Friday, July 27, 2012

Obama gets something right

Via Seadog bytes

The other Aurora shooting

After the Aurora, Colorado shooting of last Friday, there have been a wave of people calling for new gun laws. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Barack Obama have joined this chorus. Mayor Bloomberg actually encouraged police officers across the country to strike until gun laws were passed to take guns away from every citizen, though he retracted that statement; President Obama has made the far more reasonable call for keeping assault rifles out of the hands of gun owners.

However, the shooting in Aurora, Colorado is not a case against public ownership of guns. In fact, it is a model case for the public to own guns. Mainly because there was not just one shooting in Aurora in the past few months.

On April 22, 2012, convicted felon Kiarron Parker, just released from jail, entered the parking lot of an Aurora, Colorado church and shot and killed one of the members of the congregation before being killed himself by a member carrying concealed. Parker had been convicted for assaulting two police officers, breaking and entering and drug abuse.

However, it is the Aurora shooting no one heard about, because there was a different outcome. The Huffington Post reports:

"Parker sped into the parking lot of New Destiny Center church in Aurora, crashed into a car, then fired at people who came to his aid. The shooting killed Josephine Echols, the mother of a pastor at the church, police said. Echols’ nephew Antonio Milow, an off-duty Denver police officer who was attending a church service, then shot and killed Parker, authorities said.

“Who knows what would’ve happened if the officer had not been there. It certainly could have been a lot worse,” Fania said.

A standard argument would be that this was an off-duty police officer and as such it was perfectly okay for him to have a weapon. What would have happened had officer Milow not been attending the service?

At the end of the day, a potential mass murderer was stopped by someone carrying a concealed weapon. One woman died in the April shooting, a nurse and a mother of one of the pastors at the church.

Further gun control laws will not stop criminals from carrying weapons, only law-abiding citizens. From a viewpoint of self defense, citizens carrying guns lower the crime rate. Switzerland has the highest per capita gun ownership in the world, where every household has an assault rifle; they also have the lowest percentage of gun crimes in the world.

What we need is more people who obtain guns and train with them so that they can effectively use them, such as Officer Milow did, to protect themselves and take out the bad guy should they face a similar circumstance.


Massacres: Some interesting history from 1999

A shootout at a California shooting range ended a bizarre hostage drama during which three gun store employees found themselves staring down the barrel of one of their own rented rifles, police said Tuesday.

Sgt. Anton Morec of the Santa Clara Police Department said the aspiring gunman, 21-year-old Richard Gable Stevens, was subdued after tense moments Monday evening at a shooting range and gun store in this town 30 miles (48 km) south of San Francisco.

"He intended to go out in a blaze of glory," Morec said, noting Stevens had accumulated more than 100 rounds of ammunition for his rented 9mm semi-automatic weapon. "It certainly looks like he intended to take a lot more people out."

Morec said Stevens arrived at the National Shooting Club Monday evening and rented the rifle for target practice. The club allows people to rent a range of weapons for use on its own shooting range.

After several minutes on the range, however, Stevens returned to the club's gun store and shot at the ceiling. He then herded three store employees out the door into an alley, saying he intended to kill them, Morec said.

Unknown to Stevens, one store employee was carrying a .45 caliber handgun concealed beneath his shirt. When Stevens looked away, the employee fired, hitting Stevens several times in the chest and bringing him to the ground.

The employee kept his gun trained on Stevens until police arrived, Morec said. When Stevens refused to comply with police demands that he show his hands, he was shot again with several rounds of rubber bullets.

Morec said Stevens was taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition from the initial gun wounds. Criminal charges against him were pending.

Police investigating the case believed the quick action by the gun club employee may have headed off a massacre.

"He was full of rage, and felt he was getting no respect," Morec said. A suicide note found in Stevens' vehicle and addressed to his parents indicated he may have planned to go on a much broader shooting spree, Morec said.

"Now you'll spend the rest of your lives fighting lawsuits from my victims' relatives and die with only dimes perhaps," Morec quoted the note as saying.


VA: Man acquitted of murder: "After a little more than an hour of additional deliberations this morning, a jury in Roanoke Circuit Court found Terry Nicole Preston not guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of Patrick Ryan Dennis. The jury also acquitted Preston of a related firearms charge in the case. Dennis, 19, died late Oct. 21 outside a mobile home in the 4200 block of Palmer Avenue. Testimony in the case showed Dennis had an intimate friendship with Roberts that caused tension with her live-in boyfriend, Lewis “Flip” Rumley. Dennis and Rumley came to blows that night at Dennis’ Plantation Road apartment, and Dennis later drove to the couple’s Palmer Avenue home and fired three rounds from a shotgun in the yard. Once back in his car, Dennis was fatally shot in the head by Preston, Rumley's cousin and a stranger to Dennis. Preston has said he was simply walking up to the house when the shooting started, and both he and another cousin on the scene, Ernest Wray, later said they were hit by pellets from Dennis’ gun."

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