Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A singular Solution to Many Problems

Chuck Norris

Loyal readers know that I have been calling attention to a range of Second Amendment issues in the past week. In last week's column here, I wrote about the scandals and illegitimate regulations emanating from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In another outlet, I documented the threat to our rights that is posed by the United Nations' proposed arms trade treaty.

In response, I have heard from many readers who are understandably outraged. They want our federal law enforcement agencies to respect the law, not break it. They want our negotiators at the U.N. to protect our unique constitutional rights, not surrender them to some Utopian vision of global harmony. With apologies to the late Bill Buckley, my readers feel powerless to climb athwart the federal leviathan and yell "stop."

Those two issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Two landmark Second Amendment cases recently were decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The first established that the Second Amendment indeed does provide an individual right to keep and bear arms and a restraint against the federal government. The second case applied that finding to state and local governments, as well. Both cases invalidated Draconian handgun bans. Both were decided by the razor-thin majority of 5-4. But neither case established a precise boundary of regulation that the court might find acceptable.

Now lawsuits have been filed across the country seeking to invalidate long-standing state and local restrictions. The National Rifle Association is coordinating a nationwide legal strategy to fulfill the promise of the recent Supreme Court decisions. These cases are bubbling up in different federal circuits, testing different limitations. Some of the cases are filed by choice; some are by necessity. They are all expensive, and they are all important. The court inevitably will accept one or more of these cases once a split between circuits becomes established. That much is virtually certain.

But it's unknown what that court will look like. Will it be the same 5-4 majority that finally has recognized our fundamental Second Amendment rights, or will it be a new majority, perhaps 5-4 the other way, seeking to not only uphold state and local gun restrictions but also effectively reverse the two recent decisions with death by a thousand cuts?

That question will be answered by President Barack Obama, with the advice and consent of the Senate. We are one heartbeat away from giving that decision to this president. We are one election away from virtually guaranteeing that the next president will answer that question, whoever that may be. And we are one election away from making sure that there are enough pro-gun senators to give him the right advice, if not consent.

So, what do we do? As I tell my readers, we all have the power to remedy these issues and more through a singular action. But we do not hold it as individuals; it only will work if we use it collectively. That simple action is to register to vote and then cast an informed ballot.

Too many gun owners and hunters aren't registered to vote. I know you're out there, and I've heard all the excuses. That's all they are, and they're not worth the paper to print them. We stand one short year away from the high campaign season in which voters will select our next president, 33 senators and all 435 members of the House. The Senate could change leadership with a swing of just four seats. And this could be another presidential election decided by a scant few hundred votes in a single key state. I've identified nine key states that will be important in both the presidential and senatorial elections. As honorary chairman of the NRA's "Trigger The Vote" voter registration campaign, I will be doing everything in my power to identify, locate and register gun owners and hunters in these states. No, I won't tell you which states they are, because I don't want you to think your state isn't important. It is; they all are. And every election matters, for all the reasons laid out above.

If you're not registered to vote, then just do it. Visit our website, at, for all the information you need to fill out the form, print it and put it in the mail. It's just that simple. And if you are registered to vote already, then find someone who isn't. Show him this article. Tell him that I know he's not registered to vote -- and I'm not happy about it.


KY: Shooting of football player Daniel Covington self-defense: "Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel said from the start he believed Daniel's shooting was done in self-defense. "He chased them down several blocks away and then really put a whipping on two of them," Stengel said. "We have the photos." Daniel Covington died after being shot at 2nd and Liberty Streets early on the morning of September 16, 2010. Police say Cunningham dove into the SUV of Isaiah Howes and started assaulting him and his brother, Joseph Vessels, believing one of them yelled racial slurs at him. Howes fired his gun, killing Covington. "At the beginning, there was a racial epithet thrown at Mr. Covington, which he had a right to be outraged by, but he still doesn't have a right to beat the snot out of anybody over it," Stengel said."

CA: Passenger With Crossbow Shoots Boy Throwing Rocks At Cars: "A 16-year-old boy who police said was throwing rocks at several vehicles was recovering Tuesday after being shot with a crossbow fired by someone inside a small sport utility vehicle, San Diego police reported. The victim and another boy were throwing rocks at vehicles about 2:15 p.m. Monday in the vicinity of Linda Vista and Mesa College roads, police said. Hassen said the boys got on a bus, and when they got off the bus, two young men in a black Toyota RAV 4 drove up. Someone in the SUV fired a crossbow, and an arrow hit one of the boys in the abdomen. He was treated at the hospital and is now at home, 10News reported. Police don't know yet if the Toyota had been hit by rocks. The two teenagers in it, described as 16- to 17-year-old Latinos, got away and were last seen heading south on Linda Vista Road."

"Fast and Furious” fallout: ATF boss reassigned; US attorney losing job: "The Obama administration on Tuesday removed or reassigned the top officials involved in a widely criticized U.S. operation to trace the flow of illegal guns into Mexico. 'Fast and Furious' was intended to gather information on how Mexican drug cartels use operatives in the U.S. to buy and smuggle guns across the border. Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were instructed to watch -- but not to stop -- the illegal sales in the hope of gathering intelligence on how the smugglers worked. But in the process, hundreds of guns wound up in the hands of Mexican drug gangs."

OH: Federal Sting Nets Drugs, Guns

(Mansfield, Ohio) Federal undercover agents set up a storefront in Mansfield in a year-long sting operation targeting narcotics and weapons traffickers.

The operation concluded yesterday with a press conference at the Richland County Sheriff's Office.
The sting was a cooperative effort between U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach's office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Richland County Sheriff's and prosecutor's offices.

Agents seized 70 firearms, 1,316 grams of cocaine, 768 grams of crack, 1,099 oxycodone pills, 215 ecstasy pills, 199 vicodin pills, 5 grams of heroin and 36 pills of Aprazolam.

Federal and Richland County prosecutors indicted 64 people who sold and traded guns and drugs to undercover agents who ran a bogus storefront in Mansfield for more than a year.
The ATFE reportedly led the operation.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SC: Homeowner acted in self-defense in fatal shooting: "The 48-year-old man, who asked that his name not be printed, told sheriff's deputies that once he turned into his driveway on Cottage Mill Run about 10:45 p.m., he saw the car drive slowly past his home, turn around and drive past his home again before stopping. The man then heard someone running up his driveway. He got a pistol from his glove box and started to get out of his vehicle just as he was met by two suspects, who he told deputies were also armed and demanding money. "It was all probably a second," the man said Monday. "It was just so fast." Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tony Ivey said the homeowner was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot John Christopher Fowler, 28, of 572 Nature Walk Way, according to a written statement from the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. Fowler died at the scene. According to the sheriff's office, the homeowner is not expected to face criminal charges because he was acting in self-defense."

NH: Shotgun deterrent: "If you were suddenly confronted by a man wearing flip flops and holding a shotgun, you’d probably stop in your tracks. Not surprisingly, that’s what an alleged would-be burglar did last Wednesday morning. Peter C. Vaillancourt saw someone trying to break into the Professional Firefighters Association hall across the street from his house. So he grabbed his shotgun, walked outside, and told the man, “Why don’t you sit down right there until the police get here.” Vaillancourt never pointed his gun at the bad guy. He just displayed it, which, he said, was “intimidating enough.” It was a typical use of a firearm for self-defense or, more specifically, for the defense of others. The firefighters were thankful."

NC: DNA supports woman: "Tamera Bean is on trial in a murder case in Asheboro. She is claiming that she shot her boyfriend in self-defense. When the sheriff arrived, they found the boyfriend shot dead in the home, with a shotgun and several shotgun shells by his side. The state is claiming that Bean staged the scene to look like self-defense by placing the shotgun and shells beside the dead man. Naturally, the sheriff sent the gun and shells to the SBI crime laboratory for fingerprint and DNA analysis to determine whether Bean had touched the gun or shells. This was a good move. Unfortunately, the lab found no prints of value for comparison. They did find some "touch DNA" on one of the shell casings. This means they found skin cells left on one shell from when someone touched it. The good news for Bean was that her DNA was not on the shell, and the boyfriend's DNA cannot be excluded as the source of skin cells on the shell.

NM governor gets perfect score on renewal of her concealed-carry permit: "New Mexico's pistol-packin' governor is a sure shot. Gov. Susana Martinez received perfect scores on recertification for her concealed-carry permit over the weekend in Las Cruces. She scored 100 percent with both .38- and .45-caliber handguns, her staff said. Martinez's permit to carry a concealed handgun, originally obtained in 2009, was extended for another two years. She was a district attorney and a Republican candidate for governor when she first went through training and qualified to carry a concealed weapon. Her spokesman, Greg Blair, said Martinez's personal and professional experiences motivated her to arm herself. "Since she and Chuck both made careers out of taking on dangerous and violent criminals, she decided to get her concealed-carry permit for personal protection, especially when traveling alone or at night on the campaign trail," Blair said"

Monday, August 29, 2011

IL: Pawn shop owner shoots at robbers, killing one: "An investigation has been initiated after a Metro-East pawn shop owner shot at two robbers, killing one. Police said the robbery and shooting happened Saturday morning at the Pawn Pros pawn shop at the corner of 12th and State streets in East St. Louis, Illinois. Detectives said two men with a gun walked into the shop and demanded money and jewelry. As the robbers turned around to leave, the shop's owner shot at the two men, killing one. The other suspect made it out of the shop and ran down the street where he was later captured by police. Officers said the captured suspect had all the merchandise and money that was reported missing from the pawn shop." The case will be presented to prosecutors, but police do not expect charges to be filed against the pawn shop owner since he was protecting his life and property from the armed robbers."

PA: One robber dead; one victim wounded: "Detective Sgt. Steven Roberts of the Aliquippa police said witnesses relayed to police that Mr. Shakir, 19-year-old Jiwan Bailey of Penn Hills and another man went to Aliquippa with the intention of burglarizing a business. When that plan turned out to be "not viable," Sgt. Roberts said the men drove around the town. At around 2 a.m., they got out of their car and followed 26-year-old Lucien Roberts and 21-year-old Brian Elmore, encountering them in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue. At that point, police said, Mr. Shakir brandished a handgun and opened fire, striking Mr. Elmore in the arm and leg. Mr. Bailey charged Mr. Roberts, who had pulled out his own gun to return fire, and while the two tussled, Mr. Bailey was shot in the chest. He later died. Sgt. Roberts said Mr. Roberts will not be charged in the case because he acted in self-defense and legally possessed his weapon."

TX: Hammer-wielding robbery suspect shot in the buttock: "A robbery suspect at a Shell gas station on the city's Northwest Side wound up being shot in the buttock Sunday night by a customer who was a licensed hand gun owner. The suspect, 35-year-old Dustin Darsp, entered the station store in the 10100 block of Culebra Road with what appeared to be a handgun, San Antonio police Det. Roberto Bernal said. Really, it was a hammer no more than 6 inches long, draped in a black cloth or sock. “The robber still wanted the guy to believe he had a gun but ended up dropping it,” he said. “And as he was going to reach for it, the licensed handgun owner shot him in his left upper buttock.” Darsp was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center but did not have a life-threatening wound. The licensed handgun owner isn’t facing any charges for the shooting, which occurred around 9:30 p.m., Bernal added."

WI: Intruder killed by homeowner: "Police say they responded to a burglary call that turned into a fatal shooting. What prompted the gunfire is a question investigators are looking into. Police say 39-year-old James Babe was shot and killed. Investigators say the person living inside the home said Babe broke in, was stealing property and pointed a gun at him. That man told investigators he fired a gun at the intruder. Was his life taken, because of self-defense or a home owner's criminal actions? Police say they'll hand this case over to the District Attorney's Office. As with any shooting case the DA will consider the facts and make a charging decision." [More details here]

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The TSA dumbocracy

I went to board a flight at Tucson on Monday and checked in my guns in a secure case at the ticket counter like I always do. Usually I have to wait but they said they would page me if they needed me for anything. I proceeded to the TSA Security Theater festivities to have my bags and body violated and was stopped by an agent from the ticket counter and asked to return. The scan of my gun case indicated the weapon was loaded.

A loaded firearm has a round in the chamber by all gun community standards. We are addressing the legal definition here and not the assumption that all firearms are loaded for safety purposes. Search as I might, it was difficult to find a Federal definition for loaded but I did find this:

As typical legalese, this definition isn’t all that clear. Luckily, in 1996 the California Appellate Court ruled on the interpretation of “loaded firearm” in People v. Clark, (1996) 45 Cal. App. 4th 1147, 1152. Mr. Clark was arrested for allegedly having a loaded shotgun because, even though there were no shells in the chamber, there were shells in a compartment in the stock of the firearm. The court held that “attached in any manner to” the firearm was intended to encompass a situation where a shell or cartridge might be attached to a firearm or “loaded” for firing by some unconventional method.

The court said: “Under the commonly understood meaning of the term “loaded,” a firearm is “loaded” when a shell or car­tridge has been placed into a position from which it can be fired; the shotgun is not “loaded” if the shell or cartridge is stored elsewhere and not yet placed in a firing position.”

This certainly makes sense because imagine the difficulty of finding how a gun is loaded if the rounds are outside the firing chamber whether in a magazine, in someone’s pocket or at your house while you are in your car. There is no one definitive answer to the question as is the way in American jurisprudence. But People v. Clark (1996) is now considered case law even by CA criminal code so the round must be in the chamber for the weapon to be considered loaded.

You will find most training facilities are very specific about the command of load which means a round in the chamber. My weapon was not loaded by any conventional definition. There was a loaded magazine in the well but no round in the chamber which apparently constitutes a loaded weapon in hoplophobic circles. I have traveled the gun in this configuration dozens of times. The TSA clearly state no loaded weapons and I abided by the accepted 1996 CA Appellate Court ruling. A Glock has three safety features in it that prevent it from firing unless the trigger is pressed. With no round in the chamber in a locked gun case, it is not possible for the firing pin to fire a round and therefore the weapon was safe in addition to the presence of other rounds in magazines secured in magazine carriers in the case with the gun per the TSA’s own regulations. The simplest fix is to clearly state no magazines in the weapon for travel instead of this bureaucratic doublespeak that is unclear and silly. This being modern America, the Tucson Airport police were called to file a report on a “loaded” weapon in a case.

They were very cordial, and in fact, seemed a bit embarrassed to be called for such a mundane and obtuse non-violation. They even pointed out it was not even actionable in the state of Arizona. The police then removed the magazine, placed it in the case and ensured no round was in the chamber. Two TSA drones came with the cop because “they were not pleased” a loaded firearm was in the case. I tried to explain the firearm was in an unloaded condition but it appeared I might as well be explaining quantum mechanics to a house cat. I had recently watched Idiocracy yet again and it appeared to be casting call for the movie. No comprehension appeared and regulations were regulations. Much like stop signs in America, the regulation was birthed in ignorance, served no explicit purpose for safety. It defied the common sense usage and lexicon of guns across the fruited plain.

This is not the first time this has happened and the TSA is usually fairly hostile to gun owners lawfully transporting their firearms on trips. They simply don’t understand their own regulations and they change and interpret them with the alacrity they execute their security theater – a clown posse whose entry standards for employment are below that of fast food franchises and whose professional standards match the legendary laziness their public behavior consistently portrays. One almost feels as if they are picking on gun owners but parents are just as despised; just watch the behavior of the TSA to child carriers of all types and the doctrinaire institutionalization of child molestation as adults in uniforms grope children in areas that all other adults would be arrested for and classified as sex offenders if convicted.

I remain free now but who knows what the future portends.

More here

AR: Off-Duty Trooper Shoots, Kills Intruder: "A burglar is dead after being shot while breaking into a home in Sherwood. Sherwood Police say the man was confronted by an armed Arkansas State trooper who lived there and had been woken up by the sounds of the break-in. It's not yet known if the trooper, who works the overnight shift, fired any other shots, or if the suspect had a weapon. Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley was on the scene shortly after the shooting. It is protocol for Jegley's office to investigate the scene of an officer involved shooting, and he will make the call on whether or not the shooting was justified."

Feds prosecuting man who killed bear in self-defense: "Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter told the Obama administration this week that a northern Idaho man accused of shooting a grizzly bear had the right to defend his family against the animal. Jeremy M. Hill, a 33-year-old Porthill man, pleaded not guilty to the federal charge Tuesday. Supporters say the bear wandered into his yard where his kids were playing; his attorney said they will argue self-defense and family protection. The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Otter wrote that he recognizes the federal jurisdiction under the Endangered Species Act, but he strongly supports the rights of individuals to defend themselves. He said Hill did what any parent would do, and the government should allow people to defend their loved ones."

North Carolina Governor Declares Every Concealed Carry Permit in eastern NC Invalid Due to Hurricane Irene: "Thanks to a brain-dead state law foisted upon us by a Democratic state legislature (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-288.7), every time the governor—in this instance, Democrat Beverly Perdue—declares a state of emergency, it is illegal from that moment onward to carry a concealed weapon until the state of emergency has been declared over. We've dealt with this bit of Democrat-generated stupidity before. Governor Purdue made this declaration while the state was at work, meaning everyone who has a carry permit and lives east of Interstate 95 who was away from home instantly became a criminal by proclamation. If we look at Google Maps, that means that a carry permit holder in Wilson dining at the Cracker Barrel is perfectly legal, but the permit holder a block to the east filling up on gas at the Kangaroo Express is now a criminal."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Progressive" folly over gun control

I've always been curious how American progressives got on the wrong -- anti-civil liberties -- side of gun control. In my mind this has been a grave strategic error. I have written elsewhere about the extreme difficulty liberals and progressives face in engaging the working class. I have also been highly critical of their tendency to get sucked into "lifestyle" campaigns (anti-smoking, anti-obesity, vegetarianism, etc.) etc., owing to the deep seated class antagonism this engenders in blue collar voters. Contrary to the stereotypes portrayed in the corporate media, class differences -- and class hatred -- are very real in the US. From a working class perspective, the progressive movement is the middle class. They're the teachers, social workers, psychologists, doctors, lawyers and religious leaders who play a fundamental role in setting behavioral standards for the rest of us. Thus when they tell us not to smoke, eat big Macs, or buy guns, we don't see this as political reform. We see it as an extension of their (privileged) class role.

For a progressive to take a stand against gun control is a pretty lonely place. There's a 1979 book edited by Don Kates entitled Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out. There's also an organization called the Liberal Gun Club whose mission is to "provide a voice for gun-owing liberals and moderates in the national conversation on gun rights, gun legalization, firearms safety, and shooting sports."

Then there's Sam Smith's excellent article in the Progressive Review: Why "Progressives Should Stop Pushing for More Gun Control Laws." Among Smith's numerous arguments, three leap out at me: the exacerbation of "cultural conflict" between rural and urban and wealthy and not so well off, the tendency for gun restrictions and prohibition to be interwoven with the drive to restrict other civil liberties, and the need for progressives to stop treating average Americans as though they were "alien creatures." Smith also makes the point that progressives lose elections as much because of their attitudes as their issues.

In January (following Representative Gifford's shooting and renewed calls for gun control), Dan Baum wrote in the Huffington Post that progressives have wasted a generation of progress on health care, women's rights, immigration reform, income fairness and climate change because "we keep messing with people's guns." He feels it's helpful to think of gun control as akin to marijuana prohibition -- all it does is turn otherwise law-abiding people into criminals and create divisiveness and resentment.

More here

TX: Robbery thwarted by neighbor: "A 19-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail after he and a juvenile accomplish put a gun to the head of a 72-year-old man during an attempted driveway robbery. The defendant and a juvenile approached a 72-year-old man in his driveway at 5 a.m. As the juvenile held a gun to the victim’s head and demanded his wallet, Henson ransacked his pickup truck looking for valuables. The robbery was thwarted when a neighbor witnessed the crime from his bedroom window and came outside with his pistol – firing two shots in the air. Another neighbor, hearing the shots, came out brandishing a shotgun. The neighbors disarmed the juvenile and detained both suspects spread-eagled on the ground until Houston police arrived. The jury deliberated only 15 minutes before finding Henson guilty of aggravated robbery, said Strange."

TX: Dollar store manager uses gun to fight off robbery suspect: "Police arrested a suspect who attempted to rob a dollar store on Friday, but was scared away by the manager's gun. It happened at the Giant Dollar store in the 9400 block of North Freeway around 10:30 a.m. Police said the manager was on the phone at a register when he saw the masked suspect enter the store with a knife. “He tried to hit me like this,” said Joseph Wong. “I protect myself and keep bending, bending and he can not reach my chest over here.” Police said the suspect then took off, but as they chased him, he turned back. Wong pulled out a gun from behind the counter and fired a shot in the air. The suspect was not hit and fled the scene. He was later tracked down by a police dog and brought into custody."

Amazing: Colorado burglar's family awarded $300,000 in wrongful death suit: "An El Paso County jury on Friday awarded nearly $300,000 to the daughter of a burglar who was fatally shot in 2009 while breaking into an auto lot. Fox, 20, was shot after he and a friend scaled a fence to get inside Southwest Auto Sales at 2444 Platte Place in the city’s Knob Hill neighborhood. According to the accomplice, Brian Corbin, they had smoked methamphetamine and were looking to steal anything to buy more drugs. Corbin testified he saw two armed men charge out of a building and run in their direction, one of them shouting “we’re gonna get you” in an obscenity-laced threat. Corbin, who escaped by climbing over a car and jumping a fence, said he felt a bullet pass by him as someone fired four gunshots. Fox was standing inside a small shed when a .45-caliber rifle bullet passed through the shed’s door and pierced his heart. Police said in a 145-page investigative report that the intruder had knives in his pockets and one strapped to his ankle, but never posed a threat to Milanovic or the other men, his father Ljuban Milanovic and brother-in-law Srdjan Milanovic."

Friday, August 26, 2011

WV: Customer shoots robber: "The Mercer County Sheriff's Department has identified the suspected robber shot dead by a customer in a Bramwell convenient store -- and arrested his wife in connection with the robbery. Authorities say the robbery occurred shortly before midnight Monday at the Pop Shop convenience store in Bramwell. Police say 41-year-old David Douglas Roberts entered the store wearing a mask and pointing a shotgun. While in the process of stealing several hundred dollars, Roberts was shot by a customer in the store who was carrying a firearm. Roberts died en route to Bluefield Regional Medical Center. The customer was licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Roberts' wife, 31-year-old Jessica Roberts, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with conspiracy and armed robbery. She was being held on $100,000 bond."

WA: Gun pulled on aggressive ex-boyfriend: "The new boyfriend told police that the 37-year-old had "pestered" the couple about a key he needed to get into the home's basement. When they cracked the door open, he "pushed and kicked" his way in. The new boyfriend said he feared for his own safety and the woman's, and he noticed the 37-year-old holding a black object — later determined to be a cellphone. He also was "aggressive," so the boyfriend pulled a gun and told the 37-year-old to leave. Once he did, they called 911 too, reports said. Police determined the new boyfriend was acting in self-defense and took the 37-year-old to the Kitsap County jail on suspicion of residential burglary."

WA: Arlington man who fatally shot burglar gets 12 years for murder: "Earhart shot Ryan Rzechula in the back on Nov. 16, 2009. Earhart, 39, encountered Rzechula about three hours after a break-in at his Arlington house, a quarter-mile away. Earhart had gone looking for the burglar and his wife's missing jewelry. He suspected that Rzechula, 25, was responsible for the break-in and called 911. Prosecutors alleged that Earhart shot the unarmed man as he was running away, ignoring Earhart's commands to stop. Rzechula died in a creek bed. His body was discovered two days later. Detectives found jewelry in his pocket that was stolen from Earhart's house. Jurors last month convicted Earhart of second-degree murder under a felony murder theory. They concluded that Earhart committed assault by pointing a gun at Rzechula. In the course of that crime, Earhart killed the Stanwood High School graduate."

NY: Aggressive ex-soldier chased off: "The sheriff’s department alleges that following an exchange of words in the tavern, Mr. Olson went for his gun and fired it at Clayton D. Blake, 26, West Carthage, and Kody Heukrath, 25, Deer River. He and his wife then rode away on their horses, and the following morning, Mr. Olson was arrested at his home. Mr. Blake, in a statement he gave the sheriff’s department the morning of the arrest, said that after Mr. Olson discharged a gun that “appeared to be a novelty cigarette lighter,” he, Mr. Blake, grabbed a Ruger from his truck, “where the guy was circling around on his horse with his gun still in his hand, pointing the gun in our direction. That’s when I fired one shot in his direction. I did not hit him ... because I wasn’t aiming directly at him.” Detectives said they believed Mr. Blake fired his gun in self-defense, Sheriff Burns said, and for that reason, he is not being charged."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Legislation Will Protect Gun Rights on Army Corps of Engineers Land: "Gun Owners of America is working with several members of Congress to repeal a gun ban on land controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Currently, guns are prohibited on Corps land, even when firearms possession is otherwise allowed by state law. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) introduced legislation—the Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act (H.R. 1865)—to allow state law to govern firearms possession. The Gibbs bill, as well as the Gosar amendment, is modeled after a similar measure that became law in 2009 affecting National Park Service land. Army Corps of Engineers land was not part of that bill, something the Corps was quick to point out after that law took affect."

Hawaii Government Sued Over Restrictive Firearms Laws: "The non-profit Hawaii Defense Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the Honolulu Chief of Police Louis Kealoha, the Honolulu Police Department and the City & County of Honolulu as well as the State of Hawaii and Gov. Neil Abercrombie for violating the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The complaint, which was filed in Hawaii's U.S. District Court by attorneys Richard Holcomb, Alan Beck and Kevin O’Grady, argues that Hawaii’s license to carry firearms statute as well as Hawaii's other firearm regulations, are unconstitutional. Hawaii is a "may issue" rather than "shall issue" state, which means that police chiefs that provide concealed and open carry firearms permits may issue them at will. This is different that shall issue states, where the government must provide concealed carry permits so long as the applicant passes all background checks and has no history of mental illness."

MI: Pharmacist who shot at robbers sues Walgreens for firing: "After he foiled a robbery by pulling a handgun out of his pocket, Benton Harbor pharmacist Jeremy Hoven said he was fired from his job at Walgreens. Now, he's fired back with a federal lawsuit against Walgreens alleging wrongful termination. He filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids this week, the latest development in the controversial case. He said he had a right to act in self-defense and in defense of others. Hoven was working around 4:30 a.m. on May 8 when two masked gunmen entered the store on Napier Avenue. He started to call 911 when a gunman jumped the counter and pointed a handgun at him. “Hoven observed the gunman's finger jerking on the gun's trigger as it was pointed at him and he (Hoven) immediately backed up and drew his concealed handgun,” his attorneys said. Hoven then fired his handgun several times in self-defense and in defense of his co-workers"

London Refuses Kids Tickets To Gun-Related Olympic Events: "Schoolchildren in London are eligible for 125,000 free tickets for the 2012 Olympics next Summer, but any event that involves a firearm will be excluded from the massive giveaway. Why, you ask, would anyone choose to hide storied events and world class competitors from children’s eyes? Because City Hall and Olympic Organizers are afraid of an anti-gun backlash. That’s right — the powers that be in London won’t subject kids to such bloodsports as Skeet and Trap shooting. In supporting the decision to discriminate against Olympic gun events, Danny Bryan, founder of Communities Against Gun and Knife Crime, told the Evening standard he agrees with London Mayor Boris Johnson, and that “It is good kids should enjoy the Games but there’s no way we should glorify guns.” Implicit in this anti-gun activist’s statement is the highly dubious connection between watching Olympic level marksmanship and crime."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Operation GunWalker so far

Note there was much comment about this on conservative blogs long before it became generally known

The weapons seem to have been sent to Mexico for one reason only; to be used in crimes. When the weapons were discarded at crimes scenes--which gunmen frequently did to avoid to being tied to specific murders via ballistic forensics--the recovered weapons were traced by the BATF and used to manufacture evidence to support President Obama's dishonest claim that U.S. guns stores were the primary supplier of cartel weapons. The President and federal law enforcement agencies reporting to him seemed to be working on gun control "under the radar," indeed.

The gun-running operation came to an end only after a U.S. border Patrol Agent was gunned down in a firefight, and two of the weapons were traced back to the operation, at which point whistleblowers within the BATF came forward to expose the plot.

It has been more than six months since Operation Fast and Furious was exposed, and during that time the federal law enforcement agencies involved in the scandal have participated in what appears to be a high-level cover-up of the operation, and one that the Obama Administration and their allies in the media are desperately trying to contain. They are using a number of methods, including attacking congressional investigators, stonewalling requests for information, and controlling individual employees inside the operation by recalling them to Washington and putting them in desk jobs where they can be more easily monitored.

Despite the stonewalling attempts of the Administration, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold up the preferred narrative of a localized law enforcement operation gone horribly wrong.

The mainstream media and the White House are eager to portray Operation Fast and Furious as a solitary and limited operation that was the responsibility of a small band of BATF misfits in Arizona, backed by an overzealous U.S. District Attorney.

While the Administration has continued to push that story, emails confirm that every director of a law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice was briefed on the scheme from the beginning, and that FBI criminal informants were part of the plot.

More here

Miss.: Woman who killed violent boyfriend released: A woman accused in the stabbing her boyfriend was released from jail on Monday, the Hinds County Sheriff said. Joe Lavell Dixon, 34, was stabbed Saturday night at a home on Dixon Road in Utica, officials said. Hinds County investigators believe Shemeka Ford, 26, who was arrested Saturday in connection with Dixon's death, was acting in self-defense. We've had calls there before," Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said. "It's an ongoing situation and everybody in that community is aware of it." "This is one of those cases where after the district attorney looked at it long enough, he said he would not bring charges against her," McMillin said. "Essentially, she will just walk free."

GA: Man shot in face at apartment complex: "Gwinnett officers are investigating a shooting that took place at Landmark at Bella Vista Apartments Tuesday afternoon. Police say a man was shot in the face around 2:15 p.m. A caller reported hearing gunshots and saw a man lying on the ground outside. The victim was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive his injuries, according to police. Responding officers and detectives, with the assistance of Suwanee Police Department, located the shooter. The man was arrested, but officers did not release his name. Investigators say it appears the shooting may have occurred in self-defense, but the shooting is still under investigation."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Miss.: Store Owner Shoots Man During Attempted Robbery: "About 10:09 p.m. Sunday, a masked man armed with a gun jumped out from behind a trash bin in the parking lot of the N.S. Food Mart at 4626 Hanging Moss Road and tried to rob the owner of the store, police said. The store owner then pulled out his own gun and fired five or six shots, police said. He thought he shot the man, but wasn't sure, police said. The man ran from the scene, police said. Later, Christopher Seaton, 31, showed up at the University of Mississippi Medical Center suffering gunshot wounds to the armpit, right hand and left ankle, police said. He was listed in critical condition on Monday, police said. Seaton was has been charged with attempted armed robbery of an individual"

UT: An unreasonable prosecution: "When Steve Strate walked up the stairs from the basement of his mother-in-law’s Orem rambler on Oct. 25, 2009, he put his .380 handgun on the porch and called 911. In a cool tone, he informed the operator he had just killed his brother-in-law, Marvin Sidwell. “He came at me with a damned chair.” The Utah County Attorney’s Office charged Orem-based contractor Strate with murder. At his preliminary hearing on March 24, 2010, Strate’s attorney, Ron Yengich, pointed out that not only had the enraged 51-year-old Sidwell threatened his neighbor and his sister—Strate’s wife, Linda—he also had methamphetamine in his system, potentially amplifying the aggressiveness of a man his own mother, 79-year-old Lavern Sidwell, in court described as “paranoid.” Police found Sidwell on his back, with multiple gunshot wounds, and a 6.8 pound steel stool just above his outstretched hands"

GA: Man Reportedly Shoots Brother-in-law in Self Defense: "The shooting of an Oconee County man around 8 p.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of Watson Springs Road might have been an act of self defense, according to new details released by authorities Monday. When deputies arrived on the scene, two boys, 12 and 5 years old, told them James Eric Hester, 32, had been threatening people at the residence and had fired shots into the air, said Chief Deputy Lee Weems of the Oconee County Sheriff's Office. It appeared to deputies that Hester had been drinking, he added. Brian Bowden, 31, came out of the house and told deputies he shot Hester, Bowden's brother-in-law, once in self defense with Hester's gun inside the home after Hester had tried to stab him multiple times with a knife, Weems said. Hester, who deputies found on the ground in the yard, was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center and treated for a single, non-life threatening gunshot to the abdomen. A knife was found on the front porch, an incident report noted. Witnesses, all family members of the men, backed up Bowden’s assertion of self defense"

W.Va.: Man shoots and kills robber; gets charged: "Logan Police say Jesus Canul, 26, of Logan, was approached by David Abbott, 37, in the parking lot of the Walmart at Fountain Place. Bert Davis, who watched the whole thing happen, says Abbott "wrapped him around his neck and said, 'Give me all your money, or give me your wallet or I'm going to cut your throat.' " Davis says Abbott repeated that two or three times. He finally got the wallet and turned to go. That's when his victim pulled a gun out. Davis says Canul "cocked (the gun) back and pointed at that guy's head. And, he got three steps, and that boy shot him." Police say Canul had a legal permit to carry a gun and confirmed the story about him being robbed. Police say Abbott was dead by the time he got to the hospital. They've charged Canul with murder."

Monday, August 22, 2011

MD: Off-Duty Guard Shoots Robber: "A 20-year-old man is recovering after a shoot-out with an off-duty security guard. Police said they were called to the 3600 block of Dolfield Avenue about 2:51 a.m. Saturday in response to a shooting. Officers said they found the security guard at the scene, saying he had just been robbed. The off-duty guard told police that the robber drew a gun during the incident. The guard said he drew his gun out of fear for his life. Police said the robber then started shooting at the guard who fired back in self defense. Officers said the robber then sped off in a vehicle. Detectives said the robber was found in the 1900 block of Dukeland Street with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Police said he was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Officials said the guard was not injured during the robbery."

Is now the time for a castle law in Britain?: "At a time where home and small business owners face a real threat of violence towards themselves and their property, and when police resources are increasingly stretched beyond their limits, better defined rights of defending personal property would offer peace of mind as well as a definitive deterrent to would-be criminals. Rather than questioning what constitutes 'reasonable force' we would be safe in the knowledge that if we were to ever be put in the terrifying situation of facing an intruder the law would offer us the absolute upper hand."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NV: Two burglars shot: "Police say around 3:30am Friday, they were called to Virginia and Artemesia Streets, told of a man with several gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police say that man, Jonathan Rogers, is one of three men who broke into a home on Bartlett Street, on the other side of the UNR campus. They believe the homeowner shot Rogers, who ran through the campus and onto Virginia Street, where he collapsed. The second suspect, Guy Ruiz, also ran off, apparently not hurt, and is still on the loose. The third suspect, Robert Marin, was apparently held at gunpoint by the homeowner for several hours. Police say the homeowner was somehow injured over the course of the incident and was unable to call police or go for help. After several hours, the two men fought and the homeowner shot Marin, giving the homeowner a chance to call police. Rogers remains in an area hospital in critical condition, Ruiz is still on the loose, and Marin is being treated for his wound. The homeowner's name hasn't been released."

Mississippi Rep. fights for gun rights: "First District U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee is making his pro-gun rights message known by sponsoring five bills in Congress dealing with the Second Amendment. The bills include measures to ease interstate firearms business, reform gun control restrictions in Washington and make it easier to collect guns. "As a strong defender of the Second Amendment, I am pleased to co-sponsor these legislative measures that will remove unnecessary restrictions on firearms and eliminate harsh gun control laws. The right to bear arms is a fundamental right that is assured to every law abiding citizen, and as a member of Congress I will continue to fight for this right," Nunnelee said in a statement."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Detroit: Teen robbery suspect dies in shootout with retired police officer: "A shootout between a teenager trying to rob a busy Detroit McDonald's and a retired Detroit police officer ended in the teen's death Friday afternoon, police said. Police said the 16-year-old entered the restaurant at McNichols and Livernois with a gun about 2:45 p.m. and attempted to rob the business before the retired officer intervened. Several shots were fired, and employees and customers were seen sprinting out of the store. Those at a nearby barbershop watched emergency workers load the shirtless teen from the floor of the store, just inside the door. Lt. Dwane Blackmon of the Detroit police homicide unit said the incident was under investigation, and it was unclear whether the teen died at the restaurant or the hospital. The retired officer was uninjured."

Calif man acquitted of fatally shooting 3: "A San Bernardino County jury has acquitted a man of shooting to death three people in connection with a 12-year feud between him and his neighbor. The jury deliberated for two days before finding 57-year-old Dennis Flechtner not guilty of murder on Friday. He was released after the verdict. During trial, Flechtner testified that he shot Angela Leird, Adam Owen and Robert Light in self-defense in 2009 when they approached his property in the dark. The only surviving witness of the shooting testified that Flechtner was arguing with the three victims when he pulled out his gun and shot them. Prosecutors say Flechtner, whose backyard in Phelan faced Leird's, got into a dispute with his neighbor over their property line in 2006."

Friday, August 19, 2011

LA: No prison for man who shot graffiti writer: "A Lafayette man convicted of manslaughter for killing his former neighbor during a case in which he claimed he killed the victim in self-defense will not spend any time behind bars. District Judge Edward Rubin sentenced Jerry Steinle, 62, on Thursday for killing David Trahan, 40, of Lafayette, on Dec. 10, 2009. Rubin sentenced Steinle to three years of hard labor, suspended, and two years of unsupervised probation, according to Steinle's attorney, Thomas Guilbeau. On the day Trahan was killed, he was defacing a door on Steinle's house in the 300 block of Rena Drive when Steinle caught him in the act. An argument resulted, and Steinle pulled a gun and shot Trahan three times, including twice in the chest. At that time, Trahan was using a felt-tipped pen to write a defamatory message on Steinle's door. Trahan had also previously vandalized Steinle's home with another defamatory message."

Johnny Appleseed takes Manhattan: "Project Appleseed is a rifle training course combining marksmanship with a civics lesson. 'Good shooting requires learning positive traits such as patience, determination, focus, attention to detail, and persistence,' their website declares. 'Since these skills are likewise key elements of mature participation in civic activities, we urge our students to take what they have learned about themselves as marksmen and apply it to their participation in their communities and in the wider American society in accordance with their own choices about how Americans should govern themselves.'"

Are you authorized to defend yourself?: "What will you do if rioting sweeps US cities as it did British ones last week? Vigilantism is defined as 'Taking the law into one's own hands and attempting to effect justice according to one's own understanding of right and wrong.' Typically, it occurs when traditional law enforcement is absent, ineffective, or corrupt. When exercised in defense of person and property, vigilantism is the direct expression of an individual's right to protect himself or innocent others against aggression."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

GA: Callgirl shoots robbers: "Investigators say the three teens had lured the woman to a driveway on George Coggin Road that belonged to one of their neighbors. They say Berggren hid behind bushes at the end of the driveway and surprised the woman as she talked with the teenage girls. Investigators say McAlkich’s plan worked so well once, the three decided to try it again. But the next escort to arrive on George Coggin Road was carrying a gun, and during the robbery shot Berggren in the stomach. Maj. Yarborough says it’s possible that word had gotten back to the other escorts in the same business, and that the new victim was prepared for what might happen. He said in the case of the second victim, it looks like the shooting was a case of self defense."

AZ: Homeowner turns tables on burglar: "While sitting on the couch Tuesday morning, Willy John heard his pet chihuahua start barking. The 65-year-old got up, and in the bedroom of his central Phoenix home, he came face to face with a burglar. ... Willy grabbed a gun hidden underneath his bed at the home near 48th Street and Thomas Road, and ordered the burglar to the floor."

IN: Knife-wielding intruder shot by woman: "Jennings County Prosecutor Alan Marshall ruled that a woman who shot a 45-year-old man last week did so in self-defense. On Aug. 9, sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Road 225S in response to a violent domestic dispute. Deputies found several broken windows and kicked-in doors at the home. They also found a man on the floor of the bathroom suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach with another person restraining him. A press release from Marshall’s office on Wednesday stated investigators determined that the man had tried to attack a 29-year-old woman with a knife. The woman shot the man in the stomach with a .22-caliber revolver, according to the release. Marshall said the man broke down several doors and windows trying to get to the woman, all while armed with a knife. The woman had a reasonable belief that she was in danger of serious bodily injury or death. The man remains hospitalized, according to the prosecutor’s office."

Anti-gun gunowners: " writer Maggie Haberman missed the mark when she noted that Perry has a concealed carry permit by assuming he must be pro-gun because he has a concealed weapon permit. Senator Barbara Boxer has a permit to carry. Do you think California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer is pro-gun? No, I don’t think so, either. But Barbara Boxer used her influence to secure an elusive concealed carry permit from California. Or how about New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer? Schumer himself is reported to possess a New York concealed handgun permit, and both U.S. Senators regularly employed armed guards for their personal protection. Just because a politician recognizes that being armed makes THEM safer, doesn’t mean they support YOUR right to keep and bear arms. They think they’re different than you and me, that because of their title they’re entitled to MORE rights than we are."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

TX: Caretaker shoots burglar: "Burglars need to realize that if they don’t want to get shot, they shouldn’t be breaking into people’s homes,” said Titus County Sheriff Tim Ingram, who said charges would not be pursued against the caretaker of Mr. Pat’s Emporium who defended both his boss’ property and his own life this morning during a shootout with burglary suspects. Deputies arrived on scene to find the caretaker of the building bleeding from a wound to his right hand and a suspect on the ground near the front of the building suffering from a gunshot to his left hip. The suspect, Jose Moreno, 23, of Mount Pleasant, was transported to Titus Regional Medical Center by ambulance where he underwent surgery before 9 a.m. He is listed in stable condition at Daily Tribune press time. The caretaker was treated for his injury at TRMC and released. The caretaker, who has not been identified by TCSO investigators, fired several times at the suspects and hit Moreno in the hip as the three suspects fled the scene."

ATF's 'Fast and Furious' firearms tracked to at least 11 violent crimes: "Firearms illegally trafficked under the ATF’s Fast and Furious program turned up at the scenes of at least 11 “violent crimes” in this country in addition to being involved in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in southern Arizona last year, the Justice Department has acknowledged to Congress. Although Justice did not provide any details about those crime scenes, it has been learned that the additional violent crimes occurred in cities such as Phoenix, where Operation Fast and Furious was managed, and as far away as El Paso, Texas, where a total of 42 Fast and Furious weapons were seized in two separate crimes. The new numbers, which vastly broaden the scope of the danger the program posed to U.S. citizens over a 14-month period, are contained in a letter Justice Department officials turned over last month to Senate Judiciary Committee members."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A reminder about Switzerland

FL: Pesky neighbor shot: "Jeremy S. Millspaugh was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the pelvis after police found him about 1 a.m. at an apartment complex at 11105 1st Street E on the Isle of Palms. Nathan McDonald, 33, said Millspaugh, his next-door neighbor, charged at him with a 4-inch knife and threatened other residents when McDonald asked him and another man to leave. McDonald then shot Millspaugh with a .38-caliber handgun. McDonald said he asked the two men to leave because he thought they were involved in drug dealing. Police called the shooting self defense. No one was arrested. Millspaugh has a history of arrests in Pinellas county since 2008, largely on charges of domestic battery, according to jail records."

MI: Deadly Shooting of Dearborn Mother Ruled Self Defense: "I'd rather not talk about it right now," said Damon Daniel. He made that statement moments after walking out of a justice hall. Prosecutors in Wayne County ruled the deadly shooting of his fiancee in her Dearborn home was self defense. "It's nothing at all what it would seem like in this situation when you first hear it. It was a big mistake," Daniel said. "He's a videographer. He's going to be a rapper and they made a video, and they took this as gospel truth that this is what happened at that time," said Minnie Christian. She is the mother of Ebony Gaines. A supposed video from last Friday has not been released, but she said it shows "Ebony had two knives and she was on the bed and had him cornered."

Crime DECLINED after Virginia allowed guns in bars: "Virginia’s bars and restaurants did not turn into shooting galleries as some had feared during the first year of a new state law that allows patrons with permits to carry concealed guns into alcohol-serving businesses. The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police. And overall, the crimes that occurred during the law’s first year were relatively minor, and few of the incidents appeared to involve gun owners with concealed-carry permits, the analysis found."

Monday, August 15, 2011

OH: Club-goer shot dead after pulling gun: "Terrance Crowell, 32, was shot twice in the chest after firing four shots at Club 360, 1474 Fort Benning Road, just before 2:30 a.m. Raheem Hunter, 30, is charged with a misdemeanor count of being in possession of a firearm at a prohibited location in connection with the fatal shooting, said Lt. Lynn Joiner. “The shooting seems to be self-defense,” Joiner said. “(Hunter’s) not being charged with anything else right now.” Crowell, who police said had no prior disagreement or argument with anyone at the club, pulled out a .22-caliber revolver and began shooting into the air. Hunter, armed with a large-caliber semi-automatic weapon, then confronted Crowell, the lieutenant said. "Crowell pointed his weapon back at the man and another person, so (Hunter) shot him twice in the chest,” Joiner said. Crowell ran outside and into the parking lot, where he collapsed. Police found him lying in the parking lot when they arrived, Joiner said. Coroner Bill Thrower pronounced Crowell dead on the scene"

Cases lining up to ask Supreme Court to clarify Second Amendment rights: "A funny thing has happened in the three years since gun-rights activists won their biggest victory at the Supreme Court. They’ve been on a losing streak in the lower courts. “Three years and more than 400 legal challenges later, courts — so far — have held that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller was narrow and limited. As Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, put it: “If the Supreme Court ..... meant its holding to extend beyond home possession, it will need to say so more plainly.”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

GA: Victim of attempted robbery defended himself: "Leontaye Johnson was shot during an attempted robbery at his house on the 2900 block of Nighthawk Drive, according to Richmond County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles. Johnson shot and killed the suspect, identified by the coroner's office as Anthony Washington. Peebles said Washington had not broken into the house, but "was waiting for Johnson" when he came home. The incident occurred about 3:45 a.m. Johnson acted in self-defense, and no charges have been filed, Peebles said. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Johnson with gunshot wounds to both arms. He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital"

OH: A dubious conviction: "A mother of two is sentenced for fatally shooting a 15-year-old boy. Karen Adams will spend six years in prison. In the middle of the night on August 10th, 2009, Robert went with two other teens to the Masury home of Karen Adams and Paul Sundy. One of the boys wanted to confront Sundy about his teenage daughter. The boys had bats and lead pipes. Adams pulled out a gun and she says in self defense shot out the home's window hitting Robert who was on the front lawn. In Adams statement to the court she said she regrets what happened and a lot of mistakes were made that night but not only by her. "Teenagers at two o'clock in the morning belong at home. And that doesn't change the decisions I made. But in a panic in a fear and trying to protect your own children and your own family unfortunately the best decisions aren't always made."

OH: Suspect killed in possible attempted robbery: "Cleveland police are investigating a possible attempted robbery Friday night where the suspect was shot and killed by the victim. Police arrived at 8110 Beman about 9:30 p.m. and learned that a man about 20 years old was armed with a hand gun and allegedly tried to rob another man, 24, in front of the house. The two men struggled and the 24-year-old gained control of the handgun and shot the 20-year-old twice. The 20-year-old has not been identified and was taken by EMS to MetroHealth Medial Center. He was confirmed dead this afternoon. The victim is also not being identified yet."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TX: Marijuana dealer kills robber: "The investigation has indicated that two men went to the Ritchie Street residence and purchased a quantity of marijuana. The two men returned to the residence a short time later, and claimed a discrepancy in the amount of marijuana. Once inside the residence, one of the men produced a .22 caliber pistol and threatened the resident,tied him up and the men then began to ransack the house, gathering valuables in a robbery. The resident of the home, Davarick Chatman, age 32, was able to free himself and retrieve a 16 gauge shotgun. Chatman then shot one of the men, identified as Michael Obrien Johnson, age 27 of Lufkin. Johnson was shot several times at close range. Johnson died at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. The other man, identified as Courtny Randale Allen, age 24 also of Lufkin, fled the scene on foot."

IL: Liquor store holdup deadly for suspect: "Authorities say two armed men entered Z & S Food and Liquors in the 1300-block of West 87th around 10 p.m. Thursday and demanded money. A store clerk spotted one of the suspects outside the building and a struggle ensued. The suspect's gun went off, killing the suspect. The second robber then shot the clerk and fled the scene. The store clerk was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition with a wound to the abdomen. He has since been upgraded to stable condition."

Friday, August 12, 2011

12 August, 2011

How times have changed

This would have been during WWII

CA: Intruder killed by son in house: "Investigators said on Thursday that an intruder killed in a home north of Salinas on Wednesday was a Norteño gang member suspected of coming to collect "taxes" on alleged drug sales. Officers said they believe Salinas East Market gang member Miguel Salvador Medina Jr., 19, and two other men had approached the Bolsa Knolls home armed and ready to demand drugs or cash as a payment that gangs commonly extort from competing dealers. Deputies said Medina, carrying a MAK-10 or similar rifle, was killed inside a residential garage in the 200 block of Pingree Way owned by electrical contractor Ronald Swim. Swim's son went to the garage and fired a .45-caliber handgun at Medina, officers said. It was unclear whether words were exchanged or if Medina fired his weapon.... the actual shooter in this case appears unlikely to be charged because investigators so far believe he acted in self-defense."

Gun safety at home: "An ever increasing number of people are purchasing firearms for home protection today. Many of these people are first time firearms owners who have decided for various reasons to add a layer of protection for their families. This means that many homes with firearms will also have children present and while good firearms safety storage measures are important to block access to all unauthorized persons, it's especially important to consider how to safeguard your children as well as to introduce them to any firearms you have in your home."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

OH: Fatal Shooting May Have Been Self-Defense: "New details emerged Tuesday about what may have happened before a man was shot to death on the city's west side. Mario Williams, 22, died Monday night after a shooting near a market in the 700 block of Sullivant Avenue. Surveillance cameras at the business recorded the sound of gunshots being fired and captured video of a man running away from the scene. The man was later tracked down by police and questioned about the shooting. According to investigators, the man said Williams approached him with a gun and demanded his wallet, 10TV's Danielle Elias reported. The man, who was also carrying a gun, opened fire, fatally wounding Williams, police said. Authorities said the man was released from custody because the shooting appeared to have been self-defense."

CA: Homeowner's Son Kills Intruder: "A teenager was shot dead Wednesday and neighbors say it was a case of self defense. The victim was identified as 19 year old Miguel Medina, Jr. The Monterey County Sheriff's Office believes Medina broke into a home at 286 Pingree Way just after 12:30 p.m. When deputies arrived on scene, they found Medina on the floor of the open garage with an automatic weapon slung around his shoulders. He had been shot and killed. Medina was identified through fingerprints. During the initial break in, Monterey County Sheriff Investigators believe Medina got into an argument with someone at the home and gunshots were exchanged. Hathaway said, "They were in the living room talking and his son saw someone walk into the garage with a gun in his hand. So his son got up and got a gun himself and walked out to see what was going on." Sheriff Investigator Terry Kaiser told Central Coast News it's possible the homeowner's son may not be charged with any crime if the shooting was in self defense."

MO: Home Invasion Leads to Shootout; Suspect and Resident Dead: "According to police, 33-year-old Meosha Jordan, her boyfriend and several others were sitting on her front porch in the 5700 block of Pamplin around 11 p.m. last night when 23-year-old Darryl Robinson walked up and asked Jordan if her brother was home. Jordan said yes, and Robinson, of the 9700 block of Dennis Drive, then barged inside the home, according to witnesses. When Jordan tried to open the door, she found it being held closed from the inside. Robinson then began banging on the door, at which point Robinson allegedly opened the door and pointed a gun at her. Robinson's 39-year-old boyfriend then drew his own weapon -- but couldn't stop Robinson from shooting Jordan in the shoulder, with the bullet exiting through her chest. The boyfriend immediately returned fire, striking Robinson multiple times. Both were pronounced dead at the scene."

FL: Man Shot To Death Inside Home: "A deadly shooting disrupted a quiet Orange County neighborhood on Wednesday and police said they spent all afternoon questioning the owner of a home in Maitland, who called 911 saying a man was shot. The homeowner was let go and detectives said on Wednesday afternoon they are not charging the owner of the home with a crime.... detectives said Bruce Fuller had a house guest in his home on Versailles circle and just after 8:30 Wednesday morning Fuller called 911 and told dispatchers the man had been shot. "He just basically said it started as a physical altercation that led to the shooting," police said."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MI: Carjacker Dies after Being Shot: "Darrell Standberry said he's had a CCW for years and has never once fired his gun, but that all changed at a gas station on Detroit's west side Monday night. Having that gun may have saved Standberry's life. He pulled into a gas station, got out of his car and within a matter of seconds was reportedly being carjacked by a 19-year-old. "He jumped in the driver's seat and I asked him to get out of my vehicle," he told FOX 2's Alexis Wiley. That's when Standberry said the confrontation took a deadly turn. "He reached in his pants pocket or in between his (legs) like he was about to pull out a weapon," he explained. "I fired one time." The bullet hit the 19-year-old in the side. He took off in Standberry's SUV, then crashed about a block away. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accused carjacker did have a gun on him. Police took Standberry into custody, but released him about an hour later."

FL: Man Shoots Son in apparent Self Defense: "Marianna police say the man who shot his son early Sunday morning may have been acting in self defense. The incident is still under investigation, however, and no charges or arrests have been made in the case. Lt. Michael Miller identified the man who was shot as 26-year-old Christopher Hitchcock. He was listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit of Jackson Hospital and remained there as of Monday. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to Marianna Police Chief Hayes Baggett. The shooter was identified as 55-year-old Michael Hitchcock. Miller said it appears that Christopher Hitchcock was the primary aggressor in a domestic incident involving his girlfriend, and that the elder Hitchcock had stepped in as his son was beating the woman."

ND: No charges in deadly shooting: "Charges will not be filed in a deadly shooting in Hankinson, North Dakota, in April. The Richland County State's Attorney's office has declined to prosecute Robert Arends in the shooting death of Brian Smith. Proseuctors determined Arends acted in self-defense. The shooting happened in Arends' driveway. The two did not know each other. Arends was on his way to work early in the morning when he noticed a car blocking his driveway. He and Smith got into a fight and Arrends' was assaulted. A woman who was with Smith said that Smith was the aggressor and kept trying to take Arends' gun away."

Brit Riots Show Need For Right To Keep And Bear Arms: "Widespread rioting, arson and looting across London clearly demonstrates the need in any civilized society for the right to personal protection and the tools to make it possible, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today. Rioting that reportedly began over the police shooting of a man over the weekend has now exploded into anarchy, leaving British citizens stunned and fearful. People have been forced to flee from their homes. CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb noted that in Great Britain, where firearms are so strictly regulated that relatively few people own them legally, and self-defense is treated like a criminal offense, citizens are literally at the mercy of the mob."

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

TX: Shotgun-toting teen defends mom, home from burglars: "A 16-year-old boy used a shotgun to defend his mother from three would-be burglars in Monte Alto early Saturday morning, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. ... About 1:45 a.m., with the shotgun in hand, the boy confronted the three strangers who approached and told them to leave. Instead, they shot at him, and he fired back, hitting one in the leg"

PA: Man cleared of homicide charges in death of pimp: "Kalif Lewis, 27, was acquitted yesterday on homicide charges for fatally shooting a pimp who had come to a room at the airport Residence Inn, where Lewis had sex with the hooker. Defense attorney Gerald Stein argued at trial that Lewis had shot and killed pimp Tyre West, 28, in self-defense. On the night of Dec. 16, 2009, Lewis, a married man, called prostitute Shanet Foust after seeing her Craigslist ad. They had sex in the hotel, and he paid her two $50 bills for her "$99 special." Stein argued at trial that after Lewis left the room, he discovered that he was missing a $100 bill. He returned to the room and demanded the money. Foust then speed-dialed West, her pimp and common-law husband, on her cellphone. Stein said that West, who also had a gun, came to the door and fired at Lewis and that Lewis shot back in self-defense because he was trapped. West stumbled out of the hotel after being shot once in the chest and was pronounced dead at 1:25 the next morning."

FL: Applebee's Diner Shoots Mugger: "An armed man wearing a ski mask who tried to rob a woman outside the Applebee's Restaurant Sunday was shot by her boyfriend. Anthony Hauser, 19, was shot four times by Raven Smith of St. Petersburg, and is hospitalized in serious condition at Bayfront Medical Center, police said. Smith, 35, has a pemit to carry a concelaed weapon, police said Monday, and acted in self defense. Smith and his girl friend, Lesley Tanner, 27, had parked their car in the Applebee's Restaurant parking lot, at 4700 4th St. North. They were preparing to go inside to get dinner at about 10:30 p.m. Tanner first got out of the car and walked to the rear of the vehicle, where she was approached by Hauser, who wore a ski mask and drew a gun. As Smith got out of the vehicle on the driver's side, he saw the suspect pointing a gun at Tanner. Smith drew his 380-caliber handgun, police said. He fired at Hauser, striking him four times. No charges are pending against Smith."

Airport Carry Is Legal In 44 States, But Florida Will Put You In Jail: "There are federal laws that restrict firearms, knives, and other weapons in the “sterile area” beyond the security checkpoint but the unsecured areas of the terminal are subject to state law. Florida, and only five other states, make the entire airport terminal off limits even to carry license holders while armed. The US Supreme Court made it clear in DC v. Heller (2008) that Americans have the right to “carry weapons in case of confrontation,” but this right can be restricted “in sensitive places”. The Federal government has determined that the “sterile area” is the “sensitive place” at an airport but Florida has gone much farther and banned even licensed carry inside the entire terminal"

Monday, August 08, 2011

TSA disallows guns in CHECKED luggage

Except under onerous conditions

A man flew from Denver to Kansas City on Sunday, but his pistol stayed behind.

Early Sunday morning, a man flying on Frontier Airlines checked his bag at the counter without telling airline agents he had packed a loaded gun. Transportation Security Administration agents doing a routine screen on checked baggage found the gun and called Denver police at about 6:45 a.m.

The officers found the pistol "unusual" and weren't quite sure how to unload it, police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray said.

Officers shot the gun into a concrete-lined device called a clear barrel, equipment they often use to disarm guns with which they're not familiar.

Denver police kept the weapon and said the man can collect his gun from the police if he passes a criminal-background check and produces photo identification, Murray said. Neither the man's name nor the type of pistol were disclosed.

TSA regulations allow passengers to carry guns on planes in checked baggage if they report them to the airline, unload them and place them in locked, hard- cased containers. Guns are not allowed in carry-on luggage.

People who violate those rules could face criminal charges or up to $10,000 in fines, according to the TSA. Denver police presented a criminal case to the Denver district attorney and the U.S. attorney, and both declined to press charges, Murray said.

While the idea of carrying a gun on a plane alarms some people, it's quite common, TSA officials said.

"Most passengers do understand the rules of carrying of firearms," said TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz. "But our officers do, in fact, intercept several guns a day at U.S. airports."


WA: Gun-toting Witness To Shooting Captures Suspect: "A witness to a shooting in Skyway captured a suspect, handcuffed him and made him sit on the ground until deputies arrived on Saturday night. The King County Sheriff's Office said there was an argument between two men over a drug deal. Both were carrying guns. "One guy was apparently quicker on the draw because the other guy got shot," said Sgt. John Urquhart of the Sheriff's Office. The shooting was in the parking lot of a U.S. Bank at South 126th Street and 76th Avenue South. Urquhart said it was witnessed by a man who was there to use the ATM. He, too, had a gun -- and a pair of handcuffs. "When we got here, the shooter was searched, in handcuffs and sitting down on the curb," Urquhart said. The passerby told investigators he did not fire his gun. It's not clear how he was able to take the man into custody."

FL: Man Wrestles Gun from ATM Robber: "A heroic Florida man came to his girlfriend's rescue after a gunman tried to rob her while she retrieved money from a St. Petersburg ATM. Anthony Hall was sitting in the car with his 5-year-old child when he saw the gunman approach 25-year-old Cristina Hopkins on Friday night. He jumped out of the car and struggled with the gunman. St. Petersburg police said the gun went off, wounding Almedin Muratovic. Hall managed to wrestle the gun away from the suspect and threw it out of his reach until officers arrived. Muratovic was charged with two counts of armed robbery, possession of a controlled substance and possessing a firearm. He remains hospitalized. The victims were not injured."

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Tucson man shoots, kills intruder: "A 34-year-old man died Friday night after he was shot at a southwest-side home, authorities said. Loran Langston was pronounced dead at a local hospital after he was shot at a home in the 8100 block of West Savi Place, near West Bopp and South San Joaquin roads, said Deputy Renee Carlson, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman. The homeowner, Brian Dillon, 40, reportedly shot Langston after he returned home from the store and found Langston on his property, Carlson said in a news release. An argument ensued and escalated into a fight between the two men. Investigators said Dillon retrieved his gun and shot Langston in the chest one time. Deputies took Dillon into custody but released him after he claimed self-defense."

KY: Man Dies In Apparent Domestic Dispute: "The Louisville Metro Police Department said a woman fatally shot her husband during a domestic dispute Friday night. When police said they arrived at the couple's home in the 2600 block of Rowan Street, they found Eugene Henderson suffering from a gunshot wound. Henderson was taken to University Hospital, where he died a few hours later, police said. According to LMPD, Henderson's wife had an active domestic violence order against her husband, but Henderson was seen at the home during the last few weeks. The wife has not yet been charged in the shooting, but police said they are still investigating. According to family friends, the woman's son claims she shot Henderson in self defense."

Case calling Illinois gun laws illegal gets hearing: "A two-front push is being made in Illinois to weaken some of the most restrictive gun regulation laws in the country. Gun-rights advocates claim that Illinois is violating the Second Amendment by prohibiting Illinois residents from being able to, in some fashion, carry a firearm in public. A hearing on one such case, in which Michael Moore of Champaign and the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun-rights advocacy group, are suing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office and the state of Illinois, took place Thursday in U.S. District Court in Springfield. Recent events around the nation could give gun-rights advocates the momentum they need to win a fight that’s time and again seen them on the losing side."

Cuccinelli clarifies guns-on-campus position: "A gun scare Thursday at Virginia Tech rekindled the debate about carrying firearms at state-run universities. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli recently waded into the controversy. In an official advisory opinion, Cuccinelli found a University of Virginia gun policy too restrictive and lacking in authority. The opinion, released last month, said that a George Mason University regulation, which has the force of law, unlike a policy, offered a legal way to restrict firearms inside classroom buildings or at campus events but still allow weapons outdoors. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the George Mason regulation but found that universities can’t completely ban weapons on campus, according to the opinion. Last week in an interview with Virginia Statehouse News, Cuccinelli said that privately owned businesses and churches have more flexibility than state agencies when trying to restrict weapon possession."

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Norway shows the futility of strict gun control

Norway, where hunting is popular, has some of toughest firearm legislation in world, but it was easily circumvented

The massacre on the island of Utøya is certain to lead to a security review, with particular stress on how Anders Behring Breivik obtained his weapons. Norway already has some of the toughest gun laws in the world, but they were apparently easily circumvented by the killer.

A licence is required to own a gun, and the owner must provide a written statement saying why he or she wants one. Many categories of guns, including automatics and some powerful handguns, are banned from sale altogether.

Hunting and outdoor sports are popular in Norway. But the laws are strict in these areas, too. Shotguns and rifles must be stored in a secure place, typically a specially designed gun safe, as must ammunition. Police have the right to inspect an owner's home to ensure the law is being followed.

Transporting a weapon to a public place is also covered by legislation. The owner must have a good reason for carrying a weapon, must ensure it is unloaded and concealed from view, but not worn on the body, and must keep the weapon under constant supervision.

Under the Firearm Weapons Act, only "sober and responsible" persons over the age of 18 may obtain a gun licence. For handguns, the age requirement is 21. In 2009, additional legislation was introduced, further tightening Norway's gun laws.

Perhaps because the laws are already so strict and gun crime is relatively rare, gun control is not generally considered a political issue in Norway, unlike countries such as the US where a citizen's right to bear arms is guaranteed by the constitution and fiercely defended.

American bloggers opposed to gun control were quick to note that Norway's regulations did not stop Breivik carrying out the attacks.

One poster, lawodevolution on, commented: "No full autos [automatics], license to own a gun, permission to transport, limit on how many you can own, need to show a reason to own a gun no carry, etc ... All this did not stop a guy from carrying a 'handgun, automatic, and a shotgun' at a no-gun zone in Norway.

"Gun control is a failure. These dirtbags do not obay [sic] laws and a person who wants to do a mass shooting will put the time and money into getting the equipment necessary to do the job


OR: Man pounds on door; gets shot through it: "Maresh sped past 35-year-old Christopher Esquivel. Esquivel's brother said that's when he ran up the stairs after Maresh, pounding on his apartment door. Maresh never opened it, but police said he did shoot Esquivel from behind it. "My brother wanted to talk to him like a man," said Esquivel's brother, who wanted to remain anonymous. "That's when the incident happened, through one side of the door to the other." The bullet pierced the door, and went straight through Esquivel's body, they said. "You could see that there was a bullet hole on the left side and on the right side," said Davenport. Police said if they believed Maresh was acting in self-defense, he would not have been arrested. They said Friday the shooting is still under investigation."

Friday, August 05, 2011

The only 'murder' here was of justice

They are the forgotten warriors of the Iraq war, the men whose lives and families and careers blew up in "murder" charges on a vicious battlefield, the pieces coming down in Fort Leavenworth's military prison where the men now serve long sentences. Together, they make up the Leavenworth 10, not always at Leavenworth and not always 10, a group of cold-luck cases still working their way up the ladder of appeals and the clemency process, their families hoping to free them before many more years go by.

They all got bad news recently when word came that the Army Court of Appeals denied Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, 28, a new trial despite the introduction of exculpatory evidence originally withheld by the prosecution. Behenna faces 13 more years of a 15-year sentence for the unpremeditated 2008 "murder" of an insurgent who killed two of his men in post-surge Iraq, an al-Qaida terrorist for whom the Army would issue a kill/capture order before realizing he was already dead.

Why no new trial?

At almost the same time, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Juan Garcia overruled recommendations from the Naval Clemency and Parole Board and from brig officials at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station that Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, 27, be granted early release. Hutchins has served more than five years on a 15-year sentence that was reduced to 11 years. The sentence was once recommended to be cut to five years, and once thrown out (he spent nine months free starting June 2010). He faces the balance of the 11-year-sentence for conspiracy and unpremeditated "murder" of a man he believed was the killer of Marines and civilians in pre-surge Iraq.

Why no parole?

I put quotation marks of incredulousness around "murder" because this was a war zone – a chaotic, urban war zone in which counterinsurgency theory (COIN), winning hearts and minds, just didn't go according to the book. Those restrictive rules of engagement (ROEs) failed to impress jihadists or their clans with America's good intentions, and the schizoid mishmash of firepower, nation-building, harsh interrogations, bribery, police work and social work made our forces pawns of an untenable policy. These young men shouldn't be the ones to pay for that policy. We should use this week's one-two punch of "military justice" for some national soul-searching. It's the least we can do for men who risked everything for our country.

The two cases are quite different, but they share more than miscarriages of justice. Reading back before the judicial nightmares began is to follow two warriors contending with a basic COIN flaw: the notorious practice known as catch-and-release, the opaque, bureaucratic process by which U.S. forces risked their lives to "arrest" insurgents on the back-alley battlefield only to see them released to kill again for "lack of evidence." In both Behenna's and Hutchins' cases (and others), catch-and-release was the ultimate manifestation of chaotic command and no control, and served as a common trigger of events. Behenna himself had to drive home the very insurgent known to be responsible for the IED (crude, handmade bomb) that recently killed two of his men. He decided to perform one more interrogation himself during which the insurgent rushed him, at which point Behenna fired. This is the self-defense scenario supported by the prosecution's own forensics expert. It was suppressed at Behenna's trial and ignored on appeal.

Hutchins' case is more complex, involving an eight-man plot to "snatch" and kill a "prince" of the insurgency, someone responsible for everything from IEDs to recruiting suicide bombers. Again, it was catch-and-release, and not for the first time, that lit the fuse for this Marine squad. They caught the terrorist and then, on release, had to drive him home. They later decided to fake an incident in which the "prince's" killing would be ROE-lawful. While Hutchins waited in ambush, the wrong man was seized, they all shot at him and then covered up the incident. No Marine was confined for more than 525 days except Hutchins (11 years).

Hutchins also drew a rebuke from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who, while Hutchins appealed and sought clemency, slandered him as a premeditated and indiscriminate murderer. Hutchins lawyer, Maj. Babu Kaza, points out that Hutchins was found guilty of neither allegation and that Mabus' unprecedented public comments constitute "unlawful command influence" on the workings of justice.

At least that's what the military calls these nightmares. Do you?


CA: Armed Attempted Robbery Thwarted By Brave Victim With BB Gun: "As the victim, 43, stepped into his apartment the first suspect, a black male with a shaved head about 5 feet 8 inches tall who carried a small black semi-auto handgun, allegedly grabbed him from behind and put his arm around his neck. The suspect pointed the gun about two inches from the victim's head. The victim's son, 15, who was inside the apartment with a friend, "immediately got up from a chair and started walking towards his dad to help him," said Wylie. At this time, the son's friend–who happen to have had a BB gun in his hand as he sat on the couch–pointed the BB gun at the gun-wielding suspect and "drew the slide back and released it, which made the BB gun sound like he had just loaded a round into the chamber of a real gun," Wylie said. When the suspects saw the son's friend, 15, point the BB gun at them, they backed out the door. "The suspects likely believed the gun was real," said Wylie. "All three suspects fled on foot to the rear of the complex."

OH: Acquittal in shooting of bouncer: "A man accused of shooting a Carousel Lounge bouncer in the groin and hip two years ago was acquitted of all charges Thursday. His trial began Wednesday, and jurors began deliberating around 2:45 p.m. Thursday. They returned with an acquittal in less than 30 minutes, said defense attorney Stacey Jackson. According to police, a fight happened at the 3003 Victory Drive club when someone bumped or pushed another person around 2:30 a.m. July 12, 2009. Police accused Sims of pulling a gun and shooting a bouncer. Police said the bouncer then tried to take the gun from Sims, which resulted in Sims being shot in the chest. Both were treated at a hospital, and Sims spent 28 days in an intensive care unit. Jackson said the shooting was self-defense and that his client never had a gun. Instead, the shooting happened when Sims wrestled over the bouncer’s gun."

Gosh, Toto: "Kansas was one of those states which, not so long ago, had no provision for ordinary folks to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public. Now, thanks to lots of good, committed activists, they have egalitarian 'shall issue' carry. There has been no blood in the streets, except maybe now and then the blood of violent criminals who suffered a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process."