Sunday, July 29, 2012

Police harassment of gun owner found unjustified

Cop's claim that her gun was not visible rejected

A Milwaukee County jury on Tuesday found a gun rights activist not guilty of carrying a concealed weapon while parked outside a closed Milwaukee coffee shop last fall, using its Wi-Fi signal.

The current case boiled down to Sutterfield's word against an officers. Sutterfield testified her jacket was tucked behind her holster from the time she left home that night.

Milwaukee Police Officer Cassandra Benitez testified that when she  first looked into Sutterfield's car from the passenger side, with a flashlight, she did not notice the 9mm Glock on Sutterfield's hip, despite being extra alert to a possible weapon after seeing an National Rifle Association cap on the backseat.

When she re-approached Sutterfield's car a few moments later, Benitez testified, and made the same inspection, she saw the gun, now exposed in front of Sutterfield's jacket, within a couple seconds.

In her closing argument, Coffee told the jury in her closing argument that it made no sense that a certified firearms instructor who routinely open carries a gun would  conceal, then reveal, her weapon to police.

"The simplest explanation makes the most sense," Coffee suggested. "She had the gun and the officer just didn't notice it the first time."

More here

Ignorance, pure ignorance

Normally, I respect and enjoy Bill’s take on pressing issues, but OMG was O’Reilly out in leftist field on the guns and ammo issue.

On Monday, July 23rd’s Talking Points, O’Reilly made some outrageous and erroneous statements about guns and gun purchases. They were so misleading that I was wondering if Michael Moore was moonlighting as a writer for The Factor.

Initially Bill got off to a good start stating, “[Bill] Moyers has no clue, no clue at all. He apparently believes that federal and state governments can actually control gun crimes. That’s so dumb it hurts.” But then he follows up this statement with some of the most uninformed Talking Points that I have witnessed on his show, and yes, I am a regular viewer. Check it out …

O’Reilly: “Anyone who sells a heavy weapon or ammo should be compelled to report the sale to the FBI. It’s a felony if you don’t. That’s what we should have in the U.S.A. and it just makes sense in this age of terrorism. Right now some gun dealers do background checks but nobody reports the sale of heavy weapons like AK-47s to the feds. That’s insane.”

Bill, if you purchase an AK-47 today at a gun store, you will be required to fill out Federal Form 4473. On this form, you will answer a barrage of questions about your criminal history and citizenship. On page 2, section D, the form lists the type, model number, manufacturer, serial number, etc. of the firearm that is being purchased.

If a licensed gun dealer does not accurately complete this form, he would face penalties up to and including prison time. All dealers are required to complete this form for every firearm purchase. This form is a BATFE form, and if they do not talk to the FBI, then that is a problem between those agencies and not gun purchasers.

As it relates to purchases of ammo, the idea that one would report the hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition sold yearly would take an army of federal employees to process the information. I would wager that they would catch as many criminals as the TSA has caught potential terrorists by groping Granny. However, they would be able to compile a great list of people like me who shoot regularly and buy their ammunition in bulk. That list would include my cowboy action shooting friends, trap and skeet shooters, prairie dog hunters, individual police officers, military personnel, gun collectors, reloaders and so on. Keeping lists of law-abiding citizens does not stop killers bent on bedlam.

Bill’s next ditty was so outrageous that it is near impossible to comment on without laughing. O’Reilly: “Terrorists could just move in here, buy bazookas and the FBI doesn’t know about it. Here is how crazy this is. If you take a flight lesson, the feds get a heads up. But you can buy a machine gun and they don’t know.”

Bazookas and machine guns are commonly referred to as class III weapons and/or destructive devices, which require a very special license to own. Yep, it’s a wee bit different than buying a Ruger 10/22. The “Feds” have been licensing machine guns since 1934. To own a machine gun, one must first live in a state where it is legal, and then complete a Federal licensing process that, as I understand, takes a few months. On top of the aforementioned, get ready to drop about ten grand because the manufacturing of new guns has been banned for years. To the best of my knowledge, only one legally owned machine gun has been used in a crime in the U.S. since 1934, and the owner was a member of the law enforcement community.

Another thing I was howling over was O’Reilly calling an AK-47 a “heavy weapon.” Heavy weapon? Uh … not hardly. Granted, I wouldn’t want any round from a .22LR up inside of my body, but the pipsqueak little 7.62x39 is hardly considered a heavy caliber by anyone who knows anything about guns.

Then to cap off Bill’s misinformation, the following night O’Reilly stepped in it again by wrongfully asserting that the Aurora jackwagon who shot up the theater ordered “60,000 rounds of ammo over the Internet.” Bill screamed that several times … “60,000 rounds!” Wrong again. Holmes ordered 6,000 rounds, and not one ton of ammo.

Look, folks can try to ban semi-automatic weapons and limit ammo sales all day long, but criminals will always be able to get their paws on them. The only thing that would have stopped James Holmes would have been a bullet to his head by an armed citizen who, in this case, was unfortunately banned from entering the theater.

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it.”  —William S. Burroughs


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