Friday, September 30, 2016

Followup LA: 73-Year-Old Charged for Shooting at Fleeing Suspect


New Orleans police arrested a 73-year-old homeowner after they said he opened fire on two men running from his property. On Wednesday afternoon the court found probable cause to charge Abraham Venson with aggravated battery. He is being held on $10,000 bond.

Just before 3 a.m. police responded to a shooting in the 1900 block of Gallier Street. They said Venson critically wounded one man, age 53, after he found the men in his garage. According to police, the shooting happened as the men were fleeing.
More Here

Thursday, September 29, 2016

NAACP Joins With Knife Rights in Support of New York Knife Law Reform

Image from Knife Rights  

The two knives in the lower left corner are actual gravity knives.  The others have resulted in prosecutions for possession of a "gravity knife" in New York City.  (update) The two knives (brass handled and black handled)  just to the right of the German gravity knives in the lower left corner, are American made gravity knives from the 19th century.  Thanks to Doug for the information.

Knife Rights has been aggressively working to reform the New York State law on pocket knives.  The law was passed in the 1950's as part of the trendy and hyped "switchblade" ban based on false information and emotional arguments.

Some organizations associated with "progressive" groups that are hostile to the Second Amendment have joined in support of this reform. Their concern with the law seems to be because black and Hispanics are the disproportionate targets, rather than from Constitutional concerns.

Knife Rights filed a federal lawsuit in 2013. The suit is working its way through the courts.  The lawsuit claims the law is vague, because people in New York City cannot tell whether a knife is a "gravity knife" or not until a policeman tells them.  The Village Voice believes that about 60,000 people have been arrested under the weird interpretation of the law by New York City prosecutors.

It may be months before a court decision is reached, years if the decision is appealed.

Knife Rights also pushed a legislative reform that would prevent most abuses of the law.  This year it passed both houses of the legislature with overwhelming margins: 99 to 12 in the Assembly, unanimously in the Senate.

It is unknown if Governor Cuomo will sign or veto the bill.  Mayor De Blasio has come out against it.

Two "progressive" allies have added their voices to urge Governor Cuomo to sign the bill.

The first was The Legal Aid Society, which is the largest public defender organization in New York City.  Given the abuse of the law by Manhattan CA Cyrus Vance, that is expected.

Now the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund has signed on.  From
The NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund — the organization founded by Thurgood Marshall and responsible for bringing Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia and many other seminal civil rights cases — has thrown its support behind efforts in the New York legislature to reform the state’s broken gravity knife statute.

In a letter sent this week, the organization urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a reform bill, passed by the legislature in June, designed to stop prosecutions that have attracted widespread criticism. "This law is problematic on its face and even more problematic in its application," the organization wrote. "It punishes New Yorkers for an innocent act, and it is overwhelmingly applied against African Americans and Latinos." (The full text of the letter is below.)
 Mayor de Blasio is in direct opposition to the Legal Aid Society and the NAACP.  It is ironic that de Blasio has been hostile to "stop and frisk" but wants to maintain the law that most "stop and frisk" arrests were made under.

These antiquated knife laws, passed in moments of hyperbole with little relationship to fact or logic, are being reformed and repealed across the nation.  Efforts by Knife Rights have been successful in New Hampshire, Alaska, Tenneseee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Maine, Indiana, Texas, Nevada, and Wisconsin have all been successful.  Perhaps the Legal Aid Society and the NAACP will supply enough "pull" to get Governor Cuomo to sign the bill.

With the help of "progressive" organizations, the reform effort could be accelerated and multiplied.

At some point, knives will be judicially recognized as "Arms" protected under the Second Amendment.  

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Gun Watch

MT: Missoula City Council turns Scofflaw, Violates Gun Preemption

As with most states, Montana has a firearms preemption law to prevent a crazy quilt of firearms laws that would make it impossible to obey the law while traveling though the state.  Many city and county boundaries are not marked. It would be practically impossible to track thousands of different firearms laws.

Montana's preemption statute is a good example.  As a bonus, it is simple to understand. From
45-8-351. Restriction on local government regulation of firearms.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a county, city, town, consolidated local government, or other local government unit may not prohibit, register, tax, license, or regulate the purchase, sale or other transfer (including delay in purchase, sale, or other transfer), ownership, possession, transportation, use, or unconcealed carrying of any weapon, including a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or concealed handgun. 
(2) (a) For public safety purposes, a city or town may regulate the discharge of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. A county, city, town, consolidated local government, or other local government unit has power to prevent and suppress the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons to a public assembly, publicly owned building, park under its jurisdiction, or school, and the possession of firearms by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, illegal aliens, and minors. 
(b) Nothing contained in this section allows any government to prohibit the legitimate display of firearms at shows or other public occasions by collectors and others or to prohibit the legitimate transportation of firearms through any jurisdiction, whether in airports or otherwise. 
(c) A local ordinance enacted pursuant to this section may not prohibit a legislative security officer who has been issued a concealed weapon permit from carrying a concealed weapon in the state capitol as provided in 45-8-317.
In an 8-4 vote, the Missoula City Council on Monday passed an ordinance requiring criminal background checks on all private gun sales within city limits, effective in 30 days.

Ward 4 representative Jon Wilkins abstained from the vote, but after hearing a 7-4 roll call from his fellow council members changed his vote to yes, prompting a round of applause from the audience even though the ordinance would have passed with seven in favor.
Last year the City Attorney claimed that a background check law was exempted under paragraph 2, that allows a city to prohibit possession "by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, illegal aliens, and minors".  

But the law does not prohibit possession.  It requires private purchasers to submit to a background check, directly regulating the sale of firearms. The ordinance claims it has the authority to "prevent and suppress" possession of firearms by prohibited possessors. From the ordinance(pdf):
9.60.010 Purpose and Intent.
This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the statutorypowers explicitly granted to Montana local governments pursuant to subsection 45-8-351(2) MCA for public safety purposes to prevent and suppress the possession of firearms by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents illegal aliens, and minors in order to ensure that background checks generally occur with respect to firearm ownership transfers as a prevention mechanism to serve as a deterrent to convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents illegal aliens and minors unlawfully obtaining possession of firearms. 
I suspect the City Council was well aware that what they were doing was illegal.  They simply did not care.  If they do not care about violating the law, why do they think criminals will?

John Lott does an good job in showing the ineffectiveness and harm caused by the "instant" background check system.  Most of the people who are prevented from obtaining firearms are not legally prohibited.  They simply have names that are close to someone who is prohibited.  The majority of those prevented are blacks and Hispanics, because the majority of felons are blacks and Hispanics with similar names.  From
"In reality, the 'Brady Checks' are quite ineffective in stopping criminals from getting guns," wrote the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. "There are actually very few hard-core criminals that are stupid enough to even try to buy a gun from a dealer that does a background check."

Lott explains that these 2 million "initial denials" are usually mishaps "because they have a similar name to a felon" a lot like what Americans might deal with if their name is similar to someone else's who is on the "no fly" list.
This is political theater with a serious side.  "Progressives" believe that they may violate the law with impunity, because they believe their intentions are good. In this case they are likely correct. There does not seem to be any penalty for violating the preemption law.  Several states have found that they need to put teeth in the law to gain compliance.  Florida put in penalties that held individual officers and elected officials responsible. The taxpayers will pay the attorney fees used to defend the city from litigation.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TX: Man and Wife Work together to Shoot Armed Robber

The man who attempted to rob a couple in their driveway is at the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg.

On Friday, Sept. 23, at about 11:35 p.m. LPD received a report of an attempted robbery in the 1800 block of E. 28th street.

According to the Lubbock Police Department, Kedrick Trotty and Christy Trotty pulled into their driveway and were approached by a robber wearing a black ski mask and wielding a handgun. The robber, identified by police as Jamarcus Johnson, threatened Kedrick, the driver, demanded money, and demanded that Kendrick get out of the vehicle.
More Here

TN: Homeowner Shoots, Kills, Armed Man

A large number of criminals know their victims.

Police determined the victim entered the shooter's home and was armed, police said, and the resident shot the victim.

The two knew each other, but no charges are expected against the shooter, according to police.

More Here

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

CA: Man Shoots at Home, Resident Shoots Back, Stops Attack

Palermo >> Deputies say a man was shot early Friday morning after he opened fire at people at home in Palermo.

More Here

NY: Armed Citizen (off duty corrections officer) Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect

According to the NYPD, an armed male who was not identified tried to rob the officer at gunpoint. The off-duty officer was also armed, with a revolver in a holster at his side. The off-duty officer discharged his service weapon during the robbery attempt and struck the man in the torso, according to police.

More Here

OK: Domestic Defense, Man and Woman Shot

Police say they were called to a home in the 5800 block of SE 10th when two people were injured after a man opened fire during a fight with his son. The son was shot in the back and a woman in the home was shot in the leg.

Police say they believe the man acted in self-defense.
More Here

Looking for Picture of "No Gun" sign at Cascade Mall in Burlington Washington

Image by Brandy Shreve/ Skagit Valley Herald

The Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington is the latest site of a mass killing.  Motive is uncertain, but the shooting was done by a 20 year old immigrant from Turkey, who came here as a young boy.  

The Cascade Mall has been widely reported as a gun free zone.  I believe it is.  It has been stated that the parent company, Macerich, has a corporation wide gun free zone policy.  From an post:

Cascade Mall (201 Cascade Mall Drive) - Burlington (Macerich Corporate-wide policy, due to this thread)
 I am looking for image to  verification of the gun free policy at Cascade Mall.  I have found several references saying that it is, but a picture would have more impact.  The picture above, from the Skagit Valley Herald, does not have sufficient resolution to be sure.  It is possible that the no guns policy is in the Code of Conduct at the upper left of the picture.

If anyone can check, or come up with a picture, I would use it in an article showing that the Cascade Mall is indeed a gun free zone.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

Monday, September 26, 2016

More Fronts in The Second Amendment War: Todd Rathner, Knife Rights, and the NFAFA

Todd Rathner at the Texas Legislature

Todd Rathner is a talented freedom fighter.  I have been impressed with his abilities for several years.  I met him again at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Tampa.  Todd is the lobbyist for Knife Rights.  The accomplishments of Knife Rights for the last decade has been tremendous, impressive, a tiny organization fighting far above its weight class.  Knife Rights says they have opened a second front in the war to restore the Second Amendment.  They are correct, and they are winning significant victories every year.  I have written about Knife Rights before.  Doug Ritter is one of the founding stars of the Knife Rights success story, but Todd Rathner is another. It seems to be a near magical combination that has produced incredibly effective results.

Part of the reason is the knife laws are so stupid and indefensible that a talented persuader like Todd Rathner can easily show state legislators reforms are needed, are obvious, and have no political downside.

Todd is continuing with his role as the lobbyist for Knife Rights. I expect more great things from him in the future.

He has seen another opportunity that dovetails nicely with his current lobbying on the Knife Rights front in the war for restoring the Second Amendment.

He has opened another front.  It has many similarities to Knife Rights.  It is a unified lobbying approach to reform and ultimately repeal the National Firearms Act (NFA).  It is why he started the NFA Freedom Alliance.

The NFA restrictions at the state level are just as stupid and indefensible as the knife laws are. In the last legislative session in Texas (2015), Todd lobbied both for Knife Rights and the NFA Freedom Alliance.  A strong statewide knife preemption bill was passed. Reform of the archaic Texas knife laws against carry of any knife with a more than 5.5" blade was narrowly defeated by a Democrat committee chairman, who voted for the bill, then killed it by refusing to do the administrative action he had promised.

On the NFA front, Texas had a weird old law that allowed the ownership of NFA items; silencers, short barreled rifles and shotguns, automatic firearms and destructive devices.  But ownership was only allowed if the items were registered under the NFA.

You could own an item, but you could be arrested for owning the item.  Then you would be given the opportunity to prove that you had it registered with the NFA in a court of law.  This is called a "defense to prosecution".  It is the opposite of innocent until proven guilty.

If a police officer and/or a prosecutor wanted to punish you, you could spend many thousands of dollars just to show that you were innocent. It happened. Todd changed that.

The first time at bat for the NFAFA, he hit a home run, and reversed the "defense to prosecution" for NFA in Texas. NFA owners in Texas are now innocent until proven guilty.

Legislatures are complex organizations.  Learning how to "read" them, determine pressure points, personalities, and pathways through the labyrinthine legislative procedures to pass bills is an acquired skill.

It takes talent, intelligence, and exemplary persuasive abilities. Todd Rathner has shown he is a master of the craft.  The skill set is the same for a Knife Rights bill or an NFA bill on the state level.  Supporting Todd is a force multiplier for both efforts.

Knife Rights and the NFA Freedom Alliance are small but agile organizations.  They obtain tremendous bang for the buck.  They have virtually no bureaucratic "tail" to drag them down, slow decision making to a stand still, and cause them to miss opportunities.

The problem that goes with this advantage is a lack of resources.  When they spend their time raising funds, it is time not spent working legislatures.  It is not much money, but there has to be money for travel, minimal supportive structure, and research.  We are not talking hundreds of millions of dollars like Bloomberg, or tens of millions of dollars like the NRA.  We are talking tens of thousands.  In a video, Todd Rathner off handily remarked that one million dollars would likely insure victory, nationwide, in a few years.  I do not think he was joking.

Knife Rights and The NFA Freedom Alliance are the "Skunk Works" of the political world.  They accomplish what many claim to be impossible, on starvation budgets.

They depend on things like the gun culture equivalent of the bake sale.

The NFA Freedom Alliance is running a raffle to raise funds to keep them in the fight.  The prize is an AK short barreled rifle with an AK optimized suppressor.  It is based on a Romanian parts kit with a side folder stock.  It is a semi-auto short barreled rifle with a suppressor, so it has two tax stamps. 

I have no connection to the NFAFA administratively or monetarily.

Knife Rights and the NFAFA are using the strategy pioneered by the concealed carry permit movement and grass roots Second Amendment supporters.

Educate the state legislators to pass reforms.  Use those reforms as a base to build more reforms.  Eventually peel back federal infringements, as was done with the ban on guns in federal parks.

As the state legislators climb the ladder to Congress, the Senate, and governorships, build on their education to pass more reforms.

It can be done.  it is a winning strategy, and Todd Rathner has proven that he has the knowledge and skills to make it work.

Todd started his lobbying career as a lobbyist for the NRA.  He found he could be a more effective lobbyist for Knife Rights.

The NRA membership elected Todd to the NRA board of directors.  He has an intimate knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the NRA. He is up for election again next year.  The ballot will be in the February, 2017 edition of each of the NRA magazines.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Gun Right Policy Conference: Jeff Knox, Three Legislative Initiatives to Push

Jeff Knox says that there are three legislative initiatives that are in Washington, D.C. , that are being ignored by the Republican leadership.

He says that the bills should be passed to make President Obama veto them, to make the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans clear and obvious.  It is a winning issue for Republicans, and they should highlight it.

The three issues are these:

1.   Replace "Sporting Purposes" in the Gun Control Act of 1968 with "Lawful Purposes".  The "Sporting Purposes" restriction was lifted from the NAZI German law.  "Sporting Purposes" has been used by the BATFE to restrict many firearms from importation in the United States, and to outlaw otherwise legal firearms in the United States.

2.  Remove suppressors aka silencers, from the National Firearms Act.  These items should never have been restricted.  There was never any reason given for the ridiculous level of regulation on what are, in reality, gun mufflers. Most of Europe does not have these regulations. There is wide support to remove gun mufflers from requirements for a $200 dollar tax, fingerprints, photographs, and a six month wait for regulatory approval.  The proposed bill moves silencers from being considered the same as machine guns to being in the category of ordinary rifles and shotguns.  That would mean they would be available in local gun shop, as many as you want, and then could be legally sold privately after that.  It is not perfect, but it moves in the correct direction.

3.  National Reciprocity.  The votes are there.  The have been there for a long time.  Pass a liberal national reciprocity bill that says: If you can legally carry a firearm in public spaces where you live, you may legally carry that firearm anywhere in United States territory, under the rules of that public space for their citizens.  All 50 states and most territories allow for public carry by people licensed in that state or territory.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Sunday, September 25, 2016

OH: Intruder Breaks Door, is Shot

Columbus police said a man who broke into a Franklinton home early Friday morning was stopped when he was shot by the homeowner.

Police were dispatched to Dana Avenue in Franklinton just after 4:30 a.m. on a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they found Fredrick Eisnaugle, 27, suffering from a gunshot wound.
More Here

IN: Man Shoots at Intruder, Damages Neighbors House

GARY — A 63-year-old man told police he shot at someone who broke into his home Wednesday night and displayed a gun, and the man fired several shots as he ran off.

Gary police said the gunshots likely damaged a neighbor’s home in the 2200 block of Hendricks Street, but no injuries were reported.

More Here

Saturday, September 24, 2016

OR: Armed Citizen Shot Pit Bull that Attacked his Leashed Dog

Portland police say the gun-wielding man was not arrested because he had a concealed weapons permit and his dog was attacked. Investigators will turn the case over the Multnomah County District Attorney's office.

More Here

ME: Mother Uses Gun to Keep Intruder at Bay

WATERBORO — When a mother woke up to see a man in her house shining a flashlight in her face early Tuesday morning, she told him she had a gun and she wasn’t afraid to use it.

But the woman, whose two young children were with her in the home on Back Road, was able to initially talk the man – whom she said was drunk – outside, after she got her weapon. He came inside again, she wrote in a social media posting on the York County Sheriff ’s Office page, then deputies arrived and took him into custody.
More Here

Pre-View Gun Rights Policy Confernce, Tampa FL, 2016

Set-up nearly finished for 2016 GRPC

I am writing from the Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Tampa, Florida.  Got up at 0400 this morning in Dallas where I was visiting family.  The Dallas/Fort Worth airport was easy to get to, but if you are flying out of it,  research off-site parking.  The $24 a day inside the airport parking is a little stiff.

Once inside, the ticket counter agent knew her gun protocol inside and out.  No problem.  The TSA agent did not need to X-ray.  Maybe an extra 5 minutes, max.  Going through the security screening a bit of a pain, but fairly efficient.

On the Shuttle from the Tampa airport to the Hotel, I ran into David Sigale, the lawyer who won the Commenwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Second Amendment case.  He gave me some interesting tidbits about the appeal.  It is the Parents Teachers Student Association of Tanapag Middle School who is appealing the case.  The District judge said that they did not have standing; they appealed the ruling about standing to the Ninth Circuit.

In Tampa, I reminded myself that Florida is one of the five remaining states that generally outlaw open carry of firearms.  It took a little wardrobe adjustment to make sure I was obeying the law.  I have had a Florida CCW permit for many years.  I walked a block to the Subway on the corner, and ordered a sandwich.  I was wearing an instructor pullover shirt with collar and an embroidered Isher Enterprises insignia showing a Glock profile.

The sandwich maker behind the counter noticed the embroidered pistol logo, and asked if I preferred .40 or .45.  I said 9mm and mentioned that it did not really make much difference, they were all fine calibers.  I told him about the Gun Rights Policy Conference, and handed him my card.

From then on, we were brothers of the gun.  He had a bit of an accent, but I do not think he will be voting for Hillary.

 Back at the Airport DoubleTree by Hilton, the Second Amendment Foundation Staff were busy setting up the GRPC with local volunteers from Florida Carry.  I talked with They have an open carry case that is waiting for a decision at the Florida Supreme Court.  The case has been ongoing for years. A decision is expected by the end of this year.

SAF staff setting up registration for tonight.

There were several people from Arizona Citizen's Defense League helping set up as well.  If you want to meet movers and shakers among Second Amendment supporters, this is the place to do so.  In just a couple of hours, I had agreed to do two more book reviews. 

This evening, Friday, is a good time to meet and rub elbows with people like John Lott, Phillip Van Cleave of Virginia Citizens Defense League, Alan Gura, Alan Gottlieb, and assorted other luminaries.

It starts in a few minutes. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

CT: Pizza Delivery Man Disarms Robber, Shoots Same

NEW HAVEN — A pizza deliveryman wrested a gun from a robber and shot him during a holdup early Wednesday, police said.

Shawn Pauls, 23, sustained an injury police say is minor. He confessed and faces robbery and weapons charges, they said.
More Here

IN: Armed invader Shot and Killed with Shot to Head

MUNCIE – City police say a Muncie man was fatally shot early Wednesday while he was trying to stage an armed invasion of an eastside apartment.

Scott Allen Gilliam, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, in the 1500 block of East Washington Street, Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn said.

An autopsy conducted at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital confirmed Gilliam died as a result of a single gunshot wound in the head.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Noah Feldman Defends First Amendment Support for Second Amendment

Noah Feldman is a Harvard law professor and a prolific author.

On 17 May, 2016, Noah Feldman somewhat grudgingly, but honestly, explained why Second Amendment supporters keep winning in the courts.  I wrote about it a few days later:

In the Post and Courier article, Feldman is having an difficult time explaining why the Second Amendment should *not* be a fundamental right.  From the  

With that, the court embraced the old slogan that if you outlaw gun ownership, only criminals will have guns. The court then held that the regulation wasn’t narrowly tailored because the city would have to prove that its scheme made people safer than any less restrictive alternative. And it said it was “skeptical” that such proof could ever be possible. The regulation would only be narrowly tailored, he said, if it were “targeted at keeping guns away from people who are likely to misuse them or situations where they are likely to be misused.”
  Then Feldman writes this bombshell statement, for a person on the left:
City lawyers tried to argue that the regulation simply restricted the time, place and manner of bearing arms, limitations that are permissible even when applied to the free-speech protections of the First Amendment. But the court replied that the analogy was flawed — which of course it is. A law that prohibited you from speaking while on the street but let me speak while at home wouldn’t be permissible. The analogy to free speech is one that belongs to advocates of gun rights, not to the other side.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will have to review this decision. But it’s worth noting that, astonishing as the reasoning sounds, it makes logical legal sense once the right to bear arms is treated as a fundamental right comparable to free speech.
Noah Feldman has written another article, explaining why the courts should protect the publication of plans to build common weapons under the First Amendment.  From
Although the impulse to block the easy creation of untraceable weapons is admirable, the court got it wrong. The First Amendment can’t tolerate a prohibition on publishing unclassified information – even if the information is potentially harmful.
I admire Feldman's willingness to apply logic to the subject at hand, even though he dislikes the outcome.  You do not see that very often in the fight over the Second Amendment.  Feldman's logic is impeccable.
What’s more, Congress in its wisdom hasn’t prohibited Americans from making their own AR-15 parts at home. The fact that the conduct is legal is an overwhelming reason to conclude that directions on how to do it can’t be prohibited without violating freedom of speech.

Judge Edith Jones said as much in dissent. I don’t agree with Jones, a Ronald Reagan appointee, that often, but when you’re right, you’re right. She pointed out that the panel never squarely addressed the question of Defense Distributed’s likelihood of success on the merits in upcoming litigation.

When free-speech rights are in the balance, a long delay in publication is as good as the denial of the First Amendment. Defense Distributed has already been prohibited from speaking for three years.
I disagree with Noah Feldman a fair amount.  He has written, for example, that the interpretation of the Second Amendment as an individual right started with the Heller case in 2008.  That is not correct. But writing about the First Amendment, and the implications in this case, he is right.  As he says: when you are right, you are right.

Hats off to Noah Feldman.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Charlotte NAACP Leader Supports Open Carry, Second Amendment


Link to video

The President of the Charlotte, North Carolina NAACP, Corine Mack, made statements that should be music to Second Amendment supporters ears.  On CNN, she said that the mere fact that someone had a gun should not be enough to allow police to shoot someone.  From CNN:

MACK: At the end of the day, you know, a video may show a different perspective depending on the angle. And so if we don't have many different angles, you may not get the full picture. I think the most important part is the contrast in him having a book versus a gun. But in my mind and in most of the community's mind, it really doesn't matter if he had a gun. At the end of the day, we have the right, under the Second Amendment, to carry here in North Carolina. And their responsibility was to engage him in a more de-escalated way, to find out if he had a permit for his gun and allow him to go on his merry way and he would still be living today. That's not what happened. And so I don't want anyone to walk away from this conversation today thinking that a video showing he had a gun in any way says that he's guilty of anything.

Mack went on to say that police give white people who have guns different treatment than black people.  That is a common mis-perception.  It is true that black people commit violent crimes at far higher percentages than white people, but statistically, police are more likely to shoot white people who resist arrest than black people who resist arrest. From an analysis at
Since the common thread in the killings is that the person was resisting arrest, we need to compare how often people of each race get killed by police, with how often people of the same race get arrested by police. But clearly, we’re not interested in arrests for jaywalking and the like. Since 97% of these deaths are occurring in the context of people violently resisting arrest, they are best compared to the corresponding number of arrests for violent crimes.
Here are the results of that comparison for 2015.
  • For every 10,000 white people arrested for a violent crime, 38 white people were killed by police (± 2).
  • For every 10,000 hispanic people arrested for a violent crime, 21 hispanic people were killed by police (± 3).
  • For every 10,000 black people arrested for a violent crime, 21 black people were killed by police (± 2).
Go figure … I was as surprised as you, so I’ve triple checked the numbers, and it’s true—the odds of a given arrest going bad and ending up in a death are much greater for white men than for black or hispanic men.
It does not surprise me too much.  Police know that there are no white groups who are likely to riot in the streets if a white criminal is killed during an arrest.  Police know they are much more likely to be sued for a black person killed during a arrest than a white person.  Police know that culturally, white people are more willing to give the police a pass on their behavior, especially if the person has a criminal record, and to condemn criminal acts.

There are no big city mayors who are going to condemn police for "racist" acts against white people. The President does not say that white people "have a legitimate grievance".

This does not mean the police consciously decide to shoot and kill a higher percentage of white criminals.  It could easily be a sub-conscious, lower level of care when dealing with white criminals.

I applaud Corine Mack for her support of the Second Amendment.  But the problem is not police racism.  The problem is the high level of black criminality, and its causes.

I suspect those causes are primarily a lack of trust in the rule of law in black urban cores.  All around the world a lack of trust in the rule of law is associated with high criminality. The constant drumbeat of "racism" reinforces the lack of trust in the police. It could be a lack of fathers in the home of black male children in those same high crime areas in the United States.  There is a high correlation with a lack of fathers in the home and high levels of criminality.

Enforce the law in the black urban cores impartially.  Encourage a strong family structure.  Encourage a trust in the rule of law. As trust in the rule of law increases, black crime rates will drop.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

ACLU Files Civil Lawsuit for Connecticut Open Carrier

Link to video

The First and Second Amendments protect and reinforce each other. On September 11th, 2015, the protestor in this case, Michael Picard, was legally open carrying a handgun and had a camera running.  The police took the camera, his pistol and pistol permit.  They did not realize the camera was still recording.

Charges against Picard were eventually dropped, after he refused a plea bargain.  On September 15th, 2016 the ACLU-CT has filed a civil rights law suit against the three individual police officers.  From
HARTFORD — In a complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU-CT) contends that three state police troopers illegally retaliated against a protester by searching and detaining him, confiscating his camera, and charging him with fabricated criminal infractions. On behalf of Connecticut resident Michael Picard, the ACLU-CT alleges that John Barone, Patrick Torneo, and John Jacobi, all employed by the state police division of Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, violated Picard’s First Amendment rights to free speech and information and Fourth Amendment right against warrantless seizure of his property.

On September 11, 2015, Picard was protesting near a police DUI checkpoint in West Hartford. Barone approached him under the pretext of public complaints and confiscated Picard’s legally-carried pistol and pistol permit. Barone then claimed that filming the police is illegal, and took Picard’s camera. Unbeknownst to the troopers, the camera was recording when Barone brought it to Torneo’s cruiser. With the camera rolling, the officers proceeded to: call a Hartford police officer to see if he or she had any “grudges” against Picard; open an investigation of him in the police database; and discuss a separate protest that he had organized at the state capitol.

After Barone announced “we gotta cover our ass,” either Torneo or Jacobi stated “let’s give him something,” and the three settled on fabricating two criminal infraction tickets that they issued to Picard. Torneo drove away with Picard’s camera on top of his cruiser, upon which the camera fell onto the hood of the car, Torneo stopped, and Jacobi returned the camera to Picard. In July of this year, the criminal charges against Picard were dismissed in the Connecticut Superior Court.
Here is the complaint filed with U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.  From the lawsuit:

1. This suit challenges the actions of three Connecticut state troopers who,
acting under color of state law, detained, searched, and charged Michael Picard for protesting the government. The defendants also energetically interfered with Mr. Picard’s right to receive information when they confiscated his camera and made efforts to prevent him from recording their illegal acts with his cell phone. Through their actions, the state troopers violated Mr. Picard’s rights under the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

This sort of lawsuit could have considerable impact on police attitudes across the United States.  It is directed at the officers personally.  It is based on long standing First and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. It is a federal lawsuit based on civil rights. There is no question that the plaintiff was openly carrying a pistol.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Armed Man is Able to Drive Through Charlotte Riot with Gun; Open Carry is Legal

There are riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, sparked by the shooting of an armed black man by a black police officer. A motorist caught by rioters blocking the street, briefly displayed what appears to be a handgun. 

A video of the alarming moment was posted on social media by writer Heather Head in the midst of the chaos.

'White dude drives into crowd of peaceful protesters, draws gun, allowed to drive away alive. With my own eyes. #CharlotteProtest,' she wrote alongside the shocking clip.

The man was surrounded by protesters who were marching against the deadly shooting of black man Keith Lamont Scott by a cop on Tuesday afternoon.

Link to video

It is legal to openly carry a firearm in North Carolina, but not in a riot or organized protest, if the carry is intended to further the civil disorder. From the UK Daily Mail:
The law states: 'You may not carry a weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or other demonstration, except for guns carried on a rack in a pickup truck.

'You may not carry a weapon during civil disorder, riot, or other disturbance involving three or more people.'
The Daily Mail is using a shorthand version of the law, found on the Internet.  Their source appears to be  The full statute shows that more is required to make the carry illegal. The law referenced is statute 14-288.20.  
(b) A person is guilty of a Class H felony, if he:
(1) Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or

(2) Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ unlawfully the training, practicing, instruction, or technique for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder.

 Presumably, the law would only apply to the willful carry of a weapon in a civil disorder, riot, or other disturbance, with the purpose of furthering the civil disorder. It would be absurd to require an armed person to abandon their arms in the middle of a riot that they become inadvertently caught up in.

The video illustrates the effect of deterrence. After the motorist displays that he is armed, he eventually is able to move through the crowd without being stopped, as he was initially.

It is worth noting that the all of the people in the street who are "protesting", are violating North Carolina law. It is illegal to obstruct the highways and roads in North Carolina, as it is in every state.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

Reality Trumped Perception for Jihadist at Crossroads Mall Gun Free Zone

Image from

While the NO HANDGUNS sign is cut off in this photograph, it clearly shows that the Crossroads Center, where the Islamic mass stabbing terror attack took place, was and is posted as a Gun Free Zone.

In Minnesota, the sign has no legal weight.  Minnesota law prevents malls from banning guns from the common areas, but malls are not prevented from asking that visitors not carry guns.  The sign reads "please while shopping".  That makes it a request, not a command.

The difference can easily be lost on a someone who is not well schooled in the niceties of the law.  The 22 year old Jihadist likely believed that he was in a gun free zone.  It is the perception of the attacker that leads to the selection of the attack location, not the actual legally defined situation.

It is almost certain that Jason Falconer, as  firearms instructor, competitor, and concealed carry advocate, knew that the signs were only a request, and did not have the force of law.  It is a fact that is widely circulated among Second Amendment supporters in Minnesota.  From
The Mall of America has long had a policy to prohibit lawful carry of firearms by Minnesotans, including posting signs throughout the mall and removing permit holders seen to be carrying firearms.

Minnesota law, however, prohibits a landlord from interfering with the carrying of firearms under MN statute 624.714 by tenants or their guests.

The Mall of America is well aware that as landlords they cannot ban lawful carry. Carrying at the Mall of America does not violate the law, only the mall's wishes.

The current threat environment makes it unconscionable to seek to prohibit self-defense by the mall's customers.

- Bryan Strawser, Executive Director, Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee
The legal situation is the same for the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud as for the Mall of America.

Second Amendment supporters are correct in pointing out that the signs asking customers not to carry handguns at the Crossroads Center Mall do not carry the force of law. That does not stop the perception of the vast majority of people that the mall is a gun free zone.

It is the perception of the person who is making the decision on where to carry out the attack that determines whether a location becomes attractive to the attacker. If the attacker took the time to look at the Crossroads Center website, the perception would have been reinforced by the published policy on weapons possession on the premises. From the
Examples of specific activities that are prohibited include but are not limited to:
  • Disruptive profanity, vulgar or threatening language
  • Unnecessarily blocking walkways, roadways or storefronts
  • Running, horseplay or disorderly conduct of any nature
  • Excessive loitering
  • Operating unauthorized recreational and/or personal transportation devices in the shopping center
  • No firearms or illegal weapons
Was the Crossroads Center a Gun Free Zone, as far as as the 22-year-old radical Islamic attacker saw it?

Yes. Politicians are fond of telling us that "perception is reality".  In this case perception was the important reality, until an armed American hero showed that reality trumps perception.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Followup GA: Photos Released of Suspects in Deadly Home Invasion

Gwinnett police released photos of two “armed and dangerous” suspects Wednesday who were reportedly involved in a home invasion that left a third suspect dead last week.

Police need help identifying the two suspects caught on video in the home they tried to rob in unincorporated Gwinnett County near the DeKalb County border shortly after 4 a.m. this past Friday.

Detectives said a woman staying at the house near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard fatally shot Antonio Leeks, 28, of Atlanta after he kicked in the front door and was followed by two other men.
More Here

Followup MI: Home Owner Justified in Shooting 1 of 3 Home Invaders

JACKSON, MI – Two men are charged with first-degree home invasion for allegedly breaking down the front door of a house, prompting the homeowner to shoot and injure one of them.

The homeowner, Richard Snyder, was found to have justifiably acted in self-defense and the Jackson County prosecutor's office declined to charge him with any crime, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kati Rezmierski said Tuesday, Sept. 20.

More Here

TX: Homeowner with Gun Beats Intruder with Knife

Lubbock Police were called to a home on the 2000 block of Main Street just after 7 p.m. Monday night. A resident reported someone was attempting to rob him at his residence, then that suspect threatened him with a knife.

Lubbock Police said the resident fired a gun at the suspect. EMS responded to the scene and transported the suspect to UMC for treatment.
More Here

Ray LaMontagne (singer-songwriter); Gun Hater

It is always interesting when a performer injects politics into their professional lives.  They are inviting everyone to vote with their checkbook, credit card, or cash.  The lastest such is Ray LaMontagne, a successful singer-songwriter.
In a statement canceling the show, LaMontagne said he considers himself "very open minded" but he can't support allowing guns on college campuses.

LaMontange said: "There are a lot of things this country needs more of, but guns aren't one of them."
Perhaps LaMontange's decision has more than publicity seeking in mind. It is hard to see how allowing people with concealed carry permits to exercise the right to bear arms on a public campus will increase the number of guns in the country. Those people can already carry in most other public spaces. The number of private guns is approaching 400 million, and the numbers being sold have been breaking records for a decade.

A large segment of American voters and consumers disagree with Mr. LaMontange.  They are showing it by buying firearms in record numbers.  The stock of private firearms in the United States has increased by about 100 million during the Obama administration.  That is a 30% increase.

As the number of private firearms has increased, so has the number of people with concealed carry permits.  Those permits are close to 15 million, nationwide.  As the number of carry permits have increased, crime has dropped.

To add to the lack of logic, LaMontagne gave a performance at a venue in Salt Lake City. The right to bear arms has been partially restored at that venue as well.  From a press release by the Students for Concealed Carry:

Ray LaMontagne's Hypocritical Grandstanding Over Campus Carry

AUSTIN, TX - If singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is so concerned about the licensed, concealed carry of handguns that he feels compelled to cancel ( his September 22 concert at the Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas at Austin, why did he, just three days ago (, perform ( at Salt Lake City's Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, another venue that allows the licensed, concealed carry of handguns?

The Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theater ( in Salt Lake City, Utah, is owned by Salt Lake County. As a county-owned property, the Capitol Theater is subject to Utah's firearm ordinance preemption law (, which dictates that "a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms."
Perhaps Mr. LaMontange will restrict his performance to those states where concealed firearms permits are not allowed.  That would be none.  If he squinted hard, he might be able to perform in New York City, Maryland, Hawaii, or New Jersey, as permits in those places are restricted to the rich and well connected.

People with concealed carry permits are far more law abiding than police officers, who are considerably more law abiding than the average citizen.

Someone once said that "there is no bad publicity".

Considering what happened to the Dixie Chicks, and Eagles-Bears ratings after Colin Kaepernick's displays, it is unlikely that Mr. LaMontange did his brand any good.  That is his prerogative.  He can cancel any show he wants, and people are free to stop buying his product.  Using your celebrity to advance a cause you believe in is a time honored tradition.

Mr. LaMontange has shown that he hates guns, and by implication, the Second Amendment. Fans may appreciate knowing where Mr. LaMontange stands.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

Followup NJ: Bear shooting case, Shooting Bear on Deck judged reasonable, but not Cubs Below

SUPERIOR COURT -- A Superior Court judge has ruled a Sparta man was within his rights to shoot and kill a female bear on the man's second-floor deck nearly two years ago, but was guilty of hunting and killing her two cubs which were on the ground below.

Robert Ehling, of Alpine Trail in Sparta, was found guilty of illegally killing the three bears, as well as a firearms count, in a municipal court trial last fall. In January, Municipal Court Judge James Devine fined Ehling, a total of $4,332, which included court costs, fines on the illegal hunting and discharge of a firearm counts and restitution of $1,000 for each of the dead bears.

At the time, Ehling's attorney George T. Daggett said he would appeal the decision, saying that Ehling was within his rights to defend his home, himself and his wife, from the bears. The adult bear was killed by two shots from a shotgun while on the second-floor deck. The two cubs were shot while they were on the ground.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Followup NC: No Charges For Father forced to Shoot, Kill, Son

Police were called Monday night to a home on Modena Street after 70-year-old Dwight Patterson shot and killed his 47-year-old son Steven Patterson during a confrontation.

Police spokeswoman Donna Lahser said detectives have ruled this shooting an act of self-defense.

More Here

Followup MS: No Charges for Homeowner who Shot, Killed, Intruder

The man shot and killed by a homeowner in the course of an alleged home invasion has been identified.

According to Jackson Police Department's Twitter account the alleged burglar was Steven Middleton, 56. No charges are being filed against the homeowner.

More Here

Hillary vs the NRA

Hillary Clinton has picked a fight with the NRA and Second Amendment supporters.  It was not required.  From 1995 to 2012, the Democrats had shied away from public fights with the NRA, because of the severe beating at the polls they took in 1994.  It can be argued that the the Democrats gained the presidency of Barack Obama because they stayed quiet on Second Amendment issues during his elections.  But after being re-elected in 2012, Obama and the Democrats fiercely attacked the NRA.  They lost big in the 2014 mid-terms.

Hillary must believe that the demographics have flipped in her favor, and she can attack the NRA, claim she respects the Second Amendment, and say that the Supreme Court was wrong in holding that the Second Amendment is an individual right, all at the same time, and gain votes.

Here is the clip where she says the enemy that she is most proud of making is the NRA.

Link to video

Her problem is that she is not trusted nearly as much as the NRA.  Her favorability rating is between 10 and 20 points below that for the NRA. In spite of surveys that have been widely circulated in "progressive" circles, gun ownership is likely at some of the highest levels ever in the United States.

The other problem is that Second Amendment supporters are highly motivated, and often single issue voters.  Gun haters, on the other hand, are not nearly as motivated, are a much smaller group, and are almost all in the Democrat base to start with.

Trump, on the other hand, has been consistently pro-Second Amendment during the campaign.  He has high unfavorables; but an NRA endorsement works to raise him up, and against Hillary.

The extent to which the establishment media and Hillary allies are spinning her position on the NRA and the Second Amendment are extraordinary.  Politifact is a good example.  From Politifact:
Speaker: NRA

Statement: Says Hillary Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.”

Ruling: Clinton has never said that. The NRA cited a recording of her saying she disagreed with a Supreme Court case affirming some gun rights, but the same recording shows Clinton is clearly talking about concerns other than keeping a gun at home for self-defense. She specifically talks about someone going armed to a grocery store. We rate this claim False.
Politfact conveniently ignores that Hillary is a lawyer, and the Heller case did not make a finding about people going to the store with an AK47.  The case was all about the right of the people to own guns in their home for self defense.  She said:
"So I’m going to speak out. … The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make my case on that every chance I get."
Politifact then goes on to claim that Hillary's statement in 2015, long after the Heller decision in 2008, was the same as the Bush administration concerns about the case before it was decided.

Politifact makes the unconvincing argument that President Bush could not be against the right to self defense in the home before the decision was made (far from proven). Therefore Hillary's statement years after the decision, which was all about the individual right to self defense in the home, could not be against self defense in the home.

The argument simply makes no logical sense.  What does President Bush have to do with the question?  What does his position before the decision was made, have to do with Hillary's definitive statement years after the decision was settled law?  This is what passes for a defense of Hillary's stand on the Second Amendment.

The Washington Post echoed politifact's argument.

The NRA ad will resonate with voters.  It is not that the NRA has a direct quote of Hillary Clinton saying that she wants to confiscate all American's guns in her first term.  No one, at least until recently, would believe that Hillary would be so stupid as to say such a thing directly.

But very few believe what Hillary says, because the vast majority of people know that she is a liar with a long history of lies.  When some one catches her in an unguarded moment saying that she believes the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, they believe her.  They do not believe she is making some nuanced policy that is really Republican.

If it comes to a choice between Hillary and the NRA, the NRA wins.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

New Survey of Gun Ownership Shows Bias Before Publication

A large online survey of gun ownership has been done by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern Universities.  It is not expected to be published until 2017.  Some preliminary results have been released, but only to two publications.

The choice of those publications is highly instructive of the motives of the researchers.  The publications are The Trace, funded by Michael Bloomberg to promote citizen disarmament in the United States, and The Guardian, the British publication that is highly antagonistic to widespread gun ownership and the Second Amendment. From
The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey result summary, obtained exclusively by the Guardian and the Trace, estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70m guns since 1994. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who own guns decreased slightly from 25% to 22%.
The lead author of the survey is Dr. Deborah Azrael.  In a Salon interview in 2015, she revealed a number of preconceptions that could contribute to selection bias in the survey, the questions asked, or interpretation of the results.  From
“What we know is that if a woman is going to be killed by a firearm, she’s most likely to be killed by a current or former intimate partner. What we know is where there are more guns, more women die,” Azrael explained. “That’s just incontrovertibly true.”
That contention is hotly contested.  It is easy to find counter examples.  For example, gun ownership in Chicago is quite low, but the death rate for women and children from being shot, is high.  Gun ownership in Vermont is high, but the death rate for women and children from being shot, is low.  Gun ownership in Brazil, Venezuela, and Jamaica is low.  Homicides, including homicides with guns, are very high. It is a complicated question that does not lend itself to simple analysis, and it clearly is not "incontrovertibly true".

The following were responses from Dr. Azrael that were  "condensed and lightly edited for clarity" in the Salon Article.
That’s right. The two big sources of data on self-defense gun use are the National Crime Victimization Survey and non-governmental phone surveys, like the survey we conducted, in which people were asked, “Have you used a gun in self-defense to protect yourself against someone?” What we know from those surveys is you get much bigger estimates [on the use of guns in self-defense] from the type of survey we did for a complicated set of reasons.
It is possible to break down any system into two categories.  But to claim that the National Crime Victimization Survey is one of two "big sources" for self defense gun use is misleading.  The survey does not ask a direct question about defensive gun use, which is why the Center for Disease Control considered its numbers to be an outlier from most surveys.  From the CDC (pdf):
Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.
Dr. Azrael points to some anecdotal evidence.  Anyone who follows these stories knows that mistaken identity shootings are a rare subset of all shootings.  At Gun Watch, we have recorded thousands of news stories on defensive shootings since 2005.  From Dr. Azrael:
At this point there are countless horrible stories about people being mistaken for someone else, misapprehension by a gun possessor that somebody is a threat to them and people dying as a result.
Having actively looked for such stories, I cannot recall ever finding more than five such cases in any one year, out of thousands.

Dr. Azrael gives this indication of her fundamental assumption about access to firearms:
To me the fundamental problem is that everything we know suggests that access to firearms increases the likelihood of death and injury. Disproportionately to women, disproportionately to children, but to everyone. The notion that somehow increasing access to guns to women is going to be an exception to that rule is, to me, unfounded.
Her assumption is the fundamental assumption that arguments for public disarmament in the United States are based on.  It is an assumption.  There is considerable evidence that it is not true. Dr. Azrael indicates she has never found any contrary evidence.  Her reading list must be highly limited or self censored.  She does not seem to have read Dr. Gary Kleck, or Dr. John Lott,  both highly respected and published researchers in the field.

Dr. Azrael's comments on women and children indicate a strange and unusual interpretation of uncontested facts.  All the literature shows that the vast majority of people murdered with guns, who commit suicide with guns, or who are victims of fatal gun accidents, are adult males. Murders and accidents are much more common among young adult males, with a substantial but minority subset of murder victims who are 14-17 year old male gang members.  Suicide with guns is overwhelmingly an older adult white male phenomena.

  Her surprising ignorance is reinforced with the following comment.
That’s an interesting framing of it and makes sense to me, the analogy to “stand your ground” and castle doctrine seem sound. I appreciate that you started out asking about community safety, because the question that doesn’t seem to get asked in any of these contexts is what happens to a community when more people start to carry guns?
 "What happens to a community when more people start to carry guns?" has been one of the most highly researched and written about subjects in the literature.  John Lott has devoted several books to the subject.

What is not disputed is that crime does not rise.  What is disputed is if the crime rate falls, and how much it falls.

This survey is unlikely to convince anyone.  It suffers from the major problem of all surveys about gun ownership.  A large segment of gun owners are unwilling to tell strangers whether they own a gun or not.  From

QUESTION: "If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?"
Gallup recently released a poll showing that gun ownership had declined from polls they had taken in an earlier time period. That number is inconsistent with the number of firearms that have been sold since President Obama took residency, but the difference can be answered by the Zogby Analytic question above. The poll indicates maintaining anonymity is a contributing factor
  • 36% of Americans feel it is none of the pollster's business and that includes 35% of current gun owners 47% of Republicans and 42% of Independents  

If we take the lower number, 35%, and apply it to the lowest numbers for gun ownership from a national poll,  found in the General Social Survey (GSS), we see that it implies that gun ownership is up, not down.

The lowest number in the General Social Survey  is 32% of households.   For those of you who are challenged by algebra, bear with me.  If 35% of gun owners believe that gun ownership is something that is no business of national pollsters, is suggests that only 65% of gun owners would admit to gun ownership on national polls.  Thus, the true number of gun owners would be, using the lowest numbers from the GSS, 32% of households multiplied by 1/.65 or 1.54 X 32%, which comes to 49%.  49% happens to be about the number of households that reported gun ownership in the late 1970's.  That implies a higher level of per capita gun ownership, because the number of people per household has dropped by 19% from 1970.  In 1970, the number per household was 3.14.  In 2015, the number was 2.54

Trust in pollsters and the Government have both decreased dramatically in the last 50 years.  It is highly likely that the more restrictions on gun ownership are promoted, the less likely people would be to admit to ownership.

The new survey gives an estimate for privately owned guns in the United States.  Unsurprisingly, the estimate is quite low, at 265 million at the beginning of 2015.  If we apply the 1.54 correction for likely underreporting, the number becomes 408 million.  Latter in the Guardian article, is this nugget:
Manufacturing and import records suggest that more than 360m firearms entered the US market between 1899 and 2013, the new study’s authors noted. With gun sales spiking since 2013, some estimates would put the total number of American firearms today around 400m.
Another check is the number of guns added to the private stock in the U.S. since 1994.  The survey number shows 73 million more guns.  ATF figures show manufactured guns for the U.S. market, plus imports, minus exports, to be 137 million.  That does not include guns for the military.  The ATF figures are through the end of 2014.  The survey was conducted in early 2015, so they cover essentially the same time frame.  Yet the survey only catches 53% of what the ATF numbers show being added to the private stock.  This is consistent with significant underreporting to the survey.

I contacted Dr. John Lott.  He has not been sent a copy of the survey for peer review.

Dr. Lott published an article explaining the variability in surveys of gun ownership. He shows how the media has demonstrated bias in what surveys they promote. 

Update: His information is available in his new book War on Guns:
In fact, the media goes out of its way to find polls claiming that Americans are turning away from guns.  In their War on Guns they want to give the impression that gun owners are a small, fringe group.  Maybe they are hoping that this will have an impact on policy.  As General Social Survey director Tom Smith told me, a large drop in gun ownership would “make it easier for politicians to do the right thing on guns.”

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

AL: Armed Customer Shoots at Bank Robber

A bank teller complied and the man ran out of the bank with the money. The lieutenant says one of the bank customers inside the bank saw what happened and shot his own weapon at the robber. The robber was not hit.
More Here

Keith Ellison Proposes Law Requiring Disclosure of Campus Carry

United States Representative Keith Ellison (D) Minnesota, is a far left politician who was first elected to the House in 2006.  His initial claim to fame was that he was the first Muslim representative in the U.S.  He has introduced a bill to require institutes of higher learning to inform prospective students and faculty about their gun policies. From
Inspired by Priest’s concern, Ellison introduced legislation that would require colleges and universities to disclose information on their gun policies on websites and in promotional materials for prospective students and their families.

The bill is co-sponsored by a handful of Democrats, but no Republicans, which means there is a minuscule chance of it passing the GOP-controlled House. Ellison says the measure wouldn’t ban guns from campus, but would require schools to disclose when students are allowed to carry concealed weapons.

Eight states have laws on the books that allow people who are not barred from owning a gun to carry a concealed firearm on college campuses. Arkansas is a ninth, but its law is being challenged in court.
The bill is not going anywhere, at least not this session.  The courts have found such micro-managing legal, as long as the schools accept federal money.  Such reporting could easily be tied to a schools ROTC program, or acceptance of GI Bill benefits, for example.

This is amusing, because the result is not likely to be to Congressman Ellison's liking.  When I was helping to search for my daughter's choice of an institute of higher education, I attempted to find out what the policy was about firearms.

I had a very positive experience in my time at university, because I had been recruited to the University of Wisconsin pistol team when I was a freshman.

It took a little digging to find the information 17 years ago.  Extremely few colleges had rifle teams; almost none had pistol teams.  Most schools forbid carrying a pocket knife. Shooting was well on the way to being eradicated on campus, driven out by the extreme anti-military bias among "progressive" academe.

I predict that as schools have been forced to recognize Second Amendment rights, those schools will attract more, better disciplined, and motivated students to that school.  A good indicator of this are online polls.  Online polls are not scientific, but they do a good job of measuring intensity.  When you consider online polls, Second Amendment supporters outnumber gun haters by 3-10 to 1.  If you are not motivated to respond to an online poll, it is unlikely that you will pull your child from a school, or refuse to consider it, because the Second Amendment is honored there.

Institutes of higher learning have become enthusiastically antagonistic to Second Amendment rights.  The few forced by legislatures to grudgingly accept those rights will not be ignored by Second Amendment supporters.  If a few gun haters are deterred from attending or teaching there, it will be viewed as a positive outcome.  That is what happened in Kansas, where the child of Kieth Ellison's constituent left campus to find a less Second Amendment friendly campus.

Priest is pulling her son out of KU. Together, they will find a new school where “the gun culture is not authorized by the state government.”
Gun haters have a wide choice of gun hating schools.  There are a few where limited Second Amendment rights have been restored. Those schools will attract better students and better teachers.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Link to Gun Watch

TX: Pleasant Grove Resident Shoot Intruder who Broke Into House

A man who was trying to break into a home in Pleasant Grove was shot by the resident Saturday, police said.

More Here

IL: 61-Year-Old Man Fires at Intruders, Hits 16-Year-Old

A 61-year-old man shot at two intruders, 11 and 16, injuring the older boy during a burglary Sunday morning on the South Side, police said.

The 16-year-old was hit in the lower back and right hand and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition has stabilized. The 11-year-old suffered a laceration to the back of his head, possibly while fleeing, and was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, police said.
More Here

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hero who Stopped Mass Stabbing in St. Cloud, MN, is Firearms Instructor, Concealed Carry Advocate

Jason Falconer on Left, with Hat

Jason Falconer is the armed citizen who stopped the mass stabbing in the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Saturday evening, September 18th, 2016.  Falconer is competitive shooter, firearms instructor and CEO of Tactical Advantage.  From

Jason Falconer is President/Owner of Tactical Advantage Firearms Training, Inc. which has been operating since 2003. Tactical Advantage currently concentrates on firearms training for individuals in a group or private setting, including permit to carry training in MN. Jason has also created advanced and customized classes for individuals who desire more advanced safety training. His business has grown primarily through student referrals, and Jason takes pride in providing the best training options available in Central MN.

Continued education and training has been a personal interest of Jason’s, as he believes each of us has something to learn no matter our level of expertise in our area of discipline. As a result, he has attended some of the best firearms training schools in the United States. His goal is to teach individuals the mindset, knowledge and skills needed to be successful with firearms in order to secure their personal safety or that of their family, at home or in public. As a training professional, he continuously researches and develops new curriculum and training methods to make the training experience for his students the best they can get.

Since 2008, Jason has been assisting Ted Boran with St. Cloud State University skills training in the disciplines of decision shooting and dynamic entry. He intends to utilize this experience to further develop curriculum to instruct law enforcement professionals and qualified civilians the benefits of reality based training. Jason believes that although civilian and law enforcement students can obtain great firearms training from various sources, they are missing a key component in their personal safety training without going through reality based training.

Jason also has a law enforcement background and is the former Police Chief of the Albany Police Department. Jason also serves as the department’s firearms instructor, and has created POST Board approved firearms training curriculum.  He currently serves as a part-time officer with the City of Albany.

As a consulting member of S.M.E.A.C., Jason specializes in consulting in reality-based firearms, law enforcement and personal security training.
Jason started offering training with the passage of the shall issue concealed carry law, the Minnesota Personal Protection Act, in 2003.  He taught for 10 years before acquiring property and establishing his own range at
521 10th Ave, South Waite Park.

I can relate.  In short, Jason is a dedicated member of the Gun Culture. He is said to be a part time member of the Avon Police Department.  While the bio says that Jason is a part time officer with the city of Albany, we do not know when the bio was written.  It may be that he serves part time with both departments.

It is not unusual for police firearms instructors to maintain a part time position in the local police department, especially if the department is small. The Avon PD has three full time officers and five part time officers.  From
The Avon Police Department is currently not a 24-hour department. We are staffed with 3 full-time officers and 5 part-time officers. If you receive the answering service, police staff may not be on-duty and may not be able to return your call immediately.
The Albany Police Department is also a small department.  From
The Albany Police Department is currently comprised of 1 chief, 1 police sergeant, 2 full-time patrol officers, 5 part-time patrol officers and one non-sworn support staff.
Having a proficient firearms trainer on staff part time offers significant advantages to both the department and the instructor.  The instructor can maintain their LEOSA status, allowing for carry anywhere in United States territory.  The department is able to keep its officers qualified and conduct training with minimal additional expense.  I do not know if that is the situation with Jason; but Tactical Advantage offers the annual LEOSA  training necessary for retired officers to maintain LEOSA credentials.

Jason is keeping a low profile a the moment.  I am sure that the story, from his perspective, will eventually be known.

Hats off to Jason Falconer.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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