Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Holder huffs and puffs during House hearing when asked about Fast and Furious

Attorney General Eric Holder slammed the table when responding to a question about Operation Fast and Furious during a Tuesday budget hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

“That was a fundamentally flawed program, fundamentally flawed,” Holder said of Fast and Furious. “And, I think that I can agree with some of my harshest critics that there are legitimate issues that need to be explored with regard in which the way Fast and Furious was carried out.”

“But, I think one thing that also has to be understood is that once this was brought to my attention” — Holder said before slamming his hand on the committee room table he was sitting at — “I stopped it. I stopped it.”

During an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly shortly after Holder’s comments, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa — the lead congressional investigator into the Fast and Furious scandal with Sen. Chuck Grassley — said he and others in Congress don’t think Holder is telling the full truth.

“Well, certainly one of the reasons we doubt the legitimacy of that claim is, on Feb. 4 [2011], we received what was in fact an untruthful, a lie, a false letter that has now been retracted,” Issa said. “Lanny Breuer, one of his chief aides and number three at Justice, was in Mexico lobbying for more gun-walking. Additional evidence shows that [U.S. agent] Jaime Zapata was killed with a similar program weapon. In other words, this was a policy change that happened and continued up until fairly recently. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

In addition, Issa said that if Holder wants to show he’s cooperating with the congressional investigation and is interested in really ending gun-walking, he’d fork over the rest of the lawfully-subpoenaed documents he’s still hiding from Congress. (RELATED: Full coverage of Eric Holder)

“The inspector general at Justice has 80,000 pages and we have 6,000 pages, but even in those 6,000 pages we find damning evidence that high-ranking people in Justice knew all along and not only didn’t stop this program, but believed in it,” Issa said.


Janet Napolitano Claims Ignorance in Second Gun Link to ICE Agent's Murder

Two days ago CBS's Sharyl Attkisson reported that a second gun related to the Obama administration's gunwalking operation had been positively linked to the murder of ICE agent Jaime Zapata on February 15, 2011. Zapata's and fellow agent, Victor Avila's SUV was ambushed as the two men were driving back to Mexico City from a meeting in San Luis Potosi.

According to documents obtained by CBS one of the guns retrieved at the scene was linked directly to a Texas gun trafficker under ATF surveillance for six months prior to Zapata's death. Records show on August 20, 2010 "Barba took delivery of the WASR-10 semi-automatic rifle later used in Zapata's murder, obliterated its serial number, and sent it to Mexico with nine others just like it." The gun eventually made its way to the Zeta drug cartel.

Interestingly, a week before the release of the latest information, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano denied any knowledge of a link between Fast and Furious weapons and the murder of Jaime Zapata.

At a February 15 U.S. House Committee hearing on a proposed DHS budget for 2013, Representative Michael McCaul (R-Austin) honored Zapata's memory by reminding committee members it was the first anniversary of Zapata's murder.

McCaul followed up by asking Napolitano what she knew about the guns connected to one of her murdered agents.

McCaul: Madam secretary, there's been some speculation that the weapons used to kill Agent Zapata may have been possibly linked to the Operation were linked to Fast and Furious. Do you have any information to indicate there is a connection there?"

Napolitano: I have no information to that effect, no. I don't know one way or the other.

The Secretary then indicated it might be conceivable Fast and Furious weapons were tied to Zapata's murder.

"'It's possible', is what you're saying?" McCaul asked.

"I just don't know one way or another," Napolitano answered.

"So you can't conclusively say one way or the other whether there's a link to these weapons and Fast & Furious?" asked McCaul.

"That's true," Napolitano responded.

Getting a little exasperated with questions about the Phoenix-based ATF operation Napolitano sniped, "I didn't know this was a Fast and Furious hearing."

Where's the outrage on Capitol Hill when a top Cabinet official feigns ignorance about a gun smuggling operation going on under her watch? Congress should defund DHS and get rid of Napolitano based on her testimony alone.

Napolitano joins Obama, Holder, and Clinton in playing dumb on Fast and Furious; and they all show contempt for the Zapata and Terry families, Congress, and the American people.


Indiana legislators tighten right to resist police

Indiana lawmakers heeded the wishes of police and prosecutors Tuesday and narrowed a proposal spelling out when people would be legally justified to use force against law officers.

The action by the Indiana House came as lawmakers trying to respond to a public uproar over a state Supreme Court ruling last year that residents could not resist police officers even during an illegal entry.

The change approved Tuesday specifically states that a person who is committing a crime is not justified in using any force against a police officer. Law enforcement groups had told lawmakers they worried the proposal as previously written would spark more violence toward police.

Under the bill, residents would be covered by the state's self-defense law if they reasonably believe force is necessary to protect themselves from unlawful actions by an officer.

Republican Rep. Jud McMillin of Brookville, the bill's sponsor, said he wants to protect common citizens while not increasing the risk to police officers.

"Everybody should have the right to resist someone who is acting unlawfully," he said.

More here

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TX: 71-year-old wounded, returns fire during grocery store robbery: "Armed robbers shot a 71-year-old man Sunday at his grocery store, but he didn’t go down without a fight. After feeling the impact, he grabbed his .380-caliber handgun from under the counter and fired on his assailants, authorities said. He may have put one in the hospital. Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies responded to Perez Grocery Store near Mile 6 ½ West and Mile 7 North about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. There, they found a wounded Carmen Polanco Perez, who told investigators that two gun-toting, Hispanic men had come into his store demanding money. The robbers fled the area and emergency personnel transported Perez to Knapp Medical Center, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released. Moments later, a second man with a gunshot wound arrived at the same hospital. Authorities did not release the man’s identity, but said he underwent emergency surgery. Investigators are trying to determine if he is connected to the armed robbery at Perez Grocery Store."

TX: Robber shot with own gun: "Detectives said Mayes was standing in a Walgreens parking lot in the 6600 block of Tidwell when Reginald O'Neal shoved a gun in his back and demanded the keys to his car. Police said Mayes refused to give up his car or go down without a fight. Officers said Mayes and the suspect struggled, and then the suspect shot Mayes in the leg. Mayes managed to grab the gun from O'Neal and fired back, striking his attacker in the chest, police said. Detectives said Mayes then got in his own car, drove to a safe place and dialed 911. Investigators said O'Neal crawled over to a ditch to hide out until another person drove up and he jumped in the car. However, police said for some reason, O'Neal returned to the scene of his crime and officers took him into custody. Detectives said both the victim and his attacker were rushed to area hospitals for their injuries and are expected to survive. Police said they are questioning a second person"

From the border: "The week of 19-25 February in El Paso, Texas. A woman was struck in Downtown El Paso by a stray bullet from a gunfight in Juarez. Bullet struck her leg and the wound is described as relatively minor. It could have been worse as she was pushing a pram. The round was from an AR-15 and the gunfight was between carjackers and the police. There is some debate as to who did the shooting as the J Town police use ARs. Even with this El Paso, where guns are fairly easy to purchase, remains safer than most cities 'protected' by strict gun laws."

Monday, February 27, 2012

NC: Motel manager shoots invader: "A Charlotte motel manager told Eyewitness News he acted in self-defense when he shot a man outside his motel Sunday morning. Police are still investigating what happened, but the manager said he was afraid for his life after being assaulted by two people trying to break into the lobby. Manager Ricki Patel didn't want Eyewitness News to record the surveillance video because police haven't yet returned to pick up a copy. But he agreed to show the video to reporter Jeff Smith. It showed two men pushing and shoving Patel, even after he took out his gun. "He just kept attacking me,” Patel said. “I just felt fear for my life, like I had no choice.” He fired one time, and hit his attacker in the shoulder. He said police told him the men will be charged with assault, breaking and entering, and communicating threats."

CO: Business owner fights back: "When two armed robbery suspects ambushed and pepper sprayed a Lakewood business owner Saturday night, he pulled out a gun and opened fire - sending one of them to the hospital. Lakewood police Public Information Officer Andrea Joo say two men tried robbing the Cambio de Cheque Check Cashing and Money Service at Colfax Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard around 6:40 p.m. Saturday. The store owner told police that two men approached him as he was closing for the evening. They sprayed him with pepper spray and tried to take the money he was carrying. The store owner fired a handgun at the suspects and wounded one of his attackers. The second suspect got away and Lakewood police are searching for him. Police say the store owner was defending himself and is not facing any charges."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gun phobia in Canada: Father arrested over daughter's gun drawing

Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter's school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun.

Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched. "This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school," he said.

Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family's home. They also said comments by Sansone's daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and "he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters," was concerning.

Police also searched Sansone's home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children's Services.

Sansone's wife, Stephanie Squires, told the newspaper no one told them why her husband had been arrested. "He had absolutely no idea what this was even about. I just kept telling them, 'You're making a mistake.'"

Several hours later, Sansone was released without charges.


CO: Senior deals with aggressive dogs: "Linton, an Army retiree, was in his house on Portrait Place around 4 p.m., when he heard dogs fighting in his backyard. His German shepherd Max was fighting with a pit bull and a boxer that had jumped his 6-foot fence. He dragged Max inside and went to warn the neighbors. He and his wife yelled to a woman who was walking two smaller dogs. But it was too late, and the vicious dogs came tearing at her. "Oh, my God, help me," the woman cried out, according to Linton. Linton retrieved his Smith & Wesson revolver, went outside and tried to separate the dogs. The pit bull lunged at him. He pointed the gun against its neck and fired. Said Linton, "I shot him twice and he went two doors down and died." He hit the boxer in the head with the gun but it kept coming at him, so he shot at it and it ran off. Police said Linton will not face charges in connection with the incident. The owner of the attacking dogs, Brittainy Fahr, was cited Friday on two counts of unlawful ownership of a dangerous animal."

New Government Initiative Would Circumvent Second Amendment By Targeting Ammunition Not Guns: "With over 10 million guns sold in the United States in 2011, violent crime rising significantly as the economic crisis worsens, and self defense killings sky rocketing, it’s becoming increasingly unpopular for politicians to call for restrictions on firearms. If anything, even though government officials in states like Illinois and New Jersey are attempting to outlaw guns completely, the public outcry has been deafening, with each attempt met by protests and solidarity from individual rights and gun advocates all over the country. But, even though the strategy of attacking our second Amendment is wholly unpopular and failing miserably, misguided government officials are beginning to explore ever more novel ways of circumventing the US Constitution and Second Amendment altogether. Like New Jersey’s recent attempt to ban ammunition, Illinois is now taking aim at ammo. This latest legislation would add a surtax to every box of ammunition sold, and if allowed, would set an alarming precedent that effectively threatens our ability to utilize a firearm for its intended purpose."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

OH: 78-year-old shoots teen trying to break into his home: "A 78-year-old man said he acted in self-defense Thursday night when he shot a teen trying to break into his Cleveland home. Ted Ziolkowksi rents the house on the 7400 block of Clement Avenue. He said he was staying there last night because he was making some repairs to his place. Around 11 p.m. Ziolkowski heard a knock on his back door, but didn't answer. Moments later, he heard someone trying to break in. He said he pushed the door open and shot the intruder. "I just fired a shot at him. He was standing right there. I just fired one shot and my gun jammed,” Ziolkowski said. Officials told NewsChannel5 the intruder is a 17-year-old boy. Police reports said the teen was shot in his torso and when police responded, a hand gun, a pry bar and a head scarf were laying next him. He was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center."

Woman shoots pitbull: "The woman told the officer that she, her children, and their dachshund were in their fenced backyard on Bear Drive after 5 p.m. when her dog started barking next to the fence, and the pit bull came over to the fence and started climbing it. The woman said she put her children inside her house, shut the door, and called her dog to come to her, but the pit bull jumped up on the fence and was about to get over so she shot one round at the dog, police said. The woman told the officer she was in fear for herself, her children, and her dog and that she had called Animal Control about this dog in the past. Another officer found the pit bull with its owner who said her children had accidentally let the dog out, told the owner about the incident, and took the pit bull to Animal Control, according to the police report."

Gang-related shooting was self-defense: "The gunman allegedly responsible for the death of a 15-year-old won’t stand trial in part because he acted in self-defense, police said. Lafourche Sheriff Craig Webre and District Attorney Cam Morvant II said they will reopen the case if new information becomes available, but for now no one will be held accountable for Jamonta Miles’ death. Byron Thomas, 21, shot Miles Jan. 2 during a confrontation while seeking rival groups in Raceland, police said. He was never arrested or named as a suspect. Authorities did say they singled out a “person of interest,” but they never identified him by name. A Facebook feud between the Midland gang Young Niggas in Charge, which included Miles, and Raceland residents led to the shooting, police have said."

Friday, February 24, 2012

MO: Jury acquits father-in-law in fatal shooting: "A McDonald County jury decided Thursday that James Patterson acted in self-defense when he shot and killed his son-in-law, Marty Reece, in Noel more than two years ago. Jurors deliberated less than three hours before acquitting Patterson, 51. While neither of the Pattersons took the witness stand in their own defense, their attorney, Duane Cooper, argued that his clients were defending their daughter who had been beaten up by Reece and that they never introduced the gun into the dispute until Reece was getting the better of them and they were taking a beating. Reece and Jindy Patterson, who had a son in common, were undergoing a divorce and not living together at the time. Court records showed that she had taken out a protection order against him in April of that year and the order was still in effect the night of the domestic assault and shooting. Trial testimony established that Reece became considerably more intoxicated than Patterson. The medical examiner determined he died with a blood-alcohol content almost twice the legal threshold for driving in Missouri."

WA: homeowner shoots burglar with shotgun: "Seattle police say that a 66-year-old South Seattle homeowner shot and wounded a burglar this morning. Police were called to a home in the 5200 block of Rainier Avenue South, in Columbia City, just after 1 a.m. on a report of a shooting. Police also were notified by King County Metro that there was a passenger with what appeared to be a gunshot wound had boarded a bus, said police spokesman Mark Jamieson. Officers went to Rainier Avenue South and South Andover Street and found the 37-year-old alleged burglar. He has a wound on his left arm apparently caused by a “shotgun pellet,” Jamieson said. Police spoke with the homeowner who said he was awakened sometime after midnight to a banging sound and thought it might be a burglar. The homeowner grabbed a shotgun he had in the bedroom and walked toward the main part of the house. The front door was open and a stranger was there holding something. The homeowner ordered the stranger to lie down on the floor, police said. When the burglar did not comply, the homeowner fired his shotgun once."

OH: Clerk indicted for killing man in robbery: "An employee of a North Toledo convenience store who shot and killed a man attempting to rob him was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury Thursday on a charge of voluntary manslaughter. Bandar Abu-Karsh, 28, of Moore Street, was charged with the shooting death of Lamar Allen, 25, who died Nov. 21 as the result of multiple gunshot wounds. Allen was with another man when they entered the Express Carryout on Mulberry Street and attempted to rob it. If convicted of the charge, Mr. Abu-Karsh faces up to 11 years in prison. A summons will be issued for him to appear in court for an arraignment, which has not yet been set. John Weglian, chief of the special units division of the prosecutor’s office, said that the issue the grand jury had to consider was whether self defense applied to Mr. Abu-Karsh’s actions throughout the entire incident."

NH: Disgraceful charges dropped: "A New Hampshire District Attorney has dropped a felony charge against 61-year-old Dennis Fleming bringing an end to a case that sparked national outrage. Last Saturday, the great-grandfather fired a warning shot into the ground to get the attention of an accused burglar. Under the reckless conduct felony charge leveled against him, Fleming faced the same amount of time in jail as the suspected burglar, three and a half to seven years. "I'll tell you, I didn't know how much stress I was under until I heard they dropped the charges this morning, and it's just melting away," Fleming told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti. Fleming calls it a "tremendous relief." Over the weekend, Farmington Police charged Fleming with reckless conduct for firing a warning shot into the ground several feet away from both men. He says he was trying to stop a burglar he caught diving head first out of his neighbor's window."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WA: Homeowner shoots would-be burglar in head: "A would-be burglar was taken to the hospital Tuesday night after a homeowner shot him in the head. The homeowner said he was sleeping just before 6 p.m. when he heard his doorbell ring. He ignored it, but moments later he heard what sounded like glass shattering. The man said he dialed 911 and grabbed a nearby gun before leaving his bedroom to investigate the noise. The man soon noticed that his sliding glass door had been broken and two men were standing in his house. He fired at least one shot, hitting one of the intruders in the head. The other man ran away. Miraculously, West said the wounded man was speaking to emergency workers and is expected to survive the injury."

MD: home intruder shot by woman: "A home intruder was shot and found dead more than a mile away from a house that he was trying to break into, police in Baltimore County said. At about 9 a.m., police said they received a call for a burglary in progress with shots fired from a house in the 11500 block of Glen Arm Road in Glen Arm. Investigators told 11 News that the female homeowner saw the man as she came out of a bedroom, and she fired her handgun at him. "The burglar also fired several rounds. The suspect was struck by the homeowner," said Baltimore County police spokesman Lt. Rob McCullough. Detectives said the wounded intruder got into a black pickup truck, drove about two miles and parked the vehicle on the lower lot of Sanders Corner Restaurant on Cromwell Bridge Road. Authorities said officers found the man dead inside the vehicle wearing camouflage or hunting gear."

Maine man describes home invasion shooting: "A 24-year-old man said he was in a fight for his life when he shot two Bangor men who forced their way into his apartment, mortally wounding one of them. The shooting took place about 9 a.m. Thursday, when a woman and two men he didn't know burst into his apartment in Hermon, Daniel Williams said. One man came at him with a knife and cut him on the abdomen, he said. One of the men then hit him over the head with an electric guitar before both of them kicked him and his roommate while they were on the floor. When he broke free, Williams grabbed his .22-caliber handgun from his bedroom and shot one of the intruders, 19-year-old Philip McIntyre, in the leg, he told the Bangor Daily News. He shot the other man, 30-year-old Robert Dellairo, in the hip when Dellairo lunged at him a short time later outside the apartment. Dellairo later died of his injures. McIntyre was treated at a Bangor hospital and was being charged with burglary. "They attacked me in my home, and I had to protect myself," Williams said."

MO: Homeowner shoots at subjects after being attacked: "The Sheriff’s Office received another call from the residences. The reporting party had gone into a barn located on the property to check on his horses. When he entered the building, the subject wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, attacked him, knocking him to the ground. After a brief scuffle the subjects again fled towards the wooded area. The victim stated he had fired several rounds and believes he may have hit one of the subjects."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Some lessons from history

What criminals think of gun control

KY: Father shoots two in home invasion attempt: "Marty McKinney didn’t know what to think at first, when his quiet night was interrupted by two car loads of people, who came up to his house on Charles Burton Rd. in Eubank just after 2 o’clock Sunday morning. “They must have run up here ...They threw a rock about this big through the bedroom window,” said McKinney Monday, while pretending to hold up a basketball size rock. Police say Hank Smith kicked in McKinney's front door and Anthony Thomas and Damian Demond Boyd threw rocks through his windows. “And they started kicking on the door. Kicked this window out of track. I got my gun and started shooting,” said McKinney. McKinney’s 4 and 6 year old children slept through the whole ordeal, and no one inside his house was hurt, but the same cannot be said for two of the alleged intruders. Police say Smith and a 15 year old were hit by the gunfire. Neither had life threatening injuries. Boyd, Smith and Thomas are facing charges relating to attempted burglary, theft and kidnapping. Police say they believe McKinney acted in self defense."

AZ: Man says self defense led to criminal charges -- later dropped: "A dispute between motorists on a rural stretch of Highway 61, July 1, 2010, led to 16 months of uncertainty, mired in the legal system, for a Concho man who was charged with a felony, disorderly conduct with a weapon. An Apache County Sheriff’s deputy charged Andrew Noel Pino with the felony in the case and determined that the Iowa truck driver involved in the altercation was a victim. The Apache County Attorney’s office dropped the charges in the “Interests of Justice,” on May 27, 2011."

New Hampshire man arrested for firing gun into ground while catching suspected burglar: "A New Hampshire man who fired his handgun into the ground to scare an alleged burglar he caught crawling out of a neighbor's window is now facing a felony charge -- and the same potential prison sentence as the man he stopped. Dennis Fleming, 61, of Farmington, was arrested for reckless conduct after the Saturday incident at his 19th century farmhouse. The single grandfather had returned home to find that his home had been burglarized and spotted Joseph Hebert, 27, climbing out of a window at a neighbor's home. Fleming said he yelled "Freeze!" before firing his gun into the ground, then held Hebert at gunpoint until police arrived. No one was injured in the incident. County Attorney Tom Velardi told Foster's Daily Democrat he will review the case and determine if the charge against Fleming is appropriate under the state statutes regarding self-defense and defense of property."

SC: Animal Rights Drone Shot Down by Hunters

(Bamberg County, South Carolina) Last week, an animal rights group launched a video-equipped helicopter drone to monitor a pigeon shooting range at Broxton Bridge Plantation in South Carolina.

Within minutes, hunters blasted the drone out of the sky.
A group called SHARK, which stands for Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, had publicized their plans to use the drone to record the pigeon shoot at Broxton Bridge Plantation in South Carolina.
The drone suffered $200 to $300 in damage from being shot down. The sheriff was notified of the incident. (More….)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mexico Posts Huge 3 Ton Sign on Border Reading, “NO MORE WEAPONS!”

Attention Attorney General Eric Holder! President Felipe Calderon on line one:
President Felipe Calderon on Thursday unveiled a “No More Weapons!” billboard made with crushed firearms and placed near the U.S. border. He urged the United States to stop the flow of weapons into Mexico.

The billboard, which is in English and weighs 3 tons, was placed near an international bridge in Ciudad Juarez and can be seen from the United States.

Calderon said the billboard’s letters were made with weapons seized by local, state and federal authorities.

“Dear friends of the United States, Mexico needs your help to stop this terrible violence that we’re suffering,” Calderon said in English during the unveiling ceremony.

“The best way to do this is to stop the flow of automatic weapons into Mexico,” he added.

As far as I know, Fast and Furious isn’t operating any more.


FL: A DEFENSIVE pistol-whipping in a Wal-Mart: "Two young men shoved a 42-year-old customer to the floor as he reached for a pack of razors near the pharmacy, Orlando police Lt. John Holysz said. Alarmed customers at the store on Semoran Boulevard near Lake Margaret Drive began shrieking, he said. Meanwhile, the younger men punched the older one, Holysz said. But they picked the wrong guy. The older man had a gun in a holster and used it to pistol whip one of his assailants, police said. The younger men ran away, and police are looking for them. One sustained a large cut to the head. The older man, a local resident whose name was not released, used the gun "as a battering ram," Holysz said. "It stopped the fight," the lieutenant said. It's unclear what provoked the violence. The man told officers that it could have been a look that the assailants didn't like. Security video backs up his version of events, Holysz said."

Chicago: Robbery suspect, boy wounded during attempted hold-up: "Authorities said a would-be robber was recovering at an area hospital under police guard this morning after he was shot with his own weapon during an early evening attempted street hold-up on the city's West Side. A 10-year-old boy was also wounded when the gunman and his intended target struggled over the weapon inside a convenience store in the 700 block of South Pulaski Road in the Lawndale neighborhood, police said. At about 5:45 p.m. Sunday, the 26-year-old victim was accosted by two men, one of them armed with a handgun, on Pulaski, but ran into the nearby store hoping to evade them, police said, citing early reports. But the gunman followed the man into the store and the two soon struggled over the weapon. During the struggle, the gun discharged, striking the gunman in the left leg, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit, because the bullet struck an artery, police said. The victim was unharmed. The hospitalized man is a convicted felon with a pending weapons and narcotics case"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Minnesota gun and self-defense laws could see major changes: "Minnesota gun and self-defense laws could be set for some major changes if Bill 1467 is signed into law. It's an attempt to enhance the rights of homeowners during an intrusion, and broaden permit-to-carry law. Bill 1467 states: An individual taking defensive action may use all force and means, including deadly force. It presumes a person using deadly force has reasonable belief that imminent harm exists. The bill also redefines a "dwelling" to include front and back yards as well as motor vehicles. The bill also includes articles that would recognize permit-to-carry licenses from every other state and restrict peace-officers from taking firearms during a time of public emergency. The bill already passed the Minnesota House last spring. Making only minor changes to the bill, it passed the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 10 - 5."

Possible progress in CA: "Judges have routinely held that denying permits to carry loaded firearms in public does not infringe on gun owners' right to keep and bear arms. But now, some gun owners hope that courts will soon reverse course and find that they have a right to secretly tote their weapons in public. Ironically, their optimism stems from a piece of gun control legislation that took effect last month and bans them from openly carrying even unloaded handguns. Courts have upheld local law enforcement officials' authority to deny concealed weapons permits in part because "you had the opportunity to openly carry an unloaded weapon and in the event of an emergency you can quickly load and defend yourself," said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America." "Now that option has been taken off the table."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The deceased (Marlon Barber) above

NC: Man dies in apparent robbery attempt: "A man is dead after authorities say he attempted to rob a Lee Street homeowner late Saturday night. The suspect broke into a home at 813 N. Lee St. and “pistol-whipped” the occupant. But the homeowner was able to get the gun and shoot the suspect. Salisbury Police confirmed the struggle and that the would-be robber tried to run away around the corner from the house. Police didn’t identify the dead man pending notification of relatives. He died on the front porch of a nearby home at 125 E. Steele St. of a gunshot wound, said Salisbury Police Capt. Shelia Lingle. The homeowners at 125 E. Steele St. were home at the time of the incident, around 10:30 p.m. The North Lee Street homeowner, a 47-year-old man, was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and as a precaution, Lingle said."

Conservatives and enthusiasts cheer the end of Canada's long-gun registry: "The Conservative government says its MPs will celebrate after a historic vote to end the long-gun registry Wednesday evening, despite vehement opposition to the move in Quebec and much of urban Canada. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters Wednesday, hours before the vote, that the government’s actions are long overdue. “It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life,” he said. “It criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.” The federal law will end the requirement for lawful gun owners to register their long guns, and it relaxes rules around selling or transferring guns. Gun licences for individuals will still be required, and the registry for restricted and prohibited firearms such as handguns will be maintained." [The Senate also has a Conservative majority so it will in due course pass there too]

Saturday, February 18, 2012

CA oldster has shootout with burglar: "When a residential burglar fired a gun at Jay Leone last month, he was initially too angry to realize he had been shot in the head, he testified Friday. "To tell you the truth, I never felt a thing," said Leone, 90, of Greenbrae. "I said, 'F—- you, you son of a bitch, now it's my turn.'" Whereupon he shot five bullets at the suspect from his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson snubnose revolver, hitting the burglar three times in the abdomen. A scuffle ensued between the wounded men. "Then he took the gun and put it to my head — click!" said Leone, who knew there were no bullets left in the gun. "And that was the end of that. He ran away." Leone testified at the preliminary hearing of the suspect, Samuel Joseph Cutrufelli, who is charged with attempted murder, burglary, robbery and firearms offenses by a felon."

FL: Shootout kills woman and baby: "A jury on Friday convicted a Bradenton man [above] of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 19-year-old pregnant woman during a home invasion in 2009. egory Kennon, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after the jury found him guilty of the murders of Crystal Johnson and her unborn daughter after a weeklong trial that ended Friday. Johnson, seven months pregnant, was shot by an intruder after her boyfriend, Lawrence Funsch, exchanged gunfire with men who kicked in the door of her mother's home in the DeSoto Village Apartments on Fifth Street East in July 11, 2009. A total of nine shots were fired during the 1:20 a.m. gun battle, and authorities believe that both of the intruders were wounded before they ran away. Two drops of Kennon's blood were found outside the apartment, and when police arrested him 12 days after the shooting they discovered an injury on his right arm consistent with a gunshot wound." Another alleged participant in the home invasion, Everrick Houston, was charged with murder."

Friday, February 17, 2012

OH: Drive-thru owner shoots robber: "A drive-thru owner acted in self-defense when he shot and wounded a robber who fired first this week, according to Cincinnati police. Two men entered C&D Drive-Thru, 1979 North Bend Rd., through a rear door about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, a police report states. One of them, Zachery Herzog, 26, allegedly took a wine bottle and refused to pay. Herzog shoved the clerk, James Edwards, out of the way and tried to grab cash from the register while his accomplice, Michael Ozier, 25, held Edwards at gunpoint, the report reads. Unbeknownst to the suspects, the store owner, Wesley Han, 39, was back in his office, watching it all unfold on his security camera. He grabbed his gun - the one he has kept close since his store was robbed at gunpoint just last year - and crept into the store. That’s when, police say, the gunman fired at the clerk. Luckily, the shot missed - but the store owner’s didn’t. He aimed his gun and squeezed the trigger several times, striking Ozier in the chest, abdomen, right leg and right arm, according to the report."

TX: Man holds robber at gunpoint until police arrive: "When Rick Melartin of Bellaire, Texas heard his neighbor calling for help Monday morning, he sprang into action. Melartin's neighbor had just been robbed at gunpoint as he was getting into his car. The robber got distracted and the victim grabbed his gun and screamed. Melartin called 911 and came outside with his pistol. The robber took off without his gun and headed for an 89-year-old neighbor's backyard. He told the robber to stop or that he would shoot. He said he fired his .50 caliber gun into the ground as a warning shot. "When this baby goes off, you know. You know that I mean business," Melartin said. He was able to wrestle Joseph Anthony Smith, Jr., 20, to the ground and take him away, at gunpoint, to police."

SAF appeals judge’s dismissal of Moore v. Madigan carry case: "The Second Amendment Foundation immediately filed an appeal following dismissal of its challenge to Illinois statutes that prohibit the carrying of loaded firearms outside the home for personal protection in the case of Moore v. Madigan. The case is named for individual plaintiff Michael Moore, and defendant Lisa Madigan in her capacity as Illinois Attorney General."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Issa takes step toward holding Holder in contempt of Congress

On Tuesday Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took a major step toward holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide subpoenaed documents and other information about Operation Fast and Furious.

In a Jan. 31 letter, Issa had threatened Holder with such a move if he failed to provide all the subpoenaed documents relating to the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal by Feb. 9. That deadline has come and gone, and Holder’s Department of Justice still hasn’t provided most of those documents. Issa’s subpoena dates back to Oct. 12, 2011.

On Tuesday in a seven-page letter, Issa revealed that Deputy Attorney General James Cole begged Congress to extend the Feb. 9 deadline. Issa wrote that the request was “ironic” and “ignores the reality that the Department has unreasonably delayed producing these documents to the Committee.”

“On its face, the requested extension demonstrates a lack of good faith,” Issa wrote to Holder. “With one exception, the Department has only produced documents responsive to the subpoena on the eve of congressional hearings in which senior Department officials testified. The Department appears to be more concerned with protecting its image through spin control than actually cooperating with Congress.”

“We cannot wait any longer for the Department’s cooperation,” Issa continued. “As such, please specify a date by which you expect the Department to produce all documents responsive to the subpoena. In addition, please specify a Department representative who will interface with the Committee for production purposes.”

Issa added that whoever Holder designates as the go-to DOJ official for delivering subpoenaed documents “should also serve as the conduit for dealing with the contempt proceedings, should the Department continue to ignore the Committee’s subpoena.” (RELATED: Full coverage of Eric Holder)

The California Republican slammed Holder, too, for claiming the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious was a political game for Republicans.


CA: Man wrestles away gun, kills intruder: "An Antioch man at home with his young son disarmed an 18-year-old man who kicked in his front door and shot him dead with his own gun, the second time in three months that a resident in the city has fought back with deadly results, police said Tuesday. The latest incident happened about 8:20 p.m. Monday, when a resident on the 4800 block of Wexler Peak Way heard his doorbell ring, said acting police Lt. Diane Aguinaga. The resident, who was home with his 7-year-old son, did not answer the doorbell right away and then peered out a window, only to see his front door being kicked in "pretty aggressively," Aguinaga said. "He just jumps the guy and realizes the guy has a gun," Aguinaga said. "He somehow (got) it away from him" and shot the intruder three times in the torso, then called police, she said. The intruder died at the scene, and his semiautomatic handgun was recovered. He was identified as 18-year-old Jeremiah Stovall of Antioch, who police say had a criminal history that included weapons violations."

MI: Homeowner says he shot man in self-defense: "A Barry County homeowner says he took matters into his own hands Monday morning and shot a man he claims was trying to break into his home. The incident happened around 7:00 am Monday morning on Boyson Road near 9 Mile Road in Orangeville. Investigators with the Barry County Sheriff's Department are looking at whether the shooting is actually self defense. The homeowner says he shot an intruder, but deputies are looking at who should be charged. The man who was shot was hit in the stomach. He was taken to a Kalamazoo hospital and his injuries are not considered life-threatening. “A small caliber firearm that was used and a 24-year-old was injured,” said Sheriff Leaf, “and we really can't go into too much detail because we really have a lot of work to do on this one here.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Preemption Enhancement Bill Moving in Pennsylvania

NRA reports that the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee passed the pre-emption bill today by a vote of 19-4. All of the Republicans who voted went in our favor, and six of the Democrats joined them. Politically speaking, the only name that jumps out at me as odd to want to pick a fight on gun rights in 2012 is Rep. Eugene DePasquale. He’s running for a statewide office, though one that NRA doesn’t grade on (to the best of my knowledge).

In the alert, NRA notes that the bill could be on the House floor as soon as Wednesday. They are asking people to call their state representatives to make sure that no poison pill amendments are added to the legislation.

If enacted, House Bill 1523 would help eliminate the need for litigation by gun owners who have been unduly burdened by local ordinances which violate the current state firearm preemption law.

Citizens with no criminal intent should not be placed in jeopardy of running afoul of local restrictions they don’t even know exist simply because they have crossed from one municipality to another.

That would be nice. What a crazy concept that citizens won’t bear such a high burden of pointing out that a government shouldn’t be making illegal laws.


CA: Resident scares off alleged home invaders with gunfire: "The sheriff's office was notified at approximately 7 a.m. on Sunday that an attempted home invasion robbery allegedly had just occurred on the 100 block of Robinson Road in Orick. Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and met with two victims, a 26-year-old female and a 35-year-old male, according to a release from the sheriff's office. According to the release, the victims told the deputies that they were asleep with their 3-year-old child when two adult males, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and wearing all black, forced their way into the residence and into the bedroom. They said the suspects were armed with possibly a rifle or shotgun and a handgun. The male victim was able to obtain a handgun during the robbery attempt, which he fired several times at the suspects, according to the release. The suspects reportedly immediately fled in an unknown direction and did not appear to take anything from the home."

FL: Robber killed in scuffle near club: "Police say a man and woman leaving a popular nightclub in Allapattah were confronted before the man fired his gun. Michael Anthony Lawrence, 39, died of gunshot wounds shortly after he was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami police Sgt. Freddie Cruz said. His shooter, identified as 28-year-old Wilmen Diaz, was questioned but not arrested. “The state attorney’s office is reviewing the case with our homicide unit,” Cruz said. “He has not been formally charged with anything.” Authorities say Diaz was leaving the Club Típico Dominicano, 1344 NW 36th St., with a woman about 12:17 a.m. Moments later, the couple was confronted by Lawrence and Marcell Donell Brown, who is 27. Neither of the two men were armed, Cruz said. During the confrontation, Diaz pulled a gun and shot at both men, Cruz said, adding that he has a gun permit. At the time of the shooting, Lawrence was on probation on convictions for resisting arrest with violence, possession of marijuana and selling cocaine in 2009."

Drink up with your Valentine at Starbucks: "Today is supposed to see the launch of a boycott by gun prohibitionists against Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks because that business has the audacity to serve all customers rather than become a pawn in a game of social bigotry targeting legally-armed citizens. Northwest rights activists on at least four popular firearms forums have clearly indicated they will be countering this boycott with their business. It’s a text book example of the 'Money Talks, B.S. Walks' principle."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Media Silent As Mexico Arrests Key Figure In Fast and Furious

I think late January and February have been the busiest time for Operation Fast & Furious. The media still doesn’t give it proper coverage, especially this news: On February 4th, Mexico arrests a key figure in Fast & Furious. Not only is he a key person in Fast & Furious, but he was also a top lieutenant to El Chapo. I first found out about it on Borderland Beat, a great website keeping us up to date about the drug war in Mexico. The Los Angeles Times reported it on February 7th and my colleague AWR Hawkins published commenrary on February 8th. Silence from media.

This is HUGE for Mexico and for us. The suspect is Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo aka “El Marrufo” or “El Jaguar.” He was the head of la Gente Nueva in Chihuahua and the Sinaloa cartel’s top man in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most dangerous city.

He was also wanted in the US for drug trafficking and the recipient of high powered weapons from Operation Fast and Furious. He owned the home that was raided in April 2011 that had the guns from Fast & Furious.

This is GREAT news for everyone in America and Mexico, including Mr. Holder — yet I don’t hear anything from the media. A Google search yielded just three actual posts on this subject.

Thank you LA Times for reporting this, but this is another case that confirms my suspicions: If the AP doesn’t write about it the majority of the Old Media will ignore it.


PA: Shooter Claims Self Defense: "New details are emerging about the fatal shooting in Great Bend Township Saturday afternoon. According to court records Lloyd Thomas admitted to police that he shot Joshua Rogers and Gilberto Alvarez and said he was acting in self defense. Investigators are still trying to figure out why the two men who lived nearby in Hallstead were on the Thomas family property. A friend tells us both men were military veterans, and served overseas. Police tell Fox 40 both men had criminal records and one had a shotgun in his possession. The Thomas family was in the gun business. They had a shop in Lenox that was destroyed by arson in 2010, and had a small gun shop on their property."

OH: Robbers out of luck: "A Lucky Heaven employee told sheriff’s deputies that two women, who he later identified as the Wallaces, played games at the Plain Township business before the robbery. After the last customer left, the women sat next to each other and talked. The younger woman then opened the emergency exit in the back, and in came a masked man holding a gun — thought by authorities to be a BB gun — and zip ties. The employee said he shot twice with his .40-caliber pistol, causing the masked robber to bend over and prompting the older woman, Tonya Wallace, to remark, “You did not have to shoot him,” according to a sheriff’s office report. The suspects fled in her car. Wallace dropped Moore, who was shot in the chest, at Mercy Medical Center, then drove her daughter to a hospital in Akron for treatment of a shoulder wound"

NY: Marine guns for justice: "Manhattan prosecutors have quietly offered a no-jail, misdemeanor deal to the retired young Marine facing a mandatory 3 1/2-year prison sentence after trying to check his Indiana-registered handgun at the Empire State Building, court papers reveal. But former TOW gunner Ryan Jerome -- who has garnered letter-writing support from hundreds of current and former Marines -- is saying no thanks and continues to ask that the case be dropped altogether." [He's on firm legal ground. There has to be a "mens rea" (intention) for an offense to be committed]

Monday, February 13, 2012

CA: Crooked drug dealer gets shot: "A Fairfield man was shot in the leg during an apparent robbery attempt in south Santa Rosa late Friday night, police said. Under further questioning, Cleveland and Kobrin said they’d met Simmons after arranging to buy marijuana from him, police said. Simmons instead pulled a gun and attempted to rob them, until Kobrin - who was wearing a gun and ammunition - fired at Simmons, hitting his leg, and they were able to run from the scene, police said. Simmons was expected to have surgery on Saturday, but was not believed to have life-threatening injuries, Fraga said."

Self defense with guns is commonm: "Our study examines a variety of incident types: concealed-weapon permit holders (285 accounts); home invasions (1,227 incidents); residential burglaries (488). There are categories that we would never have thought were all that common: 172 incidents where people defended themselves from animal attacks (some wild, some dogs gone wild); 34 were incidents where pizza delivery drivers defended themselves from robbery. Startled? You might think from how rarely stories like this go national that defensive gun use is relatively rare in America."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

KY: Boyfriend scares off robber with gun: "A Laurel County woman took matters into her own hands when she fought against an attempted robber who had a gun. "I went and before I got to the door the door opened and this guy come in with a mask on," says Brenda, the homeowner. Brenda says she acted instinctively. "I grabbed him at the top of the mask trying to pull that off. I was grabbing him and kicking him at the same time," remembers Brenda. Her boyfriend by that time was able to spring into action. "He pulled me out of the way and got his gun and told him he better leave and get out of the house," says Brenda. The would-be robber did what he could to cover up his tracks. Police say he wrecked his getaway vehicle, a 4-wheeler, burned his mask and went home, where he was supposed to be on house arrest. Police followed the clues and just a few hours later they arrested Finley Hall."

Illegal gun ordinances are targeted in proposed Pennsylvania law: "On the issue of whether local gun ordinances can be enacted and enforced, as was done in Allentown and dozens of other municipalities across the state, we really do have rogue behavior by authorities. State law, unequivocally, says this: "A municipality shall not enact any ordinance or take any other action dealing with the regulation of the transfer, ownership, or possession of firearms." Outlaws in Allentown and other cities enacted measures that sound reasonable, but are still illegal and probably just a scheme to get a foot in the door so more sinister measures can be slipped by later. At issue are ordinances requiring people to report the loss or theft of firearms. To crack down on such illegal ordinances, House Bill 1523 provides sanctions, in the form of a $5,000 civil penalty and, more significantly, a provision for triple damages involving the cost of litigation when a citizen takes legal action against a municipality for such violations."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

CA: Gunman shot; bystander killed in shootout: "The gunfight at Fly Cuts & Styles killed two people, but only one of them is a victim in the complaint filed by Sacramento County prosecutors. While Monique Nelson died a hero while shielding her son from flying bullets outside the Stockton Boulevard barbershop, the other person gunned down, Marvion Barksdale, instigated the shooting, according to the District Attorney's Office. "But for Marvion being killed, Marvion would have been a lead defendant in this case, because Marvion is the one who set this chain of events in motion," Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett said Friday. "Marvion walked up to the barbershop, gun in hand," the prosecutor added."

FL: Clerk shot while chasing off robber: "One look at the Big Star Liquors store surveillance video from January 18th and you can see why Groth is happy to be alive. Groth was working that night when two men tried to rob the store. Marianna Police said Hakhelius Moore, 18 years old, walked inside and immediately pulled out a gun. Groth instantly reacted with his own weapon and the two men exchanged fire. "Whenever I sit there on my computer I always have my gun," said Groth. It ended with the suspect running out of the store and Groth with gun shot wounds to the arm and neck. Groth spent more than two weeks in the hospital. He was released Sunday February 5th and went back home with his parents where a nurse comes by weekly to check on his condition.

TX: Store owner shoots black trespasser: "A northwest Houston food store owner shot and killed a man he said was trying to rob him, but police did not find a gun on the man, investigators said Friday. Houston police said the 49-year-old owner of the New Land Food Store, 822 West Little York, called 911 at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and said a man was trespassing. Investigators said Terrance Hall, 33, was agitated when he entered the store and tried to get into a back room. When he couldn't, he climbed onto an ATM machine, over plexiglass and fell behind the counter, police said. During a confrontation, the store owner, Thom Vu, grabbed a gun and fired several shots, investigators said. "(Hall) sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased," said Brian Evans with HPD Homicide. Police said they did not find a weapon on Hall. Hall's relatives said he had a troubled past and a criminal history, but they know he had no intention of harming Vu."

Good move in Georgia: "State Rep. Jason Spencer introduced legislation that will allow residents to carry a concealed firearm without first having to get a permit from the government. Rep. Spencer told Georgia Gun Owners that, “Law-abiding citizens should not have to be fingerprinted and cataloged like common criminals just to be able to defend themselves, their family and their property.” Indeed, violent thugs will not show up at the police station or sheriff’s office to apply for a permit. Yet, law-abiding gun owners are forced to apply for a permit, pay fees that can total more than $100, submit fingerprints, and then wait for approval. All that to exercise what is supposed to be a fundamental, individual right."

Friday, February 10, 2012

TX: Mother chases off home invaders with gun: "Investigators have made an arrest in a home invasion near Lake Houston, thanks in part to fingerprints left at the crime scene. The home invasion happened Wednesday, on Yonder Way in the Commons subdivision. According to Harris County deputy constables, a mother and her 10-year-old son were home by themselves when two robbers broke in. The woman put her son in a closet and grabbed her gun, shooting at – but missing – one of the suspects. On Thursday, deputies said they caught one of those suspects, Bradley Wayne Turner. They believe the other suspect is Turner’s brother, Dennis."

FL: Shooter high on testosterone gets shot: "No criminal charges will be filed against the Martin County Fire Rescue lieutenant who fatally shot his brother-in-law in a family confrontation last month at a Palm City home, according to reports released Thursday from the Martin County Sheriff's Office. Investigative reports provide more details to the Jan. 8 incident where Vernon "Sonny" Chason fatally shot his sister-in-law, Pamela Richardson, 49, as he attempted to shoot his estranged wife, Anna Chason, 55. John Richardson, 54, Pamela's husband, fatally shot Vernon Chason, while being critically shot himself. Anna Chason and the Richardsons were at the home with four others getting Anna Chason's belongings when Vernon Chason arrived and later started shooting. "The facts show that he (Vernon Chason) shot Pamela Richardson at a fairly close range and was shooting at his wife and Lt. Richardson," Denton said. "I think Lt. Richardson protected several others from getting shot."

Thursday, February 09, 2012

CO: Home Intruder Shot, Killed: "Denver police say a home intruder was shot and killed and a resident was wounded as the two men struggled over a gun early Wednesday. Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said a man was awakened about 2:20 a.m. by an intruder in his home at 3469 W. Ninth Ave. As the resident and the intruder struggled over the gun, several shoots were fired striking both men, Jackson said. It wasn't clear who owned the gun. The intruder died at the scene, Jackson said. The resident, who was wounded in his lower torso and leg, was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. It appeared the two men knew one other and might even be related, Jackson said. But investigators have not had an opportunity to talk with the wounded resident"

SC: Wife shoots husband in butt after he beat son: "Deputies said they were called to an Inman residence Tuesday night after a domestic dispute led to the wife shooting her husband in self-defense. Spartanburg County deputies said they were called to the County Estates Road residence about 8:24 p.m. where they found Robert Fowler, 43, lying and screaming on the ground with a gunshot wound to the buttocks and his wife holding the gun. Deputies said they determined that Fowler got into a fight with his son, pushing him and beating him in the face, and his wife tried to separate them before shooting him. Investigators said she would not be charged because she shot Fowler in self-defense. Fowler was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries before he was transported to the detention center, according to deputies. He was charged with criminal domestic violence first offense and second-degree assault and battery."

MI: Detroit self-defense killings skyrocket: "Justifiable homicide in the city shot up 79 percent in 2011 from the previous year, as citizens in the long-suffering city armed themselves and took matters into their own hands. The local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average. Residents, unable to rely on a dwindling police force to keep them safe, are fighting back against the criminal scourge on their own. And they’re offering no apologies."

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The rationale behind Gunwalker

Operation Fast and Furious was specifically conceived so that “walked” guns would be recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Their serial numbers would be provided to the ATF by Mexican authorities for tracing. Regardless of motive, the entire operation was premised on weapons being recovered at crime scenes in Mexico, and law enforcement agencies are well aware that criminals primarily abandon weapons only after they’ve been used in serious felony crimes such as murder or attempted murder.

Operation Fast and Furious was conceived knowing that Mexican nationals would be sacrificed in significant numbers if the tracing operation had any chance of working.

Operation Fast and Furious allowed more than 2,000 weapons to “walk,” indicating that those in charge of the operation were willing to let thousands of Mexican nationals die in an effort to identify the ringleaders of a cartel’s weapon acquisition team.

The Department of Justice claims that they did this so that they could trace the weapons to higher-ups in the cartels and take down entire gun-smuggling networks. Decent people can disagree on many aspects of crime fighting and the amount of risk we should be willing to absorb to fight crime, but we should all agree that no criminal network is worth sacrificing the lives of hundreds or thousands of victims. Yet that is precisely the way Operation Fast and Furious was designed to work.

The first question is obvious, and yet remains unasked by the media and unanswered by the Obama administration and Department of Justice:

"Who conceived this radical departure from normal law enforcement practices? Who conceived an operation that depended upon the deaths of hundreds or thousands of Mexican nationals for its success?"

But as disturbing as the conception of the plot was, it was merely an idea, if one that most would agree is objectively evil in design. It should have died stillborn on the proverbial drawing board. Somehow, this idea was not just allowed, but someone with significant political and operational clout within the Justice Department was able to shepherd this high-risk and inarguably lethal program from idea through planning and budgeting into execution. This strongly suggests high-level sponsorship within the Department of Justice. This demands answers to a second question:

"Which Department of Justice officials saw that Operation Fast and Furious was dependent on hundreds or thousands of firearms being given to the cartels and recovered at the scenes of crimes, knew that the crimes in question were likely to be murders of Mexican nationals or U.S. citizens along the Mexican border where the cartels operate, and approved the operation anyway?"

We know that Operation Fast and Furious depended entirely upon hundred or thousands of walked weapons being recovered at crime scenes so that weapons could be traced, and that those crime scenes would almost certainly be murders. We know that such a high-risk, low-reward program could not have been conceived or approved at a local level, and that it must have had high-level sponsorship within Justice. It is reasonable to make the assumption, unless proven otherwise, that such approval could only come from the level of a deputy attorney general or higher.

More here

CA: Jury believes man's self-defense claim in double shooting: "A Foster City man who shot and wounded two other men during an argument over noise has been found not guilty of two counts of attempted murder in San Mateo County Superior Court. Jesse David Wilson, 41, was also found not guilty of two lesser charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter. He was arrested on July 9, 2010, hours after he shot Steve Dimond and Anthony Cook outside his ground-floor unit at the Beach Cove Apartments. During the two-week trial, Wilson testified that he had acted in self-defense that night, and that he had gone outside with a .38-caliber handgun because he heard a woman scream and what sounded like a fight. When the boating party saw that Wilson had a gun, they rushed him to try to disarm him, according to Locke. Wilson fired the gun twice during the fight that followed. Both men survived, and testified that Wilson had shot them before they started to punch him and beat him to the ground. Wilson suffered a broken orbital bone and multiple cuts and bruises."

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

TX: teen not guilty of slaying pedophile father in self-defense: "When the 12-year-old girl's father walked in on her as she bathed, it was the first time she had ever stood up to his repeated sexual assaults and said, "No!" Mark Nelson, 38, backed out - with a warning. "You're going to regret this," he said. "You're going to be sorry." It was an ominous threat jurors heard about during the girl's four-week trial in a Harris County courtroom. She sat in the chilly tub and waited for him to go bed, adding hot water to stay warm. When she was sure he was asleep, she crept up to his bed, reached for the gun between the mattress and the box springs and shot him in the back of the head. During long hours of testimony, some from experts who interviewed the girl, the jury heard about outcries of repeated sexual abuse. They also heard about her father's history of violence, including choking incidents with two other women and the girl."

Intruder killed at Arkansas apartment: "Fayetteville police say that a man crawled through a window at the Green Apartments, and was confronted by the homeowner who was armed with a handgun. The homeowner asked him to leave and he did, but a few minutes later the intruder went back through the same window and the homeowner shot him. Police say the intruder lived in the same apartment complex and was possibly trying to get into the wrong apartment. "Well if it was a case of self-defense then yes, he would have a right to shoot him, but I think to shoot somebody you know, I think it'd have to be a necessary means," said one neighbor. Police have not yet released the name of the victim or suspect."

Monday, February 06, 2012

Super Bowl ad: NYC Mayor Bloomberg markets gun control

With little political capital to lose and millions of his own cash to spend, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is determined to check the role of guns in American society.

A 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Mr. Bloomberg on a couch with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will go a long way toward cementing Bloomberg as the king of gun control as the billionaire turns from attacking transfats and smoking to cracking down on illicit sales of firearms, too many of which he says end up in the hands of violent criminals.

“Mike Bloomberg is the only major political figure for whom gun control is a front-burner cause right now,” says University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds.

Since 9/11 and the 2004 sun-setting of the assault weapons ban, courts, legislatures and public opinion have bit-by-bit turned toward the expansion of the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms. That trend has been exacerbated by the Obama presidency, a sense of economic insecurity, and lingering worries about the decline of Western civilization and American ideals like individual liberty, says Brian Anse Patrick, a communications professor at the University of Toledo.

The boom in the number of Americans who have concealed carry permits, for example, hasn't come in the nation's rural, gun friendly reaches, but in cities, exurbs, and suburbs, where women often make up a significant portion of permit-seekers, Mr. Patrick says.

It's in part that spread of gun culture into major cities that inspired Bloomberg to join with Mayor Menino to launch Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), which has hired private investigators to reveal how easily weapons move through gun shows in places like Arizona and Tennessee and end up as illegal guns in cities like New York and Boston.

Given the fact that three-termer Bloomberg can't by law run for mayor again, and that he has a $19 billion personal fortune, his emergence as a major gun control advocate has a lot to do with his independence. Democrats, including President Obama, have largely laid off proposing new gun restrictions in order to stave off attacks on conservative Blue Dog Democrats supported by gun lobbies like the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Given the power of national and state gun rights organizations to confront politicians who attempt to restrict Second Amendment rights, Bloomberg's anti-gun stance would make a presidential run, which he has considered, difficult.

Whether Bloomberg can make a dent in how Americans perceive the role of the gun in society is also still very much a question, though his Super Bowl ad certainly raises the stakes. The ad will show in the local New York and Boston markets, largely liberal enclaves where laws and authorities still do more to discourage gun ownership than encourage it.

More here

TX: Poker game shootout kills 1, injures 3: "An argument during a poker game in north Harris County ended in a shootout early today, leaving one man dead and three more hurt, KRTK reports. The incident began in a house on Varnell near Northington when a disruptive poker player was asked to leave. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, there was a gathering of people at the home while a poker game was going on. Witnesses told them the suspect started causing a problem, so several people asked him to leave and shoved him down the driveway. The suspect then went to his car, got a gun, came back and opened fire. Investigators said the gunman shot indiscriminately into the crowd of people, striking three men. The fight escalated when another person got his own pistol and started shooting back, officers said. The suspect got in an SUV and drove away. Deputies arrested him at a nearby gas station on Mount Houston at U.S. 59. He had been hit and is in critical condition, KTRK reports."

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Good neighbor holds up thief: "I saw this guy step out of the house with a sack of stuff on his back like Santa Claus," Foster said. "I got my pistol out," Foster said matter-of-factly. Seeing the burglar cut across his own yard was too much. He pulled a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and attracted the intruder's undivided attention. "I threw down on him and said 'Don't move,' " Foster said. The man, identified by police as 23-year-old Jason Carver, complied. Easily the best decision he made in a day marked by one really bad one. Foster knew that if he went back inside to get his phone, the man lying face down in the yard would get up and run away. So he started yelling for help, and someone called 911. Carver was charged with one count of felony breaking and entering. He was still in the Forsyth County Jail on Friday afternoon, and it's not his first rodeo. Among other items, he has prior convictions for felony burglary, larceny and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

OR: Drug-seeking home invader shot: "Police on Friday acknowledged that drugs may have been the target of two men who reportedly burst into a southeast Eugene home on Thursday in what authorities describe as a home-invasion robbery attempt gone wrong. One of the alleged intruders — a man whose name has not yet been released by police — was fatally shot by a 27-year-old man who lives at the house in the 3300 block of Stoney Ridge Road. Meanwhile, a second suspect in the incident is behind bars. He is identified as Darrin George Dubouch, 39, of Coburg. Dubouch allegedly ran from the house after the shooting occurred. He was arrested a short time later, after a Springfield police dog found him hiding in a wooded area less than one-quarter mile from the home, authorities said."

Alabama gun battle: " A birthday celebration at Eddins Estates apartment complex on Ken Sealy Drive turned volatile when two men entered the home, demanded money, and opened fire. "When I came home there was, like, blood stains all over my building, like on the gorund. You could tell where something just happened," says Trent Gray, a resident of Eddins Estates. When Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Deputies arrived they found four victims in the apartment and another in a seperate unit. The sixth gunshot victim is one of the suspects. He was injured when a guest at the party returned fire. The suspect was seen being dropped off at DCH by a private car. The suspect that was shot underwent emergency surgery and is currently listed in stable condition. "It's a difficult investigation. We've got victims in the hospital [and] a number of witness that scattered throughout the complex," says Tuscaloosa Sheriff Ted Sexton. Tuscaloosa Police arrested another suspect, 23-year old Donald Deshun Wynn [above], at a relative's house in Cottondale."

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Cato Paper Shows How Guns Thwart Crimes and Save Lives

In a new Cato Institute paper, Clayton Cramer and David Burnett review the controversy over how often Americans use guns in self-defense each year. Estimates range from about 100,000 to more than 2 million, and the surveys used to generate the numbers are subject to weaknesses that plausibly lead to undercounting or exaggeration.

Cramer and Burnett's contribution, an analysis of defensive gun uses reported in the press during an eight-year period, does not resolve this issue. As they emphasize, the vast majority of defensive gun uses seem to be encounters where brandishing a weapon suffices to interrupt or prevent a crime. When no shots are fired and no one is injured or killed, the incident may not even be reported to the police, let alone be deemed newsworthy. Still, Cramer and Burnett's analysis, based on a randomly drawn sample of nearly 5,000 incidents, sheds light on the details of cases that are considered interesting enough to report in a newspaper.

The most common situation, accounting for 1,227 of 4,669 incidents, was a "home invasion," where intruders try to force their way into a home they know to be occupied. Burglaries were also common, accounting for 488 incidents. In 285 cases, the defender had a concealed carry permit, and most of those incidents occurred in public. There were very few cases where a permit holder became involved in an avoidable dispute that turned deadly because he had a gun—a scenario that figures prominently in arguments against nondiscretionary permit laws.

Also contrary to the warnings of gun controllers, victims in this sample were rarely disarmed by their attackers; the reverse happened more than 20 times as often. Criminals took away defenders' guns in 11 out of 4,669 incidents, and the defender ended up dead despite being armed in 36 incidents, less than 1 percent of the time. Cramer and Burnett describe many specific cases (mapped by Cato here) in which a gun prevented robbery, rape, serious injury, or death, illustrating their general point that policy makers need to take these benefits into account instead of focusing exclusively on criminal uses.

Cramer and Burnett note that journalists often seem irrationally hostile to the very idea of armed self-defense, as reflected in a 2009 Miami New Times story:

"It was pouring rain just after 1 p.m. Monday, July 20, when a man burst into a Honduran grocery store on NW 36th Street in Miami. A shirt was wrapped around his face as he gripped a black semiautomatic handgun. Twenty-year-old Charles Bell shoved the pistol into the face of a manager behind the counter. Then he demanded the contents of the cash register and cartons of cigarettes in a plastic bag. Next he began herding customers to the back of the small market."

After the store's manger shot and killed the robber, police deemed it a justifiable homicide. The headline on the article: "South Florida Store Clerks Go Vigilante."


NC: Building owner who called 911 to report hearing voices outside his building on Nov. 5 and then shot two intruders, killing one of them, will not be charged, authorities said: "Steve Joseph Whitley, 58, of North Wilkesboro, acted in self-defense, said District Attorney Tom Horner. He and Sheriff Chris Shew discussed the case most recently on Thursday. Whitley shot and killed David Cynor, 23, who lived in the Mulberry community, and wounded Sara Seagraves, 22, of North Wilkesboro. On the afternoon of Nov. 4, a Friday, Whitley found that someone had broken into the building, Wilkes County Sheriff's Major David Carson said. When Whitley couldn't get the building secured before nightfall, he decided to stay there overnight. Cynor and Seagraves entered through a door that had not been secured because of the previous breaking and entering, and Whitley shot both with a small-caliber handgun, Carson said. Seagraves was charged Friday with misdemeanor breaking and entering, and first-degree trespassing. She is scheduled to appear April 18 in Wilkes County District Court."

OR: Two burglars shot at, one killed: "Officers say the resident called 9-1-1 Thursday afternoon and reported that two men were forcing their way into his home. The caller was able to obtain a handgun and shoot one of the intruders, killing him. The other intruder ran from the scene and was caught a half hour later with the help of a Springfield K-9. As for the shooter, whose mother told KEZI Thursday night, was just trying to protect himself. Investigators are still trying to figure out if this really was a case of self-defense. The suspect in custody does have a prior criminal background. He was arrested Thursday afternoon on burglary and robbery charges."

Friday, February 03, 2012

OH: 8th Circuit overturns conviction of a man who shot an intruder: "When the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals threw out the conviction of Carl Kozlosky and ordered a new trial, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason appealed the decision. The Ohio Supreme Court's decision Wednesday returns the case to Common Pleas Court. Kozlosky was sentenced last year to 18 years to life in prison for the shooting death of Andre Coleman on Sept. 20, 2009. Coleman broke into Kozlosky's house and began beating up Valerie McNaughton, who was Coleman's girlfriend. Kozlosky testified at trial that he thought Coleman was reaching for a gun -- which investigators never found -- when he emptied his .38-caliber revolver into Coleman. Coleman, who had previously been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1997, had been on an all-night crack binge, according to court testimony, when he broke down the back door of Kozlosky's Cherokee Avenue home to get money or drugs from McNaughton."

CA: Taco truck owner, robbery suspect wounded in shootout: "Despite bleeding from three gunshot wounds, a co-owner of an East Oakland taco truck was able to return fire and twice hit the robbery suspect accused of shooting him early Thursday, police said. The suspect, Sean Ward Morris, 19, of Oakland, his brother Antoine Ward Morris, 18, and a 17-year-old Antioch boy whose name was not released were detained a short time later when they drove to a hospital and were subsequently arrested. The 32-year-old taco truck co-owner was in stable condition at a hospital. All are expected to recover from their wounds. Officer Phong Tran said the co-owner was in the parking lot area cleaning up when he was approached by Sean Ward Morris, who was armed with a pistol, and the 17-year-old. Ward Morris told the co-owner "to be cool and give me what you got," police said. The owner, who had been carrying a gun because of previous robberies, started running away and was shot twice in the back and once in the leg, Tran said. The owner took cover behind a car, pulled his own pistol and returned fire, hitting the older Ward Morris in the upper body and leg, police said."

CA: Teen thieves chased off by employee with gun: "The incident happened just before 11 p.m. Wednesday night at GMC General Auto Repair in Lost Hills. An employee, identified as Mario Soto, said he was working inside the business when he noticed three male juveniles outside in the parking lot. He said two of them tried to steal a car dolly so he grabbed a gun and went to confront the kids. When he tried to detain them he said he was stabbed in the neck. Soto said he then fired three shots but did not hit the teens. The suspects got away leaving the car dolly behind. Soto is recovering at Kern Medical Center"

Thursday, February 02, 2012

FL: Black sportsman arrested in attempted armed robbery: "Fort Lauderdale police report that at 6:20 p.m., two masked, armed men approached Oleg Flyaster in an alleyway behind the Gold Buyers business at 5130 N. Federal Highway, demanding his wallet and pointing a gun at his face. Flyaster reached into his back waistband, produced a handgun and quickly began shooting toward the suspects. Flyaster told police the suspects did not return fire as they fled on foot. Witnesses saw them remove their ski masks and throwing the locaded .45-caliber handgun into some brush. Police quickly found suspect Marvin Broadway, 23, of Fort Lauderdale. Broadway had been shot in the shoulder. He was taken to Broward General Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and released to the jail. Soon after, police stopped a vehicle and found suspect Carlton Lowe, 22, also of Fort Lauderdale. Police found Broadway’s gun and his ski mask near the robbery scene."

CA: Elderly ex-Army marksman shoots burglar: "An elderly man from Baldwin Hills took matters into his own hands when two suspected burglars were at his bedroom window Tuesday night. "I was in bed and heard the noise - boom, boom - then I came to see what it was," said 87-year-old Jack Goodwin. "It was two guys busting the window out coming in." Fearing for his life, Goodwin grabbed his 9mm handgun and shot at the suspects, wounding at least one of them. Goodwin was an Army marksman in World War II. Goodwin said he immediately called police after firing at the suspects. Police said one of the burglary suspects was wounded by the gunshots. They said he is in the hospital in critical condition. The second suspect fled the scene. They do not know if he was wounded as well. Police announced Wednesday night that Goodwin was acting in self-defense and was not expected to be charged with any crime."

KY: Employee of pharmacy pulls gun on would-be robber: "Two men have been charged in connection with the attempted robbery of a pharmacy, Lexington police said Wednesday night. The attempt was foiled when an employee pulled a handgun. John E. McGarvey and Steven E. Corman, both 47, were each charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, police Lt. Chris Van Brackel said. A man entered the pharmacy, displayed a knife and demanded pills. At that point, an employee pulled a handgun and a shot or shots were fired. VanBrackel said no one was hurt. The man was seen getting into a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS that was later found by police. Both men were lodged in the Fayette County Detention Center."

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Darrell Issa threatens Eric Holder with contempt

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) threatened Tuesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress if the Justice Department did not provide certain documents in response to the committee’s subpoena.

In a letter to Holder, Issa wrote that “this committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress” if Holder and the DOJ didn’t produce documents they demanded relating to the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. Holder has until Thursday, Feb. 9. to comply, according to Issa.

Issa accused the Justice Department of trying to “obstruct our investigation and deceive the public” by withholding documents.

“Your actions lead us to conclude that the department is actively engaged in a cover-up,” he said in a four-page letter.

The California Republican pointed to a document that the DOJ released last Friday, which indicated that Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer had promoted gun-walking to Mexico on the same day that Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote to Congress denying that the DOJ had allowed guns to walk.

“It is inconceivable that the Department just became aware of this highly damaging document,” writes Issa, pointing out that the Oversight Committee had originally issued a subpoena on Oct. 12, 2011.

Issa outlines certain documents which the DOJ has which has not been provided to the Oversight Committee, and demands their release to the committee by Feb. 9 at 5 p.m.

“The department has worked with the committee over the last year providing numerous witnesses for interviews, officials for testimony at hearings and thousands of pages of documents and we will continue to do so,” a DOJ official told POLITICO in response to the letter.

The chairman had previously threatened to hold Holder in contempt of Congress in a December Judiciary Committee hearing, for similar reasons, but this is the first time that Issa has formalized it in a letter.

Holder is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, his sixth appearance before Congress regarding Fast and Furious in the past year.

The Democrats on the Oversight Committee have begun laying the groundwork for their strategy, and released a document Monday highlighting the fact that gun-walking had been used as far back as 2006, and was used in three previous investigations before Fast and Furious.

Under the Fast and Furious program, weapons were allowed to be illegally purchased in hopes of tracking gun traffickers and drug cartel leaders. But the ATF, which operates within the DoJ, lost track of these firearms, and many were allowed to cross into Mexico.

Firearms linked to the operation were later found to have been involved in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, bringing the operation to public attention.


AZ: Store robber shot by employee: "A man who attempted to rob a Phoenix smoke shop Tuesday night was shot by an employee at the store. Police say the a man tried to rob the 'Smoke 4 Less' smoke shop at the intersection of Cave Creek and Union Hills. The suspect had a gun but so did the worker behind the counter. Phoenix Police spokesman James Holmes said the suspect fled the scene, but ended up at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The store employee was not injured."

SC: Robber and victim both die in shootout: "A 62-year-old Greer homeowner died as a result of a shootout with a woman who attempted to rob him at gunpoint at his front door, authorities said Tuesday evening. “The investigation revealed that the homeowner answered the door at his residence, and the suspect asked for some money. When the victim refused to give her any money, she pulled a gun and he (then) pulled a gun,” according to a written statement from the Greer Police Department. The Greenville County Coroner's Office identified the homeowner as Douglas J. Burgess Jr. Burgess died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the chest. The suspect, identified as Tamika Yvette Weatherspoon, 34, was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where she died in surgery at 10:32 a.m. Monday. An autopsy revealed she died as a result of a single gunshot wound to an upper leg, Dill said."