Monday, August 31, 2015

How Many Guns are Stolen and Destroyed each Year?

In a recent article discussing how many firearms are lost or destroyed each year, one of the commenters suggested that loss through theft, recovery and subsequent destruction by police, could be a significant number.  At TTAG, JSF001 speculated:
 You forgot to include firearms seized by police as evidence and than destroyed. I would guess that 80% of all firearms that are stolen wind up being destroyed within 10-20 years.

There are a couple of fairly good sources of data for the numbers of firearms stolen.

The first is the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC.  The FBI started the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in 1967.   The NCIC maintains a list of stolen firearms that are reported to it from a variety of sources, primarily from other criminal justice agencies.  From

SOURCES OF DATA: Data contained in NCIC is provided by the FBI, federal, state, local and foreign criminal justice agencies, and authorized courts.
The numbers recorded in the NCIC system represent a minimum of the firearms that are stolen in the United States.  Some guns are stolen but not reported to the police, some owners have not recorded or remember serial numbers, tens of millions of guns have been manufactured before serial numbers were required, and unknown numbers of firearms are made at home or in small workshops.

A study done by the Bureau of Justice statistics ( BJS) shows a fairly reasonable approximation to the NCIC numbers, using the National Crime Victimization Study.   Their study shows 145 thousand victimizations involving the theft of a firearm in 2010. 
 As more than one firearm is averaged for each theft, the study notes that an average of 232,000 guns were stolen in each year from 2005 to 2010.  This is consistent with the NCIC numbers.  

If we use the higher numbers from the BJS study for the numbers of firearms stolen, we should have a decent estimate of the percent of firearms stolen each year.  The approximate number of the private firearm stock in the United States from 2005 to 2010 are:

2005   289 million,
2006   295 million
2007   301 million
2008   308 million
2009   316 million
2010   325 million

The average number for those years is 305.7 million.   The average number of guns reported stolen by the BJS study, is  .076 percent.   We do not know how many of these guns are destroyed.   

Some guns are recovered and returned to their owners.  Most others never enter police hands; their theft results in them being sold to someone else.  In many states, guns confiscated or otherwise obtained by the police, are sold to dealers or the public, so as to benefit the public treasury.   

Texas, which reports 10% of all stolen guns in the United States each year, recently reformed their law to allow law enforcement to sell guns that are not returned to the owners.

There is a legislative movement to require that guns that end up in police custody be sold to dealers rather than destroyed.

The number of guns destroyed out of the total number stolen each year, is likely a small fraction.  

It is hard to believe that it is as high as 10 percent of the number stolen per year.  If we apply that figure to the entire firearms stock from 1945 to 2013,  it amounts to 866,000 firearms, well less than a million.    

The increase in private firearms in the U.S in 2013 was 16 million.   In 2013, the entire reduction due to theft and subsequent destruction, over 68 years, would have been replaced in less than 20 days.

Assuming, for the sake of arguement, that 30% of stolen guns are destroyed every year, that number, over 68 years, would have been replaced in 2013 in two months.

 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

KY: Homeowner Shoots Car Burglary Suspect

No charges yet.  Police are still investigating.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington police say a homeowner shot a suspect after he believed the man was breaking into his car.

According to police, a man heard someone outside his house on Chelan Drive this morning who he says was breaking into his car. The homeowner went outside to investigate and shot the suspect in the back.

More Here

OH: Armed Victim Killed, Suspect Wounded

They were approached from behind by a suspect on a bike, who pointed a gun at the two victims in an attempt to rob them.

One victim exchanged gunfire with the suspect before being shot in the head.

The suspect then fled on foot.

Officers found the 27-year-old male victim with an apparent gunshot wound to the head, and EMS pronounced the man dead on the scene.
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SC: Son Shoots Suspect who Assaulted his Mother

The affidavit said she was assaulted by two subjects wearing masks. During the strong-armed robbery her son Penninger exited the house and was armed with a firearm.

He shot at the suspects who fled without getting any money.

During the police investigation, Penninger contacted deputies with the name and address of a possible suspect.
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AL: Armed Victim Shoots Robbery Suspect

Police later learned the two men were connected to a robbery that happened around 5:50 p.m. on 21st Street Southwest. The victims of the robbery told police the two men pulled up and asked to borrow money. When one of them pulled out a wallet, both robbery suspects pulled out guns. After the victims gave the men their money, one of them pulled a gun and opened fire.

The robbery suspect shot has life-threatening injuries. Charges against both suspects are pending.
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Followup OR: Burglary Suspect with Bullet Wound Arrested

Eugene police detectives on Thursday arrested 21-year-old Joseph Spencer Gale-Smith, who was struck by a bullet when a resident allegedly confronted him during an attempted home burglary.

More Here

Sunday, August 30, 2015

How many Firearms have been lost or Destroyed in the United States?

How many firearms are lost or destroyed in the United States?  Is the number of guns in the U.S. increasing or decreasing?

The current estimate of the private stock of firearms in the United States is about 363 million (16 million were added in 2013). 

That number was calculated by the cumulative addition of domestic manufacture plus imports minus exports.  This does not count guns shipped to the U.S. military.   The figures are rounded to the nearest million.

Firearms manufactured before 1899 are not included.  The starting figure in 1945 is 47 million.

The numbers do not account for reduction of the gun stock due to wear and tear, loss, destruction or illegal exportation; or increases of the stock from illegal importation, individual or illegal manufacture, or acquisition from military sources.

The primary uncertainty is whether the unknown factors mentioned above result in a net loss or gain of firearms in addition to net known manufacture and importation, minus exports.

There is illegal importation and exportation of firearms.  A prominent Californian legislator who pushed for more firearm restrictions was arrested as the result of an undercover sting operation aimed at the illegal importation of arms.  We know that there is illegal export of arms.  The "Fast and Furious" scandal involving the Obama administration oversaw the illegal exportation of two to three thousand arms to Mexican drug cartels.  That number was spread over at least two years.

It seems likely that the incentives for illegal exportation are higher than for illegal importation, but the numbers overall appear small, less than 10,000 per year or .003% of the private firearm stock per year.

Gun "buy backs", or more accurately, gun turn ins, are another factor.  A few major cities hold gun turn in events each year.  The numbers turned in typically vary from less than a hundred to a few hundred.  The total numbers are almost certainly less than 10,000 a year.  It would be another .003% loss.

Individual manufacture or illegal manufacture is likely a much larger number.  There are numerous videos and instructions on how to make guns on the Internet.  There is a long tradition of individual hobbyists making their own guns in this country.  There is significant evidence that criminals engage in the manufacture of illegal guns.  The numbers are difficult to quantify.  At one point, the D.C. police department stated that one fifth of the guns that they confiscated were homemade.

I have personally made legal guns, and personally know others that have done so.  It is not something that is casually mentioned to strangers.  I suspect that the numbers are in excess of 100,000 per year.  That would be one out of a thousand gun owners making one gun per year.  The estimate is likely low, but I am being conservative.  That would be about .03 percent increase per year.  With ubiquitous and cheap power tools, inexpensive materials, and emerging technologies such as 3D printing, those numbers will only increase.

Military guns that are transferred to private ownership, legally or illegally, need to be added.  Guns that were originally sent to the U.S. military are not included in the estimate of the U.S. private gun stock.

Millions of guns were sent to the U.S. military, and a great many of them migrated into private hands.   The U.S. government sold millions of surplus rifles and pistols over the years.

I recall seeing barrels of 1903A3 rifles being sold in hardware stores for $29.95 in the 1960s.  I still have one of them.  At one point, in the middle 1960s, the NRA was offering M1 Carbines to its members for $18 each, as part of a government promotion to get the rifles into private hands.

A mail order ad from 1963.  The 1903 Springfield is listed at $36.38.  The M1 Garand at $89.95, the M1 Carbine at $78.88, the Colt 1917 military .45 revolver at $29.95.

Any person who has been involved in the gun culture for more than a couple of decades can attest to the ubiquity of military pistols that GIs returning from war brought back with them.   Here are some numbers of fairly modern firearms produced for the U.S. military that were sold freely through the mail up until 1968.

About half a million Krag rifles were produced from 1894 to 1904.

About 4.65 million 1903 and 1903A3 rifles were produced.  .84 million were produced by the start of WWI.  Production of the 1903A3 started at about serial number 3 million  during WWII.    1.65 million 1903A3s were produced by the end of WWII.
6.22 million M1 carbines were manufactured during WWII.

5.44 million MI Garands were manufactured, prior to 1957.

Many of these rifles were declared surplus and sold on the U.S. market prior to the requirements for record keeping of rifles by dealers before 1968.

Significant numbers were given or sold to other countries as military aid.

Over 2.5 million .45 ACP pistols were produced for the military by the end of WWII.  How many migrated to private hands is unknown.  They are commonly seen in private ownership.

At least 189,000  revolvers were in the hands of the military when the U.S. entered WWII.  Another 350,000 S&W revolvers were produced for the U.S military during the war.    About 48,000 Colt revolvers were produced for the U.S military during WWII.  It is reasonable to state that over half a million revolvers were purchased by the U.S. military prior to the end of WWII.  A great many of these have ended up in private hands.  My family had one of them, made before WWI.   I have not found the number of .22 trainers and target guns sold to the military.

This well worn Colt is over 100 years old, but functions perfectly.  It was produced for the U.S. military.

The total comes to about 20 million guns, of which large percentages were considered obsolete and or surplus before 1968.   Enormous numbers of them were sold through the mail before the 1968 gun control act made such sales legally cumbersome and difficult.

The numbers are hard to quantify, but 10 million firearms transferred from the military to private hands seems reasonable.  That would be a majority of the rifles and some of the pistols.   The Civilian Marksmanship Program continues to transfer former military arms to private hands today.

The most difficult number to quantify is the number of guns that are destroyed through wear, rust, abuse, and loss.  Nearly everyone understands that guns are a valuable commodity.  It takes very little maintenance to keep a gun from succumbing to rust.  A gun set in the corner of a closet is almost certain to be fully functional if it is brought out 50 years later.  Most guns are shot little and stored for long periods.  Very few guns are worn out by use.  Some are forgotten in the woods.  Some are lost in boating accidents.   When they are found, they make national news.  The numbers appear small, but they exist.   The question is: what percentage are destroyed/damaged/lost each year?

Reaching into my own family experience, my brother and I had personal knowledge of hundreds of guns among our extended family and friends, over the last 4 decades.  Yet of all of those, we could only recall three that were destroyed or lost.  One was an inexpensive semi-auto pistol that self destructed after a few boxes of ammunition.  Another was a deer rifle that was destroyed when a hunting cabin burned down.  The third was an old 16 gauge single shot shotgun where the frame cracked after decades of use and abuse.  A minimum number for the sample would be 100 guns for 40 years, the number being smaller than 100, 40 years ago, and several hundred in the last decade.  That calculates to .075 percent per year.

So where does that leave us?  Adding the percentages of loss and gain,  on the loss side we have .003% to illegal export, .003% to gun turn ins, and .075% to wear, rust, and loss.  On the gain side are .03% homemade or illegally made firearms.  Added together they come to a net loss of .051% per year.

When  the .051% number is applied to the firearm stock from 1945 onward, the total decrease in the stock would be 5.8 million since 1945.  If we double the number, it is still less than 12 million since 1945, close to the number of military guns added.

For an extreme case, increase the estimate by a full order of magnitude, to .51 percent loss per year, a little more than 1 firearm lost or destroyed of every 200 per year.  At that extreme rate, the loss from 1945 to 2013 would be 58 million firearms.  Add the 10 million military firearms transferred to the stock, and the total in 2013 would be reduced by 48 million.

Those educated guesses indicate that the current 363 million number is between 4 million too low, and 48 million too high, giving us a range of the private stock at the end of 2013 of between 315 million and 367 million.  The current estimate of 363 million is likely close to reality.

We are adding about 10-16 million firearms per year.  In 2013, we added 16 million.  At that rate, the losses become almost meaningless.  We make up all the losses for the last 68 years in somewhere between four months and four years.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

Update: 55,000 Mossberg 44US .22 rifles were purchased in WWII.

Update: 44,000 High Standard H-D .22 pistols were made for the millitary by 1946.

Update: 61,000 M12 Winchester Shotguns produced for the military in WWII, 20,000 in WWI.

Update: 44,000 M97 Winchester Shotguns produced for the military in WWI and WWII.

Update: 2.19 million M1917 rifles were produced during WWI.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ND: Homeowner Shoots Intruder The Jamestown Police Department say a man was shot after a house break-in early Friday morning.

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TX: Grand Jury "No Bills" Woman who Shot Ex

A Nueces County grand jury on Thursday declined to indict a woman accused of fatally shooting her ex-boyfriend.

Rosanne Ramirez, 27, told Corpus Christi police Jonathan Del Alto forced his way inside her home about 10 p.m. on Jan. 8 and attacked her and a friend, according to police reports. During a struggle over a gun, Ramirez shot Del Alto in his chest, the reports state. Ramirez was not arrested.
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MS:Shooter in Domestic case questioneed, released.

Jackson County deputies responded to a 911 call in the 11000 block of O'Neal Road in the northern part of the Vancleave community Wednesday afternoon. Deputies found Richard Moore's body in a room used as an office in the home.

Jackson County Capt. Curtis Spiers said earlier Thursday Michele Moore was taken into custody for questioning, but no charges were filed and she was released. He declined to release any other details of the shooting, saying all information would be turned over to a Jackson County Grand Jury for a determination.
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AR: Burglary Suspect sues Homeowners who Shot him

The Cleburne County man accused of burglarizing the home of a state legislator's father filed suit Wednesday against the lawmaker and the lawmaker's son for shooting at him while he tried to run from the property.

On April 21, White County sheriff's deputies arrested Henry Balderree of Wilburn after he was shot in the right shoulder.

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AL: Domestic Violence Suspect Shot by Victim


Enterprise Police Sgt. Billy Haglund said in a statement that police responded to the 2100 block of Geneva Highway to a 911 call involving a domestic dispute with the suspect armed with a gun. As Enterprise police arrived they heard multiple gunshots fired from inside the home. During the domestic incident a man choked the victim. As the victim escaped, two gunshots were fired striking the man twice.

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Virginia Journalist Shooting: The Media needs to clean the blood off its own hands

Before the bodies were buried, the old media and other proponents of ever more restrictions on the Second Amendment were using the deaths to promote their political agenda.  They piously fail to mention their own responsibility.

The "Copycat Effect" is a well known and researched phenomena.  Endless promotion of these tragic events and the publicity given to the perpetrators is far more of a causal factor than the Second Amendment.

We have known for decades that it is media attention that is the driving motivation for most of these public mass shooters.

The copycat effect has been demonstrated and documented over and over again.  Clayton Cramer wrote a paper on this in 1993.   It was published in a the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 9:1 [Winter 1993-94].  It won First Place, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Ethics Prize, 1993, Undergraduate Division.

It has been widely written about in other publications, such as the Wall Street Journal.   A book, The Copycat Effect, by Loren Coleman, was written in 2004.

It detailed simple strategies for mitigating the effect and reducing the number of these mass public killings.   They could be implemented without any significant chilling effect on the First Amendment.    The AP could simply include these requirements in its writers guidelines.   From the book:

(1) The media must be more aware of the power of their words. Using language like "successful" sniper attacks, suicides, and bridge jumpers, and "failed" murder-suicides, for example, clearly suggest to viewers and readers that someone should keep trying again until they "succeed." We may wish to "succeed" in relationships, sports, and jobs, but we do not want rampage or serial killers, architects of murder-suicide, and suicide bombers to make further attempts after "failing." Words are important. Even the use of "suicide" or "rampage" in headlines, news alerts, and breaking bulletins should be reconsidered.

(2) The media must drop their clich├ęd stories about the "nice boy next door" or the "lone nut." The copycat violent individual is neither mysterious nor healthy, or usually an overachiever. They are often a fatal combination of despondency, depression, and mental illness. School shooters are suicidal youth that slipped through the cracks, but it is a complex issue, nevertheless. People are not simple. The formulaic stories are too often too simplistic.

(3) The media must cease its graphic and sensationalized wall-to-wall commentary and coverage of violent acts and the details of the actual methods and places where they occur. Photographs of murder victims, tapes of people jumping off bridges, and live shots of things like car chases ending in deadly crashes, for example, merely glamorize these deaths, and create models for others ­ down to the method, the place, the timing, and the type of individual involved. Even fictional entertainment, such as the screening of
The Deer Hunter, provides vivid copycatting stimuli for vulnerable, unstable, angry, and depressed individuals. 

(4) The media should show more details about the grief of the survivors and victims (without glorifying the death), highlight the alternatives to the violent acts, and mention the relevant background traits that may have brought this event to this deathly end. They should also avoid setting up the incident as a logical or reasonable way to solve a problem.

(5) The media must avoid ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural stereotypes in portraying the victims or the perpetrators. Why set up situations that like-minded individuals (e.g. neo-Nazis) can use as a roadmap for a future rampages against similar victims?

(6) The media should never publish a report on suicide or murder-suicide without adding the protective factors, such as the contact information for hot lines, help lines, soft lines, and other available community resources, including email addresses, websites, and phone numbers. To run a story on suicide or a gangland murder without thinking about the damage the story can do is simply not responsible. It¹s like giving a child a loaded gun. The media should try to balance such stories with some concern and consideration for those who may use it to imitate the act described.

(7) And finally, the media should reflect more on their role in creating our increasingly violent society. Honest reporting on the positive nature of being alive in the twenty-first century might actually decrease the negative outcomes of the copycat effect, and create a wave of self-awareness that this life is rather good after all. Most of our lives are mundane, safe, and uneventful. This is something that an alien watching television news from outer space, as they say, would never know. The media should "get real," and try to use their influence and the copycat effect to spread a little peace, rather than mayhem.

The Cramer article has been around for 20 years, and won a prize for ethics.  The book by Coleman has been available for over a decade.  Any thoughtful person can see the obvious connection between making anti-heros of public shooters and the potential to tip unbalanced people over the edge, into an act that they see as immortalizing their otherwise miserable lives.

It is clear that the media would rather keep their power to use these events to push for more restrictive gun laws than prevent innocents from being murdered.  As Cramer noted, the coverage of school shooting is at least 8 times as large at that of similar mass homicides that do not involve guns.

In a strange twist, the old media actually benefit financially from these shootings:  Newtown Media Buys.

When media personalities try to pressure candidates to push for more restrictive gun laws, as happened recently with Dr. Carson, candidates should push back by asking why the media continues to promote public shootings for their own benefit. 

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

Friday, August 28, 2015

Followup MO: Jury finds James Little not Guilty

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a jury on Tuesday found 36-year-old James Little not guilty of first-degree murder and other charges related to the death of 32-year-old William Dupree.

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Followup KS: No Charges for Man in Fatal Shooting

The person who killed a Wichita man accused of threatening a woman’s ex-boyfriend with a gun on North Lorraine last month won’t face criminal charges.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said the shooter, a roommate of the ex-boyfriend’s, fired in self-defense at 42-year-old Bill Massey Jr. after Massey turned toward him, weapon in hand.

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Read more here:
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OK: Pastor Shoots at Burgar, Suspect captured

The pastor of a northeast Oklahoma City church shot at a man Wednesday after the man burglarized the church, Oklahoma City police said. Police arrested a man shortly afterward.

The Church of the Living God Ministries posted a statement on its Facebook page shortly after 4 p.m.

“All is well; Pastor Kenny is fine. Praise God. Prayer, Bible study, and full story at 7:00,” the Facebook post reads.
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Followup AL: Grand Jury "No Bills" Woman who killed Husband

She told police that during the continued struggle in the kitchen, she wanted to scare her husband so that he would leave her alone, so she tried to fire over his head. She told the police that she did not intend to kill her husband and she maintained she only fired the pistol so that he would let her go and not hurt her anymore.

The coroner's autopsy report indicated that the bullet entered Johnson's upper lip and traveled into his brain. The autopsy report also revealed Mr. Johnson had a blood alcohol level of .27. After hearing the evidence in this case, the grand jury decided not to return an indictment for any charges against the woman.

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OH: Clerk Pulls Gun, Stops Robbery

The Canton Police report said two armed suspects pulled into Maggiore's Drive Thru, located on Dueber Avenue Southwest in Canton, on Monday at about 2 p.m.

The clerk said the suspects pointed a gun at him, but quickly drove off when he pulled out his own gun.

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PA: Jury finds man "not guilty" in Self Defense Shooting

However, Clause successfully testified that he feared for his life after Mark Scheitrum lunged at him.

“He’s got the gun by the barrel. He grabs the gun and pulls it alongside my face,” a weeping Clause testified about the incident. “He’s on top of me. My head hits the wall.”

Clause said that while the two were struggling, the gun, which he admitted was his, accidentally went off.

“When you went down to that trailer, did you have any intention of hurting Mark?” Frederick J. Fanelli, Pottsville, Clause’s lawyer, asked him.

“Absolutely not,” Clause answered.
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

OH: Armed 22-Year-Old Woman Survives Wounds after Killing Man who Murdered Friend

A call to 911 reporting screaming and shots fired led Jackson police officers to 133 Ohio Avenue, where they found one man, later identified as David W. Hoover, 54, dead in front of the house. Paul M. Christian, 52, was found dead inside the house, along with the injured Adkins. A two-year-old child, identified as Adkins’ daughter, was in the home at the time, but in another room separated from the shooting, Eisnaugle said.
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TN: 50-Year-Old wins Gunfight with Three Home Invaders

According to the victims living at the home, there was a knock on the door. One of the victim’s (identified by police as a Hispanic male in his fifties) armed himself with a gun and opened the door. There were three men with guns standing at the door, and all of them (including the resident) began shooting, witnesses told police.

As the shooting started, the three suspects fled on foot. A short time later, a man identified as Mr. Dre’An Whitherspoon entered the Emergency Room at Northcrest Medical Center with a bullet wound.

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Followup WV: Charges dropped in Self Defense Shooting

Underwood ended up charged with attempted murder, malicious wounding and wanton endangerment. But on Tuesday prosecutors, the judge and even the victim agreed to a pre-trial diversion for Underwood. If he commits no criminal acts for six months, the charges will go away. His lawyer contended that the video of the fight, which started between two women and spread to involve others, backed Underwood's self-defense claim. He pulled a gun, but his defense argues that Scott could have backed off at that point but did not.  

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ME: Clerk pulls Gun on two "Jokers"

LEWISTON — Two men said they were joking when they told a Lisbon Street Dunkin' Donuts clerk Sunday they were robbing the store. But the joke was on them after the clerk pulled out a gun and pointed it at them.

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IL: Clerk Killed Armed Robber

Wauconda Police Chief Patrick Yost said the 44-year-old patron ran to a neighboring business to call 911 while the Kwick Shop employee reached under a cash register for a handgun. The clerk, identified by family as 24-year-old Ahmad Samhan, fired at the masked man, striking him in the chest, Yost said.

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IA: Armed man Shoots Aggressive Dog

According to a news release provided by the Newton Police Department, the caller told dispatch there were two dogs running loose in her yard. They were acting aggressive and would not let her out of her house, she said. Before officers arrived, the reporting party called back and said she believed a neighbor had shot one of the dogs.

When Lt. Ron Cook arrived, he discovered a Newton man, Ronald Kollmann had shot and killed one of the dogs on his property. Kollmann told Cook the dog had run at him in an aggressive manner, and he shot it.
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TX: Store Owner wins Gunfight with 2 Robbers

One man said he hit the floor as two robbers walked in and started shooting. He said the owner fired back, shooting one of the two. The suspect, in his 20s, was transported to Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His identity has not been released.

"When the shots started flying, I hit the ground," one customer said. "Just I hope they didn't shoot me. I have children I have to live for and provide for."

More Here

Fatal Firearm Accidents vs Private Gun Ownership 1965-2013

The red line is the number of private firearms in the United States, in units of 100,000.  At the end of 2013, the estimate was 363.3 million.

The green line is the number of fatal firearm accidents, or unintentional firearm fatalities, in the United States.  The number in 2013 was the lowest recorded, 505.

The number of fatal firearm accidents, or unintentional firearm fatalities, have been falling for more than 50 years.  At the same time, the number of firearms in the United States has been steadily rising.  The cause of fatal firearm accidents is not correlated to the number of firearms in society. 

The absolute numbers are important, but the rate of unintended firearm fatalities per 100,000 population is a better measure of safety.

Chart courtesy of

Since the per capita chart was produced, we have a few more years of data.   Here is a blow up of the last 15 years, including the tail end of the above chart.

A large number of factors have been proposed for the falling fatal firearm accident rates.

Here are a few of the more prominent ones:

Training in basic firearms safety.  The NRA has been pushing firearms safety training for decades.

Safer firearms.  Modern firearms, which make up a majority of the private firearms in the United States (half the stock has been manufactured since 1982, three quarters since 1965), have more safety features.  It is almost impossible for pistols manufactured after 1973 to fire when dropped, due to liability concerns.  Safety triggers have become common on rifles in the last decade.

Blaze orange hunting gear.  A significant drop in hunting fatalities occurred after many states required hunters to wear blaze orange during crowded hunting seasons, such as deer hunting in Wisconsin.

Requirements for hunter safety training to obtain a hunting license.  Most states now require a hunter safety course for new hunters.

Better emergency medical response.  People who might have died from a gunshot wound are saved by better emergency medical care.

Rise of concealed carry permits.  Most concealed carry permits require some safety training.

Rise of private tactical training academies, which teach gun fighting as a martial art, such as Gunsite in Arizona, Rogers Shooting School, InSights Training Center, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, and a host of other private, for profit, firearm training schools.

The rise of the gun culture magazines from the 1960's on, such as Guns and Ammo, Shooting Times, Garden and Gun, Special Weapons, Handguns, Guns, and numerous others.  While the print versions are being supplanted by online versions and blogs, all preach gun safety, and have had significant impact on the gun culture for the last 50 years.

Substitution of pistols for home defense from shotguns and rifles.  A wound from a pistol is less likely to be fatal than from a high powered rifle or a shotgun at close range.

Heightened awareness of gun safety due to the push for more legal restrictions on guns by the media and elite politicians.  As the population has been inundated with "guns are bad" and "guns are dangerous" messages, one consequence may be a heightened concern for following the safety rules.

All of these factors probably contributed, but the total drop is astonishing, a 95% reduction in the rate of fatal firearm accidents since 1904.  This occurred as the per capital number of firearms has increased from .35 in 1945, to 1.14 in 2013, a tripling of the number of guns per person in the United States.  The per capita numbers are not available before 1945.

Here are the data sources:

Number of Private firearms in the United States, 1945 to 2012 from a previous article at Gun Watch.  The 2013 number was calculated using the same methodology and ATF sources as in the article.

Unintentional firearm fatalities, 1965-1987, from Kleck, Point Blank Page 306 Table 7.1

1981-2000 unintentional firearm fatalities from An Analysis of Firearm-Related Accidents in the United States(pdf;  rates from Kleck or calculated using Census figures.

1999-2013 unintentional firearm fatalities and per capita rates available in WISQARS.

1904-2008 U.S. Accidental Firearm Death Rate chart courtesy of

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Honolulu Mayor Gives up $575,000 to aid Gun Manufacturers

Mayor Caldwell of Honolulu appears to have made the decision to destroy over half a million dollars of Smith & Wesson pistols, rather than sell them to police, police departments or to gun dealers anywhere.   The mayor did not seek to gain political "credit" for the decision.   The scheme was kept secret until it was leaked by whistle blowing police officers about a month ago.   No credible reason was given for destroying the valuable merchandise.

There is no shortage of pistol manufacturers.  If the guns were sold to police or gun dealers, they would be directly competing with other pistols, in exactly the same legal channels as newly manufactured guns.   By reducing the supply of old guns, Honolulu is increasing the demand for new guns.  Gun manufacturers must be smiling all the way to the bank.  It is Honolulu taxpayers who are footing the bill.  

The city of Honolulu will destroy $500,000 worth of old police guns instead of selling them to other law enforcement agencies or Honolulu police officers.

HPD has replaced more than 2,300 of its old handguns with new lighter, cheaper guns. Many police officers said those old guns still have value and should not be thrown away but sold or donated to be re-used instead.

Since 1990, Honolulu police officers have used Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter handguns and the city has replaced them with lighter and easier-to-use Glock 17s that cost about half as much as the Smith & Wessons.

Hawaii News Now has learned that the city plans to destroy about 2,300 of the old Smith & Wessons in the next few weeks, including 200 of them that are brand new and still in their boxes.
The Caldwell administration even found a way to interpret the budget rules to forbid the selling of police pistols to individual officers, a practice that had been common in the past. 

If the City administration does not trust the Police Department to sell to individual officers, they are sending a message that individual officers should not own guns.  Will we see Honolulu officers going home with empty holsters?  It is a common sight in Central American countries, where officers turn in their guns at the end of their shift.

 This HPD Smith & Wesson 5906 is the double action only (DAO) model

The administration cannot be accused of destroying the merchandise for political theater.  They kept the decision secret until it was outed;  the police department will not allow pictures of the guns;  and no pictures have surfaced of the guns being destroyed.  In gun "buy backs" politicians commonly attempt to gain credit by publicizing pictures of guns destruction.  The Caldwell administration seems to fear the political fallout of their decision, rather than proudly display it.

When the Roosevelt administration made the decision to destroy millions of dollars of food during the depression, their rational was simple.  They wanted to reduce the supply of food to increase prices for producers.  The Caldwell administration in Honolulu seems determined to increase demand for new firearms.  Firearm manufacturers gain profits, Honolulu taxpayers lose.

The Hawaii Sheriff department, which functions as a state police, have no problem trading in their Smith & Wessons to get a good deal on new guns.   They are receiving a trade in value of $161,750 out of a $295,500 contract for several hundred guns.

The Caldwell administration is deeply dysfunctional. 

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

IL: Clerk Shoots Unidentified Suspect

A tattoo may help authorities identify a man who was shot and killed by a convenience store clerk during an attempted robbery Sunday night in Wauconda, officials said.

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TN: Armed Victim Wins Gunfight with Carjacking Suspect

A second unidentified robber got out of the Jeep and took one of the victim’s wallet while Goins took the keys to the other’s Chrysler 300 sedan. The second robber got into the Jeep and headed down the street.

The victims said Goins kept his pistol leveled at them while he attempted to get into the stolen car.

One victim reached into his pocket and drew a pistol, and, at that time, said Goins opened fire.

The armed victim said he shot at Goins in self-defense. Goins died at the scene and his gun was recovered by officers.

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AZ: Man Shoots one of Three

Tommy Ephrim, 43, Angelo Miller, 19, and an unnamed suspect were confronting a man about a relationship they did not approve of when things turned violent, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Vince Lewis said.

Police say the three men attacked the man as he stepped out of his home. The man reported seeing two of the men holding weapons -- one had a knife and the other a metal pipe, according to Lewis.

The man pulled out a handgun and shot the unnamed suspect, Lewis said, and the three men fled the home. Police found the wounded suspect in a car in another location and took him to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

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Open Carry at the Vertical Church in Yuma

I was on the security detail at The Vertical Church on Sunday.  I noticed that Jeremy was open carrying, so I asked him if I could take a picture after the service.  He was kind enough to wait with his lovely wife until I handed off to the next volunteer.  Then we stepped outside to take the picture.  The lobby was fairly crowded.  We are having record numbers attend for August in Yuma!

The can in his left hand is non-alcoholic, they are sold in the Church lobby.  The pistol is a Sig Sauer P220 in .45 ACP. 

Carrying to church was required by law in some of the early colonies.  Now that church shootings are in the news occasionally, the practice is making a comeback.

One of my daughter's high school boyfriends was an early adopter of the Texas concealed carry permit.  He told me that he always carried at church, and that one of his regrets was that he happened not to be at a service, which he usually attended, when it was attacked.  I think two or three people were killed.

Update: The next Sunday, the 30th of August, another security team volunteer was not on duty, but he was open carrying with his lovely family.

I was open carrying as well.  Not volunteering last Sunday.  After the service, Pastor Jason was kind enough to pose for a picture with me.  Open carry is more common in the summer months, with the temperatures well over a hundred.

Many people carry in church now.  Quite a few are organized into volunteer security teams.  Jean Assam was part of such a team when she was able to stop the killing at the New Life Church in Colorado in December of 2007.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

Monday, August 24, 2015

MO: Shots Fired During Attempted Disarm

"Upon arrival, officers determined that the victim interrupted the suspect in the process of burglarizing the victim's residence. The victim was armed and a struggle ensued with the suspect over the weapon. Shots were fired inside the residence, no one was shot as a result," authorities said in a news release.

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TX: Homeowner Shoots Two Attempting Break-in

Houston police said the men tried to force their way into the home at Emporia and Cimarron at around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. A family with children was living inside.

The father woke up and grabbed his gun to see what was happening. He confronted the suspects and shot both of them.
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TX:Rottweiler Shot, Self Defense Claimed

A neighbor is claiming self defense after he shot and killed a Rottweiler in Montgomery earlier this month.

Ken Lasyone came home from vacation with his wife Monday to find his dog Mia dead, allegedly killed by his neighbor Brian Moss the night before. No charges were filed since Moss claimed self defense, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

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AR: Man arrested for open carry in Bald Knob

Ah, the old "disorderly conduct gambit".

Since its passage, Act 746 has been controversial. The statute has been interpreted different ways, but Tuesday, one man will find out how a judge interprets the law.

On a Tuesday afternoon in May, Richard Chambless decided to walk around his hometown of Bald Knob and do some shopping. He started at McDonald's, walking under the bridge and shopping in two stores before returning to the restaurant to get a drink. It wasn't unusual behavior, except for the fact that the whole time Chambless was carrying his gun on his hip.

"As long as you don't have unlawful intent, it is not a crime to carry a handgun in self defense, and that's what I was doing. I was out shopping in town, stopped here to get a drink of water carrying my weapon and went to jail for it," said Chambless.

Police arrested him for disorderly conduct and carrying a firearm. The police chief read Chambless sections of the Arkansas Code, only to have Chambless recite back to him Act 746. The majority of the 15 minute interview was calm, but frustration clearly mounted with both sides talking over each other, sticking to their guns about open carry.

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AL:Woman Disarmed, Armed Neighbors Stop Attack; Shoot the Target of Opportunity

A disarm, 3 a.m. call for help, gunshots, butt strokes, and hand to hand, but two neighbors rescued a 69 year old woman from a home invasion in rural Alabama.  The Sheriff deputies arrived in time to clean up the mess.

At about 3 a.m., an unfamiliar man broke into Wilma Williams home in the 31000 block of Cleburne County Road 49 in Alabama.  She ran to her pistol, but Craig Moore was able to take it from her and fire twice before she struggled free.

One of the shots cut hair from her head.

She got away and called 911 and a neighbor, Charles Price.  Price grabbed his shotgun and stopped to enlist his father in law, James Melton.  Melton snatched a rifle.  It was very dark on 15 August.  The Moon was new, and there were no street lights. 

Price ran to Williams place on foot.  Melton, 76, took his truck.  When he got there, Price had already been attacked by Moore, behind the house.  Melton heard him shout, ran to his aid, and was able to knock Moore off of his son in law with a blow from the rifle.  Moore attacked Melton.  Price returned the favor, knocking Moore off of Melton, cracking his shotgun stock in the process.

All three combatants ran toward Melton's truck, which was still running.   Williams now appeared on the porch.  From
Moore then ran toward Melton’s truck, while Williams yelled from the porch, “He’s got a gun,” Melton said.

Melton ran toward his truck and took the keys out before Moore could get there, he said. That’s when he saw Moore aim the pistol at him.

“My son-in-law fell down on the ground and shot under my truck, shot twice and blowed his legs out from under him.”

That’s when the police arrived, Melton said.

31000 block of County road 49

The Sheriff's Department supported the armed neighbors.  Chief Deputy Michael Gore:
Gore called the two men heroes, saying if not for their aid Williams could have been killed or more seriously wounded.
I do not know if the neighbors had flashlights or other gear.  It was a desperate, deadly situation.  I was impressed by Charles Price' tactical use of cover and targets of opportunity, once he learned that his attacker was armed with a pistol.  

He dropped to the ground on the other side of his father in law's truck, taking advantage of the cover and concealment that it offered.  Then he immediately shot Moore in the targets available, Moore's ankles and feet.    Moore is lucky that Price did not follow through with shots to the body.  Just because Moore went down, did not mean that he could not shoot.  But the shots to the feet were  enough.  

In a gunfight, shoot at the targets available.   A hit in the ankle is better than no hit.  Remember that many things people hide behind do not stop bullets.  The famous scene from the Dirty Harry movie,  Magnum Force, illustrates this when Inspector Callahan shoots a hijacker through an airplane partition.

Link to video

Concealment does not stop bullets, but many never learned that or forgot it.  Know what your ammunition will penetrate.  

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

Sunday, August 23, 2015

MN: Gun Permit Soar, Crime Drops

A record 200,000 Minnesotans now have permits to carry handguns, an increasingly diverse group that includes two men who recently made split-second, life-altering decisions to fire their weapons.

In 2003, the year Minnesota passed its permit-to-carry law, 15,000 five-year permits were issued. The number issued annually then decreased for several years. But by 2014, 184,985 Minnesotans held permits. Today, one in 20 Minnesotans has a permit, 19 percent of them women.

Opponents had feared that the law would lead to a surge in shootings and gun deaths. But Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension data show that fatalities involving permit holders are rare. In the past five years, there have been five deadly or nonlethal instances of justifiable use of a firearm by permit holders.

TN: More on Knoxville Man That Shot IIntruder

Smith said he walked into his home’s ground floor about 10 a.m. and heard rummaging upstairs. In his wife’s second-story room, Smith confronted a man who police said was attempting to burgle the house on Sullivan Road in Northwest Knoxville.

“I asked him to get on the ground. He refused and started messing with something,” Smith said. “I shot him. He jumped out the window, jumped off the porch, busted open the gate and left.”
More Here

Carl McCrow and Martin Scorsese Partner to Profit Gun Manufacturers

A British artist, Carl McCrow, has figured out a way to increase gun manufacturers bottom line, and his own.  I can almost hear the manufacturers thinking "please throw me into that briar patch".  From
LONDON — British artist Carl McCrow is asking the world's most successful filmmakers to make an unambiguous pledge: For every gun that appears in their movies, he wants them to destroy a real one.
The irony is doubly delicious because McCrow has made his living with firearms art, and this is his way to feel less "guilty".  He lives in New York City.  
Asking directors to destroy one gun for every firearm that appears in their films is McCrow's way of attempting to offset his enjoyment of violence in entertainment — a "guilty pleasure" he shares with much of the population.

He said the idea takes inspiration from carbon offsetting schemes, in which people plant trees or invest in other environment projects to counteract their own carbon footprint.
The error, of course, is in the premise, which is that more firearms are bad, and less firearms are good.  It has empirically been shown to be false.   The worst case is when only a small minority have guns, and lord it over the rest of the population, like in Somalia, the Sudan, or Brazil now, or Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime, or North Korea today.

Consider McCrow's proposition as a process:

Step 1. Buy guns. Profit goes to gun makers.

Step 2. Destroy guns.

Step 3. Buy more guns for next movie. More profit goes to gun makers.

Repeat as often as desired.

The gun manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank. and logical thinkers look at this and think “They cannot really be this stupid, can they?”

Is McCrow really this stupid?  I do not think so.  He just scored a fantastic merchandising coup for his art.  Ka-Ching!

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

AZ: Open Carry at Harbor Freight

The pistol range at the Ranch needed some trimming, so I stopped at Harbor Freight to pick up some inexpensive tools.  That is a bow saw on the counter.  The couple behind me were gracious and volunteered to take my picture.

Hispanic? Black? Caucasian? Mixed?  I could not tell, but they were the type of people that a civilization needs to thrive.  I thought they might be immigrants, but their English was perfect and colloquial.  Yuma is a pretty cosmopolitan place.  They were polite, helpful, and friendly.

Courtni, the clerk at the counter, was also helpful and friendly.  She was enthusiastic about having her picture taken for Gun Watch.  She was saving up for her Arizona Concealed Carry permit.

I said a permit was not needed to carry concealed in Arizona.  She said that she knew that, but all her friends were gun owners and shooters, and she thought the permit was worth it. 

You can see that the pistol range at the Ranch needs trimming.  The target is at 50 yards on the 65 yard range.   The mesquite on the left is watered to provide some afternoon shade.  The creosote bushes on the right have received above average rain in this El Nino year.  The camera angle makes the ground look sloped, but it is flat with a couple of berms.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

CA: Man who Killed two Robbers found Not Guilty of Murder, Guilty of Weapons Charge

Kamhen "Omar" Saleh in suit and tie.

Two years ago, a 20 year old California man withdrew $44,000 from the bank for the family business.  He placed the money in a backpack in his vehicle.  He also had a 9mm pistol in the vehicle.  Two men attempted to steal the money; he saw one in his SUV and confronted him; ultimately shooting both men.  In the confrontation they had occupied another vehicle, taking the backpack and money with them.  From From
At only 22-years-old he says he shot and killed two robbers in self-defense. Police say those two robbers -- Omar Calderon and Adam Verdusco were stealing $44,000 from Saleh's car, money from his family's business. A jury found him innocent of all but one charge -- a misdemeanor for carrying a loaded weapon.

Defense attorney John Jackson said, "It makes me feel good that the jury came to the right decision what doesn't make me feel good is that the district attorney's office forced an innocent person for two years to have to suffer and basically make him think that he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail."

The two robbers weren't carrying firearms, just knives according to police. Because of that the district attorney's office argued Saleh used unreasonable force.
Once he spotted the knife, Saleh said he backed out of the car and wasn’t sure where the other man went. He testified he went around to the driver’s side of his vehicle and pulled out his 9 mm gun, which he had placed between the driver’s seat and the center console after returning from the bank. Saleh said he also had his cell phone in his hand and was trying to make a phone call to get help.

Saleh fired 8 shots from his 9mm pistol.  The men were in the other vehicle by the time he started shooting.  He says he feared that they were going to run him over.

Saleh did not fire any more shots as the men in the vehicle fled the parking lot, but pursued the men, money and vehicle in his own SUV.  Both robbers were already mortally wounded.

The trial process took two years.  Saleh was found not guilty of all charges, except for the weapons charge, having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.   From
Saleh's trial ended with quick deliberation Wednesday.
While the defense attorney criticized the prosecutor for pursuing this case, I can see the prosecutor's side.  The robbers were in a vehicle, so their knives were not a threat.  Saleh shot into the side and rear of their vehicle.   The prosecutor questioned Saley's judgement on a couple of points.  From
“So, you left $44,000 and a loaded handgun unattended?” in the vehicle when going into Office Max, Dempsey asked. “Weren’t you concerned about following a car when you [felt threatened]?” he asked.
In the end, the Jury sided with Saleh.  While Saleh was close to 21, he was not there yet.  Under California law, there was no way for him to legally carry a firearm to protect his family's property that day in August of 2013.  

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

TN: Man Shoots Burglar while Partner calls 911

“The female stepped out of the house to call 911 while the male resident checked on the problem. The resident encountered the suspect in a bedroom, which led to the shooting of the burglar.”

DeBusk identified the intruder as 34-year-old Mark Brandon Caldwell, a parolee who had served time for multiple business burglaries.
More Here

CO: Man may face Charges for Protecting Dog from Bear

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Wildlife officials say a Fort Collins man shot and killed a young black bear that got into a fight with his dog in his backyard.


Wildlife officials are investigating because it’s illegal to shoot wildlife without a permit. It’s also illegal to shoot a gun within city limits.
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NV: Brother with Rifle protects sibling from Intruders

The kids ran upstairs and followed what their dad had told them to do in this scenario. They hid in a closet.

"He taught me what to do. I had a rifle I had a cell phone, called 911. I was just prepared for it," Andrew said.

The thieves start packing up a silver sports car with stolen goods. But Andrew was still in the closet with his brother, rifle in hand.

One suspect eventually found them, saw the gun and ran. Surveillance cameras caught the pair speeding off.

More Here

IL: CCW Holder wins Gunfight with Robbers

CHICAGO — A man with a concealed-carry license used his gun to stop two men trying to rob him and a companion in Englewood late Thursday, police said.

At 10:05 p.m., a 24-year-old man was with a woman in the 7400 block of South Morgan Street in Englewood when they were approached by two men who said they were robbing them and had a gun, said Officer Janel Sedevic, a Chicago Police spokeswoman.
More Here

Saturday, August 22, 2015

MD: More on Wounded Homeowner Disarm of Home Invader

Police say shortly after 3 in the morning, two men with a pistol knocked on the door and Hayes's son answered. He noticed the pistol, grabbed it and was shot in the leg. He was able to get the gun away and shot 37-year-old Delonta Snowden of Glen Burnie.

Hayes’ girlfriend who was a witness at the scene, said the second suspect fled the residence in a silver minivan.
More Here

KS: Break in Suspect Shot by Armed Homeowner

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A man who attempted to break inside a Kansas City, Kan., home on the 300 block of N. 16th Street was unable to do so thanks to an armed homeowner.

Police say just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday night, the suspect was shot three times by another man when attempting to break inside the home.

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GA: Home Invader Disarmed in Struggle, Shot, Killed

DeKalb police found a man outside his home on Derbyshire Drive who had flagged down a motorist to call 911.

Ronald Hugo-Garcia told police Wednesday night he had fled the house after battling a home invader. His nephew, Ronaldo Clemente, was still inside with the gunman, according to the police report.

The gunman had entered the home around 7:15 p.m., police said. Hugo-Garcia said the gun went off as he and Clemente struggled with the gunman for his pistol, according to the report.

More Here

TX: Armed Father Aggressive Car Smasher

NORTH HARRIS COUNTY -- Deputies say a father shot and killed a suspect after he tried to force his way into the family's garage.

The incident in the 800 block of Sun Prairie Drive started when the homeowner caught the man smashing his car windows, according to Harris County deputies. When the victim asked the man to stop, the man came after him and tries to enter his garage. The victim tried to close his garage door, but the suspect hit it and the door went back up.
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KS: Warning Shot Stops Criminal, Property Recovered

He said when the burglar started to come toward the owner, he fired a single shot into the ground to stop his advance. The suspect then ran west, got into a pick up with another suspect and took off.

Police later found the get-away vehicle in the Hi-Crest neighborhood. After a short pursuit and foot chase, two men were taken in for questioning and one of whom, Marks, was detained.

All stolen items were returned to the victim. The TPD said they are still investigating.
More Here

MD: Wounded Homeowner Disarms Invader, Shoots Same

The victim told police that he and his girlfriend were home when someone knocked on the front door and forced their way in. One man pointed a pistol at the victim, who said he grabbed it. In an ensuing struggle, the victim was shot in the leg, police said.

The victim kept struggling and wrestled the gun away from the intruder and shot him before fleeing the house, police said. Officers secured the home where they found the incapacitated suspect and the victim's girlfriend.

More Here

LA: Homeowner uses Shotgun to capture Carjacking Suspect


A 17-year-old man who was arrested Monday after he allegedly carjacked a tow truck in New Orleans East was cornered in a backyard by a homeowner armed with a shotgun.

The suspect, Larry Pierre, faces carjacking, flight from and resisting an officer, illegal possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless operation of a vehicle and criminal trespassing.
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Americans Save the day in Belgium, Take down AK47 weilding Terrorist on Train

 Patrick Ropert, a spokesman for SNCF, said:
Quote Above all we evidently must salute the level-headedness and the determination of the two American passengers who intervened aboard the Thalys today.
I want to pay tribute to the support of the passengers we witnessed and the Thalys staff tonight in extremely testing conditions.
The minister of the interior has arrived in Arras to oversee the inquiry and the operation there. 

(snip)  It appears there were three Americans and a Briton

Mr Skarlatos, a 22-year old member of the National Guard added
Quote I just got back from Afghanistan last month, and this was my vacation from Afghanistan


There were other passengers , in addition to the marines, who played a part in subduing the gunman. Pictured here are (left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Alek Skarlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a Briton living in France who were awarded medals for their part in tackling the attacker.

More Here 

From the Daily Caller: Don’t Let Agenda-Driven Bureaucrats Set Policy on Guns and Mental Health

John Feinblatt, president and gun-grabbing propagandist extraordinaire for Everytown for Gun Safety, has published an adorable little fable in the The Hill about Senator Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill known as the “Mental Health and Safe Communities Act.” The op-ed is titled “Don’t let the NRA set policy on guns and mental health.”

Mr. Feinblatt opens with the question: “Do we really want to make it easier for people with dangerous mental illness to get guns?” He goes on to claim that the Cornyn bill “backed by the NRA” will do just that. (The bill is also backed by American Jail Association, Council of State Governments, Treatment Advocacy Center, National Association of Social Workers, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Police Organizations,  and American Correctional Association. )

What Cornyn’s bill does, among other things,  is clarify certain issues of mental illness with regard to the NICS system, the criminal justice system and law enforcement. One important feature of the bill is to clarify the way in which the term “adjudicated as mentally defective” is used.  Right now, it’s ambiguous for the purposes of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Take, for example, the veterans who are targeted by the most recent gungrabbing efforts of the administration. The administration now wants to claim that any veteran who has a “representative payee” handle their finances is “mentally defective” and shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a firearm. These folks would be added to the NICS system and denied their Second Amendment right without any due process.

Feinblatt writes, “And if your loved one is a veteran with dangerous mental illness? Right now, he can be prohibited from buying and possessing guns, after V.A. proceedings in which he has a right to a hearing. The NRA’s bill changes current law – and allows tens of thousands of veterans with mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to get guns.”

No it does not.

Here is the relevant part of the bill, curiously omitted by Mr. Feinblatt:

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MA: Store Owner Fires at armed Robbers

An owner of a convenience store in Lowell fired two shots Wednesday night at a pair of armed robbery suspects who held up his business on Liberty Street, Lowell police said.

The robbery occurred at approximately 8:50 p.m. at the store located at 180 Liberty St., and the owner fired twice at the suspects with “a legally possessed handgun,” Lowell police said in a statement.
More Here

Followup MN: Man who Shot Teen Robber Lavauntai Broadbent will not be Charged

Lavauntai Broadbent of West St. Paul was fatally shot July 31, ending an apparent robbery spree for the teen and several friends.

In declining to charge the man for fatally shooting Broadbent, the county attorney's office said it "has concluded that no criminal charges are appropriate regarding Broadbent's death as the use of deadly force was legally justified."

According to police reports and charges against four teens who had been with Broadbent the day he was killed, police were called at 10:26 p.m. to the area of the World War I monument at Summit Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard.

More Here

OH: Possible Self Defense in Landlord Tenant Shooting

According to Watkins, the victim had been subletting the room to the alleged shooter for a few months. Recently, an argument between the men forced the victim to change the locks on the home.

The alleged shooter told police when he came home the morning of Aug. 16, he tried to enter the front door, but it was locked.

The landlord denied the man entry into the home, and the alleged shooter stated he was going to kick the door in.

He then made his way to the rear of the home, which led to the upstairs of the residence where his bedroom was located. When he tried to enter, the door was locked so he proceeded to kick it in, police said.

Once inside, the alleged shooter and landlord got into a physical altercation in the kitchen, which was quickly broken up by another male in the home, Watkins said.
More Here

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Followup UT: Domestic Shooting Ruled Justified

"Mr. Hardinger would not let her leave or get away," the prosecutor wrote. "Mr. Hardinger told her that she would have to kill him if she wanted to get away."

At that point, the woman said Hardinger dragged her into the master bedroom, pulled out a gun, put it on the bed and told her "the only way she would get out that night is if she shot him, otherwise he was going to kill her," Drechsel wrote.

"(She) picked up the weapon and shot Mr. Hardinger," the prosecutor wrote, noting that immediately after the shooting the woman retrieved one of the children's cellphones and called 911 for help.
More Here

Followup FL: Michael Reid Shooting found Justified

"The evidence suggests beyond a reasonable doubt that Casanova discharged his firearm and shot the deceased because he possessed a reasonable belief that the deceased would kill either him or witness Nakita [sic] Jackson," Williams wrote. "The overwhelming weight of the evidence requires this conclusion."

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MD: Victim Shoots Robber with Robber's Gun

Investigators allege that Fenwick – armed with a handgun -- approached an employee of a gravel pit and announced a robbery. The men struggled over the gun and Fenwick suffered fatal injuries; the worker had minor injuries associated with the fight.

Police they found a handgun at the scene, as well as other evidence.

More Here

WA: Armed Resident Stops Break-in, Flattens Tire

A person who lives near the intersection of 188th Street and Eastwood Avenue East in South Hill interrupted an attempted break-in at 9:13 p.m.; it was not clear Tuesday night how many suspects were involved. Armed, the home resident chased the getaway vehicle, fired and took out at least one tire, at which point the suspect or suspects ran away.

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KS: Universities to Educate about Concealed and Open Carry

In 2012, Kansas reformed its concealed carry law.   People who were exercising their Second Amendment rights would no longer be excluded from public buildings, unless the building took active measures to insure that armed criminals would also be excluded.  Active measure included guards and metal detectors on entrances.  From
The law would allow the University to secure the campus against guns by using metal detectors and guards, but it would cost more than $20 million to secure all 237 campus buildings, according to a 2013 report that the University gave to the Board of Regents.

If the University did not implement that security, anyone would be able to bring a concealed gun into any University building at any time.
The Kansan is a university newspaper; still I think that even a university paper writer would understand the irony of that statement.  It is a truism.  If you do not have protective measures in place, anyone could bring a concealed gun into any university building. 

What the law changes, is that people who are legally carrying guns, would no longer be subject to prosecution for doing so in areas on universities that are unsecured.  The law does away with numerous illusory "gun free zones".

A task force is being formed to educate people on campus to deal with the changes in the law.   It appears that one of the major concerns is to prevent the "swatting" of people legally carrying firearms.    In discussions about people exercising Second Amendment rights, disarmists often suggest that police be called, and the danger to the public be lied about and enhanced.  Some hope to start a gunfight between legal carriers and police.  From the Kansan:
“We’ll discuss what it will mean for the University and how to best deal with the situations that may arise so that no one calls 911 every time they see a gun because we can’t learn and work in those conditions,” Williams said.
This is a good item to focus on.  There are seven other states that allow concealed carry on campus.   There have not been any significant problems in those states. 

Kansas law already prevents local governments from prosecuting legally armed people for openly carrying firearms.   The law allows local units of government to ban openly carried firearms from buildings if proper signage is posted; but no criminal penalties are allowed.  From
(c) It shall be a violation of this section to carry an unconcealed firearm if the building is posted in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the attorney general pursuant to subsection (d). Any person who violates this section shall not be subject to a criminal penalty but may be subject to denial to such premises or removal from such premises.
It appears that it is already legal to openly carry firearms on Kansas universities, as long as they are not carried into buildings that have the proper signage.

I have not seen any stories of disruptions of Kansas places of higher education due to the presence of firearms.  Perhaps the task force will not face such a difficult problem after all.

Definition of disarmist

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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Concealed Carrier Robbed of Gun in Philadelphia

In this screenshot, the robber has the pistol, which appears to be a semi-auto.  The robber is closest to the counter.  The red arrow points to the pistol.

It happened on August 17, 2015.  The concealed handgun carrier was robbed of his handgun in a strong arm robbery.  The story illustrates one of the disadvantages of concealed carry.  Concealed carry gives up tactical deterrence.   The robber did not know that the concealed carrier was armed, so he was not deterred from attacking him.  In this case, the element of surprise was to the advantage of the robber. 

The police statement.


The start of the attack.  The robber is very close.

 Two or three seconds into the attack.  The holstered pistol is on the floor.  It is not clear if an attempt to draw was made.   Both men fall down and wrestle on top of the pistol.  It is not clear if they know that it is there.

The combatants have broken apart and moved away from the counter.  You can see the holstered pistol on the floor between the mat and the base of the counter.

The attacker sees the pistol on the floor and goes for it.  He successfully retrieves it and manages to draw it  as shown in the top frame.

The victim counter attacks and keeps from getting shot.  The attacker runs out of the store with the pistol, pursued by the victim.

Link to video

Both open carry and concealed carry have advantages.  Sometimes one option works better than the other.   People use both options at the same time.  People should be able to choose which option they prefer, and make choices as they see fit.

Much has been made of two open carriers who were robbed of their guns in the last decade.  One of those occurred where the open carrier's gun was required to be unloaded by law.  There have been two unsuccessful attacks on open carriers.

Concealed carriers have also been attacked, and have been successfully robbed of their guns.  This is the second instance so far this year.  The first occurred in April.  If an attacker believes you to be unarmed, you are more likely to be attacked.   People have recognized that reality for centuries.

Two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson quoted Cesare Beccaria's Essay on Crimes and Punishment.   Here is the English translation:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."
Most defensive gun uses are not against other people armed with guns.  Most are against strong arm robberies, such as this one, or attacks with hands and feet or contact weapons such as knives and clubs.    According to FBI data, about one in five (21%) of aggravated assaults were committed with firearms.  About two in five robberies (41%) were committed with firearms.

Successful attacks against armed people are rare, against either concealed or open carriers.   They are so unusual that they make the news.

The examples reinforce the wisdom of having a retention system of some sort on a firearm holster, if simply for retaining the pistol during a fall or violent movements, such as may occur in an accident or during exercise.  Retention during a fight is even more important.

Situational awareness can prevent many of these attacks before they start.  Situational awareness is important whether open carrying, concealed carrying, or going about unarmed.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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