Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GA: Homeowner Used "Self Defense" Against Intruders: "Rossville police tell NewsChannel 9 they will not charge Gary Anderson. Investigators say Anderson caught the two suspected thieves "in the act." The lead detective says Anderson actually saw one of the intruders with his "computer in his hands." Officers sorted out the details early Monday evening. Anderson shot Marvin DeWayne Wallace [above] after he found him and Andre Jenkins trying to steal a computer and jewelry, according to police. Public Safety Director Sid Adams said, "At this point in time I don't see any reason or anything that indicates he (Anderson) did anything wrong." The 43 year old Jenkins ran, but police later caught him. And NewsChannel 9 confirmed he just got out of Silverdale for aggravated assault exactly one week before this crime. And Wallace also has a lengthy criminal history, including attempted murder."

Off-duty cop at home shoots burglar: "An off-duty Chicago police officer shot a burglar who broke into his South Side residence this morning, law enforcement sources said. The officer, who was inside the home when burglars entered the house in the 7600 block of South Vernon Avenue about 9 a.m., shot one of the suspects, the sources said. Shortly after the shooting, a man with a gunshot wound went to St. Bernard Hospital, and detectives were working this morning to confirm whether that man was the burglar who broke into the officer's home."

SAF helps spearhead new international group to protect civilian arms rights: "The Second Amendment Foundation is delighted to be part of a new and growing international organization whose goal is the protection of firearms rights for private citizens. The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) met last week in Nuremberg, Germany. Gun rights organizations and activists from several countries, including Sweden, Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and the United States attended. The group’s official slogan is ‘Liberty and Security.’”

AZ: No permit, no problem: "State senators voted Tuesday to let anyone who can legally have a weapon carry it beneath a jacket, in a purse or otherwise hidden. SB 1108 would eliminate all the penalties that now exist when someone has a concealed weapon without first getting a state permit. That permit requires the holder to attend a training class, which covers everything from the laws on when people can use deadly physical force to proving the person actually can handle the weapon. It also requires a background check. The bill requires a final roll-call vote before going to the House. Current state law allows virtually all adults to have loaded weapons as long as they are visible. Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said that law is of little help to many. He said that especially includes women who may want a gun to protect themselves but don't particularly want to strap a holster over a dress."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

OH: Man killed during break-in attempt: "Sprague was shot while trying to break into an apartment at 5764 Cooper Rd., said detective James Day of the homicide squad. A man inside the apartment fired shots because he felt threatened by Sprague, Day said. ‘It appeared that the victim in this incident was the aggressor and that the shooter was acting in self-defense,’ Day said. ‘He’d actually tried to force his way into the apartment at the back door when this occurred.’ Sprague was shot outside the apartment …. He died shortly after 10 p.m. at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s hospital. Sprague was a registered sex offender with a criminal history that includes a 2006 conviction for gross sexual imposition. … Day said the shooter told investigators that he fought with Sprague, who was nearly twice his size, and tried to convince him to leave before firing shots.”

MD: Armed home intruder shot dead: "Detectives discovered that the homeowner, William Bozman Sr., 68, was asleep when he was awakened by a suspect who entered his bedroom. Cook pointed a handgun at Bozman and demanded money, police said. Bozman retrieved a handgun he had nearby and pointed it at Cook, ordering him to drop his gun, according to police.Cook then advanced toward Bozman, who fired several shots, police said. Cook was taken to Franklin Square Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.No charges have been filed.” [This is an update on a report yesterday that names no names]

Demonizing gun owners: "Gun control is losing in this country. Since the mid-eighties, gun rights have slowly begun to pick up speed with the vast majority of states adopting more lenient gun control laws and passing concealed carry legislation. The gun ban movement has lost one Supreme Court fight (Heller) and is on the verge of losing another (McDonald). Reports are in from all over the country that concealed carry licenses are being issued at record rates. … Now that the American Public has seen through one set of lies it is time for another. In the past, most of the effort has focused on blaming the gun for the actions of the person, now they are going all out to demonize gun owners themselves.”

Raid on "End time" Christians with guns: " The FBI said Sunday that agents conducted weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and arrested at least three people, and a militia leader in Michigan said the target of at least one of the raids was a Christian militia group. Federal warrants were sealed, but a federal law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said some of those arrested face gun charges and officials are pursuing other suspects. Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group, who said their property in southwest Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. [Conspiracy charges have been levelled against them but we will see how that stands up in court. "End-time" Christians are often very committed but are normally not violent]

Monday, March 29, 2010

MD: Intruder killed in early morning shooting: "A suspected burglar was shot and killed in Perry Hall Sunday morning when he was confronted by a homeowner with a gun. According to Baltimore County Police, officers responded to the shooting at 5:46 a.m. in the 4200 block of Chapel Road in Perry Hall. Police said the suspected burglar had entered the home and was confronted by its resident, who shot him in the residence. The burglary suspect was taken to Franklin Square Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No one else was injured. Police have not released the names of the resident or the suspected burglar."

NH: Home intruder shot: "A home intruder was shot in the leg in Lincoln on Wednesday night, police said. Police said an intoxicated man entered an apartment at 29 Main St. at about 8:30 p.m. A resident fired a warning shot into the wall before shooting the man in the leg, police said. ‘The best we can piece together is that (the intruder) knew someone who used to live in that apartment, and he thought that individual might still have been there,’ said Chief Theodore Smith. The people inside the apartment threw the man out, but police said he returned. ‘Then, he proceeded to come back into the place and threatened one of them,’ Smith said. ‘The individual pulled out a weapon to defend himself.’”

Cleared Gun Dealer Sues Arizona AG: "A Phoenix gun dealer claims the Arizona Attorney General defamed and wrongfully prosecuted him - unsuccessfully - on bogus allegations that he was "a major firearms trafficker for the Mexican drug cartels." George Iknadosian, owner of X-Caliber Guns, was acquitted of 21 counts, including forgery, fraud, and assisting a criminal syndicate. Iknadosian claims he was acquitted after it became clear that witnesses made false statements to receive "favorable plea agreements." A judge dismissed the criminal case against Iknadosian in 2009 and ordered all of his seized property to be returned ... Iknadosian claims that Phoenix police officer Aimee Smith conspired with an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to "wrongfully and maliciously prosecute" him."

What’s missing from the “black agenda”: "I mean, a black man who wants to defend himself with a firearm? Just who does Otis McDonald think he is? He’s part of a long line of blacks who’ve done precisely that throughout American history, the early gun-control laws targeting blacks specifically notwithstanding. Robert F. Williams and other blacks did it in Monroe, N.C. in the late 1950s and early 1960s against marauding Klansmen. The Deacons for Defense and Justice did it in Louisiana in the 1960s. … Armed self-defense was a cherished African-American tradition — until we became Democrats. But brothers like McDonald know one thing: Well-meaning Democrats can’t stop the thug invading your home. But a Smith and Wesson can.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

FL: Argument at auto shop ends in shooting: "A business deal turned violent Saturday afternoon at Action AC and Auto when a customer attacked a mechanic with a weapon, police said. The mechanic then shot the customer several times, they said. Lt. Scott Pardon of the Hollywood Police Department said the mechanic appears to have acted in self defense. The 24-year-old victim, Juan Howard, is expected to live. Pardon did not know what kind of weapon Howard had, but he said it was not a gun. The mechanic and owner of the shop, Randy Morla, 47, has not been charged. The investigation is ongoing."

WA: Self defense was assault? "A Spokane man who shot another man at a park nearly two years acted maliciously, but he didn’t try to kill his victim, a jury ruled Friday. Aleksandr V. Pavlik, 26, was convicted of first-degree assault but acquitted of first-degree attempted murder for a shooting in the Mission Park parking lot on May 19, 2008, that injured Gabriel Leenders.... Pavlik drove away but returned minutes later, when Smith and Leenders rushed his car, and Leenders leaned in and began punching Pavlik in the face, according to court testimony. Pavlik shot Leenders, whom medics said was drunk, in the chest. Spokane Police Officer Stephen Arredondo saw Leenders punching Pavlik and witnessed the shootings. Defense attorney Anna Nordtvedt said Arredondo’s testimony was the strongest evidence that Pavlik shot in self-defense when confronted by two drunk and belligerent men who were the aggressors in the confrontation."

Gun Rights Supporters Tote Weapons at Rally Outside Kentucky's Capitol: Gun rights supporters unabashedly toted weapons at a rally outside Kentucky's Capitol on Saturday in a show of political muscle aimed at sending a message to policymakers to protect the Second Amendment. Speakers stressed the importance of guns for self-defense, drawing cheers from about 300 people at the rally where American flags were plentiful. Many in the crowd had weapons holstered at their sides or strapped to their backs while attending the Kentucky Second Amendment March. The event is part of a national, grass-roots campaign culminating with a planned rally next month in Washington. Bartley said gun ownership is the "one right that protects all others" report hammers myth that more guns lead to more homicides: "This morning’s report carried by headlined “Record numbers now licensed to pack heat” further confirms what gun rights activists have been arguing for years: More guns in private hands does not equate to more homicides. It’s obvious that Senior News Editor Mike Stuckey did his homework, invested a lot of effort and worked hard to make this a balanced, objective report. What his story revealed comes as no surprise to Second Amendment advocates. America’s homicide rate has declined while gun ownership has risen dramatically, and an increasing number of law-abiding citizens are now packing heat. The highest gun homicide rate is in Washington, D.C., which has had the nation’s strictest gun-control laws for years"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Female home Invader Shot In Northeast Philly: "A woman was shot during an alleged home invasion at the home of a Philadelphia deputy fire chief, police say. The incident happened at Philadelphia Deputy Fire Chief Robert Wilkins' home at Frontenac and Hoffnagle Streets in the Rhawnhurst section of city around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police. Police claim the unidentified woman broke the glass to a storm door and then kicked in the locked front door. Wilkins, who was sleeping upstairs, grabbed his gun and confronted her, police said. He then opened fire on the woman as she fled, hitting her four times.
The woman was taken to Aria Hospital - Torresdale in critical condition with gun shot wounds to her abdomen and leg. Authorities are investigating the shooting, but say it appears to have been in self-defense."

Miss.: Blade-Wielding Man Shot By Business Owner: "The owner of a Jackson auto salvage business said a man trying to steal from him charged with a sling blade, so he shot him. Masoud Bayati, the owner of M&B Auto Sales on Country Club Drive, said when he went to get a part Tuesday at about noon, he saw the man on his property. When Bayati told him to leave, the man charged him with the blade. Bayati said he picked up a shotgun he had hidden in the grass and shot the man. "He didn't know I had a shotgun. He just came to me. He used his ax and came toward me and I told him not to come toward me, and he was so sure I couldn't protect myself, so he got closer and I picked up my shotgun that was laying behind the car," Bayati said. The man, who was identified by police as Curtis Wright, 48, was shot in the leg and taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Police questioned Bayati, but he has not been charged."

Federal judge upholds D.C. gun regulations; appeal expected: "A federal judge on Friday upheld the gun laws that the District of Columbia passed to comply with the landmark 2008 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the city's decades-old ban on handgun possession. The judge ruled that the District's handgun registration process, which requires owners to submit fingerprints and allow police to perform ballistics tests, is constitutional. He also upheld a city ban on most semiautomatic pistols. The city requires that legally registered revolvers be kept unloaded and either disassembled or secured with trigger locks, unless the owner reasonably fears immediate harm by an intruder in the home."

‘Shall issue’ gun bill makes last-minute progress in Iowa Legislature: Sheriffs would no longer have nearly unlimited discretion to deny an Iowan a permit to carry a concealed weapon under a last-minute proposal before state legislators. Iowa would go from a “may issue” state, meaning sheriffs may issue a permit but can deny any person for any reason, to a “shall issue” state,where they could deny a permit for only a limited number of reasons. It’s what gun advocates have pushed hard for all session, but not all are happy with the compromise bill because they don’t think it’s progressive enough. Sen. Keith Kreiman, D-Bloomfield, negotiated the compromise proposal he thinks will standardize how permits are issued in all 99 counties, and give sheriffs better guidelines."

Friday, March 26, 2010

GA: Armed woman stops burglar: “A Moultrie burglary victim was ready when someone tried to break in on her again Tuesday night. She opened fire and shot the intruder. Tamika Seay’s home on Second Avenue Southeast was broken into March 12th. So she went out and bought a gun, and Tuesday night when she heard someone breaking in again, she grabbed it, and started shooting. Michael Daniels was hit by a bullet. He ran out of the house, but later showed up at a hospital.”

Louisiana: Carjack victim shoots suspect to death in 9th Ward: "A man was shot dead by a motorist he tried to carjack in the Lower 9th Ward late Wednesday, police said. Joshua McElveen, 24, approached a man in a pickup truck in the 1800 block of Lamanche Street about 9:30 p.m., according to authorities. He pointed a handgun at the man and told him to open the door, NOPD spokeswoman Hilal Williams said. The unidentified truck driver refused. Williams said the truck driver pulled out his own handgun and fired several bullets at McElveen. McElveen, wounded, dropped his gun and fell to the ground. The would-be victim called 911, but McElveen died before paramedics could arrive to treat him, coroner’s chief investigator John Gagliano said. According to Williams, investigators did not book the driver with a crime."

AZ: Weapons bill being readied for consideration: "Gun-rights activists say Arizona legislation to allow carrying of concealed weapons without a permit say it should be ready for Senate consideration early in the coming week. House and Senate bills were scheduled to be considered Thursday but action was postponed. Supporters say that was so minor changes can be made to provisions unrelated to the repeal of criminal penalties for not having a permit while carrying a concealed weapon. … If the bill becomes law, Arizona would be the third state behind Alaska and Vermont to not require permits for concealed weapons.”

OK: Bill will extend “Make My Day Law” to businesses: "The State of Oklahoma has one of the strongest gun rights laws in their ‘Make My Day law.’ It may grow even stronger, if state senator Joe Sweeden of Pawhuska has his way. Senator Sweeden penned SB 2257 this year to enhance business owners rights in protecting themselves and their property. He was prompted to write the law by the robbery incident involving Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland. Ersland currently faces first degree murder charges for shooting a 16 year-old robbery suspect in his place of business. Following is video of that robbery and the pharmacist retrieving firearms and fighting back …”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CA: Elderly homeowner scares off burglar: "An elderly Sacramento homeowner fired a warning shot early Tuesday after someone tried to break into his garage, police say. The 85-year-old resident grabbed his historic handgun to frighten the would-be burglar, who then fled. The burglar was not hit. Police said the resident will not face any charges for firing the weapon, but officers urged him to call 911 before taking the law into his own hands.”

OK: Homeowner fires at break-in suspect: "A homeowner fended off an intruder who kicked in her front door Monday night when she shot at him with a handgun, police said. The woman was home alone in the 1800 block of North Owasso Avenue when the man rang her doorbell several times about 11:45 p.m. The noise startled the woman and she grabbed a .357-caliber pistol, police said. The man then broke into the house and the woman fired a single shot. She missed and the burglar fled, according to police. The intruder was black, in his early 20s and about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a red and blue baseball hat and a red and blue jacket."

National parks gun regulations quite complicated: "Federal law now allows visitors to carry guns in national parks, but you can’t just slip a loaded pistol into your backpack and take a hike. Pay attention, because this is a little complicated. You will need a concealed weapons permit to carry the loaded gun in the backpack. But you don’t need any kind of permit if you just want to stash your loaded weapon in the tent. … What’s going on? Guns in national parks are now under both state and federal restrictions, and the result can be confusing. State law generally applies to the way guns are carried … California’s odd exemptions to the concealed weapons rule include sleeping in a tent, which is considered your temporary home.”

CO: Appellate court hears arguments on CU weapons ban: "Attorneys argued Tuesday whether the University of Colorado’s weapons ban is constitutional, and allowed by state law, in front of Colorado appellate court judges. The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is challenging a 1994 policy that bans guns on CU campuses, while CU says it’s within the rights of the Board of Regents to set rules that concern safety. Attorney Jim Manley, who represents Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, said CU’s gun ban violates the Concealed Carry Act of 2003. The act says no local government can adopt an ordinance to limit state concealed carry rights.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

La.: Police shoot the good guy: "A hub city man who was shot by police is now free. We were the first to report when the man was shot by police after officers claimed he opened fire on them. The charge of attempted first degree murder of a police officer against the 33 year old Lafayette man has been dropped. Commissioner Thomas Frederick dropped the charge against Corey Boseley during his 72 hour hearing. Considering the charge that is a bit unusual. Initial reports indicated police opened fire on Boseley because he fired a shot into a police car. But police admitted Tuesday no bullet holes were found in any of the police cars that responded to the scene.... it confirms what Boseley has been saying all along, that he was outside the house with a gun that night because he was trying to prevent two people from stealing merchandise located in front of the hardware store."

CA: Gun advocates seek to normalize firearms in public: "Locally, the Bay Area Open Carry movement is a loose affiliation of individuals who meet about once a month to advocate for gun rights. Most participants say they openly carry a firearm, or ‘open carry,’ to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms, or to protect themselves and deter crime. One participant said a primary goal of the meetings is to normalize firearms and encourage the public to support loosening California’s relatively stringent gun laws. ‘It’s a battle worth fighting,’ said Walter Stanley, a 32-year-old political consultant from Livermore who attends the open carry meetings. ‘It’s something I feel so strongly and so positively about. I want other people to have the option to carry firearms.’”

The right to bear arms with your latte : "You might be interested to know that Washington and Oregon are deemed to be ‘open-carry-friendly’ states, with liberal (meaning permissive) gun laws, while Alaska sets a kind of ‘open carry’ gold standard (no surprise for Palin country). You might also be interested to know that Washington is more gun-friendly, legally speaking, than Texas. That’s because gun rights are strongly supported in Washington’s constitution, and the fact that it is legal here, generally speaking, to carry a gun on your hip or a rifle over your shoulder, in the open, without a permit. Gun toters should feel more at home in the land of the Uptight Seattleite than the Lone Star state.”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Louisiana: Manager fights off armed assailant at restaurant: "Fearing for his life, a Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits’ manager in Covington wrestled a gun away from a robber, then – after firing a warning shot into the ceiling – told him to scram, police said. In the early morning hours today, Covington police responded to reports of an armed robbery at the restaurant at 71711 Riverside Drive. The manager, Connie Robinson, 34, told police he was walking out of the store just before midnight on Sunday when he was accosted by a man wearing a black ski mask and a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt, with the hood up, Covington Police spokesman Capt. Jack West said. The assailant, described as about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a slim build, was armed with a blue steel revolver, West said. The man, who is still at large, ordered Robinson back into the business and told him to open the safe, West said. As he attempted to open it, the suspect told him he was going to kill him, and so, feeling he had nothing to lose, Robinson attacked the gunman, West said. After a struggle – which West described as fierce, saying both men were injured – Robinson gained control of the gun and told the robber to leave. The man then asked for his gun back and Robinson refused, firing one round into the ceiling, which prompted the robber to flee, West said."

IN: Take your gun to work? Some are glad it’s legal in Indiana now: "For one, having a fellow restaurant owner killed during a robbery scared him into getting a permit to carry his gun. For another, witnessing a domestic situation spill over into the workplace and leave a co-worker dead scared her into ensuring everyone gets home from work safely every day. The experiences of Mickey Skoulos, owner of Sunrise Cafe on Beardsley Avenue, and Ariann Lawhorn, human resources manager at Mid-City Supply Co. on Industrial Parkway, shape their views of the ‘take your gun to work’ bill that Gov. Mitch Daniels signed Thursday.”

US gun rights advocates pack heat with pride: "About 60 gun rights activists gather in a pizzeria in the Virginia suburb of Falls Church, just outside of Washington DC, their firearms openly displayed in waist holsters. They are celebrating what they expect will be the successful enactment in Virginia of legislation expanding [sic] gun rights for residents. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has pledged to sign the measure. With gun control legislation stalled at the federal level in Congress, a number of states have taken matters into their own hands to make it easier for residents to pack heat. As many as 43 states already have some form of open-carry laws that allow citizens to carry firearms in plain view. Only seven states ban the carrying of firearms openly."

How many people have the anti-gunners helped murder?: "The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram carried the Associated Press report of a convenience store clerk in Kansas City who did exactly what a robber ordered him to do. He also did what his boss, formerly the Dallas-based Southland Corporation and now Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd., trained him to do. He also did what the police have repeatedly advised everybody to do. … And later in the hospital that night, after doing what everyone had told him he should do, Gurpreet Singh died.”

Monday, March 22, 2010

Armed Bahamas resident shoots violent home invader in self defense: "As I've previously noted, I primarily write about self defense cases in the United States. This is because I’m an American, who focuses first and foremost on American gun and self defense rights. However, as the case below from the Bahamas shows, armed self defense saves crime victims all around the world: Police say that a two armed men, who were wanted in connection with a string of burglaries and robberies, began breaking into a home at Assembly Estates around 2:00pm on Saturday. A resident and the intruders saw each other, at which point one of the intruders fired two shots from his handgun, which missed the resident, according to news reports. The resident reportedly grabbed his lawfully owned shotgun and fired in self defense, striking at least one of the home invaders and sending both fleeing. One suspect collapsed nearby and was taken to a hospital in serious condition, while the other suspect escaped and is being sought, according to police."

NH: Felony charges dropped in sword and BB gun case: "Prosecutors on Friday dropped felony charges against a local man accused of wielding a sword and BB gun in a recent dispute, but say they may pursue lesser charges instead. Joseph Lawson, 21, with a last known address of 1941 Berry Road in Knoxville, Tenn., was charged with felony criminal threatening after an incident at 154 Berry River Road on March 6. He was scheduled for a probable cause hearing Friday, but the charge was dropped before the hearing. Assistant County Attorney Matthew Zahn said he reviewed witness statements, and while he believes what they said, it does not appear the incident warranted felony charges. According to court documents, Lawson was in a dispute with several people outdoors when he went inside the home and returned with a sword and a BB gun. While witnesses said he was threatening and challenging people with the weapons, Lawson claimed he needed them for self-defense, according to an affidavit filed in court."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

AZ: 82-year-old fights off attacker: "An 82-year-old woman takes matters into her own hands after she's attacked in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Sierra Vista. Police said the suspect Stephen Prickett beat the woman with her own cane until she grabbed her gun from her purse and started firing. She said she was just walking to her car with some groceries when she was approached by the suspect. She said, "In a very mild voice he said, 'this is your day. You are too old to be alive anyway.'" Moments later she said he grabbed her cane and started beating her and she's got the bruises to prove it. She eventually went for the gun in her purse and opened fire. She didn't hit him but said it still saved her life. She said, "In the long run I think it saved me because if I hadn't shot the thing no one would have known there was anything wrong and come running." Wal-Mart employees came to her rescue and police weren't far behind. The suspect was arrested shortly after the attack. He's facing multiple charges including attempted murder."

CA: Store clerk shoots and kills robber: "A liquor store clerk shot and killed one of two armed, masked men who tried to rob the shop on Tully Road late Friday night, Modesto police said today. Police arrived at the Super Liquors store in the 1600 block of Tully Road to find one of the robbery suspects with gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital and died later in the night. This evening, police identified him as Kyle Johnson, 20, of Modesto. A second suspected robber fled the scene after struggling with a second clerk, police said. They said this evening that the suspect, a 17-year-old boy, had been arrested and will be booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of homicide and attempted robbery.

Florida: Burglar Shot, Hospitalized And Then Jailed: "A Marianna burglar was shot as was breaking into a home Friday night on Myles Street. He was apparently shot in the foot by a resident there and fled. Marianna Police a short while later arrested the suspect, Ben Thomas, who was found in front of a home on Old Cottondale Road. Hayes Baggett, Marianna Police Chief, told NewsChannel 7 that Thomas was taken to Jackson Hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound and he was then taken to the Jackson County Jail. Baggett says Ben Thomas was jailed on charges of burglary of an occupied structure and battery."

Florida: Homeowner interrupts robbery attempt: "When Richard Zahn heard noises on his back patio, he opened his sliding glass door and grabbed his shotgun. Then he chased after two men who ran out his back gate toward a lake. And the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office gave chase in its own way — with a K9 unit and helicopter unit, according to an incident report from the Sheriff’s Office. Zahn, who lives in the Burlington Oaks subdivision of Heathrow, came home on Tuesday and discovered his month-old, 42-inch Samsung television had been moved and wasn’t working properly, the Sheriff’s Office said. That night, according to the Sheriff’s Office, two men moved some metal shelves beneath the TV out of the way. They also removed wine glasses and placed them on a nearby bench. The two men used a 12-foot ladder to remove the TV from its wall-mounted bracket, the Sheriff’s Office said. On their way out of the patio — about 2:30 a.m. — the men knocked over the metal shelves. Zahn told investigators he “heard a loud banging of metal on concrete” and discovered two men with his TV in their hands, the Sheriff’s Office said. Zahn told deputies the men were about 6 feet tall and wore dark jeans or sweatpants and dark, hooded sweatshirts, the Sheriff’s Office said. One of the men was white; the other could have been white. Zahn’s wife called 911 as he chased after the men, the Sheriff’s Office said. The two men remain at large, the Sheriff’s Office said."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

TX: Bait camp owner not charged in fatal shooting: "A grand jury declined to indict a bait camp owner who fatally shot a patron banned from the business. Robert Stanley Ott, 52, was no-billed in the Oct. 22 killing of Michael Wayne Hansen, 55, who was found dead in his pickup in the driveway of Ott’s Santa Fe home, Galveston County Criminal District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk said in a Friday statement. Ott owns Hall’s Bayou Bait Camp, from which Hansen was barred, Ott said. “After threatening to kill me there, he came to my home property and pulled a gun,” Ott said. “I don’t know what made him feel he was welcome at my home property, especially with a gun, if he wasn’t welcome out there.” Santa Fe police said Hansen displayed a gun in a threatening manner toward Ott. Police found Hansen dead with a gun in his hand, authorities said. “I’m a hunter, I’m a 30-year member of the National Rifle Association, and I strongly believe in a person’s right to the Second Amendment,” Ott said."

Pa.: Off-duty cop shoots robbery suspect in college parking lot: "Sirens illuminated campus in the wee hours of the morning Friday, as the Borgia Hall parking lot became a crime scene. A man who held up the 7-11 on City Avenue was gunned down by an off-duty highway patrol officer at approximately 3 a.m. Witnesses say the off-duty officer was pulling into the store on the 5300 block of City Avenue as a clerk informed him that the store had just been robbed. The officer chased the suspect, a 37-year-old man identified as Kenneth DeShields of Philadelphia, across City Avenue, eventually shooting him twice in the chest. The man was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was pronounced dead. Witnesses say they heard five or six shots. According to an unofficial report, the off-duty officer was also wounded, though 6ABC and CBS3 reported no other injuries. Calls to the Lower Merion Police Department were not returned."

Law introduced in Ohio to allow guns in restaurants: "The next time you go to a bar or restaurant, you may be sitting next to someone with a gun, if two Ohio senators, Tim Schaffer and Shannon Jones, have their way. They want to change the state's concealed carry law to make that perfectly legal. "People have the right to self defense and our constitution says so," said Chad Baus of the Buckeye Firearms Assoc. "Our constitution doesn't draw a line and say: 'But not here.'" That's why Senate Bill 239 is before the State Senate. It would allow licensed gun holders to carry their weapon inside facilities with a Class D Liquor License, such as restaurants and bars.... Another part of the bill would allow licensed gun holders to carry their weapon anywhere in their car. "Every other state simply says you are allowed to carry in the car," Baus said. "They are not having any problems in the other states and we need to bring those up to speed." ... Even with the laws, restaurant owners would have the right to post a sign saying they do not allow guns on their property."

Taurus Public Defender: "I must confess i didn't get it when Taurus introduced the Judge. I thought it was awful bulky for a concealed carry piece, and I questioned the concept of shotgun shells in a defensive revolver. I could see the benefit for folks who spend a lot of time in snake country, but I didn't consider the Judge a proper concealed carry gun. Fortunately for Taurus, no one asked me, because the Judge is the best-selling gun in Taurus history. The Judge caught on fast, and it wasn't long before I started seeing them on the belts of my rancher friends. Few are gun guys, yet almost every rancher I know bought one. No matter where I went, Judge-toting ranchers were itching to whip out' their new toys. By the time it had been out a year, I'd probably fired a dozen of these guns. They impressed me enough that I eventually ordered the then-new UltraLite model. My Ultralight shot nice, tight patterns with .410 buckshot and it grouped phenomenally well with .45 Colt loads. Consequently, I've shot it an awful lot and eventually came to embrace the idea of the .410-buckshot-loaded wheelgun for self defense.... The Judge's popularity is largely due to the decisive effect of buckshot on people and the belief that the pattern thrown by the little five-shooter will make hits more likely."

Friday, March 19, 2010

No guns for minorities?

About a month ago, I wrote about a bill pending in the Illinois House of Representatives, HB 6123, ostensibly intended to make it more difficult for members of "street gangs" to acquire guns. Many would call that a laudable goal. Actually, as I said last month, I think the seemingly commendable nature of this legislation is the point--to be able to accuse opponents of the bill as "wanting to arm gangbangers." The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) points to a much more ominous issue with this proposed legislation:

Law-abiding African Americans and Hispanics would take it on the chin under a bill now moving through the Illinois General Assembly. Sponsored by Rep. Harry Osterman (D-14), HB6123 would prohibit any person or entity from selling a firearm to a so-called "street gang member." This prohibition applies even if the individual has passed a Brady Law FBI background check. Making a prohibited sale would result in Class 1 felony charges and possible jail time for the seller....

"HB6123 promotes racial profiling at its worst," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Popular culture has branded urban minorities with the 'gangsta' stereotype that is pervasive well beyond the confines of actual criminal enterprises. Today's fashion, music, slang and lifestyle are all heavily influenced by the urban experience. Given that the provisions of HB6123 establish no test for determining 'street gang' membership, and given the harsh penalties for violating the proposed law, it is understandable that retailers would shy away from selling firearms to persons whose speech, dress, mannerisms, or taste in music reflect the urban lifestyle."

Representative Osterman represents the 14th Legislative District, which is one of the Chicago districts. Chicago, of course, has a long history of supporting "gun control" measures that were really intended as "African-American control" measures. I touched on that a bit Monday, with my (very) brief history of the Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card. Quoting Raymond Benwood:
With passage of the '68 Act another door opened under the color of law, this time in the state of Illinois. Since white liberal racism energized the '68 Act, seeing it as a tool to further their socialist agenda, Mayor Daley Sr. of Chicago used his influence to bring about a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card in Illinois as a response to race riot concerns in Chicago. The FOID card was believed to be a powerful tool, to keep guns out of the hands of certain groups in the state deemed dangerous to Daley.

Whether Rep. Osterman intends it or not, the effect of this bill would be to make young, urban, minority males second class (at best) citizens when they walk into a gun shop--subject to suspicion based on such things as their skin color, clothing, mode of speech, etc.; and not at all on any criminal history on their part (which would be filtered out by both the federally-mandated NICS check and the FOID card requirement).
That's unacceptable.


Ohio: Man Turns Tables On Would-Be ATM Robber: "An attempted robbery at a bank ATM was thwarted early Wednesday morning when the would-be victim produced a loaded handgun. Erik Tehoke said he pulled his vehicle up to the ATM at about 1 a.m. to withdraw cash when a man walked up to his vehicle. “I was sitting in the driver’s seat and my window was down. He came right up to the mirror and told me to give me all my money,” Tehoke said. That’s when Tehoke, 27, reached for his holster, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported. “I reached for my gun and he took off and ran,” Tehoke said. Tehoke, who works as a security guard, got his concealed carry permit only three months ago, Landers reported. He credited his training with keeping him calm throughout the ordeal. “I didn’t get scared, I didn’t get nervous,” Tehoke said. “It was just an instant reaction.” Tehoke said his training also prevented him from opening fire on the would-be robber. “I didn’t see anything that looked like a knife or looked like a gun,” he said. “It was just an instant reaction and I pulled my weapon.”

Starbucks, guns, and property rights : "The controversy over guns and Starbucks provides us with an opportunity to understand the relationship between gun rights and property rights. The gun-control crowd is upset with Starbucks because the chain is permitting people to openly carry firearms into its stores. They say that this is carrying the right to keep and bear arms too far.”

5th state exempts guns. Is Washington noticing?: "A fifth state – South Dakota – has decided that guns made, sold and used within its borders no longer are subject to the whims of the federal government through its rule-making arm in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and two supporters of the growing groundswell say they hope Washington soon will be taking note. South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has signed into law his state's version of a Firearms Freedom Act that first was launched in Montana. It already is law there, in Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming, which took the unusual step of specifying criminal penalties – including both fines and jail time – for federal agents attempting to enforce a federal law on a "personal firearm" in the Cowboy State. According to a report in the Dakota Voice, the new South Dakota law addresses the "rights of states which have been carelessly trampled by the federal government for decades." "As the federal government has radically overstepped is constitutional limitations in the past year or so, an explosion of states have begun reasserting their rights not only with regard to firearms, but also in shielding themselves against government health care, cap-and-trade global-warming taxes, and more," the report said."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alaska: Woman shoots, wounds ex-boyfriend: "Anchorage police say a man upset by child custody issues was shot by his former girlfriend at her home. The woman told police that 31-year-old Tommy Robert Thomas at 12:14 a.m. Monday entered her home on East 73rd Avenue acting aggressively. When he refused to leave, she fired a warning shot into the floor. Witnesses say he moved toward the woman and she shot him twice, striking him in the leg and his side, just under his armpit. Thomas underwent surgery and is expected to survive. The shooter and two visiting friends were taken to police headquarters for questioning. Detectives have not filed charges but the case has been forwarded to the district attorney for review."

Arizona: Man choking his ex-girlfriend shot by her dad: "A woman’s father comes to her rescue by shooting her ex-boyfriend during an argument. Phoenix police say 26-year-old Daniel Fuches was choking the woman outside her residence near 51st Avenue and Beardsley when her dad came down from a second story window and shot her attacker twice. Detective James Holmes says the dad shot the suspect in the leg first. “At that point he got the suspect’s attention. The suspect pulled away from the daughter, picks up a big rock, comes at the dad now with the rock threateningly and the dad shoots him in the abdomen.” “I’m just picturing what state of mind he had to have been in seeing his daughter getting choked and worried about her to the point where he’s jumping out of a window and down into the driveway to try to save her.” Fuches faces assault charges. Police are still determining if they should press charges against the woman’s father."

Indiana: Neighbor shoots pit bull mix that attacked dog, invaded home: "A New Albany woman says her friend shot and killed one of two dogs that unexpectedly attacked her dog as it sat in her back yard in the 1900 block of Culbertson Avenue late Monday afternoon. The owner of the dog that was killed says he understands and most likely would have done the same thing himself. Albert Cross admits that his two pit bull mix dogs, Sampson and Daniel, managed to crawl under a fence and attack Carolyn Sevedge’s 9-year-old Irish Setter, Mufasa, who was in the back yard next door. Cross says he first knew there was a problem when he checked on his dogs and they weren’t in the yard. Cross said he jumped over the fence and got the dogs to stop attacking. “I told them to cut it out, which then they stopped.” Sevedge says she retreated into her home, but Sampson and Daniel weren’t finished. “I went into the house,” Sevedge said. “The back door was open and they all ran into the house.” Cross and Sevedge were able to force the attacking dogs out of the house, but one – Daniel – kept trying to back in. That’s when police say Carolyn’s husband, who was in the shower, heard her screaming. He grabbed his handgun and fired at the dogs. One bullet struck Daniel, killing him."

TX: Federal court strikes down gun rights protest restrictions at college : "Late yesterday, in a striking victory for the First Amendment on campus, a federal district court in Texas ruled that a number of restrictions on students’ speech at Tarrant County College (TCC) are unconstitutional. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means found that TCC’s reliance on a policy prohibiting ‘disruptive activities’ to restrict students Clayton Smith and John Schwertz from holding an ‘empty holster’ protest violated the First Amendment.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Florida: Homeowner Kills Attempted Robber In Driveway Shootout: "An Orange County man is recovering after a shootout in front of his home. It happened around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 1800 block of Pomegranate Court. Police said the homeowner, Dave Henry, had just returned home from work and was pulling into his garage when he saw a suspicious car near his home. That's when they said two suspects got of the car and tried to rob the homeowner. However, Henry pulled out his own gun and a shootout started. One of the suspects, identified as David Lee Butler, 37, was shot and killed by Henry. The other suspect got away. Police said Henry had a concealed weapons permit and is not facing any charges."

CO: Pols shoot down “make my day” law for business: "Business owners, holster those guns: Colorado’s ‘Make My Day’ law still does not apply to the state’s workplaces. For the fifth consecutive year, a legislative committee defeated an attempt Monday to broaden the homeowner self-defense protections to places of business. This time, it was the House Judiciary Committee that shot down House Bill 1094, sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, by a vote of 6-5. The Make My Day law, passed in 1985, gives homeowners immunity from prosecution if they use deadly force on an intruder who has entered their dwelling place illegally and who they believe could use physical force against them.”

Poll: Most Americans say cities have no right to ban handguns: "A new Rasmussen poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Americans reject the notion that cities have a right to ban handguns, siding with the Second Amendment Foundation’s position in its lawsuit to overturn the Chicago ban. Oral arguments in the SAF case were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Court observers predict the high court will overturn the Chicago ban, thus incorporating the Second Amendment to state and local governments through provisions in the 14th Amendment.”

Gun-resell law under fire in Tennessee: "Despite a call from Memphis Mayor AC Wharton to overturn a law that forces law enforcement agencies to resell weapons that it confiscates, the law's Senate sponsor said Monday that a "repeal is not likely." Both Wharton and Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell expressed concern Monday about a new statute, signed into law March 3 by Gov. Phil Bredesen, that alters Tennessee law on the disposal of weapons seized from criminals. The law forbids destruction of confiscated guns unless they are unsafe or inoperable and requires them to be either sold or retained for law enforcement use. The statute was passed at the urging of the National Rifle Association, according to its House sponsor. The law's Senate sponsor said Monday night he'll oppose efforts to repeal it. "The bill passed with overwhelming majorities and repeal is not likely to happen," said Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson. The law had no impact on the Memphis guns used in a gunman's fatal attack on the Las Vegas courthouse on Jan. 4 and a shooting March 4 at a subway stop at the Pentagon. That's because the guns were sold in 2005 and 2008, years before the new law went into effect. But it will end a policy Luttrell put into place at the end of 2005 when he stopped selling guns seized from criminals. Since 2006, all guns used in crimes that are transferred to the sheriff's office have been destroyed."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Outspoken Wash. medical pot activist shoots robber: "A well-known Washington state medical marijuana activist traded gunfire with robbers who invaded his home early Monday, suffering minor shotgun pellet wounds and sending one intruder to the intensive care unit of a hospital. Activist Steve Sarich, 59, runs CannaCare, an organization that provides patients with marijuana plants and advice about Washington's law. "I don't want to shoot people, but God, this is our eighth home invasion since last May," he told The Associated Press. Sarich said he was awakened at his Kirkland home by the barking of his dogs, then grabbed a .22-caliber handgun and headed down a hallway outside his bedroom. A man with a shotgun confronted him in the living room and fired, he said. The main blast struck a wall a few inches from his head, Sarich said. One pellet struck his face while another hit his leg. Sarich shot at the robber but missed. When his gun jammed, he darted back to his bedroom and grabbed another handgun. He spotted another robber standing outside the glass door to his bedroom and fired three times, hitting the robber multiple times. Sarich's live-in girlfriend called 911, as did the wounded robber, a 19-year-old from Renton. King County sheriff's deputies found him in the backyard and took him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he underwent surgery for life-threatening wounds. Sheriff's deputies arrested a second suspect, also 19, as he tried to flag down a ride nearby a few hours later. That suspect gave investigators the names of two others involved in the robbery attempt who had fled in a vehicle.

Mich.: Customer swipes masked man's gun, kills him: "Romulus police are seeking three suspects after a party store customer wrestled a gun away from a masked man, shooting and killing him. Police say the robber and two other men were robbing the store at 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the city about 20 miles southwest of Detroit when the customer walked in with a woman. Romulus Police Sgt. Corey Sadler tells the Detroit Free Press that the customer successfully fought the gunman for control of the weapon and fired two rounds. No other injuries were reported. Police are seeking two men who escaped after trying to force a store employee to empty the safe at gunpoint.

Off-duty cop shoots robber at home: "Two men face multiple felony charges after one of them was wounded in a break-in at an off-duty Las Vegas police officer's home in Henderson, authorities said Monday. The wounded man, Carlos Chacon, 38, was hospitalized for a leg wound and booked into jail after the shooting Sunday in a middle-class residential neighborhood in the Green Valley area, Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul said. Chacon's wound was not believed to be life-threatening. Paul said Chacon was trying to elude police arriving to a report of an earlier home invasion break-in in the same neighborhood when he entered the officer's home and was shot. An alleged accomplice, Nelson Abreus-Diaz, 39, was arrested after the first break-in, Paul said."

Arkansans want to carry weapons in the open and stage protest hike over it: "Forty-three states now allow gun owners to openly carry firearms. However, Arkansas is not among them. But a group is stepping up efforts to try to change that. Stehle is one of the newest members of Arkansas Carry, a grassroots organization looking to change Arkansas gun laws. Currently on the agenda is to make Arkansas an open-carry state. "The biggest thing for me is: if I'm concealing it with my permit and I reach for a can of vegetables at Wal-Mart and it's exposed, technically, I've committed a crime," said Stehle. Steve Jones, the organization's vice chairman, believes "We have a handgun law that is archaic, old and it needs to be changed." Jones organized the 4.5 mile empty-holster protest hike. He says the group is working to get support for a bill rejected in Arkansas' Judicial Committee last year. "It's still alive. And the legislature has what they call an interim study sessions; and what we're going to try to do is get that before one of the study sessions," he said. "And try to get them to look at it and see what maybe needs to be fixed up on the bill to get it passed." According to Arkansas Carry, they are just trying to get the right that has been granted in 43 other states. "It's my right," group visitor, John Arellanes said. "I support what they are doing."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ohio: Man shot trying to rob carryout: "Another robbery that went from bad to worse, police say, after a clerk pulled out a gun and shot a would-be robber. This is the second shooting like this in just the past few days in the same part of town, but this time the suspect is dead. The suspect was wearing a woman’s wig and brandished a gun before demanding money from the clerk at Bengal’s Food Mart on Airport Highway, Sgt. Tim Noble said. This all happened around 10 a.m. They figure he was hoping to leave with his pockets lined with cash. Instead, he was wheeled out of Bengal's Food Mart on a coroner's stretcher. It was a deadly end to what neighbors call a brazen robbery attempt."

VA: Homeowner's grandson shoots intruder: "An intruder was shot this morning after forcing his way into a home in a Henrico County. Henrico police say an adult male was shot in the lower torso around 5:30 a.m. in the 10300 block of Longdale Ave. The victim was transported to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. According to police, an elderly female homeowner reported that an intruder forced his way into her home, physically attacked her and then physically attacked her adult grandson, who was also present inside the home. The woman was knocked to the floor and her grandson obtained a handgun and “fired one round into the lower body of the assailant, causing him to drop to the floor,“ said Henrico Lt. Jim Price. The woman suffered facial injuries and was treated on the scene. The investigation is ongoing, but the attack does not appear to be random, Price said. “It appears that the homeowner was not aware of this individual and had never met him; however, [the assailant] is apparently known to the adult grandson as an acquaintance, someone he recently came across or met,“ Price said. Motive appears to be breaking and entering with intent to commit assault and robbery. “He announced that he wanted money,“ Price said. Currently, no charges have been filed against the shooter or the intruder. Police said they are waiting to interview the person shot, who was undergoing surgery."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

FL: 2 Charged In Connection With Home Burglary, Shooting: "Detectives with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division are investigating an early morning armed burglary and shooting. They said Maureen Cassidy told them that she woke up when she heard a noise. She said she exited her bedroom and observed a male intruder in the home. She returned to the bedroom, she said, and woke up her husband, Charles. She said her husband then retrieved his handgun, a Smith and Wesson 9-mm, and stood in the doorway of the bedroom, where he observed the male intruder walking toward him. Police said they were told that Charles Cassidy shouted to the intruder, "Stop. I have a gun." He said that the intruder continued to walk toward the bedroom area, at which time he fired one round from his handgun, striking the intruder in the hip area. Police said the intruder fled the residence through a back door and exited a screened-in porch area. Deputies said they found 24-year-old Senewa Kahle, of Hobe Sound, attempting to conceal himself and armed with a knife in the bushes outside the residence next door. He was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center with injuries that are not life-threatening, investigators said. Deputies conducted a search of the area and found a green 2000 Dodge Neon occupied by 24-year-old Kelly Black, of Stuart, at an adjacent residence. Kahle stated to detectives that Black drove him to the area. Kahle has a criminal history that includes an arrest for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to investigators. Black has a previous arrest for possession of oxycodone, they said."

Maine lobster fishers found not guilty in shooting of aggressive rivals: "A Matinicus lobsterman and his daughter wept Friday as a Knox County jury acquitted them of charges in connection with a shooting on the town dock last summer. Vance Bunker, 68, who also has a home in Owls Head, sighed and hung his head with relief while Janan Miller, 46, of Matinicus and Spruce Head placed her face in her hands and cried. Both had claimed they acted in self-defense in an escalating dispute over vandalized lobster gear. The jury then also reheard Bunker describing the moments that led up to his pulling the trigger. “Wes grabbed the shotgun and started taking it away from Janan,” he said. “Once he grabbed the gun I didn’t know what the hell to do. I shot twice. The first time at Wes, and I missed. The second time Chris lunged for me.” The day before the shooting, Ames confronted Bunker and Alan Miller on the dock over lost gear. Ames accused the two older men of cutting his traps, which they denied. About 6 a.m. the next morning, Young boarded Bunker’s boat without permission and threatened to kill the captain before Bunker pepper-sprayed him, witnesses testified earlier this week. Later that morning, Ames and Young chased Alan Miller’s boat and made threats his wife heard over the radio that lobstermen use to communicate with each other and relatives onshore. Janan Miller told the jury that after the chase broke off she saw her husband’s boat coming into the harbor and Ames and Young waiting for him on the dock. She told the jury she grabbed a shotgun, which she did not know how to use, and ran to the dock to protect her husband, whose life she believed was in danger. Bunker testified that he brought a loaded .22-caliber revolver to the dock after he learned the brothers were there waiting for his son-in-law."

OH: Battered woman shoots abuser: "Police reports state Knight, 46, shot Ratchford, 50 [above], in the chest after an argument turned physical in their home at 25 E. Liberty St. at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 10. Knight has not been charged. Clark County Prosecutor Stephen Schumaker said the investigation is ongoing. With a battered face and both eyes purple and swollen, Knight recounted her memories of that evening. She said Ratchford had been drinking and an argument started in the basement of the home just before she was supposed to accompany Ratchford and his crew to a maintenance job. During a struggle, Knight said she and Ratchford ended up on the floor, where a puddle had collected in the leaky basement. “Then he took my head and said, ‘... I’m going to drown you,’” Knight recounted, sobbing. “He was slamming my face in the puddle. And I said, ‘Go ahead and kill me then, just get it over with.’ Knight said he became enraged when she told him he had broken her nose and warned she’d “better not say that again. “And then he said, ‘... I’m just gonna kill you, you need to be dead anyway,’” Knight said. “And I just (grabbed the gun from the dresser) and swung around. “I didn’t even know I pulled the trigger,” she said. “I didn’t even hear the gun go off.”

State plan fines feds $2,000 over gun rules: "Wyoming has joined a growing list of states with self-declared exemptions from federal gun regulation of weapons made, bought and used inside state borders – but lawmakers in the Cowboy State have taken the issue one step further, adopting significant penalties for federal agents attempting to enforce Washington's rules. According a law signed into effect yesterday by Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal, any agent of the U.S. who "enforces or attempts to enforce" federal gun rules on a "personal firearm" in Wyoming faces a felony conviction and a penalty of up to two years in prison and up to $2,000 in fines. WND reported just days ago when Utah became the third state, joining Montana and Tennessee, to adopt an exemption from federal regulations for weapons built, sold and kept within state borders. A lawsuit is pending over the Montana law, which was the first to go into effect. But Wyoming's law goes further, stating, "Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00), or both."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brainless BATF -- a rogue agency

Fed agencies seize toys, call them 'machine guns'

A gun rights organization has launched a Freedom of Information request following a decision by federal Customs and Border Protection agents to seize a shipment of toy pellet guns and a determination by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that they could be converted into machine guns so they must be destroyed.

Government agencies have explained that the Airsoft toys, made of a soft pot metal and lacking a firing mechanism, easily could be converted into a true weapon capable of automatic fire. "Our firearms technology branch classified this as a machine gun," BATFE Special Agent Kelvin Crenshaw said in a report assembled by Gun Owners of America. "With minimal work it could be converted to a machine gun."

Gun Owners spokesman Erich Pratt told WND today his organization has launched a FOIA demand for information to find out on what basis the government reached that conclusion.

The case stems from the confiscation just weeks ago of the shipment of several dozen of the plastic pellet-firing Airsoft toys from Brad Martin and his son, Ben, in Cornelius, Ore.

An analysis by John Velleco, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners noted that, "To make the transformation, the entirety of the upper receiver would have to be replaced, but the lower receiver would still be unable to endure the intense force of live ammunition because it is made of pot metal (inexpensive alloys) instead of hard steel. "And all of this work would actually cost more than buying a real – and stable – AR-15 rifle," he said.

The toys also lacked the orange paint on the muzzle that some classes of toys are required to have, but the Martins confirmed that when that situation had arisen with previous shipments from their Taiwan supplier, they were allowed to paint the ends of the barrels.

A local television station, KOIN, interviewed a specialist in the Airsoft product at issue – which actually can be used by police agencies for training because it does resemble a real weapon although it shoots only small plastic pellets. Jason Jonah of Andy and Dax Surplus said, "it looks like a gun, but the insides are completely different, the design is different, and the material it's made of is just not strong enough to fire real ammunition."

If somebody tried to fire real ammunition, he said, it mostly likely would blow up the toy. "The gun would come apart and the pieces fly at you," he said. "If it weren't the ATF making these accusations, I'd laugh, but they must be taking it seriously. In all my years, I've never had anyone talk – even laughingly – about changing these into weapons," he said. He said it would be about as easy to convert an Airsoft into a real weapon as transforming "your Cuisinart or any other electrical appliance into a real gun. "It's made of the same plastic or low-quality aluminum as any other appliance. So maybe you turn it into a firearm, but it would be like transforming any other electrical appliance – hiding a gun inside an electrical appliance," he said.

He noted that in an Airsoft, the trigger doesn't activate a firing mechanism, it sends "an electrical signal to the battery, which sends more signal to the motor, which is spinning and sending out those pellets." Velleco accused the federal government, through its gun regulatory agency, of becoming "an arrogant and out-of-control bureaucracy with a history of trampling on people's gun rights."

At the Everything Airsoft website, a commentary noted, "I would be first in line (behind a bulletproof screen) to witness the carnage that would ensue from somebody attempting to detonate a .223 round in the alloy upper receiver of an M4 GBB (Airsoft pellet gun), as unlikely as it would be with the absence of a firing pin and all the other essential parts of an AR-15 bolt to detonate a live round. "The ludicrousness dissuades me from wanting to even touch on the other issues such as the barrel ... and the dimensions of the ... receiver being incompatible with real steel tooling," the commentary said.


NC: Robber Shot, Taken To Hospital: "Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a robber became a victim Thursday night. Officers responded to a shooting at the Windsor Harbor apartments on Shamrock Drive just before 10 p.m. Thursday. Officers found a man with a gunshot wound to the neck. Police said they believe the man was trying to commit a robbery when the intended victim shot him. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Ohio: Store owner shoots man during apparent robbery: "A store owner at the Allied Music of Ohio in South Toledo shot a man Friday after the suspect held a gun to a clerk’s head, police said. Sgt. Phil Toney said the suspect entered the store asking about getting a job there. He left but returned a few minutes later and allegedly held a gun to the clerk’s head. As the suspect led the clerk to a back room, the clerk called out “I need help” and a co-owner, Eric Bilger, appeared with a gun. Gunfire was exchanged. The suspect, Steve James, 30, of Toledo, who was the only one shot, was struck in the body and hand, Sergeant Toney said. The man then fled the store and ran across Byrne Road to the Burger King parking lot, where he collapsed. Police said he was transported to the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition. Mark Bilger, who co-owns the store with his brother, said they have been robbed three times since last summer. He said it was fortunate his brother got a carrying a concealed weapon permit and had a gun. “I am very happy that my brother is safe,” Mr. Bilger said Neither Eric Bilger nor the clerk was injured."

WA: Hostile judge cuts costs award: "A Longview man acquitted in January of assault on four downtown Longview nightclub employees will get roughly $40,000 in state compensation for his lawyer's fees and other trial-related costs, a Cowlitz County Superior Court judge said Friday. A jury in January found Brian Barnd-Spjut, 29, not guilty of four counts of second-degree assault. He had been accused of assaulting three bouncers and a manager at Kesler's Bar & Grill after he pulled a gun on them after they boosted him from the bar in March last year. Barnd-Spjut's attorney, Duane Crandall, argued that the bouncers had a reputation for assaulting patrons, and the jury agreed he was acting in self defense. State law allows Barnd-Spjut to collect his trial-related expenses from a state fund because the jury concluded that he was protecting himself. Crandall had asked for $92,000, including about $75,000 in attorney's fees, but Superior Court Judge Jim Warme said Friday that was too much. At a previous hearing, Warme had also suggested he may overturn the jury's determination that Barnd-Spjut was acting in self defense because he did not believe there was any evidence that Barnd-Spjut was being attacked. However, Warme declined Friday to overrule the jury, though he indicated he is still vexed by the jury's decision."

Friday, March 12, 2010

KY: Jury acquits man of killing neighbor: "A Carter Circuit Court jury on Wednesday wasted no time in deciding to acquit Timothy Emerson in the shooting death of his neighbor, Richard Lawrence. The seven-man, five-woman panel deliberated for only about an hour and 10 minutes before returning the not-guilty verdict. Emerson, 51, of Fighting Fork, was charged with murder and could’ve gotten 20 years to life in prison if convicted of that charge. Jurors also had the option of convicting him of first- or second-degree manslaughter or reckless homicide. Instead, the panel found that Emerson was privileged to act in self-defense when he shot the 41-year-old Lawrence in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun on Aug. 8. Curtis said he believed the panel’s conclusion that the shooting was justified was the correct one. “Richard Lawrence was looking for trouble,” he said. “Tim wasn’t looking for trouble.” Barbara Lawrence and her daughter, Katie, 12, were living in Emerson’s trailer at the time of the shooting because Richard and Barbara Lawrence had taken out domestic-violence petitions against one another and weren’t supposed to have any contact. Barbara Lawrence acknowledged during her testimony that her husband could be violent. She said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and tended to be abusive when he was off his medication and drinking.... Emerson told jurors that Richard Lawrence then began violently kicking the door while threatening to kill him. Emerson had been in custody since the shooting."

Crazy Canada: "A Quebec store owner who tried to defend his property from robbers by firing a hunting rifle could face criminal charges for negligent use of a firearm. At about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Quebec provincial police in Shawinigan, Que. were called to an apparent robbery at the Grand-Mere Auto Neige store. When they arrived, they discovered evidence of a robbery, including a broken window. They also noticed bullet cartridges and traces of blood. Police don't know if the blood came from the thieves, and, if it did, whether they were shot or if they cut themselves on the broken glass. Neighbours told the police that the store owner, who lives on top of the business, fired a hunting rifle into the air to chase off the suspects. The owner was arrested. Police spokesperson Eloise Cossette said investigators will try to determine if the store owner committed any infractions relating to gun usage. The suspects are still at large."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jury clears man who fired warning shots: "A jury has acquitted a man who fired two gunshots last year during a fight before a South Walton wedding, ruling he was acting in self-defense. Timothy Sonnier was acquitted of aggravated assault and aggravated battery with great bodily harm late Tuesday, his attorneys at the Destin law firm Pleat & Perry said Wednesday. He had pleaded not guilty at the beginning of the trial Monday. “This was a guy who was just defending himself and his life and his family,” said attorney Winter Spires. She said the gunshots Sonnier fired “were strictly warning shots” aimed nowhere near the man sheriff’s deputies called the victim in the case. The incident happened July 25, 2009, when Sonnier came to South Walton for a wedding and arrived at a condominium on Scenic Gulf Drive to find someone else intoxicated in his room, Spires said. There was an argument before 26-year-old Adam Sonnier “essentially attacked” Timothy Sonnier, Spires said, and a fistfight ensued. Timothy Sonnier eventually fired two gunshots, which Walton County sheriff’s deputies at the time said were aimed “at the victim” but instead hit a window and the floor. Spires said they clearly were warning shots, and “after the first shot, this guy still attacked him again.” Deputies also said Timothy Sonnier pistol-whipped the younger man, leaving a gash in his head. Walton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Gurspan said the men were not related despite having the same last name."

CA: Lawmaker freaked by “open carry”: "A California lawmaker has stepped into a growing gun rights debate by introducing legislation that would essentially outlaw what’s called the ‘open carry’ of unloaded weapons on public property. The measure, which was first introduced last month but is not expected to have its first hearing until April, is meant to address the growing ‘open carry’ movement, in which some gun owners have taken to meeting in coffee shops, parks and restaurants while wearing holstered weapons to raise awareness about gun rights. ‘People should be free from the fear and the potential for violence firearms represent,’ said Democratic Assembly Member Lori SaldaƱa of San Diego, in a statement. ‘These displays of firearms can create potentially dangerous situations.’”

Mass. court upholds state gun-lock requirement: "The highest court in Massachusetts on Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of a state law that requires gun owners to lock weapons in their homes in a ruling applauded by gun-control advocates. The case had been closely watched by both gun-control and gun-rights proponents. Massachusetts prosecutors argued that the law saves lives because it requires guns to be kept in a locked container or equipped with a trigger lock when not under the owner's control. The Second Amendment Foundation Inc., however, cited a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said people have a constitutional right to keep weapons for self-defense. The state Supreme Judicial Court, ruling in the case of a man charged with improperly storing a hunting rifle in his Billerica home, unanimously agreed that the Second Amendment does not overrule the state's right to require owners to store guns safely. "We conclude that the legal obligation safely to secure firearms (in the Massachusetts law) is not unconstitutional ... and that the defendant may face prosecution on this count," Justice Ralph Gants wrote. The case involved Richard Runyan, whose mentally disabled son allegedly shot at a neighbor with a BB gun. The 18-year-old showed police where his father kept other guns, and the father was charged with improperly storing a hunting rifle under his bed."

NM Governor signs law allowing guns in some liquor-serving restaurants: "People licensed for concealed handguns can take their weapons into New Mexico restaurants serving beer and wine under a new state law. Gov. Bill Richardson signed legislation into law on Wednesday. It takes effect in July. However, restaurants can stop people from bringing their handguns into an eatery by posting a sign that prohibits firearms or if the restaurant’s owner or manager tells a patron that firearms aren’t allowed. Even with the change in law, it will remain illegal to take a concealed weapon into a bar or a restaurant with a full liquor license — places that serve whiskey and other liquor besides wine and beer. New Mexico becomes the 41st state to allow the carrying of concealed handguns into at least some restaurants that serve alcohol, according to the National Rifle Association. Only Wisconsin, Illinois and the District of Columbia completely prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns. The Legislature approved the handgun measure during a 30-day session, which ended last month."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Right to Keep & Bear Firearms in Motor Vehicles

Below is an article written by a Florida Legislator, Paige Kreegel, who was a co-sponsor of Florida’s “The Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear arms in motor vehicles Act” — legislation that passed and was signed by Governor Crist in 2008.

Frequently, editorials castigate legislatures and legislators, for passing or supporting legislation allowing law-abiding citizens to keep their firearms locked in private vehicles while at work or while shopping. This is an issue on which thoughtful people can and do disagree. However, so many editorial contain enough errors, assumptions, and omissions, that it begs for – in Paul Harvey’s words – “The rest of the story”.

Derided as the “Bring your gun to work” bill, in Florida our bill/law is actually titled as “The Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear arms in motor vehicles Act”. It is in reaction to many businesses including Wal-Mart, Disney World and others prohibiting their employees from being prepared for legitimate self-defense while driving to and from work.

Consider a (depressingly) common situation: A single mother with custody of her child, dealing with an abusive, violent ex-husband or boyfriend, maybe even a stalker. These unfortunate women are not part of the leisure-crowd or the golf-and-tennis-scene. Mostly they are relegated to low-paying jobs in the service industry, often evening or night shifts.

From the time they leave the house, to drop off their babies at child-care, go to work, and then reverse the process 8 or 10 hours later, these women are completely vulnerable to premeditated violence from larger, stronger, and often obsessed males. There are not possibly enough police or armed guards to escort these employees safely to and from work. Moreover…..none are offered. Their only possible protection is a firearm.

Now, some employers would take away even that basic right–the ability to self-defense, and offer no alternatives. They have forced employees to sign waivers allowing their cars to be searched in the parking lots. Private property rights of the employer are invariably invoked in this debate. But what about the private property of the employee? What is it about an employee’s car that does not seem to be “private property”?

Lobbyists for some industries claimed that employees lose their private property rights when they enter an employer’s parking lot. Really? So then an employer could steal their car, sell it and not be violating the law?

Others claim that the employee has no right to privacy while on employer property. Is that so?? Then is it OK for them to set up a hidden camera in the ladies rest room?

Much emphasis is given to the employees having “waived” their rights–in writing–as a pre-condition to employment. If constitutionally guaranteed rights can be so casually dismissed, can the employee also be forced to “waive” their right to the minimum wage? How about “waiving” your right to non-discrimination based on race, gender, or religion?

Some editors parrot what many businesses insinuate–that disgruntled employees are dangerous and violent. This is a cheap-shot, and a deceptive one at that. What do the murders at Columbine, Northern Illinois University, the Amish Community School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Virginia Law School, and Virginia Tech have in common? These massacres occurred at SCHOOLS. That’s right—-supposedly “gun-free” zones.

These tragedies never seem to occur at police stations, gun shows or biker-bars. The reason is obvious—folks in these locales will shoot back! Fact is, whenever a psychopathic, murdering, domestic terrorist wants to carry out carnage, they invariably head for the “gun-free” zones of our schools and malls. “Gun-free” laws have arguably created these horrors where our children are led like lambs to be slaughtered. Does anyone really think that killers will obey the “gun-free” babble on their way to murder innocents?

And who are these citizens who will have their firearms locked in their cars? They are women and men who are taking responsibility for their own safety. They are law-abiding people and are habitual “rule-followers”. They are NOT part of the problem, but they are able and willing to become a part of the solution. We in the Legislature should let them do so.


MS: Suspects ID'd in robbery, chase, shooting death: "A warrant was issued for Jaime Flores, 26, charging three counts of armed robbery and one of aggravated assault. Both men believed to have robbed a small Vicksburg grocery before being chased down and one of them killed by the store owner were from Texas, police said. A warrant was issued for Jaime Flores, 26, 919 Dallas St., Houston, charging three counts of armed robbery and one of aggravated assault. Flores fled on foot Thursday night from Interstate 20 and U.S. 61 South, police believe. Found dead of a gunshot wound the next morning below the overpass was Jose Arenas. Authorities said Arenas was 25, and his last known address was 12013 Glorieta St. in San Elizario. An autopsy also showed Arenas had a broken ankle. Police Lt. Bobby Stewart said identifying the men was accomplished through tracing the 1993 Toyota with Hinds County plates that crashed during the chase and that witnesses confirmed seeing the two together before the La Chiquita store and patrons were robbed. Police Chief Walter Armstrong said the store owner told investigators he started the chase, which covered about 4 miles, to get the tag number and returned gunfire after the suspects’ vehicle crashed. The store owner has not been charged. The robbers wore ski masks, one carried an SKS assault rifle and the other showed a handgun. A woman clerk was hit with the rifle, officials said."

FL: Police Identify Would-Be Convenience Store Robber: "Police identified the would-be robber who they say tried to hold-up a convenience store clerk in Deerfield Beach. Instead police say the owner's son Samir Al-Madi shot the alleged robber identified as 24-year-old Alexander Brown [above] Friday night. Al-Madi told BSO detectives that he was on the phone when he saw an armed man with a handkerchief over his mouth wearing a hooded jacket approaching the store. Al-Madi said the suspect burst through the door yelling and demanding cash with the gun pointed directly at him. BSO robbery detectives said at about the same time Al-Madi reached for a nearby gun and fired one shot, striking the gunman in the lower jaw area. When the robber started to get up, Al-Madi fearing for his safety fired several more shots. After hearing the commotion a clerk, who was in the back area of the store at the time of the shooting, came to the front of the store and grabbed the thief's gun before he had a chance to retrieve it." Police said there were no customers at the time of the hold-up."

Peaceful "Gun free" Britain: "The number of youths taken to court for gun crimes in London rose sharply last year amid a surge in offences involving murder and robbery, Met figures show. A total of 375 suspects aged 19 or under were charged with firearms offences — 70 per cent up on the 220 recorded in 2008. The biggest increase was in gun robberies against businesses, such as late-night convenience stores, which tripled during the 12-month period to a total of 121. There was also a 37 per cent rise in gunpoint muggings taking last year's total to 95. The number of youths charged over a firearms murder was also up with 13 prosecutions last year, compared with five a year earlier, although armed rapes fell from four to two. The Met said the rise in prosecutions was partly due to an increase in anti-gun crime operations and more effective detection of offenders. But it admitted the figures also reflected a growing problem with gun crime among the young. [The pic above shows a shooter and his victim]

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ohio: Soon-to-be Marine Fires At Intruder: "A local man fights to protect his home from an intruder who breaks in, in the middle of the night. The Delhi Township man grabbed his gun – and fired two shots at the intruder. The burglar broke into his home off Hillside Avenue early Monday morning. Local 12’s Shawn Ley spoke with the homeowner who was fighting for his safety, just before he leaves to fight for our country. Kevin Boyle- “I came around the corner and looked down and saw my door was open.” And that’s when Boyle came face to face with every homeowners fear:an intruder, in his home in the middle of the night. That burglar thought he found the perfect place to rob. Boyle’s home at the end of a steep, private drive – no one around to see or hear him break in. But Boyle was home. And his powerful .45 caliber handgun was right nearby. “I kind of crouched down like this, I was against the wall … I was looking around and I saw the guy right here. I told him not to move and he reached around and pulled out what looked exactly like a gun, he started bringing it up. I fired two rounds as I was running back to get behind the wall for cover and called the cops.” Shots at such close range by such a powerful weapon, it’s hard to believe the burglar wasn’t hit – if he had, a shot from this gun would have done serious damage, perhaps even killed him."

KY: Stabbing Victim Shoots attacker: "Vaughn begins his physical and emotional recovery just one day after he says his neighbor -- Rickie Mosgrove-- tried to kill him with a knife. Vaughn says his neighbor's daughter came to his house for help Saturday night and Mosgrove followed. "He approached the property and wanted to talk and when he came on the property he brought out a knife and we wrestled to the ground," said Vaughn. That's when Vaughn says he pulled out his gun in self defense. Mosgrove and Vaughn both ended up going to the hospital. "I've got 26, 27 staples in the back of my neck stab in the front and a stab wound in the chest," said Vaughn. Mosgrove was treated in Lexington for a gunshot wound to the leg and then taken to jail where, according to the jail's web site, he's charged with assault and murder. The murder charge is expected to be amended to a lesser charge in court."

TX: Invader and defenders all die: "Three men died in a shootout during a robbery late Sunday night in southwest Houston. The shooting occurred at an apartment complex in the 7700 block of West Airport about 10 p.m., Houston police said. Killed were Marcus Dwayne Whitaker, 33; Patrick D. Sims, 28; of Houston; and Jeffrey Luis Chaney Jr., 25, of Rosharon. Investigators said that Whitaker held a gun on Chaney as they were outside Sims’ apartment. When Whitaker forced Chaney, Sims’ friend, inside the front door at gunpoint, Sims grabbed a gun and gunfire erupted. Sims shot Whitaker but Whitaker was able to fire at Sims and Chaney, police said. Whitaker was wounded in the chest and died at the scene. Sims and Chaney both were shot in the head. Sims died at the apartment and Chaney was rushed to Ben Taub General Hospital, where later died. Police found narcotics and cash in the apartment and believe robbery was the motive for the initial attack."

They’ll take my gun when they pry it from the cold, dead fingers of my hand: "With all the fights that have gone on around the nation in recent decades about “concealed carry” laws, I’ve often wondered: Why wouldn’t gun owners go the Dodge City route and strap a holster to their hip? If carrying a gun is about personal safety, wouldn’t having a gun openly displayed work really well as deterrence? Why force a mugger to guess if they’ll get shot? But not all gun advocates are fans: “I’m all for open-carry laws,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights advocacy organization in Washington State. “But I don’t think flaunting it is very productive for our cause. It just scares people.” All due respect to Mr. Gottlieb, but isn’t scaring people part of the reason for gun ownership? If you’re buying a pistol for self-defense, aren’t you wanting to make sure you can outmuscle any assailants? And if you can assure them that they’ll be outmuscled before they even assail you, haven’t you won? Where’s the problem here?"

Monday, March 08, 2010

U.S. armed forces still using outdated equipment

The M16 scandal has been going on for years. Why can the g*ddam thing not be scrapped and a fresh start made with something reliable?

American TV screens not long ago were full of images of U.S. Marines spearheading a NATO coalition sweep in southern Afghanistan. These familiar scenes evoked memories of the Marine assault on Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, and countless similar operations in the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Vietnam and other regions over the last half-century.

Inspect the photos closely, and you would see one constant: the M16 rifle. Since the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force has progressed from flying F-4 Phantoms to B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and F-22 Raptors. These combat aircraft are superior to the Vietnam-era planes by at least an order of magnitude. But the M16 has not evolved in kind.

To be sure, the M16 has been improved upon since it was first introduced almost 50 years ago. But U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan use largely the same weapon.

I was issued an M16A2 when I was mobilized and deployed to Iraq as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve's 341st Military Police Company (San Jose) in the spring of 2003. However, we should have been issued an M4, the more modern version of the M16, which active-duty MPs were given. Instead I was handed a weapon that was state of the art during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

And the M16A2 wasn't the only piece of equipment I found lacking. I remember being issued magazines for my M9 pistol that simply did not work. Ammunition fell out of the magazine because the spring was too weak. Others in my unit had the same problem. Had I ever discharged the weapon in self-defense during my 14-month deployment there, I'm confident the first round would have fired. Subsequent rounds? I'm not sure.

Parents even mailed their sons and daughters new magazines purchased from local gun shops in California. My roommate jokes that in past wars parents mailed their children cookies and letters, not gun parts and body armor.

Toward the end of 2003, my company was transferred to a town north of Baghdad where we performed convoy escort and combat patrol missions in the volatile "Sunni triangle." Three armored Humvees were required for each squad. But initially, our company lacked enough armored Humvees for each squad to have its full complement.

Before missions, we flipped a coin to decide who would get the "thin-skinned" vehicle. I told a friend back home about this. "Isn't that dangerous?" he asked. "How safe are you then?" "About as safe as you would be driving around Iraq in your Ford," I said.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said, "You go to war with the army you have — not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." I went to war with the army we had at the time. But since then, vast improvements have been made. Soldiers and Marines now patrol in vehicles much better suited to deflect improvised explosive devices and other threats that I encountered six years ago.

Have the improvements gone far enough? The young enlisted troops doing the hard work of our nation don't generally have a voice that's heard in the editorial pages of our nation's newspapers. So we don't know for sure.

Nothing would make me prouder than to learn that U.S. troops now have the best equipment we can possibly give them. It's the least we can do to help them accomplish their missions with a modicum of safety. But I can't help but worry as I watch the news footage of the young warriors going into battle in Marjah today, clutching their M16s.


Note for those who take an interest in military equipment: I will be putting up later today on DISSECTING LEFTISM some videos that show, among other things, some interesting German WWII equipment

Miss. store's owner shot gunman in self-defense: "Vicksburg police say they won't charge a store owner who shot and killed an armed robbery suspect. Assistant Police Cheff Jeffery Scott says the suspect fired first, and was shot in self-defense. Police were still looking on Saturday for a second man accused in the holdup Thursday at La Chiquita grocery store, and had not released the dead man's name. Scott says the men put a rifle to the clerk's head, ordered her to the ground, hit her in the back of the head, and took cash, merchandise and a customer's wallet. He says the clerk told the owner, who was in an adjacent restaurant and chased the gunmen's car to try to get a license number. Scott says the car crashed on an overpass, the gunmen got out and one shot at the store owner, who fired back. [Good shot!]

FL: Store clerk shoots would-be robber: "A robbery attempt was foiled after a store clerk shot a thief. The incident occurred at the Snappy Convenience Store, located at 115 S.E. 10th Street, Friday night. Store clerk Samir Al-Madi, 25, told Broward's Sheriff's Office Robbery detectives he was on the telephone when he saw a hooded man approaching the store. According to BSO, when the suspect, 24-year-old Alexander Brown, pulled out his gun on Al-Madi, Al-Madi reached for a gun and shot Brown in the jaw. Freddy Al-Madi, owner of the convenience store and father of the victim, said, "He walked in and he tried to kill him. He did not come in here just to rob. The guy was ready. The gun was ready." When Brown tried to get up, Al-Madi felt threatened once again and shot Brown again. Brown was taken to North Broward Medical Center. He is expected to survive. There were no customers in the store at the time of the attempted robbery. BSO said once Brown is out of the hospital, he will be charged."

Jews with guns - not only in the Israel Defense Forces: "Much of the Jewish community has remained outside the debate: Some 90 million U.S. residents hold 200 million firearms, but only a tiny minority of American Jews have guns. However, there appears to be a revival among supporters of the right to bear arms among Jews who say that attitudes are changing because of new threats they face. One of them is Dovid Bendory, an Orthodox rabbi, 42, from New Jersey. Not only did he buy a gun, he also became an authorized shooting instructor and is giving lessons to members of the Orthodox community. He also distributes material that explains, on the basis of biblical texts, the right of Jews to self-defense. "I did not grow up with guns, not even with toy guns," he says. "I think that the first time I saw a real gun was when I visited Israel at age 16. But I began to think about weapons seriously after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As far as I'm concerned, the Twin Towers disaster changed the entire scene, because until then we thought that the terrorist threat existed only outside the United States." Another turning point was the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, where one of the targets was the Chabad House. "I realized that this is no longer political terrorism but anti-Semitism," he says. "In May 2009 they arrested people in Riverdale, New York who wanted to blow up a synagogue in that neighborhood, which is a 40 minutes drive from my community." "I think that in view of our history, every Jew who is physically and psychologically capable of carrying a gun should do so," he says. "We must be ready to defend ourselves..."