Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scare tactics: the mainstream media's war on guns

When you have an agenda, you can spin nearly anything to fit it. The mainstream media, for reasons that are all their own, are by and large anti-gun. That bias is readily evident in their stories about anything involving guns. Take, for instance, an article in the Nashua Telegraph which begins, "like it or not, gun sales are, well, booming."

We deal with tragedy every day. Whether terrorist attacks, natural disasters, car accidents, etc., people lose their lives every day. In a free nation with 300 million people, sadly some will choose to commit violence with firearms. Unfortunately, there was just such an episode of violence over the weekend when a man killed eight people at a nursing home in North Carolina.

One article couldn't help but note that "the shooting will inevitably be seized upon by proponents of greater gun control who have already highlighted a spate of recent attacks." They also attempt to sway public opinion by noting that "the shooting appeared to be the latest massacre to scar American society, where firearms-related deaths total about 30,000 each year." Sounds scary until you note that the flu kills 63,000 and even Septicemia (infection) kills 34,000 each year. Of course, that figure also includes suicides, which account for approximately half the figure, as well as gang killings and criminals killed by police officers in the line of duty.

The media wants the "Assault Weapons Ban" reinstated, even though it was proven to be ineffective, and they will seize on any opportunity to push that agenda through journalistic activism.

Another example would be a recent story regarding singer Rihanna, who recently got a tattoo of a gun on her ribcage, remarking on her choice, "I’m a big advocate of guns. So I said, ‘How about a gun?'" Had it been any other social issue she supported, it would likely have gotten little mention. But since she was opposing the media's gun control agenda, the website perezhilton.com editorialized, "Considering everything that's come to light recently, this is totally creepy/sad! We sure hope RiRi is getting the counseling that she obviously needs." Apparently, an abuse victim who cowers in a corner is having a healthy response, but if she's a strong woman who supports firearms ownership for self defense then she needs counseling. I'd argue that Rihanna isn't the one with the problem.

Yet another example is the story out of Texas regarding that state's bill to deny an employer the ability to disarm employees to and from work. The headline laments, Guns could be legal in workplace, making people think that gun owners will be able to stick guns in their desk or lunchbox when the truth is only that employees with concealed carry licenses would be permitted to have guns locked up in their vehicles. Ohioans For Concealed Carry has asked the Ohio legislature to adopt a similar measure.

Much to the chagrin of the media, not all legislators and public officials support their agenda. We hear daily the hand wringing and rending of clothes as the media notes every pro-gun vote as the result of the "powerful gun lobby." They like it even less when a public official like Colorado's Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland supports the idea that "county employees might carry concealed handguns to improve security at the old county courthouse." Rather than treat it like an innovative solution to dwindling resources and increasing crime by relying on law abiding citizens to increase safety, papers like the Daily Sentinel call it a "shoot-from-the-hip solution" and imply she has lost her mind.

Gun control has proven time and time again to be ineffective. The general public seems to be less and less willing to be lied to and mislead, but that doesn't stop the gun grabbers and their puppets in the media from trying.

More here

Washington: Invader shot: "A resident trying to protect himself during a home invasion shot and seriously wounded one of two invaders early Monday. Spokane police said the man underwent surgery at a Spokane hospital for two handgun wounds to his abdomen, and the other suspect ran and remained at large Monday afternoon. A woman living at the home in the 4100 block of East 16th Avenue called 911 about 2 a.m., reporting that two men had entered the house and that her male roommate was confronting them in another room. The call came in about the same time the roommate fired shots in the other room, said Officer Tim Moses, police spokesman. Both of the suspects were armed, police said. Moses said police detectives plan to interview the injured man to learn more about the other suspect and the reason for the confrontation."

Illinois: Pizza delivery man scares off would-be robbers: "Calumet City Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery in the 100 block of Webb Street at 11:24 p.m. on Sunday. Three men attempted to rob a pizza delivery man at gunpoint, Calumet City Police Commander Dan Zorzi said. "(The victim) saw these guys approaching and got nervous," he said. "When they came up and pulled a gun, he pretended he had a gun, and they took off." The suspects fled on foot and the victim drove off in his truck and flagged down Hammond Police at 157th Street and State Line Road, Zorzi said."

KS: Kansans to vote on gun ownership amendment: “Next year, Kansans will vote whether to change the state constitution to guarantee individual gun rights.“It is the law of the land today in every state. They (supporters) would like to make sure it stays that way in Kansas,” said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, an Independence Republican.Supporters of a resolution that passed the House and Senate say the move is needed in case the U.S. Supreme Court ever decides that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun ownership. In 2008, the court ruled that the Bill of Rights covers an individual’s right to own firearms."

Monday, March 30, 2009

FL: Home Invasion Leaves Invader Dead, Homeowner Arrested on drug charges: "A home invasion left one invader dead, the two residents of the home under arrest and detectives seeking one or more suspects who fled after the shoot out. Derek Wimes [above right], the homeowner who was arrested on drug and gun charges. Dead is Jameel K. Young [above left], 20, who was pronounced dead outside the home, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reported. Under arrest are the homeowner, Derek Wimes, 32, who faces drug and other charges, and his live-in girlfriend, Michelle Smith, 38, who faces drug charges, the Sheriff’s Office said. About 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Young and another man kicked in the door from the carport to the kitchen of the duplex at 3637 N. Frontage Road. When Wimes heard the commotion, he grabbed a handgun and ran into the kitchen, firing several shots at the suspects, at least one of whom was armed. Young was hit. After the gunfire, the two suspects fled toward a black SUV parked at the end of the driveway. One of the men got into the SUV, which drove off, leaving behind Young, who had collapsed just outside the vehicle. Young was pronounced dead on scene of a gunshot wound. During the investigation, deputies discovered that Wimes had marijuana. He was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Smith was charged with possession of cocaine."

Changes in DC prompt run on guns and ammo : “Concern that the Obama administration could impose a new ban on some semiautomatic weapons is driving worried gun owners to stockpile ammunition and cartridge reloading components at such a rate that manufacturers can’t meet demand. Attorney General Eric Holder last month suggested that the Obama Administration favors reinstituting a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons.”

CO: Bill aimed at easing gun buys: “After Columbine, Colorado voters approved a measure requiring background checks on all gun-show sales. But as the 10th anniversary of the high school massacre approaches, lawmakers are considering a bill that would waive the checks for anyone holding a concealed-carry permit. Police chiefs and sheriffs are among those who testified against the measure, which is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate next week. Among law enforcement concerns: Colorado does not have a standard concealed-carry permit or a centralized database with information on whether a permit is still valid.”

WA: Nickels’ proposed gun ban not worth a dime: “Once again when faced with a controversy, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is reviving his plan to ban legally-carried firearms from city property, and the Second Amendment Foundation today promises once again to immediately take him to court. ‘This time around,’ said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, ‘Mayor Nickels needs to raise this issue to distract public attention from the political smell arising from the snow plowing investigation. We remind the mayor that his office has been warned by Attorney General Rob McKenna that neither he, nor the city, has the authority to enact such a ban under state preemption.’”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

TX: Prosecutors drop charge against man who had shootout with cop: "Travis County prosecutors on Friday dismissed the case against David Lozano, who lost his leg in a late-night shootout with an Austin police officer at Lozano's Northeast Austin house in 2007. "We believe that Mr. Lozano maintained a reasonable belief that on that day and time he was defending himself, his wife and his property," Travis County Assistant District Attorney Steven Brand said. The dismissal came after a series of expert witnesses for the state and defense cast doubt on whether officer Roger Boudreau told the truth about the confrontation, according to lawyers in the case. Lozano, 48, spent 13 months in jail before he was released on bail last year.... Last year, an expert witness for the defense analyzed the audio and the crime scene and determined that Boudreau fired the first three shots in the incident. Prosecutors dismissed the initial charges and acknowledged inconsistencies in the evidence and in Boudreau's account... Deck said that further analysis by his expert witness found that Boudreau fired the first five shots. In recent weeks, he said, Brand told him that state experts had independently determined that Boudreau fired at least the first three shots, prompting prosecutors to abandon the case. Deck said he doesn't think it was an innocent mistake by Boudreau, but that Boudreau intentionally lied about who fired the first shots.... Last week, Lozano filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Austin, Boudreau and Boudreau's supervisor, Sgt. Stephen Deaton, claiming, among other things, that he was a victim of excessive force and that his civil rights were violated."

OH: Off duty officers had bad aim: "Two off-duty Akron police officers who chased a robber out of an Ellet bar earlier this week did not fire until the suspect aimed his shotgun at them, the police chief said Friday. The officers, who were bar patrons at the time of the robbery, also did not appear to be intoxicated and, therefore, no blood-alcohol tests were administered after the shooting, Police Chief Craig Gilbride said. The official internal investigation into the shooting is expected to take several weeks before it is concluded and released to the public. Gilbride, however, said preliminary interviews show the officers acted appropriately after witnessing the robbery early Tuesday morning inside the Holiday Lounge on Hilbish Avenue and chasing the armed robber. The man escaped with a getaway car driver, but two suspects were arrested the next day. Brian C. Goodwin, 34, and Brian Gumpl, 32, both of Akron, are charged with five counts of aggravated robbery. Police say one man came into the bar armed with a shotgun and demanding the bar's cash. The off-duty officers followed the bandit outside, where he ran to an awaiting car. Gilbride said only one of the officers fired on one of the suspects. The shots came after the foot chase in which the robber turned and aimed a shotgun at the officers, he said. The officer fired about 10 times, but the suspects were not struck."

TX: Owner kills store robber: "Sheriff's department officials say two men dressed in black and wearing ski masks entered a Mobilecom cell phone store. At least one of the men was armed with a gun. They successfully robbed the store of a couple of cell phones and computers. Several people were inside that store, including employees and witnesses. But the owner was there, and he also had a gun. He chased after the two men into the parking lot. One man was able to get into a dark colored car and drive off. But the owner apparently shot the other man in the parking lot. The suspect didn't stop running. He ran into the street on Barker Cypress and was struck by a car that was headed southbound, but the man kept on going. "After he hit the car, he rolled over the hood," recalled Jason Karim, the driver of the car. "He hit the windshield, landed on the back. He got right up. He just kept right on running across the street to the other strip center, and that's where he collapsed in the driveway." "At this point we're early in the investigation," explained Det. Craig Clopton of the Harris County Sheriff's Department homicide division. "We have to talk to all the witnesses and get everything straightened out. But I can't say that (the owner) would be charged with anything. From the outside looking in, I don't see where he did anything wrong." Authorities say the suspect who died at the scene did have a weapon."

NC: Robber shoots his partner: "Authorities said a suspected armed robber pulled a gun Friday afternoon, but instead of shooting the victim of the robbery, he shot his partner. Officers said four men walked into Carolina Industrial Supply on Parkside Drive and tried to rob Thomas Campbell. During the robbery, the gunman fired a shot at Campbell, but shot another would-be robber in the face. That’s when all four suspects took off in a light blue Ford. “Twenty minutes or so after the call, someone did show up at University Hospital that may be connected to this case as well, and that’s part of this investigation that we hope to clarify,” Capt. Bruce Bellamy said. Police said Roman Johnson was dropped of at CMC University for treatment. He’s now under guard at CMC Main and will be charged with armed robbery when he’s released. Police have issued warrants for Martin Lee Reid, Jr. for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oklahoma: Man fends off knife-wielding intruder during home invasion: "A Metro man takes on a man with a knife and wins. Maurice Johnson was catching up on some sleep Thursday afternoon when his burglar alarm sounds. He awakes to a man in his house in the 4300 block of North Blackwelder. "I see a guy in a big black jacket holding a knife about that size and he tells me basically turn the alarm off and give me money." Johnson, keeping his wits about him, tells the man to follow him to the back bedroom where there may be some cash. The suspect keeps the knife held tightly against Johnson as they walk through the house. Johnson says he pretends to rifle through his drawer to get money but got his gun instead and fires a shot at the suspect. The suspect takes off immediately. No word on if the suspect was hit."

FL: Teen robber killed at Burger King had lengthy juvenile record: "Long before Johnny Jean-Baptiste was shot dead trying to rob a Burger King on Tuesday, the Miami teenager was a familiar face to police... On Tuesday, Jean-Baptiste was out on bond awaiting trial for the carjacking charge when he walked into a Burger King at 5398 Biscayne Blvd. around 4 p.m. Wearing a ski mask and black gloves, say police, the teen pointed a semiautomatic Bryco .380 at the people behind the counter. Customer John Landers, armed with a 9 mm Glock and a concealed weapons permit, saw the teen and confronted him, telling him to put down the gun. Jean-Baptiste refused and fired his weapon. Landers, 45, fired back. Within moments, Jean-Baptiste lay dead on the floor of the fast-food restaurant, while Landers had bullet wounds to his chest, shoulder and arm. No one else inside the store -- which is usually crowded with children leaving a nearby school and adults getting off work -- was injured. [This story was posted here on 26th but no names were available at that stage]

IN: Father shoots son, claims self defense: "A Muncie man was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Friday morning after being shot by his father following an argument. Muncie police released Michael L. Thomas, 61, after questioning about shooting his son, Andrew, 29, following a confrontation in their south Muncie home in the 2200 block of South Windpoint Drive around 4:42 a.m. "He is claiming self defense," said police detective Sgt. Mike Engle, about the father who told police he was afraid of his son. According to police, Andrew Thomas apparently confronted his father and mother, Mornie, as they lay in bed, following a dispute over a disconnected phone and the trash being taken out. As the son lunged at his father, the elder Thomas pulled out a handgun and shot his son in the stomach. Andrew Thomas underwent surgery Friday and was listed as a "no information patient." Michael Thomas, who declined to comment, put down his gun after calling emergency dispatch. Police Sgt. Jay Turner said the victim was conscious and talking before he was taken to the hospital. Engle said the case would be turned over to the county prosecutor's office to determine whether formal charges would be filed in the shooting. Police are looking into reports of whether the younger Thomas might have threatened his parents before."

Gun rights and the Constitution: Was Heller insignificant?: “Has the Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller … been of almost no significance? So claimed the New York Times in a recent article by Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak. Unfortunately, Liptak’s article followed in a long New York Times tradition of credulously reporting the claims of one anti-gun professor, without conducting sufficient research to see if the claims hold up. Let’s start with the most obvious facts which the Times overlooked. On the day that Heller was decided, the citizens of five Chicago suburbs … were prohibited from owning guns. … Today … [i]n four of the five Chicago suburbs … the handgun bans have been repealed. Yet according to the Times, ‘So far, Heller is firing blanks.’”

Friday, March 27, 2009

South Carolina Couple shoot, Stab black intruder: "Deputies said a man who attempted to rob a Spartanburg couple ended up shot, stabbed and arrested. Spartanburg County deputies responded to a call of an attempted robbery at a home on West Croft Circle. Travis Morrow, who lives in the house, and his girlfriend, Aiyetoro Ross, told deputies two men tried to rob them. Morrow said as he struggled to disarm one of the men, the gun discharged, and hit the suspect. Ross grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the suspect. Both of the robbery suspects then ran from the house. Deputies were later called to Mary Black Hospital where man had come into the Emergency Room suffering from a gunshot injury and a stab wound. The injured man was identified as 20-year-old Ronald Deshawn Rice, of Spartanburg. Rice is charged with one count of attempted armed robbery and two counts of assault with intent to kill. The second suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Ryan Dwight Ross of Pacolet, SC. He is also charged with one count of attempted armed robbery and two counts of assault with intent to kill.

NRA Files 2nd Amendment Complaint in Heller v. D.C. Gun Case: The National Rifle Association filed a second amended complaint in Dick Anthony Heller et al v. District of Columbia in U.S. District Court. NRA and other plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent the D.C. Council from implementing laws that violate the Second Amendment and from enforcing its prohibitions on the possession of commonly owned firearms. Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, said, “It's time to fully restore the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding residents in the District of Columbia. The D.C. Council’s latest gun registration scheme is proof of D.C.’s continued contempt for the Supreme Court.” NRA filed the original suit last summer after D.C. enacted a restrictive gun registration law in response to the landmark Supreme Court decision in the first District of Columbia v. Heller. The historic Heller decision struck down D.C.’s long-standing ban on handguns and self-defense in the home. The second amended complaint challenges D.C.'s current laws, which will become permanent in early April if not vetoed by Congress."

IL: House votes down gun control measure : “For the second time in a year, an attempt to toughen state gun laws fell short of passage in the Illinois House.The proposal, which failed on a 55-60 vote Wednesday, aims to close the so-called private-sale loophole. … Supporters say current law allows guns to get into the hands of criminals who would otherwise not be able to buy firearms. … A majority of lawmakers, however, doubted additional gun laws would stop the violence. … Downstate lawmakers argued that Chicago-area lawmakers are trying to impose stricter gun laws on the rest of the state when the problems of gun violence are primarily limited to within the state’s largest city.”

Self defence a precarious right in New Zealand: "My congratulations this morning to stabbed shop owner Virender Singh, who fought back against intruders into his shop only to have to fight back against police who charged him for having the temerity to defend himself. Just as they did when Greg Carvell defended himself and the occupants of his family’s gun shop. Just as they did when Paul McIntyre defended his property and his family. Just as they did when Michael Vaimauga was arrested for assault after he stopped a burglar breaking into a shop. And just as they would have if the late Navtej Singh had managed to fight back successfully against the armed intruders into his bottle store. As an Avondale dairy owner said when a colleague was stabbed in the neck and back by a robber, “When we protect ourselves, we get charged - and if we don’t we get stabbed. What do we do?” So my congratulations to Mr Singh not just for being cleared in a depositions hearing at the Manukau District Court, but for having the gumption to defend himself and his young nephew when the police have already made it perfectly clear they view anyone who does as a criminal. Make no mistake, Virender Singh’s exculpation yesterday by Manukau JPs was not a ringing declaration of your right to self defence – despite the Crimes Act allowing it, and basic human rights demanding it. No, his case was not dismissed based his right to self defence, but only because there was insufficient evidence to charge him."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

RI: Aggressive neighbor gets shot: "Attorneys for an ex-Providence policeman say he was afraid for his life when he shot and killed his neighbor in a dispute over a children's ball game in May 2008. Nicholas Gianquitti will argue during his murder trial that he was acting in self-defense after his firefighter neighbor, 44-year-old James Pagano, punched him in the face. Attorneys gave opening statements in Providence Superior Court on Tuesday. Prosecutors said children at Pagano's house hit a tennis ball into Gianquitti's car. Both sides in the case agree that Gianquitti then cursed at the children. When Pagano found out, he went to Gianquitti's house to confront him. Pagano allegedly punched Gianquitti, who pulled a gun from a holster and shot him."

Republican Enlists 65 Pro-Gun Dems to Oppose Assault Weapon Ban: "U.S. Representative Mike Ross (AR-04) led a group of 65 pro-gun Democrats in denouncing recent comments made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s on February 25 that the Obama administration intended to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The group of 65 pro-gun Democrats, led by Ross, sent a letter to the Attorney General on March 18, 2009, urging him to abandon any effort to reinstate the assault weapons ban and to focus instead on effective law enforcement strategies to enforce the nation’s current laws against violent criminals and drug traffickers. “Firearms are an important means of self defense and, as an avid hunter and outdoorsmen, an important part of our way of life,” said Ross. “I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and will continue to fight any efforts in Washington that restrict our right to own and bear arms.” The group argued that the ban was ineffective during the 10 years it was law, and that crime began falling before the ban was passed in 1994, and continued falling during and after the ban. The last time the murder rate was at its current level was more than forty years ago"

Texas may loosen laws on storing guns: Texans would be allowed to stow their guns and ammo inside their locked cars or trucks while at work and parked on employer property under a controversial bill passed Wednesday by the state Senate. The Senate voted 31-0 to prohibit employers from enforcing restrictions against employees possessing a legally owned handgun or ammunition inside a locked vehicle while in a company parking lot. Firearms and ammo must be stored out of sight. “Here in Texas people like their firearms and … if they want to bring them to the workplace they are going to do it whether there’s an employee policy against it or not,” said state Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, the measure’s author. “This is designed to stop employers from punishing employees who legally bring weapons to work .” Supporters say employer rules banning guns in a company parking lot infringe on their Second Amendment right and their ability to protect themselves as they travel to and from work."

MA: Gun dealers feel regulatory pinch: “Fifteen years ago there were 23 federal firearms licenses issued in Belchertown. Today, there are three. ‘I would say that’s a pretty major decline,’ said Rich Kimball … one of the three remaining license holders. Stricter federal licensing regulations dating back to 1993, plus the overall climate in Massachusetts with some of the toughest firearms laws in the country, have made it tough for gun dealers in the Bay State, according to Kimball. The combination, he says, ’caused a lot of dealers to get out of the business.’ … Kimball, a gun dealer for 25 years, said that in the last decade the amount of paperwork and forms to fill out every time he receives an order of guns or sells one has increased dramatically.”

Arkansas Rejects Guns in Churches

(Little Rock, Arkansas) A proposed bill which would allow concealed weapons to be carried in churches was shot down today by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Current law bans concealed weapons in bars and churches.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Florida: 1 dead, one injured in Miami Burger King shooting: "One man was killed and another seriously wounded in a shootout inside a Miami Burger King on Tuesday, officials said. Police said a man wearing a ski mask walked into the store at Biscayne Boulevard and 54th Street and demanded money from a clerk. A customer, who has a concealed weapons permit, pulled a gun, said Officer Jeff Giordano, a Miami police spokesman. The customer and robber exchanged fire. The robber was shot dead at the scene. The customer, who had several gunshot wounds, was taken to Ryder Trauma Center in serious but stable condition, said Lt. Ignatius Carroll, a Miami Fire Rescue spokesman."

Arkansas: Man Defends Wife, Wounds Would-Be Robber: "According to the police report, a husband and wife were unloading groceries into their Jeep when a man wearing a wig and cap allegedly confronted them, pointing a gun. At that point, the report says the suspect said "'This is a robbery'" and went after the woman's purse. Police say the suspect allegedly hit the woman and ripped the bag from the woman's arm. Police say that's when her husband took action. Sgt. Cassandra Davis says the husband fired at Jonathan Terry [above], hitting him in the rear end. "The husband than retrieved his own personal weapon. He did ask the suspect to release his wife and the purse. The suspect refused," says Sgt. Davis. Police say Terry jumped into a waiting car and his friends, Sherry Battle and Tequila Rice drove him to UAMS. "They were at the hospital and our officers took those individuals into custody also," explains Sgt. Davis. All three are facing Aggravated Robbery Charges. Police say Battles and Rice fought with officers and are also facing battery charges. Today's THV has the couple's names, but since they haven't been charged with a crime, we've decided not to mention them"

Ohio: Would-Be Robber Ends Up As Shooting Victim: "A would-be thief ended up in the hospital with a gunshot wound after a failed robbery attempt in Mt. Auburn overnight. Police say the would-be robber, 20-year-old Anthony Walker of Corryville, approached two men at a home in the 120 block of Malvern Place and threatened them with a gun. One of the men, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, reportedly shot Walker during the altercation. Both of the intended victims then drove to the Cincinnati Police District One station and reported the incident. Rescue crews transported Walker to University Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the chest. He is now facing charges of aggravated robbery."

WV: Delegates want to bear arms without permits: "Controversy often inflames passions, and mindful of this lawless age and a propensity of some in society to go over the edge, a few lawmakers want the right to arm themselves without a weapons permit. One sponsor of such a House bill, in fact, Delegate Mark Hunt, D-Kanawha, relayed a personal threat directed at him and his family, penned by the hand of a convict. A self-described ‘monster,’ the man behind bars warned of what he intended to do to Hunt and his children. Hunt decided to leave nothing to chance and get a firearm, but was told he had to wait during a two-month concealed weapon application process.” [Poor bubby!]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PA: Shooter faces drug charges: "Johnstown police and Cambria County prosecutors are investigating whether a Johnstown man was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed a man believed to be attempting to break into his apartment Sunday evening in the city’s West End. Until that issue is resolved, the police are not filing any shooting-related charges against 27-year-old Andrew Herdman, District Attorney Patrick Kiniry said Monday. However, Herdman has been arrested on drug charges for the large amount of heroin found inside his apartment. The police found a large amount of heroin – packaged into 259 folded, wax paper “stamps” for street sales. Kiniry estimated the street value at $5,000. The victim was identified as 29-year-old David Edward Turner of Johnstown’s Moxham section. Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said that Turner died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. A report of the shooting was called to Cambria 911 by the mother of a juvenile girl who had been inside the apartment with Herdman. The girl had called her mother after the shooting, Kiniry said. When police arrived, they found Turner collapsed on the floor on an outside porch at the entrance to the apartment, officials said. Herdman had shot through a metal door, and the slug hit Turner in the chest, it was reported... Turner had two criminal convictions in county court and was placed on probation for 14 years on charges of criminal mischief and receiving stolen property. He was ordered to pay costs, fines and restitution totaling more than $17,000."

Tellers botch attempted robbery at Crofton bank: "Quick-thinking tellers trapped a gun-toting, masked man between two doors of a Crofton bank during an attempted robbery this morning. The man eventually shot his way out of the Arundel Federal Savings Bank, but didn’t get away for good. County police caught up with the suspect and his alleged accomplice within minutes on Route 50 near Interstate 97. A witness told police he saw a man walking on Davidsonville Road just after 10:30 a.m. and watched as the man put a ski mask over his face, cut through a small parking lot and headed to the front entrance of the bank at 2046 Davidsonville Road, said Justin Mulcahy, a county police spokesman. The man walked into the bank and the front door shut behind him, Mulcahy said. But he had another door to go through before he could reach the bank’s lobby. Employees, tipped off by the man’s ski mask and his handgun, refused to “buzz” him past the second door and then tapped a button to lock the main entrance to the bank.

NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Guns in National Parks: "The National Rifle Association on Friday appealed a federal court ruling that blocked a Bush administration policy allowing people to carry concealed, loaded guns in national parks. The decision, issued Thursday by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, halted a regulation from the waning days of the Bush administration. The rule, which took effect in January, allowed visitors to carry a loaded gun into a park or wildlife refuge as long as the person had a permit for a concealed weapon and the state where the park or refuge was located allowed concealed firearms. Previously, guns in parks had been severely restricted. Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist, said the group will pursue all legal and legislative options. The NRA had pushed for the Bush rule change and was granted legal standing in a lawsuit brought by gun-control advocates and environmental groups. "We didn't give up in the fight to change the old, outdated rule and we are going to pursue every legal and legislative avenue to defend the American people's right to self-defense," Cox said Friday."

CA: Proposed easing of concealed-weapons law draws fire: "What issue could unite a Republican lawmaker from Southern California and a 46-year-old lesbian from Natomas? Guns, of course. A bill introduced in the state Assembly last month aims to make it easier for Californians to obtain a concealed weapons permit. Assembly Bill 357 – yes, the number is right – would change a state law that currently gives county sheriffs or chiefs of police final say in who can carry a gun. By stripping the local law enforcement discretion, the bill would mandate that any Californian who passes a training course and demonstrates "good moral character" can tuck a pistol into his or her waistband. Even though the bill won't be heard in committee for a few weeks, it has raised ire among law enforcement officials, including Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness. Police chiefs and sheriffs can be more effective at screening out people who shouldn't have concealed weapons, he said." [But some of them screen out most people]

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lack of gun bans keeps New Mexico safe: "During a recent visit with my sister in Oakland, Calif., our conversation turned to the crime rate in her city. She told me that the trend among armed robbers was what are termed "take over" robberies, during which one or more armed thugs would brandish weapons in a restaurant and not only rob the cash box, but also all of the customers. Any attempt to resist is likely to result in the shooting of an unarmed customer or worker. She was somewhat taken aback when I told her that that type of robbery "wasn't allowed" in New Mexico. I further explained that since we weren't in a (safe?) gun-free city, I could sit in any of my favorite cafes and count at least a half dozen people who were carrying firearms, concealed or openly. Our criminals in New Mexico are at least bright enough to see that the odds are against them in a take-over situation. Referring to the front page article in The Daily Times of March 15, I would first like to voice my support of our legislators who are supporting a revision of the law that would allow a concealed carry permit holder to have lunch or dinner in a restaurant where alcohol is served. Kudos to Sen. Bill Sharer for his belief that responsible adults are not the enemy."

Government taking guns: Ya gotta ask why: "What I want to know is why so many in government even want to take away guns at all. They'll never get the guns out of the hands of criminals, and there's no point in disarming the voters. Unless . naah, that's just conspiracy talk. What happens in other countries can't happen here. Just because their countries began with crisis, doesn't mean our similar crises will follow the formula and lead to taking our weapons. Just because their leaders lied to them about trust and transparency doesn't mean it will automatically happen here. Just because the people there didn't see it coming doesn't mean we . well, you fill in the rest."

NC: Bill to extend concealed carry sidetracked: “Gun supporters aiming to extend the right to carry concealed handguns into restaurants and parks where they are now banned had their hopes sidetracked. A measure to allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry their gun while visiting city and county parks was postponed Thursday in a House Judiciary committee. The sponsor also wanted to include state parks. Supporters also want to carry guns when eating in a restaurant that serves alcohol. A permit holder could lose that right for having a gun where alcohol is sold. That bill was sent to a subcommittee. Opponents said driving-while-impaired laws show people still drink when they shouldn’t, and mixing gun rights with alcohol sales is a bad idea.”

An alternative to “guns at work” laws: “Frankly, although I consider myself a fairly hardcore gun rights advocate, I am torn when it comes to this kind of law. I cannot easily dismiss the argument that a property owner has the right to prohibit pretty much anything on his or her property … On the other hand, some argue that fundamental human rights … are always inviolate, and that property owners cannot legitimately demand the surrender of such rights, even on their own property. It’s always a dilemma when rights collide. It seems to me that there is a way around the dilemma, though. Let property owners ban guns on their property, but in doing so, they take on the responsibility for the protection of anyone legitimately on that property.”

Park Service Bans Lead Bullets

The U.S. National Park Service has banned lead bullets and fishing tackle on federal park lands. Hunters will be forced to use more expensive copper bullets.

Understandably, 2nd Amendment supporters are miffed. According to Neal Knox of the Firearms Coalition, banning lead ammunition is "the latest scalp in a well-organized, scarcely recognized series of flanking attacks upon the right to keep and bear arms."

Well said, Mr. Knox.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

NV: Married couple foil home robbery attempt: "A local couple came home from work last Saturday night to find not one but five people burglarizing their home. Emery Childress III and his wife Brenda knew right away that something was wrong. "Saturday evening I picked my wife up from work. She was going to take the evening off. We pulled up to the garage, we opened the garage door. When the garage was half-way up, the dogs ran out to us. And normally, the dogs are inside the house." "He went in first so I opened the door and let him in," continues Brenda. "And then I shut the door and...it only took about three seconds and I heard him say...Freeze. I use foul language - I say get on the ground, drop it. I walk over...to these guys...and I have them at gun point." Inside their Henderson home were four perpetrators, all holding valuable weapons: guns, knives, and even a sword that belonged to them. "I then entered from the garage, came around the corner where he had two suspects laying down on the floor," says Brenda. "They had our .45 down there and I picked it up." While Emery's wife held the two perpetrators at gun point, he ran outside with the other gun and tried to catch two more that were waiting outside in an SUV. "We had two adults and two juvenile girls were arrested," confirms Keith Paul, Henderson Police Department. "There is one suspect that is outstanding." 27-year-old Billy Hicks was booked on conspiracy; 18-year-old Avion Wilkins was booked on burglary, home invasion, conspiracy, and grand larceny of a firearm; and a 17-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl were taken to the Clark County Juvenile Hall."

CA: Oakland Robbery Victims Fight Off Robbers: "The owner of Oakland's Gourmet Market wishes it didn't happen. He says his nephew should have never fought off the suspected robbers when they came into his store at 1549 Jackson St. Thusday night. Two armed men barged into the store around 9:30 p.m. but their plan to hit the store and run off was foiled. Two customers and a cashier started punching the robbers. The robbers fired off shots striking the men, but they wouldn't stop fighting. Eventually one suspect escaped but the heroes were able to hold on to one robber, grab his gun and subdue him until Oakland Police got on the scene. One victim was shot in the chest, another in the neck and the last one in the arm. The store owner says the injuries weren't serious and that they are all in good condition".

Obama gunning for the Second Amendment: "This will seem like a strange way to open a piece of commentary, but the gun owners who voted for Barack Obama believing he respected Second Amendment rights remind me of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. Specifically, I think of the scene from The Return of the Pink Panther in which Clouseau was getting a real dressing down from his superior, Chief Inspector Dreyfus. The issue was that Clouseau had naively stood by talking to a `blind' organ grinder outside a bank while the institution was being robbed. After Dreyfus pointed out that the organ grinder was the lookout for the thieves and Clouseau said that such a thing was impossible because the beggar was blind, Dreyfus asked how Clouseau knew this. Clouseau replied, `He told me so.' Quite frankly, this wasn't nearly as stupid as believing that a member of Chicago's socialist New Party, who was weaned in a black power church, was a gun caesar and not a gun seizer. And now Obama is in fact striking a blow against the Second Amendment."

DC: SAF challenges handgun ban scheme: “The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents today filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of ‘acceptable’ handguns approved by the State of California. The District is using this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns ‘that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense.’ This scheme could eventually bar the ownership of any new handguns.”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

FL: 19-year-old burglar shot, killed in North Naples: "For the second time in six months, Sterlin Misener Jr. heard an alarm sounding at his North Naples property Friday morning. And for the second time in this short period of time, the 44-year-old found himself face to face with an apparent burglary. In the first incident in October, four men, one with a gun, were arrested. Friday, Misener had his own gun and shot the alleged intruder, 19-year-old Patrick Hutchison, dead. Around 4 a.m., according to the Collier County Sheriff’s office, Misener caught Hutchison coming out of a family camper parked in the driveway at 91 Willoughby Drive. Misener told deputies Hutchison lunged at him and that’s when he shot him. Hutchison was pronounced dead at the scene. Though some friends and neighbors say Hutchison had been running with a bad crowd of late, they described him as a “good person,” happy and funny, who wasn’t aggressive.... According to Collier County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Karie Partington, the determination as to whether or not Misener would be charged with Hutchinson’s death would be up to the State Attorney’s Office. “The Sheriff’s Office does have an option of turning anything they’ve discovered over to us for review,” said State Attorney’s Office Spokeswoman Samantha Syoen. “At this point, we haven’t been contacted.”

Texas: Clerk trades gunfire with robbers: " Robbers used a shotgun Thursday evening to blast open the glass door of a west-side retail store in west Fort Worth, but a clerk shot back, police said. The two robbers fled the CC 99 Cent Plus Store in the 5700 block of Lovell Avenue, and the clerk was not hurt, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman. "It's unknown," he added, "if either suspect was hit." The incident happened around 8:35 p.m. at the store, which is near Lovell Avenue's intersection with Camp Bowie Boulevard. The two men wearing hooded sweatshirts breached the glass door and entered the store. They pointed the shotgun and a handgun at the clerk and demanded "all the money," Henderson said. But the 38-year-old clerk, crouching behind a counter, grabbed his own gun and fired several shots at the robbers, Henderson said. "The two would-be robbers fled the store as bullets flew past them," Henderson said."

Case Against Gun-Store Owner Dismissed: "An Arizona court on Wednesday dismissed the case against a gun-store owner accused of looking the other way while front men purchased weapons to deliver to Mexico's drug cartels. At the heart of the case was the X-Caliber gun store, where prosecutors alleged more than 700 high-powered rifles were sold to purchasers whom the owner, 47-year-old George Iknadosian, should have known were acting as so-called straw buyers for Mexican customers. Sales of most weapons to non-U.S. citizens north of the border are severely constrained, as is gun possession by civilians in Mexico. To get around those restrictions, Arizona officials alleged, Mr. Iknadosian allowed Arizonans with clean criminal records to buy weapons they would resell in Mexico, first by falsifying forms attesting that the firearms were for the purchasers' personal use. Witnesses in the case included several of these alleged straw buyers, who have pleaded guilty to charges that bring a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment. Yet in dismissing the 21 counts against Mr. Iknadosian, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield ruled that the evidence prosecutors presented wasn't "material," and therefore didn't support charges against the defendant. "The state's case is based upon testimony of individuals who [alleged]...that they were the actual purchaser of the firearms when they were not," Judge Gottsfield wrote. He then indicated that such testimony, by itself, failed to establish that any additional unlawful conduct transpired.... State and federal authorities, including a task force supervised by the Phoenix office of the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, worked for 11 months with local police building a case against X-Caliber."

TN: House OKs loaded shotguns, rifles in cars: “The Tennessee House voted Thursday to allow people with handgun carry permits to also carry loaded rifles and shotguns in their vehicles. Representatives voted 82-10 to pass the bill sponsored by Rep. Henry Fincher, D-Cookeville, who said the change is needed to bring the law into line with what he called ‘common rural practices.’ Under current law, rifles and shotguns are considered loaded if ammunition is in the ‘immediate vicinity’ — even if the chamber of the weapon is empty. That means hunters and farmers are technically in violation if they carry both guns and ammunition in the cabs of their pickup trucks, Fincher said. … ‘We have a law that doesn’t make common sense, and is therefore at odds with common rural practices.’”

Friday, March 20, 2009

OK: Thief dead. Owner shot: "One man, just identified by police as 40-year-old Rodger Dale McKnight, Jr. is dead. Broken Arrow Police say the other man, Randy Bryant, is considered the victim in this case. This all happened this morning around 7:30 in Broken Arrow at the Johanna Woods mobile home community. “Broken Arrow Police tell me no charges are expected to be filed against Randy Bryant, the owner of this home. “In critical condition at St. Francis, Bryant was shot in the chest with the same .32 handgun that killed McKnight. Police say, at this point, it’s being considered a case of self-defense....they learned that the homeowner just three doors down had been shot after a struggle with a man believed to have been trespassing and trying to break into a vehicle on the property”

Florida: Armed Homeowner Drives Away Intruder: "A Tampa man faces felony armed burglary charges after a home invasion in Lake Wales this morning. Police said two children, ages 3 and 3 months, were inside the home at 1261 Grove Ave. about 10:30 a.m. when a burglar pried open a rear sliding glass door with a crowbar. The startled homeowner fired off seven rounds from a .380 handgun. "It's a disturbing scene especially with children inside. I know the homeowner is shaken up right now," said Lake Wales Assistant Police Chief Christopher Velasquez. The bullets hit the suspect, 45-year-old Michael Collins, in the head and arm, police said. Collins had parked his van in the home's driveway and tried to drive away but crashed a couple hundred feet away in an orange grove, they added. Officers apprehended Collins, who was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Hospital for treatment for his injuries. He is expected to recover. Collins is charged with first-degree felony armed burglary and possession of burglary tools. Detectives said the homeowner did not know Collins prior to the home invasion."

Court decision blocks guns in national parks: “A judge on Thursday blocked a federal rule allowing people to carry concealed, loaded guns in U.S. national parks and wildlife refuges. The decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly halts a change in regulations issued in the waning days of the Bush administration and orders further review. She set an April 20 deadline for the Interior Department to review the rule and indicate its course of action in response to the injunction.”

Feds lift rule that threatened ammo shortage: “Gun owners concerned about growing shortages of ammunition nationwide got a bit of a reprieve this week when the Defense Department rescinded a rule requiring that spent military bullets be destroyed rather than reloaded for sale … That rule temporarily had cut off major ammunition manufacturers from their largest supply of brass casings, used to make popular .223- and .308-caliber ammunition for the public and law enforcement. Also hit hard under Defense’s no-sale rule were the folks at Georgia Arms, the … ammo dealer that is among the nation’s largest supplier of reloaded military cartridges. With no used brass coming in from government liquidators in recent weeks, the company’s production ground to a halt.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama secretly ends program that let pilots carry guns: "After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings. Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology. The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots. This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs. Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases "are trumped up."

TN: Fingerprinting for gun owners could come to an end : "A 1998 state law that requires gun buyers to provide a fingerprint could soon be a thing of the past. A bill that passed 82-11 in the State House is now headed for the Senate. It says firearms dealers in Tennessee would no longer be required to take thumbprints from people buying a gun. . Although thumb printing is required, it's not part of TBI's background check for a gun purchase. The dealer calls in the information provided by the potential buyer."

One more hoop for you: ""A recent article by the Portland Progressive Examiner unwittingly illustrates an underappreciated problem with the concept of the concealed weapons permit: privacy, not from the government, but from the public. Prospective applicants' apprehensions about privacy from the government - the whole `why on earth would I volunteer to be on a government list?' problem - is well-understood and generally self-articulating. But how about this problem: what happens when someone decides (usually post facto and unilaterally, such as the judge in this case) that the records are suddenly public domain? It was almost certainly not the intention of the author to talk seriously about this topic, but his commenters did not let him get away with the rather standard-issue, thinly veiled contempt that most `progressives' seem to have for what I like to call `enforceable individual sovereignty.'"

Why people carry guns : "Most people who choose to carry a firearm for self defense will, sooner or later, have someone ask them the question, `why do you carry a gun?' Sometimes it will be asked accusingly by an anti-gun person seeking to ridicule them. Other times it will be by someone who has been lead to believe that guns are bad and the people who carry them are, but they're not really sure and are genuinely curious. . The anti-gun crowd will tell you it is because of paranoia or that [gun owners] want to feel big and powerful. I've never found either to be the case. For most, it is because they want to feel safe."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Washington crook finally picks the wrong man: "Bus driver Jelani K. Slay, 34, of Clinton was fatally shot March 8 by an off-duty D.C. police officer. Police said Slay, wearing a mask and brandishing a gun, tried to rob the officer in the 5300 block of B Street SE. Slay was hired as a Metrobus driver in March 2007. Slay, who had a record of armed robberies and other crimes dating back to the 1990s, was hired as a Metrobus driver two months after getting out of prison, where he spent nearly 11 years. Court records show that he was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he fatally shot an armed man during a dispute on a D.C. street in March 1992. A grand jury declined to indict him in the case.

Missouri Homeowner Shoots At Burglars, Hits Friend: "A man is in the hospital after he was accidentally shot when his friend tried to shoot two burglars, Oklahoma City police said. It happened around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning when two men broke into the house near Northeast 42nd Street and Prospect Avenue, police said. The homeowner heard the burglars, grabbed a gun and allegedly began firing. Instead of hitting the burglars, a bullet hit the homeowner's friend. The burglars ran away from the house. The homeowner and his friend got into a car and drove to the hospital. Their trip was delayed when they were pulled over by police for speeding a few blocks away, police said. The victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Police do not have a description of the burglars. Charges are not expected to be filed, police said."

Rethinking original intent : "After the Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia's handgun ban last June, gun-rights advocates trained their sights on similar restrictions in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. Last month, the National Rifle Association received ammunition from an unlikely source: the Constitutional Accountability Center, a liberal litigation shop. In a brief filed with the federal appeals court in Chicago, the center not only argued that gun ownership is a constitutional right, it also employed the legal method popularized by such conservative icons as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. That method is originalism, which seeks to apply the law today according to the text's meaning at the time of its adoption."

Obama's gun ban list is out : "Here it is, folks, and it is bad news. The framework for legislation is always laid, and the Democrats have the votes to pass anything they want to impose upon us. They really do not believe you need anything more than a brick to defend your home and family. Look at the list and see how many you own. Remember, it is registration, then confiscation. It has happened in the UK, in Australia, in Europe, in China, and what they have found is that for some reason the criminals do not turn in their weapons, but will know that you did."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Virginia: One burglar shot, another stabbed : "Police say one burglar was shot and another stabbed breaking into a Woodbridge home Sunday night. James Baumann Jr., 28, and Jason Lewis Presley, 32, are accused in a burglary in the 15100 block of Georgia Road about 11:30 p.m. Police say one of them was armed with a knife. The 41-year-old resident of the house heard the burglars and went to investigate, said Erika Hernandez, Prince William police spokeswoman. When the victim saw the two men, a fight ensued. Police said the resident grabbed a knife from one of the burglars and stabbed him. Baumann suffered stab wounds and the victim had cuts on various parts of his body, Hernandez said. After fighting one burglar, the victim grabbed his shotgun and shot the second burglar as he attempted to run. All three men were taken to the hospital. Presley and the resident were treated for their injuries. The resident was released. Baumann remained hospitalized Monday suffering life-threatening injuries. Presley, of 14205 Chesterfield Road in Woodbridge, was charged with burglary while armed with the intent to commit larceny. He was held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April, 29. Warrants were obtained for Baumann, of 1302 Oregon Avenue in Woodbridge, charging him with malicious wounding and burglary while armed with the intent to commit larceny."

New Jersey Clerk shoots robbery suspect: "A knife-wielding robber who entered the Windsor Pharmacy on Wednesday night was taken down by a store clerk using a handgun, police said. Matthew Perry, a 21-year-old Middletown Township resident, allegedly went into the pharmacy just after 8:30 p.m., displayed a knife, and demanded the pill oxycontin. Police said he began to struggle with a store clerk who resisted him. A second store clerk, who had a valid permit to carry a weapon, pulled out a handgun and fired one shot at Perry, hitting him in the arm and chest, according to police. Police said Perry fell to the floor, and was taken to a local hospital by the Levittown-Fairless Hills Rescue Squad. Perry is being guarded by Bristol Township Police, and will be charged pending a review by the Bucks County District Attorney's Office after his release."

Texas: Black Soldier Arrested After Woman Shoots Would-Be Burglar: "Fort Hood soldier Jamar Mcnair Jones, 18, was in the Bell County Jail charged with burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit theft Monday after a Killeen woman shot a man who tried to force his way into her home. The woman called 911 early Friday morning after the would-be burglar fled. She told officers she was awakened by the doorbell around 4 a.m. Friday. The front door of the woman's home had a viewer, but she told officers she was unable to see who was ringing the bell so she opened the door slightly. When she did, the man attempted to force his way in. That's when she fired. While officers were interviewing the woman, other officers at Metroplex Hospital advised them that a man matching the description of the would-be burglar had just arrived at the emergency room for treatment of a gunshot wound. The man was transferred to Scott & White Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the bullet, police said. Jones was arrested after he was released from Scott & White Monday evening, police said. His bond was set at $500,000."

Kentucky Homeowner Holds Burglary Suspect At Gunpoint: "A burglary suspect doesn't get far after breaking into one Georgetown home. Just before 2 a.m. Monday, Georgetown Police said Joshua Slone stood at the back door of a house on Citation Court knocking on it. When he didn't get a response. police said Slone kicked in a window and made his way into the living room. Around the same time, the homeowner met Slone with his shotgun and held him inside until police arrived. No one was hurt. Joshua Slone is being held in the Scott County Detention Center facing burglary charges.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ill: Invader Shot, then run over by accomplices: "Derrick Murray got a rude awakening when a group of men busted through his back door ran into his home pointed guns claiming to be police officers. "The yelled this is the police! They kicked the door in, broke the glass and I was hiding in the bedroom," said Murray. This home owner fought back. "I grabbed my gun and shot at them and everyone ran out," he said. 27-year-old Derek Clark was shot in the stomach. Murray says Clark then crawled out the door. "He left a trail of blood everywhere," said Murray. What happened next is something neighbors will never forget.... When Kathy looked out she saw a man knelt down where there's still a blood stain in front of her home. He then crawled to the road where there is another blood stain. Witnesses say he was then ran over twice by the same people he came with. "They were driving a gray Lincoln and were trying to get away. I ran out after them and started yelling. Those dudes dropped that guy and jumped in their car and ran over him. Then, they drove towards me and saw I had a gun and they backed up and ran over him again. So, that guy got ran over twice," said Murray."

German minister: No need for stricter gun laws: "Germany does not need to tighten its gun laws in response to school shootings by a teenager in southwestern Germany on Wednesday, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. Some German politicians have called for a ban on private gun ownership and urged authorities to set up airport-style security systems at schools in response to the massacre, which left 16 people dead, including the killer. `I can't see how a change in weapons rules would contribute anything to solving the problem,' Schaeuble, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told Reuters . `It used to be sex. Now violence seems to be the new temptation,' he said."

ID: Red's gun shop, ATF thugs reach settlement: "An Idaho gun shop that went to federal court to keep the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from pulling its gun license has reached a settlement with the agency. Terry and Ryan Horsley of Red's Trading Post in Twin Falls asked the court to review their case in 2007, after the ATF revoked their license. The ATF said the shop had repeatedly violated gun sales rules. The Horsleys said they had been targeted by the agency and that most of the problems were clerical, such as using abbreviations on gun sale documentation. Red's Trading Shop attorney Christopher Chiafullo wouldn't discuss the terms of the settlement."

Holding gun manufacturers responsible for crime : "If someone tried to sue Ford because a drunk driver got into an accident, the case would go nowhere. If someone tried to sue Cooper Hand Tools because a nutjob took a hatchet to a rival, no lawyer would touch the case. If someone sued Krylon because a vandal ruined the paint job on their car, the judge would immediately toss the case. Trying to hold a manufacture responsible for the criminal misuse of their product is unacceptable to most people. So why is it so different when a criminal misuses a firearm to commit a crime?"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pa.: Teen Robbery Suspect Shot, Dies: "A 16-year-old boy shot in what police said was an attempted robbery died Saturday from complications related to his injury. According to police, on March 1st, a group of males, including James Owens, shot a man in the leg while he was standing outside a home in the 3700 block of Millerton Avenue in Pittsburgh's Brighton Heights neighborhood. When police arrived on scene they also found Owens lying on the ground shot in the back with a gun next to him on the ground. Reports said Owens was wearing black a ski mask over his face when he was discovered by police. Homicide Detectives investigated the shooting and arrested Owens at Allegheny General Hospital where he was being treated. The Medical Examiner told WTAE Channel 4 that Owens was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m. Saturday at Allegheny General. Investigators said robbery was likely the motive for the shooting and that Owens was possibly shot by one of his accomplices."

NY: Two shot during attempted home-invasion robbery: "Two men were injured by shotgun pellets and three other males were arrested following an attempted home-invasion robbery at a Rochester apartment building about 1:40 Saturday morning. The incident occurred at 70 Lakeview Park, near Dewey Avenue, on Rochester's west side. Lt. Mark Dibelka of the Rochester Police Department said that the two injured men -- a 35-year-old resident of the apartment building and a 25-year-old visitor, were each hit by shotgun pellets fired during the attempted robbery. The two men were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. "It appears to have been the result of a home-invasion robbery where other residents reported hearing people screaming and hearing doors being kicked open," Dibelka said. Each of the shooting victims was outside the building when police arrived."

Louisiana: Gunfire exchanged at car dealership: "It's a miracle no one was killed or injured last night at Billy Navarre Chevrolet in Sulphur. That's where shots were exchanged between a police officer and an employee.. It was a miscommunication that could have been deadly. It all started after a burglar alarm at the car dealership on East Napoleon. An employee arrived ahead of police and went inside to check the business. He had a flashlight and a gun. When police saw the employee inside they thought he was an armed burglar and fired shots, while the employee thought he was being fired at by a burglar. General Manager Ryan Navarre says the employee was crouched behind a desk. "I get the most horrific phone call I have ever gotten in my life. An employee is telling me that he's being shot at and he had already called 911 and he still was trying to get help. He was hunkered down in the service department telling me somebody was shooting at him and he returned fire. It was just a horrible situation. While a Sulphur police officer fired first Assistant Chief Glenn Berry says he had good reason to do what he did. "There's no doubt in my mind the officer was justified. He felt that this man was about to shoot his partner in the back. He felt that with every fiber of his being. And he fired in defense of his fellow officer." Police say once officers have been summoned to a building an employee should never go inside-- but should always wait outside with a key. Berry emphasizes, "Do not go into the business. Do not arm yourself when you go there. Wait in your vehicle until police arrive. Then open the door for them. Speak with the police. Don't go into the business. In this case this could have been just a terrible tragedy."

Idiot pols seek victim disarmament, drug war escalation v. border violence : "Legislators in Southwestern states concerned about drug violence in Mexico spilling across the border recommended tighter gun control and stronger law enforcement yesterday. The violence - which has claimed thousands of lives, mostly south of the border - has been attributed to Mexican drug cartels, which one Homeland Security official described as the biggest organized-crime threat facing the United States. Roger Rufe, Homeland Security's head of operations, outlined the agency's plans for protecting the border, a response that includes - but only as a last resort - deploying military personnel and equipment to the region if other agencies are overwhelmed."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

California: Suspected Drunk Driver Shot In The Arm By Home Owner: "San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Deputies and officers with the California Highway Patrol are investigating a bizarre incident that left one homeowner cleaning up a mess and sent a 18-year-old driver to the hospital with a gunshot wound. Sheriff Investigators are trying to figure out why Los Osos' resident Chris Saletta shot 18-year-old Nicole Galvez in the arm. According to Saletta, Galvez plowed her PT Cruiser through Saletta's fence and into the backyard of his home on the 2000 block of Sombrero Road. Saletta says, he awoke to find Galvez driving her car wildly through his back yard and he was forced to shoot her because he thought she would crash her car into his children's bedroom. Saletta told investigators, the female driver of of the Cruiser collided with a water well pump, ran over his kids bikes and hit the rear porch support to his home. Saletta called 911 to report the rampage then armed himself and tried to approach Galvez. According to Saletta, Galvez refused to get out of her car and continued to drive towards Saletta's home. Saletta said, fearing for his families safety, he then fired one round from a .22 caliber rifle through the passenger side of the car. He told investigators he fired the shot because Galvez was headed straight for his children's bedroom. The Cruiser came to an abrupt stop after Saletta fired the shot. Saletta wounded Galvez with a single shot to her upper arm. Galvez was taken to Sierra Vista Hospital, was treated then arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. A preliminary investigation by the Sheriff's Department reveals that Saletta lawfully fired his weapon in self-defense.

After attacks, Europe panics, escalates victim disarmament: "Several European countries have restricted gun laws in the wake of school massacres, gang violence and other gun-related crimes: Finland announced plans Wednesday to impose stricter restrictions on firearms .. Germany, where a gunman killed at least 11 people Wednesday, raised the legal age for owning recreational firearms from 18 to 21 following a 2002 shooting in Erfurt that killed 16 people, including 12 teachers. Belgian lawmakers passed strict new gun control laws in 2006 in reaction to the racially motivated shooting deaths of a toddler and her black baby sitter in Antwerp. Swiss citizens are demanding a referendum aimed at confining army weapons to military compounds and banning private purchases of pump-action rifles and automatic weapons - following a spate of suicides and homicides. The Portuguese Parliament is currently discussing a government proposal to tighten gun laws .. Denmark's government said last week it will raise the penalty for illegal gun possession .. European Union lawmakers proposed tighter gun control across the bloc last year, including guidelines saying that only people over 18 not deemed a threat to public safety could buy and keep guns. EU members have until 2010 to adopt the measures."

AR: Bill to permit guns in churches revived in wake of pastor's shooting: "An Arkansas lawmaker says she will reintroduce a bill to allow concealed weapons in churches after a deadly Illinois church shooting .. State Rep. Beverly Pyle (R-Cedarville) originally introduced a measure 1/29 to remove `any church or other house of worship' from a list of places where people licensed to carry concealed weapons are prohibited from bringing their guns. The bill passed the Arkansas House of Representatives . but then died on a voice vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee 2/25. After a gunman entered First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill., and killed Pastor Fred Winters with a gunshot to the heart . she was making changes to the bill and planned to take it back to the committee hoping for more votes."

IL: Senate committee rejects conceal carry law: "A committee of the Illinois Senate has rejected a proposal to give Illinoisans the right to carry concealed weapons. Senate Bill 1976 would allow county sheriffs to issue concealed carry permits to qualified gun owners. The idea was voted down by members of the Senate Public Health Committee, which is dominated by Chicago-area lawmakers. State Sen. John Jones, a Mount Vernon Republican who sponsored the proposal, said he wasn't surprised by the rejection, given the makeup of the panel. Concealed carry efforts have long been supported by downstate lawmakers, but opposed by Chicago-area lawmakers. The Senate's action makes passage of 3 similar bills making their way through the Illinois House doubtful."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Germany's useless gun control: "The horrific tragedy in south-west Germany yesterday, where 15 people died at the hands of 17-year-old gunman Tim Kretschmer, before he died in a shootout with police, will provoke many questions - especially as it came so soon after a similar shooting spree in Alabama. Germany has some of the most onerous gun controls of any country in the world, some passed in response to previous school shootings. Ironically, the German parliament approved tighter gun-control laws on 22 February this year in a move designed to stop the spread of violent crime. The new legislation bans the carrying of replica firearms and so-called airsoft guns as well as knives with a fixed blade of over 12 centimetres. Previous legislation, passed in April 2008, raised the legal age to obtain a gun licence from 18 to 21. Additional medical and psychological tests were also implemented for under-25s, and pump-action shotguns with pistol-shaped grips were banned. This legislation received a sympathetic hearing after a former pupil injured 11 students at a school in the western town of Emsdetten before turning the gun on himself in 2006. In 2002, a shooting at Gutenberg high school in the town of Erfurt in central Germany came on the day that the country's parliament approved a new Bill tightening its already strict gun controls. People wanting to buy a hunting rifle must undergo background checks that can last up to a year and those wanting a gun for sport must be a member of a club and obtain a licence from police. Anyone deemed aggressive, unreliable or with criminal convictions cannot legally buy a gun in Germany. Gun collectors also need a permit."

Georgia Man Shoots Dog to Protect Daughter: "Kenneth Hale Jr. says his neighbor's Bull Mastiff ventured into his yard several times. Last week, Hale's three year old daughter was playing in the yard and the dog charged toward her, so he got his gun and shot the dog. Kenneth Hale says "I feel bad about it I didn't want to shoot the dog, I really didn't and I was hoping he would keep him over there, it was a beautiful dog, it's a bull Mastiff and that dog stands every bit of four feet tall on his back". Thomas County investigators say Hale contacted them on more than one occasion about the dog. The owner of the dog could not be reached for comment and authorities would not release his name."

Tennessee trucker kills intruder: "Authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a man who allegedly tried to enter a parked tractor-trailer rig in West Knox County. Knox County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley said the incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. at a warehouse parking lot at 10720 Lexington Drive, which runs off of Lovell Road. Killed was James Edward Hodges Jr., 34, of Loudon, according to Dooley. He was trying to break into a tractor-trailer while the driver was asleep in the truck's sleeper cabin, Dooley said. Hodges had approached the truck earlier and tried to open its door, Dooley said. He returned a short time later and broke out a window with a rock. "The suspect returned and was attempting to climb into the truck when the truck driver shot him," Dooley said. Hodges was dead at the scene. The truck driver, 68, was taken to Baptist Hospital West with chest pains and is expected to be admitted, Dooley said. Detectives will be meeting with the Knox County District Attorney General's Office later today to discuss if there will be any charges. Hodges has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1992 for burglary, numerous thefts, driving under the influence, drug charges, aggravated assault, numerous failures to appear, unlawful possession of a weapon, driving while privilege revoked, criminal trespassing, violation of probation, possession of burglary tools."

Michigan homeowner fires shots at burglars: "An armed homeowner in Oshtemo Township scared off a pair of burglars earlier this week when he fired two shots from his gun, police said Tuesday. No one was injured, according to a press release from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office. Police said two suspects broke into the house in the 7000 block of West H Avenue Monday afternoon. They were confronted by the armed homeowner, who fired two shots before the suspects fled in a small vehicle. Deputies located the vehicle and arrested one of the suspects, an 18-year-old man, lodging him on home invasion charges at the Kalamazoo County Jail. Police continue to look for the second suspect, who was only described as a "small individual with longer hair," the press release said."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A British rarity: "A homeowner has been cleared of murder after he shot and killed a bodybuilder at point-blank range when he tried to break into his house. Kenneth Batchelor, 51, fired a shotgun at "very close quarters" at 42-year-old Matthew Clements, who had climbed the scaffolding of his home to try to force open an upstairs window. Mr Batchelor had received a barrage of threatening phone calls from Mr Clements, a 20-stone nightclub bouncer, who was demanding maintenance money from the Batchelor family following a former relationship between his girlfriend and Mr Batchelor's brother Gary, which produced three children. The jury at Maidstone Crown Court took just one hour unanimously to acquit Mr Batchelor of the murder of Mr Clements who, the court heard, had an "explosive temper" and had become "fixated" with demanding money from the Batchelor family. Mr Batchelor wept as the jury returned their verdict. During his trial, they heard that Mr Clements started to "demand money with menaces" and had begun to make threatening phone calls in November 2007 after drinking heavily and smoking cannabis. The court also heard that Mr Clements, from Ashford in Kent, was "well known" to police, settled disputes by violence and had once turned up at a garage to threaten the manager with an Uzi submachine gun. Mr Batchelor, a mechanic, legally owned the shotgun which killed Mr Clements with one shot to the chest, and told the court that it had discharged accidentally as he stood terrified at a top floor window which Mr Clements was trying to open...."

NH: No charges against Brinks guard in shooting: "There will be no criminal charges against a Brinks guard who shot at two teenagers driving away from an attempted unarmed robbery, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. Blodgett said after discussing the matter with his office's lawyers, he made the decision not to prosecute the armored truck guard, who police said was the victim of the attempted robbery. "We reviewed all the facts and circumstances and felt that it would not be in the interest of justice to bring any action against the guard," Blodgett said yesterday.... Police said that late on the morning of Jan. 14, Isaac Sosa, 18, of 100 Berkeley St., second floor, Lawrence, and Christopher Delarosa, 19, of 275 Andover Road, Billerica, tried to rob a Brinks armored truck guard who was about to replenish an ATM in a Bank of America kiosk at Riversedge Plaza. Police said the Brinks guard fired his handgun at the car as Sosa and Delarosa drove away and that the bullet struck the rear of their car. Sosa and Delarosa were arraigned in Haverhill District Court on unarmed robbery charges while Delarosa also was charged with assault and battery. During their initial arraignment in Haverhill, prosecutor John DePaulo said Sosa had waited nearby in his father's car while Delarosa tried to rob the guard. DePaulo said Delarosa punched the guard in the face, made an unsuccessful grab for the bag of money, then fled in Sosa's car. The men were captured minutes later by police on Route 125 in Plaistow, N.H."

Deadly commotion in South Africa: "Former Big Brother housemate and security specialist "Bad Brad" Wood has helped police arrest robbers after a shootout that left one robber dead, another injured and a policeman shot in the arm. Gunshots ripped across Louis Botha Avenue in Orange Grove at noon on Wednesday after three robbers attacked a supermarket just as a patrolling police car drove by and spotted them. The main road was cordoned off. "I pulled in and heard a whole commotion going on. There were a lot of taxis and people running around and I saw a policeman get shot," said Wood, who happened to be driving to a venue nearby. One robber tried to leave the shop and was shot in the doorway, where he died. Wood said he joined up with an inspector and a constable, and together they entered the supermarket, where they found two suspects hiding in the roof. Wood said he climbed into the roof and managed to get the suspects down, and they were arrested on the scene - one of them having sustained a flesh wound to his buttocks. Asked whether he had shot anyone, Wood declined to comment, on advice of his lawyer, but said that his gun had been taken in by the police for ballistics testing. "I am not saying anything about shooting anyone - but I can tell you that I double tapped (shot at) the first suspect, I double tapped the second guy and then I did a bit of cover fire in the roof. So all in all, it was six shots and now I am minus my gun," Wood said. Captain Phillip Maganedisa of Norwood police said the robbers had entered the supermarket at noon and closed the doors. At the same time a patrol car drove past, and one of the robbers fired shots at police".

IL: Annual gun lobby day : "Several thousand Illinois gun owners are expected to descend upon the Capitol tomorrow for the annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby day. The event, sponsored by the Illinois State Rifle Association, IllinoisCarry.com, GunsSaveLife, and the Sangamon County Rifle Association, brought about 2,500 supporters to Springfield last year. The event kicks off with a march to the Capitol and a rally on Capitol steps. The groups will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. The women attending the lobby day have asked to meet with Gov. Pat Quinn and plan to present him with letters pressing for a concealed carry law in Illinois. Currently only two states - Illinois and Wisconsin - do not permit concealed carry of handguns."

NE: City Wants Stricter BB Gun Laws

(Grand Island, Nebraska) The Grand Island Chief of Police, Steve Lamken, has proposed a code change to the city council. Specifically, the city council is being asked to create legislation which would outlaw loaded BB, pellet or paintball guns in cars.

Apparently, the change is desired to tackle a serious vandalism problem in the city. Young troublemakers are being blamed for riding around town and shooting out windows, many windows, with their BB, pellet and paintball guns. Property owners are suffering losses in the tens of thousands of dollars.
It is a problem Grand Island Police wants to fix. And the chief said he thinks he has an idea by making it illegal to carry loaded bb, pellet and paintball guns in cars.

"I would hope it would bring some caution to driving around with them," said Lamken.

Because if they are caught with them loaded, the guns will be taken away for 60 days, held until proven they have not been used in any vandalism cases.

"I think it is a good idea to have it on there, they do not need them loaded in their car," said Joyce May of Wayne's Pawn Shop.
Frankly, I believe that severe punishment works better. Form a task force to catch a few vandals, elevate the charges to conspiracy to terrorize the city, bring in the feds and send them to prison for a few years. The police would probably just have to do it once since word would get around that breaking windows gets you prison.

Additionally, I'd investigate the guy who sells replacement glass.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Supreme Court passes on Bloomberg gun suit: "New York's lawsuit against gun manufacturers has been declined for review by the Supreme Court. New York sued several gun manufacturers in 2000, arguing the companies violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell. There was one problem: A federal law enacted in 2005 sought to shield gun makers from lawsuits like the one New York filed, prompting a federal judge to throw the case out. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in April 2008 upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote. This was a setback--not only for anti-gun mayor Mike Bloomberg and his coalition of anti-self defense mayors, but also for the left-leaning activist judge Jack B. Weinstein, who did his best to facilitate the lawsuit's progress in spite of the clear intent of the law. Still unclear are the lengths Bloomberg & Co. went to in their zealous pursuit to gin up further restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms. We know in a tandem effort that he hired private investigators to go after private gun shops, and gave all appearances that so-called "straw sales," where someone who can pass the background check buys guns on behalf of someone who cannot, were being conducted in those stores.

SAF challenges DC handgun ban scheme : "The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents today filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of `acceptable' handguns approved by the State of California. The District is using this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense. This scheme could eventually bar the ownership of any new handguns. Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that District bureaucrats `told Tracy Ambeau Hanson her gun was the wrong color.'"

Bad legal advice: "I will bet good money that you have heard the advice "If you shoot an intruder on the porch, the first thing you do is drag him inside". I have yet to meet someone who hasn't heard this gem from an uncle, grandfather or cousin twice-removed. The person giving the advice often seeks to imbue it with authority by swearing that it was a police officer, judge or attorney who shared this sage wisdom with them. As a law student and as a self-defense instructor, I can say without fear of contradiction that this is almost certainly the single worst piece of legal advice that you have ever been given. The parameters under which one may justifiably use deadly force are extremely narrow and do not depend for their validity upon occurring in any given place. If you are justified in using deadly force upon your porch and then decide to avail yourself of this advice, the cloud this will place upon your actions will put you in a virtually indefensible legal position. Think about it. The logical implication of this anecdote is that the simple presence of an intruder in your home would provide legal justification for you to use deadly force against that intruder. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Imagine a scenario under which you and your family return home to find that a neighbor has become inebriated, broken into your house, and is passed out on your couch. Based upon the advice embedded in the "drag him inside" anecdote, shouldn't you have the right to use deadly force against this neighbor? Of course not! There is no threat embodied by the unconscious intruder and it is imminent threat that is the real legal touchstone where self-defense is concerned."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Utah Clerk Grabs Gun, Kills Robber: "Police say just after midnight, a clerk was taking out the trash when someone came up behind her and threatened her with a gun. "He told her he wanted the money," said Sgt. Greg Peterson, Sanpete County Sheriff's Office. "He had her tie up the other clerk and then he set down his gun and began to tie her up." While he was distracted, the other clerk, a 20-year-old woman, wriggled free and grabbed his 22 caliber rifle. "She pointed it at him and he went for the gun and the gun went off," Sgt. Peterson said. "It ended up shooting him and it ended up being a fatal wound." The single shot struck 42-year-old Antonio Espinosa Ramos in the head. He died before police arrived. Mike Sorenson, a regular customer at the store who knows the clerk, says she is a sweet, petite woman who is an experienced hunter."

OK: Man shot, killed by homeowner : "A Shawnee man was shot and killed by a homeowner late Wednesday night at a rural home on Old Highway 270 near Shawnee. The Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case as a homicide, but no arrests have been made. It will be up to the district attorney's office to review the case and determine if charges are warranted or if the shooting falls under Oklahoma's `Make My Day' law. . Booth said it appears Poncho went to the residence and knocked on the front door. When the homeowner answered, Poncho reportedly stepped inside the home, Booth said, and there was a slight altercation between the two men, who reportedly knew each other. `The homeowner had a pistol with him,' Booth said, `and shot Mr. Poncho one time in the chest.' Poncho fell back onto the porch and the homeowner called 911."

Poll: 75% believe 2nd Amendment guarantees right to own gun : "According to Rasmussen Reports, 'seventy-five percent (75%) of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of an average citizen to own a gun, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 14% say gun ownership is not a constitutional right. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.'"

Gun hater's red herrings : "Denver Gun Rights Examiner Dan Bidstrup recently posted a thoughtful article on trying to reach out to people that don't understand `gun rights' for what they are. This is a thorny topic, given that many reasonable people are already so fed up with being sanctimoniously harassed, attacked, and spat upon by the hardcore disarmers that they have no interest left for any attempt at discourse, even with those in the middle who may be more just ignorant than truly belligerent. Personally, I've always been a sucker for hope and redemption, and although I sympathize - strongly - with the `decades of politely begging for a civil conversation has got us nowhere' point of view, I can't help but continue with each person as though the conversation has started all over from the beginning."