Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dave Smith on Bear Spray or Firearms for Defense against Bears

Image by Troy Nemitz

Dave Smith has studied bear behavior and bear attacks extensively. He has written books on how to survive bear encounters and animal attacks.  I have corresponded with Dave Smith. I find Dave to be the most knowledgeable, well read, and capable critic of the current literature.  Dave has worked prodigiously to understand the studies about the effectiveness of bear spray and firearms in stopping bear attacks.

In November of 2017, Dave put a great deal of thought into an exchange of comments at a Wyoming public media site. I contacted Dave, and he agreed to allow me to edit and publish the exchange. I summarized the replies to Dave, as I do not have those authors permissions. You can read the entire exchange at wyoming public  Here is the edited exchange, with my observations.

First, Dave sets the scene by stating that it is not really about bear spray vs. firearms. Dave says for a surprise attack, it is a choice. You should choose bear spray or a firearm.

Dave Smith:
Instead of pitting bear spray vs firearms, try bear spray or a firearm. 
Archers have a choice between bear spray or a handgun. 
As the recent incident with a game warden shows, people hunting with a long gun--a rifle or shotgun--must be prepared to use their firearm during a classic surprise encounter with a grizzly. 
When field dressing game, a hunter has a choice between bear spray or a handgun. 
Hunters should be advised that the 2 studies on bear spray are about non-hunters using bear spray. And bear spray research is primarily about people using bear spray against curious bears, or bears seeking food and garbage. Of 72 incidents in Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska, just 9 involved charging grizzlies, and 3 of 9 people who sprayed charging grizzlies were injured. The injury rate against charging grizzlies is no doubt higher, but the study did not include data on incidents when people who were carrying bear spray did not have time to use it. 
There have been 2 studies on guns vs. bears in Alaska. A 1999 study of over 1,000 bears killed in "defense of life or property" from 1987 to 1996 showed that less than 2% of the people who used firearms were injured. A 2012 study of 263 incidents from 1883-2006 showed that 56% of people who used guns were injured. 
Bear spray advocates compare the results of the 2012 gun study to the results of the 2008 study and declare bear spray the winner. The authors of the 2012 gun study claimed there were no previous studies on guns vs. bears. If there were more that 1,000 bears killed in defense of life or property by people with guns between 1987 and 1996, how come the 2012 gun study only included 263 incidents between 1883 and 2006? 
Did the authors of the 2012 gun study omit hundreds of firearms successes? Did they cherry pick their data? These are questions that need to be asked and answered by biologists with Wyoming Game & Fish, wildlife professionals, and the media.
Commenter #1 notes that the studies and Dave's numbers are only about Alaska.

Dave Smith replies:
Given that hunters have a rifle in hand (or hands), how can they use bear spray 1st? Some field carries for rifles require 2 hands. Some one-handed field carries for rifles would require a right-handed hunter to reach across the front of his body with his left hand, and attempt to deploy bear spray with one hand--his left hand. I would tell hunters not to try a stunt like that.
Commenter #1 says that technology can overcome the problem with chest holders or similar devices.

Dave Smith replies:
Maybe technology can provide hunters with an extra arm or two. The game warden who recently shot a charging grizzly in self defense noted that he was using a two-handed carry for his rifle.What's he supposed to do with his rifle if he wants to use bear spray? What basis do you have for saying bear spray works 90% of the time? Does bear spray work 90% of the time against charging grizzlies?
Commenter #2 claims that bear spray is the best deterrent, after a long-winded comment saying we must protect the bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE).

Dave Smith:
What basis do you have for saying bear spray is the best deterrent? To the best of my knowledge, there are no studies that compare bear spray to other deterrents such as air horns or bear bangers. There's only one study that compares the success rate of guns loaded with non-lethal deterrent rounds to bear spray, and guns proved far more effective.
Commenter #1 asks Dave to consider a link to Yellowstone Park's bear spray campaign as "research".

Dave Smith:
This isn't a study, it's advertising from Yellowstone's Park's bear spray campaign. The NPS does claim bear spray is the "best deterrent," however, the NPS does not provide any data or references to substantiate that claim.
Commenter #1 provides Dave with a link to an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee video.

Dave Smith:
Thank you for posting one of the most dishonest, and comical, videos of all time. 
There are 6 field carries for rifles, and Boddington is using the "sling" carry. In a 1983 Forest Service paper (Safety in Bear Country: Protective Measures and Bullet Performance at Short Range) Meehan and Thilenius wrote, "Because there is almost no possibility of a slung rifle being brought into action during a short-distance confrontation, rifles carried in bear country should not be permanently equipped with slings. The sling should be mounted on detachable swivels, and should be removed when conditions exist for a possible confrontation." 
So for openers, Boddington is showing hunters the wrong way to carry your rifle while hunting in grizzly country--carrying your rifle on a sling is the same as carrying your bear spray buried in the bottom of your pack. 
If you're stupid enough to carry your rifle on a sling, the standard safety practice is to keep one hand one the sling for control so the rifle does not slip off your shoulder. Boddington lets go of the sling so he has 2 hands free to get the bear spray out of its holster. That's an incredibly dangerous stunt. 
Boddington uses 2 hands when spraying, and tells hunters to use 2 hands when spraying. So Boddington is violating standard firearms safety protocol--twice--in order to use bear spray. 
Boddington is a lefty, so he has his rifle slung on his right shoulder and bear spray on his left shoulder strap--which means that when he tries to shoulder his rifle and shoot, the bear spray will be in his way. Is there any possibility this video is a con job? 
But wait, it gets better. The 5 other field carries require at least one hand to hold your rifle, and in some cases, 2 hands. Boddington needed 2 hands to get the can of bear spray out of its holster, so that's not going to work for hunters with a rifle in hand. And Boddington said use 2 hands when spraying, so that's not going to work for a hunter with a rifle in hand. Is it any wonder bear spray research is about non-hunters using bear spray?
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee's Bear Spray Video for Hunters featuring Boddington backfired; it is really a perfect demonstration of why it's not safe or practical for hunters to use bear spray.
Commenter #1 writes that Dave Smith has a closed mind.

Dave Smith replies:
Just for fun, let's assume we both share a common goal: reducing the number of hunters and hikers injured as a result of surprise encounters at close range with grizzly bears. 
My advice to hikers would be: 
1) carry bear spray in hand. 
2) if a bear is close enough to spray, spray it!! 
3) never assume a charging grizzly is making a "bluff charge," whatever that means. 
4) do not use hiking poles because you'll be dragging them around by the wrist straps when you try to use bear spray after a sudden encounter at close range. 
My advice to hunters would be: 
a) carry an adequate weapon--a minimum of a .30 caliber rifle loaded with heavy, stout bullets 
b) do not carry your rifle on a sling over your shoulder. It takes too long to bring a slung gun into action--you'll miss shots at deer and elk and you'll have no time to bring your rifle into action against a charging grizzly. 
c.) if you get charged by a grizzly, keep both eyes open and do not "aim" at the bear like you're shooting at for the x ring at a target range. Focus on the bear. Your eyes are your rear sight, center of mass on the bear is your front sight. 
d) In biologist Steve Herrero's classic book Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, Herrero said you should shoot a charging bear when it gets within 100 feet (33 yards). Given Herrero's authority, there's no way you could be charged with needlessly killing a charging bear if you follow his guidelines.
It's been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. For decades, hikers who follow agency recommendations--carry bear spray in a quickly accessible hip or chest holster--have been getting nailed by grizzlies because they did not have time to use their spray during a surprise encounter with a bear. For decades, hunters who have surprise encounters with grizzlies have been getting mauled because agencies offer no advice on how to use their rifle quickly and effectively. It's insane to keep telling hunters to carry bear spray and know how to use it. It's insane to keep telling hikers to carry bear spray in a quickly accessible hip holster or chest harness. What do you recommend?

Commenter #1 replies that Dave Smith's arguments end with dead grizzly bears, therefore he must change his mind.

Commenter #3 writes tha Dave Smith is using logic and facts.

Dave Smith sums up:
To the best of my knowledge, there's never been an honest debate or discussion about the use of bear spray and firearms for self-defense in grizzly country. Here are a few questions that need answers:
1) Is "Efficacy of Firearms for Bear Deterrence in Alaska" a misleading title given that the study does not include data about firearms loaded with non-lethal deterrent rounds: rubber slugs, bean bags, shellcrackers, etc? Efficacy of Firearms for Bear Deterrence in Alaska concludes, "We encourage all persons, with or without firearms, to consider carrying a non-lethal deterrent, such as bear spray because its success rate under a variety of situations has been greater for all 3 North American species of bear than those we observed for firearms."
2) Is it reasonable to compare the results of the 2008 BYU bear spray study to the results of the 2012 BYU gun study? For almost 2 decades, Wyoming Game & Fish and bear spray advocates have told hunters to "carry bear spray and know how to use it." 
3) Can bear spray advocates show hunters how to use bear spray safely and quickly while carrying a rifle with each of the 6 commonly used field carries for long guns? 
4) What's the best way to provide the safety of people with firearms hunting in grizzly country: Tell them to carry bear spray and know how to use it, or show them how to use their rifles quickly and effectively?
In the exchange, there is a difference in priorities. Dave Smith states his is "reducing the number of hunters and hikers injured as a result of surprise encounters at close range with grizzly bears." 

The implied priority of commenters #1 and #2 is to keep grizzly bears safe and to increase the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

If you start with different priorities, you will often arrive at different conclusions.

Bear spray advocates have stated a high priority for them is to prevent bear deaths. If preventing bear deaths is a high priority, the promotion of bear spray over firearms makes perfect sense.

Bear spray is useful, especially for people who do not wish to carry firearms, or in areas (such as much of the world outside the United States) where the carry of firearms is severely restricted by law.  But, as Dave Smith states, there has not been any serious academic work that compares the effectiveness of bear spray to firearms.

In the "Efficacy" studies, the data has not been released. Dave Smith dug deeply to find the little we know. We know different criteria were used to pick the incidents used in the studies. We know the firearms study focused on aggressive bears, while the bear spray study did not.

Dave Smith's critiques of the Efficacy studies have been ignored by the same media that uncritically promote the use of bear spray over firearms as a defensive tool.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

SC: Car theft Victim Fires Taurus Curve at Car Jacker

Police said the victim was getting into his 2007 Mercedes when a man with a gun walked up and said he needed the keys. Investigators said the suspect asked the victim if he had any money and then told him to get out of the car, at which time the victim got out and pulled out his .380 Taurus Curve.

According to the incident report, the victim fired two or three shots at the robbery suspect and ran to a nearby restaurant to call police.
More Here

OH: Dog Bites Man, gets Shot

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- A man on a walk with his wife shot and killed a dog Tuesday night after it attacked him and bit him twice in the leg, according to reports.
 More Here

OH: Son uses Mother's Handgun to Shoot Intruder

A man visiting his mother shot and killed a 41-year-old man trying to break into the Akron home early Saturday morning, police say.

The resident called police to report a man trying to break into her home in the 600 block of Wyandot Avenue shortly after midnight. The resident’s 36-year-old son struggled to keep the man from coming in the back door. The resident grabbed a handgun and gave it to her son, who shot the intruder, police say.
More Here

Friday, June 29, 2018

They Hunt!

Young Hunter with Canadian Goose and 20 gauge 870

A few years ago, a relative of mine was visiting his sister in a Midwestern college town. The sister and her husband have done well. They have two lovely children and are in the upper middle class. The husband is an entrepreneur and a developer. The sister and kids are athletic.

My relative is an accomplished woodsman, hunter, and shooter. He is not above a play on words or a practical joke.  He shares an opinion with Thomas Jefferson. Ball games do not impress him. He followed Jefferson's advise on exercise:
"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."1
He taught his children how to shoot at an early age. Their home is on the edge of semi-wilderness. Bears in the yard are not uncommon. The garden has to be protected from deer and rabbits. Wolves roam nearby.

He accompanied his sister to a local soccer practice. The kids were playing and the half dozen other soccer moms were in conversation.

One of them attempted to include the brother. She asked if he had children. He said he did.

How many? A boy and a girl.

She politely asked: Do your kids play soccer?

No, he said, they don't play soccer.

Do they play basketball?

No, they don't play basketball?

Do they play baseball?

No, he said, they don't play baseball.

By this time the other soccer moms were interested and were listening intently to the exchange.

The questioner asked, finally, What do your kids do?

The brother said, nonchalantly, deadpan, with a slight shrug, as if it were of no particular interest:

"They kill stuff."

Six jaws dropped toward the floor. The sister, with only the slightest of hesitations, exclaimed:  They're hunters!  They hunt!

The sister's children are also accomplished hunters. Her husband hunts as well.

Part of hunting is killing. Killing used to be an understood necessity. All of society understood the necessity a hundred years, or even sixty years ago.

I told an 88-year-old friend, who tends liberal, and who lives in the same mid-western college town, of the exchange, which happened more than a decade ago.

She burst out laughing. We discussed it. She said she found it to be hilarious.

As a retired nurse, she understood the realities of life and death well. Her husband had been a hunter, a soldier, a musician, had a B.A. in music, and had stopped just short of an M.A. in music to be a professional meat cutter. It paid

The older generation had a better understanding of basic realities.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Neighbor Shoots Burglar who Broke into Home

HOUSTON - Two teenage girls hid inside a bedroom while a man broke into their home in Southeast Houston and a neighbor shot him, according to police.

Police said a man knocked on the front door of a house on Ventura near Marietta about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
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AL: Woman with Shotgun Kills Man Breaking Into her Home

Helms said that before their arrival, a Hispanic male had attempted to break through a door of the residence when the woman inside repeatedly told the individual to get away that she had called authorities.

Helms said that when the individual began to gain entry into the home, the woman got a shotgun and fired through the door striking and killing the man.
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FL: Gunfight, 1 of 3 Invaders Shot, Killed, two Defenders Wounded

Police say three suspects forced their way into the home where three brothers live.

One suspect was fatally shot and two of the brothers, Ackeem Marks, 25, and Shaevaughn Marks, 20, were injured, police said. The third brother was not injured, police said, and the two other suspects are still at large.

Police say this was not a random act, but it still has neighbors worried.
More Here

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Mississippi Supreme Court rules Judges have no Power to Ban Concealed Guns in Courthouse

In November of 2011, the Mississippi legislature restored the right to carry concealed weapons in most public buildings, including courthouses, but not courtrooms while a judicial proceeding was in process, to people with an enhanced concealed carry permit. 

Some judges in Mississippi attempted to reverse the modest restoration of the right to bear arms. They banned the carry of concealed firearms within 200 feet of any door to any courtroom. In 2016, Rick Ward, a Second Amendment activist, filed a petition to the Supreme Court, complaining that the judges had overstepped their authority. On June 7, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in Ward's favor. From
The court prohibited concealed carry within 200 feet of any door to any courtroom of Fourteenth Chancery District courthouses in Lowndes, Oktibbeha Clay, Noxubee, Chickasaw and Webster counties.

Ward, along with the state Attorney General Jim Hood and the National Rifle Association, argued that the order was invalid.

Following the court order, enhanced concealed-carry licensee Ricky Ward filed a petition to modify or dismiss the order. The chancellors then issued an order denying the petition and doubled down on their order blocking concealed carry permit holders from bringing guns into the courthouse.

Ward moved forward, though, and requested the Mississippi Supreme Court vacate the order as unconstitutional and in conflict with state law.

The state’s highest court agreed, calling the orders “unconstitutional on their face.”
The Supreme Court ruled the judges of the lower courts exceeded their authority  granted under the Mississippi Constitution.  From

A plain reading of these provisions in our Constitution renders the orders unconstitutional on their face, for “no set of circumstances exists under which the [orders] would be valid.” U.S. v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 745, 107 S. Ct. 2095, 2100, 95 L. Ed. 2d 697 (1987). “[T]he key to a successful facial challenge . . . is whether [the orders], as [they are] currently written, could never be constitutionally applied and valid.” Crook v. City of Madison, 168 So. 3d 930, 942 (Miss. 2015) (Coleman, J., dissenting) (emphasis in original). Applying this standard to the present case, the chancellors’ orders, as they currently are written, could never be constitutional. The Mississippi Constitution vests only the Legislature with the authority to regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons. The orders at issue usurp that power.
On 20 June, 2018, three judges asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling from June 7th. From
Chancellors Dorothy Colom, Kenneth Burns and H. J. Davidson, Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration Wednesday with the state's highest court.

They claim they should have the right under a separation of powers in the Constitution to issue a ruling.

The current Mississippi Constitution dates from 1890. The 1890 Constitution gave the legislature the authority to regulate the carry of concealed weapons. Prior to that date, the State of Mississippi had no such authority. From the Mississippi Constitution of 1817:
Sect. 23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and of the state.
Here is the relevant section of the Constitution of 1890, where the Constitutional Convention creates the authority to regulate concealed, but not openly carried, weapons. From the Mississippi Constitution of 1890:
The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.
In 2016, Mississippi became the 10th Constitutional Carry state. People in Mississippi are generally not required to have a permit in order to carry firearms, concealed or openly. Permits are still legally available. They are useful in situations such as those covered by the Supreme Court ruling above.

It remains to be seen if the three judges from the 14th Chancery Court District will prevail upon the Supreme Court to change a decision it made only two weeks ago.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Gunfight, Permit holder Shoots Attacker

The man with the concealed handgun license told police that he and the other man, who allegedly followed him into the store, exchanged words and then the man pulled out a gun and shot at the man with a concealed handgun license. The concealed handgun license holder returned fire.
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VT: Shot fired in Altercation, Man Charged with Tresspass

Investigation revealed that the defendant Jason Provost entered James Hood’s residence in possession of a wooden dowel. Hood and Provost had a verbal altercation over auto repairs. The altercation escalated to the point where Hood produced a firearm and fired it in Provost direction. There were no injuries as a result.
More Here

VA: More on Shooting of Amorous New Zealander in Virginia, Mother used .22 Handgun

A Goochland woman was forced to shoot a man attempting to break into her home on Steeplechase Parkway this afternoon, wounding him in the neck after repeatedly warning him that she was armed and was calling law enforcement.

The man, a New Zealand native identified by the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office as Troy George Skinner, 25, allegedly attempted to force entry into the home through a basement door and was advised by the woman that she was calling law enforcement and that she was armed with a handgun. The woman’s two teenage daughters were also in the home at the time.

More Here

TX: Man Shot Attempting Break-in


One man has been arrested after being shot while attempting to force his way inside a home.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Secretary Clinton Awarded Anti-Second Amendment Consolation Prize

Secretary Hillary Clinton Slips

Twice failed presidential candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton, received a consolation prize in San Francisco on Thursday, 14 June, 2018. The award was given by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence at its 25th anniversary dinner. The 25th Anniversary dinner seemed premature, as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was a self-proclaimed strong Second Amendment supporter before her shooting in 2011, only seven years ago.  From
The former U.S. Secretary of State under President Barack Obama spoke at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence 25th anniversary dinner, where former Rep. Gabby Giffords awarded Clinton the Courageous Leadership Award for her ongoing efforts to strengthen common sense gun laws.

Clinton said her gun safety position made her a target of the gun lobby during her campaign for president.

"The gun lobby spent about $30 million against me, not having the guts to take on specific gun proposals," Clinton said. "In fact, their ads had nothing to do with guns. They were just outright lies."

The disconnect is easily explained. Anti-Second Amendment organizations are constantly undergoing re-branding, as people become wise to their agendas. When banning handguns became unpopular, the push became "gun control". When "gun control" lost punch, the movement changed to "gun safety". 

The ultimate goal remains the same, while the intermediate and near term goals are altered. The process is to pass incremental legislation that undermines the Second Amendment and leads to a disarmed population.

25 years ago, in 1993, a group known as the Legal Community Against Violence and as the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV), was formed. In 2017, the name was changed to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. That is how a "Giffords" center, named for an event only seven years old, can have a 25th anniversary.

Notice the vague, imprecise, manipulative term used by Secretary Clinton to describe her efforts. "common sense gun laws." The phrase begs the question by its nature. It assumes the argument is settled. The laws proposed are anything but common sense. 

The laws would not have prevented the events used to trigger the emotional push for the laws passage. The shootings are events used to push the desired agenda. The agenda had been determined previously.

That recipe has been a consistent and effective formula of the Progressive age. As mass media came under near exclusive control of those with the Progressive ideology, argument did not matter. What mattered was control of the narrative. When you control the media, you control the narrative. When you control the narrative, you control the country. 

Technological and political change has made the control problematic. It has taken three decades. The elite, Progressive, "experts" could not anticipate the changes. Their political blinders, their self deception, and the nature of reality all prevented them from anticipating the changes.

Political Talk radio formats started gaining traction after the FCC, under Reagan, freed up some regulatory rules. The change was predicted to be detrimental to conservatives. 

In the early 80's, what little talk radio there was, was mostly Progressive. A few "conservatives" were on the air as an answer to the progressive voices. After the change in rules in 1987, enormous demand for alternate content to the Progressive univoice on television, in academia, in newspapers, in Hollywood, and to a small amount, on radio, found an outlet. 

Today, Rush Limbaugh, his allies and local ideological proponents, dominate talk radio.

When the Internet became commercial, vast numbers of silenced Constitutionalists and Conservatives found ways to talk to each other. They created their own forums, digital publications, and news outlets. The Progressive media lost their ability to shape and control the narrative. 

The NRA has been a counter to the Progressive media for decades. It arguably kept the Second Amendment alive, with delaying actions, for 60 years, while the technology to effectively combat the Progressive media developed and grew.

The development of alternate voices to media controlled by ideologically indistinguishable Progressive elites, allowed the election of President Donald Trump. President Trump skillfully used new means of communicating, and the Progressive media's own blind spots, to get his message to the people.

 Carl Jung wrote, "People don't have ideas. Ideas have People." The elites of the United States have been the "people" of the Progressive idea for at least 60 years, arguably a century. But Progressivism is limited. It requires an elite group of government "experts" to control everyone else. It disdains the rest of the people as stupid and uninformed. It can only rule by fraud, trickery, manipulation, and force. 

Throughout history, governments have normally ruled by fraud, trickery, manipulation, and force. Machiavelli did not create new ideas with The Prince. He described reality. The founders of the United States understood this reality.

The First Amendment was designed to prevent, or at least, minimize the fraud, trickery, and manipulation, by assuring a competition of ideas and ideologies. It was designed to prevent the domination of the media by the government.

The founders did not foresee the rise of the mass media and the takeover of that media by an ideology dedicated to fraud, trickery, and manipulation. They did not foresee the domination of the government by the media.

The Second Amendment was designed to prevent the takeover of the sovereignty of the people by force. Progressives have worked mightily to use their subversion of the First Amendment to degrade the power of the Second Amendment. 

The Progressive alternative to controlling the people through fraud, trickery, and manipulation is force. Force and fraud reinforce each other. The checks and balances of the Constitution are designed to prevent this. 

Perhaps, with the rise of alternatives to the old, dominant, Progressive media, the checks and balances of the Constitutional republic will restore the sovereignty of the people. That struggle is ongoing.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

PA: Armed Customer Stops Armed Robbery

The suspect displayed a handgun and continued into the Rutters, where he was briefly confronted by another armed customer.

According to police, the suspect then turned and fled the store.

The armed customer is licensed to carry a firearm in Pennsylvania.
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MA: Firearm Used in Removal of Intruder from House

One homeowner did reportedly have his firearm out at some point. He reportedly re-secured that firearm prior to officers arriving on scene.

Officers secured the perimeter and had to wait for a period of time for a state police K-9 unit to respond from off-Cape.

According to sources, as of 9:00PM this evening, the female B&E suspect is still at large and Yarmouth Police are still investigating.
More Here

Followup MT: Gunfight, Three killed, One Wounded, no Charges

U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a news release that Nehemiah Brokenrope, Frank Nomee Jr. and Denise Stewart forcibly entered a home on the Crow reservation with at least one gun and another weapon.

Shots were fired, and the occupant in the home was shot in the abdomen. Brokenrope, Nomee and Stewart were all shot at the home and brought to local hospitals. Brokenrope and Nomee Jr. died at Indian Health Service in Crow Agency. Stewart died at St. Vincent Health Care in Billings.

Alme said in his statement that authorities conducted an extensive, 10-month investigation, which included witness interviews, evidence collection and analysis and autopsies.

Nevertheless, he said they could not conclusively determine who shot whom, in what order the shots were fired, or who actually fired the kill shots.
More Here

AL: Gunfight, Victim not Injured, Suspect Fled, Possessions Recovered

On Wednesday, June 20, at 11:35 p.m., the Enterprise Police Department responded to a burglary call at a residence in the 100 Block of Loftin Street Enterprise. The victim arrived home and noticed the rear door to his residence was open. The victim immediately discovered an armed intruder in the residence and instructed the suspect(s) to leave the home. The suspect(s) fired several shots at the victim and the victim returned fire with his firearm. 

More Here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Illinois Court Strikes Down School Zone Gun Ban as Unconstitutional

In People vs Green, an Illinois appelate court struck down a state law banning  guns within 1,000 feet of a school.  The court relied on a previous decision that struck down a ban on guns within 1,000 feet of a park.

Quovadis Green was observed across the street from a school. He was wearing his security guard uniform and had a holstered pistol on his belt. He moved into and out of a van. A teacher, Dan Svoboda, noticed him and notified an assistant principle. The principle approached green and and asked if he was a police officer. Green said no, that he was a security guard. Svoboda called 911 and reported a "man with a gun".

Green moved the van to another side of the school. When the police approached him they found he had an empty holster and an unloaded Glock pistol in a cooler.  A magazine with 16 rounds of ammunition was found on the floorboards of the passenger seat.

Green was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon (UUW), presumably because the magazine was not in a container. Green possessed a valid Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card. Firearms are allowed to be transported in Illinois if they are unloaded and in a container. The Illinois Supreme Court had struck down the UUW law as unconstitutional, in Moore. Green was convicted of UUW within 1,000 feet of a school, a separate law.

Another case, Chairez, was pending while Green appealed. In Chairez, the Supreme Court of Illinois found that a statute banning firearms within 1,000 feet of a park was unconstitutional.  Citing Chairez, the Illinois appellate court ruled that the ban on guns within 1,000 feet of a school was also unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. From the decision:

¶ 23 In arguing to the contrary, the State cites Heller, in which the Supreme Court stated that nothing in its opinion “should be taken to cast doubt on *** laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings,” which it described as “presumptively lawful.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 626-27, n.26 (2008). But the State conflates regulations banning the carriage of weapons in certain sensitive places (e.g., schools and government buildings) with subsection (c)(1.5), which bans carriage near those places. This distinction is significant. A ban on firearms in specific places imposes less of a burden on the right to bear arms than one that extends to an area of approximately three city blocks around those same places. While a gun owner can simply choose not to enter locations deemed sensitive, it is manifestly more difficult to avoid areas within 1000 feet of those locations, particularly given that there is no notification where the restriction zone begins or ends. Indeed, the ban at issue here, just as the ban 1000 feet around public parks at issue in Chairez, effectively operates as a total ban on the carriage of weapons for self-defense outside the home in Chicago. See Chairez, 2018 IL 121417, ¶ 55.3 As such, it runs afoul of Aguilar, in which the supreme court held that the right to carry firearms is particularly important when traveling outside the home. Id. (citing Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116, ¶¶ 19-20). 

¶ 24 For these reasons, we conclude that sections 24-1(a)(4), (c)(1.5) and 24-1(a)(10), (c)(1.5), prohibiting possession of a firearm within 1000 feet of a school are facially unconstitutional. We further hold that this portion of the challenged statute is severable from the remaining provisions of the statute. See id ¶ 62

The Court goes on to write that laws that ban the carrying of guns in areas precisely adjacent to schools might be constitutional, and would have to be tested in the courts.

 The logic applied to the bans of guns within a 1,000 foot of a park or a school apply equally to the clearly unconstitutional Federal Gun Free School Zone ban enacted first in 1990, then again in 1995 with minor modifications, when the first law was struck down in 1995 by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Lopez.

In Lopez, the Court struck down the gun ban on the grounds the federal government did not have the power to enact it under the Commerce Clause.

 In 1995 the same law, very slightly modified, was reenacted under strong lobbying by the Clinton administration.

I suspect the 1995 law will eventually come to the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal prosecutors seem to have been hesitant to charge people under the 1995 law, perhaps for this very reason. The current court has been hesitant to take Second Amendment cases ever since McDonald was heard eight years ago.

President Trump may have an opportunity to change the court from its current make up of four devout leftists, four mostly originalists and textualists, and the swing vote, Justice Kennedy. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is showing her years. Rumors of retirement float around Justice Kennedy. A replacement of either with an originalist and textualist such as Justice Gorsuch could tilt the court back toward the rule of law as it is written.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

NC: Man Fires at Driver who Struck his Vehicle

As he was driving the car south on U.S. Highway 52, police said Downing collided with another vehicle.

Downing continued to drive to the 300 block of Dixie Broadway where he collided with a parked car before turning around and speeding toward the man who had been driving the car he initially hit. The man fired a single round from his personal firearm, striking the car Downing was operating.
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Followup FL: Shooting over False Accusation was Justified Defense

Judd said it’s up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide whether charges are warranted in the shooting, but the evidence so far indicates that Charles Peddycoart, 48, was defending his life and that of his girlfriend when he drew a 9mm handgun on his front porch.
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Followup on Florissant MO: Domestic Defense Justified

FLORISSANT, MO — A woman who fatally shot her fiance at their home in Florissant Tuesday afternoon will not be charged, police said. The shooting was part of a domestic violence incident, police added, and they believe the woman acted in self-defense.
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IN: Armed Man Shoots Vehicle in Self Defense

The woman, who police said was intoxicated, then tried to hit a third person. That individual managed to avoid the car, but he slipped and fell. He then opened fire on the vehicle, telling police he feared for his life.

The shots hit the vehicle but no one else was hit. Police found the driver down the street at a local bar and detained her after they said she ran from the scene.

The man who fired the shots was being questioned, police said, but wasn’t under arrest. He is cooperating with the investigation; police said it’s unlikely he’ll face charges because the shooting appears to be self-defense.
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Monday, June 25, 2018

BBC so Woke you Asleep (not gun related, but funny video)

Two minute video at the link.

CO: Boulder Doubles Down on Gun and Magazine Ban

On May 15, 2018, the Boulder, Colorado, city government passed a gun and magazine ban unanimously. The ban is likely illegal. It was immediately challenged in a lawsuit.

On 19 June, 2018, the Boulder city government doubled down on the ban, adding more restrictions, and an exemption for competitive shooters who travel through the city. From the
Five amendments were proposed. On an 8-1 vote, council passed three: Removing an exemption for 30-round handgun magazines that are legal under Colorado law; allowing competitive shooters to travel through Boulder with assault weapons; and clarifying the language so that any individual not allowed to possess firearms under state and federal law could not receive a certificate of ownership.

Council member Mirabai Nagle was the lone dissenting vote. She opposed banning high-capacity handgun magazines that are legal under state law, grandfathered in via a 2013 measure.

"The gun community is not going to turn in their 30-round magazines," she said, "so we just turned a bunch more people into criminals."

She also voiced discomfort with disallowing gun stores from issuing certificates of ownership, which she argued would boost compliance. The rest of the council was swayed by arguments from the city attorney and police chief that background checks at private dealers would not be sufficient.
The Court challenge lists several Second Amendment based arguments. They may not be considered, because it appears the Boulder city government is directly violating Colorado state law.  From
Colorado Revised Statutes Title 29 Government Local § 29-117-103
A local government may not enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law.  Any such ordinance, regulation, or other law enacted by a local government prior to March 18, 2003, is void and unenforceable.
The Colorado State Supreme Court tied on finding that Denver was exempt from § 29-117-103, in 2006, allowing a lower court ruling to stand. The lower court claimed Denver was exempt from the law.

 An important part of any law is the provision for penalties. I have not found any penalty attached to violation of § 29-117-103.  It is possible the Boulder ban will be struck down as moot under the Colorado statute, without penalty for the city. It is also possible that the Colorado courts will find a way to exempt Boulder from the statute.

Boulder, Colorado, is one of the most Progressive cities in the country. It is a college town, like Madison, Wisconsin, and Berkley, California. The votes of college students, under the tutelage of Progressive professors, in cities where the student population is a significant percentage of the population, ensure leftist government. I spent considerable time in Boulder on official business while I was employed by the Department of Defense.  The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is located there.

The University and the student population dominate the city. It is a beautiful setting. Large amounts of government funding for the University and government institutions there, such as NCAR, insure that the city is well populated with government funded technocrats.

We will not know if the Colorado courts will uphold the law for several months.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Man with Gun Stops Suspects who Beat Pregnant Woman with Rifle

The neighbor said he caught the suspects beating the woman with a rifle. He said he then pulled out his gun.

“One of them turned around and had a gun in his hand," Dennis Madaris said.

"I told them, ‘Drop the gun or I’ll drop you,’ and they threw the gun down and all three of them took off,” Madaris said.

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LA: Armed Woman shoots Man who Attacked her

New Orleans Police are investigating a domestic homicide after a man was shot three times by a woman he attacked after following her into her home, according to an initial police report.

The victim, a 40-year-old woman, was attempting to leave her driveway in the 700 block of North Miro Street around 7 a.m. Wednesday. She was blocked by a man, who followed her into her house as she ran away. The suspect punched the victim several times before the victim pulled out a handgun and shot the suspect three times.
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TX: Domestic Defense? Woman Shoots Boyfriend

DALLAS, TX — One woman was arrested and later released from police custody after a Wednesday morning shooting in North Lake Highlands that left her 29-year-old boyfriend dead, Dallas police said.

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SC: Son Shoots Man Attempting to Break in

Coroner Greg Shore said Anderson was an ex-boyfriend of a woman who lived at the home and her son shot him when he tried to get in the house through a garage door.
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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Small Arms Survey Shows U.S. with 40% of Firearms

Image from Small Arms Review

According to the Small Arms Survey, world wide private firearms ownership has increased from about 650 million in 2006 to 857 million at the end of 2017. That is a 32% increase over the eleven year period, or 207 million firearms. The estimate for the United States increased from 270 million in to 393.3 million, a 46 percent increase or 123.3 million firearms, over the same period. The United States accounted for 60 percent of the total global increase.

Uncertainty about any firearms data requires systematic estimation that relies on a broad spectrum of sources and makes approximation unavoidable. The Small Arms Survey’s estimates of civilian firearms holdings use data gathered from multiple sources. However, with much of civilian ownership concealed or hard to identify, gun ownership numbers can only approximate reality. Using data from several different sources, at the end of 2017 there were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world’s 230 countries and territories. Civilian firearms registration data was available for 133 countries and territories. Survey results were used to help establish total gun civilian holdings in 56 countries. The new figure is 32 percent higher than the previous estimate from 2006, when the Small Arms Survey estimated there were approximately 650 million civilian-held firearms. Virtually all countries show higher numbers, although national ownership rates vary widely, reflecting factors such as national legislation, a country’s gun culture, historical and other factors. While some of the increase reflects improved data and research methods, much is due to actual growth of civilian ownership.
While the United States accounted for 60 percent of the total global increase, nearly all countries experienced an increase in firearms ownership. The United States was estimated to have 41.5% of privately owned firearms in the world in 2006.  At the end of 2017, the Small Arms Survey estimated the U.S.A. had 46% of privately owned firearms in the world.

My estimation of the private firearms stock in the United States is a bit higher than that of the Small Arms Survey. I use the method first used by Newton and Zimring, then by Gary Kleck in "Point Blank"

Using that method, there were 295 million private firearms in the United States in 2006. The Small Arms Survey estimates 270 million, or 92% of my calculated figure. At the end of 2017, using Kleck's methodology, there would be 418 million firearms (2017 numbers estimated from NICS checks).  The Small Arms Survey estamate is now 94% of what I calculated.

The BATFE numbers, plus the estimation for 2017 from NICS, shows an increase of 123 million firearms added to the private stock over the period. The Small Arms Survey shows 123.3 million added over the same period, virtually an identical increase. Thus, the only difference is in the estimation of the private stock in 2006.

Firearm numbers increase with increasing prosperity. Firearms are a highly desired manufactured good. It is unexceptional that as societies become more prosperous, the number of private firearms increases.

No one knows how many guns are added to the stock by manufacture by individuals, either as hobbyists or for the unregulated market, or in small, unregulated shops. Such guns can make up a significant number. At one point, 20% of the guns confiscated in Washington, D.C., were of this type.

No one knows how many guns are removed from the private stock by destruction, wear, and loss. A gun lost in a body of water usually becomes inoperable. Some guns are buried and forgotten. Guns are extremely durable items, capable of lasting for hundreds of years.

Very few guns are worn out by firing. Only a tiny number of firearm owners shoot more than a few hundred rounds of ammunition per gun per year.  There are likely 80-100 million .22 rimfire firearms in the United States. The total .22 rimfire production and importation of ammunition is about 5 billion rounds per year, or an average of 63 rounds per firearm, for the least expensive cartridge. Many hobbyist shoot far more, but the vast majority do not. Enthusiasts who shoot more often divide their shooting between multiple guns, and rigorously care for them.

Unregulated importation and exports are unknown. Guns that originally were procured by the U.S. military, which then are transfered to private citizens, are not counted as additions in the BATFE totals.

As all these numbers are unknown, they are assumed to cancel each other out.

The estimation is exactly that, an estimation.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

NC: Armed Victim Shoots, Kills 1 of 4 Armed Robbery Suspects

LEXINGTON, NC (WFMY) - A Lexington teen was found dead behind a vacant house Wednesday morning after several calls to police about gunshots were found to be linked. Thursday, police sent a release saying the teen was part of an attempted robbery among four people.

Police say during the robbery the victim shot a gun, striking 18-year-old Antoine Gelzer. All parties left the scene after that with the victim leaving in a car and Gelzer and his three associates on foot.
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TX: Five-Year-Old Brings Gun to Mother, Shots Stops Violent Attack by Father

According to investigators, just after 5 p.m. the man, identified as Derek Martin, broke into his wife's apartment in the 12000 block of North Gessner and began choking her in front of their four children. Their 8-year-old daughter hit her father while their 5-year-old child got a gun, police said.
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Fl:Gunfight, Homeowner and 1 of 3 Invaders Killed

Jaleen Malik Howard’s last action to protect his apartment from three home invaders may have provided one of the biggest clues into who killed him.

Cocoa police said the 19-year-old — at home early Tuesday with his girlfriend and child — managed to exchange gunfire with a trio of men who stormed into his second-story apartment.
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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Blind Man with a Gun

Do blind people have Second Amendment rights? Of course they do. Should they be prevented from carrying guns for self defense? They should be subject to the same laws as other people.

Carey McWilliams has demonstrated, through word and deed, that blind people are fully capable of responsible self defense and responsible use of guns. It is a disability, not a death sentence. From
The blind guy with a gun permit became a minor celebrity who made national and international news in 2001, even getting a segment on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” that showed him firing an assault rifle into the ground in front of a target.

“At first it was like, it was either a comedy thing or a villain thing,” recalled McWilliams, who insists he shrugs off detractors or jokes because he feels an obligation to educate other blind people about gun rights and gun safety.

In 2007, McWilliams self-published an autobiography about his hunting exploits and his efforts get a gun permit.
McWilliams' autobiography was published in 2007, but is currently out of print.  Carey maintains a web page that tells his story. 

He makes many valid points about the viability of a blind person's ability to use a gun for self defense.

All of us have different abilities and capabilities. A blind person cannot see, but they often have superb hearing and know how to operate with little or no vision. Most self defense situations occur in low or limited lighting.

Carey McWilliams made the decision to only fire his gun in self defense when he is in contact with his attacker.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) should protect McWilliams rights under the Second Amendment. I looked at the ADA website. From
§ 35.130 General prohibitions against discrimination
(a) No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.
As a counter, the ADA does not ensure that blind people are issued drivers licenses. Drivers licenses are considered a privilege, not a Constitutional right. There is a portion of the ADA about whether a disability can make a person dangerous.  From
§ 35.139 Direct threat.
(a) This part does not require a public entity to permit an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, programs, or activities of that public entity when that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
(b) In determining whether an individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, a public entity must make an individualized assessment, based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence, to ascertain: the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures or the provision of auxiliary aids or services will mitigate the risk.
Such an assessment does not seem difficult. Legally blind people have defended themselves with firearms in their homes. We know it is possible for them to do so in public. The burden is on a public entity to show, in each individual case, that there’s a direct threat that cannot be overcome with a reasonable accommodation.

Carey McWilliams has concealed carry permits from Arizona, Florida, North Dakota, and Virginia. He was denied a permit in Minnesota, on the basis that he was a danger to himself and others, even though the judge said he was sure McWilliams would be very conscientious. The judge ruled the ADA did not apply to gun permits.

McWilliams says he plans to apply again, and if refused, to challange the discrimination in federal court.

While McWilliams is completely blind, there are many other people who are legally blind, but have some vision. They should not be discriminated against either.

There are 13 states that do not require a permit in order to carry a firearm, concealed or openly. Those states have a significant number of blind people. I have yet to see a headline where a blind person used a firearm irresponsibly, and killed or injured someone while they were defending themselves.

Overcoming disabilities is inspirational. We have chosen to spend enormous amounts to accomodate people in wheel chairs.

The rights of people who are blind should not be violated, because of prejudice and unwarranted fear.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

CO: Sheep Owner Kills Dog that Killed Three of his Flock

Weld County Sheriff's deputies spent at least 14 hours hunting for a missing, alleged killer dog before finding it dead Tuesday at the hands of a homeowner protecting his flock.

The dog, described in a sheriff's department news release as a white German Shepherd — and potentially part wolf — belonged to an inmate of the Weld County Jail and escaped its yard in the 1800 block of Dilmont Avenue in east Greeley not long after deputies first visited the inmate's home on a report of neglected animals.
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Followup AZ: Suspect from Previous Shooting, Shot, Killed

Knowing that Mobley was a suspect in the earlier shooting and possibly armed, the homeowner went outside and told him to leave, YCSO reported.

Mobley immediately struck the homeowner in the mouth with a soda can, then reached into his pocket, YCSO reported. The homeowner, now armed, considered the likelihood Mobley was reaching for a firearm and shot him. At that time, the homeowner’s wife and several small children were in the home.
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CA: Off Duty Deputy Shoots Bullmastiff that Attacked his Dog

An off-duty Tehama County deputy on Monday shot a bullmastiff three times after it bit his "much smaller" dog around the throat, and it's unknown whether the larger dog survived.

Sgt. Jeff Garrett said the deputy and his wife were walking on the 4200 block of East Avenue in Corning about 7:45 p.m. Monday when the bullmastiff jumped a fence and started "aggressively attacking" their dog.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

AR: Armed Homeowner Shoots Man who Kicked in his Door

The North Little Rock man grabbed his handgun and told the intruder, “Stop kicking the door. I’ve got a gun," but the kicking continued until the door was forced open, according to a report from the Police Department.

The report states the homeowner fired two shots from the kitchen as the intruder, later identified as 37-year-old Renaldo Foreman, entered the living room. The Maumelle man then stumbled away and reportedly fell into a pile of leaves in front of the house.
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TN: Shooting may have been Self Defense

A shooting on Post Oak Valley Road that sent one man to the hospital may have been a case of self defense.

“You have a right to protect yourself in your home,” Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said.
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Followup OK: Two Shooters that stopped Rampage Shooting were Justified

The two armed civilians who fired upon the Louie's shooter were justified in their actions and very likely saved lives, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has decided.

The DA notified Bryan Whittle and Juan Carlos Nazario of his decision Friday in emotional phone calls.

The gunman, Alexander C. Tilghman, had fired toward the entrance of the Louie's Grill & Bar at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City the evening of May 24. The civilians confronted him a short distance away.

Tilghman was killed after firing again during the confrontation.

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WA: Armed Woman Shoots Intruder who would not stop

PARKLAND, Wash. - A Pierce County woman called 911 at 3:15 Saturday morning to report that she had just shot an unknown intruder in her home, located on 118th Street South in Parkland, Washington. Parkland is located in Pierce County, about 40 miles south of Seattle.

The woman told dispatchers she was holding the suspect at gunpoint and "said she was unable to let the deputies inside her home because the injured suspect was laying against her front door," the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.
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Off Duty Security Guard found Not Guilty after 1.5 Years in Jail

On 16 November, 2016, an off duty security guard, Melvin Stephens, shot and killed a man who charged at him up a stairs at his apartment complex. The incident occurred in Austin, Texas. The two had been in a confrontation earlier. The man killed, Dedric Earl, had a scissors that was discovered at the scene. Stephens called 911 to report the shooting.

Stephens was arrested and jailed because of statements he made to police. Bail was set at $125,000. It was more than Stephens could raise or afford. He spent over one and a half years in jail, from November, 2016, to June, 2018. From

Defense lawyer asked for testing of bloody scissors found in area of shooting.

Stephens, 49, had no criminal history when he fatally shot Dedrick Earl in November 2016.

A man who fatally shot a man armed with scissors was acquitted of murder and got to go home Friday after a year and a half behind bars.

After deliberating for three hours Thursday, the Travis County jury weighing Melvin Stephens’ self-defense claim needed just 15 minutes Friday morning to return the not-guilty verdict.

“Really happy for Melvin,” his lawyer Robb Shepherd said. “He gets to go home to his family.”

The defense overcame a police interview shown on video to the jury in which Stephens, 49, told investigators he regretted shooting Dedrick Earl and that he “didn’t have to” do it. The two had been feuding at a North Austin apartment complex after Earl and another man vandalized Stephens’ Ford Taurus with ashes from a burned magazine.

But from the witness stand, Stephens testified that he had reconsidered the November 2016 incident and realized his life was in danger when Earl, 22, sprinted up a flight of steps as Stephens was retreating to his home.
The case illustrates the pitfalls of giving a statement to police. It may be helpful to point out evidence that might be missed, such as the scissors. But making a statement without the aid of counsel is a perilous endeavor.

The vast majority of U.S. citizens do not wish to take a life. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, they may state, as did Stephens, that they regret it had happened, and they are sorry it did. Statements such as that can be used against a defender in the courts. They often are.

Telling the police that you wish to cooperate, but that you have been told not to give a statement until you have counsel, is appropriate. Melvin Stephens spent a year and a half in jail. It did not have to be that way.

The case shows the problem of the time lag from arrest to prosecution to a final verdict in a court of law. The incident would initially have been coded as a murder, because of the arrest. It is unlikely that the FBI statistics for 2016 will be changed, and flip from the murder column to the justified homicide column.

The Gun Violence Archives lists only incidents involving guns, and only incidents that can be verified by police and/or media reports. This biases the data base because it eliminates near all defensive gun uses, which are seldom reported or considered newsworthy.

The Archives includes suicides committed with a firearm as "gun violence".  Gun violence is a propaganda term because it focuses attention on the instrument instead of the perpetrator, assuming the instrument is the most important part of the incident. Cultural norms, the number of police, the perpetrator's criminal history, and several other variables are more important in predicting homicide, crime, and suicide than is the instrument used.

In spite of the inherent biases of the Gun Violence Archive,  when a jury finds that a shooter was justified, that should be characterized as a defensive gun use.

In the Stephens case, The Gun Violence Archives lists the incident as either murder, accident or suicide. They add in the notes that Melvin Stephens was ruled not guilty. But the shooting is not classified as a defensive gun use.  From the
Incident Characteristics 

Shot - Dead (murder, accidental, suicide)


1 killed. suspect init arrest, found not guilty of murder charge
Perhaps it is early, and the Archives will change the classification of the event.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Thursday, June 21, 2018

WA: Armed Samaritan who Saved Lives was a Pastor

An armed civilian is credited with saving several lives when he stopped a man firing shots at a Walmart in Washington Sunday.

The Tumwater Police Department identified the deceased gunman Monday as Tim O. Day, 44, of McCleary, Wash. He shot two people and tried carjacking six people. Day also fired shots inside the Walmart, but did not hit anyone inside the store.

A man who would rather not be identified stopped the crime spree when he shot and killed Day. Police say the 47-year-old man is from Oakville, Washington. He is a pastor, volunteer firefighter, and medic.
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Tennessee Law to Exempt County Commissioners from Gun Law takes effect on July 1

Knoxville City-County Building

On July 1, 2018, HB 1939, now Pu.. Ch. 880, will go into effect. The law creates a special exemption for county commissioners so they may legally exercise their Second Amendment rights in public buildings that contain courthouses. From
A new Tennessee state law will go into effect at the beginning of July that will allow county commissioners to bring their handguns into buildings where meetings are held.

Anderson County Commissioner Steven Mead is one commissioner saying he looks forward to July 1.

"I won't have to leave my gun out where it can be stolen in my car," he said.

In fact, Mead helped write the new legislation. He began lobbying the legislature after an existing law was changed. It resulted in a ban on any guns in buildings with active courthouses.

The bill was written in response to  HB 0508 (SB0445).  The bill went into effect as law in Tennessee on July 1, 2017. That law, now Pub. Ch 467, eliminated many gun free zones in Tennessee, but made buildings containing courthouses into gun free zones.

The previous state law only banned guns in courtrooms that were in use. But the law allowed local governments to ban guns in buildings. Many buildings where there were courthouses were already gun free zones.

Passage of HB 0508 was a compromise for Second Amendment supporters. More gun free zones were eliminated than were created. There was no exception in the law for lawmakers or other public employees, except for law enforcement officers.

Many buildings that contain courtrooms also contain numerous other facilities. The often contain county clerks offices, county assessors officers, motor vehicle licensing facilities, and others.

Commissioner Mead's concerns about guns in cars being stolen apply equally to all legal gun carriers that have business to be carried out in a building that happens to have a courtroom in it.

The legislature was able to act in a timely fashion to grant special privilege to county commissioners. 

HB 1939 was introduced January 29, 2018.

The bill was assigned to Civil Justice Committee on  January 31.

HB 1939 passed the committee on March 22, 2018.

The bill was passed by the House, 71-17, with 2 not voting, on April , 2018.

HB 1939 was passed by the Senate on April 18, 2018, 27 to 1.

It was signed into law by Governor on April 26, 2018.

HB 1939 goes into effect on 1 July, 2018.

The bill only grants the exercise of Second Amendment rights to County Commissioners, not to city officials. Mayors are out of luck. From HB 1939
As enacted, allows county commissioner in the actual discharge of the commissioner's duties who has a valid handgun carry permit to carry in buildings in which county commission meetings are held, but not in room in which judicial proceeding in progress; not applicable to member of legislative body of metropolitan government. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.
This is another case of special privilege for certain government officials. Second Amendment supporters in Tennessee will likely use it as a springboard to reform Pub. Ch. 467's ban on carrying in buildings containing a courtroom. The obvious reform would change that part of state law back to make only courtrooms in actual use gun free zones, not entire county administrative buildings.

The arguments used by County Commissioners apply equally to all who can legally carry concealed weapons.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

OK: Couple Confront Intruder, Shoot Suspect as He moves Toward them

However, she decided to give the gun to her military-trained husband, and the two confronted Allery together in the kitchen. They were determined not to be victims and to defend their home.

They said they told him to lay down but he refused. The woman called police and, on the 911 call, both can be heard ordering him to lay down.
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CA: Busines Owner Shoots Burglary Suspect

A man who broke into a Temple City business early Monday was shot and wounded by the owner, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Tom McNeil said the injured suspect was expected to survive.
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Followup OR: Robert Gates found Justified in Shooting of Christopher Nolan

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

OK: Payne County Employees can Exercise Second Amendment Rights

The Payne County Oklahoma Budget Board voted to restore county employee's Second Amendment rights on May 14, 2018. Oklahoma requires a state issued carry permit to carry a handgun outside the home, except for certain, limited exceptions.

The Payne County Budget Board made clear that county employees can exercise Second Amendment rights inside of county buildings, if they have  a valid carry permit and sign a waiver. The waiver states they understand some limitations, and they are not to draw the firearm except in valid defense of self or others. From
Reding said the Budget Board, a body consisting of all elected county officers, voted during its May 14 meeting to implement the gun policy along with language for a waiver that employees who want to carry a gun while on the job must sign.

The forms would be turned in to the employee’s supervisor but, it hasn’t been determined where they will be stored, he said.

The document, which was provided to the News Press by Reding’s office, says employees understand that carrying or discharging a firearm is not part of their job, that any employee who removes a weapon from a holster except for the act of self-defense shall be considered for termination, agrees that firearms safety is to be observed at all times and states that employees understand they are not allowed to carry firearms into the courthouse or any other buildings specifically prohibited by law.
A particularly interesting part of the waiver is an instruction to county employees that if they are involved in an act of self-defense, they will not make a statement until they have been advised by an attorney. They will be required to participate in drills.
Employees could be required to participate in drills and must provide a copy of their current, valid handgun license and a copy of each renewal within 30 days of renewing.

They must agree not to make a statement until they have been advised by an attorney in the event they are involved in an “an act of self-defense.”
Not making a statement to police until you have an attorney is classic advise from self defense trainers and lawyers. It is significant that such action is now required by a county government in Oklahoma.

Another Oklahoma County restored Second Amendment rights to employees in Logan County in 2015.

A trend moving across the U.S.A. to restore rights that were infringed with personnel policies in local and state governments. Government worker should not be required to give up fundamental Constitutional rights. There are some exceptions. Prison guards should not, generally, carry guns among the prison population.

Bowling Green in Kentucky restored the ability to exercise Second Amendment rights to public employees at work, in 2018.  Georgia and Virginia counties restored the right to be armed to employees in 2016.  Local government employees have had rights restored in Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas.

 Oklahoma has been restoring Second Amendment since the passage of the shall issue carry permit bill in 1995. In 2018, the legislature voted overwhelmingly to make Oklahoma a Constitutional Carry state. Governor Mary Fallin vetoed the legislation after the legislature adjourned.

I expect Constitutional Carry will become law in Oklahoma in the next few years.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Armed Homeowner Fires to get Police attention in Suspect Chase

Coryell said he was armed and did what he could to get the suspect to stop. Police were everywhere.

"That was one of the reasons I fired. I don't want to shoot somebody, first of all. So, I shot into the ground, and I shot the second time knowing that police are going to hear this, and sure enough, that's when they all came to that area," Coryell said.

Both suspects were ultimately caught, and now a community is slowly getting back to normal.
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IL: Permit Holder Scares off Home Invader

Someone kicked in the side door of a home at 8:11 a.m. in the 500 block of Berkeley Road in Riverside after ringing the doorbell and getting no response, according to a statement form Riverside police.

The homeowner, who has a valid concealed carry license, picked up his gun and yelled for the intruder to get out, police said. The homeowner and suspect never saw each other.
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TN: Armed Samaritan Saves Man and Pregnant Wife

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man and his pregnant wife are safe thanks to the heroic actions of a good Samaritan who stepped in as they were being robbed.

It happened Sunday in the 1300 block of Walnut Hall at the Lynnfield Place Apartments.
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New Jersey AG Attacks Right to buy Gun Parts and Learn How to Make Guns

Guns have been made by individuals as long as there have been guns. In the United States, it has always been legal to own the means of production to make your own guns. It has always been legal to make your own. Hobbyists have been making firearms as long as the United States has existed.

The national war on the Second Amendment started in the 1930's. Passed in 1934, the National Firearms Act required a license to make some guns for commercial sale. To own short barreled rifles and shotguns, and guns that can fire more than one shot with each pull of the trigger, a federal tax stamp was required.

New Jersey is one of only six states that does not have a state constitutional amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms. 

The state Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal demanded that unnamed companies stop selling "Ghost Guns" without serial numbers.  It is already illegal, under federal law, for a company to make and sell guns without a serial number. 

No company is legally selling "Ghost Guns" in New Jersey.

What is the AG talking about? 

Grewal is attacking the right to buy gun parts and to learn how to make guns. He is attacking both the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and the First Amendment right to freedom of the press and free speech. From
The governor's senior adviser for firearms, William Castner, said the ghost gun business would be "closed for business" in New Jersey.

Ghost guns are unregistered weapons that don't have serial numbers. Grewal said the firms sell the nearly complete weapons, often along with the parts needed to finish them, as well as training so the firearms can be completed.
When the federal government passed the federal gun control act of 1968, they had to define what a gun was.

A piece of metal is not a gun. A piece of wood is not a gun. A metal tube is not a gun. A spring is not a gun. Take enough pieces of metal and wood, work them into the proper shapes and sizes, put them together, and they can become a gun.

The federal law defines a gun as the part that other pieces are attached to, in order to make a functioning gun. That piece is called the receiver.  When a commercial manufacturer makes a receiver, they are required to put a serial number on it.

It would be insane to require a gun owner to have to undergo licensing every time they replaced a worn or broken part. A broken spring can be replaced. A worn out barrel can be replaced. But if a receiver has to be replaced, the new receiver has a new serial number.

Under federal law, a receiver less than 80% complete is not a gun.

AG Grewal is making public disarmament theater by threatening unnamed manufacturers, who do not make guns, with a lawsuit.

It is illegal for people to remove a serial number from a gun. Criminals can easily make a "Ghost Gun" by stealing an existing gun and grinding off, filing off, or drilling out, the serial number.  It is much, much more difficult to buy an unfinished piece of metal, do the required machining to make it into a receiver, and then buy the parts to add to the receiver to make a completed gun.

Criminals in other countries find it easy to make their own uncomplicated receivers and gun parts from scratch. One of the easiest repeaters to make, it the submachine gun. Homemade submachine guns are commonly made in Israel, the Philippines, Brazil, in crude workshops or at home. In first world countries with tight gun control, like Australia and Canada, the black market submachine guns are better finished and of higher quality.

The more people know about guns and gun laws, the less they are susceptible to the propaganda exhibited by AG Grewal. Gurbir Grewal is a Sikh, not a Muslim or Hindu.  He was born in New Jersey of Indian immigrant parents. It is likely Grewal is ignorant about guns, himself, as he grew up in an extremely restrictive firearms environment. He has been an outspoken critic of President Trump, and has been pushing a number of "Progressive" policies in New Jersey.

Progressivism detests the concept of the Second Amendment in its bones.

Grewals lawsuit won't make anyone safer. It is an attack on Constitutional rights.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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