Monday, November 30, 2009

Pa.: Robber thwarted but manager hurt: "Pittsburgh police said the incident started about 8 p.m. Saturday when a man bought a package of crackers at the station and left. He returned a short while later to buy another package of crackers. When the clerk opened the register, the man tried to grab the money, police said. The clerk told police she slammed the register door shut and the man ran to his vehicle empty-handed. Police said Wetzel heard the clerk screaming about the robbery attempt and ran to the station's parking lot, yelling at the driver to stop. A customer and another employee gave chase. One witness said the would-be robber locked his door and rolled up his car window as Wetzel approached. The witness said Wetzel put a gun to the driver's side window. The robber drove his car, a 1999 Ford Taurus, into Wetzel, and the manager fell on the hood before rolling to the ground and being caught underneath as the car went through the lot, police said. Wetzel was dragged and run over by at least one wheel, police said. A witness followed Pekular's car, getting the license number before returning to the station and telling police. Police said they traced the license number and vehicle description to Pekular, and a surveillance camera at the station showed the would-be robber matched Pekular's description. Police said the car was parked outside Pekular's residence and he had the ignition key. Pekular, who is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $200,000 bond, faces a Dec. 8 court hearing. According to court records, Pekular pleaded guilty to robbery in 1996 and 1997, receiving probation in each case. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to theft and again received probation. He served jail time for a theft charge in 1996."

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Tennessee Court Rules against Restaurant Carry Law on shallow grounds: "Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman of the Chancery Court for Davidson County, Tennessee ruled last week that Tennessee’s restaurant carry law is unconstitutionally vague because of a perceived ambiguity over the state’s definition of restaurants. This law gave right-to-carry permit holders the chance to defend themselves from criminal attack while in a restaurant. “This ruling is a setback for Tennessee’s law-abiding concealed carry permit holders,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “We strongly urge Attorney General Robert Cooper to defend the Tennessee statute and appeal this unwise ruling.” HB 962, Tennessee’s Restaurant Carry legislation, passed both the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support, but Governor Phil Bredesen vetoed the bill on May 28, disappointing more than 200,000 right-to-carry permit holders in the state. While an override of the veto only needed a simple majority vote to pass, it cleared both chambers with overwhelming, bi-partisan support."

Ohio Joins in Defending Second Amendment Rights in United States Supreme Court Case: "Based on his longstanding support for Second Amendment rights, Attorney General Richard Cordray announced today that his office has co-sponsored an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court, arguing that these rights should be protected from undue restrictions imposed by state and local governments. The Supreme Court is examining this issue in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, based upon the court's landmark ruling last year in District of Columbia v. Heller. That ruling recognized that, with respect to the federal government, the Second Amendment affords individuals the right to keep and bear arms. "We are proud to defend the Second Amendment rights of Ohioans in this important Supreme Court case. We are joining with other state attorneys general in arguing that the court should hold that the people's constitutional right to keep and bear arms is fundamental and cannot be denied by state and local governments," Cordray said. Attorney General Cordray co-sponsored the amicus brief along with the attorneys general of Texas, Georgia and Arkansas, while 33 other states also signed the brief."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ark: Neighbor shot man in self defense, no charges to be filed: "A prosecutor says no charges will be filed in the July shooting death of a 48-year-old man in Sharp County. Prosecutor Henry Boyce says the July 25 shooting of Eulogio Garcia was a "clear case of self-defense." Investigators say Garcia was shot once in the head with a .410-gauge shotgun. According to police, Garcia brought a shotgun to the home of neighbor Ed Brown and said he was going to shoot him. Authorities say Garcia raised his shotgun, but Brown fired first, fatally shooting Garcia. Garcia died the next day at The Med in Memphis, Tenn."

Chicago gun case brief shows prohibitionists unreasonable: "The Brady Center has filed its friend of the court brief in the case of OTIS MCDONALD, et al., Petitioners, v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, et al., Respondents. What they're saying in the Chicago case is essentially the same thing they said in the Heller Washington D.C. case: Gun bans are "reasonable" and consistent with the Second Amendment proscription that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." This does not surprise anyone who has been watching these Brady characters for any length of time. After all, we're talking a group that--in spite of putting on a kinder, gentler public face via a name change--still internally identifies itself by its original name: Handgun Control, Inc. We're talking about a group that's founder admitted: " We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily -- given the political realities -- going to be very modest. . . . [W]e'll have to start working again to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again"."

Pistols, Tasers, assault rifles sell fast at show: "Recession-stoked fears of rising crime and tougher gun laws under a Democratic government are sending US gun sales sky high, and big crowds at the Chantilly Gun Show this weekend proved it once again. "Do you see the line all around the building and in the back," asked Annette Elliott, co-organizer of one of the top gun shows in Virginia, a conservative state with rather liberal gun laws. Several hundred people thronged the gun show in the Washington suburb of Chantilly, where some 260 retailers have set up stalls hung with ready-to-fire Smith and Wessons, Glocks, Walthers, Colts and Berettas. "We've had a huge increase in sales since last October," 2008 just before President Barack Obama was elected. "Well over 200 percent. It's coming back," said Jerry Cochran, owner of his eponymous major gun retailing firm in the state. In a state where you can wear a loaded weapon on your belt as long as it's in full sight, or a concealed one with a permit, handguns and semi-automatic assault rifles are openly sold to residents after a customary spot check for criminal records."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

TX: Man hospitalized after killing 4 horses: "A man is in custody after he killed four horses before he attempted to invade a home before the homeowner shot him. Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss said the suspect went on a shooting spree on County Road 232 in Nacogdoches County. The suspect shot and killed four horses on two properties in the area, before he tried to break into a home. Steven Spradley is in custody at a Nacogdoches hospital, listed in stable condition. He is charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, one count of burglary with intent to commit assault and one count of deadly conduct. Kerss said Spradley shot the four horses before knocking on the door of one neighbor and yelling at him that he was going to kill him. The neighbor instead shot Spradley in the lower torso. Kerss said Spradley's deadly conduct charge came after it was discovered one bullet from his gun went through a window of a third residence. He said this was not the first time his office had dealt with him, as he had a record of an arson charge, which was reduced to criminal mischief."

Pa.: Nut killed in self defense: "Police in Halifax County, N.C., said Carlton Burgess' post-traumatic stress disorder came to a head on Oct. 2, when he knocked at the door of Marcel Alston's home at 7 a.m. Police said Burgess, who grew up in North Carolina with Carolyn, was convinced that his wife and Alston had an affair in 1988 while the Burgesses were briefly separated. Despite Carolyn's adamant and constant denials, the perceived infidelity festered. When Alston opened the door that morning, police say, Burgess, 61, struck him in the head with a handgun, then shot him in the buttocks while Alston ran to an upstairs bedroom. In the bedroom, Alston grabbed his own handgun and killed Burgess with multiple shots to the torso. Alston was treated and released for his injuries and the District Attorney's Office in Halifax County declined to press charges against him. "We only have one surviving witness," said Maj. Bruce Temple, of the Halifax County Sheriff's Office. "We took his statement, the story was consistent, and the evidence at the scene corroborated that."

Mexico: Man cleared after shooting home intruder: "The La Floresta homeowner who shot a suspected burglar in September has been cleared of all charges relating to the incident. The shooting occurred in the early hours of September 21, when the homeowner was aroused by an intruder on the grounds of his property. According to Mary Martinez, head of Chapala’s Ministerio Publico (state prosecutor’s agency) number two, the shooter was absolved from legal responsibility after a preliminary investigation revealed that he had acted in legitimate self-defense. He was first required to accredit himself as the registered owner of the small caliber pistol used in the shooting and also subjected to forensic test for gunpowder residue to prove that he was the person who fired the weapon. The alleged perpetrator, identified as Mauricio Guzman Garcia, 45, was initially held in custody at Guadalajara’s Hospital Civil while undergoing treatment for gunshot wounds to his right shoulder and leg. The Ministerio Publico agent said he was later transferred to Chapala’s regional prison to face processing on criminal charges."

WA: County law could change to allow guns in parks: "As Seattle readies to defend in court its ban on guns at city parks, Snohomish County might move in the opposite direction. If a new law passes, you could feel free to tote a legally owned firearm into county parks. Just don’t shoot it, unless it’s in self-defense. County code, as it reads now, prohibits people from carrying or discharging guns in county parks. Lifting the long-standing ban is mostly a house-keeping measure to bring the county in line with state law, said Councilman John Koster, who submitted the proposal earlier this month. An opinion from State Attorney General Rob McKenna supports his stance. “You read through the attorney general’s opinion, it’s pretty darn strong,” Koster said. “The code is in conflict with state law.” Crossbows, slingshots and fireworks would still be against the rules if the law changes in Snohomish County. Seattle’s ban has drawn national attention and a lawsuit from gun-rights groups. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who leaves office at the end of this year, pushed for that city’s new law after three people were shot by a Snohomish man during the 2008 Northwest Folklife Festival."

Friday, November 27, 2009

NH: Break-in ends in shooting: "A gunfight during a home invasion in Berlin left one person dead and at least three others injured late Wednesday night. The police said three men, at least two armed with handguns, forced their way into a basement apartment at 616 Third Ave. about 8 p.m. Once inside, they beat a male resident and pistol-whipped his girlfriend, the police said. After a struggle, the man who lived in the apartment was able to pick up his own handgun and fire a number of shots at his assailants, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin. When the police arrived, they found one of the thwarted robbers, Nathaniel Stringfield, 23, of Berlin, dead in the apartment. He was shot through the stomach, the police said. A second person, who the police have not named, fled through an alley at the rear of the building, leaving a trail of splattered blood on the street. The police found the injured man in a boarding house at 827 Western Ave., just under a quarter mile from the shooting scene. Jason Rush, who was on his balcony overlooking the boarding house, said it appeared the man was shot in the face or head. Both people who were inside the apartment before the attempted robbery suffered "assault-like" injuries but are expected to survive, Strelzin said. He said the male resident was treated at the scene and his girlfriend was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and later released. Neither suffered gunshot wounds. No one has been charged in the incident.

NY police arrest the victim, let shooter escape: "City police arrested a 19-year-old man Tuesday night in connection with a shooting on Henry Street over the weekend. The exchange of gunfire started Saturday morning when Curtis Williams, 44, of the Bronx, fired a sawed-off shotgun into a crowd of about five people. Jarrin Rankin, of Kingston, fired back with a small-caliber pistol and hit Williams in the face, police said. City police caught Rankin Tuesday night as he stepped off a train in Poughkeepsie, on his way back from New York City. Rankin was charged with first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies. He was jailed without bail. Meanwhile, police are still searching for Williams, who was released from Albany Medical Center on Monday."

FL: Home invader subdued, but escapes: "A home invasion robbery Tuesday night led to a fight and gunfire between an intruder and several occupants. A masked man entered the front door of a home on Birch Street at 6 p.m. and went to the third floor, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said. The man then drew a gun on three men and a woman who were watching television and demanded money, the release said. One of the occupants reached for a gun behind the couch, a struggle ensued and the robber was subdued. After begging to be let go, the man pushed one of the occupants, which caused the .40 caliber handgun to go off. The man then opened the back door, jumped over the third-floor balcony and escaped, the release said. Walton County Sheriff Investigators have identified the intruder as 25-year-old Joshua Johnson of Destin. A warrant has been signed for his arrest on home invasion with a firearm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon."

Gun control helps avoid psychological harm?: "To our way of thinking, having to shoot is a grave decision made in the face of grave danger, with the otherwise only alternative being to suffer the more severe trauma of rape, a mayhem, an abduction or murder. All gun control which seeks to discourage fighting back states that it's better to be beaten to death or to be abducted than to have to stop them with lethal force and live with that action. As I said last week, how can you refuse to fight back because of how it will make you feel? It could make you feel alive. Glad to be alive. Gun control creates its own wounds of one-sided brutality in deleting the authority of the citizen to act in time of danger. Gun control is a bluff, a fraud which says, in this case, that you will only hurt yourself emotionally if you shoot someone in self-defense. As I say often, Why don't you let us worry about that? Let's look at this nonsense a sec. Gun owners are not taught to shoot to kill, but to shoot to stop. This is because less-than-lethal doesn't cut it. LTL doesn't stop aggressors on drugs, armed aggression, stalking and surprise aggression, multiple assailants, nor does it stop a lot of aggression which rises to the level of grave danger. In discouraging serious-minded preparedness, the anti-violence minions lose sight of the main goal: survival. I mean, if you're going to refuse to fight back because it's disgusting, to hell with you."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NC: Shooting Death Ruled Self Defense: "Ellis Hunter died Sunday, a week after being shot twice during a fight on Main Street in Farmville. There will be no charges filed in a confrontation that turned deadly in Farmville. Ellis Hunter died Sunday from injuries he received a week ago on Main Street in Farmville. Police say Hunter was shot twice after a fight with William Payton. Payton was also stabbed. Based on witnesses and evidence collected, police say Hunter went to Payton's vehicle and started stabbing him through the window. Payton managed to get out of the vehicle and was able to get a pistol and shoot Hunter. Police say Wednesday they met with District Attorney Clark Everette who decided that the death was a case of self defense."

FL: Man arrested in home invasion that turned into gun battle: "A 22-year-old Clearwater man has been arrested in connection with an August home invasion that turned into a gun battle. Andre L. Miles, of 903 Engman St., was arrested last week on two counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and one count each of armed robbery, aggravated battery with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of cocaine. The home invasion occurred on Aug. 28 at 1428 Spring Lane, Apt. 3, said Elizabeth Watts, Clearwater's public safety spokeswoman. Miles and three other suspects first robbed two people at gunpoint in the parking lot at the address, then kicked in the front door of a residence there, Watts said. But someone inside fired at the trio and a gun battle broke out, with more than 25 rounds of ammunition exchanged, Watts said. No one was injured."

PA: Lawmakers Hear Arguments on Self-Defense Bill: "Some of Pennsylvania's clergy say a state house bill being considered will increase gun violence and deaths, while supporters contend the bill simply expands your right to self-defense. The piece of legislation eliminates the "duty to retreat" if you are confronted by an attacker. It also expands the so-called "castle doctrine." That's a piece of common law that states your home is your castle and can be defended with deadly force. "The bill restores the human right to self-defense, which has been eroded away by our criminal judicial system," John Hohenwarter with the National Rifle Association said. The bill states someone who fears serious injury, death, kidnapping or rape can use deadly force against an attacker without fear of prosecution or civil suit. The Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Police Chiefs Association and Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association oppose the bill. Law enforcement leaders fear an escalation in violnce. They also worry drug dealers and other criminals will use the bill to claim self defense, though the bill prohibits such a claim if people use deadly force while committing a crime."

Gun control, Chicago-style: "Last week, the body of Chicago school board president Michael Scott was found in the Chicago River with a single bullet wound in his head. The big story was that this powerful, well-connected public official had, according to the county medical examiner, committed suicide. The less-noticed story was that he did it with an illegal weapon. After all, handgun ownership is not allowed in the city of Chicago, which has one of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and Scott killed himself with a .380-caliber sidearm. Unlike most Chicagoans, Scott could have been a legal handgun owner. Because he had it before the ban was enacted, he was allowed to register and keep it. But the police department says he never did. By having it in the city, Scott was guilty of an offense that could have gotten him jail time. Amazingly enough, he was not the first local public official to take the view that firearms restrictions are something for other, ordinary people to observe.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FL: Store owner shoots, wounds robber: "A 70-year-old convenience store owner shot at two men who robbed him at his business Tuesday evening, injuring at least one of them. Melbourne police said that at about 6:30 p.m. two men entered Gloco Grocery and Soul Food Deli at the corner of South Harbor City Boulevard and Jernigan Avenue and ordered food. At one point, there was talk of exchanging a $50 bill for change with the owner of the store, identified by Melbourne police as Willie Byrd. "Then, one of them pulled a small-caliber gun on (Byrd)," said Cmdr. Ron Bell of Melbourne police. The robbers then grabbed for an undisclosed amount of cash. While all this was going on, Byrd reached for a .357-caliber gun and started shooting at the two robbers, police said. Police arrived at the scene a few minutes later and found one of the men lying in the parking lot, still clutching a wad of bills. The man, whose identify has not yet been released by police, had been shot in the lower torso. The second robber fled as the shooting started and officers were still looking for him late Tuesday. Bell said that Byrd fired at least two or three rounds at the suspects: "He was well within his rights."

FL: Store manager shoots robber: "A store manager shot and wounded an armed man during an attempted robbery at a Chevron gas station near U.S. 1 and Peachtree Street on Tuesday night. At about 9:20 p.m., a man entered the store and pointed a large-caliber handgun at the store manager and demanded money. The store manager, Sowann Suy, 40, instead pulled out a gun from below the counter and started firing. The man was shot once in the abdomen. He did not fire his weapon and immediately left the store, collapsing in the parking lot, where Cocoa police found him when they arrived a few minutes later. Suy called 9-1-1 right after the shooting. The man, 40, was flown via helicopter to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, where he was undergoing surgery at press time. His condition was critical but stable, said Officer Barbara Matthews, police spokeswoman. Suy is a member of a family that has owned the gas station for about five years, police said. "He absolutely had the right to defend himself," Matthews said.

WA: Home invasion robbery turns into shootout: "Everett police say a home invasion robbery turned into a shootout. Police say at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the 600 block of 93rd Street SW for a report of a man being shot. When they arrived they found a 23-year-old man inside the home. The victim said a man had broken into his house and shot him. He said he was able to get his gun and return fire. The suspect fled on foot and was found by a K-9 in bushes across the street. The suspect was taken to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries. The victim was not seriously hurt."

Cato files brief in McDonald case: "Cato, joined by the Pacific Legal Foundation, has filed a brief supporting those challenging the handgun ban — who are represented by Alan Gura, the lawyer who successfully argued Heller — and calling for an overruling of the Slaughter-House Cases, which eviscerated the Privileges or Immunities Clause in 1873. Slaughter-House narrowly circumscribed the rights protected by the Privileges or Immunities Clause, contrary to the intentions of the Amendment’s framers and in direct contradiction to the developments in legal theory that underlay its adoption.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FL: Teenaged Jailbreak Foiled By Armed Homeowner: "Two teenage criminals might have pulled off the perfect jailbreak in Osceola County, if it wasn’t for a homeowner with a gun. The kids successfully escaped from a juvenile detention facility on South Orange Blossom Trail near Kissimmee Wednesday afternoon and were running free, until they tried to hide in Brad Anderson’s shed. Anderson told Eyewitness News what he did when he found the juveniles. “They were trying to get me to let them go and I said, ‘No, you have to do your duty,’” he said. He didn’t show WFTV the gun, but the .380 semi-automatic Anderson was holding may have been more persuasive than his words. Anthony Bentley, 16, was previously charged with grand theft and burglary. Chase Swanson, 15, was charged with armed robbery and burglary. Brad Anderson walked the two teens over to a fence where he told them to stay put until he could flag down an officer. A sheriff’s deputy was there in just five minutes.“I told them life isn’t always easy you have to buckle down and earn your way through life,” Anderson said. Bentley and Swinson escaped by grabbing another teens’ dental retainer. Deputies say they threw it over the fence and told the owner if he helped lift the fence, he’d get his retainer back. The two teens climbed under the fence, threw back the retainer and kept going for three to four hours."

TN: Teenagers Try To Rob Armed Citizen: "A LaVergne man told police he believes two would-be robbers [above] followed him home. He became suspicious when he saw them drive up with no headlights and one of them come toward him with a gun. “He lifted up a firearm — it appeared to a chrome pistol of some sort — and he pointed it at me and demanded I take everything out of my pockets,” said the man, who did not want his name used. But what the potential offender didn’t know was the victim had his own gun and fired first. He had recently purchased the gun and was planning on practice shooting earlier that day. The two teens, 19-year-old Shane Singleton and 17-year-old Tevin Battle, were quickly arrested after neighbors called police because they heard gunshots. “They just happened to rob the wrong guy,” said LaVergne Police Chief Ted Boyd. “These suspects are lucky that they didn’t get shot.” Both are repeat offenders, and the 17-year-old was tried and convicted as an adult in Nashville for a similar crime."

Vicious stray dog shot: "I was out in my front yard when a large dog, a stray in my neighborhood, walked past my house. I didn’t think anything of the dog at the time, having seen the big fellow loping around the neighborhood since I moved in. A while later, I took my own dog, Sandy, out to do her business. The big stray came up, took one sniff, and then locked Sandy’s throat in a death grip. I ran to the house and grabbed a rake and proceeded to beat that stray soundly about the head and shoulders, it did no good. A neighbor ( the nice Latino next door) came to help with a metal pipe, but the stray just would not let go of Sandy’s throat. I had no choice. I went back into my house, retrieved my AMT 9mm Backup, returned to the front yard, where this altercation was going on, found a position where the round would not over-penetrate into Sandy, and fired a single hollowpoint round into the stray’s ribcage. I then called 911 to report the shooting. I have never fired a handgun at anything not made of paper in my life, but what else could I do?"

CA: Student expelled for having unloaded shotguns in truck … off campus: "The Willows Unified School District board of trustees has expelled a 16-year-old for having unloaded shotguns in his pickup parked just off the Willows High School campus. The board voted 4-0 Thursday to expel junior Gary Tudesko after the weapons were discovered via scent-sniffing dogs on Oct. 26. Board Vice President Alex Parisio abstained from the discussion and vote because he is related to Tudesko’s family. … Susan Parisio defended her son during the 105-minute public hearing at Willows Civic Center. She acknowledged that Tudesko was lazy for not storing the shotguns at home after a morning of bird hunting, but she questioned the district’s ability to enforce its policies off Willows High School property. ‘My son was not even parked on school property,’ Parisio said. Willows High Principal Mort Geivett said he believed off-campus parking around the school was under the school’s jurisdiction, in part because it is primarily used by students.” [Amazing arrogance]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Major revamp possible for M4 carbine

Army wants new barrel, faster fire and 4 other improvements. Still trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Why not pick something better that is already proven and available?

The Army is considering a major redesign of the M4 aimed at making the weapon shoot cleaner and longer — at high rates of fire. As the Army awaits Defense Department approval of a competition to find a new carbine, weapons officials have identified six fixes intended to address shortcomings in reliability, durability and handling of the Army’s inventory of more than 400,000 M4s. Army weapons officials presented the proposed changes to Congress on Oct. 30. They are:

• Adding a heavier barrel for better performance during high rates of fire.

• Replacing the direct-impingement gas system with a piston gas system.

• Improving the trigger pull.

• Adding an improved rail system for increased strength.

• Adding ambidextrous controls.

• Adding a round counter to track the total number of bullets fired over the weapon’s lifetime.

The Army is considering upgrades to the M4 at the same time it is poised to begin a competition to replace the weapon, a variant of the Vietnam-era M16 family. Senior leaders launched the effort to find a new weapon in November 2008, a year after the M4 finished in last place in an Army reliability test involving three other carbines. Then-Army Secretary Pete Geren directed the Army’s Infantry Center at Fort Benning, Ga., to update the carbine requirement.

That document is now under review at the Army senior staff level, but the service cannot start a competition until the requirement is approved by the DoD’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council....

The Army has made 62 changes to the M4 since it began fielding the weapon in the mid 1990s, weapons officials maintain. The changes have ranged from improved extractor springs to high-tech optics to a more reliable magazine.

But soldiers’ criticisms of the M4’s performance have continued. They were detailed recently in a report on the July 13, 2008, battle at Wanat in Afghanistan. Enemy Afghan forces with superior numbers and firepower dominated the terrain around the platoon-sized Army outpost at Wanat. Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team eventually fought off the attack, but not before the enemy knocked out the unit’s heavy weapons, killed nine soldiers and wounded another 27.

One staff sergeant described how his M4 failed him early in the battle. “My M4 quit firing and would no longer charge when I tried to correct the malfunction,” said the soldier, identified as Staff Sgt. Phillips in a draft analysis paper on the battle written by Douglas Cubbison, a military historian at the Army Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Another soldier, Spc. Chris McKaig, experienced problems with his weapon later in the battle, according to the report. “My weapon was overheating. I had shot about 12 magazines by this point already, and it had only been about a half hour or so into the fight,” McKaig said in the report. “I couldn’t charge my weapon and put another round in because it was too hot, so I got mad and threw my weapon down.”

Army weapons officials maintain that the M4 has an approval rating among soldiers of more than 90 percent. Sgt. Eric Harder, a team leader with B Troop, 3rd squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, said his M4 didn’t have a single stoppage during an Oct. 3 enemy attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan that lasted for more than six hours. “I shot over 40 mags that day, and I didn’t have one jam,” Harder said during an Army video interview posted on Digital Video & Imagery Distribution’s Web site.

Army officials stress, however, that they are not discounting the alleged weapons problems Phillips and McKaig encountered at Wanat. One improvement they are considering for the M4 involves outfitting the weapon with the heavier barrel used on the M4A1, the special operations variant that’s designed to fire on full auto. The standard M4 has a three-round burst setting instead of full auto.

In past Army tests on the standard M4, the barrel eroded and warped after 540 rounds were fired in 2 minutes and 48 seconds. In another test, the barrel burst after 596 rounds were fired in 3 minutes and 39 seconds, weapons officials said. But the heavier M4A1 barrel was able to shoot 930 rounds in 4 minutes 30 seconds. In that test, the heat shield melted but the barrel appeared undamaged, weapons officials maintain.

While the sustained rate of fire would have to be much lower, the heavier barrel would allow the soldier to fire longer without worrying about heat problems, Tamilio said. “We have proven it, we have tested it and we already own it,” he said. The only downside, he said, is there is a weight penalty that would add 5 ounces to the 6.5-pound M4.

More here

IL: Clerk shot robber but prosecutors charge accomplice with murder: "A store clerk in East St. Louis killed robber Larando King, but it was holdup accomplice Michael T. Hunter Jr., who was charged Friday with first-degree murder, officials said. A person committing a felony can be charged with murder under Illinois law for the death of anyone during the crime. … Police said four men forced their way through a locked door of the Quality Market, at 1032 Bond Avenue, about 3:15 a.m. The clerk, 21, pulled a gun, which fired during a struggle. … St. Clair County State’s Attorney Robert Haida, whose office filed the charge, said in a prepared statement: ‘I commend the shop clerk for what is clearly a legal act of self-defense.’ He added, ‘This type of defensive action is allowed by law-abiding citizens when violent, unlawful acts are perpetrated against them.’”

PA: Bill would change definition of “self-defense”: "Pennsylvania law justifies the use of deadly force in self-defense, but requires people outside their home or workplace to try and retreat first, if they think that’s safe and possible. A bill before the House would eliminate that provision, and reads a threatened person ‘has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use protective force, including deadly force.’”

Arlington shooting underscores need to understand law: "Many people will sympathize with an Arlington, WA man who fired a couple of shots at a burglary suspect who later turned up dead with jewelry belonging homeowner’s wife in his pocket, because the homeowner has now been arrested for investigation of second-degree murder. Keira S. Earhart was booked into the Snohomish County Jail and is being held there on $1 million bail. The man he shot, Ryan A. Rzechula, 25, of Stanwood, has a criminal record, according to the Everett Herald. What allegedly occurred in this case will need some sorting out, but the basic facts are that Earhart arrived home Nov. 16 to find Rzechula running from his house. Earhart discovered that some of his wife’s jewelry was missing and called the Snohomish County Sheriff Deputies responded, including a K-9 unit, but a search failed to find the suspect. A few hours later, Earhart apparently spotted the same man hiding in a nearby ditch, yelled at him as he started to run, fired a couple of shots at him, and then called the sheriff again."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

FL: Homeowner Kills Suspected Burglar On Property:: "A Lake County homeowner caught a burglar breaking into his trailer so he shot and killed the crook. Eyewitness News learned the homeowner won't face any charges. He says he caught the crook on his property on Spring Hill Avenue in Sorrento. The homeowner was protecting more than just his home, officers say, he was protecting himself. The homeowner knew that somebody had broken into his trailer because an alarm that he had installed went off. Lake County sheriff's detectives say Biel shot and killed a burglar, 23-year-old Brett Lee Canada, who used bolt cutters to break into his property. “Detectives have recently arrested him in the area for similar type crimes," Sergeant John Herrell said. Back in August Canada was arrested for stealing lawn-mowing equipment and that's what deputies say he was after this time. Biel has a trailer full of lawn equipment for his business. The homeowner told investigators that Canada lunged at him so he opened fire. Detectives say the story checks out."

Michigan Homeowner Shoots and Kills Home Intruder: "The latest act of violence in the city of Flint came with a twist as police say a homeowner fought back and killed his would-be-robber. Detectives are now looking for at least one other suspect who they say is still on the run. The unusual and brazen home invasion occurred around 10:00 am Saturday in the 300 block of West Bishop. The man’s uncle indentified him as Preston Flowers. Flint Police Lieutenant T.P. Johnson says Flowers and at least one other armed man broke into the Flint home in broad daylight. At the time, the homeowner was chatting on the phone with a family member. Police say he confronted the intruders and wrestled away a handgun and according to Johnson, shot and killed one of his would-be robbers. The other took off... Police are investigating whether the shooting was justified as Flowers' family is torn between grief and guilt."

Man wins appeal in gun test-case: "Since 1996, the federal government has been prosecuting individuals for possessing a firearm if they previously were convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, but a Janesville man’s case has changed that. A federal appeals court in Chicago on Wednesday reversed Steven Skoien’s conviction, finding the law he was prosecuted under might violate Skoien’s constitutional right to bear arms. The government needs to prove that its interest in preventing domestic violence is related to the ban on firearms possession imposed on those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, according to the opinion. Skoien, 30, was on probation in 2007, a year after being convicted in Rock County Court of misdemeanor domestic battery. Skoien’s probation agent learned his client had obtained a deer hunting license, and a search of Skoien’s truck recovered a 12 gauge shotgun. Skoien admitted the gun was his father’s and that he had used it that morning to shoot a deer. Skoien was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and pleaded guilty on the condition he could appeal the conviction on Second Amendment grounds. His two-year prison sentence began in July. Writing for a three-judge panel, Judge Diane Sykes said the firearms prohibition is too broad... Sykes noted that the Second Amendment protects a law-abiding individual’s right to possess firearms for self-defense and hunting. Laws that infringe on constitutional rights must do so in the least restrictive manner, which is lacking in the broad, permanent ban Skoien was prosecuted under, according to the opinion."

Appeals court rejects teacher handgun request: "The Oregon Court of Appeals has rejected a request by a Medford teacher to carry a handgun at school. Shirley Katz had argued the Medford School District lacked authority to set a policy banning employees from carrying firearms. Katz has a concealed weapons permit and claimed she needed her 9 mm semiautomatic pistol for protection from her ex-husband. But the appeals court upheld a Jackson County trial judge who ruled the Medford School District had the authority to prohibit guns on campus. District officials said they were pleased with the decision because it affected work rules intended to ensure staff and school safety. The attorney for Katz said she was disappointed with the ruling. He said an appeal was under consideration."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CO: Burglar makes himself at home in victim's shorts: "A homeowner in Golden held a burglary suspect in stolen boxer shorts at gunpoint last week, police said today. The homeowner, who was not named by police, said he came home at 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 and found Timothy P. Gonzales, 24, of Golden in his home wearing only the homeowner's underwear. The homeowner said when he arrived at his house in the 1200 block of Mesa Court he found a white Lexus parked in his garage and items in his home that were out of place. He fetched his pistol from a bedroom and called out, police said. Gonzales answered, he told police. The man confronted Gonzales and ordered him to leave the house. Gonzales allegedly argued that the pistol was not real and "moved aggressively" toward the homeowner, who fired a warning shot, police said. When police arrived the homeowner was still holding Gonzales at gunpoint. Police said investigators think Gonzales had been in the home most of the day. He showered, did laundry and put food he bought in the refrigerator, police said in a statement. Police also said they found materials used to make methamphetamine on a work bench in the garage. Gonzales remains in the Jefferson County Detention Center under $50,000 bond. The charges against him include burglary, menacing, possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. Public records show Gonzales has been arrested several times before on drug, burglary, domestic violence and other charges."

GA: Armed Robber Killed: "Police say around 11:30 p.m. two armed robbers held up three men and woman as they got out of a car. But it wasn’t just the robbers who were armed, so was one of the victims. “We do know that the victims were robbed at gunpoint and at some point there was gunfire exchanged,” said Phyllis Banks-Whitley, Albany Police media manager. A shootout began when one of the three male robbery victims pulled his own gun and began firing at the suspects. One of the armed robbers took off running while the other returned fire. But it was the suspect who found himself on the receiving end of a bullet. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Despite a barrage a of gunfire, none of the victims were struck. They were taken in for questioning at the Law Enforcement Center downtown. “These people were coming home when they were approached by these suspects who were armed and demanded money. They were able to get a couple of items from them,” said Banks-Whitley."

Florida Home Invader Shot Dead by Victim: "At around 6:45 on Tuesday evening, two men entered a home on Hayward Drive, and one escaped while the other was shot dead. Officers say at around 6:45, two men attempted to rob this home, but someone inside shot one of the suspects, 31-year-old Robert Buck. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement listed Buck as a sexual predator, and the Department of Corrections says Buck just served around 10 years in prison for sexual battery and home invasion robbery. But this robbery led to his death... At this time, it's unknown whether the trigger man inside will face any charges."

Michigan Woman Kills Husband In Self-Defense: "No charges will be filed against a Westland woman over the fatal shooting of her husband Monday evening, authorities said. Jared Callender, 23, was shot three times in the bedroom of the home he shared with his 47-year-old wife, Westland police Sgt. Michael Harhold said. “They had a rocky relationship. There had been prior domestic problems and calls to the police department,” Harhold said. The couple was arguing and Callender had threatened his wife during the previous two days, Harhold said, but police weren’t called. The wife operates a hair salon and tattoo parlor from a building she owns in Detroit. The man, who was unemployed, reportedly again threatened his wife with violence when they returned to the Westland residence from the business. “She was in the living room when he came in and began removing clothing to take off his belt. He put the belt around her neck and was choking her,” Harhold said... “He (Callender) was then pushing her up the stairs and into the bedroom. She said he got a gun which was stored in the bedroom and pointed it at her saying he was going to kill her,” Harhold said. “She was in fear for her life.” The woman was wearing a fanny pack around her waist in which she had a .38-caliber revolver — something she carried for protection at her business, Harhold said. “She fired once striking him in the chest. When he raised his gun again, she fired twice more hitting him in the head,” Harhold said. “She had some injuries — supportive (of her account) injuries.” Officers were able to get a statement from one of the children who witnessed the struggle on the stairs, he said."

Friday, November 20, 2009

IN: Homeowner Holds Burglar Hostage: "An accused robber is behind bars after a Central Indiana homeowner fights back. 22 year-old Jorge Barrera now faces burglary charges. According to police, Barrera entered the home on the southwest side of Indianapolis late last night armed with a screw driver. When Barrera began looking around the house with a flashlight the homeowner grabbed his gun and fired a shot, striking a glass door. When polce arrived, they found the homeowner holding Barrerra at gunpoint."

WV: Robbery thwarted: "Two men attempted to Rob Gifford’s gas station in Reader Sunday night, but all they got away with were some ventilation holes in their getaway vehicle. At approximately 11:20 p.m. a man went to the residence next door to the station and asked owner Tom Gifford if he could use his phone because his car had broken down. Gifford got the phone and when he turned around, the man was holding an knife and a second man wearing a ski mask was in his house holding a pistol. The unmasked man asked for money and drugs; Gifford complied. ‘They didn’t want his blood pressure medicine,’ commented Sheriff James Hoskins. The duo led Gifford back to the store where they wanted more money and items. ‘They wanted into the safe,’ said Gifford. What the perpetrators didn’t know was that the store owner had a loaded pistol ready on top of the safe. ‘When they saw the gun, I was going to shoot them, but the safety was on,’ said Gifford. ‘When I finally got it off they had run out of the building.’ The owner then exited the building and unloaded seven shots into their vehicle as they were speeding away …”

IL: Store clerk shoots, kills would-be robber: "A robbery attempt turned deadly early today when a store clerk shot one robber in the chest, police say. Illinois State Police Lt. James Morrisey said the shooting happened just after 3 a.m. Thursday at Quality Market, at 10th Street and Bond Avenue. … Four men entered the store after forcing their way in through a locked front door. … The clerk, a 21-year-old, had a pistol for his protection. ‘The robbers wrestled with the clerk over the gun, the gun discharged during the struggle and struck one of the bandits in the chest,’ Morrisey said.”

Second Amendment protects all Americans, Supreme Court told: "Gun rights advocates have sketched out arguments they hope will convince the U.S. Supreme Court that no state can be a Second Amendment-free zone. In a 73-page legal brief filed on Monday, the groups representing four Chicago residents asked the Supreme Court to overturn the city’s extremely restrictive firearms laws …. ‘It is unfathomable that the states are constitutionally limited in their regulation of medical decisions or intimate relations, because these matters touch upon personal autonomy, but are unrestrained in their ability to trample upon the enumerated right to arms designed to enable self-preservation,’ says the brief, written by attorneys … on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PA: Clerk kills robber: "A liquor store clerk shot and killed a masked gunman who tried to rob him Tuesday night, according to Wilmington police. Two gunmen came into Favor’s Liquor Store on S. Walnut Street around 9:30 p.m. and ordered the clerk to give them the money in the register. When the gunmen came around the counter to try to get the money themselves, the clerk opened fire, hitting one of the masked men, police said. The man who was shot staggered out of the store and collapsed on the sidewalk. He died at the hospital. Police were using dogs to try to track down the second gunman, who fled.”

Lesson from foiled attack on Maersk Alabama? Fire back!: "The lesson from an unsuccessful pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden this week was simple: Guns talk. The Maersk Alabama, the American-flagged ship infamously attacked by pirates in April, was attacked again Monday when Somali pirates opened fire on the ship in an attempt to board it. But the pirates didn’t get far this time, after a four-man security team aboard the ship fired back, thwarting the attack. … In Monday’s attack, the Maersk Alabama used a powerful loudspeaker system, called a long-range acoustic device, or LRAD, that can be painful to the human ear and fend off attackers. But the nonlethal device was not effective, Gortney said at the Pentagon Wednesday. The pirates were stopped only when the Maersk Alabama began returning fire.”

WI: State statute may violate Second Amendment: "The Seventh Circuit last week vacated a man’s conviction for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. However, the court did not strike the statute down as unconstitutional, but remanded the case to the district court to give the government the opportunity to ‘establish a reasonable fit’ between the ’statute’s means and its end.’ Addressing the record made before the district court, Judge Diane S. Sykes wrote for the court, ‘The government … has premised its argument almost entirely on Heller’s reference to the presumptive validity of felon-dispossession laws and reasoned by analogy that sec. 922(g)(9) therefore passes constitutional muster. That’s not enough.’"

SC: State offers shoppers tax-free weekend on guns: "South Carolina shoppers will get a second chance to buy tax-free guns. The state Revenue Department sent out a reminder Wednesday of the upcoming ‘Second Amendment Weekend.’ The 48-hour tax break begins just after midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving. Shoppers will pay no state or local sales taxes on handguns, rifles and shotguns, which can total 9 percent. Taxes still apply to ammunition and accessories. South Carolina had the nation’s only tax holiday on guns last year. Legislators tacked it on to a tax break on energy-efficient appliances, then restored it in the budget this year.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Md. store owner kills robber: Police are investigating after a robbery suspect was shot by the owner of a convenience store in Fort Washington, Maryland during a robbery attempt on Tuesday night. It happened at the Food Zone, which is located in the 12500 block of Livingston Road, just before 9:30 p.m. FOX 5 has learned that two suspects came into the store wearing masks, and were attempting to rob it. Investigators say the owner of the store was inside, and the store is equipped with security glass. Police say one of the suspects tried to reach inside the glass to rob the store, but the owner of the store hit the man in the hand, knocking away his gun. Then, investigators say, the store owner shot the man. Witnesses said the man was killed"

Bloomberg`s Phantom Mayors: "Billionaire anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, recently appeared on "Meet the Press." Host David Gregory asked him, "How can you muster the clout and the power to take on the NRA?" Bloomberg raised some eyebrows with his response. "If you look at what the real numbers are, I think that we can pull together here and raise enough money . . . to take on this issue and explain to Congress this is just an outrage," said Bloomberg. Having called your Second Amendment rights an "outrage," Bloomberg went on to add, "I`m going to not only do that myself, I`m going to ask plenty of other people to do it. If you want to beat the NRA, you have to go out and get your message out. And it costs money to do that." But not all is well in the ranks of Bloomberg`s supporters. His anti-gun lobbying group, "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" (MAIG), is in a state of turmoil. That may explain why Bloomberg has had to provide more than 95 percent of the funding for his anti-gun crusades from his personal fortune. Bloomberg proudly cites the number of mayors in his group. But at least 25 members of his group are not mayors at all. Another five members have already lost their re-election campaigns or have retired. Nine members of the group--all of them actual mayors, at least for the moment--were arrested or indicted on criminal charges. These include the perennial misdeeds of corrupt politicians at the lowest levels of government--bribery, corruption and money laundering. The list of charges hanging over Bloomberg`s members also includes conspiracy, tax fraud, possession of child pornography and sexual assault on a child."

Idiot thinks Mexican druglords rely on the USA for their guns: "The former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Monday for the U.S. to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons and take other measures to rein in the war between Mexico and its drug cartels, saying the violence has the potential to bring down legitimate rule in that country. Former CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner also called for the United States to more aggressively investigate U.S. gun sellers and tighten security along its side of the border, describing the situation as "critical" to the safety of people in both countries, whether they live near the border or not." [The big fish shop worldwide for anything they want]

British madness: "A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty". Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year. The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon. In a statement read out in court, Mr Clarke said: "I didn't think for one moment I would be arrested. I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets." The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden. In his statement, he said: "I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges. "I didn't know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him. "At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall." Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells. The legal explanation for this fiasco is that possession of a gun without a permit is a 'strict liability' offense (ie there are no excuses) which carries a mandatory (ah yes, those mandatory minimums again...) sentence of at least five years. The real explanation is, of course, that the law is insane."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TN: Attorney Says Killing Was Self-Defense: "Attorney Matt Brown said Monday a fatal shooting at Riverside Park on Nov. 5 was a case of self-defense, noting that Edward Jackson III was being beaten by two other men. Antonio Green was fatally shot at the park on Queens Drive off Amnicola Highway. Artie Watson, who was with Green, is charged with attempted aggravated robbery. Darryl Williams said he drove his 1993 Suburban to the park and Jackson pulled up a short time later and got into his vehicle. He said they were talking when Green and Watson walked up. He said he was watching a nearby basketball game and not paying much attention as the two men argued with Jackson. He said Green then began punching Jackson in the face and dragged him out of the vehicle. He said Green got Jackson on the ground and began kicking him. He said when Jackson was pulled out of the vehicle he heard a gun he had with him fall out. Williams said he heard someone say, "He's got a gun," and he said all three of the men went for the weapon and Jackson got it. He said he was getting ready to go try to break up the fight when he heard shots fired... Detective Karl Fields said he went to Erlanger Hospital and found that Green had died from a shot to the chest. He said he then went to Parkridge Hospital, where Jackson was taken. He said he had large knots on his head and blood in his hair and coming out of his ears. He said his left arm was in a sling. He said Jackson told of being beat up by Green and said Watson also joined in the attack. He said he then went for the gun, clutched it to his side and began shooting."

Canadian man Given ‘Self-Defense Award’: "Jeweler Dennis Galloway received a controversial award from a controversial group on Saturday, and says he has mixed feelings about the recognition. “It’s a bittersweet thing,” said Galloway, who along with wife Sharon own Dievert’s Jewelers on Johnston Road. “It’s something that I wish never happened at all, but I appreciate the support and recognition that I did do the right thing for myself and my wife,” he said. It was just before closing time on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008, when two men walked into Dievert’s Jewelers on Johnston Road. One of the men allegedly pulled out a hand-gun and pointed it at Sharon Galloway. Husband Dennis reported he then pulled out a 9 mm handgun and began firing. Although details are scarce, it is believed Galloway first shot the armed man twice before firing eight more times at the second man as he fled the scene. A year later, 46-year old James Gumbleton remains in hospital, reportedly paralyzed from the neck down... For Galloway, the attempted robbery on October 22nd was the second in seven months, and he is unapologetic for his reaction. “He came to our store. I didn’t go after him,” he said. “I have extensive self-defense training in dealing with an attack,” said Lapierre. “If you’re attacked, you have 30 seconds to fend off that attacker. Police cannot come to your rescue in 30 seconds. The only person that is responsible for your safety is you,” he said. Police had recommended a pair of charges against Galloway for allegedly possessing an unregistered handgun. Sources within the justice system told that Crown Counsel narrowly struck down the charges, but the file could be re-opened."

Grand jury to weigh case of Fort Worth homeowner who fatally shot suspected burglars: "A grand jury will decide whether a homeowner who fatally shot two suspected burglars last week after they kicked in his front door will face criminal charges, Tarrant County district attorney officials say. Leaving such a decision up to a grand jury is not unusual. Of four other fatal shootings this year in Fort Worth in which the shooter claimed self-defense or protection of property, three have been or will be presented to a grand jury, according to Assistant District Attorney Kevin Rousseau. Relatives of the homeowner involved in the latest shooting told the Star-Telegram that the home in the 4400 block of Shackleford Street had been repeatedly burglarized and vandalized over the year that they have lived there. Before noon Nov. 6, police say, two men apparently intent on burglarizing the home kicked in the front door. The homeowner, who relatives say had recently lost his job, was at home and opened fire. One of the suspects, 27-year-old Jonathan Cruz, was shot in the head. He collapsed on a street and was pronounced dead at the scene. The second, 24-year-old Juan Juarez., ran to the suspects’ Ford Explorer, where the homeowner fired at him again, reportedly after seeing him reach under his seat as if going for a weapon. Juarez died that night at a Fort Worth hospital. Police have since said that no weapon was found in the Explorer."

Unhappiness is a drawn gun: "There’s the real world, and there are representations of it. I draw a picture of, say, a gun. That picture is of a gun; it is not itself an actual gun. It’s just, well, a doodle. This being the case — that doodles differ from real threats — then why was a 13-year-old boy near Mesa, Arizona, suspended from school?”

Gun Control - A Public Health Issue?

Not a big surprise here.
In a very quiet development last month, the National Institute of Health (NIH) began studying gun violence after a 13 year ban on the topic.

In 1996 Congress stripped the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of its $2.6 million dollar annual funding for firearm injuries. The Bush administration continued this ban while in control of the agency. At the time, Former Senate Majority leader Bob Dole and Former Senator Trent Lott argued gun related violence was not a public health concern and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the CDC.
Interestingly, the same gun control advocates who are steamrolling a massive government takeover of health care are looking for ways to make the right to bear arms a public health issue.

I suggest it's not a coincidence that gun control is being snared into the universe of health-related crises requiring government action at the same time the government is swallowing the health industry.

Monday, November 16, 2009

SC: Shots fired after man challenges armed intruder: "A man arriving home around 9:15 Saturday night said when he entered the home he found a black male with a ski mask armed with two pistols. After a short confrontation the two struggled and shots rang out once the men were outside the home. The homeowner told deputies he was sure the intruder was hit in the gunfire. Deputies converged on the Our Road home to find the homeowner with blood on his shirt as he explained the incident. A search of the dirt road yielded no evidence of blood or shell casings. It is unknown at this writing if there was forced entry into the home. The alleged intruder was struck in the leg and possibly in the chest area, according to his victim.”

CO shooting apparently self-defense: "Chris Doyel admits that his son, James, was going through some tough times recently. James Doyel was trying to find work to help support an 18-month-old daughter, Emma’ lee, while trying to reconcile with his wife, Natasha, from whom he recently had become estranged. James Doyel, 23, was shot and killed Thursday night when he and three other people, including his wife, got into some sort of argument at a house at 635 W. Second St. Police have said they will present their findings to the district attorney’s office this week. Police took three people, two men and a woman, in for questioning and later released them. Police also said they are investigating “the possibility that the incident was a result of self-defense.” Family members confirmed Natasha was at the house when Doyel was killed. Prosecutors with the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will decide what charges, if any, will be filed in connection with Doyel’s death."

What stops mass murderers? A gun: "Hasan reportedly had fired more than 100 rounds, requiring him to change handgun magazines several times — Sgt. Todd said Hasan was reloading again when he shot the suspect. Why didn’t any of the hundreds of Army personnel in the room shoot back, ending his killing spree far sooner? Because they couldn’t. Among President Bill Clinton’s first acts upon taking office in 1993 ‘was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases,’ the Washington Times points out. But mass murderers do generally have a harder time of it in Texas, nowadays, thanks to the legislative response to the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which also occurred in Killeen, Texas — home to Fort Hood. In 1991, George Hennard drove his pickup through the window of a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, jumped out and began firing two pistols at the defenseless customers and employees inside, killing 23. As Jacob Sullum pointed out in his syndicated column in last week’s Review-Journal, one customer, Suzanna Hupp, saw Hennard gun down her parents. Mrs. Hupp later testified that she had brought a handgun with her that day but, to her bitter regret, left it in her car, as required by state law. Hupp ran for and was elected to the Texas Legislature, where she was able to win passage of a ’shall issue’ law that requires authorities to issue a concealed carry permit to any resident who meets certain objective criteria. Unless they join the Army.”

Little-known historical flag bears big message: "I’ve always been a history buff at heart and more recently an avid gun enthusiast, but most importantly, a supporter of Second Amendment rights. There’s a difference between just shooting guns and knowing the vast history behind our right to do so. The United States, as a country and before it was a country, has had a long history of flags — specifically, flags relating to our independence …. However, my personal favorite is a flag that may be better known to Texans. … The flag I’m talking about — recently gaining popularity among conservatives and gun-rights activists — originally was called the ‘Come and Take It’ flag, or Molon labe, a Greek phrase that means ‘come and take them.’”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FL: Apparent home invader shot to death by homeowner: "A 25-year-old man was shot to death on Orlando’s west side while apparently trying to break into a home….. He was found outside the front door of 5369 Botany Court, near Kirkman Road, around 7:30 Wednesday night.The Orlando Police Department has not provided any details other than that they’re working a death investigation. The homeowner’s mother said her daughter heard three men trying to break into the house and opened fire. The other two suspects ran away.”

Man protests Seattle gun ban at community center: "Bob Warden alerted everyone that he was going to take his legal, concealed, and holstered Glock into the Southwest Community Center at noon. "Public officials who choose to completely go against the law should not be able to get away with it," he said. Warden was protesting the recent executive order by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to ban the possession of firearms at designated city facilities and parks. It was reaction to the shooting at Seattle's Folklife Festival last year. The state Attorney General's Office says it doesn't believe the city has the legal right to make such an order. "Some people are going to look at this as if the city of Seattle has a big sue me sign on it," said Dan Sytman of the Attorney General's office. The one-man protest was over in a minute. But Warden says it now lays the groundwork to continue to fight the issue. "I now have the legal standing to file suit to challenging the rule," he said. He says that's because he was personally turned away, unlike the plaintiffs in another case. "We're absolutely prepared for the challenge," said Nickels spokesman, Alex Fryer."

Guns or butter: "Some 15,000 Americans died last year because they didn’t have it. As many as five million more experienced a significant reduction in their quality of life, including mental and emotional trauma as well as diminished health, without it. Although large majorities of those Americans fortunate enough to have it are satisfied with what they have, many of the poor who need it most desperately simply cannot afford it. The government already exercises a great deal of control over it. Lives could be saved if we made its purchase mandatory, and subsidized those of limited means, to make ownership universal.No, not health care. Guns.”

‘To disarm the people’: "The title to this commentary was drawn from a 1788 quote by one of our founders, George Mason. Although his quote is more than two hundred years old, it remains as current now as it was then.Some things have simply not changed. Those regimes seeking to assert and maintain absolute control over the citizenry will always try to disarm them first … Without exception, an unarmed citizenry is one that can be effectively bullied and coerced and are readily controlled by the government.”By comparison, a well armed citizenry is an ominous threat to any police or military force who would seek to exert control over them. It is for this reason that our founding fathers introduced the Second Amendment into the U.S. Constitution.”

Saturday, November 14, 2009

IN: Man who shot wife's ex acted in self-defense, prosecutor says: "No charges will be filed against a Lincoln Township man who police and prosecutors say acted in self-defense when he shot and killed his wife's ex-husband in their home on Oct. 19. Bobby Masters, 34, was fatally shot at the couple's home, in the 2100 block of Lenora Drive, by Leonard Brown, 46, who said Masters was drunk and threatened him, authorities said. Brown lives at the home with his wife and his two stepdaughters, ages 14 and 17, and a 12-year-old stepson, who is Masters' son, police said. Masters had been living at the home also for a few months while he sought help for a reported alcohol and drug problem, the prosecutor's office said. Brown and Masters argued on Oct. 19 when Masters took his 12-year-old son and his 14-year-old stepdaughter fishing. When the three returned about 11 p.m., Brown said Masters had been drinking and had given alcohol to the 12- and the 14-year-olds. Brown locked Masters out of the home. Masters became enraged and kicked down a back door, threatening to kill Brown, Berrien County Prosecuting Attorney Art Cotter said in a press statement. Brown armed himself with a family shotgun that was stored in an upstairs master bedroom, authorities said. When Masters repeatedly threatened Brown, saying "you're dead," Brown retreated to a flight of steps and yelled at Masters to stop, police said. Brown said he pointed the gun at Masters who was coming at him and fired with his eyes shut. When Brown opened his eyes, Masters was standing in front of him and had grabbed the barrel of the weapon and pulled on it. Brown fired again, causing Masters to fall to the ground, Cotter said."

CA: Aggressive cop pays the price: "A use-of-force expert for Alberto Alvarez, who is on trial for the murder of East Palo Alto Police Officer Richard May, testified Thursday there was no justifiable reason for the officer to stop Alvarez on Jan. 7, 2006. May violated an East Palo Alto city ordinance against excessive use of force and a police department policy when he followed and attempted to detain Alvarez, 26, defense witness Winthrop Taylor said Thursday afternoon. May was responding to a dispatch call about a fist fight in Villa Taqueria on Cooley Avenue when he saw Alvarez walking across the taqueria's parking lot. A police Explorer on a ride-along with the officer testified Alvarez looked in the officer's direction as he crossed in front of the patrol car, then ran across University Avenue. Alvarez admitted he shot the officer during nearly five hours of testimony Thursday, but said he did so in self defense after being shot in the leg by May and fearing the officer would kill him. Taylor followed his testimony, saying May had no just cause to stop Alvarez under state and federal law. Alvarez did not fit the description of the assailant in the taqueria fight, Taylor said. U.S. Supreme Court decisions have established an officer cannot detain a person simply for running away. May also violated city ordinance and police policy when he struck Alvarez from behind twice with an ASP, an expandable metal baton, Taylor said. The use of a metal baton, considered a defensive weapon, is only to be used if a suspect is assaulting the officer, he said. "When someone is running away, is that assaultive?" Eric Liberman, defense attorney, asked."

NV: Homeowner not charged for shooting, killing home invader: "The homeowner who shot and killed an intruder at his home Thursday evening has not been charged and Las Vegas police continue to investigate possible accomplices involved in the home invasion. The slaying occurred at 1845 Sycamore Trail, near Rancho and Vegas drives, about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Police Lt. Lew Roberts said the homeowner, whom police did not identify, didn’t know the man who kicked open the door of his home. The men engaged in a scuffle before the homeowner shot and killed the intruder. The Clark County coroner’s office identified the deceased as Mark Matthew McIsaac. The 48-year-old Henderson man died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Roberts said the case will be reviewed by the district attorney’s office. According to Clark County assessor’s office records, the home is owned by Richard Schwartz. Roberts said the homeowner and the suspect engaged in a fight in the front and back of the home. He said the homeowner used a revolver to shoot and kill the man inside the home."

IL: Sam Colt still equalizing: "Jacksie King was an elderly grandmother who lived in a small Illinois house on dead-end Gaty Avenue since her youth. At 87, she mostly stayed at home and enjoyed frequent visits from her daughter. Her life changed one December night when an unidentified intruder cut her phone lines, pried the security bars off her window and invaded her home. After severely beating her, the man robbed her house and escaped. The case was never solved. Two months later, King awoke to the sound of an intruder breaking through her storm door at 2 a.m. As before, the bars were pried off her window to access an enclosed porch, and again the phone lines were cut. King reached for her only remaining lifeline—a .38-cal. Colt revolver her daughter had given her for protection. This time the would-be victim fired, striking 49-year-old Larry Tillman in the chest, immediately dropping him on the doorstep. Terrified, King stayed in her chair for four hours, clutching her revolver, until her daughter arrived. Police later learned Tillman was a career criminal with an extensive record, including residential robbery."

Friday, November 13, 2009

TN: Man not guilty in shootout with rogue cop: "It took 2 trials, 3 years to clear man in deaths of deputy, ride-along. Jurors deliberated about 6 1/2 hours Thursday before finding Houston, 50, not guilty of murder in the May 11, 2006, deaths of Deputy Bill Jones and Mike Brown, a former police officer on disability retirement. Houston claimed self-defense. He chose not to testify. Prosecutors said Jones, 53, went to the Houston family farmhouse on Barnard Narrows Road to serve a warrant on Rocky Houston for failure to appear in court. The deputy and longtime friend Brown, 44, died in the gun battle that followed - Jones with two bullets through his brain and Brown with his spine severed by a gunshot, his left eye blown out and his jawbone blasted about 100 feet down the road. The brothers said the pair rolled up shooting as they sat on the front porch with friends. Leon Houston fired eight shots from behind a bush with a .45-caliber Glock pistol - none fatal. Tests show all fatal shots came from his brother's Maadi semi-automatic rifle. Jones fired 15 shots from his .357-caliber service pistol, including one that pierced Rocky Houston's buttock and lodged in his abdomen. Brown fired four shots from a 9 mm Ruger pistol. Two eyewitnesses swore the first shots came from Jones' patrol car. Prosecutors couldn't prove otherwise. Defense lawyer Jim Logan used the ballistics evidence, which included shell casings that landed as much as 20 feet behind Jones' patrol car, to argue the deputy shot first. Jones didn't alert dispatchers of any plans to serve a warrant, and other witnesses swore they heard him threaten the brothers the day of the shoot-out."

Texas homeowner shoots at would-be robbers: "A man accused of breaking into a Houston-area home was taken to a hospital in critical condition after a Texas homeowner fired several shots at him during an apparent home invasion. Police in the Houston suburb of Missouri City say the 20-year-old homeowner grabbed a pistol Wednesday afternoon and began shooting after two men broke into his home and demanded money. A third suspect waited outside in a car. Police say two of the men got away, but one collapsed in the homeowner's driveway after being shot several times. That man was flown by helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition. Police say the homeowner was treated for minor injuries."

Time to end Army bases as gun-free zones: "It is hard to believe that we don’t trust soldiers with guns on an army base when we trust these very same men in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shouldn’t an army base be the last place where a terrorist should be able to shoot at people uninterrupted for 10 minutes? After all, an army base is filled with soldiers who carry guns, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. … The unarmed soldiers could do little more than cower as Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood on a desk and shot down into the cubicles in which his victims were trapped. Some behaved heroically, such as private first class Marquest Smith who repeatedly risked his life removing five soldiers and a civilian from the carnage. But, being unarmed, these soldiers were unable to stop Hasan’s attack.”

Statistics show concealed carry saves many lives, takes few: "Habtu’s article also brings up the statistic that four CCW permit holders have committed firearms-related murder this year, four in almost an entire year. How many crimes are committed each year by people illegally carrying firearms or with illegal firearms themselves? The U.S. Department of Justice states on its Web site that of the 16,137 murders in 2004, 66 percent or 10,650 were committed with firearms. The four occurrences she has listed seem to be outweighed by this statistic. The Texas Department of Public Safety released a study in May of 1999 that showed that permit holders in Texas accounted for 0.246 percent of all aggravated assault crimes that involved a deadly weapon, four out of 1,629 convictions. It also shows that there were 3,303 convictions for people unlawfully carrying a weapon: One percent of these were permit holders. In the year 1999 the rate of murder convictions for permit holders in Texas was zero percent. There were none. I think that you will find that the ratio of crimes committed by permit holders to total permit holders is a tiny percentage compared to crimes committed by those without permits."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ore. woman shoots, kills home intruder: "A man was shot and killed by a woman after he broke into her house in Redmond and tried to attack her with what authorities called an "improvised weapon" as she defended her children. Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said the 51-year-old woman has not been charged in the Wednesday night death. Identities were not immediately released. Sheriff's deputies said the woman called 911 dispatchers just before 11 p.m. to report a man she knew was outside her home, refusing to leave. As the woman was on the phone with dispatchers, the man broke out a kitchen window and entered the home. Deputies said the woman had armed herself with a handgun and moved her 8- and 12-year-old children into the bathroom as the man attempted to assault her."

FL: Woman shoots man trying to invade: "Police said Wednesday night that they're questioning a woman after reports that she gunned down an intruder at her home in Orlando. Police would not give many details about the incident, but investigators said a man was shot at the front door of a Botany Court residence. They said the man was dead by the time crews arrived. Neighbors said a woman in her late 20s, who lived at the home, shot the man as he tried to kick down her door. They said they saw several people running after the shooting. Police did not say if those people may have been involved in the attempted home invasion. The woman's uncle, Tracy Clark, said he believed his niece was acting in self-defense."

AZ: Shooter of aggressive neighbors acquitted: "A jury acquitted Darryl Chenowth of murdering two men near his home in McNeal at the conclusion of a trial Wednesday in Cochise County Superior Court. Chenowth, 52, was charged with first-degree murder of Thomas Rand, 44, and Leonardo Rivera, 20, on Jan. 11. Jurors were also allowed to consider lesser included offenses of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for only a few hours on Wednesday before reaching the verdicts of not guilty on each count. The defendant told law enforcement officials that Rivera’s pit bull terrier was causing problems for his cattle and horses. He said he warned Rivera that he would shoot the dog if it kept doing so. On the night of Jan. 11, Chenowth said, he fatally shot the dog when it tried to bite him. He said Rivera threatened that he would to burn down his house with him inside. Rand and Rivera confronted him. He said he shot them with a pistol in self-defense when Rand hit him in the leg with a stick and when he thought Rivera was going to strike him... After the trial, Ken Sugden, who was the jury’s foreman, explained to the Herald/Review that members of the panel reviewed the evidence and they felt this outcome was appropriate. He said some main factors in this case were the significant amount of stress that Chenowth experienced during the incident, and the way a person under attack can react automatically without any real thought."

In Defense of Self Defense: "The fact that guns are effective killing devices encourages many people to feel that the guns themselves are evil rather than giving credit to those who use them for evil or for good. They also rarely have any knowledge that firearm statistics are routinely manipulated and misrepresented - even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control include suicides in their gun death statistics (which greatly inflates the apparent death toll). The U.S. has a high gun murder rate; England with strict gun controls has almost no gun murders and a very low murder rate. This shows that gun control is effective in reducing murder doesn't it? No. Prior to having any gun controls at all, England already had a homicide rate much lower than the United States (Guns, Murders, and the Constitution: A Realistic Assessment of Gun Control, Don B. Kates Jr.). The Swiss (pop: 7 million) have hundreds of thousands of fully-automatic rifles in their homes (see GunCite's "Swiss Gun Laws") and the Israelis, until recently, have had easy access to guns. Both countries have low homicide rates. (incidentally, the brits are having no luck keeping their criminals from keeping and bearing arms). The U.S. has a higher rate of murders which do not involve firearms than some European country's total murder rates. On the other hand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Mexico have gun-less murder rates in excess of our total murder rate. All that can be determined is that there are many factors that influence homicide rates, and crime in general, more than the availability of firearms."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AL: Man shot, killed during robbery attempt: "A man armed with a shotgun was himself shot and killed today as he attempted to rob a bait shop, according to Bessemer police. The incident happened about 4:15 p.m. at The Bait Shop at 729 9th St. N. in Bessemer, said Capt. Mike Roper. When the man attempted to rob the store, the owner shot and killed him, Roper said. Roper did not give the man's name because he was not sure if his family had been identified"

Montana: Shooting of grizzly ruled self-defense: "The shooting of a grizzly bear by a Troy man in the Cabinet Mountains was determined to be an act of self-defense, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials reported Monday. While hunting on Dad Peak in the Cabinets, the man spotted two grizzly bears in the trees approximately 50 yards ahead of him, Montana FWP said. The report shows that the man alerted the bears to his presence by yelling and waving his gun. “When the bears came in the direction of his noises, he realized there were three grizzly bears – one larger and two slightly smaller,” Montana FWP reported. “When he yelled again, hoping they would run off, the larger bear charged and the hunter shot the bear at approximately 25 yards.” The hunter left the area and hiked out approximately six miles to report the incident to FWP. The next morning, the hunter returned to the site with FWP game wardens Phil Kilbreath and Tom Chianelli, accompanied by FWP grizzly bear specialist Kim Annis. An investigation of the scene confirmed the hunter’s account of events. FWP’s investigation determined that the hunter was “very disappointed he had to shoot the bear, but he feared for his life” and it was ruled as a justifiable self-defense shooting."

Student Group Pushes for Concealed Guns on Campus: "Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the leading advocate for self-defense rights on college campuses, announced Defense Education Week on Monday, the latest in a series of events designed to draw attention to their goal. The event is intended to educate participants about weapons and self-defense, and includes Empty Holster Protests, free educational courses at shooting ranges, guest speakers, petition drives, legislative lobbying and a new website called Armed or Not? which invites visitors to observe and be quizzed on concealed carry. The group expects participation from college groups across the nation. Our goal has always been to educate the public about who we are and what we’re about, said David Burnett, a spokesman for the group. There are gross misconceptions about what we advocate, and what self-defense on campus is for. People think we want to hand out guns to 18-year-olds, or sacrifice student safety, and that’s not at all the case. We don’t want to change who can carry, we want to change where.

High court hears challenge to Mass. weapons storage law: "Gun control proponents argued before the state’s highest court Thursday that a Massachusetts law requiring gun owners to lock weapons in their homes saves lives while gun advocates pointed to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling holding that people have a constitutional right to keep weapons for self-defense. The case involves a Billerica man whose mentally disabled son allegedly shot at a neighbor with a BB gun. The 18-year-old showed police where his father kept other unlocked guns. Under the Massachusetts safe gun-storage law, the youth’s father, Richard Runyan, was charged with improperly storing a 12-gauge shotgun, a semiautomatic hunting rifle and ammunition. But a Lowell District Court judge dismissed the charges, citing a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C. In District of Columbia vs. Heller, the Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment gives people the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in their homes. The court also tossed out a D.C. requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled. Middlesex County prosecutors argued Thursday that the Massachusetts law requiring guns to be secured in a locked container or equipped with safety devices when not under an owner’s control is less restrictive than the D.C. law."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NY: Clerk scares off would-be robbers with shotgun: "A bodega worker in Elmont scared off handgun-toting bandits who were trying to rob the cashier when he whipped out a shotgun, Nassau County police said. Police say the shotgun that the worker brandished was behind the counter when the two bandits came into the Elmont Deli at about 4:15a.m. Saturday and pointed a handgun at the cashier, demanding money from him. ‘After he brought out the gun, they run away,’ said Sias Jihan, a co-worker of the employee who had the shotgun.”

Anti-gun nuts: Let’s ban more guns because of Fort Hood: "So wait … the ammunition being used is available only to law enforcement and … military? Why, yes it is, according to FN’s own website. You can buy and use a number of different rounds for that pistol for self-defense, target shooting, or whatever legal purpose you wish, and police officers are at no more risk than if you had picked up a package of 9mm rounds at Wal-Mart. I guess adding in the little detail about Hasan only being able to purchase the AP rounds due to being a member of the military might have blown their argument. Must have just slipped their mind. It even slipped the mind of the writers of the above news article, since the blue-tipped rounds in the included picture indicate that they are, in fact, not armor piercing.”

How treacherous Republicans and fake conservatives are destroying America: "A few days ago when a Muslim Army Psychiatrist went on a murderous shooting spree on a domestic American army base, those who are called conservative pundits spent their air time and print space debating whether the shooter was a Muslim terrorist or merely a stressed-out whack-job. They did not ask why during the eight years of a conservative Republican administration — most of it following the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, and much of it when conservative Republicans also had a majority in Congress — never authorized members of the American military and their families to carry guns with them wherever they went on a daily basis to defend our country against terrorist attacks. It never crossed their minds that the disarmament of American soldiers — much less the citizen militia — would be the first issue the Founding Fathers would have addressed. What was it that these conservatives were supposed to be conserving?”

TX: Federal judge orders college to allow “empty holster” protest: "A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order Friday allowing two Tarrant County College students to stage their ‘empty holster’ protest at the community college campuses.U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means said in his ruling that Clayton Smith and John Schwertz Jr., who attend TCC Northeast Campus in Hurst, can wear empty gun holsters and hand out fliers in ‘public-forum areas including, but not limited to, public streets, sidewalks, and common or park areas.’ TCC wanted to restrict the protest to a small designated area. But the students cannot wear their holsters in classrooms or hallways. They are protesting for the right of licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.”