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."

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