Friday, September 30, 2011

Gunrunner: Cash For Cartels

Scandal: New documents reveal the Department of Justice lied to Congress and show how U.S. officials bought guns with tax dollars and then made sure no one stopped their transfer to Mexican drug cartels.

The funneling of thousands of American guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels in the operation known as Fast and Furious was not a botched sting operation or the result of bureaucratic incompetence. It was not designed to interdict gun trafficking, but to facilitate it.

We now know that it involved not just the use of straw buyers, but also agents of the federal government purchasing weapons with taxpayer money, ordering the licensed dealers to conduct the sales off the books, then calling off surveillance of the gun traffickers and refusing to interdict the transfer of the weapon or arrest the people involved.

According to documents obtained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), agent John Dodson was ordered to buy semiautomatic Draco pistols and was provided a letter by ATF group supervisor David Voth authorizing FFLs (federal firearms licensees) to sell Dodson the guns without filling out the required form.

A copy of the letter obtained by David Codrea of the Gun Rights Examiner tells dealers to "accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62X39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson" to be used "in the furtherance of the performance of his official duties."

Scribbled on the letter is this note: "Picked up guns 6/10/10. Paid cash."

According to Fox News, Dodson then sold the guns to known illegal buyers who took them to a stash house. Voth disapproved Dodson's request for 24-hour surveillance and ordered the surveillance team to return to the office.

Dodson stayed behind, against orders. A week later, when a vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons to their ultimate destination, he called for an interdiction team to move in, seize the weapons and arrest the traffickers. Voth refused, and the guns disappeared without surveillance.
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Again, Fast and Furious was no botched sting operation. The ATF simply didn't "lose track" of thousands of weapons. We believe this was a planned and premeditated attempt to further the administration's gun-control agenda and its claim that violence in Mexico was our fault.

Voth was "jovial, if not giddy, but just delighted about" such guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico, according to Dobson's testimony before Rep. Darrel Issa's House Oversight Committee.


NY: Ex-cop gives gunman a fatal bullet: "Neighbors of retired Buffalo Police Officer Donald Miller say his presence has always given them a sense of security. That feeling was reinforced with a sense of relief Thursday afternoon when Miller fatally shot one of two robbers who threatened him in front of his East Side home. One thief pulled out a gun, and a scuffle started shortly before 12:45 p.m. on John Paul Court, just off William Street. Miller pulled out his handgun, for which he has a permit, and shot the man in the upper torso, according to authorities. The dead robber was identified by police as Cortney Gordon, 30, of Buffalo. It appears that Miller was acting in self-defense, according to police sources."

ATF claims it’s illegal to sell guns to users of medical marijuana: "Firearms dealers in states that allow medical marijuana can’t sell guns or ammunition to registered users of the drug, a policy that marijuana and gun-rights groups say denies Second Amendment rights to individuals who are following state law. Federal law already makes it illegal for someone to possess a gun if he or she is 'an unlawful user of, or addicted to' marijuana or other controlled substances. A Sept. 21 letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, issued in response to numerous inquiries from gun dealers, clarifies that medical marijuana patients are included in that definition."

The war against armed crime: Britons need guns to make them safer: "The current debate on armed crime is depressingly predictable. Everyone agrees something must be done. Just about everyone agrees this something must include laws against the sale or carrying or simple possession of weapons. More controls on weapons, the argument goes, the fewer weapons on the street: therefore lower levels of armed crime."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

TX: Robbery suspect shot, killed by victim: "A robbery suspect is dead, and police say the robbery victim killed him. KSDK-TV reports that the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators say three patrons of a nightclub were walking on a parking lot when they were approached by three armed robbers. Police say one of the intended victims pulled out a gun and began shooting. One of the suspects fell while the other two ran away. The injured man was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. No arrests have been made in the shooting."

MO: Robber is slain by man who interrupts holdup: "A teenager robbing someone at gunpoint was killed early Wednesday when a man interrupted the holdup, wrestled the robber's gun away and shot him several times, police say. It happened just before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2700 block of Fall Avenue, in the city's Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood. The area is northwest of the intersection of North Grand Boulevard and Cass Avenue. The dead man is identified as Dwight A. Brown, 19, of the 2900 block of James "Cool Papa" Bell Avenue. The man who shot Brown was 27 years old. Police did not release his name. Police found witnesses who corroborated the man's account of the shooting. The robbery attempt and shooting apparently happened behind the Imperial Palace nightclub, 2543 North Grand Boulevard."

FL: Charges Dropped Against Mother’s Day Piggly Wiggly Shooter: "Smith told deputies he went to the Piggly Wiggly to get a steak to grill for his dinner. He said he observed Johnson get out of his Nissan Altima before he “charged” at him. Smith admitted to deputies that he reached into his pocket, pulled out a .22 caliber revolver, pointed it a Johnson and told him to stop. Smith said Johnson did not have anything in his hands, but came at him in an aggressive manner. Smith said Johnson stated that he was not scared of the gun and that “he was going to beat his brains in,” according to the Sheriff’s Office report. Smith told deputies that he shot Johnson in the stomach from about three feet away because he feared Johnson was going to “beat him up”."

TX: Bearing a child... and ARMS: "In her left hand she holds her naked nine-month old baby. In her right, a third generation rifle. It is an image which mixes motherly tenderness with deadly threat, and is sure to evoke strong feeling whatever your opinion on gun ownership. But Alexandra Knight, from Houston, Texas, is just one of a reported 15million women to possess a firearm in the United States. The picture of the 38-year-old with her son, Truett, was captured by photographer Lindsay McCrum for her new book 'Chicks with Guns', which documents dozens of heat-packing females. The gun Mrs Knight is carrying used to be her grandfather's and her father taught her how to use it. Carrying on that familial bond is, she says, the main attraction in owning the gun. 'It was all about family and tradition,' Mrs Knight, who also wears her father's belt buckle in the shot, told MSNBC."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PA: Probation terms set him free: "The John who fatally shot a prostitute's pimp and common-law husband after a tryst in December 2009, walked free yesterday. Kalif Lewis, 28, who was convicted Aug. 8 of two gun charges but acquitted of murder, was sentenced by Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to two concurrent five-year probation terms, ordered to stay employed and to take parenting classes, and to pay court costs and fines. Lewis, of 55th Street near Lansdowne Avenue, West Philadelphia, went to the Residence Inn near the airport to have sex with Shanet Foust, 31, after spotting her ad on Craiglist. After paying her and leaving, he returned and accused her of stealing $100 from his wallet while he was washing up. She used her cellphone to speed-dial her pimp and common-law husband, Tyre West, who burst through the hotel room door. During a shoot-out, West, 28, was hit in the chest and died. In rejecting the murder charge, the jury of five women and seven men apparently believed defense attorney Gerald Stein, who argued at trial that Lewis had acted in self-defense."

NRA, San Francisco battle over gun-control laws: "San Francisco attempted to strengthen two local gun-control laws Tuesday to protect from legal challenges that could strike them from the books. Handguns in someone’s San Francisco residence cannot be left out in the open, but instead must be either locked in a container or disabled with a trigger lock, under a 2007 city law. Another law, adopted in 1994, prohibits the sale of ammunition such as hollow-point bullets, which expand upon impact. The National Rifle Association has sued The City over these two laws in federal court as being unconstitutional. The NRA’s lawsuit said the gun laws violate one’s constitutional right “to possess an operable handgun ready for immediate use and loaded with proper ammunition for self defense” and doing so puts the gun owner at risk of harm or death."

SAF Sues City of Omaha Over Gun Registration Ordinance: "The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in federal district court in Nebraska against the City of Omaha, challenging the city's prohibition against anyone who is not a United States citizen from registering a handgun. SAF's lawsuit, on behalf of Armando Pliego Gonzalez, a resident alien living in the city, is joined by the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association. Pliego, a member of both SAF and NFOA, has been admitted legally to this country as a resident alien for permanent residence. He was approved as a permanent resident in October 2008. His wife is also a lawful permanent resident, and the couple has four children. "Yet the City of Omaha makes a distinction by prohibiting legal resident aliens from completing the legal requirements to purchase and own a handgun. This prohibition appears to be in conflict with the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and with the Nebraska State Constitution."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TX: Gun-Toting Granny Stops Robber: "Police said a suspected robber on the run took one look at a Fort Worth grandmother with a gun in her hand and gave himself right up. Lake Worth police had been chasing two brothers into Fort Worth when they bailed out of their car near Interstate 30 and Hulen Street. One brother ran into a neighborhood and chose some bushes to hide behind. He chose poorly. Cindy Irving came out of her house armed and ready with her 357 six shooter in hand. “We were looking down towards that way and he was up underneath the bushes just hiding down on the ground,” Irving said. “We heard somebody say, ‘I give up, ma’am. I give up. The police are looking for me"

S.C. Court overturns imprisoned man’s manslaughter conviction: "A former Cornell Arms security guard who has served five years of a 16-year prison sentence on voluntary manslaughter had his guilty verdict overturned Monday by the S.C. Supreme Court. In a 4-1 decision written by Chief Justice Jean Toal, the court majority said Jason Dickey, who was scheduled to be released in 2020, should have the jury’s guilty finding overturned because “the evidence establishes that (Dickey) shot and killed Boot in self-defense.” Dickey, who carried a concealed pistol, “was faced with a situation where two younger, intoxicated and physically superior men were advancing toward him, one with the clear intent to assault him and who was undeterred at the sight of (Dickey’s) gun,” Toal wrote."

OH: Clerk Says He Distracted Robber Before Shooting Him: "Matthews said he held the money in his left hand and tried to distract the robber. "I knew his eyes would follow the money, and I said, 'I have more hidden here,' and when I reached down, I grabbed my pistol and started firing," Matthews said. The robber fled the Hamilton market, and police later arrested 37-year-old Curtis Jason Wright and charged him aggravated robbery. Neighbors on Monday discovered a bloody bag that police believe Wright wore during the robbery, as well as a fake gun. Wright was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his shoulder."

RI: Bad luck for two robbers: "Officer Joseph Salvadore was driving past the Bread House on Greenville Avenue when he spotted two men with bandanas over their faces walking towards it - and one of them was pulling a rifle out of his sweatpants. Salvadore immediately knew they were going to rob the store so he radioed for backup and jumped out of his cruiser. Meanwhile, the two men barged into the store brandishing the rifle and trained it on owner Mouhiddin Hajjar. But Hajjar noticed that the weapon was a BB gun - so he drew his own pistol, causing the robbers to drop the fake gun and head for the door. That's where they encountered Officer Salvadore, who was waiting for them outside with his own weapon drawn."

Monday, September 26, 2011

OH: Woman says she killed estranged boyfriend in self-defense: "She said that Walker, her estranged boyfriend and the father of her two children, broke into her apartment in the middle of the night and came at her with a crowbar in his hand. She shot and killed him, using the gun she’d bought this year, Ashley said. She had feared that the protection order that was supposed to keep him away from her and their 7-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter would not be enough. Ashley said police took her Downtown for questioning and, after she told her story, brought her home to her apartment at 371 Heatherbridge Lane in the Stonebridge Apartments. “It was self-defense,” she said, adding that Walker had a history of violence. “I’m glad that I’m here.”

Jews should get a gun while they still can: "How can any American -- much less any American Jew -- view the mob lunacy that recently ravaged London and other cities and not contemplate the possibility of similar chaos on our own shores?Armed with the knowledge that Londoners would be universally disarmed by England's 'enlightened' 'gun control' laws, rioters plundered and pillaged orgiastically while timid citizens cowered in hiding."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The collapse of American justice: Not long ago, we had a low incarceration rate and a system that worked. Then everything started to unravel

The article below is from a Leftist source but is reasonable history. Where it falls down is in the usual Leftist refusal to recognize anything to do with race. But the high rate of black criminality is so well-known that one can reasonably refer to it without being accused of racism. So let us factor in race as an explanation of what he describes.

Up until the 60s life for blacks was much more difficult. There was segregation and minimal welfare payments. So they had to work hard and mind their behaviour if they wanted to get by. And that is the time when the justice system was lenient. It could afford to be. Black crime was kept low by the circumstances under which blacks lived.

After the civil Rights Act of 1964 and associated Federal pressure on Southern segregation, however, blacks became much less pressured by society. At roughly the same time the "Great Society" initiatives of LBJ and others were enacted --bringing a great exapansion of welfare payments and greatly reducing the need to work for survival.

So two large braking influences were removed from black behaviour and black crime soared. It soared so much that law enforcement had great difficulty coping and the "shortcuts" described below came into extensive use. Police resources had to be used very economically. The change in the legal system is simply a reflection of the much greater challenges that it now faces. The high rate of black crime has destroyed much of the civility in law enforcement. Only a huge expansion of police resources could be expected to reverse that

Among the great untold stories of our time is this one: the last half of the twentieth century saw America's criminal justice system unravel. Signs of the unraveling are everywhere. The nation's record- shattering prison population has grown out of control. Still more so the African American portion of that prison population: for black males, a term in the nearest penitentiary has become an ordinary life experience, a horrifying truth that wasn't true a mere generation ago. Ordinary life experiences are poor deterrents, one reason why massive levels of criminal punishment coexist with historically high levels of urban violence.

Outside the South, most cities' murder rates are a multiple of the rates in those same cities sixty years ago -- notwithstanding a large drop in violent crime in the 1990s. Within cities, crime is low in safe neighborhoods but remains a huge problem in dangerous ones, and those dangerous neighborhoods are disproportionately poor and black. Last but not least, we have built a justice system that strikes many of its targets as wildly unjust. The feeling has some evidentiary support: criminal litigation regularly makes awful mistakes, as the frequent DNA-based exonerations of convicted defendants illustrate. Evidently, the criminal justice system is doing none of its jobs well: producing justice, avoiding discrimination, protecting those who most need the law's protection, keeping crime in check while maintaining reasonable limits on criminal punishment.

It was not always so. For much of American history -- again, outside the South -- criminal justice institutions punished sparingly, mostly avoided the worst forms of discrimination, controlled crime effectively, and, for the most part, treated those whom the system targets fairly. The justice system was always flawed, and injustices always happened. Nevertheless, one might fairly say that criminal justice worked. It doesn't anymore.

There are three keys to the system's dysfunction, each of which has deep historical roots but all of which took hold in the last sixty years. First, the rule of law collapsed. To a degree that had not been true in America's past, official discretion rather than legal doctrine or juries' judgments came to define criminal justice outcomes. Second, discrimination against both black suspects and black crime victims grew steadily worse -- oddly, in an age of rising legal protection for civil rights. Today, black drug offenders are punished in great numbers, even as white drug offenders are usually ignored. (As is usually the case with respect to American crime statistics, Latinos fall in between, but generally closer to the white population than to the black one.) At the same time, blacks victimized by violent felonies regularly see violence go unpunished; the story is different in most white neighborhoods. The third trend is the least familiar: a kind of pendulum justice took hold in the twentieth century's second half, as America's justice system first saw a sharp decline in the prison population -- in the midst of a record-setting crime wave -- then saw that population rise steeply. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States had one of the most lenient justice systems in the world. By century's end, that justice system was the harshest in the history of democratic government.

Take these three trends in turn. As drivers on our highways know well, American law often means something other than what it says. Roadside signs define the speed limit, or appear to do so: 65 or 70 miles per hour on well-built highways, 25 or 30 on local roads in residential areas, something in between for local highways and main roads in business districts. But drivers who take those signs seriously are in for a surprise: drive more slowly than the posted speed limit in light traffic and other drivers will race past, often with a few choice words or an upraised middle finger for a greeting. In the United States, posted limits don't define the maximum speed of traffic; they define the minimum speed. So who or what determines the real speed limits, the velocity above which drivers risk traffic tickets or worse? The answer is: whatever police force patrols the relevant road. Law enforcers -- state troopers and local cops -- define the laws they enforce.

That power to define the law on the street allows the police to do two things they otherwise couldn't. First, state troopers can be selectively severe, handing out fines for driving at speeds no higher than most cars on the road. Second, those same state troopers can use traffic stops to investigate other crimes (assuming one can call speeding a crime), stopping cars in order to ask permission to search for illegal drugs. That common practice gave birth to the phrase "racial profiling," as troopers patrolling state highways stopped black drivers in large numbers, ostensibly for violating traffic rules but actually to look for evidence of drug offenses. Both enforcement patterns lead to the same bottom line. Because nearly all drivers violate traffic laws, those laws have ceased to function on the nation's highways and local roads. Too much law amounts to no law at all: when legal doctrine makes everyone an offender, the relevant offenses have no meaning independent of law enforcers' will. The formal rule of law yields the functional rule of official discretion.

So what? Arbitrary enforcement of the nation's traffic laws is hardly a national crisis. Even discriminatory traffic enforcement is a modest problem, given the far more serious forms race discrimination can and does take. Why worry about such small problems? The answer is because the character of traffic enforcement is not so different from the ways in which police officers and prosecutors in many jurisdictions battle more serious crimes. The consequence is a disorderly legal order, and a discriminatory one.

In the 1920s, Prohibition's enforcers imprisoned those who manufactured and sold alcoholic beverages, not those who bought and drank them. Today, prosecutions for selling illegal drugs are unusual in many jurisdictions -- instead, prosecutors charge either simple possession or "possession with intent to distribute," meaning possession of more than a few doses of the relevant drug. Those easily proved drug violations are used as cheap substitutes for distribution charges. Worse, in some places, drug possession charges have become one of the chief means of punishing violent felons. Proof of homicide, robbery, and assault is often difficult because it requires the cooperation of witnesses who agree to testify in court. If the police find drugs or an unregistered weapon on the defendant's person or in his home, those witnesses need not be called and those harder-to-prove offenses can be ignored. The drug and gun charges all but prove themselves, and those charges stand in for the uncharged felonies.

Nor is the phenomenon limited to drug cases. Convicting Martha Stewart of insider trading proved impossible, but no matter: Stewart could be punished for hiding the insider-trading-that-wasn't. O. J. Simpson skated on the murder charges brought in the wake of his ex-wife's death. Again, no matter: Simpson now serves a long prison term -- he will be eligible for parole nine years after he began serving his sentence -- for a minor incident in which he tried to recover some stolen sports memorabilia. The government rarely charges terrorism when prosecuting suspected terrorists; convicting for immigration violations is a simpler task. In all these examples, criminal law does not function as law. Rather, the law defines a menu of options for police officers and prosecutors to use as they see fit.

Discretion and discrimination travel together. Ten percent of black adults use illegal drugs; 9 percent of white adults and 8 percent of Latinos do so. Blacks are nine times more likely than whites and nearly three times more likely than Latinos to serve prison sentences for drug crimes. The racial composition of the dealer population might explain some of that gap but not most of it, much less all. And the same system that discriminates against black drug defendants also discriminates against black victims of criminal violence. Clearance rates for violent felonies -- the rates at which such crimes lead to suspects' arrest -- are higher in small towns and rural areas than in suburbs, higher in suburbs than in small cities, and higher in small cities than in large ones. Those relationships correlate both with poverty and with race: the more poor people and black people in the local population, the less likely that victims of criminal violence will see their victimizers punished. Bottom line: poor black neighborhoods see too little of the kinds of policing and criminal punishment that do the most good, and too much of the kinds that do the most harm.

A larger measure of official discretion has also coincided with the rise of pendulum justice. Beginning around 1950, imprisonment rates in the Northeast and Midwest began to fall. By the mid-1960s, the decline had accelerated and extended nationwide. The nation's imprisonment rate fell by more than 20 percent, while the murder rate -- a decent proxy for the rate of violent felonies and felony thefts more generally -- doubled. In northern cities, these trends were more extreme. Chicago's murder rate tripled between 1950 and 1972, while Illinois's imprisonment rate fell 44 percent. In New York City, murders more than quintupled in those twenty-two years; the state's imprisonment rate fell by more than one-third. Detroit saw murders multiply seven times; imprisonment in Michigan declined by 30 percent. The combination of those trends meant that the justice system was imposing vastly less punishment per unit crime than in the past. This turn toward lenity was followed by an even sharper turn toward severity. Between 1972 and 2000, the nation's imprisonment rate quintupled. The number of prisoner-years per murder multiplied nine times. Prisons that had housed fewer than 200,000 inmates in Richard Nixon's first years in the White House held more than 1.5 million as Barack Obama's administration began. Local jails contain another 800,000.

The criminal justice system has run off the rails. The system dispenses not justice according to law, but the "justice" of official discretion. Discretionary justice too often amounts to discriminatory justice. And no stable regulating mechanism governs the frequency or harshness of criminal punishment, which has swung wildly from excessive lenity to even more excessive severity.

More here

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anti-Gun Groups Using Suicide to set up Gun Retailers

Recently New Hampshire gun dealers were sent a large manila envelope from the NH Firearms Safety Coalition. The packet contained a number of items with a disturbing anti-gun-rights message, including a full color poster proclaiming:

“Suicides In NH Far Outnumber Homicides. Firearms Are The Leading Method Attempts With A Gun Are More Deadly Than Attempts With Other Methods.”

Misleading & a Recipe for a Lawsuit

Suicides outnumber homicides in NH because NH is a low-crime state. According to the National Institute of Mental Heath, firearms are not the “LEADING METHOD” amongst women; poisonings are the “LEADING METHOD” for that demographic. Firearms are a tool which can abused like anything else. Their effectiveness in suicide is irrelevant. The major causes of suicide, such as untreated depression, are the real problem.

The packet also included a “Tip Sheet” to New Hampshire firearm retailers that lists eight “Signs that a potential buyer could be suicidal,” eight “Options for responding to a potentially suicidal buyer,” and four “What else can I do” suggestions.

This “Tip Sheet” creates a handy checklist for a personal injury attorney to use when suing a gun dealer who sells a gun to a suicide victim. One can well imagine the trial lawyer questioning the gun dealer “Tip” by “Tip” as to whether the gun dealer noticed any of the listed “Tips” or whether he had trained his employees to do so. The “Tip Sheet” may be viewed here .

There is also a “Firearm Purchase Checklist” provided for customers to sign. This “Checklist” includes such affirmations as “I am not buying this firearm with the intent of harming another person or myself and pledge to use it only in a legal and responsible manner.” So much for a person buying a gun for self defense, since the intent of a self defense purchaser is very much to harm another person by the lawful use of deadly force, should it become necessary.

The “Firearm Purchase Checklist” also requires the salesperson to know the buyer’s true intent for the purchase of the gun by requiring the salesperson to sign off on the following:

“Salesperson: I have demonstrated the safe operation and locking of this firearm and have removed the chamber plug. Nothing in the purchaser’s manner, actions, or speech indicate that he/she intends to use this firearm for illegal purposes or is otherwise unqualified to legally own or safely operate a firearm. I have double-checked all paperwork associated with this sale and certify that it is accurate and complete in all respects.” (Emphasis added) This way, the salesperson can be held accountable if there is a future problem. The “Firearm Purchase Checklist” may be viewed here

There is even a video posted online ( pushing this effort, and the speaker says, at 0:30,“The Firearms Safety Coalition people came in and asked me to put it up. I know they are not anti-firearm but they are anti-suicide.”

Who Is Behind This?

Unfortunately, if one follows the money trail it ends up that two of the nation’s top anti-gun-rights activist foundations are helping to fund the project. The cover letter dated August 16, 2011 that dealers received in their packets states at the bottom that “This project is funded by: Community Health and Healing Fund, NAMI NH; Bureau of Behavioral Health, NH DHHS; Harvard School of Public Health; Injury Prevention Center at Dartmouth; and Riley’s Gun Shop.”

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, they run the “Means Matter” project which looks to reduce the “Means” of suicide (as opposed to the cause), and they state the following on their website (

“The Harvard Injury Control Research Center is dedicated to reducing injury through training, research, intervention, evaluation, and dissemination… The Center is part of the Harvard School of Public Health. The Means Matter Campaign is funded by The Joyce Foundation and the David Bohnett Foundation.”

The funding path goes down from the Harvard School of Public Health to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center to the Bohnett Foundation and the Joyce Foundation. Both the Bohnett and Joyce foundations are infamous for being extremely anti-gun-rights.

The David Bohnett Foundation “supports and encourages groups that promote the goals of reduction and elimination of the manufacture and sale of handguns in the U.S.” The Bohnett Foundation has donated $198,000 to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control, Inc.), $30,000 to the Campus Alliance to End Gun Violence, $235,000 to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, $105,000 to States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and $325,000 to the Violence Policy Center.

Since 2003, the Joyce Foundation has paid grants totaling over $12 million to gun control organizations. The largest recipient of grant monies is the notorious Violence Policy Center, which received $4,154,970 between 1996 and 2006. The VPC is a rabid anti-gun-rights group that wants total bans on handguns and semi-automatic firearms, and major controls placed on gun owners. The NRA has described the Joyce Foundation as an activist foundation whose “shadowy web of huge donations” leads “straight to puppet strings that control the agenda of gun ban groups.”

The NRA has warned about the anti-gun-rights movement using the suicide and guns issue to promote their anti-second amendment agenda.

The NRA states on their suicide and firearms fact sheet: “Gun owners should be aware of basic concepts and available data on suicide and firearms in order to be able to counter anti-gun propaganda that appears in the media and elsewhere. Suicide is a serious issue. It deserves serious, scholarly discussion, rather than use as a political football by unscrupulous propagandists grasping at any opportunity to make a case for their preordained agenda.”

The fact sheet, which includes a number of well-researched footnotes, may be viewed here

Treat the Cause Not the Means

The major causes (not means) of suicide, like untreated depression, are the real problem. Frankly, “Means” do NOT really matter. Making guns a scapegoat is wrong, and part of an anti-gun-rights ploy funded by major anti-gun-rights groups. Doing so puts dealers and ranges at greater risk for lawsuits and new anti-gun laws. If people want to kill themselves there are endless ways to do so—as shown by the high suicide rates in countries such as Japan, where guns are essentially unavailable.

Unfortunately, some well intentioned folks have been used to promote a campaign that threatens our gun rights. The anti-gun-rights crowd likes nothing better than when we destroy ourselves by unknowingly supporting their efforts.

More here

CA: Store Owner Guns Down Robbery Suspect: "A man was shot and killed today by the owner of a Gardena business he allegedly was trying to rob at gunpoint, authorities said. The man died at the scene of the shooting, which happened at about 6:30 a.m. at Paisano Meats, 1523 W. Rosecrans Ave., said Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast. Authorities withheld his name, pending notification of his relatives. According to police, a bystander also was wounded in the shooting, but was expected to survive. A handgun was found next to the suspect, Prendergast said.

Proof positive: Gun sales up, violent crime down … again!: "For the fourth consecutive year, according to figures released this week by the FBI, the estimated number of violent crimes declined in 2010, while -- according to other data from the National Instant Check System and National Shooting Sports Foundation -- gun sales have been climbing. ... One might reasonably ask the gun prohibitionist lobby, which includes the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center and Washington CeaseFire, how this can be."

Friday, September 23, 2011

VA: An 83-year-old Hampton man shot at intruder: "Police say the man was asleep when the intruder broke in. When the man woke up and realized what was going on, he grabbed his gun and started shooting. The burglar was not hit, but he did manage to get away with cash, jewelry and a gun. “Being asleep at 3:30, 4 o’clock in the morning, he didn’t shoot straight. But I bet you if they had come in when he was awake they wouldn’t be alive. Police say in this case it is likely self-defense so the man won’t face any gun charges."

KY: Former fireman man takes down accused burglar: "The 54-year-old man, who did not wish to be identified, said an alarm sounded as he passed Dale’s Auto Service on Main Street. When he turned around to investigate, he heard glass breaking at the business. But the alleged burglar was not going to hang around. He headed toward the back of the business. “Then I heard footsteps on the gravel, and I thought, ‘Heck, he’s going to be here in a minute,’” he said. That’s when the 54-year-old pulled his gun out of its holster. “I flicked that light on right at him, and told him, ‘You see that gun? It’s pointed right at your chest,’” he said. “Then I told him to set down what he was holding.” The accused thief complied, setting down what police say was a cash box taken out of the store. Whatever the reason, the alleged burglar started to walk away. The former firefighter grabbed his shirt and pulled him to the ground, he said. Officers arrived no more than two minutes later. They arrested Michael L. Culton, 46, of Richmond."

Senator Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Strengthen Gun Rights: "U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen gun rights by allowing law-abiding Americans to possess loaded firearms on lands owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Tester supported similar legislation in 2009 that permitted law-abiding citizens to carry loaded guns in National Parks. Tester’s bill, the Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act of 2011, would put an end to the patchwork of regulations that govern different lands managed by various federal agencies. Tester, Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, said gun owners need to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are legally camping, hunting, and fishing on land and water managed by the Army Corps. The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for nearly 12 million acres of land and water in the U.S."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Speech by Dr. John R. Lott, Jr.

Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., the internationally renowned author and activist for the Constitutional right to bear arms, spoke at the Commons Center this past Monday on the subject of gun control. Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) at Vanderbilt sponsored the presentation.

He opened his speech with a simple question: “Can you name one place that’s adopted a gun ban that has seen a drop in crime numbers?”

Lott provided the audience with graphs and statistics showing that gun control laws in cities such as Washington, D.C. and Chicago, IL, actually experienced increased overall crime rates. “It is the good, law-abiding citizens who obey the ban and turn in their guns, not the criminals,” he said.

Lott also showed that multiple victim public shootings in the United States and abroad could be prevented if citizens were allowed to carry weapons. “All these shootings in all these different countries are occurring in gun free zones,” he said.

He further blamed the media for neglecting to portray the positive effects of gun rights. When citizens stop a crime with guns, media outlets rarely ever mention the fact that a gun was used in the stopping of that crime, according to Lott.

Audience reactions to Lott’s speech were generally positive. “I really liked the good presentation of data and how he pointed out how muddled the issue is,” said first-year John Arnold.

“He finished off really well as he tied economic statistics into the scenario of carrying on campus. It was interesting when he started telling stores about multiple victim public shootings,” said Kenny Tan, President of YAL at Vanderbilt.

Lott’s presentation was particularly important for local Nashville resident Nikki Goeser. In 2009, a stalker murdered her husband right in front of her.

“My stalker did not have a permit (for a gun), and I followed the law and left my gun in the car. Dr. Lott’s research is very important to the entire public. It shows the importance of carrying for self-defense,” Goeser said.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mississippi Home Invasion; Homeowner Fires Back, hits robber: "An elderly couple is shaken up after a bold robber forces his way inside their West Jackson home. Jackson Police tell us that the suspect Sidney Humbles, 39 showed up at UMC with a gunshot wound to the back. He faces armed robbery of an occupied dwelling and simple assault. Authorities say it happened at a house on Prose Avenue, just off Florence Avenue. Humbles knocked on the front door and told the homeowner's wife that he had some donuts for her. When she unlocked the door, he forced his way inside the home and knocked her to the ground. Hearing the commotion, her husband grabbed his gun. The homeowner shot Humbles"

La.: Neighbor’s shot ends alleged kidnapping: "At the same time, Quave and his estranged wife arrived at the mobile home on nearby Putt Street. Armed with a pistol, Bonnett said, Quave remained in the vehicle while the woman headed toward her trailer under the guise of retrieving some clothes. When she got out of Quave’s sight, she ran to a nearby trailer and alerted her neighbor, who came out with his own gun tucked in the back of his waistband. The woman made her second 911 call from the neighbor’s residence and deputies were dispatched to the trailer. However, before deputies arrived, the neighbor noticed Quave’s gun on the dashboard of his vehicle and drew his own weapon. When Quave reached for his gun, the neighbor told police, he shot a warning shot into the ground. Quave drove away."

OR: Intruders shoot man; girlfriend fires back: "A Eugene woman said she fired several shotgun blasts at two intruders who had sneaked into her home early Friday morning and shot her boyfriend in the leg. The 29-year-old woman said she suspects the two men who fled after she opened fire on them had planned to steal the medical marijuana plants growing on the Bethel area property."

Justifiable homicides appear to be pushing the crime-rate down: "The lamestream media told you: The 413 killings by police nationwide that were ruled justifiable in 2009 were the most since 1994, FBI statistics show. And the 262 killings by private individuals ruled self-defense were the most since 1997. National numbers for 2010 are not yet available. With some variations, the numbers for both categories have been trending upward since about 2000. Interestingly, the national rise in justifiable homicides has occurred as violent crime levels have dropped. The estimated U.S. violent crime level total in 2009 was 5.2 percent below the 2005 level and 7.5 percent below the 2000 level, according to the FBI." [More dead crooks = less crime is a pretty simple equation]

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WV: Charges Dropped in Canul Case: "Prosecutors in Logan County have dropped murder charges against a man accused of shooting and killing another man in the parking lot of the Logan Walmart last month. Logan County Prosecuting Attorney John Bennett dropped the charges with prejudice, meaning officials could refile charges against Jesus Canul, 26, in the future. Canul allegedly shot and killed David Abbott, 37, of Chapmanville outside the Walmart on Aug. 22. Police said Abbott used a sharp object to rob Canul after Canul had cashed his paycheck at the Walmart. Canul pulled out a gun and fatally wounded Abbott after Abbott turned to flee, police said. Supporters of Canul have held rallies outside the Logan County Courthouse and raised enough money for him to post bond. They claim Canul acted in self-defense."

CA: Crazy guy gets shot and killed: "On July 3 at approximately 2 a.m. James Mitchell, 67, was asleep in his home in the 14200 block of Olympic Drive in Clearlake, when a vehicle drove into the front of his home. A 1994 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Kevin Quinn, 51, drove almost completely into the residence. Mitchell armed himself with a handgun and went to the area of his home where he heard the crash. Once Mitchell went into the room the vehicle drove into, he was confronted by Quinn who exited the vehicle. Quinn advanced toward Mitchell in an allegedly threatening manner while making threats to kill him, according to the Clearlake Police Department. CPD stated that as Mitchell was trying to exit the house Quinn caught up to him. Mitchell fired his handgun at Quinn and struck him multiple times. According to Hinchcliff, an investigation revealed Quinn had a history of mental health issues .... Mitchell was clearly acting in self-defense and used reasonable force under the circumstances in defending himself."

MI: Thief shot and killed during attempted robbery of an 88-year-old man: "Police say a thief who tried to rob the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society on Detroit's east side was shot and killed by an 88-year-old employee who had his own gun. Officers say the 53-year-old suspect forced his way into the clinic after it closed on Saturday. He then roughed up the 88-year-old World War II veteran and demanded money. The 88-year-old is believed to be the clinic's doctor. However, police say the victim grabbed his own gun and fired two shots, killing the suspect. The man does have a permit to carry the gun. Even though police say it appears the shooting was justified, they will still send the case to the prosecutor. That is standard procedure in cases like this."

California open-carry is under attack once again: "Most people in California are not aware that it is an open carry state. This means that anyone who can legally own a firearm, for example one who is not a felon, may carry an unloaded sidearm in a holster (this is their strong side) in a public place without a permit. A magazine for ammunition is typically carried on their opposite or weak side. However there are certain places where open carry is prohibited such as in government buildings.and within 1000 feet of K-12 schools. Currently this right is under attack. A few weeks ago, Assembly Bill (AB) 144 passed both legislative houses in Sacramento and is sitting on Governor Jerry Brown's desk. This bill threatens to further restrict our Second Amendment constitutional right to defend ourselves in public."

Monday, September 19, 2011

SC: Man who tries to shoot dog gets shot dead: "Judy Carson, 65, called 911 and said that her neighbor was threatening to shoot her brother's dog and was calling the dog over to his house so he could shoot it. The dispatcher said two shots were heard during the call. Carson got off the phone, and called back and said, "The neighbor shot at my brother and my brother shot back," according to the dispatcher. She told the dispatcher that her brother, 60-year-old Johnny Lever, saw the other man fall in tall grass and they did not intend to check on him. Deputies said that they found Samuel Thomas, 62, dead in between the two homes. Deputies said that Thomas had a gun in his hand and his finger was on the trigger. Friday morning, Lever said to News 4: "I did what I had to do," but he had no other comment."

Sharpie gets something right: "Rev. Al Sharpton called on mourners at the funeral of a Brooklyn mom who was killed by a stray bullet as cops waged a gun battle with an ex-con to “stop the shooting.” “Somehow you must reach inside you and stand up for what’s right,” Sharpton told mourners at Denise Gay’s funeral Saturday. “Whatever the results of the investigation, there’s no doubt that you must stop the shooting.” Gay, 56, was killed Sept. 5 around 9 p.m. on the stoop of her Brooklyn home. Cops had converged on the block after 32-year-old Leroy Webster killed another neighbor, 29-year-old Eusi Johnson. Gay was hit while cops were locked in a shootout with Webster."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Deadly force law in NH: More trust in citizens

On the subject of self defense, New Hampshire is about to enter a new era in which citizens have broader authority to make their own decisions.

On Wednesday, the House overrode Gov. John Lynch’s veto of Senate Bill 88. The Senate had overridden the veto the week before. The bill changes state weapons laws in four important ways.

1. It removes the mere display of a weapon from the state’s definition of what constitutes the use of “deadly force.”

2. It removes the mandatory prison sentence for felonies committed while in possession of or using or attempting to use a firearm.

3. It holds immune from civil suits (but not criminal prosecution) people who use force to defend themselves or someone else.

4. It allows the use of deadly force anywhere one has the legal right to be, not just in one’s home or on one’s own property.

The first two provisions stemmed from the 2009 conviction of Moultonborough farmer Ward Bird, who displayed a handgun and yelled at a woman who came onto his property after he told her not to. The woman claimed Bird pointed the gun toward her; Bird said he did not, but merely held it in his hand. He was convicted of felony criminal threatening, but last year had his sentence commuted after people in his community waged a campaign to have him freed.

Those first two changes in SB 88 are needed to prevent innocent people from being locked up for actions that pose no harm to anyone. Standing on one’s porch or yard while holding a firearm, something very common in this rural state, should not get one thrown in jail.

The third change prevents frivolous lawsuits against people who are justified in using force to protect themselves or others.

The fourth is the controversial one. Current law states that deadly force is not justified if one knows that either party to a confrontation can safely retreat. An exception is made for people who are in their own homes or property. SB 88 expands that exception to “anywhere he or she has a right to be.”

Gov. Lynch says the bill “would compromise safety by emboldening gangs and criminal activity.” It’s hard to see how that would be the case.

The law does not grant blanket immunity for any shooting. It states that if you are somewhere you are legally entitled to be, you don’t have to attempt to retreat, or let a person who is threatening your life retreat, before using deadly force to protect yourself.

If Gov. Lynch is right, and unjustified killings increase after this law takes effect, then obviously this provision should be revisited. But we share the Legislature’s doubt that the law will unleash a rash of criminality in the state.


La.: Unfairly-charged man acquitted: "Hampton Myers celebrated, but his frustration over Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's push to try him on attempted murder charges still simmered after a jury acquitted him Thursday in a shooting last year at his home. The jury found Myers, 28, not guilty of trying to kill Jacob Carskaddon on Dec. 8 after Myers had booted Carskaddon from his home for allegedly stealing a debit card and withdrawing $160.... But a former friend, Phillip Aguilar, told the jury that Carskaddon had become drunk and angry that evening at the Dungeon Bar on Toulouse Street, and that Aguilar "was afraid he was going to do something really stupid." Myers claimed he fired in self-defense as Carskaddon tried to wrest the gun from him. "I kept telling Jacob 'I'm sorry' the whole time, until he was right on top of me, and I felt his breath on my face when he said he was going to kill me," Myers wrote. "I shot him at the very last second, when we were wrestling for control of the handgun, and I had no other choice."

GA: Aggressive ex-boyfriend shot: "Rich offered to give the woman a ride home, and they stopped by a store on the way, according to statements given to officers. When the woman got home, Wells was there, police say. Wells was her ex-boyfriend and was supposed to have moved out that day. The woman told police Wells walked up behind her as Rich was turning his car around to leave. Wells started arguing with her, demanding to know who Rich is. Wells tried to hit the woman, police say, but she backed away and sprayed him with mace. That’s when Wells allegedly walked over to Rich’s car and started hitting him as he sat in the driver’s seat. It was 10:47 p.m. The woman said she heard a gunshot. Police say Rich called 911, admitted to shooting Wells in his upper torso and gave them the gun used to do it. Thunderbolt Chief Irene Pennington wouldn’t comment Saturday on whether the shooting might have been self-defense except to say the investigation is ongoing."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Liberal Gun Nut

My father and I, at his house in the Catskills, playing the Goldman Sachs-Mini 14 game: We tramp out into the hardwoods, among the butterflies and the mosquitoes, with the rifle, a Ruger Mini-14 .223 banana-clipped at 30 rounds. Fast action semi-automatic, modeled after the M-14 military issue, but short-barreled, carbine-style – a rifle meant to be hidden under raincoats for shooting up the town. Which, being good liberals, we would never do.

Instead, he shouts “GOLDMAN SACHS! ON THE LEFT!” and I leap to it, emptying the magazine, firing from the hip, the muzzle jumping, flaring yellow, the barrel heating, the casings ejected in zinging arcs, the rounds, traveling 3,100 feet per second, splashing dirt and chipping at the wood pile and terrifying the squirrels. “LEHMAN BROS!” shouts my father, which for a moment throws me – the Bros. being defunct – but then instinct kicks in and I let go with another volley. And so on. Good fun, very satisfying. The goal, obviously, is to fire as many rounds as fast as possible – preferably with stopwatch marking time – into the imagined banksters running about in the woods, their mouths gagged with a wad of twenties.

Liberal progressives are supposed to hate guns, the “gun culture” meant as code for the secure ghetto of the bubbas and the rednecks and the “conservatives” and Second Amendment nutjobs. I beg to differ. I know left-wingers, anarchists, socialists, antiwar activists, Democrats, Naderites, anti-corporatists, and antiglobalists who are armed to the teeth, who love their guns, play with their guns, clean them, talk to them, know how to use them, train with them, go hunting with them, kill meat with them, and get together sometimes for shooting parties to knock holes in color photos of corporate criminals.

These are people who read the Nation, Harper’s, the New Yorker, listen to Amy Goodman as gospel, have books like “The Shock Doctrine” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” at their bedside, and even visit lefty propagandists like CounterPunch. Smart, well-read, many of them college-educated, ranging in class from broke and living in a desert tent or trailer park (often by choice) to semi-comfortable and settled in the lower or middling middle classes. Some are off-the-gridders, growing their own food, electrifying their homes with sunlight and wind; some are journalists, artists, businessmen; one of them, an Internet radio entrepreneur, ran for governor of Vermont last year on a ticket whose main platform was “the destruction of the American Empire.”

Consider my father, owner of that bankster-slaughtering Mini-14. Here’s a guy who voted for Obama (regretting it every day), who in a recent letter to the president wrote:
“This nation must not reduce its assistance to our tens of millions of poor citizens; it must not cut Medicaid or Social Security or Medicare. To cover these costs we must increase taxes on all Americans – especially the rich, the Two Percenters who have doubled their wealth over the last generation by draining the wealth of the great mass of low, moderate and middle income folks. The behavior of the government toward the rich – allowing the Two Percenters to fleece everyone else – is not only morally obscene; it is bad for business.”

A proud liberal, a believer in the possibilities of good government, my father also owns shotguns, hunting rifles, .22 plinkers.

Or consider my friend Travis Kelly, a writer and political cartoonist in Grand Junction, Colo. – self-described “member of America’s most closeted and underestimated minority, liberals who own guns” – who wrote a piece for Hustler magazine recently along the same lines as this article. Among the reasons for his being pro-gun (he owns a lot of them): A friend of his, along a lonely stretch of Texas highway a few years ago, was kidnapped and nearly raped. Luckily she had a pistol in her pocket, a little .38 revolver, and with it plugged her attacker in the stomach as he was unbuckling his pants.

More here

TX: Good Samaritan attacked; shoots: "A 62-year-old man who stopped to help a couple on the side of the road Thursday evening in Southeast Bexar County ended up shooting the man he was trying to help after he was allegedly attacked, Bexar County deputies said. A 31-year-old man and his wife had been traveling on FM 78 around 7 p.m. when their truck ran out of gas at Firestone Parkway, and the older man pulled over to help, deputies said. A dispute arose between the two men over how the husband was addressing his wife. nvestigators believe the older man was assaulted before he fired his gun, likely in self defense, said Sgt. Blake Johnson with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. The husband, who was shot in the shoulder with a revolver, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in noncritical condition."

IN: Man acquitted in shooting death: "A Lake Superior Court jury on Friday acquitted a Gary man of voluntary manslaughter in a 2007 homicide after about 2 hours of deliberations. The jury acquitted Richard Glenn Edmonds Jr., 37, in the shooting death of Samuel Elder, 38, who died shortly after 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 2007, on the second-floor landing at 1750 Mississippi St. Defense attorney James Thiros said Edmonds never denied shooting Elder, but asserted he was acting in self-defense after Elder ran up to him, claimed to be a police officer and then struggled with Edmonds after producing a handgun. Edmonds pushed the gun away from his face and drew his own gun, for which he had a valid license to carry. Elder was shot in the neck."

TN: Aggressive crook shot: "The man found shot to death in a West Knox County home Thursday morning had just been released from jail in Rutherford County, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office and state correction records. Deputies found the body after being summoned at 7:14 a.m. Thursday about a domestic disturbance at 9325 Wells Station Road in the Nicholas Landing subdivision. James Szczuka, 49, and his girlfriend Dena Harris, 24, lived at the home. Szczuka said he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Eledge. He said he'd discovered the man asleep in bed with Harris. No charges have been filed in the killing. Szczuka told authorities the man became aggressive and threatening when he woke him up. The man allegedly refused to leave. Szczuka grabbed a .40-caliber handgun, which he has a permit for, and shot the man when he allegedly "came at him," according to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley."

Friday, September 16, 2011

AZ: Clerk shoots beer thief: "About 7 p.m. yesterday, LaFonte entered the convenience store, flashed a knife at the clerk, Michael Lewis, stole a pack of cigarettes, stole a 12-pack of beer, and tried to leave. Lewis, however, wasn't havin' it; he followed LaFonte out of the store -- gun in hand. The two men confronted each other at the east end of the store's property, and Lewis shot LaFonte "several times." LaFonte survived the shooting -- he was taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive. Reinhardt says neither of the men have been charged with any crimes -- yet. He says detectives are in the process of reviewing surveillance footage to determine whether the shooting was self defense."

CT: Clerk grabs at gun: "A clerk at Eddie’s Market on Sylvan Avenue tried to grab a gun from a hold-up man who came into the store shortly before 11 p.m. The man fled along with three others who had been standing outside the store."

S.F. gun laws under fire: "San Francisco is a target of the gun-rights lobby, which, armed with a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, hopes to eliminate gun-control laws passed by cities, counties and states. The National Rifle Association and a longtime pro-gun lawyer in Sacramento have filed separate lawsuits in federal court that take aim at two San Francisco laws. One law, approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2007, requires that handguns be kept in locked containers or disabled with a trigger lock. The other, which has been on the books in various forms since 1994, prohibits the sale of hollow-point bullets and similar ammunition that fragments or explodes upon impact. The plaintiffs argue that the San Francisco regulations are unconstitutional based on the Second Amendment. They point to the U.S. Supreme Court's Heller decision in 2008"

More guns found on border, more murders tied to Fast & Furious: "A small cache of weapons, including six semi-automatic rifles, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher and material that appears to be plastic explosives were recovered along the Rio Grande River in Texas by the Border Patrol Tuesday, according to Reuters. This revelation comes less than 18 hours after CBS News reported that at least three murders in Mexico have now been tied to weapons linked to Operation Fast and Furious, the discredited gun trafficking sting mounted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The new weapons discovery in Texas may present a problem for those trying to blame lax gun laws, firearms retailers and even gun shows for being the source of weapons headed south to Mexican drug cartels. While semi-auto rifles are sold in gun shops and at gun shows, one would be hard-pressed to find vendors selling grenade or rocket launchers, or plastic explosives"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Judge says Fla. docs can talk about guns: "A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a first-in-the-nation law that restricted what Florida physicians can say about guns to their patients. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Wednesday that the law violates the Constitution's free speech protections for doctors and patients. The law was pushed by gun rights supporters who claimed the doctors' questions are an invasion of privacy. The law took effect June 2. It was challenged by physicians' groups who said it violates longstanding preventative medical practices. The measure was watered down by state lawmakers to allow exceptions. For example, a doctor could ask a person with mental problems about guns at home. Still physicians were concerned a patient could file a complaint that might lead to loss of their medical licenses and fines up to $10,000."

House Considers Whether Gun Permits Can Cross State Lines: "Congressional lawmakers yesterday heard testimony on a federal bill that would give Americans who hold permits to carry firearms in their home states the right to carry their weapons across state lines. The sponsors of the legislation, dubbed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, maintain that people’s Second Amendment rights should encompass the right to carry their firearms outside their home states. The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing yesterday on the legislation, which is sponsored by Florida Republican Cliff Stearns and North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TX: Fatal shooting may be case of self-defense: "Detectives were still questioning witnesses, but no charges have been filed against a man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend at a West Side auto repair shop Monday. The slaying may be a case of self-defense, police said. The woman, identified Tuesday as Monica Rodriguez, 43, apparently learned that her boyfriend, who is in his 50s, was fixing his ex-girlfriend's van. She kicked in the door of a mobile home where the couple lived and ransacked it Saturday, then shot out a tire of his truck, police said. Police said Rodriguez then went to the repair shop in the 5400 block of Old Highway 90, where her boyfriend worked, and shot out the van's windows. She sent text messages threatening to kill him. Rodriguez told him she was going to her truck to get her gun, and the man shot her in the chest as she returned from the truck, police said. Then he called 911. She was unarmed, and police found no gun in her truck."

OH: Store clerk pulls gun on robber: "Police are asking for your help to identify a man who tried to rob a Dayton drive thru. It happened Monday afternoon on Main Street near Siebenthaler Avenue. Police tell us a man wearing a bandana walked in to the store, flashed a butterfly knife and asked for money. The store clerk then pulled a gun and the robber took off. The clerk began chasing the suspect which police say is not recommended. The suspect is described as a black man in his twenties, around 5'6" and 120lbs."

Minn.: Victims bash robber in armed attack: "They said Charette robbed them at gunpoint, taking $25. According to the complaint, Charette struck one of the victims with the butt of his gun. The complaint said the victims then fought back. In the struggle, the three victims struck Charette several times and managed to take the weapon away from him. The victims then fled, according to the complaint. They then threw the gun into a trash can nearby and called the police. The gun was recovered by police, who discovered it was a BB gun. According to the police report, Charette was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for his injuries. Charette was booked at Hennepin County Jail and charged with three felony counts — two for aggravated robbery in the first degree and one for attempted aggravated robbery in the first degree — after being positively identified in a lineup."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jury Returns Not Guilty Verdict in Las Vegas, N.M., Road-Rage Case: "Richard Baca, who was home on leave from a military tour in Iraq when he shot and killed a former Robertson High School football star during a road-rage incident in Las Vegas, N.M., was found not guilty in the case Friday. A state District Court jury in Santa Rosa deliberated about 2½ hours before acquitting Baca, who was 21 when he shot Benito Lemos, 22, in November 2009. Baca was facing a voluntary manslaughter charge. Baca’s lawyer, Jeff Buckels, said the jury sent a message to the people of Las Vegas that getting out of a car to beat another driver — Baca was punched by Lemos before the shooting — is “dangerous, explosive behavior” that shouldn’t be tolerated. Both sides agreed that Lemos, a mail carrier, got out of the car he was riding in with his fiancee and small children, approached Baca’s car and was punching Baca before the shooting took place."

SC: Jewelry store owner shoots armed robber: "Investigators say that around 1:00 Monday afternoon a male suspect wearing women’s clothing entered the jewelry store and tried to rob it. The clerk shot the suspect; the suspect returned fire and then took off on foot. The store owner’s son says he’s glad his father had a gun because it saved his life.... Outside, the suspect left a trail of blood. At some point police say he got in a car and began to change his clothes. The bloodhounds and a SLED helicopter were called out to follow the robber’s trail. After searching for several hours, investigators located Fortenberry at an Augusta hospital seeking treatment for his gunshot wounds."

FL: Disabled vet set free: "It was historic when Michael Monahan walked out of the Palm Beach County Jail last week a free man. One day, he faced up to life in prison for fatally shooting two men who boarded his boat in Riviera Beach. The next day, a judge dismissed the first-degree murder charges against him. Monahan's case marks the first time a Palm Beach County judge has dismissed a murder charge under a controversial state law that gives extra protection to people who use force in self-defense. On Sept. 6, Palm Beach County Judge Richard Oftedal ruled that Monahan, 65, was justified in shooting Raymond Mohlman and Matthew Vittum under the "Stand Your Ground" law, which gives people the right to shoot if they feel their lives are in danger. Mohlman and Vittum, who were intoxicated, cornered the disabled veteran in the cabin of his 35-foot sailboat during an argument near Phil Foster Park, according to court records. "[Monahan] was within his rights to resist their criminal conduct with deadly force," Oftedal wrote in his ruling."

La.: Shooting at casino parking garage ruled justified: "The man who shot and wounded two people at a Shreveport casino parking garage acted in self-defense after one of them hit him after a road-rage incident that started when one driver cut another off, the district attorney's office said. Things escalated after the woman pulled into a parking spot on the third level, hoping the other driver would go on. The Caldwells stopped and got out -- with one wearing gloves and pounding his fists, prosecutors said.
Joe Mims, a veteran, said he had a gun and told them to leave him alone, Scott said. He was then punched in the mouth, Scott said.
Mims then got his gun and shot the two in the chest, seriously wounding them. The woman in the car with the Caldwells was not hurt. The brothers have been released from the hospital, prosecutors said. The district attorney's office has not decided whether to charge one of them with hitting Mims."

Monday, September 12, 2011

CA: Man allegedly shoots would-be burglar: "The homeowner told deputies that he was awakened by noise near his workshop and armed himself before going outside to find the two men trying to force entry, Royal said. 'He said he fired a warning shot in the air and yelled at them,' Royal said. 'When they refused to flee, he fired additional shots and they then fled the scene.'"

OH: Homeowner shoots, kills suspected burglar: "The man who lived at the E. 105th Street address told police that he heard a noise in his attached garage and that his car alarm was going off. The homeowner got his gun and went into the garage to investigate. The resident saw an intruder and shot him. He went into the house and called police. When police arrived they found the dead man laying in the driveway next to the damaged garage door and wearing a shoulder holster with a handgun in it."

"Gunless" NYC: "Bloomberg's policy was merely the final victim over a New York City Labor Day weekend in which (the following statistics having been collected by Jonathan Dienst, Shimon Prokupecz and Melissa Russo of NBC News, New York) 67 individuals were shot, including two police officers, and as many as 10 people were murdered, a teenage boy and a 56-year-old female among them, all of them -- nine on Friday, 10 on Saturday, 33 on Sunday and 15 on Monday -- hurt or killed in what has been advertised as a gunless city since shortly after the First World War."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Your right to self-defense shouldn’t end at state borders

This Labor Day weekend, many families will pack up the car for one last road trip to the beach, lake or park before summer ends. Unfortunately, many of them will have to check their right to self-defense at the state border. Thankfully, there is legislation making its way through Congress that would fix this.

The bill is the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822) and it would allow any person with a valid, state-issued concealed firearm permit to exercise their right to carry a firearm in any other state that affords that right to its own residents.

The bill was introduced by Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) and it currently has 242 co-sponsors and the full backing of the National Rifle Association. By any benchmark, H.R. 822 has overwhelming bipartisan support.

Currently, 49 states have laws that permit concealed carry in some form or another. In all but eight of those states, the average, law-abiding citizen can carry a firearm without having to navigate an overly restrictive — and in some cases intentionally impossible — bureaucratic process. Only the state of Illinois completely forbids its citizens from carrying concealed firearms outside their homes and workplaces.

The problem is that interstate recognition of these various permits is not uniform. Some states have broad laws in place that liberally recognize permit holders from other states. Other states are more restrictive, and still others refuse to recognize any state’s permit but their own. This can create issues for travelers.

The National Right-to-Carry Act would solve this problem by requiring the various states that allow concealed carry to recognize each other’s permits — much in the same way they recognize each other’s driver’s licenses.

Imagine if America treated state driver’s licenses the same way we treat the right to carry, and every time you drove across a state line you weren’t sure if you were allowed to legally operate a vehicle in that state. If you knew you weren’t allowed to operate a vehicle in a certain state, you simply couldn’t drive there.

There are some who agree with the spirit of H.R. 822 but are concerned that it would create a “federal gun licensing” system. This is simply not true. The bill explicitly protects the right of each state to issue its own permits and determine its own rules and regulations with regard to concealed carry — such as where carrying is prohibited and where it’s allowed.

This is similar to how one highway can have different speed limits, depending on the state in which you’re driving. You can drive on the highway regardless of which state you’re from, but you are required to obey each state’s basic rules of the road.

Others have voiced concern that H.R. 822 would violate the Tenth Amendment right of every state to make its own laws. Again, this is not the case. The Second Amendment guarantees the fundamental, individual right of every law-abiding citizen to bear arms. This is an inalienable right that neither the federal government, nor any state government, may infringe upon. And in fact, the 14th Amendment gives Congress the power to protect citizens from state infringement of their constitutional rights.

Our basic right to self-defense has been recognized in law for centuries. We shouldn’t be forced to forfeit this right at the state line. Call your representative today and ask if he or she is a cosponsor of H.R. 822. If the answer is yes, please thank them and urge them do what they can to push this bill forward.

If the answer is no, then please urge them to become a co-sponsor today, and to support your fundamental right to defend yourself and your loved ones … regardless of which state you happen to be passing through.


Disgraceful Federal harassment of man who shot Grizzly

When the government infringes upon Second Amendment rights through regulation and harsh gun control, it is accused of violating one’s right to self-defense. There is no greater example of this violation, however, than when the federal government attempted to punish a man for killing a grizzly bear that threatened his life and the lives of his family. Fortunately, when the story was publicized and received a great deal of negative media attention, federal prosecutors decided to drop the charges.

Idaho resident Jeremy Hill faced trial after he killed a grizzly bear that came into his yard on May 8. According to Hill, his six children were playing in their yard when three grizzly bears — a mother and her two cubs — entered the property. The children called to their father who was inside of his home. He immediately came out with a rifle.

According to neighbors of the Hill family, the bears had visited several properties that day before their stop at the Hill home. Neighbor Bob Vickaryous told The New American that the bear appeared on his own property, as well as the neighbor Tom Davis’ property. Vickaryous indicates that Davis actually fired off a round of warning shots to scare the bears off, but that the bears appeared unafraid of the weapon and its sounds and remained until they eventually ventured off on their own and arrived at the Hill property.

Hill shot one of the bears, thereby scaring the others away. He then reported the incident to the proper state authorities, who raised no issue with the incident. However, once federal authorities learned of the incident, they charged Hill with killing an endangered species, as the grizzly bear is a threatened species in the lower 48 states, and therefore protected by federal law.

As a result of the charges, Hill faced a year in prison and a $50,000 fine. His trial was set to begin on October 4.

However, Hill’s story attracted a number of supporters, including Idaho Governor Butch Otter, who told the Obama administration in a letter that he supports the right of Jeremy Hill to defend himself and his family. The letter, submitted to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on August 22, read:
I recognize the federal jurisdiction under the Endangered Species Act, but I strongly support the right of individuals to defend themselves and others in such situations. Many, including me, feel Mr. Hill did what a concerned parent would do. Now, Jeremy and his family must endure the cost of the trial.

Otter’s letter went on to explain that the prosecution could potentially impact recovery efforts because the community would be less likely to offer their support.

Otter also declared that the government’s priorities are a tad askew:
One of the flaws of the ESA is the premium it places on protecting species at the expense of everything else. Although an individual can protect human safety under the law — as Jeremy felt he was doing — it’s a shame that the Endangered Species Act still does not enable citizens to protect their private property and pets in the same manner.

Governor Otter’s letter to the Obama administration came at the behest of the Boundary County commissioners, who addressed a letter to Otter asking for him to get involved and come to the aid of Jeremy Hill: “We feel that at all costs, this man has the obligation and responsibility to protect his children. This is not some flagrant or malicious act. We urge you to do all that is in your power to have this matter settled.”

In August, Hill appeared at the U.S. Courthouse in Coeur d’Alene, where he plead not guilty to unlawfully killing a female grizzly bear in his yard. Hill reportedly had so many supporters appear at the courthouse for him that the arraignment was forced to be moved into a larger room.

In attendance was Idaho state Senator Shawn Keough, who said after the hearing, “It seems unjust to me that someone would be charged when they were protecting their family. I’m at a loss to understand why the U.S. government is pursuing this in the manner they are.”

Following in the same vein as Governor Otter, Keough continued, “Jeremy did the right thing, he called Fish and Game. I think that prosecuting this case really sets back the grizzly bear recovery effort.... People are saying, ‘Boy, if that happened to me, there’s no way that I’d report it.’ That’s a human reaction.”

Governor Otter’s assertions that the government’s charging of Hill would discourage Americans from complying with wildlife recovery are certainly realistic. For example, Vickaryous told The New American that he believes the Endangered Species Act should be entirely repealed, and given the experiences his neighbor has had to endure, he may find some support in such a push.

Members of Hill’s community were so sympathetic towards his plight that they raised $19,558 for a defense fund for Hill’s family at a 4-H animal sale in Bonners Ferry.

On September 7, after mounting pressure from a variety of different sources, the federal government decided to drop the charges filed against Jeremy Hill. reports:
As part of a deal, Hill agreed his actions violated a regulation of the Endangered Species Act against removing nuisance bears and paid a $1,000 fine. The act classifies the grizzly bear as a threatened species in the lower 48 states, and the animals are protected by federal law.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson issued a press release which indicated, “The United States Attorney’s Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family.”

However, according to Olson, investigators were unable to determine the location of Hill’s children when the bears approached, and were therefore unable to determine whether there was acute danger that necessitated the killing of the bear.

Hill, grateful that the ordeal is over, issued a statement thanking all of those who supported him.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of concern from the many people who have contacted us. I received a federal civil ticket and have paid the $1,000 fine to avoid putting my family through the emotional strain and the cost of a trial. I am glad this issue has been resolved out of court, and I am looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind me.”

Hill’s lawyer, Marc Lyons, points to this case as a reason for the federal government to review some of its provisions that regulate how people can respond to potentially dangerous wildlife.

“This unfortunate event underscores the need to critically review and evaluate the Endangered Species Act so that people can use reasonable and appropriate actions to protect their families, homes and property,” Lyons said.


NC store owner kills man during robbery attempt: "A Lumberton store owner shot and killed a gunman during an armed robbery Thursday afternoon, authorities said. Police were called to the Westside Seafood & Market at 309 W. Fifth St., about 5:20 p.m., Capt. Johnny Barnes of the Lumberton Police Department said. They found Brandon Eddie Wright, no age or address given, dead in the parking lot, Barnes said. The store owner, who has not been identified, was inside the business, holding a gun on two men who were lying on the floor, Barnes said. Wright and another man came into the business and confronted two employees, Barnes said.Wright pointed a gun at the two and demanded money, Barnes said. The owner, who was in another room, came out and was confronted by Wright, Barnes said. The store owner, who was carrying a handgun, fired two shots at Wright, Barnes said."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BATF/FBI crookedness over "Gunwalker" deepens

A third gun linked to "Operation Fast and Furious" was found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, new documents obtained exclusively by Fox News suggest, contradicting earlier assertions by federal agencies that police found only two weapons tied to the federal government's now infamous gun interdiction scandal.

Sources say emails support their contention that the FBI concealed evidence to protect a confidential informant. Sources close to the Terry case say the FBI informant works inside a major Mexican cartel and provided the money to obtain the weapons used to kill Terry.

Unlike the two AK-style assault weapons found at the scene, the third weapon could more easily be linked to the informant. To prevent that from happening, sources say, the third gun "disappeared."

In addition to the emails obtained by Fox News, an audio recording from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent investigating the Terry case seems to confirm the existence of a third weapon. In that conversation, the agent refers to an "SKS assault rifle out of Texas" found at the Terry murder scene south of Tucson.

The FBI refused to answer a detailed set of questions submitted to officials by Fox News. Instead, agency spokesman Paul Bresson said, "The Brian Terry investigation is still ongoing so I cannot comment." Bresson referred Fox News to court records that only identify the two possible murder weapons.

However, in the hours after Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010, several emails written to top ATF officials suggest otherwise.

In one, an intelligence analyst writes that by 7:45 p.m. -- about 21 hours after the shooting -- she had successfully traced two weapons at the scene, and is now "researching the trace status of firearms recovered earlier today by the FBI."

In another email, deputy ATF-Phoenix director George Gillett asks: "Are those two (AK-47s) in addition to the gun already recovered this morning?"

The two AK-type assault rifles were purchased by Jaime Avila from the Lone Wolf Trading Co. outside of Phoenix on Jan. 16, 2010. Avila was recruited by his roommate Uriel Patino. Patino, according to sources, received $70,000 in "seed money" from the FBI informant late in 2009 to buy guns for the cartel.

According to a memo from Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw the operation, Avila began purchasing firearms in November 2009, shortly after Patino, who ultimately purchased more than 600 guns and became the largest buyer of guns in Operation Fast and Furious.

Months ago, congressional investigators developed information that both the FBI and DEA not only knew about the failed gun operation, but that they may be complicit in it. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, fired off letters in July requesting specific details from FBI director Robert Mueller and Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart.

"In recent weeks, we have learned of the possible involvement of paid FBI informants in Operation Fast and Furious," Issa and Grassley wrote to Mueller. "Specifically, at least one individual who is allegedly an FBI informant might have been in communication with, and was perhaps even conspiring with, at least one suspect whom ATF was monitoring."

Sources say the FBI is using the informants in a national security investigation. The men were allegedly debriefed by the FBI at a safe house in New Mexico last year.

Sources say the informants previously worked for the DEA and U.S. Marshall's Office but their contracts were terminated because the men were "stone-cold killers." The FBI however stopped their scheduled deportation because their high ranks within the cartel were useful.

In their July letter, Issa and Grassley asked Mueller if any of those informants were ever deported by the DEA or any other law enforcement entity and how they were repatriated.

Asked about the content of the emails, a former federal prosecutor who viewed them expressed shock.

"I have never seen anything like this. I can see the FBI may have an informant involved but I can't see them tampering with evidence. If this is all accurate, I'm stunned," the former prosecutor said.

“This information confirms what our sources were saying all along -- that the FBI was covering up the true circumstances of the murder of Brian Terry," added Mike Vanderboegh, an authority on the Fast and Furious investigation who runs a whistleblower website called Sipsey Street.

"It also confirms that the FBI was at least as culpable, and perhaps more culpable, than the ATF in the (Fast and Furious) scandal, and that there was some guiding hand above both these agencies (and the other agencies involved) coordinating the larger operation," Vanderboegh said.

Asked about the new evidence, Terry family attorney Pat McGroder said, "The family wants answers. They'd like to put this to rest and put closure to exactly what happened to Brian."

Source. Commentary here

UT: Unreasonable prosecution rejected by jury

The jury in the Steve Strate murder trial in Orem returned a verdict of not guilty this evening at 8.30 p.m.

Almost two years ago, Strate shot his brother-in-law Marvin Sidwell to death in Sidwell's basement as Sidwell attacked Strate with a metal stool.

Utah County prosecutors painted the killing as an act of violence perpetrated by a man fed up by Sidwell's erratic and menacing behavior. Sidwell was high on meth at the time of his death and, according to police reports on the shooting, also had mental-health issues.

While prosecutors characterized Sidwell as a man who was all "bark and no bite," Strate told the jury that they were "pals" and that he had no intention of hurting him when he went to confront his brother-in-law about his threatening behavior to a neighbor and Strate's wife, Linda, Sidwell's sister.

That Utah County would prosecute Strate for what his supporters regarded as clear-cut self-defense raised issues that a recent CW news story, Gun Shy, examined, relating to a double standard over how police officers who use deadly force to defend themselves are rarely prosecuted while citizens who find themselves in similar positions typically end up in court charged with murder.

Strate now faces rebuilding a once-lucrative crane-leasing business that, post-murder charge, evaporated as his clients turned away from him, along with the considerable expense of hiring one of Salt Lake City's most renowned defense attorneys, Ron Yengich, to argue his case in court. Arguably, the case boiled down to Yengich raising the drumming stool Strate was faced with and asking the jury, "Would you be afraid?"

The verdict also raises a concern voiced by some Utah County defense attorneys that the Utah County D.A.s' office has persistently prosecuted cases that should never have been brought to court. This has resulted not only in allegedly an unusually high number of not-guilty verdicts, but also raised questions about the office's internal culture. Those questions, in part, focused on the relationship between line prosecutors and police agencies, with the latter seen by county D.A. critics as having an upper hand in deciding which cases should go forward.


NY: Motorcyclist acquitted of assault in road-rage case: "A jury today acquitted a Rochester motorcyclist who shot a man in the stomach after an alleged road rage incident. Hasman was accused of shooting Michael Lee with a .45-caliber derringer pistol in August 2010. Hasman’s attorney, J. Matthew Parrinello, argued at trial that the shooting was justifiable self-defense. Hasman was riding his motorcycle, with his girlfriend as a passenger, when a van allegedly tailgated him. Lee, a passenger in the van, got out, pushed over Hasman’s motorcycle and attacked Hasman, punching him in the face, Parrinello contended. The van’s driver had alleged that Hasman started the incident. Hasman legally owned his gun."

Friday, September 09, 2011

Wisconsin county to ban guns: "All weapons -- concealed or open -- would be banned from Marathon County-owned buildings under a recommendation made Wednesday by the county's Park Commission. The commission took a first step toward a county policy on concealed weapons in advance of Nov. 1, when the state's new concealed carry law takes effect. The law allows state residents older than 21 to carry concealed weapons after receiving training and a permit. Marathon County already bans guns from the county courthouse in Wausau. The Park Commission on Wednesday was set to consider a ban in all county buildings with the exception of the Duane L. Corbin shooting range, park shelters and free-standing bathrooms in parks."

Buyback program for squirt guns illustrates absurdity of feel-good laws: "Nerf guns and water pistols are the latest target for the gun grabbers. Community activists in Buffalo, N.Y., started a toy-buyback program on Monday designed to instill a fear of firearms in the city’s youth. It’s also a way to accustom children to the real restrictions they’re likely to encounter in adulthood. As reported in the Buffalo News, a group calling itself Fathers Armed Together to Help Educate Restore and Save and a local pizza joint are rewarding toddlers willing to trade in a plastic assault rifle with a delicious slice of pizza. They hope it’s an offer too good to refuse. There’s little need to dwell on the absurdity of such a scheme. It’s more useful in providing insight into the liberal mind that sees the availability of guns as the direct cause of murder and mayhem on the streets. They believe such problems will disappear if handguns are banned. If only it were that simple."