Monday, July 31, 2006


That's what the 1921 Russian poster below says. The best estimates point to the Russian government having killed 62 million of its own citizens since then.


He was 5 when he first fired an M-16, his father holding him to brace against the recoil. At 17 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, spurred by the memory of 9/11. Now, 21-year-old Galen Wilson has 20 confirmed kills in four months in Iraq � and another 40 shots that probably killed insurgents. One afternoon the lance corporal downed a man hauling a grenade launcher five-and-a-half football fields away. Wilson is the designated marksman in a company of Marines based in downtown Ramadi, watching over what Marines call the most dangerous neighborhood in the most dangerous city in the world.

Here, Sunni Arab insurgents are intent on toppling the local government protected by Marines. Wilson, 5-foot-6 with a soft face, is married and has two children and speaks in a deep, steady monotone. After two tours in Iraq, his commanders in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment call him a particularly mature Marine, always collected and given to an occasional wry grin. His composure is regularly tested. Swaths of central and southern Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, are dominated by insurgents who regularly attack the provincial government headquarters that Marines protect.

During a large-scale attack on Easter Sunday, Wilson says, he spotted six gunmen on a rooftop about 400 yards away. In about 8 seconds he squeezed off five rounds � hitting five gunmen in the head. The sixth man dived off a 3-story building just as Wilson got him in his sights, and counts as a probable death. "You could tell he didn't know where it was coming from. He just wanted to get away," Wilson said. Later that day, he said, he killed another insurgent.

Wilson says his skill helps save American troops and Iraqi civilians. "It doesn't bother me. Obviously, me being a devout Catholic, it's a conflict of interest. Then again, God supported David when he killed Goliath," Wilson said. "I believe God supports what we do and I've never killed anyone who wasn't carrying a weapon."

He was raised in a desolate part of the Rocky Mountains outside Colorado Springs, "surrounded by national parks on three sides," he says. He regularly hunted before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as a teenager. His brother also serves in the military. Guns have long been part of Wilson's life. His father was a sniper in the Navy SEALS. He remembers first firing a sniper rifle at age 6. By the time he enlisted he had already fired a .50-caliber machine gun. "My father owned a weapons dealership, so I've been around exotic firearms all my life," said Wilson, who remembers practicing on pine cones and cans. "My dad would help me hold (an M-16), with the butt on his shoulder, and walk me through the steps of shooting."

Technically, Wilson is not a sniper � he's an infantryman who also patrols through the span of destroyed buildings that make up downtown Ramadi. But as his unit's designated marksman, he has a sniper rifle. In the heat of day or after midnight, he spends hours on rooftop posts, peering out onto rows of abandoned houses from behind piles of sandbags and bulletproof glass cracked by gunfire. Sometimes individual gunmen attack, other times dozens. Once Wilson shot an insurgent who was "turkey peeking" � Marine slang for stealing glances at U.S. positions from behind a corner. Later, the distance was measured at 514 meters � 557 yards. "I didn't doubt myself, if I was going to hit him. Maybe if I would have I would have missed," Wilson said.

The key to accuracy is composure and experience, Wilson says. "The hardest part is looking, quickly adjusting the distance (on a scope), and then getting a steady position for a shot before he gets a shot off. For me, it's toning everything out in my head. It's like hearing classical music playing in my head." Though Wilson firmly supports the war, he used to wonder how his actions would be received back home. "At first you definitely double-guess telling your wife, mom, and your friends that you've killed 20 people," Wilson said. "But over time you realize that if they support you ... maybe it'll make them feel that much safer at home."

He acknowledges that brutal acts of war linger in the mind. "Some people, before they're about to kill someone, they think that � 'Hey, I'm about to kill someone.' That thought doesn't occur to me. It may sound cold, but they're just a target. Afterward, it's real. You think, 'Hey, I just killed someone,'" says Wilson. Insurgents "have killed good Marines I've served with. That's how I sleep at night," he says. "Though I've killed over 20 people, how many lives would those 20 people have taken?" Wilson plans to leave the Marines after his contract expires next year, and is thinking of joining a SWAT Team in Florida � possibly as a sniper.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Legislation would ease burden on gun dealers: "It is tough operating a gun shop under harassment from the federal government and unjustified media attacks. But the harassment might soon get a little better, as today the House Judiciary Committee starts marking up a bill by Representatives Howard Coble and Bobby Scott to ease the burden on gun merchants. According to Justice Department numbers, since Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, the number of federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States has plummeted by 80 percent. Kmart no longer sells guns, Wal-Mart just recently stopped selling guns at a third of its stores, and tens of thousands of other gun shops have gone out of business. With all the talk of the recent legislative success by gun owners, they have been winning some battles but possibly losing the war. Gun-control advocates may be the ones winning where it really counts.... Fortunately, the background-check problems are now fixed. And there are no new fees. So why are gun shops still going out of business? There were about 100,000 license holders at the end of Clinton�s last term. By today that has been cut almost in half. The Washington Post�s front page on Sunday illustrated the problems with both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives abuses as well as the media�s out-of-control attacks. The piece examined the supposed abuses of Sandy Abrams�s gun shop in Baltimore, a shop he took over from his father in 1996".

Britain's holiday camp with guns: "Shooting has long had a difficult image in Britain. But that doesn't deter the hundreds of men, women and children who, every year, plan to spend their summer holidays on a huge rifle range, complete with chalets and caravans. To set foot in Bisley, home to the National Shooting Centre, is to travel back in time. It resembles a holiday camp, with myriad caravans and tents, children playing, adults sitting in circles on canvas chairs. It could almost be Butlins, but for the constant crackle of gunfire in the background. ... Forget quaffing alcopops in Faliraki or braving the traffic to go to the West Country, there are hundreds of shooting enthusiasts who would rather spend a week's holiday doing what they love, and bring their families along with them."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

PA: Man catches would-be thieves: "A Sharon man turned the table on two would-be burglars when he came home in the middle of their attempt to steal several items from his home, police said. Police said Joseph R. Emerich, 22, of 3009 Hahn Hill Road, Hermitage, and Brett D. Sumner, 28, of 3045 Main St., West Middlesex, were burglarizing 24 Smith Ave. in Sharon when Charles Carlo returned home at 9:35 p.m. Sunday to find them at the top of his stairs. They had taken a computer, a videogame player, a mint set of coins and an air conditioner from Carlo's home to a nearby apartment and were attempting to take more, police said. Carlo told them to stop, retrieved his 9 mm pistol and fired one shot after he noticed that one of the men had something in his hands, but did not hit either man, police said. After Carlo fired, Sumner jumped out a second-story window and ran; Carlo held Emerich at gunpoint until police arrived, they said."

New Zealand machete-wielder shot in gun shop : "A man who took a machete into a South Auckland gun shop today is in hospital, after he was shot in the stomach. The man was thought to have been shot by someone in the shop about 10am. Police spokeswoman, Noreen Hegarty said details of the shooting were still vague and she could not say what "the precursor to him being shot was. "It would be reasonable to question why he went into the shop with a machete." It was not known if the man threatened staff in the shop, in Great South Road, in the suburb of Penrose.... The shooting was at Small Arms International, considered to be one of the leading gun shops in the country.... She said going into a gunshop with a machete was not the smartest thing for anyone to do."

Friday, July 28, 2006

Treating symptoms doesn't keep patient from dying: "Congress doesn't need to act to protect the self-defense rights of citizens. The Second Amendment already does and THAT is the ultimate and final solution. If the American people continue to allow Congress to pass more 'new' legislation regarding restrictions, conditions or threatening to withhold funds regarding the Second Amendment, the end result will be more of the same. More anti-gun laws and more unconstitutional meddling by the federal machine. If we don't go after the solution, the problem will only continue to be treated with more 'pro' Second Amendment bills that are absolutely unnecessary; see here. How can you possibly expect to limit federal encroachment if you keep asking Congress to pass more laws? Think about it."

House votes to block "emergency" gun thefts: "The House voted Tuesday to prevent law enforcement officers from confiscating legally owned guns during a national disaster or emergency. ... The House voted 322-99 in support of the bill. Senators voted 84-16 earlier this month to include a similar prohibition in a homeland security funding bill. The limitation would apply to federal law enforcement or military officers, along with local police that receive federal funds. ... The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed the measure. ... 'A law-abiding citizen who possesses a firearm lawfully represents no danger to law enforcement officers or any other first responder,' Canterbury wrote. The National Rifle Association also supported the bill and has been asking police chiefs and mayors to pledge they will not forcibly disarm law-abiding citizens."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

WI: Driver won't be charged in shooting: "A 35-year-old pizza delivery man who shot a 14-year-old boy he said was trying to rob him won't face criminal charges. Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Irene Parthum, who reviewed the July 14 incident, said Andres Vegas of Cudahy was acting in self-defense when he shot the boy, who himself was wielding a BB gun pistol. Police said at the time that the 14-year-old suffered non-life-threatening wounds to the shoulder, hand and buttock. Parthum also said Vegas, who had been delivering a pizza in the 2400 block of N. 34th St. at the time of the shooting, won't be charged for carrying a concealed firearm because he had been robbed during a delivery last year and, under state weapons law, had a reasonable belief he needed to protect himself."

MI: Weekend shooting self-defense : "A weekend shooting that left a Battle Creek man dead appears to be a case of self-defense, police have confirmed. ... Police received a 911 call from a resident saying he'd shot another man. Officers arrived and found 38-year-old David Bailey of Battle Creek dead. Detectives say the 58-year-old homeowner, whose name is not being released, told them Bailey had come to the house with a hammer, looking for money. Neighbors say Bailey attacked the resident with the hammer and a struggle ensued. The resident then shot Bailey in the chest with a .50 caliber muzzle loading rifle."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Belgium: Gun owners fight victim disarmament law: "The union of gun owners UNACT is taking legal action in the Arbitration Tribunal against the federal government's recently imposed tighter gun control law. UNACT claims the new law undermines the legal certainty of gun owners and traders. Some 10,000 gun owners have signed a petition demanding the abolition of part of the new legislation, VRT reported on Monday. The new weapons law was introduced on 8 June in response to the racist shootings in Antwerp in May in which two people were killed. Currently, it is not possible to buy a gun without a permit. Gun owners are prepared to accept that stipulation."

UK: Water pistol game "irresponsible": "Contestants in a giant game where players roam London shooting each other with water pistols, risk committing criminal offences, police have warned. Street Wars is a three-week contest in which players are given the name, address and a picture of a target. Their aim is to hunt them down and squirt them with water. But police said those taking part were irresponsible because some water pistols look like real guns and could lead to armed police being deployed."

Australia: Bashed guard "feared for life" : "The security guard Karen Brown said she feared for her life as she was bashed with a knuckleduster and dragged across a hotel car park by her backpack, which contained about $40,000. Brown told police she remembered the robber 'pounding' her across the head -- then she saw white -- but does not recall chasing him to a car and fatally shooting him in the head as he sat in the front seat with the window up, a court has heard. Brown went on trial yesterday in the NSW Supreme Court for the murder of William Aquilina, 25, who had attempted to rob her outside the Moorebank Hotel on July 26, 2004 as she returned to her car. She has pleaded not guilty to murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


First off, you need to secure the door. Most city apartment doors are designed to be kicked in easily, so that a landlord and two detectives can get in quickly if need be. Your daughter will want a decorative door with a nice etched-glass window, but you know the world better than she does. She may as well open a McRapeme franchise with only a glass door between her and that guy from Saw II.

Which brings me to the good people at the Lasco International Group. The motto on their "armoured doors and window page" is "You need a door that can stop attacks ranging from sledgehammer blows to AK-47 blasts." These are the people I want protecting my daughter ( A nice etched glass door- your daughter's side coated with Lasco's patented transparent glass/polycarbonate laminate that someone can stand 5 feet from and blaze away at with a .44 and not get through- puts a stylish-yet-functional accent on her first apartment. Your daughter's safety should be worth a lot more than $108/sq. foot, especially when that money will ward off close-range fire from an M-1 carbine....

She's gonna have to walk down the street at some point, and Lasco, to my knowledge, doesn't make a big, mobile safe. Still, there's no need to make it easy for some cult to snatch her off the street, brainwash her, and have her robbing banks to finance the Iraqi Resistance. That stuff makes the whole family look bad, and the people around town will be forever whispering critiques about your parenting skills behind your back....

Most people recommend pepper spray as a non-lethal sidearm weapon, and they aren't wrong to do so. Pepper spray is made from a concentrated mixture of the cayenne pepper hot sauce that Americans are so fond of wrecking their dinners with. It's a bad thing to get in the face, and will cool all but the most PCP-induced lustful advances.

I myself prefer their GuardAlaska bear repellent, which is an "invincible" mixture that has been tested for 6 years in America's own Great White North. Also composed of a cayenne pepper concentrate, this stuff shames the Mace products that only have 10% chemical by volume. Bear repellent packs a satisfying 20% whallop that will probably melt the face of the guy who attacks your daughter to the point where he'll have to go find an opera to haunt. Now, there are some moral gymnastics that must be performed when using a pretty dangerous chemical- one only meant to repel a 9 foot grizzly bear- on a human being. Your daughter will inflict a cruel attack on her assailant that will most definitely scar him for what little life he has left. The way I look at it... once she's unraped, any leftovers are someone else's problem. A very reasonable $27.95, and it comes in a fancy carrying case that could fit easily on a belt or purse. It's about the size of an I-Pod...

No means No, although it can also mean Noooooooooo if your daughter manages to discharge a taser shot into her attacker's testicles with J&L's Z Force stun-gun. The $19.95 model is designed to fit into even the smallest of hands, and the 100,oo volt payoff will make a rhino stop in mid-stride and start twitching like Joe Cocker. If you really love your daughter, you'll go with the $30 model that deals out 300,000 volts of righteous empowerment. They only require a 1.5 volt battery, and you'll need the New Hampster mailing address.

More here

MO: Gun in shed a wise move: "The St. Francois County Sheriff's Department is investigating a shooting that occurred Sunday morning at a residence in Doe Run. During the shooting a 38-year-old St. Francois County man was shot five times with a 22-caliber gun. "The man that was shot went to a home located on Pendelton Road at approximately 7:45 a.m. on Sunday," said St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock. "When the man arrived at the home, the homeowner was in his yard. According to statements taken, the man threatened to do the homeowner bodily harm. The man went after the homeowner and the homeowner stepped inside his shed where he had a gun. At that time the homeowner shot the man five times." Bullock said the motive of the incident is currently under investigation, but did say that both the homeowner and the man shot had a "past history" together. "The homeowner called 911 after he shot the man," Bullock said. "The man was flown to Barnes Hospital for treatment." Bullock said as of Sunday evening the man who was shot was in stable condition. "Our investigators are going to be interviewing the man that was shot today," Bullock said. Bullock said the homeowner was not arrested as of press time. "We have contacted the prosecuting attorney," Bullock said. "We are currently completing the reports to turn over to the prosecutor's office. They (prosecuting attorney's office) will make the determination if any charges will be followed. We don't expect any charges to be filed though. It appears to be a case of self defense."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Gun ownership up, crime down: "Many times in the past I have told you that when gun ownership goes up and right to carry laws gets passed, then crime goes down. Well, this last year was proof in the pudding, so to speak. Last year Americans purchased 4.7 million new firearms. 40 states have now adopted right to carry laws for their citizens. This year looks like it will even be a better year for purchase of new firearms. The greatest increase in firearms purchase last year was handguns which went up 3%. Long guns sales were up 1.8%. Ammunition sales were up 3.5%. I am told by the different wholesale people I now deal with from the firearms store that these numbers will be higher this year. Many of the manufacturers like Taurus are way behind on orders, with some several months behind. Those who push gun control tell us that crime goes up and suicide goes up with more firearms ownership. This was not the case last year. Gun crime, suicides and firearms related accidents declined last year. According to the FBI, there were 339,280 firearms crimes reported in 2005, which is down 2.4% from 2004 and 7% from 1998. The Center for Disease Control reported that firearm suicides were down 1.1%, to a reported 16,907, and they have declined 1.8% since 1998. The National Safety Council said, accidental firearms fatalities, which tied the 2004 figure at an all-time low of 700. That is down 19.2% since 1998".

No defense for Vang: "An attorney for a man serving life prison terms for the shooting deaths of six Wisconsin deer hunters says he has found no basis for an appeal. The decision from assistant state public defender Patrick Donnelly, appointed to handle the appeal after Chai Soua Vang was convicted last September, was announced Friday. Donnelly is to file his report next month with the state Court of Appeals, which will review his decision. Vang, 37, from St. Paul, can contest the determination if he wishes. Prosecutors had said a group of hunters in Sawyer County confronted Vang over trespassing in a tree stand before Vang shot six of them to death and wounded two others during the deer hunt in November 2004. Vang, a Hmong immigrant, testified at his Circuit Court trial that he shot the hunters in self-defense, alleging one of them fired a shot in his direction after they shouted racial epithets and cursed at him. The two survivors of the shooting testified that Vang had begun walking away from the confrontation when he turned and opened fire. Vang was sentenced to six consecutive life terms plus 165 years in prison.

Young Mississippi thief shot: "It was about dawn on June 17, when, police say, Marcus Yokem dropped the hammer on a 15-year-old in his yard. Yokem told police when they arrived that his house, equipped with burglar bars, had been burglarized the night before and he had heard noises indicating the same thief (or a different one) was trying to get in again. Evidence included a broken window. It also showed the teen was fleeing across Yokem's yard. Wounded in the back, the teen slumped against a fence. He was taken from there to a hospital. Yokem was taken to jail, charged with aggravated assault. Yokem was held without bond for four days before being released on his own recognizance by a Jackson judge. Now, police say, it will be up to prosecutors or a grand jury to decide whether the homeowner faces a trial jury and up to 20 years in prison.... Yokem might get a pass from the DA or from a jury - no one I know would like to see him sent to prison - but shooting a 15-year-old running away would not pass "the letter of the law.""

Sunday, July 23, 2006

CA: Bandit shot dead by armed clerk: "An armed clerk at a convenience store surprised a gunman attempting to rob the store Monday at 8:30 p.m., fatally wounding him. The stricken bandit stumbled from Nader's Market at the three Star Plaza in the 25000 block of Redlands Boulevard to a waiting getaway car. He fell to the pavement as he tried to scramble into the vehicle. The getaway driver sped away, leaving his partner behind. The wounded man was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center where he died shortly after 9 p.m., sheriff's deputies said. The dead man was Latino and estimated to be in his late 20s or early 30s. No description of the getaway driver was available. Witnesses could only say the bandits' vehicle is a newer car. A detective at the scene said the getaway driver could face a murder charge because his partner was killed during commission of a crime he participated in. The identity of the clerk who did the shooting was withheld by investigators. No explanation was available at about 11:30 p.m. Monday as to how the clerk managed to turn the tables on the robber".

Generic ignorance: "Some years ago, I was genuinely shocked when a young man, age 27, told me he had never even touched a firearm. To me, a Southerner, it seemed unimaginable that any male could attain the age of 27 without ever having handled a gun. But as I thought about it, I understood. In today's America, where there is no draft, most young men and women don't have any military experience. In the days of the draft, evened to firearms. Furthermore, most Americans today grow up in urban areas where there is scant opportunity for recreational use of firearms. This absence of contact with firearms shows up as a sort of generic ignorance that one sees frequently in journalism and politics."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

NYC Mayor Sued by Gun Dealer: ""A Georgia gun dealer that Mayor Bloomberg sued as part of his effort to get firearms off the city's streets hit the mayor with a lawsuit of his own yesterday, saying Mr. Bloomberg slandered his business and broke federal law. Adventure Outdoors Inc., which is being represented by a former Republican congressman of Georgia, Bob Barr, filed a $400 million lawsuit in Superior Court of Cobb County. . . . The 13-page complaint filed yesterday said that Mr. Bloomberg and several others in his administration smeared the dealer's reputation and that its undercover investigators lied on federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco forms."

Brandishing terminates attack: "A knife-wielding grocery store employee attacked eight co-workers Friday, seriously injuring five before a witness pulled a gun and stopped him, police said. The 21-year-old suspect, whose name was withheld pending charges, was arrested and then taken to a hospital after complaining of chest pains, Memphis Police Sgt. Vince Higgins said. The attack apparently stemmed from a work dispute, police said. Five victims, one in critical condition, were admitted to the Regional Medical Center, the main trauma hospital for the Memphis area. Three others were less badly hurt and treated at another hospital. The attacker, chasing one victim into the store's parking lot, was subdued by Chris Cope, manager of a financial services office in the same small shopping center, Higgins said. Cope said he grabbed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol from his pickup truck when he saw the attacker chasing the victim "like something in a serial killer movie." "When he turned around and saw my pistol, he threw the knife away, put his hands up and got on the ground," Cope told The Associated Press. "He saw my gun and that was pretty much it."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Equal rights?: "The mayor of Washington D.C. has declared another crime emergency in his city. In Washington D.C., private ownership of handguns is prohibited which means that only the police and violent criminals have guns. ...The New York state Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has ruled that it is permissible for judges to pack a pistol beneath their robes while on the bench. Of course, it is extremely difficult for the average American to lawfully own a firearm in New York City, regardless of where it was purchased. And don't even think about bringing your gun into a courtroom! An off-duty Chicago officer opened fire on two men who tried to mug him early Sunday morning. Thankfully, the police officer was not injured, the crime was foiled, and the suspects have been arrested. Had this crime been attempted on an ordinary citizen in anti-gun Chicago, however, the outcome would have been much different. These are just a few of the many examples of how gun control discriminates against ordinary citizens but allows exceptions for certain members of the government."

CA: Man shoots burglary suspect: "Sandra Wilson said she and her husband thought a would-be burglar shot at them last Saturday night. But what they actually heard, said Tulare County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Douglass, was the sound of someone out front shattering the glass of their double-paned living room window. Inside the house, the sound of a brick from the Wilsons' front garden crashing through the glass 'sounded like a shotgun blast,' which made the couple think somebody was shooting at them, she said. So Wilson's husband, John, a hunter who had armed himself with a rifle to investigate what sounded like a break-in, fired back, she said. Sheriff's officials said at least one of those shots hit one of the suspects, a woman. On Monday, three holes from those shots remained in the front window panes that hadn't been shattered by the brick. Wilson said she and her husband thought their lives were in danger before her husband fired."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How gun bans work in Britain: "Street crime and mugging incidents in England and Wales are heading towards the 100,000 a year mark after a rise of 8 per cent last year, according to official figures published today. The surge in attacks on the streets was driven by a 16 per cent increase in robbery in London and other big increases in some counties. Today�s figures also disclose a 10 per cent rise in gunpoint robberies and an increase in crime where a handgun was used."

Marine cleared: "A U.S. Marine has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in last year's fatal shooting of a relative of Iraq's ambassador to the United States, a U.S. official said Wednesday. The 21-year-old engineering student, Mohammed Sumaidaie, was killed during a search of his family's home near Haditha on June 25, 2005. U.S. authorities ordered an investigation after Samir Sumaidaie complained that his unarmed cousin had been shot in cold blood. However, Maj. Douglas Powell, a U.S. military spokesman, said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service determined that the Marine "acted properly in self defense in response to unexpectedly encountering a man pointing an AK-47 at him".

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I won't vouch for the accuracy of the figures below but they sound pretty right

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capitol - which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation - than you are in Iraq. Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington immediately

OR: Storeowner shoots alleged burglar: "A storeowner shot and wounded a 16-year-old in the back side after he tried to rob his Beavercreek store Saturday night and helped nab another man, sheriff's deputies said. Jamal James Shihadeh, 18, was arrested for the Beavercreek burglary. The alleged burglar remains hospitalized and a second suspect, Jamal James Shihadeh, 18, was charged with first-degree burglary... Police said Robert Finke, the owner of Clarks General Store on South Beavercreek Road, and a neighbor heard breaking glass around 11 p.m. Saturday night and ran to the store, confronting two burglars inside. The owner held one suspect at gunpoint inside the store, then ordered him to the front porch of the store where he told him to empty his pockets with items stolen from the store, Strovink said. Shihadeh, who had initially fled the burglary scene, returned to the store and said he was armed with a gun. Both suspects ran from the store, with Finke and his neighbor Travis Wilber in hot pursuit. Investigators said one of suspects fired several rounds from a weapon, but no one was hit. Finke, who was armed with a shotgun, shot the 16-year-old suspect once in the rear end with a buckshot load type of ammunition. The suspect was later airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. When Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene, Shihadeh was found and taken into custody. Finke and Wilber were not injured"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Senate votes to bar emergency gun confiscation

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to prohibit the confiscation of legally owned guns during an emergency like last year's Hurricane Katrina, marking another victory for the gun lobby. By a vote of 84-16, the Senate embraced an amendment by Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican. He attached his measure to a domestic security spending bill for the fiscal year starting October 1 that the Senate is expected to pass soon.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of the spending bill and negotiators will have to decide whether to keep the gun provision. The House is usually sympathetic to gun owners.

Citing the constitutional right to bear arms, Vitter said that during an emergency people should be allowed to hold onto "legally possessed firearms to defend your life, your property" at a time when telephone lines and cell phones probably are not operating and victims "can't reach out to law enforcement authorities." Vitter said 10 states have passed similar laws. Louisiana is one of them. Following Hurricane Katrina last August, some emergency workers expressed fears about guns being looted from stores and first-responders being threatened by gun proliferation.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, called the amendment "pay-back time by the National Rifle Association," a powerful lobbying group that opposes gun controls. Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, added, "You send the National Guardsmen in ... and then snipers start shooting at them and the police make it known this is going to be a gun-free zone. We don't want any National Guardsmen killed because of this national emergency, this disaster. Is that an unreasonable thing?"

Vitter countered that the "declaration or state of emergency in and of itself does not give anyone the right to confiscate guns" and local law enforcement officials should not "trump" the Constitution. Last month, gun lobbyists won another victory when the House voted to overturn a recently enacted law requiring safety trigger locks on all hand guns sold in the United States. That measure, attached to a law enforcement spending bill, awaits Senate action.


Texas man killed by wife, who cites self-defense: "Richardson police are investigating the death of a 48-year-old man who they say was shot by his wife Saturday night. Police received a 911 call at 11:04 p.m. Saturday from Linda Weng, 55, who said she had shot her husband, David Weng. Officers found Mr. Weng dead, apparently from a single gunshot wound to the chest, inside the couple's home in the 2100 block of Plymouth Rock Drive. Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich said police were investigating the incident as a domestic shooting. He said Ms. Weng had marks on her body that showed there had been physical contact between the couple before the shooting. Ms. Weng was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Sgt. Perlich said Ms. Weng was then taken to the Police Department for questioning and was released pending further investigation. "She is making the claim that it was self-defense and that she was protecting her life," Sgt. Perlich said. "She's very distraught over the whole incident. And unfortunately, there had been a little bit of history there with it." Last month, Richardson police went to the home and arrested Mr. Weng in connection with a family violence incident, Sgt. Perlich said. Ms. Weng manages a fence company, and her husband worked as a security guard."

Monday, July 17, 2006


(Aside from futile attempts to ban all guns)

A column last week on political responses to gun violence, such as task forces, hearings and laws that make no real sense (cover for politicians, not solutions), brought tons of reaction, some worth sharing.

"I've been in law enforcement 14 years," writes James F., "and one-gun-a-month won't work... [and] if it is passed and it fails miserably, what is the backup plan? Stats on sales seem to bear James out. Three times more guns are sold in the 'burbs than in the city. And too many of our "leaders" don't seem to have a backup plan.

David T. says to do what New York did: Put up a map, put pins in high-crime areas, add resources to those areas, and if the crime rate doesn't drop, "Sack the police commander and bring in someone new who can get the job done." I'm pretty sure Philly's done the first. Maybe it's time to try the second.

Several folks suggest I tell "the truth" about killings in the city, more than 200 this year, headed toward breaking last year's 380, the highest number in eight years. I'm told that "the truth" is that the gun crisis is blacks shooting blacks, and that until or unless it spreads to the suburbs or whiter neighborhoods there'll be no real solutions. Well, this newspaper never hides details of crimes. And I don't think it's a secret that problems disproportionate in the black community get less than full attention from mainstream society.

This gets me to Linda W., who says the broader society should make sacrifices so that tax money can be better targeted to create more jobs, better education, investment in "direction, a map, if you will, out of poverty." Where are the leaders to offer such a map? Too busy running for re-election.

Some readers offer simpler solutions. "How about legalizing drugs?" asks Sam F., who says he worked 15 years on the streets of North Philly. "There goes 80 to 90 percent of your crime, and especially murders." Or, says another reader, "Public executions are the answer. Hang them in the City Hall courtyard and that will stop a lot of the killings."

Other suggestions include nabbing illegal guns with traffic stops and check points, rousts on street corners and in suspected houses. Got a gun? Go to jail. "Word will get out damn fast that there better not be a gun in the car, in the house, in your pocket," writes Jim J. He also suggests using the $5 million in state funds just approved for a new gun task force to build a "gun jail."

Leo suggests offering cash for tips leading to the successful prosecution of illegal gun bearers or sellers. He says rival gang members will dime each other out for money. John O. favors a guns grand jury. Bring in every juvenile arrested on a gun-related offense and offer immunity in exchange for naming the source of the gun. If the juvenile doesn't cooperate, he/she gets two years in a Western Pennsylvania state facility (John suggests giant tents in the Appalachian Mountains) in a pink uniform with nothing but two bologna-and-cheese sandwiches a day "until memory improves."

Others see no way out. A message from C. Smith notes, "There is no legislation, no task force capable of eliminating this problem... the issue is profoundly fundamental, one that starts in the home." Its cause includes generational cycles of low self-esteem, lack of resources and opportunities, limited ambition and just growing up in the "dull, depressing landscape of black urban poverty." The only answer, says C., is to change the way people live and the way they raise and influence their children. Can that be done? Not without new priorities. Not without long-term commitments. And not without political leadership offering more than task forces, hearings and quick-fix answers to get from one election to the next.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

OH: Men shot in possible home invasion: "Ross County deputies are investigating the shootings of two men yesterday morning in an apparent home invasion. Deputies got a call between 1:30 and 2 a.m. from a man at 4999 Black Run Rd., reporting that people were trying to break into the house, Sheriff Ron Nichols said. The man, whose identity could not be confirmed yesterday, asked police to respond and said that he thought he shot one of the intruders, Nichols said. The reported intruders left the house, located about 10 miles southwest of Chillicothe and just north of Knockemstiff, before authorities arrived, Nichols said. A short time later, a Chillicothe police officer pulled over a vehicle and found Jason Van-Hooser and Wayne Detty, both of Chillicothe, inside. VanHooser, 31, was shot in the head and arm. He was taken to Adena Regional Medical Center, then flown to Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Nichols said. A hospital spokeswoman said she was not allowed to release his condition. Detty, 29, was treated for a gunshot wound to the upper arm and released. He did not return a phone call yesterday."

Bosnia's leftover guns: Sell, give, destroy? "What's been called the biggest arms transfer since World War II -- the shipping of leftover weapons from Bosnia's 1992-1995 war to combat zones in the Middle East and elsewhere -- may not have come to an end, despite a year-old moratorium on Bosnian arms sales. As a UN conference on small arms wrapped up last week, key policymakers reviewed the UN's 2001 action program to end the illegal arms trade, but were unable to come up with a final document or recommendations. 'It is a known fact that in the 1990s, out of 49 major conflicts, 47 were waged with small arms and light weapons -- and that most of the conflicts were exacerbated by the availability of illegal small arms,' conference head Prasad Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka told the press before the conference. The UN estimates that one-quarter of the $4 billion annual global arms trade is illicit. But experts are also concerned about legal trades, particularly from Bosnia before the moratorium. The concerns are heightened in light of an Amnesty International report in May that detailed a 2004 Bosnia-to-Iraq shipment of thousands of guns that apparently went missing in a maze of subcontractors."

Packing heat on the hill: "The freshman congressman's enthusiasm for firearms might always have stood out in the Democratic Party, but Boren now finds himself among an even more endangered species: Democrats willing to discuss guns at all. 'When we as Democrats are trying to reach out and speak to voters in the center of the country, I don't think that we can support gun control,' he explains. After seeing Democrats hammered at the polls for voting to regulate guns, many of his colleagues seem to agree. As a result, a number of pro-gun measures moving through Congress will most likely face little opposition, as advocates of gun control increasingly find themselves marginalized and ignored."

PA: Pols set victim disarmament session: "Anti-gun lawmakers will get a shot this fall to advance new gun laws in a rare, one-day House session. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, brokered a deal with House Republican leaders to hold the session on crime and violence Sept. 26. The House will convene in a Committee of the Whole, which allows House members to debate and take unofficial 'straw votes' meant to show how much support exists for proposals. House Majority Leader Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, agreed to the session last week as a vote neared on the state budget. Several Democrats were eyeing procedural maneuvers on bottled-up gun bills that threatened to delay the budget, and the one-day session in September appeased both sides. Key bills that Evans and his allies want to move include a 'one-gun-a-month' proposal, which would limit handgun buyers to one purchase per month, and a measure that would give Philadelphia power to enact its own gun laws."

Friday, July 14, 2006

AZ: Man attacked mom before fatal shot : "A Mesa mother used a handgun and drugs to protect herself from her violent 19-year-old son, court records indicate. On at least one occasion, Lisa Sarytchoff pointed the .38-caliber handgun at Alexander Sarytchoff before turning and firing into the wall of the Mesa home they had shared. She also gave him a plastic bag of 'green stuff ' that caused 'strange odors' in an effort to keep him 'calm and nice.' Those details of the Sarytchoffs' home life are contained in a search warrant affidavit and were provided by 10-year-old Shawn Sarytchoff to Mesa detectives investigating the June 7 fatal shooting of his older brother. Lisa Sarytchoff admitted pulling the trigger and claimed self-defense, police said."

S.C: Kid with gun scares black thugs: "An accused group of thugs were thwarted by a 12-year old with a gun. It happened in Greenville when police say five masked men stormed into a house and started beating up the child's father. FOX Carolina's Jamie Guirola reports: Try and picture it. A 12 year old walks into the living room, sees his mother frantically protecting the baby, and several strangers attacking his father. The 12 year old rushes out of the living room, but comes back pointing a gun at the five suspects. As of Monday night, all but one are in jail.... Sunday night, George says, one of the suspects in the group followed him into his house after he smoked a cigarette. He tells us the man pulled out a gun, threatening him. When George reached for a different gun in self-defense, a fight broke out.... When the struggle started, police say, two other men came into the house and started beating on George. That's when George's 12 year old son made the move credited with scaring the accused thugs out of the house, and stopping the burglary without even firing the gun.'... Police later found these four near George's home sweating and breathing heavily. Something George hopes they'll do again if they're convicted and sentenced to the max... George says he has five guns in the house. He has taught his son how to use each of them".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

MI: Senior with pacemaker fights off intruders: "Fight, die or give in. Faced with those choices, a 61-year-old West Bloomfield man parried away a shotgun barrel as it fired, forcing a buckshot load of lead over his shoulder. The township man then drew his own handgun and shot an intruder inside his garage in the 4800 block of Trailview at 3 a.m. July 4. 'I love this guy,' said West Bloomfield Lt. Tim Diamond. 'He made a move on the gun with his arm in a sling. That's a guy with cojones.' The resident's arm was in a sling because a pacemaker was installed in his chest the week before. Despite all that, his bullet struck the intruder. But the resident, who owns a bar in Detroit, soon found out there were actually three would-be robbers waiting for him when he returned home from work. A struggle ensued with the resident trying to fend off two of the intruders. The suspects eventually got control of both the handgun and the shotgun. 'It was a calamity of errors,' said Diamond. 'There could have been two people killed.' Shot and bleeding profusely, one suspect needed medical attention fast so all three fled taking the guns with them."

California corruption "Pistol seller SigArms Inc. has gone to court to stop the California Highway Patrol from taking delivery of its new pistols, alleging that the department's recent $5.3 million order for Smith & Wesson guns violated state contract rules.... With the help of the state's purchasing arm, the Department of General Services, the CHP in May ordered 9,736 Smith & Wesson 4006TSW pistols from All State Police Equipment Co., a Southern California distributor. The CHP also arranged to trade in its older Smith & Wesson 4006 pistols under the same deal.... The Bee reported June 11 that the CHP restricted public bids for its new pistols to a single Smith & Wesson gun, even though SigArms offered almost identical weapons for $2.2 million less."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

TX: Homeowner shoots, kills intruder : "A homeowner fatally wounded a man who tried to break into a home early Monday on the far North Side. ... The homeowner told police that two pickup trucks carrying three men pulled up to his home, and the trio immediately tried to kick in the front door to his home. From a second-floor landing, the homeowner fired eight shots down the stairs. Police said the suspected intruder who died ran at least one block before collapsing on Summit Crest and Summit Creek. There was a manhunt for the two other men, who may have also been wounded, police said. The homeowner is not expected to be charged because he was in fear of his life and was defending himself and his home, police said."

UN conference ending, freedom winning! "As of 6 p.m. eastern time, the word from the United Nations small arms conference is that the conference is concluding with NO final document, and NO plans for any follow-up conference. It was the latter issue that prevented an agreement about a final document. The officials who had been charged by the conference chair with drafting the conference document presented a final take-it-or-leave it document a little while ago; that draft document eliminated various provisions that the U.S. delegation had found objectionable, but also declared that there would be at least two more conferences. The U.S. delegation refused to assent, and so the conference ended with no consensus agreement, and no plans for future conferences. The back-up plan of the international gun prohibition movement, and their many allies within the U.N. and national U.N. delegations, was to give up on significant progress in 2006, but to keep the game going with future conferences, when a more pliant U.S. administration might welcome an international gun control program."

UN victim disarmament confab: "Total meltdown": "A U.N. meeting meant to expand a five-year-old crackdown on the illicit global trade in small arms ended in chaos on Friday as delegates ran out of time without reaching agreement on a plan for future action. 'There was a total meltdown at the end. You don't know if it was a conspiracy or just a screw-up,' said one delegate, speaking on condition of anonymity. ... The meeting was dogged from the start by zealous members of the U.S. National Rifle Association, who flooded the United Nations with letters falsely [sic] accusing it of secretly plotting to take away Americans' guns on July 4, a U.N. holiday marking U.S. Independence Day when delegates did not meet."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Fla: Self-Defense Shooting Leaves One Man Dead: "The State Attorney's office will determine if charges will be filed against a man who said he shot and killed a 25-year-old in self defense. Orange County deputies said the fatal shooting was justified. Late Wednesday night, Orange County deputies said 39-year-old Sylvester Andrews shot Antoine Jones when Jones charged at him with a knife. The incident allegedly started when a dispute broke out inside the home on Brook Hollow Drive. Andrews said he had no choice to shoot Jones, because he feared his two daughters and his girlfriend's daughter were in danger. Jones is the son of Andrews' girlfriend."

NC: Excessive force? "A Rocky Mount businessman stands accused of murder because he shot the teenager who tried to rob him. Rocky Mount police say 65-year-old Joshua Moore shot Emanuel Harris in the chest when the 16-year-old attempted to steal a cash box from Moore's vegetable stand on Saturday. Moore is charged with second-degree murder. Moore's family says it was a matter of self defense but the charges say he used excessive force for the situation."

Monday, July 10, 2006

China: Police announce gun amnesty deadline: "Illegal firearms' owners in Beijing could be jailed for up to two years if they do not turn their weapons in by July 15, Beijing Public Security Bureau has announced. As part of a national crackdown on illegal guns launched last month, the bureau is urging the public to hand in firearms to police, including replica guns and airguns. Those who hand over weapons to police before the deadline will not be punished."

Stay out of the wrong castle: "Detractors of Mississippi�s new �Castle doctrine� law are fretting as Senate Bill 2426 goes into effect this week. They say that the law legitimizes the notion of �shoot first and ask questions later.�... People who stay out of the wrong �castle� should be fine. It�s difficult to be shot as an intruder if one only enter homes or cars or businesses to which one has both a key to gain entrance and a legal right to be on the premises. The new law removes the �duty to retreat� when one is threatened in their home, car or in the street. It also removes civil liability from killing an intruder or attacker. But the protections don�t apply when a person claims self-defense when shooting a law enforcement officer or another person who has a lawful right to be on the premises of the shooting. Further, the �duty to retreat� has never existed in state law prior to the adoption of the �Castle doctrine.� The safety valve for the �Castle doctrine� is for burglars, crackheads, carjackers, strong arm robbers, muggers, rapists, thieves and other assorted boils on the butt of humanity to stay out of homes, cars, stores, offices and other domiciles that don�t belong to them and to stop mugging, robbing, raping and stealing. Those who utilize that course of action aren�t terribly likely to be shot. Those who don�t likely will be. The notion that homeowners, young single women, elderly widows or business people should find themselves the victims of crime and feel it necessary to run down a checklist before defending their lives, the lives of their loved ones or their property before taking action is ridiculous.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

VA: Man shot to death by girlfriend: "A Henry County man was killed Tuesday morning when the woman he lived with shot him in the chest, the Henry County Sheriff's Office said in a press release. Robert Junior Preston of 935 Southland Drive was dead at the scene when deputies arrived at the house about 6:55 a.m. Deborah Foley told authorities Preston had assaulted her earlier Tuesday morning and was about to attack her again when she shot him in self-defense, the press release said. The homicide is being investigated."

Repeal all gun laws Part IV: "Some psychiatrists have described gun control as a betrayal of an underlying neurosis; there's even a name for it: Hoplophobia. But I see gun control as a much larger dynamic with broader implications for the nation beyond any single issue. Can liberalism and conservatism be compared psychologically so easily? Yes, it can. When one examines any political or even personal issue, one must come to the examination with a good faith willingness to understand and cooperate. On the other hand, Marie Parente said that when you sit down to negotiate what you already have, you lose. We've sat down and lost a lot. And in good faith. In short, poor values and personal anxiety will play a large part in cooperation or non-cooperation. Or in takings. Can an anxious person set aside his anxiety for the good of the country? Or does the person come to the table with an anger that makes him believe that crushing people is necessary for the country? Karl Marx was such an impaired person who believed that crushing peoples' rights was good for them-inthe end, an end to be generations away. He actually believed that desire, ambition, want and motivation - which he portrayed as greed and other spin - could be eliminated after a few generations of deprivation. And with force, when the people didn't agree with his mad plan. [Which involved confiscation of weapons so they'd hold still for the treatment.] Only an angry neurotic can believe this. Liberals believe that guns have to be taken for our own good, everybody's own good - yet only the officials will need them? One-sided force is not good when only officials have all the force. Liberty enthusiasts are courageous, and anti-gun people are not."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

N.Y.: Suspect Killed in Robbery Attempt: "A bar owner shot a would-be robber to death at his establishment on Lyell Avenue. The incident occurred at Kitzel's bar on Lyell Avenue. Police say shortly after noon Thursday, a man attempted to rob the place when he was shot dead by the owner, John Kitzel of Rochester. �He'd give you the shirt off his back, if you asked him for it,� said Susan Kitzel, daughter of the bar owner. �That�s the truth.� Police have not released the name of the deceased gunman. Police recovered handguns, believed to belong to both Kitzel and the suspect. Police say there were no witnesses. �The two individuals were inside the establishment by themselves,� said David Moore, Rochester Police Chief. �The operator was actually opening up when this happened.� The case will be presented to a grand jury, though police say the preliminary indication is the shooting was done in self defense."

EU: Guns stolen from Tour cops: "Two Luxembourg policemen on Tour de France duty had their guns and uniforms stolen from a hotel in Strasbourg, a police source from the little land-locked country revealed overnight. The two officers were staying in a hotel in Lingolsheim, just outside Strasbourg, which they left unattended just before the race's start on Sunday. Two minors, well known to police in the area, have been caught but they had already sold one of the guns, as well as a camera stolen at the same time. However, an investigation was launched and the buyers, two men, have also been apprehended and appeared before magistrates overnight, as did the two minors"

Friday, July 07, 2006

GA: Homeowner shoots burglar: "Pooler police said an armed burglary suspect is dead after a homeowner shot him in self-defense. Police said it happened in a Moore Avenue home around 10:30 Sunday night. Investigators said Dale Johnston shot the suspect, 35-year-old Christopher Baxter, several times when he heard Baxter inside his house. According to police, Baxter was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police said Johnston is not facing any charges at this time."

Lipstick pepper spray for self-defense (?): "This lipstick is designed to withstand even the most compromising circumstances--it's bold, sassy and certainly won't feather or flake when you need it most. It's actually a half ounce can of pepper spray marketed directly toward women in search of some cleverly disguised protection. And while it may not brighten your smile with a splash of cocoa rose or raspberry sparkle, it'll render your attacker helpless, which is sure to work wonders for your disposition, not to mention rid your face of those bothersome worry lines. We found this chic little gadget at TBO-Tech Self Defense Products. Simply remove the cap from the Lipstick Pepper Spray and aim it straight at the face of the antagonist. The spray shoots distances of 6 to 10 feet and also works as a UV dye to help in identification purposes, according to Pepper Spray Inc. Each little tube of protection contains roughly six one-second bursts of 10 percent OC, the active ingredient in pepper gas that's derived from the hottest part of the habanero pepper"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

NC: Women thwart would-be robber: "Three women in northeast Charlotte overpowered a robbery suspect Sunday night and then held him until police arrived. According to a police report, the three women were walking near Sipes Lane, just after 9:30, when a man with a handgun approached them. The women were able to take the gun from the suspect and then restrain him until police officers got to the scene."

MT: Gun ownership not a partisan issue in rural America: ""Gov. Brian Schweitzer won't say exactly how many guns he owns, other than it's 'more than I need, but less than I want.' An unabashed shooter, hunter and gun-fancier in a state deeply in touch with its Old West heritage, Schweitzer is a member of the National Rifle Association and was happy to receive the NRA's endorsement for governor in 2004. He is also a Democrat. Like many Democrats, especially those beyond the nation's big cities and urban coasts, Schweitzer doesn't see gun ownership as a partisan issue. 'Republicans try to make the case that 'Democrats will take your guns away.' I say, 'Yeah, Democrats like Giuliani, Pataki and Schwarzenegger,'' Schweitzer said, naming prominent Republicans from New York and California. While leaders in urban areas, faced with a rising number of gun-related slayings and injuries, call for tougher gun laws, their counterparts in more rural states insist that criminals, not guns, are the problem."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

IL: In East St. Louis, golden years lit by flashes of gunfire: "After her 87-year-old next-door neighbor fatally shot a burglar trying to come through the front door, Eleanor Anderson -- herself an older adult living alone -- began sleeping with two items under her pillow: a cell phone and a gun. The grandmother was intent on defending herself in a neighborhood that has changed drastically since she was a young girl. Anderson's small, light-green childhood home is protected by security bars and an alarm system. She also has her gun. And when Anderson, 61, heard gunshots one recent night, she was ready. She called police and waited with her snubnose .38. 'Us being seniors, criminals don't think we'd do anything,' Anderson said, looking over her gold reading glasses and standing in a room filled with pictures of her four granddaughters. 'We don't play anymore. We won't take this
lying down.'"

MS: Would be burglar shot: ""A would-be burglar was busted by a homeowner in Vicksburg in the early morning hours Monday. According to police, 50 year-old Mary Miller was shot in the neck as she tried to break into a house in the 700 block of 1st North. She underent surgery at UMC, and then went back to Vicksburg with a relative. No charges will be filed against the homeowner. ... No word yet if Miller will face any charges."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Despotic city, courts fret gun owners: "The city of Denver has long criminalized what has been legal elsewhere in Colorado, namely the ownership, use and transportation of firearms. After years of being abused by the city, gun owners found some measure of support in 2003 when the state legislature and governor passed two important bills. These bills established a statewide concealed carry statute (Senate Bill 24) and state law as the standard for possession, use and transportation of firearms (Senate Bill 25). Denver has for years claimed that, as a home rule city, they are free to treat gun owners anyway they want, including nonresidents who happen to be in Denver. Our state constitution never intended to create a city-state with home rule or to use home rule as a means to cancel other constitutional rights. So, after the legislature in 2003 handed Denver a loss on this issue and affirmed our constitutional rights to possess, use and transport firearms, Denver turned to the courts to achieve its desires."

UN gun control summit attacks Second Amendment: "'Small Arms, as Deadly as WMD.' ... 'Wherever arms flow, violence follows.' ... These absurd and objectively inaccurate pronouncements come courtesy of the United Nations, which commences its international gun control summit in New York from June 26 to July 7, 2006. According to the U.N. announcement, the summit targets 'the proliferation of small arms and light weapons,' and literally advocates their collection and wholesale destruction. Rather than saying, 'wherever arms flow, violence follows,' however, the U.N. could more accurately announce that 'wherever guns are confiscated, genocide and violence follow.'"

Monday, July 03, 2006

The worldwide gun control movement: ""The United Nations is holding a conference beginning this week in New York that ironically coincides with our national 4th of July holiday. It's ironic because those attending the conference want to do away with one of our most fundamental constitutional freedoms -- the right to bear arms. The stated goal of the conference is to eliminate trading in small arms, but the real goal is to advance a worldwide gun control movement that ultimately supercedes national laws, including our own 2nd Amendment. Many UN observers believe the conference will set the stage in coming years for an international gun control treaty."

AL: Homeowner shoots burglar: ""A Birmingham homeowner shot a burglary suspect after finding the man hiding inside her home. It happened just after 1:30 a.m. Monday Police said Jason Kennedy broke into the house in the 300 block of 61st Street North. Kennedy hid when the woman and her companion returned home. When the homeowner discovered Kennedy, she shot him and held him at bay until authorities arrived, police said."

Angry Frog dies: "A man angry about loud, jubilant French soccer fans opened fire on a crowd celebrating France's World Cup victory against Brazil, injuring two people before being shot dead by police. Police said the man seemed to have been drunk. He was shot after he threatened officers with a sabre and died on the scene. Angered by the noise following France's quarter-final victory on Saturday, the man left his house and opened fire on a crowd in the southern village of Cap d'Ail near Monaco, police said on Sunday. One woman was seriously injured and treated in hospital."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

MI: Woman kills man in self defense: "A couple's fight turned deadly in the city of Saginaw overnight. It happened on the 2300 Block of Hanchett on Saginaw's west side around 1 a.m. This is not the first time police have visited the home. This is the city's 13th murder of 2006. But this one is not like any of the previous 12. One reason is that the prosecutor will not file charges against the woman who pulled the trigger. That woman turned herself into police after she admitted to shooting 27-year-old Damion West once in the chest, killing him. Prosecutor Mike Thomas says the woman acted in self defense and a source close to the investigation says West had a history of assaulting the woman. That fact also weighed into the prosecutor's decision. The victim in this case was actually wanted by Saginaw police as well. He was facing three counts of attempted murder in connection with a shooting on Porter Street in Saginaw just two weeks ago. West also had numerous closed cases in the Saginaw County court system dating all the way back to 1996.

SC: Store owner shoots at robbers: "Mary Todd is the first to tell you - she takes safety into her own hands. "I don't keep a gun on me, but there's one always with hand's reach," she says, nodding towards a silver pistol. Just a week and a half ago, the owner of Todd's Food Store in Beech Island was forced to put it to use. On the afternoon of June 16th, three masked gunmen walked into the store, while a fourth waited in the car. "They started grabbing customers, putting them on the ground, sticking guns to their heads and so forth," says Investigator Chuck Cain with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. Investigator Cain says the crooks would have succeeded if it weren't for Mary. As one of the men tried to kick in her office door, she fought back. "I shot my gun through my little office window," she says. Adds Cain, "Right then the boys were like, 'We're getting shot at, we're outta here.'" In the end, the only thing the men got was out without getting shot. Now, investigators hope one of them slips up and talks about it."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

MI: Homeowner surprises intruder: Shots were traded this morning when a man returning to his home in Oak Park surprised an intruder in his home. According to police, the incident occurred at about 4 a.m. in a home on Moritz and Northfield streets. The unidentified home owner -- who was wounded in the shoulder, but is expected to recover -- drove himself to the police station after the shootout. The intruder escaped. Tracking dogs were brought in to try and locate the suspect, but at this time he remains at large. Police have no description of the intruder and declined to say whether or not there was anyone else living in the home at the time of the incident"

FL: No charges in backyard shooting: "A North Fort Myers man will not be charged with murder thanks to Florida's recently-passed Stand Your Ground law. The victim's widow says she plans to challenge the law, to get justice for her husband and save other lives as well. A day after finding out no arrests will be made in her husband's death, Michelle Frazzini prepares for one of the biggest fights of her life. "I'm doing it for him. I'm doing it for my boys," said Frazzini. "My intent is to see that this law is changed." On March 28, a masked Michael Frazzini was hiding in his mother's backyard. He was trying to videotape her neighbor, Cory Rasmussen, who he believed was harassing his mother. "He's a very kind man who would have not hurt a single soul. He loved his mother dearly and he didn't want them harassing her anymore," said Frazzini. But things went wrong when the Rasmussens spotted him. During a confrontation, Todd Rasmussen fired a single shot that ultimately killed Frazzini, a decorated military man and a father of two. The Rasmussens told detectives they didn't know who was under the mask and that they fired in self-defense. "If it wasn't for the mask, there would be no questions. The Rasmussens would be prosecuted today," said Frazzini."

What utter nonsense! "Safety catches do not always prevent firearm accidents and even newfangled biometric guns, which check the identity of a user by their fingerprint, cannot stop thieves from using stolen ammunition in other weapons. The way to make firearms really safe, says Hebert Meyerle of Germany, is to password-protect the ammunition itself. Meyerle is patenting a design for a modified cartridge that would be fired by a burst of high-frequency radio energy. But the energy would only ignite the charge if a solid-state switch within the cartridge had been activated. This would only happen if a password entered into the gun using a tiny keypad matched one stored in the cartridge. When they are sold, cartridges could be programmed with a password that matches the purchaser's gun. An owner could set the gun to request the password when it is reloaded, or to perform a biometric check before firing. The gun could also automatically lock itself after a pre-set period of time has passed since the password was entered. The system would undoubtedly cost more than a conventional gun, but many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security."