Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Texas: Security guard shoots, kills man outside club: "A man is dead after an altercation with a gentlemen's club security guard northwest Houston. The shooting happened just after 1 a.m. on Antoine near Hempstead Road at the Casanova Men's Club. Witnesses said it started when the security guard refused to let in two men who appeared to have been drinking. When the son tried to fight him, the guard sprayed them with pepper spray. The father came over to the guard and started to threaten him, witnesses said. Then the father left, but returned with a gun. The witness said the security guard pulled out his gun and ordered the man to drop his, and when he didn't, the guard fired two shots. Witnesses said he was forced to shoot to protect himself. The victim died at the scene, and Houston police spent the morning interviewing witnesses. Houston police said the guard will not likely face charges, but the case will be referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office."

Texas: Clerk, Suspect Shot During Robbery: "A clerk traded shots with two men during a robbery at a northwest Harris County convenience store late Monday, KPRC Local 2 reported. Harris County sheriff's deputies said the men held up the clerk at the Phillips 66 station on Veteran's Memorial Drive near West Road at about 11:25 a.m. The men opened fire on the clerk, who was working by himself, investigators said. Deputies said the clerk pulled out a gun and fired back, wounding one of the men several times. The clerk suffered one gunshot wound and was taken to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital for treatment. He is expected to be OK. The wounded suspect was taken to Ben Taub Hospital in critical condition. Investigators said the second man got away."

Texas homeowner shoots, kills burglary suspect: "Police said a homeowner shot and killed a burglary suspect inside a Northeast Side home this morning. The 18-year-old male suspect was shot about 2:30 a.m. in the 5800 block of Midcrown after a male homeowner noticed the youth inside the man's house. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not been released this morning".

It's About The Second Amendment And Nothing Else: "Levy claims that our right to have firearms locked in our cars in a parking lot is not about the Second Amendment but about the mythical right of corporations to usurp the Constitution and ban guns. But Levy didn't pull it off because we can see the truth. And the price he's asking us to pay for permission to do business with an anti-gun corporation could mean losing our lives - and that price is as clear as the sky is blue. The Legislature passed, and Gov. Charlie Crist signed, a law to preserve the self-defense rights of law-abiding men and women in public parking lots. It reaffirms existing rights that have been jeopardized by politically motivated corporate policies. Big business fought this measure, feigning corporate "private property rights" - a baseless argument considering that business consents to laws that limit property rights. Corporations must abide by civil rights laws, zoning laws, safety inspections and fire codes among others. Laws even dictate the number, size and placement of parking places and mandate space for shopping cart storage in publicly accessible parking lots."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tennessee: Would-be robber shot and killed in liquor store: "A would-be robber at an Inglewood liquor store was shot and killed Saturday night after a customer opened fire, Metro police said. Two men entered Sinkers Wine & Spirits on Gallatin Pike around 10 p.m. and attempted to rob the store with handguns, Capt. David Imhof said. During the robbery, a customer took out a handgun of his own and began a shootout, Imhof said. One of the robbery suspects ran away, but the other collapsed outside the store, Imhof said. He was taken to Skyline Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The remaining suspect was still on the loose Sunday night, police said. The customer who fired on the robbery suspects had a permit to carry a weapon, Imhof said. "A citizen, like a police officer, has the right to utilize deadly force if there is a threat of serious bodily injury or harm," Imhof said. The customer, described as in his early 20s, was interviewed and released by police. He has not been charged."

Texas Restaurant Owner Fatally Shoots Intruder: "A restaurant owner fatally shot a man who broke into his east Harris County business on Sunday, officials told KPRC Local 2. Harris County sheriff's deputies said an alarm company notified the owner of 4 Corners BBQ that someone may have been inside the restaurant on Decker Road shortly before noon. Investigators said the owner went to the business and found a broken window and a man inside. The owner fired one shot inside the building, fatally wounding the man. The man's identity was not released. Detectives said the case would be referred to a Harris County grand jury without charges.

Anti-gun nuts are projecting: "I think the point about gun owners being less outraged than non gun owners is an important one. If you listen to many people who are adamant gun control supporters, they often (mistakenly) believe that people simply shoot others because they are impulsive and angry, and a gun is nearby. My guess is that this is projection. This is what they feel they would do because they do not know how to modulate their own anger. They do not trust their own instincts (maybe with good reason!) and project their anger and inability to control themselves onto others. Most legal gun owners seem to have better anger management and control than the rest of the population. In fact, studies with kids who own legal firearms show them to have fewer behavioral problems, not more. The psychology of gun owners vs. non gun owners is important to understand in the ongoing debate about guns."

It's time to trust the students: "A few days ago, the Dayton Daily News ran a piece proclaiming that 'Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is fighting for the right to be armed at school.' The reality is that all students have an inherent right to be armed ... Students for Concealed Carry on Campus are merely pressing legislators to bring their civil liberties in line with their existing inherent rights. Officials are none too happy with this effort ... According to CNN, Gene Ferrara, the police chief at the University of Cincinnati (UC) said 'I don't think the answer to bullets flying is to send more bullets flying.' One wonders why campus police are armed at all if they object so strongly to armed intervention to stop violent criminal attacks."

Monday, April 28, 2008

GA: Atlanta mayor, others call for gun bill veto : "Three weeks after it slipped through the Legislature, a bill to permit licensed owners to carry concealed firearms in parks, on public transportation and in booze-serving restaurants has resulted in a delayed storm of protest urging Gov. Sonny Perdue to veto the measure.MARTA bus drivers already have 1,000 signatures on a petition demanding bulletproof shields . The Georgia Restaurant Association, wondering how waiters and waitresses are to keep patrons from both drinking and packing, is prepared to go to court.And on Thursday, led by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a group of two dozen political, business and community leaders warned of increased violence and citizens-turned-enforcers ."

ND: Decision to be made on firearm policies: "In Sunday's Student Senate meeting Jae Baker, president of a new student organization aimed at empowering women and their second amendment right, Females for Firearms, made a statement in response to UND's gun control policies, including the current issue of the forbiddance of weapons in on-campus apartments. A decision for the policy will be made later this week."`The function of the club right now is to educate people on all different aspects of firearms, which include what type they are and what they are used for,' she said. `Some people don't even know the difference between shotguns and protection pieces.'"

AZ: Homeowner pursues suspected thief, shoots him: "Police are sorting out a shooting that took place early Friday in northwest Phoenix, resulting in the wounding of a suspected auto burglar and the closing of 43rd Avenue south of Bell Road. The injured man, who suffered wounds that were not life-threatening, was shot by an irate homeowner who told officers he gave chase and fired after somebody tried to break into his vehicle, police said.There were no immediate arrests as investigators gathered evidence and tried to determine whether the shooter, under the facts of the case, was justified in using deadly force, said Detective Stacie Derge, a Phoenix police spokeswoman. .. The homeowner told police that his car alarm sounded and he stepped outside to see what was happening. He said somebody tried to break into his car and he saw a man walking away from the vehicle. The suspected auto burglar stepped into a pickup truck and drove away, while the homeowner got into his vehicle, a Pontiac, and gave chase, following the man through surrounding neighborhoods.Eventually, police said, they ended up on 43rd Avenue south of Bell Road, where the homeowner fired several rounds into the pickup truck, wounding the driver at least twice."

More Info:

On the story above:

AZ homeowner arrested after suspected thief chased, shot: "A northwest Phoenix homeowner was arrested Friday and accused of shooting an auto-burglary suspect during a car chase. Investigators concluded that the force used by Terrell Andy Moore, 28, was not reasonable under the circumstances of the case to justify a claim of self-defense, police said. Further, he fired multiple rounds in an area containing businesses and apartments and it was fortunate that nobody else was struck, said Detective Stacie Derge, a Phoenix police spokeswoman. Moore was booked into a Maricopa County jail on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of unlawfully discharging a firearm. The shooting victim, Jason Rhymes-Taylor, 29, was released from a hospital after being treated for gunshot wounds but was not taken into custody. Investigators did not find sufficient evidence to charge him with a crime, Derge said."

On a story from 18th:

"Police on Monday released a recording of the 911 call made by a woman whose husband they say shot to death an intruder last week in the couple's central Mesa home. The woman, who called 911 from a closet, tells the operator she knows the intruders and that they "want to kill my husband." Six gunshots can be heard on the recording, though it's unclear who was shooting. Eric Jameson, 38, died at the scene after the break-in on April 16 at about 2:18 a.m. in the couple's home in 4800 block of East Princess, police said. Police said a married couple was sleeping when they heard someone breaking into their home through a bedroom window. A third person also was in the home at the time. The male homeowner confronted Jameson and they struggled. During the fight, the homeowner got his hands on Jameson's handgun and shot him, police said. Jameson was pronounced dead at the scene by the Mesa Fire Department. Police believe the incident was drug-related but did not elaborate. Police on Monday identified a second man they took into custody after finding him outside of the Mesa home the night of the shooting. Micky Lynn Stoner, 42, was arrested for a warrant on misconduct involving weapons for an unrelated incident. No arrests have been made in the shooting incident" [Story from 18th here]

Sunday, April 27, 2008

IN: Suspects shot during attempted robbery: "Two men were shot, another arrested, after police say the men attempted to rob an apartment on the city's near north side. It happened just after 3 a.m. in the 4800 block of Park Forest Court. Authorities say three black males went into the apartment with a shotgun. Several shots were fired.However, it's the suspected robbers who were injured. Two are being treated at the hospital this morning. Police say their injuries are not life threatening."

TX: Pawn shop owner shoots black robbers: "A robbery suspect is in critical condition at a hospital after he was shot by a pawn shop manager during an attempted hold-up, Houston police said. The 17-year-old and two other masked men were holding pistols and rifles shortly before noon Wednesday when they forced their way into Mason's Pawn Shop on Cullen near Bellfort, police said. 'They immediately started yelling for everybody to get on the ground,' said Houston Police Sgt. Brian Harris. The teenager jumped over the counter and threatened to kill everyone inside the store, police said. 'The manager was able to pull a pistol and shoot the man,' Harris said."

CA Deputy shoots, paralyzes crackhead: "The San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputy who shot an unarmed Riverside man in November was "certainly acting in self-defense," according to a report from the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office. On Monday, November 19, deputies from the Hesperia station were called to the site of a single-vehicle traffic accident near the intersection of Highway 395 and Bolinas Street in Hesperia. The witness who called in the report allegedly told deputies he had tried to assist the pick-up truck's driver, Juventino Rodriguez, 50, but the Riverside man reportedly told him to back off and that he had a gun. "As the officers approached Suspect Rodriguez," Bailey's report reads in part, "All three of them observed the suspect to put his hands together, simulate holding a handgun, turn facing the officers and point towards them. Deputy Gregory Swoboda, fearing for his own safety and the safety of the other officers present, fired 4 to 6 rounds from his duty weapon."

The most honest among us: "I have worked on college and university campuses most of my adult life -- first as a student, now as a professor. I have grown quite accustomed to the idea of citizen concealed carry. I know that such policies ... do not increase crime; in contrast, data suggests these allowances deter all but the most brazen (or stupid) criminals. Most importantly, I also realize that criminals can and will carry weapons anywhere they wish, despite the law. Concealed carry is analogous to driving down the highway. I know that at any moment, any of the thousands of drivers could swerve and kill me head-on. ... But day after year after decade, they do not. Why not? They are decent people, and well-intentioned, just like you and me."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mississippi robber shot: "The Ellisville Police Department is investigating a Tuesday morning robbery that left one of the suspects wounded. Police arrested Ronald Hinton, 18, of Richton, Thomas Hardy, 22, and Matthew King, 19, both of Ellisville. Investigator Christy Carona said the three men broke into the storage home of Jack Busby on the 200 block of Cleveland Street and attempted to take two air-conditioning units. She said Busby found the men and held them at gunpoint until police arrived. Busby later shot King in the lower back after he attempted to flee the scene. Carona said King was transported to South Central Regional Medical Center's emergency room where he was treated and released. All three men were charged with grand larceny and taken to the Jones County Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond each. Carona said King has made bond and that the other men remained at the detention center."

NY: Cops acquitted in black on black shooting: "After nearly nine weeks of heated testimony and arguments by Queens prosecutors and the attorneys for Detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper, Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman acquitted the officers of all criminal charges in the Nov. 25, 2006, shooting of Sean Bell. . Cooperman, who presided over the non-jury trial, agreed with the defense that the detectives were justified in firing 50 bullets because they believed their lives were in danger .. Prosecutors argued that Oliver, who fired 31 times and reloaded; Isnora, who fired 11 times; and Cooper, who fired four times; were reckless and did not stop to assess the situation when they mistakenly thought Bell was shooting at them." [Two out of the three cops were black]

VA: State crime panel will study "gun-show loophole": "A limited look at Virginia's so-called `gun-show loophole' will be among a dozen issues the Virginia State Crime Commission will study this year. The commission agreed yesterday to study the applicable state and federal firearms laws so that General Assembly members will have a clear understanding of the law in any future legislative debates. But recognizing the political divisiveness of the issue, the commission decided it will not recommend any proposed laws of its own .. Legislation requiring criminal-background checks on all firearms transactions at gun shows was defeated at the most recent assembly session, and the crime commission was asked to study the matter."

Misguided Misfires: "Steve Chapman points out the absurdity of recent statements by the Chicago Police Superintendent, Jody Weis. In response to a spate of gun violence in Chicago, Weis is - for completely unknown reasons - calling for a ban on "assault weapons." How many of the shootings involved that type of weapon? Exactly one."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Michigan: Clerk and robbers exchange fire: "Three armed robberies occured in less than 45 minutes late Thursday night, but police are not officially linking the incidents. Two suspects are in custody for one of the robberies, and are undergoing questioning. In the last of the three, shots were fired. One of the store clerks exchanged gunfire with the robber. The bullet pierced a metal cabinet wall and struck Hung Ngyn in the leg. Ngyn, 42, is being released from the hospital and is said to be doing well Friday. Two men, one with a gun, went into Gerk's Party Works on 36th St. around 11:15 p.m. and demanded money. That's when the exchange of gunfire took place. Police aren't sure if anyone was hit. A police dog tracked the men after they ran from the store, but lost their scent in an area where investigators think they got in a car and took off.

NY: Robbery victim kills intruder: "The victim of a robbery in Queens fatally shot one of the three intruders early Tuesday morning with a gun they left behind, police said. A man and his girlfriend were returning to their Middle Village apartment about 4:50 a.m. when they were confronted by three men, police said. According to the victim, the men forced the couple into the apartment, where they tied them up with plans to rob the place, cops said. Somehow, the victim was able to get loose and grab a gun one of the suspects had left unattended, he told police. He shot one of his attackers in the head, killing him. The other two fled. No arrests had been made last night."

Gun-free zones are not safe: "Americans' fears over the safety of schools continues. Last Monday, three colleges and four K-to-12 schools were shut down by threats of violence. This week over 25,000 college students at 300 chapters in 44 states belong to a group, Students for Concealed Carry on College Campuses, that will carry empty handgun holsters to protest theirconcerns about not being able to defend themselves. With the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech attack last week and the discussions that it created, we clearly have not been able to put that and other attacks behind us. There are good reasons why the safety measures adopted over the last year to speed up response times or hiring more police haven't eliminated the fear people feel."

Where law ends and resistance begins: "Just how susceptible are societies to top-down change, with government using the force of law to impose the preferences of one faction on the unwilling members of another faction? In 2002, an intriguing and underappreciated book was published by Oxford University Press that addressed just that question. Can Gun Control Work?, by James B. Jacobs, Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University, purports to address only the practicality of restricting firearms ownership in the United States, but it really applies to all circumstances in which governments try to impose policies disliked by significant percentages of their subject populations.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

North Carolina: Daylight robber shot at: "Statesville officers drove slowly and watched closely as they patrolled the neighborhood where gunshots erupted along School Street on Wednesday afternoon. A day care center is just yards away. Margaret Campbell, a concerned neighbor, said, "It's dangerous for the day care and the neighbors. I'm a senior citizen I can't walk fast, much less run." Detectives said the frightening incident started when a man with a gun broke into a house, demanded money and then fired a warning shot. That's when a robbery turned into a shootout. According to detectives, the gunman shot at the house while he ran away. At the same time, two of the victims inside shot at the robber.... Detectives said they're following leads and hope to have a suspect and make an arrest soon."

Tennessee: Robber shot with own gun: "One person was shot today during an alleged kidnapping and robbery which unfolded at an Oak Street address. The victim of the kidnapping and robbery was apparently the person who struggled with one of the alleged offenders and caused a gun to go off. Luis Velasquez was found bleeding from his head and face, according to reports. Josh Dunn, 20, has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated robbery. A second suspect has not been charged; however, warrants are pending against Josh Snyder, 19. Snyder was reportedly shot when Velasquez began to try to wrestle the gun away from Snyder. According to reports, the suspects went to Velasquez' door and asked him to help them jump start a vehicle. One of the suspects pulled a gun, then forced Velasquez back into his home. At that point, Dunn and Snyder allegedly demanded money from Velasquez. Reports indicated the suspects began to beat Velasquez after he stated he had only a small amount of cash. During the alleged beating, Snyder apparently cut his hand and had placed the gun under his arm while attempting to clean blood from his hand. Velasquez then went for the gun and it discharged, according to reports. Snyder did not suffer life-threatening injury."

MO: House vote favors guns in cars: "The House gives first-round approval to a bill blocking store owners from barring guns in their customers' parked cars. It's designed to clarify a law allowing Missourians to carry concealed weapons. That law allows businesses to bar guns from their premises. It has sometimes been interpreted to include parking lots. Bill supporters say it's possible for Missourians to be barred from taking their gun into a store and prohibited from leaving it in a vehicle while they shop. Employers could still prevent employees from having a gun in company-owned vehicles. The measure also includes a provision that makes it harder for someone who is injured during a crime to sue the store in which the crime happened."

Australia's gun bans useless: "Academics have released startling new evidence about the impact of Australian gun laws, and argue that future public policy must differentiate between what does and does not work. In a new peer-reviewed study, Dr Samara McPhedran from the School of Psychology, and her colleague Dr Jeanine Baker, who also hold executive positions in the International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting, show that the accumulated studies on Australia's 1996 gun bans and half billion dollar 'buyback' do not point to an impact. The authors say that this provides a clearer foundation for evidence based policy development, particularly within the area of suicide prevention."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Indiana: Firefighter Says He Killed Man Who Shot Him: "A firefighter says he fatally shot a [black] man who shot and robbed him in the firefighter's vehicle on the city's west side Monday night, according to police. Aaron Thomas, 28, told police he was giving Shawn Reed, 19, a ride in his vehicle when Reed began acting strangely. Thomas stopped the car in the parking lot of the Family Video at 2940 Georgetown Road at about 10:40 p.m., and Reed pulled out a gun and demanded money, police said. Thomas said he surrendered his money but then was shot in the chest as he struggled with Reed over the gun in the car, according to police. Thomas told investigators he then took the gun from Reed and shot him, police said. "He was able to wrestle the gun back from this guy and end the fight there," Indianapolis police Sgt. Matt Mount said. Police were called, and officers found the wounded men in the parking lot. Reed was pronounced dead there, police said."

Colorado: Home intruder shot: "Investigators are questioning a Douglas County homeowner about a shooting death at his home. Sheriff's deputies on Sunday responded to a call about an intruder at 11961 S. Highway 83 and a report that the homeowner had shot the intruder, according to a press release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Deputies found the body of a man inside the home and are interviewing the homeowner in an attempt to find out what happened, the sheriff's office said. The Douglas County Coroner's Office and investigators are trying to determine the identity of the dead man."

TX: Grand jury says lethal force by Port Arthur cop was self-defense: "A Port Arthur police officer was cleared Tuesday of any wrongdoing in a March 8 fatal shooting at a Raceway convenience store on Memorial Boulevard. A grand jury found that Officer Matt Bulls shot 29-year-old Tremaine Darnell Flanagan in self-defense, said Assistant District Attorney Harry Lewis. Before Bulls gunned him down, Flanagan had fired three shots at Bulls, hitting him twice in his chest. The officer was wearing a bullet-resistant protective vest, according to a previous Enterprise story. Lewis said surveillance footage that caught the incident made it pretty clear to the grand jury what had happened."

"Gun free" Britain again: A 17-year-old was sentenced to three years in a secure institution after she admitted hiding a machine pistol under her bed at her family home. Police said that the case was part of a growing trend for criminals to use vulnerable teenage girls from respectable families to look after their weapons. Lindsay Shinkfield, of Huyton, Liverpool, was 16 when police found the Czech-made Scorpion gun in her bedroom in December. The weapon is favoured by drug gangs in Liverpool. She told officers that she was "minding" the weapon for another person whom she has refused to name. Detectives believe the gun was used in an incident in 2006 in which a person was injured. A police investigation is continuing. Detective Chief Inspector Michael Shaw, part of Merseyside Police's gun crime unit, said: "This was the perfect example of the type of young, vulnerable female of good character being targeted by criminals to assist them in the concealment of illegally held firearms." He added: "They [Scorpions] are as serious a weapon as one would expect to come across."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Milwaukee felon won't be charged for firing back at gunman: "A 23-year-old clerk involved in a shootout during an attempted robbery of his family's store last weekend will not face any charges, after the Milwaukee County district attorney's office found he acted in self-defense. The man, convicted of a felony drug charge in 2004, met with prosecutors Friday after Milwaukee police asked that the district attorney's office review the shootout, which was captured on surveillance video that was widely seen after police gave it to news media and posted it on YouTube. Milwaukee police said a man entered Villard Food & Liquor, 5123 W. Villard Ave, about 2 p.m. Sunday in an attempted robbery at the store but was confronted by the armed clerk, who asked him to leave. While the man was leaving, however, he shot five times into the office area of the store, and the clerk returned fire. A woman who appears in the video to be exiting the store in the crossfire was unharmed. Milwaukee police were still seeking the robber Friday. The clerk was arrested Thursday on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was held in Milwaukee County Jail, with bail set at $10,000, according to jail records. He was expected to be released Friday. Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said that although the gun was in the store, it was not in the possession of the clerk at the time the threat posed by the gunman emerged. Also, the clerk was given access to the gun to defend himself and others in the store, Lovern said."

SC: Public barred from list of concealed weapons permits : "A new law bars the public from finding out who can carry concealed weapons in South Carolina. The measure signed into law on Wednesday exempts the identities of the state's more than 61,300 permit holders from what's available through the Freedom of Information Act. Access is now limited to law enforcement or through a court order.The change was advocated by gun enthusiasts who say publishing gun owners' names violates their privacy, while open-government advocates lost their argument that the government should never issue licenses in secret."

Arguing for gun choice: "The original name of Mr. Horwitz's group was the National Coalition to Ban Handguns. There is no reason to think that goal has changed, yet he presents the 'gun show loophole' argument as the centerpiece of his legislative agenda even though a Bureau of Justice Statistics survey concluded that over 99% of criminals get their guns from other sources. I am glad he has 'resolved to do all [he] can to prevent another similar tragedy,' but with thousands of citizen disarmament laws on the books at the federal, state and municipal level, I'm wondering when enough will be enough. In truth, we've tried things Mr. Horwitz's way, and all anyone will ever be able to do continuing down that path is 'watch in horror.' And go to memorials."

WV: Principal with guns in car dismissed: "A Wirt County Middle School principal who left two hunting rifles in a vehicle parked on school property has been terminated. The county school board voted 3-2 late Wednesday to dismiss James D. Hoover.Superintendent Daniel Metz declined to comment on the decision. Hoover was charged in October with two counts of unlawfully and feloniously possessing deadly weapons on educational facilities. But Wirt County Circuit Court Judge Robert Waters later dismissed the charges, saying the case fell under an exception in state law involving unloaded weapons in locked vehicles.”

Monday, April 21, 2008

MN: Homeowner thwarts burglars, provides clue: "A homeowner who chased off two burglars and shot at one of them might have provided the clue that led Wright County deputies to the suspects. The homeowner awoke about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday to find two thieves in his Victor Township house. He grabbed his gun and fired as he chased one of them down the stairs and into the yard. The suspect got in a Chevy Tahoe that had been reported stolen and took off, the sheriff said. The homeowner went back inside and found that the second suspect had fled out a window and that several items had been taken, the sheriff said. Tuesday afternoon, deputies found the Tahoe at an elementary school in Cokato, Minn., with a bullet hole in the side. That night, deputies investigating a call about a car prowler in Cokato found and arrested a 20-year-old man from Blaine on outstanding warrants. He provided information tied to the home invasion, the sheriff said. Deputies then searched the apartment of another man, and they found two men and most of the items taken in the home invasion, a news release said. Police arrested an 18-year-old Coon Rapids man and a 24-year-old from Cokato. Charges are pending. The men also are suspects in two bank robberies in Cokato".

Self defense in Vermont? "At around 9 p.m. Saturday, police were called to 76 Smith St., where they found Sean Grant, 36, shot to death in his first-floor living room, according to State Police Lt. Tim Oliver. Oliver, whose detectives worked with investigators from the Rutland County Sheriff's Department, said police have recovered a revolver they believe was used in the shooting. Four other people were inside the white, two-story home at the time of the shooting including Grant's wife, Wendy Pelkey-Grant, her two children Alyssia Pelkey, 21, and Eric Hall, 18, as well as Alyssia Pelkey's boyfriend, Glen Rathjen, police said.... Police said witnesses told police that during a heated argument with his step-daughter, Alyssia Pelkey, Grant left the room, returning with a revolver that he set on a table before continuing the debate. During the exchange, Alyssia Pelkey's brother, Eric Hall, intervened on his sister's behalf. Witnesses told police that Grant turned on Hall and grabbed him by the throat. As Hall, Alyssia Pelkey and Rathjen said they struggled with Grant, Pelkey-Grant told police she picked up the handgun and shot her husband once in the hand and twice in the chest. Pelkey-Grant told police that she was in fear for her children's safety and only wanted to stop Grant when she acted. Witnesses also told police that Grant was drunk at the time of the shooting." [Four people could not restrain him?]

OH: `Open carry' walk to be held Saturday : "In commemoration of the 'shot heard round the world' that started the American Revolution 233 years ago, two local men have organized an `open carry' walk in Urbana for Saturday, April 19, `Patriots' Day.'Tom Horch of Urbana said . the issue of the right to keep and bear arms has become more prominent in this election year." 'Back in March, I saw an article where a man was minding his own business, not doing anything wrong, and he was harassed by the police,' Horch said.... we usually get together every year on Patriots' Day to do something, and it just dawned on me that we should do this.'Horch said open-carry is legal in Ohio, but many residents need to be reminded of that fact."

Good citizens and guns: "April 16 marks one year since the massacre at Virginia Tech by mentally disturbed student Seung-Hui Cho. Last week the university offered anguished parents a settlement of $100,000 per murdered child. There are three things wrong with this: First, even in financial terms, it is hopelessly inadequate to redress the deaths of these talented young people. Second, it does nothing to correct the useless, symbolic policy which facilitated their deaths. Third, if you don't think that the policy is wrong,Virginia Tech has no liability for the deaths it facilitated. That policy is the 'gun-free zone.' Even if the victims had possessed permits to carry a gun, Virginia Tech forbade them to have that means of self-defense while on campus. This ensured that only the killer (who, of course, violated the 'gun-free zone' policy just as he violated the laws against murder) and uniformed police would have guns."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gun owners are NOT losers

They are in fact happier

In words that he has come to regret, Barack Obama opined as to why he was having a hard time winning over many blue-collar voters: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or antitrade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." ... The comment may or may not be an indication of Mr. Obama's real views about those ordinary Americans who've not enjoyed the full fruits of economic growth over the past decades. Yet his casual portrayal no doubt had heads nodding vigorously in assent among his supporters, and probably among many others.

That anybody would find this portrayal realistic illustrates how little some Americans know about their neighbors. And nothing reveals the truth better than the data on guns. According to the 2006 General Social Survey, which has tracked gun ownership since 1973, 34% of American homes have guns in them. This statistic is sure to surprise many people in cities like San Francisco - as it did me when I first encountered it. (Growing up in Seattle, I knew nobody who owned a gun.)

Who are all these gun owners? Are they the uneducated poor, left behind? It turns out they have the same level of formal education as nongun owners, on average. Furthermore, they earn 32% more per year than nonowners. Americans with guns are neither a small nor downtrodden group. Nor are they "bitter." In 2006, 36% of gun owners said they were "very happy," while 9% were "not too happy." Meanwhile, only 30% of people without guns were very happy, and 16% were not too happy.

In 1996, gun owners spent about 15% less of their time than nonowners feeling "outraged at something somebody had done." It's easy enough in certain precincts to caricature armed Americans as an angry and miserable fringe group. But it just isn't true. The data say that the people in the approximately 40 million American households with guns are generally happier than those people in households that don't have guns.

The gun-owning happiness gap exists on both sides of the political aisle. Gun-owning Republicans are more likely than nonowning Republicans to be very happy (46% to 37%). Democrats with guns are slightly likelier than Democrats without guns to be very happy as well (32% to 29%). Similarly, holding income constant, one still finds that gun owners are happiest.

Why are gun owners so happy? One plausible reason is a sense of self-reliance, in terms of self-defense or even in terms of the ability to hunt their own dinner. Many studies over the years have shown that a belief in one's control over the environment dramatically adds to happiness. Example: a famous study of elderly nursing home patients in the 1970s. It showed dramatic improvements in life satisfaction from elements of control as seemingly insignificant as being able to care for one's plants.

A bit of evidence that self-reliance is at work among gun owners comes from the General Social Survey. It asked whether one agrees with the statement, "Those in need have to take care of themselves." In 2004, gun owners were 10 percentage points more likely than nonowners to agree (60% to 50%). That response is not evidence that gun owners only care about themselves, however. In 2002, they were more likely to give money to charity than people without guns (83% to 75%). This charity gap doesn't reflect their somewhat higher incomes. Gun owners were also more likely to give in other ways, such as donating blood. Are gun owners unsentimental? In 2004, they were more likely than those without guns to strongly agree that they would "endure all things" for the one they loved (45% to 37%).

None of this is to dictate what gun policy should be in our nation and its communities, let alone whether gun owners deserve to be happier than those of us without firearms. Guns are an important area of debate about freedom and security, not to mention constitutionality. What we do know, however, is that contrary to the implication of Mr. Obama's comments, for many Americans, happiness often does indeed involve a warm gun.


TX: Man shoots burglar : "An Oak Cliff homeowner told police that he was awakened around 1:30 Friday morning by the sound of breaking glass. The man grabbed a handgun and discovered two men inside his home in the 6100 block of Teague Drive, according to police. One of the men was still holding a board that they had used to break the window. Police said the homeowner started shooting and hit one of the suspects in the upper chest and jaw. That suspect is in critical condition at Baylor Hospital. The other burglar ran from the home and has not been found. The case will be referred to a Grand Jury, but investigators said the homeowner appeared to be justified in protecting his life and property."

Minn. man chases away burglars : "Steve Remer chased burglars from his Buffalo, Minn home with a gun after finding his bedroom door tied shut and unfamiliar noises around the house .. Remer was startled out of his sleep by some strange creaking noises he thought were caused by the wind. When he tried to open his door, he found it had been tied shut. .. Then, Remer heard an unfamiliar voice in the hallway. He grabbed his .357 handgun from the closet and chased the intruder down the stairs and out the front door, firing several shots at their stolen SUV on the way out.Remer says he didn't want to shoot the suspect in the back. He said since they gave him a break and didn't do anything to him while he was sleeping, he wanted to make sure they saw his face if he pulled the trigger.When Remer went back into the house, he found a second suspect locked in a bedroom."I said come on out - put your hands on your head, I'll show you a little about Hanoi," Remer said, with a laugh.It was meant as a joke to them, but Remer says the suspect didn't take it lightly, instead jumping out a window and running off."

IA: Pink slip delivered to `Pizza Man': "A Des Moines pizza delivery driver who was suspended after he shot an alleged armed robber said today that he has been fired.James William Spiers III, 38, said Pizza Hut officials asked for his resignation in exchange for at least two months' pay and counseling."I was terminated, but they're not going to kick me to the curb," he said. "When they terminated me, I had asked I they could provide me with counseling. That's all I asked for." Spiers fired multiple shots at a man who allegedly put a gun to his head on March 28 and demanded money at the Sutton Hill Apartments, 2100 S.E. King Ave.The suspect, Kenneth Jimmerson, 19, was arrested when he later called for medical help. Jimmerson, who police say suffered at least three gunshot wounds, survived his injuries and faces a first-degree robbery charge. Melanie Stout, 18, who allegedly called in the pizza order, is charged with conspiracy. Spiers, who has a valid handgun permit, said it was the first time in 10 years on the job that he had been a robbery victim. Public reaction was immediate and overwhelmingly in favor of Spiers.But Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut's corporate offices in Dallas, said earlier this month that employees are not allowed to carry guns "because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.'"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Guns resurface as potent campus, election issue

Guns remain a contentious and divisive issue in Wisconsin, with concealed carry groups appearing on campuses and candidates making guns a key issue. From UW-Madison to presidential campaigns, guns are appearing as a leading issue in 2008, according to political observers.

Eric Thompson, president of the gun supplier TGSCOM Inc., said he would donate hundreds of gun holsters to colleges around the country next week. The holsters will be used by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, including the UW-Madison chapter, for events protesting a state ban on concealed weapons. Thompson, whose online stores sold weapons to the attackers in the shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, said trained students with guns might have prevented the tragedies. He said support for concealed carry bills is increasing, though they would unlikely be signed by Gov. Jim Doyle. The governor vetoed concealed carry bills in 2003 and 2006, with Wisconsin as one of two states in the country with laws banning it.

Several other prominent politicians also recently stated their opposition to loosening gun laws. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in his inaugural address Tuesday that state lawmakers must work harder to toughen laws on the sales of illegal guns. Eileen Force, a spokesperson for Barrett, said the mayor is not concerned with recreational gun owners or sportsmen, but views it as a violent crime issue. "In the last two weeks we've probably had three police officers shot at with what are probably illegal guns," Force said. She said Barrett is opposed to concealed carry and fewer guns would make Milwaukee safer.

However, recent comments by presidential candidates show guns remain a politically volatile issue, according to campaign onlookers. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has been criticized for stating rural voters in Pennsylvania are "bitter" and "cling" to issues like guns or religion in difficult economic times.

Ken Goldstein, UW-Madison political science professor, said guns are now being focused because U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., wants to appeal to more moderate or rural voters in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. He said Clinton was making this effort despite "not a dime's worth of difference" between her and Obama's voting records on guns.

The Supreme Court currently debating second amendment rights is also likely to bring more attention on guns, according to UW-Madison political science professor Ken Mayer, but the Democratic presidential candidates might want to avoid the issue. "Both candidates recognize that for the Democrats the gun control issue is largely a loser," Mayer said.


California liquor store worker shoots robbery suspect: "An employee of an Oakland liquor store shot and wounded a would-robber, police said today. The incident happened about 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wah Fay liquor store near the corner of East 21st Street and Eighth Avenue in the city's San Antonio neighborhood, police Sgt. Larry Krupp said. Two young men entered the store where two employees were working, Krupp said. One assailant had a gun and pushed a clerk. The other assailant, an 18-year-old Pittsburg man, went behind the counter and took money and was then shot by one of the employees, Krupp said. The other robber fled, but not before firing a shot at the store as he was running away. No one was hurt by that bullet, Krupp said. The injured suspect, whose name was not released, was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland. The wounds did not appear to be life-threatening, authorities said. The shooting comes at a time of heightened concern over robberies in the East Bay. The liquor-store shooting also underscores the measures some store employees are taking. In April 2007, the owner of a pizzeria at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard in East Oakland shot and killed a would-be robber armed with an assault rifle. A month later, a clerk at a liquor store on 28th Avenue in Oakland shot and killed a 17-year-old who had fired first."

CA: Update on shooting by cop: "Sheriff's investigators have concluded that an off-duty officer who shot and killed a man in Old Town Temecula last month did so in self-defense, and investigators say they will be forwarding a report with that conclusion to the Riverside County district attorney's office in the next week or two. On March 8, Costa Mesa police Officer Scott Dibble was attacked on the street outside a restaurant and struck from behind with a chair, sheriff's detectives say. Dibble identified himself as a police officer, but that failed to stop an estimated six attackers. He then fired five shots, detectives say.
Two Temecula men who were at the same restaurant were shot ---- 30-year-old Shaun Vilan, who died from his injuries, and 22-year-old Taylor Willis, who was shot in the thigh. Deputies have said the attack was prompted by the officer smacking the buttocks of a woman in Vilan's party whom Dibble had mistaken for a member of his own dinner group. Dibble reportedly apologized. While one member of Vilan's grieving family once called the shooting an "execution," the Riverside County sergeant overseeing the investigation said Thursday the evidence revealed otherwise. "All evidence points to Vilan and his group being the instigators," said Sgt. Dean Spivacke of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Central Homicide Unit. [This case previously mentioned here on March 22]

Florida: Black on black shooting in grocery store: "Former Miramar Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman was in court Thursday to ask a court to dismiss the aggravated battery charges he faces. Salesman was seen on surveillance video last November pulling a gun on a customer at a grocery store. He doesn't deny pulling a gun, but said he wasn't the aggressor, and said that the victim's own statements to prosecutors backs that claim. "I was defending myself. I feared for my safety that night," said Salesman, who possesses a concealed weapons permit. Salesman said he was pleading with the manager of the Winn Dixie to open an express lane so shoppers with a few items could get out of the regular lines. Salesman said one of the shoppers took offense and asked him if he wanted to "take it outside." He said Lazavious Hudson repeated "let's take it outside" about three times. Salesman said Hudson told him, "Let's take it outside. I'm going to kick your (expletive). And it was a threat." The video shows Salesman pull out a handgun and wave it at Hudson and another man. In Hudson's statement to prosecutors, he admitted he wanted to fight the commissioner in the parking lot. A statute states that it is an issue for a judge to determine, Lohse reported. If the judge believes that self-defense was reasonable, then the judge can dismiss the charges."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Anti-gun nuts ignore the evidence

April 16 is the anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre. We are certain to hear about the need to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys. Of course, that means more gun control. Schools are generally gun free zones by law. There are exceptions, the biggest being all of Utah's state-run universities. No school shootings have occurred in that state. But the multiple killings that have occurred at various schools around the country have all taken place in areas which have been legally rendered as gun free zones.

Those who do not believe in self defense think that safety will come by making it even harder for people to get guns. They warn us that if we loosen up on these gun free zones and allow students and staff who have carry permits to transport a handgun on their person ... that it will only lead to bystanders being hurt or killed. But how do they know that?

The answer is, they don't. They have zero examples of armed defenders harming (let alone killing) innocent bystanders while stopping multiple killers. In fact, in spite of gun free laws, we have three cases where defenders left their campus, ran to their vehicles, got their guns and returned to stop the shooters. They never even had to fire. It was enough for the killers to see that they had lost control of their murder-suicide scheme to give up. This is typical of approximately 97 percent of the 2,500,000 cases of armed self defense in America each year. In only three percent of the cases is a gun fired, and that does not mean that the perpetrator is even wounded, let alone killed. So, we have a massive amount of data to show that armed Americans are amazingly self-controlled, even in the face of danger. They are obviously not carrying their guns so they can find a pretext to shoot somebody.

Let's look at a recent example of armed self defense where shots were fired. A very well-armed murderer shot and killed two sisters in the parking lot of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He then entered the building where he was engaged by some of the twenty church members who had volunteered for the security team. When Jeanne Assam told the shooter to drop his gun, he swung around, firing in an attempt to shoot her. She shot him repeatedly until he fell mortally wounded. He then took his own life. No innocent bystanders were killed inside the New Life Church, and none were shot by the security team.

A similar outcome occurred in Jerusalem at a yeshiva, a Hebrew seminary. A Muslim terrorist spent some 15 minutes gunning down students (ultimately killing eight). When police responded to the scene, they did not enter the building, similar to the police response at Columbine. A part-time student who lives nearby entered the building, and leaning out over a balcony, fired twice, wounding the terrorist in another room. A second part-time student arrived just after that and finished him off. The second defender had grabbed a policeman's hat off one of the onlooking officers. He figured that would keep him from being confused as a terrorist by the first defender. And, as at the New Life Church, the defenders shot no bystanders.

If we are genuinely concerned about defending life and protecting students, which policy has the track record worth emulating? On the one hand we have those advocating gun free zones who have only rivers of blood and piles of bodies to show for their policy. On the other hand, we have those advocating armed self defense who are batting a thousand. We are told that having students or faculty (with concealed handgun permits) carrying guns scares many students and teachers. Maybe so. What is worse ... being scared or being dead?


Disarming parents and law-abiding citizens: No way to win war on gun violence: "Chicago's public school officials have been busing students to Springfield to act as 'grief' machines to advocate passage of stronger gun control measures by the Illinois legislature. Using children as props to score political points is shameless, not to mention pointless, as even some of the students themselves recognize. Chicago has some of the strongest gun ban measures on the books in any city in the United States, yet guns are still on the streets in the hands of gang members and the teenage death toll mounts. This is not unusual -- gun violence is on the rise in cities across the country where stringent gun control laws are in place."

Federal bill aims to honor concealed weapons permits nationwide: A bill introduced into Congress this week would force every state to recognize a concealed-weapons permit issued in another state, a move that would make Utah's permit even more of a prize nationwide. Utah has one of the more easily obtainable permits - an applicant need not even set foot in the state - and the permit is recognized in 32 other states. The Secure Access to Firearms Enhancement Act, dubbed the SAFE Act by supporters, would force the other 17 states to honor the Utah permit or another issued by a carrier's home state. The bill, introduced this week and co-sponsored by Utah GOP Rep. Chris Cannon, includes the caveat that the permit holder would have to abide by the state's laws on where the firearm can't be carried, such as churches or schools. Cannon backs the bill because he says the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to carry and own a weapon and that right doesn't end at the state line. "You no more give up that right leaving Utah than you give up your right to freely exercise your faith," Cannon says. "This legislation is an important effort to help make that clear - as a matter of federal law." As of the end of March, Utah has more than 112,000 valid permits registered, according to the Bureau of Criminal Identification. Of those, about 38,300 have been issued to out-of-state residents.

Nutty Nutter update: "Philadelphia DA Lynne Abraham says the city's newly enacted gun control laws are unenforceable. At a hearing on Tuesday before City Council, Abraham said that in her opinion the laws passed last week are illegal and will be challenged as soon as the first person is charged under the new statutes. And, she added, she thinks any defendant bringing a court challenge to the new laws would be successful. The new laws include a requirement to report lost or stolen guns, and a one-per-person-per month limit on gun purchases. Abraham agrees with state lawmakers that state law pre-empts the city in such matters and prevents any city in Pennsylvania from passing any such laws on its own. When asked point-blank by a city council member if her office would enforce the new city gun control laws, she replied, "Nope." She warned that if police began making arrests under the new laws, the city could face a wholesale wave of civil rights lawsuits in response. In reaction to DA Abraham's remarks before City Council, Mayor Nutter said he hopes to discuss the DA's position further with her, and he hopes that his law department can convince Abraham that the laws are defensible

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama and Hillary: Twin frauds

Mr. Obama supports the Second Amendment - or so his surrogates have been claiming all over Pennsylvania, the state with the highest per-capita membership in the National Rifle Association. The effort was set back last weekend with the publication of Mr. Obama's remarks claiming that people in small towns in Pennsylvania and other Midwestern states "cling" to guns because they are "bitter" that the government has not solved their economic problems.

Mrs. Clinton shot back with an excellent speech in Valparaiso, Ind., recounting that her father had taught her how to shoot when she was a little girl. "People enjoy hunting and shooting because it's an important part of who they are," she said. "Not because they are bitter." Surely she is right. The shooting sports culture in Pennsylvania was thriving long before the domestic manufacture of steel began to decline. Indeed, that culture was thriving before steel was invented. Pennsylvania's 1776 state constitution declared "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state . . ." A separate provision guaranteed "the liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times."

However, having the right to arms and the liberty to hunt is worthless if you can't buy a gun. In 1999, Mr. Obama urged enactment of a federal law prohibiting the operation of any gun store within five miles of a school or park. This would eliminate gun stores from almost the entire inhabited portion of the United States. As a state senate candidate in 1996, Mr. Obama endorsed a complete ban on all handguns in a questionnaire. The Obama campaign has claimed he "never saw or approved the questionnaire," and that an aide filled it out incorrectly. But a few weeks ago, found an amended version of the questionnaire. It included material added in Mr. Obama's handwriting.

When the U.S. Supreme Court voted last year to hear a case on the constitutionality of the Washington, D.C., handgun ban, Mr. Obama's campaign told the Chicago Tribune: "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional" and that "local communities" should have the ability "to enact common sense laws." Other than Washington, D.C., the only American cities with handgun bans are Chicago and four of its suburbs. As a state senator, Mr. Obama voted against a 2004 bill (which passed overwhelmingly) to give citizens a legal defense against prosecution for violating a local handgun ban if they actually used the firearm for lawful self-defense on their own property.

Mr. Obama's campaign Web site touts his belief in the Second Amendment rights to have guns "for the purposes of hunting and target shooting." Conspicuously absent is the right to have firearms to defend one's self, home and family. In 2001, as a state senator, Mr. Obama voted against allowing the beneficiaries of domestic violence protective orders to carry handguns for protection.

Yet, as Mr. Obama has mockingly pointed out, Mrs. Clinton is not exactly a modern-day Annie Oakley wiling away weekends in a duck blind. As first lady, she helped organize the Million Mom March for "sensible gun laws" in 2000. It was led by the shrill gun prohibitionist Rosie O'Donnell. Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly voted for antigun proposals, and co-sponsored many of them. After Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans and St. Tammany police confiscated guns from law-abiding citizens, violating an explicit Louisiana law. In some cases, the confiscation was carried out with the assistance of federal agents, and was perpetrated via warrantless break-ins into homes.

The next year, the U.S. Senate voted 84-16 for a homeland security appropriations rider stating: "None of the funds appropriated by this Act shall be used for the seizure of a firearm based on the existence of a declaration or state of emergency." Mrs. Clinton was one of the 16 who voted "no." Mr. Obama commendably voted with the majority.

Forty states currently allow most law-abiding adult citizens to carry concealed handguns for lawful protection, after a background check and (in almost all such states) a safety class. Of course those laws only apply to carrying within the relevant state. Mr. Obama told the Chicago Tribune in 2004 that he favored a national ban on concealed carry, to "prevent other states' laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents." Mrs. Clinton campaigned against a licensed carry referendum in Missouri.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted against legislation to stop mayors from suing gun manufacturers and gun stores because of gun crime. That legislation banned lawsuits only if businesses had complied with all laws regarding firearms manufacture and sales. A presidential candidate could of course swear devotion to the First Amendment, while declaring that the amendment's purpose is to protect sports reporting and book collecting. And that candidate could still support government lawsuits against publishers, local bans on newspapers, and draconian restrictions on political commentary.

Civil libertarians who supported such a candidate because of his alleged love for the First Amendment would be foolish. Civil libertarians who support Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton because of their purported fealty to the Second Amendment may be bitterly disappointed.


Arizona Homeowner Shoots Burglar: "An early-morning break-in turned fatal when the homeowner shot the intruder, Mesa police said. The homeowner, his wife and another person woke to the sound of someone breaking into their home shortly after 2:15 a.m., police said. The wife ran to a closet to call 911 while her husband confronted the armed intruder. Police said the husband struggled with the intruder and shot the burglar with his own gun. Rescue crews pronounced the burglar dead at the scene. Police said a second would-be intruder was waiting outside the home and was arrested. Investigators said the incident may be drug-related".

Senate bill gives homeowners right to self-defense in Ohio: "A man's home is his castle. ... People have a right to defend themselves," said Sen. Stephen Buehrer, R-Delta, sponsor of Senate Bill 184. You can do that now, but under current law it's up to you to prove you acted in self-defense. Senate Bill 184 puts the burden on prosecutors to prove you didn't act in self-defense "when using defensive force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm." "We changed the law to say that you have the presumption of having acted in self-defense and the burden is on the state to prove that you were not acting in self-defense," said Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland. The vote was 31-0."

Florida reform: "Governor Charlie Crist signed a controversial bill into law Tuesday allowing Floridians to keep guns locked in their car at work on. The bill said businesses can not prohibit employees or customers from keeping a legally owned gun locked inside their cars, as long as the owner has a permit to carry a concealed weapon... Next week the Florida Retail Federation and Chamber of Commerce will file a lawsuit to challenge the bill. "The government cannot force them to allow them to bring firearms on their property, this is a private property issue, second thing is it increases the risk to their customers and their employees and that it's entirely unecessary," Barry Richard explained. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is for this law, but is aware of the risk and safety involved."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Florida: Guard Shoots Man In Run Over Attempt: "A security guard at an apartment complex parking lot shot and injured the driver of a vehicle who attempted to run him over, according to police. Investigators said a Security Staffing Solutions guard became involved in the dispute with three men at the Lake Weston Pointe Apartments located at 2201 Lake Weston Drive on Monday night. After the argument escalated, one of the men tried to back over the guard, a police report said. The guard fired several shots into the vehicle, striking the driver in the arm and back. The driver was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He was expected to recover from the injuries. The two other men with the driver were detained and questioned by police. The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting.

Tennessee: Man acted in self defense in fatal shooting: "Yolanda Lancaster on Monday said the man who fatally shot her brother in Lexington Saturday night had once been his best friend. Lancaster's 32-year-old brother, Tommy Dill, Jr., was found lying in the BP Major Market parking lot Saturday by Lexington police responding to a shots fired 911 call. Police on Monday said their investigation shows the shooting was a case of self defense. They also identified the shooter as Fredrick L. Manis, 32, of Lexington. Manis was released Monday. Police had held him for questioning since Saturday. Manis and Dill are both convicted felons, according to police. Two witnesses at the BP on Sunday said that Dill had a mask covering his face. But on Monday, Hetherington said Dill did not have a mask on when he was found by police. "Freddy jumped out of the car and covered Tommy with his coat and called for 911," said Lancaster."

Alabama: Would-be robber gets shot in stomach: "A would-be thief was shot in the stomach as he tried to rob a man over the weekend and is recovering in Tennessee, where he fled after the incident in Scottsboro, police said Monday. Scottsboro Police Chief Ralph Dawe said the suspect, whose name has not been released, tried to rob a man near Highlands Medical Center around 2 a.m. Saturday. He said the robbery target pulled a gun and shot the suspect in the abdomen. The suspect then fled to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he is being treated at Erlanger Hospital. Dave said there were outstanding arrest warrants for the man on first-degree robbery charges for a similar incident at a local Wal-Mart and he will be extradited back to Alabama when his medical condition improves. He said the information compiled so far provides no reason to charge the person who shot the robbery suspect. Dave said Tennessee authorities contacted their Alabama counterparts after the man gave differnt versions of how he ended up with the gunshot wound. "He gave several stories, but all accounts of what happened involved Scottsboro, so they called us," Dawe said."

Virginia Tech settlement wrong and indecent: "I've written before that the Colleges refusing to recognize student rights are indecent. I write often that in forcing liberty enthusiast students to obtain 'counseling,' to face suspension or other punishment even for inquiring about handgun policy within right-to-carry states, they force adult students to choose between felony and funeral. This is indecent for public servants to tell the citizen authority how much authority we have. Indecent. It is technically wrong and tortious."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WI: Man Opens Fire Inside Busy Grocery Store: "A grocery store shootout: surveillance cameras captured the whole thing on tape. It happened inside the Village Food and Liquor in Milwaukee. The shooting happened in the afternoon inside Village Food and Liquor. The store was busy at the time the gunfire was exchanged. The entire shooting was caught on surveillance tape. Workers say it all started when the suspect tried to steal something. The suspect and clerk started fighting. The clerk grabbed a baseball bat trying to fend off the suspect. The clerk says the suspect left and came back with a gun. The suspect approached the clerk at the counter with that gun. That's when the clerk got his gun. As the suspect left he started shooting at the clerk. The clerk stuck his arm out a doorway with his gun and started shooting back. The clerk says he fired 12 shots in self defense. According to the clerk, the man came was dropped off by a group of people. After the shooting they left him and he took off on foot. The suspect is still out there and police are trying to track him down. Amazingly, no workers or customers were hurt. The clerk says he wasn't given arrested or cited because he was shot in self defense. Looking at the video, the real story is with so many people around no one was hurt".

Wal-Mart toughens gun policies: "The nation's largest seller of firearms says it will toughen rules for gun sales, from storing video of purchases to creating an internal log of which guns they sell that are later used in crimes. The chief compliance officer for Wal-Mart today appeared with gun control advocate Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York to announce the changes at a gathering of Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Changes at the stores that sell guns will include the creation of a record and alert system to record when a gun sold at Wal-Mart is later used in a crime. It will also include expanding background checks of employees who handle guns and expanding inventory controls. Bloomberg is urging other companies to join Wal-Mart in the initiative called the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership.

Canada: Long-gun amnesty may be extended: "The federal Conservatives have served notice that they intend to continue providing amnesty to long-gun owners whose rifles and shotguns are not registered. The reprieve hinges on a review of the current amnesty program, which expires May 16. Canadian firearm officers -- the administrators responsible for licences and authorizations in the provinces -- and RCMP are currently conducting the review. They are expected to report their findings to the government prior to the end of the amnesty period. Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announced in 2006 that government would waive application fees for licences until 2008 and provide amnesty for one year to owners of unregistered long-guns."

"If only we were armed before": "Back in the 1920s and 1930s, the forward-thinking German 'Weimar' republic effectively banned firearms possession by just about anyone but the military, the government police, and the ruling 'Junker' class, members of whom were allowed to keep their fancy hunting rifles. The ban was particularly effective among the ethnic minorities, such as the Jews. Was this effective in keeping the Jews from killing each other with handguns? Yes! Later, when millions of Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps including Auschwitz and Buchenwald to be exterminated -- despite the fact that on some mornings the other prisoners were each given water and a piece of bread, while the Jewish prisoners were not allowed to either eat or drink -- did the Jews kill anyone with a handgun in order to get some food or water to keep themselves or their loved ones from starving. No! They couldn't, because they had no handguns! You see how well that works?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Florida Store Owner Shoots Would-Be Robber: "A would-be robber, who was shot by a grocery store owner in Orange County, has died. Ronel Utile, 22, died Sunday, hours after investigators said he and another man tried to rob the Mi Bodega Latina Grocery store on the Old Cheney Highway. One of the men pulled out a gun and demanded money. That's when deputies said the owner pulled out his own gun and opened fire. The second robber and a getaway driver who was waiting outside were able to get away. Investigators said they did not anticipate filing charges against the store owner."

Texas Woman Shoots At, Terrifies Intruder: "Police said a woman shot at an intruder, scaring him directly through a glass door. Officers with the Friendswood Police Department said they responded to a residence in the 400 block of Regency Court after a homeowner shot at a man that had broken into her home. The woman said that at about 11:15 a.m. on April 12, she awoke to a loud noise followed by her alarm system sounding. She then heard footsteps going up to her second floor. The woman said she grabbed her pistol and walked into the living room where she saw a man standing in her house. She fired a shot in the man's direction, which sent him running through -- and shattering -- a glass door as he fled the scene. The homeowner was not hurt. The intruder was described as a dark skinned black man, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with white lettering, dark shorts and dark colored tennis shoes. He was clean-shaven, had a short hairstyle and appeared to be well groomed. Officers said they searched the surrounding neighborhood and businesses but were not able to find the man. They said the investigation is ongoing."

PA: Firearm owners rally in Harrisburg for rights: "Gun owners vowed to continue fighting to protect their Second Amendment rights during a rally Monday, but a gun control advocate criticized their raffle of a pistol in the state Capitol Rotunda as 'unfortunate' and 'insensitive' to victims of gun violence. Daniel Plovic, 72, of Washington, Pa., won a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun at the conclusion of the third annual pro-gun rally, where advocates urged the defeat of gun control measures and an expansion of firearm owners' rights."

Israelis being disarmed: "The Israel Defense Forces has begun collecting weapons from the armories of West Bank settlements -- even personal weapons the army provided to settlers for self-defense, said Mate Binyamin regional council deputy head Moti Yogev. ... A source from Central Command said the decision to collect the arms was made because several break-ins occurred at armories over the past few years. 'Several dozen weapons were stolen, and therefore it was decided to remove the armories from the settlements and transfer them to the regional brigade camps in Judea and Samaria, where we will keep them, maintain them and, during escalations, distribute them to the residents.'"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Philadelphia: A mayoral Nutter thinks he is James Madison

Post below recycled from Ace. See the original for links

To paraphrase a cliche: In order to create a [tyranny] you have to break a few [laws].
Mayor Nutter [above] likened himself and City Council members yesterday to the band of rebels who formed this country as he signed five new gun-control laws that defy the state legislature and legal precedent. "Almost 232 years ago, a group of concerned Americans took matters in their own hands and did what they needed to do by declaring that the time had come for a change," Nutter said as he signed the bills in front of a table of confiscated weapons outside the police evidence room in City Hall. The five laws - called everything from unconstitutional to criminal by critics - do the following:

Limit handgun purchases to one a month.

Require lost or stolen firearms to be reported to police within 24 hours.

Prohibit individuals under protection-from-abuse orders from possessing guns if ordered by the court.

Allow removal of firearms from "persons posing a risk of imminent personal injury" to themselves or others.

Outlaw the possession and sale of certain assault weapons.

You might ask, why did they decide to take so drastic an action?
Phil Goldsmith, president of the gun-control advocacy group CeaseFire PA, said "it's worth trying" to enact and test the laws. "It's a shame the city has to do something like this because the legislature has failed to exercise its responsibilities," Goldsmith said.

Wow, it sounds as if the state legislature really dropped the ball here and hasn't had a vote on this issue.
The city has tried and failed for three decades to buck the 1974 state law that reserves gun regulation to the state legislature. The state's preeminence appeared to be cemented in a 1996 Supreme Court ruling that allowed the legislature to prevent Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from enacting local gun laws.

Hmm... it sounds strangely like the definition for "failed to exercise its responsibilities" is "failed to legislate and/or adjudicate in the manner I demanded." Sorry to take up so much space, actually. This is hardly newsworthy, as it is straight out of the Liberals' playbook -- If you can't win legislatively, go to the courts. If you can't win in the courts, just break that inconvenient law.

Oklahoma Homeowner Shoots Intruder: "A man who broke into a home received quite a shock. The break-in happened just before 12:00 p.m. at 1300 Odom Way in Moore. The two homeowners were at home in bed when they heard someone inside. Police say the man shot the intruder after discovering he had broken in. He then held the man at gunpoint until police arrived. Alex Downing, 38, received non-life threatening injuries. He was arrested for first degree burglary. Police are looking for a possible accomplice. They say a black male with a stocky build drove away in a light green Nissan Maxima.

Ban on youngsters playing with toy guns can backfire, Scottish study finds: " Allowing young boys to play with toy guns and take part in superhero games can be good for their development, new research has found. A zero-tolerance approach to replica guns and other toy weapons is active in a large number of nurseries across Scotland and superhero-style play, where children imitate their favourite film characters, is also unpopular among staff as it can lead to fighting and aggression. But Cath Livingstone, a nursery teacher at Abernethy Primary School in Perth and Kinross, found that the "ban" drove the pretend weapons underground, rather than halt interest in them altogether, and children became deceitful and broke nursery rules in order to play their favourite games. She said that the ban went against Scottish Government guidance on engaging children with activities which respond to their needs and interests."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Justified Homicides Up 50% In Memphis

More people in Memphis are shooting to kill in self-defense. Memphis police say the numbers of justified homicides has risen 50% in 2008. The most recent justified homicide happened early Tuesday morning. Police say a security guard shot and killed Andre McLaren, 38, outside Tony's Bar and Grill on South Mendenhall in Southeast Memphis Tuesday. The security guard told police officers McLaren was driving towards him when he fired the shots. The Shelby County District Attorney's office decided the guard was acting in self-defense Wednesday.

McLaren's death marks the 10th time a homicide has been ruled justified in 2008. That number is double the number of homicides ruled justified from January 2007 to April 2007. At this time last year, only five homicides were determined to have been justified. 10 justified homicides is nearly as many justified homicides as in all of 2006. During that entire year, just 11 homicides were ruled justified.

"I think we've tried to put our thumb on it and really just can't, " said Major Joe Scott of the Memphis Police Department. He said Memphis police officers are aware of the increase in justified homicides, but are unclear why they are on the rise. Major Scott said, "It is concerning over the last couple of years that we've had so many, but we really can't isolate it to the point where we feel like we could do anything preventive."

Out of the 51 homicides in Memphis so far this year, most have been the result of domestic violence. However, with 10 ruled justified, police say about 20% of the city's killings this year were committed in self defense or to protect another person's life.

Major Scott said the increase could be tied to a recent rise in the number of people applying for and receiving handgun permits in Shelby County. He said the homicides are often similar to the incident at Tony's Bar & Grill, in that a security guard is involved.

Major Scott also said the public should not worry killers are getting away with murder. He said homicide detectives thoroughly investigate every homicide in the city. He said self-defense is a common defense used by killers. More often than not, Major Scott said, self-defense does not hold up after detectives investigate a homicide. Major Scott said, "We have charged several individuals who have said they were acting in self-defense."

However, the circumstances surrounding justified homicides can be murky. For example, the security guard at Tony's Bar & Grill may have been able to run from the car driving towards him instead of choosing to fire his gun. However, Major Scott said the legal standard for a justified homicide is that a "reasonable, prudent person has fear for their own safety." Major Scott said being in the path of an oncoming car legally qualifies as a valid reason to fear for your life.

It is up to the Shelby County District Attorney's office to decided if a homicide is justified or if a crime was committed. Homicide detectives investigate their cases, then detectives present their evidence to prosecutors to make a determination about the natures of the homicides.


Va. Grants 60% More Permits For Guns

Concealed-Carry Surge Tied to Va. Tech Killings

The number of Virginians who obtained a permit to carry a concealed weapon jumped 60 percent last year over 2006, an increase that many gun experts say was a reaction to the fatal shootings of 32 students and professors at Virginia Tech.

In Northern Virginia, the numbers were much the same. In Fairfax County, there were 2,471 concealed-carry permits issued in 2007, a 64 percent increase. In Prince William County, the number rose to 1,636, a nearly 59 percent gain. In Loudoun, the number of permits issued was 962, a 52 percent increase.

People applying for a concealed-weapon permit do not have to explain why they want one. But most experts think the Virginia Tech shootings, in which a heavily armed student met no resistance as he went from classroom to classroom firing, could explain the sudden increase in applications.

Some gun rights supporters noted that the university had lobbied against legislation that would have required colleges to honor concealed-carry permits. "They wanted to create an environment where students and faculty can feel safe," said Joel Kliesen, manager of the Dominion Shooting Range in Richmond. "A lot of folks would rather be safe than feel safe."

The shooting incidents in turn create more publicity about gun-related issues and probably inspire more people to arm themselves, gun control supports said. Both gun-control activists and members of law enforcement noted that those people who take the time to get a permit are largely law-abiding and unlikely to commit a crime.

Gun stores report increased sales and increased participation in training classes. Completing a firearms safety class as well as a background check are prerequisites for obtaining a concealed weapons permit in Virginia. Permits are issued by the state's circuit courts and are good for five years, but they can be renewed if there is no good cause to refuse the renewal. "More people are wanting guns," said Robert Jensen, a salesman at Virginia Arms in Manassas. "They're not believing the myth that guns cause crime. It's like saying flies cause trash. We've got more people doing competitive shooting and more people taking defensive training, and that's all around the gun industry." ....

Kliesen said he saw greatly increased interest in guns for self-defense after the Harvey family was killed at home on New Year's Day 2006 in Richmond. "A lot of folks are realizing that, as much as the police would like to be there," Kliesen said, "the only person you can guarantee will be there if you're ever victimized by a criminal is . . . you."

More here

Florida prosecutor: Fatal shooting was justified: "After the Feb. 7 fatal shooting of Nikita Williams, Smith called the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and told detectives he shot Williams after Williams pulled a gun on him in Rubonia. "After careful review of all the evidence in this case, it is clear that China Smith felt his life was in danger and was justified in his use of deadly force," Assistant State Attorney Spencer Rasnake wrote in a decline memo. Rasnake also wrote that physical evidence and witness testimony matched Smith's claim of self-defense. On the night of the shooting, Smith said that he was in Rubonia selling drugs near a store when someone told him two men were looking for him, according to Rasnake's memo. As a result, Smith rounded the store and saw Williams pull out a gun and point it a him, the memo states. "In response, China pulled out his gun and fired one round," Rasnake wrote. "China told detectives that he shot Nikita only after he saw Nikita pulled a gun on him and he felt his life was in danger."

NC State law, school policy clash over guns: "For Robert Lumley, the decision to bar his East Wake High School club marksmanship team from a statewide shooting tournament was as arresting as a shotgun blast. Less than a day before the March 15 district round of the decades-old N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission competition, one of East Wake's principals, with the support of the area superintendent who oversees that school, stopped the team from participating. The reason: Ammo and students don't mix, the school officials said. Like districts across the nation, Wake County bans deadly weapons from campuses and prohibits students from carrying them on school trips. But the decision to bar the East Wake team from the tournament extends that prohibition to students participating in an off-campus event sponsored by a state agency and supervised by adults certified in firearms safety. That call pits school policy against state law that allows firearms education at schools. The decision also runs counter to the efforts of wildlife agencies, hunting organizations and gun groups to recruit youths to replenish the dwindling number of hunters. It also underscores the tension between the fear of school massacres and the traditions of rural Wake, where hunting is still common."

Friday, April 11, 2008

About guns and government control

A comment from Australia

Just as the sign of the cross tends to discombobulate vampires, stopping them in their tracks, equivalent creatures - such as the hysterically paranoid, anti-personal-responsibility fraternity - go completely apoplectic and phobic at the sight of an autonomous citizen armed with the "great equaliser"of a firearm. This hysteria has been reawakened in many with the recent death of Charlton Heston. Much has been made of his affiliation with the National Rifle Association, muddying the memory of a man who was a great actor and activist.

"Kill the gun culture", scream the historically ignorant. Our political betters have signed on for the responsibility of "taking care " of us and all they ask in return is that we surrender the devices they seek to employ unilaterally - and that we are loyal to whatever they want to do with our lives, fortunes and sacred honour. But have you observed, that when danger threatens you and your family, the police are always someplace else? The Gauleiters of the superstate may not like it, but the absolute right of the individual citizen to protect himself, his family and the wider community is not obviated by the absence of the constabulary. In Shane, arguably the greatest western film, Alan Ladd pointed out to Jean Arthur that: "A gun is a tool, no better and no worse than an axe or any other tool; a gun is as good as the man using it."

Today it is considered too dangerous for most citizens to own a gun, but it is apparently viewed as not too dangerous to release child molesters, rapists and murderers into the community. After a recent child murder in California, we were informed 400,000 perverts are listed on a government "sex register" in that state alone. Closer to home, much has been made recently of the release of sex offenders into the community. It is not too difficult to imagine state governments releasing funnel-web spiders and crocodiles into cities, while whispering sweet nothings into our ears that there is nothing to worry about - because each creature is on a register somewhere.

People acquire firearms for the same reason they have created a growing industry of private security and alarm systems. Government is quite simply not performing its primary function of protecting life, liberty and property. Some examples here in Australia:

An elderly woman is murdered by an illegal immigrant - smothered to death with a pillow. An old Digger [soldier] is murdered by a 14-year-old youth recently escaped from a government "secure" facility. The murder weapon: a knife. A baby is snatched from the bedroom of her deaf parents by a man with a bus ticket in his hand provided by a government department. That ticket was to allow the disadvantaged youth to visit his family and was given to him by the same type of bureaucrats who have been given responsibility for "controlling" firearms - which are permitted to farmers to control pests, but absolutely denied for personal protection in Australia.

So we must consider the manifest failure of government departments and the prison system to protect victims. Governments and police regulate those who might legally possess firearms more than they act to prevent guns ending up in the hands of violent criminals. It's easier. Governments can't stop violence, so they go after those who can. To be seen to be doing something they have decided to beat up on inanimate objects; disarming the honest and the brave while doing little against the criminals and crazies. What a primitive mindset; a bit like blaming the pot for burning the beans.


Florida Man Shoots Self In Leg Defending SUV: "A man shot himself in the leg about 6 a.m. today as he wrestled with someone trying to break into his SUV in St. Petersburg, said George Kajtsa of the St. Petersburg Police Department. Police found Richard X. Summers,39, wounded in the upper leg and holding down 18-year-old Marlos M. Conrad [above]. Kajtsa said Conrad, of 3801 W. Wallace Ave., Tampa, followed Summers' fiance into their housing complex at 10265 Gandy Boulevard while she was driving a GMC Yukon Denali. She exited the SUV, someone tripped the alarm and she yelled for Summers. Police say Summers, armed with a handgun, confronted Conrad inside the SUV. They struggled and the gun went off. Conrad is being held at Pinellas County Jail on charges of strong-arm robbery and auto burglary."

Missouri woman holds burglar at gunpoint: "A burglar in southern Cedar County found himself in a standoff this week -- not with police but with a 57-year-old woman armed with a pistol and training for a conceal-and-carry permit. She held the burglar at bay until police could arrive to arrest him at the rural home where she found him in the closet."