sister-station WJAC, that to spot a bobcat is very rare, but to have one in a back yard and come just 6 feet away is even more unlikely. Bobcats rarely come out during the day, but they are predators. The game commission plans on picking up the bobcat on Friday."

Florida man kills attacking pitbull: "A Tamarac man shot and killed a pit bull named Trouble after the dog escaped from its nearby home and attacked him on Thursday. Around 5:20 p.m. Trouble broke through a screen on the rear patio at a home on the 4500 block of Northwest 16th Way. Children playing nearby screamed, ``Trouble is out.'' Hearing the commotion, Paulo Jean, 35, stepped outside his home next door. Trouble attacked him, biting his buttocks and both arms. Jean pulled a .380 semiautomatic handgun from his pants pocket and fired three shots. Trouble died at the scene. Jean was taken to Broward General Medical Center with serious injuries. Broward County Animal Care and Regulation removed the dead dog and took another dog that also got loose from the same residence. The dogs' owner was not at home when the attack occurred. Jean had a valid concealed weapons permit.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Texas: Security guard shoots, kills man: "A shootout at a Richland Hills apartment complex early Sunday left one person dead and a security guard in the hospital, according to reports. The incident happened about 4 a.m. Sunday at the Bellaire Apartments, 7030 Baker Boulevard. It is unclear what started the incident, but according to NBC5 and CBS 11, an armed security guard was shot and returned fire at several people attempting to flee in a minivan. One of the bullets hit the driver of the van in the head, and after jumping a median on Baker Boulevard (also known as Highway 10), the van came to a stop off the road, the reports said. The driver died at the scene, the reports said. Two people were in custody, the reports said, but CBS 11reported that two others had fled the scene. The condition of the guard, who was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, was not known but he is expected to survive"

Tennessee nightclub shooting justified: "A shooting at a South Memphis nightclub has been ruled justified. Officers were called to the J.T. Lounge around 2:00 a.m. Thursday, where they found 51 year old Robert Thomas suffering from a fatal gunshot wound. Investigators say the club owner and Thomas had been involved in an altercation which continued after the club closed. Based on the information, the District Attorney General’s office has ruled the shooting as justifiable homicide pending the final autopsy and crime lab reports.

Alabama man killed entering wrong apartment: "A Huntsville man was killed early today when he entered the wrong apartment and was shot by its resident. According to Huntsville police spokesman Wendell Johnson, about 12:07 a.m. north precinct officers were called to a shooting at 1002 Webster Drive. When they arrived, they found the body of Gary Lee McCarty, 34, at the rear of Apartment B. A preliminary investigation by the major crimes unit showed McCarty had been drinking and locked himself out of his apartment. When McCarty tried to crawl through the rear window of what was the wrong apartment, he was fatally shot by the resident who thought McCarty was a burglar, Johnson said. The resident's name was not released. Charges were not filed against the resident, Johnson said.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

San Francisco Gun Ban Ruled Null and Void: "The California State Court of Appeals announced today their decision to overturn one of the most restrictive gun bans in the country, following a legal battle by attorneys for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a previous court order against the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. "Today's decision by the California State Court of Appeals is a big win for the law-abiding citizens and NRA Members of San Francisco," declared Chris W. Cox, NRA's chief lobbyist. In 2005, NRA sought an injunction against the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to prevent them from enacting one of the nation's most restrictive gun bans. NRA won the injunction, but the City's mayor and Board of Supervisors ignored the court order and approved a set of penalties, including a $1,000 fine and a jail term of between 90 days and six months, for city residents who own firearms for lawful purposes in their own homes. Today's decision came in the form of a 3-0 opinion in favor of the lower court ruling overturning the gun ban."

MD: Gun permit reinstated: "A Chambersburg man who had his gun permit taken away after bringing his weapon into a voting precinct was in court Tuesday.Greg Rotz says he did nothing illegal when he brought his openly carried firearm to a voting precinct on election night in November.According to state law, he's right. That's why after a very short hearing Tuesday afternoon, a judge decided Rotz's permit should be returned. The Chambersburg native says when he arrived at the precinct, a constable told him he would be more comfortable if the gun was not brought inside, but Rotz reminded him it was his legal right to openly carry. The constable then contacted former Franklin County Sheriff, Robert Wollyung, who revoked Rotz's permit. It only took Judge John Walker about a half hour to decide Rotz did not break the law and his permit should be returned."

Alabama shooting death ruled self-defense: "Wednesday's shooting death of Michael Jerome Brown has been termed an act of self-defense. Police spokesman Officer John Young said Friday that a man shot Brown, 29, multiple times inside an apartment in Garden Park Estates, after Brown threatened residents with a firearm. Brown's body was found by police at 3:45 a.m. Wednesday inside an apartment in the 1000 block of E. Woodlawn Drive off Dauphin Island Parkway, Young said. Police are withholding the name of the man who shot Brown, Young said, because charges have not been brought against him. Young also declined to comment on whether the man is a resident of the apartment community. Police on Friday would also not say why Brown brandished a weapon and threatened residents. Young did, however, say Brown was not a resident of the apartment community and that he was visiting people living in an apartment on the block where he was killed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Florida man fires at robbers: "A 52-year-old man fired shots at three men after he was robbed at gunpoint in the driveway of his Orlando home, police said. The armed robbery took place Monday on Gumwood Court in Orlando. According to an Orlando police report, the victim pulled into his driveway after cashing a check at a local check-cashing store. Three men approached the man and stole his cash before fleeing in a car, Orlando police said. The victim fired shots at the getaway car, but it is not known if any of the assailants were struck. Two of the culprits were described only as in their 20s and the other man was in his 30s, according to the police report. Orlando police detectives recovered shell casings and confiscated the victim's gun" [Big help!]

California man shoots suspected thief three times: "A homeowner shot and wounded a man who he said was trying to steal a motorcycle from the back of his pickup early Friday morning on the 100 block of Victoria Court. Police barricaded the street after the shooting shortly after 3:30 a.m., and the suspect was taken to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. Sean Dunbar, 31, shot 18-year-old Christian Bautista of Stockton three times in the hand and shoulder after a brief footchase, said Tracy detective Craig Kootstra. Bautista was taken to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital. Dunbar kept him at gunpoint until police arrived. Bautista’s .38-caliber revolver was lying in the middle of the street and he was conscious when officers got on scene. Officers questioned Dunbar and released him, while Bautista was arrested on suspicion of theft, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony and carrying a concealed firearm."

South Carolina intruder shot: "Two people are facing burglary and attempted robbery charges after an apartment break-in led to one of them being shot. The break-in and shooting happened late Saturday night in at the Campus Edge Apartments in Spartanburg County, near USC-Upstate. Jeremy Lee and Jacob Holland, are charged with first degree burglary and attempted armed robbery after deputies said that the door of an apartment was kicked open. Investigators said that a person living in the apartment opened fire with a shotgun."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Indiana woman shoots intruder: "Police in Northwest Indiana have released the audio tape of an emergency call for help. A woman was reportedly watching TV when she heard a window breaking in her home and called 911. She then hid in a closet, armed with a gun. The tape captures the woman struggling with a man, repeatedly saying, "Stop it. Stop it." The woman eventually shot and killed the intruder. Police said she will not face charges, because she acted in self defense"

Indiana Homeowner Shoots, Beats Would-Be Burglar: "A man shot and beat someone who was trying to break into his home on Indianapolis' east side early Thursday morning, police said. Police said Donald Robertson, 53, was asleep just after midnight when he was awakened by the sound of breaking glass. Robertson grabbed a shotgun and went outside, where he found Chester Burkett [above], 43, breaking one of the home's windows, police said. Authorities said the two men struggled with each other, and Robertson fired his shotgun. Police said Robertson told them he wasn't sure if he'd hit Burkett, so he struck the would-be burglar several times with the butt of the shotgun. Investigators said Robertson fired as many as two additional shots as Burkett ran to another home. Burkett was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, residential entry and attempted theft. He was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital with a shotgun wound to his thigh and several cuts on his head, police said. Robertson was treated at the scene and released."

Michigan sees fewer gun deaths -- with more permits: "Six years after new rules made it much easier to get a license to carry concealed weapons, the number of Michiganders legally packing heat has increased more than six-fold. But dire predictions about increased violence and bloodshed have largely gone unfulfilled, according to law enforcement officials and, to the extent they can be measured, crime statistics. The incidence of violent crime in Michigan in the six years since the law went into effect has been, on average, below the rate of the previous six years. The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined."

Thursday, January 10, 2008


REFUSES TO PROCESS TRANSACTIONS . . . Citi Merchant Services and First Data Corp. are refusing to process any credit card transactions between federally licensed firearms retailers, distributors and manufacturers -- a move which will severely limit available inventory of firearms and ammunition to military, law enforcement and law-abiding Americans.

The first company to be affected by this decision appears to be firearms distributor CDNN Sports Inc.

"We were contacted recently by First Data/Citi Merchant Services by a June Rivera-Mantilla stating that we were terminated and funds were being seized for selling firearms in a non-face-to-face transaction," said Charlie Crawford, president of CDNN Sports Inc. "Although perfectly legal, we were also informed that no transactions would be processed in the future, even for non-firearms. I find this very frightening."

To voice your concern to Citi Merchant Services and First Data Corp., please contact June Rivera-Mantilla at 631-683-7734 or her supervisor Robert Tenenbaum at 631-683-6570.

To change to an NSSF-affiliated credit card processing program, contact Payment Alliance International at 1-866-371-2273 (ext. 1131).


North Carolina: Pizza attacker dies: "A pizza delivery man fought back after an attempted robbery late Tuesday night in east Charlotte. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the man was delivering pizza around 9 p.m. to an address at the Greenbrier apartments off Sharon Amity Road, near Eastland Mall. When the customer tried to rob him, police say the delivery man fired shots then reported the incident. The victim was lying on the grass when police and paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene. This marks the fourth homicide in Charlotte through the first eight days of the year. "Only eight days into the year and already this is our fourth homicide," said CMPD Officer Bob Fey. "It's troubling and it's definitely a concern." Police have not said if the delivery man will face charges. They have not released the name of the person killed at this time.

Tennessee: Charges unlikely after shooting of would-be robber: "Justin Cheatham, 24, was shot multiple times by Jennifer Owens around 8 p.m. Wednesday at 51 B Leland Lane, according to a police press release. Police have said Cheatham and two other men - Antonio Long [above] and Christopher Smith - went to the duplex to buy marijuana from Kenneth Bond. Bond is Owen's boyfriend and also lives at the residence. According to an account of the incident in an affidavit of complaint, Bond left the three men in the living room and went into the kitchen. He then heard a voice behind him say, "You might as well drop it off." "He turned around to find Cheatham armed with a handgun," the affidavit states. "Bond grabbed at the gun and a struggle ensued. At that point, Antonio Long came into the kitchen and pointed a long gun at Bond." Bond told the two men they could take whatever they wanted, but he refused to release the hold he had on Cheatham's gun, "out of fear of being shot," the affidavit states. Owens heard the struggle from her bedroom and went into the kitchen to find out what was happening. Long momentarily diverted his attention away from Bond and pointed his gun at Owens, telling her to move over to where Bond and Cheatham were, the affidavit states. Police said that another struggle occurred and Owens grabbed a handgun and fired, striking Cheatham several times. Cheatham collapsed outside the home and was pronounced dead at the scene. Owens and Bond are not facing any charges."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

CA: After killing, man is shot by neighbor: "El Dorado County Sheriff's Department investigators said a man in his 30s, visiting the home of Vahid Seyedin, 47, suddenly turned violent, trying to slash his wrists with "a metal object," before grabbing a large kitchen knife and threatening others in the house. The residents fled for their lives into the street with the man, whose name is not being released, in close pursuit. In the intersection of Venezia Drive and Aria Court, the man caught his uncle, Ahmad Pazeky, 58, and stabbed him to death. The man also stabbed Seyedin, who rushed to Pazeky's aid, a sheriff's office press release said. Seyedin's next-door neighbor, Shahin Kohan, 47, was exercising in his garage when he saw the horrific scene unfold, investigators and witnesses said. Kohan retrieved a handgun, then ran to the street and yelled for the assailant to stop. A woman, who identified herself as Seyedin's wife but didn't want to give her first name, said Monday that the family was screaming for help. "Shoot him, he's killing us!" she said they were yelling. "Shoot him, he's killing us!" Kohan fired two warning shots before shooting the man once, a sheriff's press release said. After the man dropped the knife, efforts began to revive him and Pazeky, but "both subjects died on the scene," the press release said. Seyedin's wife, standing in her doorway Monday with tears in her eyes, said her husband was injured and Pazeky was killed trying to stop their relative. Seyedin's wife said the nephew had a history of "chemical imbalance" but had been doing fine the past several months. Kohan, the neighbor whose shot felled the knife-wielding man, was briefly detained on suspicion of murder but released following a review of the circumstances, the sheriff's office said."

Florida Victim Fired AK-47 At Home Invader: "A man fired shots from his AK-47 at an armed man who stormed into his house through the garage, interrupted a group of friends playing cards, shot into the ceiling of the home and demanded money. The incident happened Tuesday morning at 3085 SE 159th Lane Road in Summerfield. According to Marion County sheriff's deputies, three men, one of whom was armed with a silver revolver, stormed into the home and fired shots into the ceiling while searching for money and weapons. One of the invaders entered a bedroom where the father of one of the victims playing cards was sleeping, deputies said. The father, who had been awakened by the commotion and gunfire, retrieved his AK-47 from behind his bed, causing two of the assailants to run out of the front door of the house, deputies said. The invader with the revolver fired shots at the father, who returned fire, according to a Marion County sheriff's report. The culprit ran into a bedroom, broke a window and fled, deputies said. It is not known if he was struck. The armed assailant was described as a white man wearing blue jeans, a flannel shirt and a blue jean jacket. Deputies said he may be injured and seeking medical treatment. A second culprit had blonde hair and was wearing all dark clothing. The third invader was only described as a Hispanic man."

Louisiana Man Robs Cab, Tries To Break Into House, Shot By Homeowner: "Early Tuesday morning, a home owner shot an intruder in the leg. The intruder was trying to get away from police after he held-up a cab driver. According to Lafayette Police, Quintin Sam, 26, showed a cab driver a knife at the corner of Moss and Willow Streets around 1:30a.m. Tuesday. He took off, as police were chasing him, he tried to force his way into a home. That's when the home-owner shot Sam in the leg. Sam is in the hospital, Police said when he gets out, he'll be charged with armed robbery and aggravated burglary.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Texas invaders on video: "An attempted break-in early Sunday morning led to a terrifying and unexpected wake up call for a woman in Glenn Heights. While four men failed to break into Carrie Shannon's home on Brentwood Street, their attempt was captured on surveillance video. Shannon was home alone when the men tried to kick in her door around 4:35 a.m. "I immediately jumped up," she said of when she heard the loud kicking. After hearing the men, Shannon said she got out of bed and called police on her cell phone. "I grabbed my handgun and I proceeded right to the back, because as soon as I saw a shadow, I was going to go ahead and start shooting," she said. After several kicks, the men gave up and took off. "I just want to be safe here in my own home," Shannon said. "That's it. That's all I want." Signs of the attempted home invasion were everywhere in the form of broken glass, damage to the door and a broken lock. Shannon's home security camera didn't miss a beat either. It even caught one of the men cutting the phone line. The video was turned over to police."

Arizona store owner shoots out tire of fleeing suspect: "A Tempe store owner's quick shooting reflexes resulted in the arrest of a suspected gun thief Saturday afternoon. A customer removed a firearm from a display case in the store in the 900 block of South Priest Drive, near University Drive, according to Tempe police reports. The owner pointed his gun at the customer, demanding he return the gun. The customer returned the gun, but then took a .38 caliber revolver and left the store, according to reports. The owner fired three shots at the customer's escaping vehicle, hitting a tire. Police found Nathaniel Jones, 21, of Phoenix, trying to change the tire near University and Priest drives at about 2:23 p.m. A glass pipe and marijuana were found in his possession, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of firearm theft and possession of drug paraphernalia."

Texas invader shot: "Police continue to investigate a Sunday home invasion by two men that left one of the suspects with two gunshot wounds. Two men attempted to enter an apartment near the intersection of Glasscock and Mile 6 Roads, Alton Police Investigator Armando Lopez said. One of the invaders was shot twice upon entering the apartment, Lopez said. The location of the gunshot wounds is unknown. The two men then left the scene and attempted to find help at the La India Mexican Food Mart at Glasscock and Mile 6 Road. The injured suspect was transported to McAllen Medical Center for treatment. Lopez said details about the suspect's condition were unavailable Monday morning. Both suspects are set to be charged with aggravated robbery, Lopez said. None of the victims were injured from the incident."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Michigan: Elderly Man Shoots Home Intruder: "An 82-year-old man on Detroit's northwest side shot and severely wounded an intruder who walked into his Collingwood Street home Sunday afternoon. Police said that the intruder, a 44-year-old man from Redford, was visiting friends in the neighborhood when he entered the home of Thomas Jackson, 82, and his wife. Jackson grabbed his gun and shot the intruder. Police are investigating why the man had entered the home, but a friend told Local 4 that the intruder has a history of mental illness "What he does, he's been known to go into people's houses and just sit down," said friend Charles Smith. "He don't know where he is. He'll go into people's cars and sit down, you know, follow strangers down the street." The intruder was listed in critical condition at Henry Ford Hospital Sunday evening."

Pennsylvania man charged with trying to enter home: "A College Township man faces criminal charges after he ignored an apparent warning shot while entering a State College home early Saturday morning. According to State College police, Nathan Wagner, 21, of 709 W. Cherry Lane, had broken a door window of a North Atherton Street residence about 2:30 a.m. and was trying to come inside when the homeowner confronted him with a shotgun and told him to leave. Wagner persisted, police said, and the homeowner fired a shot into an interior wall. Police, called by the homeowner's wife before the shot, said they arrived to find Wagner still trying to open the door. As Wagner was taken into custody, police said, he appeared intoxicated, registered a blood-alcohol content of .22 and told officers he thought he was at a friend's house for a party. Arraigned before District Justice Carmine Prestia, Wagner was charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. He was jailed at the Centre County Correctional Facility on $10,000 bail."

Alaska: Grizzly, 3 cubs killed on Kodiak Island: "A rabbit hunter fired his pistol at a charging grizzly bear on Kodiak Island, badly wounding the old sow, which was later killed, as were her three cubs. The hunter, whose name is not being released, was hunting rabbits near the American River on Friday about 15 miles outside Kodiak when the sow charged him, said John Crye, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, on Monday. The hunter, who was carrying two weapons, shot the bear when it was about 10 yards away. It was the second time in a week that hunters had encountered the family of bears. The last time it was one of the cubs that charged a father and son out duck hunting as the mother and the other cubs slept nearby. This time, the rabbit hunter was charged after he rounded a corner and surprised the sow, who was at least 25 years old. "A rabbit hunter was in the brush and kind of woke them up out of their beds," Crye said. "He felt threatened by the sow, so he shot the sow." The hunter immediately notified Alaska State Troopers and the Department of Fish and Game. Crye went with troopers to the site where the 8-foot, 400-pound sow lay barely alive. It was determined that she was too badly injured and would have to be killed, so she was shot again. Crye said the shooting was justifiable because the hunter felt threatened."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pennsylvania mini-market robbery: "Gunfire rang out during a Friday night robbery at the Mangat Mini Market on West Orange Street, but nobody was struck or injured, according to city police and the store's manager. The manager, David Mangat, and a fleeing robber fired a shot each with their handguns after the robber grabbed some cash. Mangat, 23, of Lancaster, said he was behind the counter of the market at 629 W. Orange St. when a man wearing a long dark coat entered the store at about 11:45 p.m. "He reached under his coat and came out with a handgun. Then he told me to put the money in the bag," said Mangat. "I started talking to him. I wanted to create a diversion so I could get to my gun," said Mangat. "I asked him if he wanted more money. He said 'yes,"' That gave Mangat the chance to reach into the area where he kept his weapon. The manager came up holding his own handgun instead of more bills. When the robber saw the gun, he turned and started running toward the door. But before leaving the store, he turned and fired one round that struck a wall inside the store, Mangat and police said. Mangat said he fired one shot at the robber, but missed... The robber was not found. Police were told he was a black male with a medium build who wore a long black coat. This morning, police were trying to see if surveillance cameras in the area caught the robber or any part of the holdup on film."

Texas: Home intruder shot, killed: "A homeowner shot and killed a man as he forced his way into a home in Copperas Cove on Friday afternoon, police said. Police were called to 2204 Boland St. after shots were fired inside the home. They discovered a man who had been shot several times in the upper torso, Copperas Cove police said in a statement. Through the investigation, police learned the man was an intruder who had “entered the residence unlawfully and apparently used physical force against the homeowner,” police said. The intruder was taken to Darnall Army Hospital where he died from his injuries. The man’s identity was not released pending notification of family, police said."

What's it gonna take?: "A police officer once informed me loftily that civilization has to be maintained by authoritarian managers because individuals in general are selfishly uninterested in doing the hard work of maintaining it themselves. Unsurprisingly, after I pointed out that when individuals become interested in maintaining civilization -- by voting down bond issues, treating teachers and administrators like the hired hands they are, or carrying self-defense weapons that demonstrably make society safer -- they're either told, not so very politely, to go away, or they get arrested, he didn't have a whole lot to say, because he knew that it's true."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

South Carolina: Man won't face charges for shooting roommate: "Prosecutors have decided not to charge a man who shot his roommate three times. Authorities say 25-year-old Joseph Harriott threw 24-year-old Brian Sessoms out of his Summerville home New Year's Day after Sessoms hit his 16-year-old girlfriend, then warned him he would shoot if he broke back in the home. Police say Sessoms climbed back into the house through a window on the second floor, and Harriott shot him as he came down the stairs. Prosecutors say Harriott then tried to treat Sessoms' wound to the stomach, but Sessoms kept fighting. Harriott shot his roommate two more times. Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson says she decided not to charge Harriott because state law for self-defense says if the first shot is justified, a person can keep shooting until a threat is eliminated."

Tennessee homeowner holds dog-door burglar at gunpoint: "According to a press release from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, a resident of Ambrosia Drive was awakened about 4 a.m. Tuesday by his dog's barking. When the homeowner went to investigate, armed with a gun, he found a man going through items in his utility room. He held the burglar at gunpoint until officers arrived. Jacob D. Brehm, 25, 314 Sonnett Court, is charged with aggravated burglary, held at the Sullivan County Correctional Facility. Police say Brehm entered the Ambrosia Drive home through a dog-door."

California man shoots mountain lion: "A man shot a mountain lion Thursday evening after the animal attacked his dogs. San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies said the resident at the corner of Playground Road and Summit Drive fired at the lion about 10 p.m., causing the lion to flee from the man's fenced back yard. Sheriff's deputies searched the area but could not find the mountain lion. They notified officials with the Department of Fish and Game about the incident. Sheriff's officials advised residents to use caution when outside and notify authorities when a mountain lion is spotted in the area."

Friday, January 04, 2008

TX: "Road rage" killing deemed self-defense: "In an apparent case of road rage, a motorist shot a driver to death who threatened him with a baseball bat. Police said that the shooting just after midnight on New Year's Day appeared to be in self-defense, so they didn't plan to charge 24-year-old Brian Correa. 'It was apparent to us that he was defending himself,' said police spokesman Sgt. Gabe Trevino, who added that the shooter had a license to carry a concealed weapon. Correa shot the 24-year-old driver three times with a handgun, a police report said."

Michigan: Store owner halts robbery: "Police say arrests in a robbery attempt thwarted when a grocery-store owner armed himself and chased off the suspects may lead to arrests in another holdup earlier in December. Two would-be robbers fled the LaSierra, a Sturgis grocery, around 1:30 p.m. Monday after seeing the store owner headed toward them with a gun, according to the Sturgis Police Department. The owner of the North Jacobs Street store then jumped into his vehicle and tailed the men, who had gotten into a waiting car driven by a third man, police said. Another person in the store at the time said she saw two men approaching the business with bandanas covering their faces. She left, suspecting a robbery was going to take place, and called 911. Sturgis officers were flagged down by the store owner from his car and provided with a description of the vehicle and of the two men who had entered the store. A Michigan State Police trooper spotted a vehicle matching the description of the get-away car west of Sturgis, near White Pigeon. Officers from the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department and Middlebury (Ind.) Police Department assisted in apprehending three Indiana men as their vehicle, southbound on U.S. 131, approached the Michigan/Indiana border... Police said the men arrested Monday were identified by a witness and that suspected crime-scene evidence was found in their vehicle. No handgun was recovered, however."

Texas: Dog dispute leads to shooting: "Christopher Fry, 38, was shot in the upper body at 200 S. Georgia St. Fry walked from the home and collapsed on the curb on the north side of the house in the 2700 block of West Second Avenue. The homeowner shot Fry because Fry was apparently assaulting the homeowner, who felt in fear of his life and his 2-year-old son's life. Fry appeared to have been in a physical altercation prior to knocking on the door at 200 S. Georgia. The two were arguing after Fry asked the homeowner about a dog, which the homeowner did not own. The homeowner was questioned by Special Crimes and later released pending further investigation. The case will be presented to the 47th District Attorney's office for review by a grand jury."