Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review: Homemade and Deadly (Small Arms Survey)

Craft Production of Small Arms in Nigeria by Authors Mathias Nowak and André Gsell, June of 2018, 19 pages.

This remarkable briefing paper provides a fascinating look into the underground production of personal firearms in Nigeria.  It shows a basic limitation of legal gun control.  Nigeria has had extensive, strict, legal limitations on the ownership and manufacture of firearms since 1959. To illustrate the draconian nature of these legal controls, repairing of firearms, without a government license to do so, has a legal penalty of a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The inspector general of police, with the consent of the governor of a state, can issue permits to virtually anyone they wish to. This is a "may issue" system, with all power centralized in the State governors. In practice, it appears no licenses to manufacture are given. But licenses to carry possess and carry firearms can be had.  In essence, this a pure rule of man, not rule of law. From smallarmssurvey.org:
This Briefing Paper provides new research findings based on extensive fieldwork in four Nigerian states (Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, and Plateau). It reviews demand and supply factors that shape the craft market in Nigeria, finding that demand is driven by insecurity and conflict, but also by cultural and societal factors. Supply is mostly demand driven. The quality of the products and production methods varies greatly across the surveyed states. Craft production poses a significant challenge for the Nigerian state and will require a mix of holistic measures to regulate or deter it, ranging from improving security (and security perceptions) and the relationship between security providers and communities, to licensing, measures aimed at providing alternative livelihoods for craft producers, and a more comprehensive application of the relevant legal framework.
The briefing paper presents the results of 82 in depth interviews in four Nigerian states, as well as the capital territory.  Included in these interviews are 23 small shop, or, as the briefing paper refers to them craft firearms producers.

Because of the severe legal limitations on the purchase and ownership of firearms in Nigeria, nearly three-fourths of weapons seized in Nigeria (1,150 of 1,559) firearms from 2014-2017 were homemade (craft) guns. Factory made guns are available in the underground economy, but are much more expensive than craft guns.

Prices vary from $41 for a craft single barrel shotgun to $175 for a craft copy of the AK47.

Factory products on the black market vary from $118 for a single barrel shotgun to $1,330 for an AK47.

Black market factory ammunition is readily available in 12 gauge, 9mm and 7.62mm (presumably 7.62X39) at about a U.S. dollar per round. No underground production of ammunition was noted.

There are discrepancies in the briefing that are ignored. A previous survey found that 17 percent of rural weapon owners, and 10 percent of urban weapon owners, owned craft produced firearms. Yet 74% of confiscated firearms were craft produced. No explanation is given. It seems unlikely that 80% of rural weapons owners have legal, factory produced firearms. From smallarmssurvey.org:

About one-fifth (17 per cent) of civilian, rural weapons holders countrywide possess craft weapons and one-tenth in urban areas, according to preliminary findings from the National Small Arms and Light Weapons Survey (NSALWS).

Machine tools and hand tools are supplanting craft/blacksmith type of production, which consists of centuries old blacksmithing techniques.

Technical training in machining and use of educational facilities for demanding metal work show the infusion of more advanced technical knowledge into the craft firearms market.

While a primary assumption of Homemade and Deadly is that a reduction in firearms is always better, the research done provides useful information. When functional small arms from single shots to sub-machine guns are produced in crude blacksmith shops, the concept of effective firearms controls has serious limitation.

The authors ignore the possibility that easier legal ownership of firearms could have positive effects.

Nigeria is rated as having one of the lowest rates of firearm ownership, of about 1.5 per 100 people. The United States has a private stock of over 418 million firearms, or a rate of firearms ownership of above 125 per 100 people. To reach the Nigerian level of firearms ownership, the number of firearms in the U.S. would have to be reduced more than 98%.  Yet, the murder rate in Nigeria is about three times that in the United States.

The Nigerian experience shows that even an extremely low rate of firearms ownership is more than enough to supply violent criminals to produce a murder rate three times as much as in the United States. If a country has a peaceful culture, they do not need gun control. If they have a violent culture, gun control does not produce a positive effect. A similar situation is seen in Brazil.

In the United States, production of craft firearms would be far simpler than in Nigeria, due to the easy availability of electricity, machine tools, and the emerging technology of cheap CNC machines and 3D printers. There are likely tens of billions of rounds of ammunition, unregistered, in U.S. homes.

I recommend Homemade and Deadly for anyone who is interested in the black market production of firearms and the technological limitations of gun control laws.

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

Gun Watch

NM: Man Shoots, Kills, Large Bear that Attacked Him

State Game and Fish officials say the 36-year-old man was attacked by the male bear Wednesday while out exercising with his dogs. Officials say the man pulled out his sidearm during the attack and shot and killed the bear. He was able to then call 911.
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Followup MD: Suspect in Home Invasion was Shot, Killed

BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- Baltimore County Police have identified the man found dead in an Essex home as one of three suspects who entered during a home invasion. Police say 20 year-old Tarae Damon Holton was shot and killed during the incident.
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WV: Armed Robbery Suspect Runs when Bartender Pulls Gun

Howard said the man allegedly drew a gun at the door to the bar, only to take off running when the employee drew his own weapon.
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AZ: Woman Shoots 20-Year-Old Neighbor Who Tried to Open her Door


A Litchfield Park woman shot a neighbor who mistakenly tried to get into her home late Thursday night, according to Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Ninth Circuit Three Judge Panel Upholds Second Amendment Right to Open Carry

A three judge panel has written that open carry outside the home is protected by the Second Amendment. The case is Young v. State of Hawaii. The opinion, written by Judge O’Scannlain makes a clear, logical, and compelling case that open carry outside the home is a right protected by the Second Amendment. From Young v. State of Hawaii:
In determining the appropriate level of scrutiny to apply to section 134-9, the panel first held that the right to carry a firearm openly for self-defense falls within the core of the Second Amendment. The panel stated that restricting open carry to those whose job entails protecting life or property necessarily restricts open carry to a small and insulated subset of law-abiding citizens. The panel reasoned that the typical, law-abiding citizen in the State of Hawaii was entirely foreclosed from exercising the core Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense. The panel concluded that Hawaii’s limitation on the open carry of firearms to those “engaged in the protection of life and property” violated the core of the Second Amendment and was void under any level of scrutiny.
Judge O'Scannlain found only a little new in this opinion. O'Scannlain wrote the original majority opinion for the three judge panel in the Ninth Circuit ruling on Peruta v. San Diego. He had already done all the research and analysis of the history and precedent of the Second Amendment. The Ninth Circuit, en banc, overruled the O'Scannlain and found that there was no right to carry arms concealed, outside the home, ignoring that carrying openly outside the home had recently been forbidden by California law.

In Young v. State of Hawaii, the carry permit is for both open and concealed carry. O'Scannlain makes an obvious point. The Ninth Circuit, in the en banc ruling on Peruta, said concealed carry outside the home is not protected by the Second Amendment. Judge O'Scannlain writes that both concealed and open carry may not be forbidden, because forbidding both is a clear infringement of Second Amendment rights.

Open carry outside the home is more clearly protected than concealed carry, because of precedents in state law that go back to the 1830's.  Concealed carry does not have the level of protection that open carry does, simply because bans on concealed carry have been tolerated for 190 years in some states.  In 1833, the Supreme Court had ruled the Bill of rights did not apply to state governments.

Slowly, starting in the 1920's, the Supreme Court ruled that some Amendments in the Bill of Rights gave protection from state governments. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled the Second Amendment protected peoples rights against infringement by state governments.

The dissent, written by Judge Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee, is a familiar restatement of what became the majority opinion in Peruta in the en banc ruling.

It attempts to make the case that open carry is not protected by the Second Amendment. Clifton makes three essential arguments.

First, he relies on scattered laws in a few states from the 19th century, that allowed people to ask a judge to require a surety (similar to a bond) of a person who they deemed to be acting irresponsibly while carrying weapons.

Second, is the fact that some restrictions on open carry have been tolerated in a couple of states for nearly a century.

Third, that governments believe restrictions on the carrying of arms serve a good purpose.

None of the three points is much of an argument. They amount to an attempt to find ways to invalidate the Second Amendment because the judge does not want to enforce Second Amendment protections.

Thus we come to the core difference in the opinions.

If you desire to interpret and enforce the Constitution as written, the Second Amendment protects an individual right to self defense.  It protects a right to keep and to carry weapons that would be useful, not only for self defense, but to form a viable militia. It protects a right to carry weapons outside of the home.

If you believe the Constitution is a silly impediment to government power, that the Constitution is an obsolete relic of a bygone era, something that has to be re-interpreted for today's times, a "living document, then you will always find a few laws somewhere to be able to create a sophistry that neuters the Second Amendment.

One side values truth, the rule of law, and the necessity of limits on government power.

The other side finds that truth is situational and relative, the rule of law is what a judge or government says it is at the time it is said, and limits on government power are an obscene restriction on the ability of the elite to rule as they should.

The question going forward is whether there will be an en banc ruling on Young v. State of Hawaii, what the en banc ruling will find, and if Young v. State of Hawaii will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

There are seven openings on the Ninth Circuit. President Trump has nominated two judges so far.

I do not believe the Ninth Circuit's ideology has changed much yet.

The Ninth has a history of hearing Second Amendment cases en banc.

I predict that Young v. State of Hawaii will be heard en banc. I predict the en banc Ninth Circuit will reverse the three judge panel. They will find some sophistry to claim the Second Amendment does not protect any carry outside of the home, open or concealed. I predict he case will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

If President Trump's nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, is Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court at that time, there is a even chance the Supreme Court will accept Young v. State of Hawaii. If they accept the case, they will likely find that carry outside of the home is protected by the Second Amendment.

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

Gun Watch

Polar Bear Attacks Guard, Guard Wounded, Bear Shot, Eco-nuts Attack Guard's Employer

The guard suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and was airlifted out, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said in a statement on Facebook.

"The incident occurred when the four-person polar bear guard team, who are always on board for these expedition cruises as required by law, prepared for a shore leave," the company said.

However, they failed to spot one bear who attacked one of the guards, the cruise line said. The other guards shot the bear after trying unsuccessfully to evict the animal, the company said.
More Here

FL: Person in Home Shoots Intruding Bear that Charged Him

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they were called to the neighborhood on a report of a bear attack.

Officials said they learned the bear was in someone's garage, when a person in the home claimed it charged at him so he shot it.
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NC: Woman Shoots Intruder who has long Criminal History

ST. PAULS — A man shot multiple times by a homeowner who found him hiding on her property has a criminal history that includes theft, according to court documents.
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WI: 33-Year-Old Shoots 21-Year-Old Armed Robbery Suspect

MILWAUKEE -- An attempted robbery at a Milwaukee gas station was thwarted when a citizen shot the robber, according to police.

It happened Thursday evening, July 26 near 35th and Silver Spring.
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Tragic CO: Mistaken Identity, Husband shoots Wife by Accident

The woman, who was only identified as being 33-years-old, was shot in the abdomen, according to police. She is expected to survive.

Cybert said the 31-year-old man is not under arrest for the shooting because there is no indication of foul play at this time.

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Soviet Union Knife Registration

Soviet era Hunting Knife with Serial Number

In the Soviet Union, it was very difficult to obtain firearms legally. All firearms were required to be registered. Being caught with an unregistered firearm was a serious offense. Registration was used by the state to control who was allowed to have firearms, and who did not. The law stemmed from the decree of 1918. From wikipedia.com:
The December decree of the CPC of 1918, "On the surrender of weapons", ordered people to surrender any firearms, swords, bayonets and bombs, regardless of the degree of serviceability. The penalty for not doing so was ten years imprisonment.
Communist Party members were allowed to have a rifle or a pistol, as an automatic perk of party membership.  The firearm was recorded as part of their party membership.

I recently met a Soviet immigrant who came to the United States in 1991, at 47 years old. His name is Vladimir, and I have had several fascinating conversations with him about life in the old Soviet Union.

As we talked about firearms, I mentioned how gun control is morphing into knife control in areas which already have strict firearm controls.

Vlad told me how certain knives were tightly controlled the Soviet Union. Hunting knives and military knives such as bayonets, were required to have serial numbers and were registered with the State.

Hunters had to belong to a hunting club, and show that they were active to be able to buy a hunting knife.  Vlad said this was a very stupid policy, because kitchen knives where not controlled, had no registration number and could be just as deadly. He said that good knives could easily be made from automobile or truck springs.

Vlad said much of the difficulty of living in the old Soviet Union was that so much of the regulation and law made no sense. Everyone understood much regulation and law made no sense, but there was no way to undo the regulation or repeal the laws.  Many Americans see similar irrational regulations in the United States.

I asked Vlad why he came to the United States. He said it was because he wanted to live in a society where daily existence did not require a person to continually lie. Now he sees political correctness and the push to not allow certain words or concepts as a dangerous trend in the United States.

He asked if I had read George Orwell's "1984".

I said I had.

He said the novel "1984" was the reality of life in the old Soviet Union. For his entire life, he learned to depend and trust friends and confidants, rather than any government officials in *any* government.

Vlad has thrived in the United States. He is on the faculty of a major midwestern University, working with his PhD in cancer research. His wife immigrated with him and is a medical doctor. He owns his own home. His son, who immigrated with them, has a promising career of his own.  He has won bodybuilding competitions in the United States.

I met him because he was a member of gun club I had belonged to in the 1980s.

Anyone could join that gun club, but membership was not required in order to purchase a knife. Membership was not required to purchase a gun or ammunition, or reloading supplies. Private sales of guns often happened at the gun club, without state intervention.  The members knew and trusted each other. We have a name for that sort of behavior.


In the United States, state legislatures are reversing decades of irrational knife laws. I have not seen a tendency to register knives in the United States. Yet.

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

Gun Watch

TX: Armed Katy Homeowner Shoots Burglary Suspect

A homeowner in Katy shoots and injures a man who broke into his home. Investigators say the man found the 19-year old suspect in his garage trying to break into his car.

"The male was masked. The resident confronted him with a handgun, told him to stop. The suspect advanced towards the resident, and the resident then shot one time."
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MI: Man who used .22 rilfle to Shoot, Kill, two Tresspasses with Burglary tools found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Jurors on Tuesday afternoon convicted Lawrence, 55, of two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of McMillen and his friend Hunter Lentz, both 18.

In doing so, the jury rejected the arguments of Lawrence's lawyers, who contended Lawrence acted in self-defense or lawfully prevented the escape of two fleeing felons on his property with ill intent.

He used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot and kill them June 8, 2016 on Town Road in Springport Township.
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OH: Auto Repair Robbery Suspect Shot and Killed

Dispatchers say a man with a gun came into the "My Garage" auto repair shop.
Employees were inside the business working at the time.
Dispatchers say during the robbery attempt, someone from inside the business pulled a gun on Craver and shot him.
The man who shot the suspect called 911.

More Here

Saturday, July 28, 2018

AR15 used to stop Home Invasion in Hawaii

On Thursday, July 19, on the Hawaiian  island of Maui, a victim of a home invasion fired an AR15 style rifle at one of three armed home invaders. The trio hastily retreated, firing shots as they left the residence.  There were three victims of the home invasion. The suspects are reported to have taken $3,000. No one is reported as being hit by gunfire.  From staradvertiser.com

The bandits forced one victim into a bathroom, then walked through the house. A second victim armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and fired a round at the robbers, nearly striking one.

The three suspects fled, firing four gunshots on the way out.

No one was hurt during the robbery, police said. One victim reported the suspects took $3,000.
The police reported that they "recovered" a firearm at the scene of the home invasion. It is not clear if they "recovered" the "shiny handgun" reportedly used by the home invaders, or the AR15 style rifle used by the home defender. Hawaii has very restrictive gun control laws. Possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of "pistol" ammunition, which includes AR15 magazines, is a misdemeanor, so the police may have confiscated the rifle used for home defense.

It is unclear when the police started to use the word "recover" firearms instead of impounded, confiscated, or taken into custody. Recover implies the firearm was previously owned by the police, or the firearm is owned by some other person than the one the police took it from.

AR-15 rifles make excellent home defense tools. There mere appearance has significant deterrent effect. We do not know what sort of ammunition was used, or the composition of the home's walls, so speculation about over-penetration is moot. We know that no one outside the home was reported as being wounded.

This is another case that shows the utility of semi-automatic rifles for home defense. The added difficulty of obtaining pistols legally in Hawaii is another reason for people there to use a semi-automatic rifle.

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

Gun Watch

AL:Clerk, Armed with .45, Shoots Armed Robber

Phenix City Police confirm the suspect as 22 year old Nyjaun Walton. EMS transported Walton to Piedmont Columbus Regional as he was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Police also confirmed Walton had a pistol on him during the robbery.

"He was injured pretty badly. He got shot three times," said the store clerk, who does not want to be identified. “He put a pistol to my back and asked for the money. I gave him the money. He wanted money out of the next register which I told him I could not open.”
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MO: Home Invastion Shot, Killed by Armed Victim at 3 a.m.

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ St. Louis police say a burglary suspect is dead after being shot by a man in the home that was victimized.
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IN: 1 of 2 Home Invasion Suspects Shot, Arrested

They say Baker and another man broke into a home on North Illinois Street and started shooting.

One of the victims shot back and both of the suspects ran away.

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Man UsesTwo AR15-type Rifles to stop Shooting Spree, Carjacking and Attempted Murder

On 2 July, 2018, a little after noon, on Rampart Range Road in El Paso County, Colorado, a carjacking attempt was reported to the El Paso County Sheriff's  Office. The event escalated into a crime spree with numerous gunshots fired at innocent people.

Twenty- nine year old Austin Nelson has been identified as the suspect doing the shooting, threatening, and driving. He was stopped by an armed citizen in the Devils Head campground. From epcsheriffsoffice.com:

On July 2, 2018, at approximately 12:20 pm, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a Motor Vehicle Theft in Progress in the 9000 block of Rampart Range Road.

The victim reported they were traveling on Rampart Range Road when they were flagged down by a white male approximately 20-30 years of age, standing next to a blue Mazda station wagon with a blown rear tire. The victim sped away from the scene when they observed the suspect was in possession of a firearm.

The suspect then re-entered his vehicle and proceeded to drive northbound on Rampart Range Road. While driving on Rampart Range Road, the suspect encountered two other victims who he menaced with a weapon. According to second victim, the suspect shot in their direction. The third victim stated the suspect pulled the trigger on the firearm but it did not discharge.

The suspect continued driving and shooting at passing vehicles. He ultimately stopped near Devils Head Campground and approached an unsuspecting camper with a rifle. A confrontation ensued when the suspect pointed the rifle at the camper and the camper returned fire.
The armed citizen at the Devils Head Campground has been identified as 51-year-old Wesley Mattox, from Alabama. Mattox used Benson's gunpoint demand for water to arm his wife, get her under cover and access an AR15 type rifle. Mattox then demanded Benson disarm and give up.  From koaa.com:
Mattox told Douglas County deputies Benson pointed a rifle at him and told him to get him water and that "the law was after him." Mattox then said he returned to his camper, where he armed his wife with a handgun and grabbed an AR-15.

Mattox told deputies he took position behind the Mazda and said he told Benson to drop the gun. According to Mattox, Benson swung the rifle toward him and began shooting at him and the camper while driving away.

Mattox said he moved away from his truck to draw fire away from his camper, where his wife was hiding. Benson began driving and hit a tree, where Mattox said he shot one to two more shots after hitting the tree.

Mattox told deputies he thought he was out of ammunition in his rifle, so he retrieved a second AR-15 from his truck and took up position behind a tree behind the Mazda. Armed with the second rifle, he watched the car to see if Benson moved, which he did not.
The Manitou Springs Police arrived in short order, and took a wounded Benson into custody. Benson had been hit several time in the face and arm. It is common for people in a gun fight to be wounded in the arms and hands, because those are what are holding the weapon.

Benson survived the ride to the hospital and is expected to recover. Police found a loaded handgun in Benson's vehicle. They found the rifle he had been firing.

Good guy with a gun Mattox did not approach the truck to investigate. He allowed responding officers to do that. There might have been grave consequences if he did so. Benson might not have been completely disabled. Given the conditions, the rifle likely fell from Benson's wounded arm/arms outside of the vehicle he was driving. He still had access to the loaded handgun inside the vehicle.

People, especially high on adrenalin (or other drugs such as meth or alcohol), can take enormous amounts of punishment and still function. Citations of actions that result in the awarding of the U.S. medal of honor are full of incidents were people were severely wounded, but continued to fight.

If you think a few wounds from a 5.56 x 45 are always disabling, people have been hit with numerous rounds of 7.62x39 and kept on fighting, killed enemy soldiers, and survived.

The AR15 style rifles were exactly the sort of right instruments to stop the shooting spree before it resulted in the wounding and death of innocent people. The rifles are light, handy, easy to use, and have sufficient magazine capacity for a gunfight such as Mattox and Benson were involved in. They are ideal militia weapons and self defense tools.

Wesley Mattox had retired as an Alabama police officer. At the time of the shootings, he was another armed citizen, defending himself, his wife, and other innocent bystanders.

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

Gun Watch

NC: 68-Year-Old Woman Shoots Intruder

ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) – Deputies are investigating after a man was shot multiple times Friday night while inside a woman’s storage building in Robeson County.
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TX: Domestic Defense? Boyfriend on Shooting Spree Shot by Woman's Grandfather

Police say a man was shot several times after he reportedly banged on doors at a Northeast Side apartment complex on Monday morning.

The shooting happened at an apartment complex on on Gawain Drive, near Walzem Road, at about 3:30 a.m.
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AL: Female Shoots Jim William Boykin in Self Defense

When officers arrived, they found 39-year-old Jim William Boykin, who lived at the complex, dead from a gunshot wound.

After taking witness statements, police said it appeared that Boykin was behaving erratically, accosted a female neighbor at her apartment, and she shot Boykin in self-defense.
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CA: Suspected Gang Member Wounded in Burglary Attempt

Joshua Zorilla, 22, was hit once, but he'll be all right. He's headed to jail as soon as he's cleared by medical staff, according to the police report.

Officers said Zorilla was shot by an elderly resident on San Pablo Avenue during the burglary attempt. The homeowner was questioned and released, pending further investigation.
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Followup VA: New Zealand Man who was Shot Attempting Break-in, Released from Hospital

A New Zealand man who was shot after attempting to break into the home of an American teenager has been released from hospital.

Auckland man Troy George Skinner is being held in a county jail in Virginia ahead of a hearing set for July 30.

Goochland County sheriff James Agnew said Skinner was recently released from VCU Medical Center where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the neck.
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

LA: Domestic Defense, Estranged Husband Breaks into House, is Shot

Investigators think he removed a window air conditioner to get into his estranged wife’s residence in the 2900 block of Amherst Street.

Hines allegedly then entered the room where she and her friend were sleeping and began chasing the man.

When caught by Hines, the man reportedly pulled out a handgun and shot Hines once.
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Followup IA: No Charges for Michael Hodges Jr

Surveillance video from downtown cameras, which captured the January shooting outside a bar, shows the other man — Zevon Johnson of Urbandale — was the “primary aggressor,” she found. Hodges drew his gun, which he had a permit to carry, in response, she concluded.
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TN: Intruder Shot and Killed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 29-year-old man was shot and killed after making his way into a Hickory Hill apartment Thursday evening.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Registration Leads to Confiscation in South Africa

On June 7th, 2018, the Constitutional Court in South Africa, overruled a lower court's decision that parts of South Africa's gun laws were unconstitutional. The laws were absolute, and did not allow for appeal or legitimate reasons for delay, such as hospitalization or death.

From citizen.co.za:
Section 24 of the Act requires that any person who seeks to renew a licence must do so 90 days before its expiry date. Section 28 stipulates that if a firearm licence has been cancelled‚ the firearm must be disposed of or forfeited to the state. A 60-day timeframe was placed on its disposal, which was to be done through a dealer.

In 2017, North Gauteng High Court judge Ronel Tolmay ruled that these two sections were unconstitutional. She stated that firearms due for renewal in terms of section 24 of the act “will be deemed to be valid, until the Constitutional Court has made its determination on the Constitutionality of the aforesaid sections”.

The effects of yesterday’s ruling are far-reaching. It is estimated that there are at least 300 000 firearm owners who – either negligently or intently – failed to renew their firearm licences. These people will have to hand their firearms in at their nearest police stations, from where it will be destroyed.

In his judgment, Froneman stated the prosecution of those who failed to renew licences timeously was unlikely. It is, however, not excluded from the realm of possibility.
Compensation is allowed under the firearms act, but is at the discretion of the firearms act registrar. Maximum compensation is only 500 Rand ($37) per pistol or 1000 Rand ($75) per rifle. Those amounts are laughably short of market
values.  The South African Rand was worth $1.40 as late as 1971. At the time that black majority rule was forced on South Africa, it was $.33. Now it is worth about $.075, or 7.5 American cents.

The South African government required all legal firearms in South Africa to be registered. Now it requires about 300,000 of them to be turned in without any rational compensation. The South African government has become amazingly corrupt in the last 23 years.  It is unknown how many $10,000 rifles or even $400 pistols will actually be destroyed, as required by current South African law.

Socialist governments in Africa are notoriously wasteful as well as corrupt.

The legislature recently voted to allow a Constitutional change so that land from white landowners could be confiscated without compensation.

This latest move toward tyranny will hasten the departure of productive people from South Africa. South Africa seems determined to follow the example of Zimbabwe.  Black majority rule quickly devolved into dictatorship, war, and starvation in Zimbabwe.

Constitutional limits are only effective if they can be enforced.

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

Gun Watch

Man Impersonating DEA During Home Invasion, Shot, Killed

At about 1 a.m. on July 18th, 2018, in Alquippa, Pennsylvania Brionna Hicks stepped outside on the porch of her home to smoke a cigarette. Her mother was upstairs with three children. Her brother, Anthony Farley, lived in the other half of the duplex.

Two men, wearing shirts with DEA printed on them, ran up to the porch, yelling DEA! and DEA survellance! They tried to handcuff Brionna. She fought them and started screaming. From post-gazzette.com, 18 July:
Her mother came downstairs and was confronted by a tall man wearing something white on his head, according to the complaint. The man pointed a gun at the mother and told her to lay face down on the stairs.

The two men then tried to drag Ms. Hicks out of the house, she said, at which point her brother, who lives in the adjoining half of the duplex, came to the front door.

The unidentified man shot her brother, Anthony Farley, in the neck.

Mr. Farley returned fire, striking the man, according to the complaint.
Brionna's brother, Anthony, ended up in the hospital. He will recover. His assailant ended up dead, on the porch.

The gunfight took place between the two doors pictured on the white duplex. It appears to be about 20 feet.

This illustrates a growing problem of criminals impersonating law enforcement officers to gain an advantage over their victims.

It was less of a problem when most police were uniformed and used official vehicles. Now many raids are unannounced, or use almost no warning in the service of a warrant.

One of the primary purposes of a warrant is to inform the person in charge of the premises to be searched that the officers doing the searching are doing so under due process of law. A search warrant protects both the owner of the premises and the police. Proper service of a search warrant also prevents searches of other premises or places not on the warrant.

An owner of premises does not have to allow police onto the premises unless they have a warrant.

The war on drugs has vastly expanded the use of "no knock" warrants, which have been issued promiscuously in recent years. The mere ownership of legal firearms has been used as a premise to issue a no-knock warrant.

It has become much harder for citizens to know if the people breaking down the door are police or criminals. If the police do not announce themselves, and wait for a reasonable time to have the person in charge of the premises look at a warrant and determine that it is valid, and what may be searched for, how is a person to know if the invasion of their home is occurring under the rule of law?

I was involved in a situation in Australia where premises were searched. The officers with the warrant were not present. A resident asked for the paperwork. It could not be produced. The resident refused them entry. The officers waited until the paperwork was present. They were allowed entry, and conducted their search.  That is the way most warrants should work in the United States.

U.S. courts have ruled that some warrants need not to be present for the person to be served and the search conducted. How is the person to know if the officials have a valid warrant or not, if they cannot see the document?

In many cases, they do not know.

Police officers have been killed when they have attempted to serve warrants without sufficient notice. Homeowners who have shot police officers have been found not guilty by juries.

Criminals that disguise themselves as police or other law enforcement are another reason use of no-knock warrants should be severely limited, and sufficient time given to occupants to respond to an announcement by police.

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

Gun Watch

Followup UT: Video of Bountiful, Utah, Pawn Shop Shooting

Bountiful Police Lt. Dave Edwards said the clerk only had a 1- or 2-second window to decide whether to pull the trigger.

"The suspect could have left. He could have left the store then, but instead he continued to pursue (the clerk), and immediately as he comes around the corner again, points the gun again. The clerk defends himself," Edwards said.

More Here

FL: 70-Year-Old Man Shoots, Kills Pit Bull that Attacked his Service Dog

A man shot and killed a pit bull after it attacked his service dog multiple times in front of an animal clinic in Fernandina Beach.

The Fernandina Beach Police responded to the incident and said, according to witnesses, that the pit bull was unrestrained and attacked James Strickland's dog Betty Boop. Strickland is a 70-year-old veteran and Betty Boop is his Weimaraner service dog.

More Here

FL: Restaurant Owner Holds Burglary Suspect at Gunpoint

A restaurant owner fed up from being burglarized held a suspect at gunpoint after he tried breaking and entering.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said they arrived to find Jovette Williams, the owner of Smoke in the City, holding the suspect, Issac Palmer, at gunpoint when they arrived.
More Here

Followup OK: Domestic Defense, Shooting, Death of Brother ruled Justified

Pottawatomie County prosecutors have declined to file any charges against a McLoud man who fatally shot his younger brother, citing the shooting was a case of justified self defense.

More Here

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Researcher Watches Gun Videos, Develops Empathy with Gun Owners

A criminal justice researcher from New Jersey recently wrote an article that encouraged people who were reflexively for more restriction on gun ownership to explore the online gun culture.  She had done so. Her view of gun ownership and of legislation involving guns was transformed.

From theconversation.com:
I also realized that despite being married to a gun owner, I knew very little about gun subculture, either in real life or online. But I could learn.  
Guns, part of fabric of life

For all the noise around gun control versus gun rights, there was a story that was missed by non-gun owners like me: how much these guns mean to those who own them.

Delving into gun subculture online – which in some, though not all, ways reflects real-life gun subculture – can provide a perspective that may be, for non-gun owners, very different from their own.

Americans live in a time of political polarization on a variety of social issues, gun rights among them. Both gun control and gun rights supporters would benefit from understanding how those with opposing political and social views see their identity and their culture.
The Conversation is a publication with a decidedly population disarmament point of view. I was surprised they published Dr. Hasset-Walker's article. The good doctor inserted a deft virus into the gun debate. She called for those in the reflexive anti-gun culture to educate themselves. She called for them to reach outside their comfort zone and consider the possibility that ownership of guns might have positive aspects.

People who have been in the gun culture for a while know the best way to convert someone from the other side is to take them shooting. It destroys their preconceptions.  It causes them to change their views. Many become full fledged Second Amendment supporters. This is because most people who hold anti-Second Amendment views have just absorbed the propaganda and views prevalent in the media driven culture. That culture does not allow for positive views of the gun culture. They have never challenged the assumptions they have been fed about guns.

People in the gun culture, however, are seldom converted to the other side. There views are nearly always held in opposition to the dominant culture in the media. They do not have to look up anti-gun videos on the Internets. They are constantly bombarded with them in the dominant media.

Education has a tremendous bias here. It is tremendously biased in favor of the gun culture. That is why anti-Second Amendment types work so hard to keep gun education out of the schools. It is why they work so hard to shut down debate. It is why they are committed to emotional slogans instead of facts.

There are many researchers who started out with the assumption that owning guns was a bad thing, and more restrictive laws should be passed. There are very few that started out supporting the Second Amendment who now support more controls.

The reason Second Amendment supporters are winning is simple. The facts, the logic, the Constitution, and human nature, are on the side of the Second Amendment.

Second Amendment supporters push for education. Anti-Second Amendment activists depend on indoctrination.

To those who wish for a disarmed population, who will insist that I am merely projecting, take Dr. Hasset-Walker's challenge.

View a hundred gun culture videos on the Internets.  You fear you will be assimilated. Don't worry. Education is good for you. Understanding the other side will, at minimum, empower you. Knowledge is power.

I give you fair warning. Life is better after you have taken the red pill.

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

Gun Watch

MN: Domestic Defense, Man Shoots 30-Year-Old Stepson who Attempted Break-in

RUTLEDGE, Minn. - A 59-year-old man in eastern Minnesota shot and critically wounded his 30-year-old stepson as the younger man tried to break into his stepfather's home.
More Here

FL: Store Owner Stops Shooting Rampage, is Critically Wounded

Parker shot the owner, who had his own gun and returned fire, hitting Parker, Nienhuis said. The store owner, whose name deputies withheld, was taken to a hospital with significant injuries but had been talking with deputies. He was in critical condition Thursday night.

"We believe it was totally self-defense," Neinhuis said.

Parker left the store after being shot and collapsed in the parking lot outside the store owner’s car. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

More Here

NV: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots, Kills Husband

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a deadly shooting near East Harmon Avenue and Sandhill Road, where it appears the victim of domestic violence shot and killed her husband.

More Here

GA: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots Ex who Broke into Home

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. - Police said a woman shot her ex-boyfriend in self-defense after he kicked in her front door in South Fulton County. The victim told Channel 2 Action News she felt like her life was in danger.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she had just broken up with the man Wednesday and was home with her five children when he came crashing through her front door.
More Here

Monday, July 23, 2018

Ohio Court Strikes Down Bump-Stock Ban

A Franklin County judge in Ohio has ruled the Columbus City Council ban on bump-stocks is invalid under Ohio law. The ban was passed in May of 2018, as part of an series of infringements aimed at gun owners. From ab6onyourside.com:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Franklin County Judge has ruled Columbus' bump-stock ban as unconstitutional.

The ban was passed by the Columbus City Council in May. The ban was part of a series of four ordinances aimed at reducing gun violence.

On Friday, Franklin County Judge David E. Cain ruled the bump-stock ban violates state law and the city cannot enforce it.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry filed the lawsuit in Franklin County Common Pleas back in June. They say the city has no authority to regulate firearms under state law.
 Ohio, and all states have pre-emption statutes that prohibit local governments from passing laws that are in conflict with or more restrictive than existing state firearms law. The purpose is to ensure that people are able to exercise Second Amendment rights without fear of breaking local ordinances.  It would be practically impossible to bear arms in Ohio if the person exercising the right had to be concerned about breaking the law each time they crossed unmarked local boundaries.

The 50 states differ in the strength and wording of their pre-emption statutes.  The Ohio statute has been upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court, most notably in cases against the City of Cleveland.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry have been vigilant Second Amendment supporters.

The Ohio statue, 9.68, is a strong preemption statute. It provides that persons or groups who prevail in cases under the statute shall be awarded courts costs.
(A) The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition. Except as specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process, may own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition.

(B) In addition to any other relief provided, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to any person, group, or entity that prevails in a challenge to an ordinance, rule, or regulation as being in conflict with this section.
The Ohio statute is a good example of a strong preemption statute. Bump stocks are included because they are components and parts of firearms. The statute is specific. It also protects ammunition. While it seems overkill for a preemption statute to contain all of that verbiage, hard lessons have taught that judges, prosecutors, and local governments must be restrained by specific language, or they will do and say silly things, such as "we cannot ban guns, but we can ban ammunition".

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

Gun Watch

Followup PA: Home Invader who was Shot, Killed, Identified

The man killed while attempting a home invasion in Aliquippa Wednesday has been identified as 32-year-old Terrell Henson, according to Beaver County Coroner David Gabauer.

Henson was shot multiple times in the head and chest, Mr. Gabauer said Thursday.
More Here

Followup IA: No Charges for Shop Owner that Shot Burglary Suspect

An auto body shop owner's account of what happened before he opened fire and fatally wounded a burglar at the shop last week was sufficiently credible for investigators to decide not to seek criminal charges, a police spokesman said.

Surveillance cameras at the business were not positioned to record the fatal confrontation outside, and there were no witnesses. Some physical evidence supported the owner's story, police said.
More Here

FL: Domestic Defense: Woman Shoots 18-Year-old over verbal threat

A woman shot one of her family members after a heated argument escalated, according to Cape Coral Police.

The woman said that Tyler Dale, 18, said he was going to kill the family and began to walk toward a room where there was a firearm, police said.
More Here

Gun Beat Taser in North Carolina Confrontation

Baker and Wright came back to the shooter's home, which the shooter found strange. Before opening the door, the shooter grabbed his pistol and after the shooter and Wright engaged in a brief conversation during which Wright asked for the shooter's phone number, Wright lunged forward and tased the shooter in the chest.

The shooter fired a shot at Wright, shattering a glass door, and Wright and Baker fled the scene.

During their investigation at the scene, WPD officers found a shell casing discharged from the shooter's gun and confirmed an injury consistent with a Taser on the shooter's upper chest.

Wright was brought to New Hanover Regional Medical Center at 2:33 p.m. by Demonta Mosely and Quoron Kea, who were both interviewed at the hospital and denied any knowledge of how Wright got shot or the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Wright was pronounced dead at 2:48 p.m.

More Here

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Gun Control Advocate Misrepresents Massachusetts Court Decision on Common Rifles

In an interview in Mother Jones, a leading gun control advocate, Avery Gardner, makes the following claims. From motherjones.com:
AG: There’s a case in Massachusetts that raises this exact issue. Worman v. Baker was decided in April by Judge William Young. It’s a 47-page opinion that really goes into this question of “in common use at the time” and said that’s the standard. Judge Young quotes Scalia’s opinion in Heller all the way through it and then upholds the Massachusetts law banning assault weapons. That case is going to be appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The Second, Fourth, Seventh, and the DC Circuit have all upheld assault weapons ban, so I predict the First Circuit will, too, but somebody’s going to appeal that to the Supreme Court, and we will have this discussion about what does “in common use at the time” mean? I think it’s likely that Judge Kavanaugh will be Justice Kavanaugh by then. And we know what he thinks because he already told us—he wrote that dissent in the DC case.
Avery Gardner (AG) misstates what Judge William Young writes in his opinion. In Worman v. Baker, Judge Young does not rely on the "in common use at the time" argument. He instead makes the claim that AR15 rifles are "most useful in military service", and therefore are not covered by the second Amendment.

That claim turns the 1939 Miller decision on its head. He bases his claim on Justice's Scalia's words that the Heller decision does not invalidate the federal regulation of full auto firearms such as machine guns.

Judge Young pointedly rejects the "in common use" argument, stating that because AR15 type rifles have military purposes, they fall completely outside the scope of the Second Amendment, whether they are in common use or not. He rejects the Caetano decision from the Supreme Court, in favor of other appellate decisions the Supreme Court refused to hear.

The Heller decision is clear. The weapons protected are those in common use. From U.S. v. Heller:
Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment . We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997) , and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001) , the Second Amendment extends, prima facie,to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.
The "common use at the time" phrase used by Justice Scalia refers to the time the Miller decision was written, in 1939, not to the time the amendment was passed, in 1791. Avery Gardiner either mis-read the rather plain English in Justice Scalia's opinion, or is misrepresenting it.

In the Caetano decision by the Supreme Court in 2016, the Court unanimously upheld that the Second Amendment applies to all bearable arms, "even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding".

The Supreme Court has rejected the theory that the Second Amendment only applies to those arms in common use in 1791.

The theory that the Second Amendment does not apply to arms that are militarily useful is not the only error in Judge Young's decision.

Judge Young starts his decision by claiming the Second Amendment was not considered an individual right until recently.  From Worman v. Baker:
For most of our history, mainstream scholarship considered the Second Amendment as nothing more than a guarantee that the several states can maintain "well regulated" militias.
The idea that the Second Amendment only applies to "well regulated" militias is known as the "collective right theory". Judge Young's claim is in direct contradiction to the majority opinion written by Justice Scalia in Heller.  From Heller:
It is demonstrably not true that, as Justice Stevens claims, post, at 41–42,“for most of our history, the invalidity of Second-Amendment-based objections to firearms regulations has been well settled and uncontroversial.” For most of our history the question did not present itself.
Judge Young only quotes select sources from 1966, 1978, and 1971 to support his collective right claim. But historical sources show the judge is mistaken.  The collective right theory had almost no adherents until the Kansas Supreme Court adopted it in 1905. But the Kansas Supreme Court decision only applied to the Kansas State Constitution's right to bear arms.

The collective right theory, applied to the Second Amendment, started to become part of Progressive ideology after the Kansas Supreme Court decision.

It became popular after 1939 with mis-interpretation of the Miller decision. The veracity of the theory was not supported by academic research. It was merely assumed. The theory started being attacked in law review articles in 1983.

Critique of the collective right theory went mainstream when famed constitutional scholar Sanford Levinson penned his article "The Embarrassing Second Amendment".

The collective right theory was mainstream from after 1939 to 1983, for 44 years, unsupported by academic research. For most of the history of the Second Amendment, from 1791 to 2018,  the mainstream opinion has been that the Second Amendment protected an individual right.

Williams' poorly argued decision was published on 5 April, 2018, before Justice Kennedy decided to retire. The Supreme Court had been unwilling to hear Second Amendment cases since 2011, outside of Caetano. Judge Williams might have presumed the Court would refuse to hear his case. He may have thought the First Circuit would also ignore Caetano.

Caetano applied directly to Massachusetts. There is a chance the First Circuit will follow the Caetano decision and reverse Judge Young's ruling. As Avery Gardner notes, there is an excellent chance Judge Kavanagh will be seated on the Supreme Court as Justice Kavanagh by that time.

Judge Kavanagh has already written that semi-automatic rifles are protected by the Second Amendment. 

If Worman v. Baker is appealed to the Supreme Court, there is an excellent chance the court will restore more Second Amendment rights. The existing infringements on the right to keep and bear semi-automatic rifles are fairly new, enacted in the last 25 years in a handful of states.

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

Gun Watch

CA: Teen likely Shot in Break in Attempt

Preuschoff said she does not know the 69-year-old neighbor who fired on the burglary suspects but understands why he did it.

“If it was the right of the property owner to do that, then I’m sorry, but you broke in,” she says.

Police said when the homeowner reported the burglary he neglected to say he opened fire. It is possible the DA could file criminal charges against him.
More Here

TX: Victim of Carjacking Shoots, Kills 1 of 3 attackers

One man is dead and two others are on the run after they allegedly carjacked a man and exchanged gunfire with him in southeast Houston early Thursday morning.

The man who was carjacked shot and killed one of the suspects during a gunfight, said Houston police Lt. Larry Crowson.
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FL: Man Shoots man who Attacked him in Dispute over Handicaped Space

CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - The man who shot another man during an argument over a handicapped parking spot Thursday will not be charged, the Pinellas County sheriff said Friday.

The father was fatally shot in front of his family after an argument over a handicapped parking spot at the Circle A Food Store located at 1201 Sunset Point Road in Clearwater on Thursday.
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TX: Husband Shoots 1 of 2 Men Attacking his Pregnant Wife

The man says he was inside the home when he heard his wife screaming.

When he went to the window, he saw two men with guns trying to push and drag his wife into the home. Police say he grabbed his pistol, went outside and confronted them.

He and the suspects exchanged gunfire. One of the suspects was shot. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
More Here

Saturday, July 21, 2018

14 Million Americans Identify as NRA Members

NRA Members at 2016 Exhibit

In June of 2017 Pew Research published a poll that showed over fourteen million adults in the United States self identified as National Rifle Association (NRA) members.

 From pewresearch.org:
Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they currently own a gun, and of that group, 19% say they belong to the National Rifle Association. While the demographic profile of NRA members is similar to that of other gun owners, their political views, the way they use their firearms and their attitudes about gun policy differ significantly from gun owners who are not members of the organization.
Twenty-four percent of the population of the United States is under 18 years old. The adult population of the United States in 2017 would be 326 million x .76, or 248 million adults.

The number of adult Americans who admit they are gun owners and Identify as NRA members is .30 x .19 x 248 million. Roughly 14 million adults are willing to say they own guns, and identify as NRA members.

The actual number of people who identify as NRA members is likely higher. The poll excludes people who did not identify themselves as gun owners. Gun owners are often unwilling to tell people they have guns. Politically aware gun owners, such as NRA members, are likely to be more sensitive about admitting gun ownership. The poll shows some evidence of this.

Of current people who say they do not own a gun, 58% say they did not own a gun in the past, 10% say they have owned guns previously.  Fifty-two percent of non owners say they would be open to owning a gun in the future.

Of all adults, 30% admit to owning guns, and another .52x.68 are interesting in owning guns in the future, or 35% of the population. More people say they do not own guns, but are interested in owning them, than people who admit to owning them. A total of 65% of the population either own guns or are interested in owning guns in the future.

The poll does not say how many people polled refused to participate or refused to answer poll questions.

Roughly equal numbers of men and women say they are NRA members, 19% of men and 18% of women. When you consider that a spouse of an NRA member may consider themselves a member, but not be on the official roles as a member, it could explain a considerable amount of the gap.

In 2017, the NRA stated it had five million members. If spouses and adult children identified as NRA members, without formal membership, the number of self-identified NRA members doubles to 10 million.

Many people stop paying annual dues to the NRA, for a multitude of reasons. People join the NRA, stop, and rejoin. It is likely that most people who had an active NRA membership at one time, self identify as NRA members.

It is likely that spouses, adult children, and former NRA members account for most of the population that identify as NRA members without being formally enrolled in the organization.

The NRA may have already exceeded six million members. The NRA does not release its membership lists to the public.

It is the millions of NRA members, and supporters that provide the political clout the NRA wields in national politics.

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

Gun Watch

NC: Clerk Disarms, Robbery Suspect, Shoots Same

Durham, N.C. — The clerk at a Durham convenience store wrestled away a gun from a man attempting to rob him Monday night and turned the weapon on the would-be thief.
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PA: Gunfire Exchanged between Mother and Intruders

- The men confronted a woman and her two children - there was a verbal argument

- Feeling threatened, the mother ran to her bedroom and grabbed her gun

- There was an exchange of gunfire - two shots were fired but no one was injured
More Here

VA: Smoke Shop Worker Shoots at Fleeing Armed Robber

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) — A person who robbed a store at gunpoint Tuesday morning seemed to get more than he expected when a worker followed him out of the store and shot at him.

Chesapeake Police Department spokesman Officer Leo Kosinski said four people pulled up to Smoke Shop in the 3100 block of Western Branch Boulevard in a red car shortly before 11 a.m. One of the people got out of the car with his face covered. He had a gun. Kosinski said the person went into the store and grabbed some merchandise.
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AL: Self Defense in Shooting of Vantavius Dishon McKay

Dothan Police released a suspect in Monday’s fatal shooting after investigators determined the gunman acted in self-defense.

Dennis Jackson Jr., 36, of Dothan, surrendered himself to officers hours after shooting Vantavius Dishon McKay, 24, of Dothan, who died later at a hospital.
More Here

Friday, July 20, 2018

Pew Poll Shows "Smart" Guns Could Cost Thousands of Lives

Among those who wish a disarmed population, any measure that makes firearms harder to access, possess, and use, is considered a positive thing.

Thus guns with complex electronic circuitry, that only allow certain users, possibly at certain times and certain places, to fire the gun, are being promoted as items that can save lives. From Bloomberg the spark:
Bloomberg follows 21-year-old inventor and entrepreneur Kai Kloepfer, who's created a "smart" handgun that could save thousands of lives.
This is a one sided argument that pointedly ignores the other side of the equation. "Smart" guns can easily cost lives.

According to a Pew poll published in June of 2016, one percent of people who say they have never owned a gun, have used one for defensive purposes. Seventeen percent of current gun owners say they have used a gun for defensive purposes, and nine percent of people who owned guns in the past have used one for defensive purposes, as defined in the Pew poll question.

Pew found 30 percent of adults in the United States admit to owning a gun. Forty-nine % of the remaining 70% say they never owned a gun.

In 2016, there were about 246 million adults in the United States. One percent of those who say they never owned a gun is 246 million x .7 X .49 X .01.

That is 840 thousand adults who have never owned a gun, who say they have used one for defensive purposes.

How many of those adults would have been prevented from using that firearm for defensive purposes if the use were limited by "smart" gun technology?

The claim that thousands of lives would be saved with smart gun technology rests on the assumption that many illegitimate uses of guns would be prevented by the wide adoption of "smart" guns, but that legitimate uses of guns would be unimpaired.

Very few suicides would be prevented. Smart gun technology would not stop gun owners from shooting themselves. The vast majority of suicides are committed with a gun owned by the person committing suicide. If a person cannot access a gun, many other methods are readily available for suicide. In Australia, when access to guns was made more difficult, single vehicle crashes and suicide by hanging increased to make up the decrease in suicide done with guns.

Very few murders would be prevented. Most murders are committed by people with a long history of violent, irresponsible behavior. Murders are deliberate acts. Very few murders are committed with guns that are accessed only moments before the murder, and not before.

Very few accidents would be prevented. There are only about 450 fatal firearm accidents a year in the United States. Most of them occur with adults who have access to firearms, but who are irresponsible in their actions. Electronics do not stop irresponsible behavior.

Very few murders involve criminals who take guns from the hands of police or armed victims. The number of police shot with their own gun used to be higher, around 20%. Retention holsters and retention training has significantly reduced those numbers.  In the last 10 years, the number of officers who have been killed with their own weapons has averaged 2.2 per year.  2.2 per year is a little more than 4%. It is very far from thousands a year.

Complicated electronics installed on firearms would cost lives through a higher failure rate. Guns are a safety tool for life and death situations. No one is suggesting putting complicated electronics that limit who can use fire extinguishers.

Smart guns are inherently more expensive than regular, time tested designs. More expensive guns means fewer poor people will be able to afford guns.

At the heart of the issue is a divide on whether guns are a net benefit or a
net detriment in society.

Those who have made the decision to be armed, do not want "smart" guns. They see them as unnecessarily complicated electronics that can fail, and which do not accomplish any significantly useful purpose.  They are wary of complicated electronics that might have bugs or "back doors" allowing the gun to be rendered useless by an opponent. They do not wish to trust their life to potential battery failures.

Those who have made the decision to be unarmed see "smart" guns as another way to prevent guns from being used. They do not intend to use guns themselves. They do not see any downside to preventing other people from using them.

The Pew numbers show hundreds of thousands of people who have never owned guns who used them for defensive purposes.

Many of them would have been prevented from doing so if the guns had the electronic circuitry in place to severely limit who could fire the gun.

"Smart" guns are more likely to cost lives than to save them.

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

Gun Watch

NC: Domestic Defense, Estranged Husband Attempts Break-in, is Shot

Deputies say Martin Nozar, also from Sneads Ferry, told them Vogel came into the home and "assaulted me to the point I had to fire my firearm."

Vogel is accused of forcing his way into the home where his estranged wife lived and was shot twice.

Deputies say after consulting with the District Attorney's Office they will not charge Nozar with the shooting.
More Here

FL: Domestic Defense, Woman Fires at Ex

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A Columbia County man was charged with burglary and assault after he broke into his ex-girlfriend's home and was met with gunfire, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office said.
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TX: Home Invader, Armed with Rifle, Killed by Armed Homeowner

When confronted by one of the home's residents, the suspect started shooting at them, but the resident returned fire and killed the suspect.

Police said they're interviewing as many as four witnesses about the shooting.
More Here

Followup SC: Traveler's Rest Shooting was Self Defense

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) - A shooting in Travelers Rest on Monday was self-defense, according to the Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office.
The man who was shot, Jason Paul Sikkila, 40, has been arrested and charged with Assault & Battery 3rd degree and Stalking, according to warrants.

More Here

Defense Distributed Victory for First and Second Amendments!

Computer Image of Prototype Hybrid Imura Revolver

Elections have consequences. One of the levers of power in the executive branch is the ability to settle lawsuits. Trump era officials in the Department of Justice have agreed to settle a lawsuit meant to stop an egregious violation of First and Second Amendment rights. Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed published computer code that enabled people with 3D printers to print a crude single shot pistol and parts of semi-automatic rifles.

The Federal government ordered Defense Distributed to stop distribution of the computer code. Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed complied, and filed a lawsuit, with the help of the Second Amendment Foundation. They contended the order violated their First and Second Amendment rights. The lawsuit has been settled to the satisfaction of Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed, and the Second Amendment Foundation. From prnewswire.com:
BELLEVUE, Wash., July 10, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation have reached a settlement in SAF's lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms.

SAF and Defense Distributed had filed suit against the State Department under the Obama administration, challenging a May 2013 attempt to control public speech as an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs' attorney's fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

"Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby," noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called 'weapons of war,' and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

"Under this settlement," he continued, "the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology."
The news release by the Second Amendment Foundation does not say that importation of such firearms would be transferred from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. That would be a logical move. The ability to import firearms for individuals and small companies is a logistical nightmare, because of the interaction of State Department and BATFE rules.

The federal bureaucracy cannot be depended on to be logical. But under a Trump administration, it the unlikely becomes possible.

Cody Wilson gave an interview to Wired.com. In it he says this settlement is the effective end of gun control. From wired.com
"If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident," Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. "So what if this code is a gun?”

The Department of Justice's surprising settlement, confirmed in court documents earlier this month, essentially surrenders to that argument. It promises to change the export control rules surrounding any firearm below .50 caliber—with a few exceptions like fully automatic weapons and rare gun designs that use caseless ammunition—and move their regulation to the Commerce Department, which won't try to police technical data about the guns posted on the public internet. In the meantime, it gives Wilson a unique license to publish data about those weapons anywhere he chooses.

"I consider it a truly grand thing," Wilson says. "It will be an irrevocable part of political life that guns are downloadable, and we helped to do that."
Information is power. Guns have always been produced in homes and small workshops. Homemade submachine guns are produced in small shops all over the world, from the Philippines to Brazil, from Israel to Canada and Australia.

This settlement simply acknowledges that fact. The major difference is this lawsuit does so in a way the dominant media understands. They understand computers and printers. They should understand hammers and files as well.

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

Gun Watch

Thursday, July 19, 2018

WA: Armed Homeowner Wounds man Attempting Break-in

According to the Seattle Police Department, the resident armed himself with a handgun and left his room to find that the intruder had already broken into the mudroom and was trying to gain access to the main house. He then fired a gun through the window of the door and into the mudroom.

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NE: Armed Robbery Thwarted by Homeowner with Gun

Deputies said the incident was reported near Lake Waconda late Saturday. Investigators said the suspect’s vehicle broke down in the area. The teen allegedly went to a nearby house, displayed a gun and asked for the resident for car keys.

Deputies said the homeowner retrieved his own gun and the teen left. Witnesses said the teen went to another house in the area but eventually left.
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NC: Gunshot Victim Likely Robbery Suspect

Raleigh, N.C. — A man found shot to death in north Raleigh late Saturday might have been wounded in a convenience store robbery that night, police said Monday.
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IL: Gunfight in Avondale, no one shot

The three men in the sedan reportedly began flashing gang signs before one of them drew a gun and began firing, Westbrooks said.

“However the 21-year-old victim, who is a concealed carry holder, displayed his own weapon and returned fire,” said Westbrooks. “Neither party was shot and no injuries have been reported.”

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Open Carry Stop in Middleton Wisconsin

I have been staying in Middleton, Wisconsin for a couple of months. After an injury a couple of years ago, and a serious case of pneumonia, I have changed exercise from running to brisk walking. 

Wearing t-shirt and shorts limits the options for concealed carry. Most of my walking in the area started about 0500, but on Monday, July 9th, I had stayed up late, coming back from a play at American Player's Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

I slept in. I didn't get out to exercise until after 0800. It was a mistake. Instead of a few cars along the route I was walking, it was a minor rush hour north of Lake Mendota.

Madison and Middleton are deep blue in their politics. 41 minutes and three miles into the walk, I saw the SUV with the flat and narrow light bar slowing down and stopping as it approached me.  I was only 100 yards from turning off of the busy roadway, and 300 yards from the end of my walk.

I knew what was going on. The lights came on and the vehicle stopped.  As I approached the Dane County Sheriff's vehicle, the deputy got out. Good morning, I opened.

He stretched out his hand. I shook it. He introduced himself. His tone was apologetic. A hand shake is a time honored tradition between armed men. It shows the weapon hand is empty.

"I know you have the right." he said.  But with all these drivers, we got a call, and I have to check it out. I introduced my self. He said: "Out for a walk?" Yes, I said. Would you like a card? I was thinking of giving him a business card.

No, he said, it is open carry, it is a right. You don't need a card, misinterpreting the card I was offering as an offer of ID or a CCW permit.

I sympathized with his position, having been on the other side of the contact equation.

He was not intrusive, essentially apologized for the contact, and never asked me to disarm or for ID.

It is a serious contrast with what happened to the Culver's five, on September 18, 2010. They were arrested for disturbing the peace, for merely open carrying while eating dinner at a Culver's restaurant in Madison. That case ended in a settlement of ten thousand dollars to the open carriers who had been arrested and falsely charged.

The deputy was polite, professional, and knowledgeable.  He did not approach the "man with a gun" call with a chip on his shoulder. I have been treated with less respect and more fear in stops in Yuma, Arizona.

The police have always been potential allies in the culture wars. Most street officers support the Second Amendment. As more people carry, openly and concealed, the police on the street find the people who carry are the good guys.

Court cases educate them to treat armed citizens with respect. That respect is reinforced with street experience.

I am wary of volunteering information to strange police officers. But all open carriers are, to some extent, representatives of the gun culture. This is a balancing act. The officer made clear he wasn't fishing for information. I did not volunteer much, except I was exercising.

The re-normalization of the gun culture continues.

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

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