Sunday, July 31, 2022

WA: Domestic Defense, Neighbor Shoots, Kills Man Attempting to Break into Home

There was an active restraining order agains the man who was shot.

Deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department received a call from someone saying a man was trying to break into his home and that he had shot him. When they arrived, they found a 36-year-old man dead on a back porch, authorities said. 

The homeowner was taken into police custody.

 More Here

Saturday, July 30, 2022

"Old Groaner": Alaskan Myth about Bears and Pistols, Part I of IV

Old Groaner Skull, Right side, bullet hole shows finishing shot. The bullet hole measures from .8025 inches to .6510 inches across, according to Haley Chambers of the Ketchikan Museums.

Part I. The events which started the story

In early November, 1935, at the upper reaches of the Unuk river in Southeastern Alaska, prospector, trapper, and logger, Bruce Johnstone, shot a near world record grizzly bear in self defense. The bear had been shot in the head previously, but had survived and healed, leaving the skull deformed and the bear blind on the right side. 

The skull was brought back to Ketchikan. The story was published in the February, 1936 issue of the struggling Alaska Sportsman, written by F. W. Gabler. Gabler interviewed the shooter, Bruce Johnstone.  Both Johnstone and Gabler were longtime residents in the Ketchikan area, and likely knew each other well. Included in the story was an illustration by Gabler, photographs of the bear head and a front paw, and several angles of the skull showing where bullets were found. 

This was the start of the mythology of Old Groaner. While Gabler indulged in speculation about the event where the bear had been wounded, and what the bear was thinking, the reporting of the facts was probably accurate. The event was recent, the physical evidence was fresh, and Bruce Johnstone (as later reported by a close associate) had an excellent memory.  Gabler wrote some of the best known articles for the early Alaska Sportsman. His last article in the Alaska Sportsman, known to this correspondent, appeared six months after the early, tragic death of his wife in August of 1936.

The Old Groaner story circulated around the campfires and near the wood stoves of Alaska sportsmen, residents, hunters, trappers, and fishermen. Embellishments were likely added. The definitive moment of the creation of the Old Groaner myth occurred when W.H. "Handlogger" Jackson rewrote the story for the Alaska Sportsman in 1953. 

Jackson was a friend of the editor of the Alaska Sportsman. He had been given assignments and had written articles for the magazine before. He was married to Bruce Johnstone's older sister, Ruth.  How it happened that Gabler wrote the original Old Groaner article instead of Jackson is unknown. Gabler's iconic story "The Wolf Pack" was in the first issue of the Alaska Sportsman, and was republished later. Jackson was commonly absent from Ketchikan, making a living logging, as detailed in his excellent biography "Handloggers".  It is possible he was not available.

This correspondent became interested in the story as part of ongoing research about the effectiveness of handguns used in defense against bears. The myth of Old Groaner has spread widely since 1953. It involved a strong assumption that a pistol had been used, and the pistol shots had been ineffective. I had committed to the proposition that all documented cases where a pistol had been fired in defense against a bear would be included in analysis of the effectiveness of pistols used in defense against bears.  As this researcher searched for examples of such incidents, the Old Groaner myth appeared in search after search. Old Groaner called for study, as it might qualify as one of the rare failures

Some Geography: The Unuk starts in Canada and travels  about 60 miles to its mouth on the Alaskan coast. Cripple Creek is roughly 18 miles upriver from the mouth, and is a good camping spot.  The Canadian border is about 6-7 miles upstream from Cripple Creek. Most of the mining and prospecting occurs on Sulphide Creek, shown on modern maps as Sulphurrets Creek, another 15 miles upstream of the border. 

I started searching for the original source, to see if there was enough evidence to document the incident as a failure of the use of a pistol in defense against a bear. It was surprisingly difficult to obtain a copy of the original article.  Credit must be given to Susan Sommer of Alaska Magazine and Diane Firmani of the Wassilla Public Library for their help in finding the original 1936 article. 

The article published in 1936 has quite a bit of speculation, and a significant number of facts.  The article consists of five pages in the February edition, pages 16-19 and 28, with considerable space dedicated to an illustration on pages 16 and 17, and three pictures of the Old Groaner skull on page 18, showing placement of the two recovered bullets. There are pictures of Bruce Johnstone with the Old Groaner head and paw, and a picture of the head and paw (before the skull was skinned) on page 19.  Page 28 is all text, along with an advertisement for a Winchester rifle in .33 caliber. 

Here is the pared down account, with commentary on F. W. Gabler's speculations.

In 1933, Bruce Johnstone and his brother Jack, prospected on the upper reaches of the Unuk river for gold. At Cripple Creek, they had heard weird groaning sounds, which appeared to be associated with a large bear, which they heard crashing through the brush. There were many bear tracks in the area, and no one ever clearly saw the bear they presumed was doing the groaning, although Bruce may have caught a glimpse. 

Gabler engages in considerable speculation about the bear's history and psychology, including speculation about how the bear was wounded, many years before Bruce Johnstone encountered Old Groaner. In his speculative encounter, the person who shot Old Groaner fires three shots. He describes Old Groaner as particularly dangerous because he was wounded. 

The bear seems to avoid people, distinctly avoiding being seen.

Gabler spends some time describing how dangerous the area is, and how easy it would be for someone to meet with an accident and die, especially if they are traveling alone. The Unuk river is described as particularly dangerous.

Two years later, in 1935, the men returned to the Unuk to prospect. They heard the groaning bear again, and again. As in 1933, in 1935, no one sees the bear. 

During the last days before the prospectors were to head back to Ketchikan, in early November, Bruce was preparing a claim notice near Cripple Creek, for their mining prospect, as part of finishing their work. While doing so, his dog, Slasher, alerted Bruce to a large bear, coming at them. Slasher gave Bruce just enough time to grab his rifle and shoot the charging grizzly. Bruce killed the grizzly with three shots at very close range. One through the body, right shoulder to left ham; one through the neck, and a finishing shot through the brain. It was obvious the bear had a deformed head. In the article, Gabler says Bruce heard the bear groan after the last shot, and thus identified it as Old Groaner.  During the shooting, just before Old Groaner was killed, Bruce noticed a second bear, which Slasher was engaging.

Slasher drove off the second bear. Bruce headed back to camp, and Slasher joined him.  After Bruce arrived, and told his companions what had happened, it was getting late. The men decided to leave the dead bear for the next day.

Gabler identifies Bruce's rifle as a .38-72. 

When Bruce and his companions returned the next morning, Old Groaner was frozen, making skinning the bear impractical, if not impossible. They settled for cutting off the bears head and one front paw, to take back with them.

Later, when they skinned out the head, they discovered evidence the bear had been shot before, and the skull damaged. The right eye socket had been smashed, as had the back of the right jaw. There were other indications the skull had been impacted by bullets. Most of the bears teeth were either missing, or decayed. The bone had healed years before. In the back of the right jaw, embedded in the bone, they found two old jacketed rifle bullets, which, they decided, after careful examination, were .33 caliber.  Here are the two captions explaining the pictures of the skull: 


Front view of the skull of Old Groaner is shown at left. (1) Indicated right side of skull which was shot away in an encounter with man years before. (2) Shows were arch above left eye was shot away, probably at the same time right side was shattered.

Above is side view of skull. (3) Indicates spot where Bruce John-stone's fatal bullet entered the brain cavity. (4) Badly decayed teeth indicate bear was old. Right is rear view of skull. (5) Point to fatal bullet, lodged in the skull after having passed through the brain.  This view also shows approximate location where two old bullets were removed from the gristle. Incrustation indicated they had been there a number of years.  (6) Indentation where bullet from a side shot entered just above right eye. The photographs prove that the grizzly was shot in the head at least four times before his encounter with Bruce Johnstone.

There is an error in this description. The left eye arch is intact. It is the right eye arch which was shot away, as described by Gabler. This would reduce the number of shots to three, consistent with what Gabler writes in the article. Gabler never writes the left eye arch is damaged. He mentions the cranium is shattered on the left side. He also notes the fatal bullet is imbedded in the left cheek bone. This is all consistent with the skull as it exists today, and with the pictures. 

For the fatal bullet to become imbedded in the left cheek bone, it passed through both sides of the cranium and the brain from the bear's right to left side.

From page 28 of the 1936 article: 

Jack shook his head.  "Tough old fellow, wasn't he?  Can't understand how any creature can get his head half shot off and still live." 

"And look at his teeth," exclaimed George. "No wonder he groaned! They're nearly all decayed. Bet he had a toothache most of the time." 

While cutting away the gristle in back of the large, fan-shaped bone that formed a part of the right jaw, they made a startling discovery. There, deeply imbedded in overcrusted bone, were two lead slugs. The slugs from jacketed bullets.  After a careful examination, the three woodsmen unanimously agree that the bullets were from a .33 caliber gun. 

"That reminds me," said Bruce, slowly, as he studied the glowing embers of the fire through half-closed eyes. "Do you you remember back in 1923 - a fellow by the name of Jess Sethington came in here packing a .33? He never came out. As I recall, he was a Canadian from Stewart, B.C."

In the original article, there is no mention of a pistol. There is no mention of pistol bullets. The reference to Jess Sethington is, he possessed a .33 caliber rifle, and had disappeared up the Unuk 12 years earlier. The bear's skull was measured. If the original right side bones had been present, it would have been a world record.

It is a great story. 

In part II, this correspondent will consider the 1953 re-write by "Handlogger" Jackson.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

UT: Followup, Shooting of Garrison Willie ruled as

Prosecutors have declined to file charges against a man who shot two other men earlier this month at a Salt Lake City TRAX platform.

The shooting happened on July 2 at the 900 South 200 West TRAX station.

One of the men, Garrison Willie, 36, was killed. The second man, whose identity has not been released, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but has since been released, according to Utah Transit Authority police.

More Here

TX: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots Boyfriend

AN ANTONIO – A woman shot her boyfriend inside of their North Side apartment, sending him to the hospital in serious condition, according to San Antonio police. She claims it was self-defense.

Officers were called around 1:15 p.m. on Friday to an apartment complex in the 1600 block of Jackson Keller Road for a report of a shooting.

More Here

Friday, July 29, 2022

No Bill for Man who Mistakenly Shot 9 Year Old During Robbery Defense



Robber appears to fire at Tony Earls during ATM Robber on 14 February, 2022, Houston, Texas


Link to surveillance video  on Youtube 

On February 14, 2022, at about 9:45 p.m., in Houston, Texas, Tony Earls and his wife were robbed at an ATM machine. They were depositing money, from the inside of their car. The robber stuck a gun in their faces and took $20 and a check, their car keys and a wallet, according to

Surveillance video captured the armed robber approaching Tony Earls
and his wife as they were depositing money into an ATM. He pointed a gun at the wife's face and demanded money, their car keys and wallet,
investigators said. 

Both Earls and his wife complied.

As shown in the surveillance video, the robber then fled the scene. Tony was armed. He left his car to retrieve the car keys the robber had thrown. The robber appears to have turned and fired at Tony, but there is no audio in the surveillance video.

Tony's attorney, Dunn, said Tony heard a gunshot and fired at a vehicle he thought contained the robber.  From on 21 February, 2022:

Dunn said Earls got out of the car to retrieve the keys, and that's
when the robber pulled a gun and fired one shot at him. Dunn said his
client returned fire, and as he was doing so, a vehicle was driving by
slowly. Earls thought the vehicle was part of a group that had just
robbed them and got back into his car, according to his attorney.

Dunn said his client got back into the car, and at that point, the
vehicle he had noticed began to back up slowly. That's when he said
Earls got back out of his car and fired two shots at the vehicle,
striking Arlene.

There is an important adage for people who carry firearms for defense of self and others, in the United States:

Every bullet has a lawyer attached.

Shooting profligately, without a clear understanding of where your bullets will end up, creates significant legal and ethical dangers.  Making a mistake of judgement, in a densely populated area, puts others at risk. In this case the mistake cost a nine year old girl, Arlene Alvarez, her life.

All parties to the event underwent life-changing stress. A Houston business man has put up a $25,000 reward (crime stoppers added another $5,000) for the arrest of the robber who sparked the tragic series of events. The Alvarez family will never be the same. Tony Earls' life will never be the same.

Texas has a system for the prosecution of homicides which can remove much of the judgement from the prosecutor and place it on a grand jury. Grand juries are presented with the evidence, and the grand jury decides if there is enough evidence to charge the individual with the crimes presented to them.

In the Earls case, the grand jury reviewed the evidence, and came to the conclusion that Earls did not act recklessly or with evil intent. When the grand jury refuses to indict, the action is called a "no bill".

The Harris County grand jury "no billed" Tony Earls. From

Tony Earls, 41, had been charged with aggravated assault, serious bodily injury, in Alvarez’s Feb. 14 death. A Harris County grand jury in Houston on Tuesday could have indicted him on this charge or several others, including manslaughter and murder, but declined to do so.

This case shows how complex self defense and defense of others can be. The lives of several individuals were all put at risk by the actions of a robber, who gained $20. A nine-year-old girl lost her life.

It also shows the advantages of the grand jury system in Texas. While grand juries can be, and often are, manipulated by prosecutors in Texas, in this case the jury was willing to go against the media narrative calling for prosecution of Tony Earls. They looked at all the evidence, and concluded there was not enough there for prosecution.

Everyone involved is calling for a felony homicide charge against the robber who ran from the scene.

In spite of the $30,000 reward, he remains unidentified at the time of this writing.

The ATM was the scene of  previous robberies.  In October of 2021 a 49-year-old woman, (Mary Jane Gonzalez) was killed near the ATM, with a single shot to the head. It is believed the robber obtained $40.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch




VA: Man Attempting to Break into Home Shot, Killed

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The York Poquoson Sheriff’s Office says a homeowner fatally shot a man who tried to kick down the door to a home in York County on Monday.

The call for the shooting came in just after 5 p.m. in the 300 block of Corvette Drive. The neighborhood is near Queens Lake Middle School.

More Here

FL: Domestic Defense, Stepson Shoots Stepfather

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida man who was shot last month by his stepson was arrested Tuesday after being released from a hospital in Miami, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

According to Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, William Zimmerman, 53, of Big Pine Key, was shot by his 25-year-old stepson on June 26 as the stepson witnessed Zimmerman beating his mother.

The Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 7:30 p.m. that night from the victim’s son. Linhardt said the son shot Zimmerman while he was on the phone with the dispatcher.

More Here

Thursday, July 28, 2022

First Victim and Armed Samaritan were both Legally Armed in Greenwood Park Mall

The first victim killed in the mass murder at the Greenwood Park Mall was Victor Gomez, a well thought of husband, father, and craftsman. 

The story was reported by Vic Ryckaert of WRTV.  Vic was able to obtain the exclusive information by talking with Greenwood Police Chief Ison as they walked to Ison's vehicle. 

Chief Ison revealed Victor Gomez was found to have a handgun on his person as investigators processed the crime scene. 

Chief Ison said Gomez was not able to access the handgun in self defense, as he was shot to quickly to draw his firearm.  From WRTV: 

One of the people shot to death by a gunman at Greenwood Park Mall
Sunday was carrying a handgun that he never had a chance to pull,
Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison told WRTV.

"He (Sapirman) comes out (of a restroom) and the very first person that he sees walking into the restroom, he fires on, (he) shoots, then turns the gun to the food court and starts firing into the food court," Ison said.

Gomez was the first of five people who were shot by the suspect. Three of them died.

Police later found that Gomez was carrying a handgun. Gomez, Ison said, had no chance to pull his gun and defend himself.

He had no time,” Ison said.

Vic Ryckaert confirmed to this reporter via email Police Chief Ison communicated the information to him without other reporters present. 

On the afternoon of July 20, WTHR, confirmed Victor Gomez, the first victim, was armed when he was killed. 

“Never had a chance to use his weapon,” said Greenwood Police Chief Jason Ison. 

This is reminiscent of the West Freeway Church of Christ defense shooting in White Settlement, Texas. The murderer in that case killed the first armed defender, then another church member before he was killed with skilled shooting by Jack Wilson.  Wilson made a difficult shot with precision, as did Eli Dicken.

It is very difficult to prevent someone from killing without warning, if they are prepared to die while killing others. The numbers killed are greatly reduced if an armed responder is on the scene, able to react quickly.

More than fifteen percent of adults in Indiana have concealed carry permits. As of July 1, Indiana instituted Constitutional Carry.  Adults who may legally own guns in Indiana are now able to carry them concealed or openly, without obtaining separate government permission before doing so.

No information has been released as to whether Victor Gomez had an Indiana License to  Carry Handgun (LTCH). He probably did not need one under the Constitutional Carry law in Indiana.

Early reporting by Greenwood Police Chief Ison indicated the police had
not found that Eli Dicken had an Indiana License to Carry Handgun 
(LTCH) permit.

Eli Dicken has retained a well known defense attorney and firearms instructor, Guy Relford. Relford has confirmed Eli has a valid Indiana LTCH, and released the image of the LTCH.


In any situation where it is legal to carry firearms in Indiana, where there are 10 adults, the chance of encountering a person with a LTCH is over 80%

Eli's permit is a lifetime carry permit. Eli took his responsibility to carry and protect his life and the lives of others, seriously. 

The sad death of Victor Gomez shows how important it is to have more than one Armed Samaritan at hand when events demand their attention. What make, model and caliber of handgun Victor Gomez was carrying has not been made public as of this writing.


©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MT: Self Defense Shooting at Lewis and Clark Inn Investigation in Progress

BILLINGS, Mont. - Officers responded to two shootings in Billings over weekend on July 22 and July 23.

Lt. Matt Lennick with the Billings Police Department told Montana Right Now the first shooting occurred at the Lewis and Clark Inn on First Avenue North July 22 at 3:48 p.m.

According to Lennick, a man took out a knife and lunged at the victim. The victim was allegedly armed with a gun, pulled it out and shot the man who allegedly had the knife.

More Here

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

MO: Video of Shootout Over Theft of AR15 at Clay's Wellston Grocery (Was not Open Carry)


Video footage has been released about the robbery of the AR15 type firearm stolen at Clay's Wellston Food Market on May 27, 2022, at about 14:48 p.m. 

Confused early reporting lead to a less than clear article published on AmmoLand.  Early reporting claimed the man carrying the AR15 firearm was "open carrying". The video does not support that claim.

Link to video on  

Much is missing from the video shown by

The video release was to The editing of the video is confusing, and time stamps are often absent. This correspondent has been able to puzzle out the chain of events with a fair amount of clarity. 

A white Ford Focus arrives at Clay's Wellston Food Market about 14:40. It backs into a parking spot in front of the store. (not shown until end of video)  An associate of the man who is later shown carrying an AR15, gets out of the car and enters the store, about 14:41.

The temperature at 2:40 is about 63 degrees, so jackets are not unusual. 

The AR15 Man, with the black, white, and red jacket, gets out of the car and enters the store about 14:44. The AR15 firearm is not visible. In the entrance of he store, he briefly opens his jacket, flashing the AR15 type firearm slung across his chest, from 14:44:02 to 14:44:04, a total of two or three seconds.

From the captured image, the barrel of the firearm is close to 8.5 inches long. The distance from the front of the magazine well to the front of the flash hider is about 4.2 magazine widths in the image. A magazine is about 2.52 inches wide. 

From magwell to muzzle calculates to about  10.58 inches. The measured distance from a sample AR15 pistol, from Flashhider to magwell with an 8.5 inch barrel, is 10.75 inches. Given the difficulty of measuring a fuzzy image, it is a good match. 

The firearm is either a short barreled rifle requiring an National Firearms Act (NFA) tax stamp, or an AR15 type pistol with a pistol brace attached.

The firearm has an optical sight and does not appear to have a front sight. What appears to be a 30 round magazine is in the magazine well.

The pistol/short barreled rifle is slung from the right shoulder to the left waist.


Before he enters the store proper, AR15 Man closes his jacket to conceal the AR15 type firearm. 



The AR15 is exposed from 14:44:02 to 14:44:04 on the video. Booker may have noticed the AR15 at this time, perhaps on a monitor. Booker approached the AR15 Man in the store, and probably confirmed the presence of the firearm.

The AR15 Man and his associate appear to leave at about 14:47. The associate leaves first. In the image below, the robbery suspect, Booker, is in between the associate, who is approaching the left rear door of the Ford Focus, and the AR15 Man.


Booker follows the AR15 Man, and puts a pistol to his head near the right rear corner of the Ford Focus. He pushes the AR15 Man forward and forces him to take off his jacket and give up the AR15 firearm. The jacket is not seen after this.  

The robbery suspect/ Booker retreats around the back of the Ford, as AR15 Man ducks down and opens the right front door.   The jacket appears to have been tossed into the front seat of the Ford Focus.


AR15 Man comes up and starts shooting over the top of the Ford, with a pistol. He appears to be using his sights.

As the AR15 Man, sans jacket, continues firing, the Ford Focus with his two associates pulls out into Page Avenue and turns left, pursuing the robbery suspect/ Booker.


While not shown in the video clips, it is inferred the two associates shoot at the robbery suspect/ Booker while the AR15 Man takes cover behind the tan Jeep. Booker is apparently wounded, and retreats back toward Clay's Wellton Grocery. 

He is crawling in the walkway into the Clay's Wellston Food Market when AR15 Man takes him under aimed fire again.

AR15 Man advances and fires several more aimed shots at Booker as Booker approaches/enters the store.


Booker makes it into the Clay's Wellston Food Market entrance and attempts to work the AR15 firearm, but fails. He appears to be left handed, and picks up the two tone semi-automatic pistol he laid on the floor. In the image, the bright line below Booker's left forearm is the slide of the pistol.

The last sequence of video we see is AR15 man sprinting to the Ford Focus and his two associates on Page Avenue .


Everything was over by 14:51:00.

Earlier reporting indicated the AR15 firearm was retrieved by either the AR15 Man or an associate. If this occurred, it is not seen in the video shown to us by


AR15 Man and associates look like a practiced armed robbery team targeting Clay's Wellston Food Market. They back into the parking spot and enter at different times. It is likely AR15 Man did not know he was being recorded as he flashed the AR15. Once inside, something did not smell right to the team, and they decided to pass on the robbery. Local talent Bobby Booker had noticed the AR15 firearm, and decided he had an opportunity to steal it in an armed robbery.

Booker seems to have been oblivious he was attacking one man of an armed team of three.

The team took fast action, bracketed Booker, took him out, then departed before authorities could arrive. Smart money says the Ford Focus was recently stolen.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

OH: Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder in House on Thrailkill Road

PICKAWAY COUNTY, Ohio — A man is dead after deputies say a homeowner shot and killed him during a home invasion.

According to initial reports from law enforcement, a man gained entry into a house in the 1000 block of Thrailkill Road just before midnight on Sunday.

The 9-1-1 caller told dispatchers that the reported intruder had entered through a side door in the residence and was “trying to burglarize” the house.

More Here

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Indiana Mall Armed Samaritan, Constitutional Carry, Fast response, Long Range, Good Tactics

Greenwood Police Chief Ison at Press Conference on July 18, 2022

At a press conference in Indiana on 18 March, Greenwood Police Chief Ison revealed details about the Armed Samaritan who stopped the mass murder at the Greenwood Park Mall on the south edge of the Indianapolis metroplex.

The suspect entered the mall at 4:54 p.m. according to security cameras, and went direct to the rest room near the food court. He stayed in the rest room for  an hour and two minutes., emerging and firing at 5:56. He killed three people and wounded two more in a few seconds.

At 5:57, Elisjsha Dicken, 22, who was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend, drew his pistol and started to engage the suspect at long range. He fired about 10 rounds with his 9mm pistol. Dicken was carrying the handgun legally, under the Constitutional Carry law which went into effect on July 1, 2022, in Indiana.

Surveillance video captured virtually the entire incident, according to Chief Ison.

Chief Ison stated Elisjsha Dicken was very proficient in his shooting and was tactically sound, advancing on the suspect who attempted to retreat to the restroom, but collapsed before he was able to enter. As Dicken fired and advanced on the suspect, he motioned people to move behind him to escape.

According to the Chief, Dicken had no police or military training.

Chief Ison said:

"Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly." 


At 5:57 p.m., Elisjsha Dicken, an armed bystander, fired on Sapirman.
Dicken fired 10 rounds, hitting Sapirman as Sapirman tried to retreat
into the bathroom but collapsed and died.

Dicken had no police training or military background, according to
police. He was carrying under the new "Constitutional Carry" law and did
not have a permit.

 The police found 24 fired rounds of .223 caliber in the mall. The suspect fired only one rifle, a 5.56 (.223) caliber Sig Saur 400M rifle, similar to an AR15 rifle. A Smith & Wesson MP15 rifle was found disassembled in a backpack in the rest room. The suspect had a Glock .357 model 33 pistol on his person, which was never fired. The suspect had over 100 rounds of ammunition on him.

The Smith & Wesson Rifle had been purchased in March of 2021, the Sig 400M rifle in March of 2022.

Chief Ison explained the training which was done before the shooting. During the press conference, he spent some time on how the training concentrated on cleaning up the aftermath, controlling traffic, establishing a single command center, dealing with people looking for possible victims.

All these things are important. They are secondary to stopping the killing. In this case the police have done well at investigating and cleaning up the mess after the killing.


This case is an example of the value of Constitutional (permitless) carry. If Elisjsha Dicken had not been carrying in the Greenwood Park Mall, Chief Ison believes the death toll would have been much higher.  Police Chief Ison and the local authorities have done well by thanking Dickens for responding so quickly and effectively.

Even though  the police arrived very quickly by ordinary standards, the killing was over by the time police arrived. Dicken turned himself in to Mall security, explaining that he was one of the shooters.

Shooting is a sport.  Murder is a crime. It is Orwellian programing to infer shooters are murderers.  The Orwellian propaganda falls apart when it is clear an Armed Samaritan shooter stopped the killing.

Update: Eli Dicken has a valid Indiana Lifetime License to Carry Handgun.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Gunfight During Altercation with Wrecker Driver

HOUSTON – Deputies are investigating after a wrecker driver reportedly shot a man while exchanging gunfire with him during an altercation in northwest Harris County Monday.

Precinct 1 Harris County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the 5700 block of W. Mount Houston.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a man that had been shot twice, HCSO said. He was transported to the hospital by officials with Harris County Emergency Corps in stable condition, deputies said.

According to investigators, a man on the property approached the wrecker driver as he was preparing to tow away a vehicle that doesn’t belong on the property. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the man pulled out a gun, and the wrecker driver went to his vehicle and also pulled out a gun. Both of the men exchanged gunfire, Gonzalez said.

More Here

TX: Followup, Daniel Hammack found Not Guilty in Killing of Jason Knight

An ex-Fort Worth Water Department surveyor who shot and killed an “angry” homeless man near a church in 2018 was found not guilty of murder Friday by a Tarrant County jury. Daniel Hammack, 64, of Fort Worth fatally shot 36-year-old Jason Knight of Fort Worth on March 11, 2018.

More Here

Monday, July 25, 2022

New York Social Media Requirement Prevents Authorization of Permits


Image from wikimedia commons by Shaunfrombrooklyn, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten


The New York State anti-Second Amendment law, enacted under an extraordinary session brought about by Governor Hochel, is blatantly unconstitutional under the terms of the recent Bruen decision by the Supreme Court. Several provision of the law are likely to be struck down. This essay focuses on the requirement to provide social media accounts, and the practical mechanisms which mean very few permits will be approved under this provision.

Those which are approved are likely to take an unconstitutional amount of time. From Bruen, page 30 of the opinion, footnote 9:

 And they likewise appear to contain only “narrow, objective, and definite standards” guiding licensing officials, Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, 394 U. S. 147, 151 (1969), rather than requiring the “appraisal of facts, the exercise of judgment, and the formation of an opinion,” Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296, 305 (1940)—features that typify proper-cause standards like New York’s. That said, because any permitting scheme can be put toward abusive ends, we do not rule out constitutional challenges to shall-issue regimes where, for example, lengthy wait times in processing license applications or exorbitant fees deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry.

Here is Section IV of the bill:


Section IV appears to directly require the formation of an opinion, rather than "narrow, objective, and definite standards", as required by Bruen. Bruen states if times to process are "lengthy" or if fees are "exorbitant", shall issue regimes are likely to fail a Second Amendment test.

Authorities who are empowered by New York State law to issue permits face extreme danger if they approve of permits under the recently passed scheme. Section IV is a nearly impossible task for one person who is required to process dozens or hundreds of applications.  This appears to be by design.

Not many people who have the authority to approve a permit will be able to take the time to meticulously go through three years of social media data to determine if there is one off-color or politically incorrect post among tens of thousands.  The process is necessarily subjective and lengthy.

The risk for the approving authority, if they do not do this, will be perceived as very high.

If one of hundreds of permit applicants who are approved, becomes involved in a shooting, even if fully justified, of someone in a government approved "victim" class, their career will be in jeopardy. Consider what happened to the police officers in Minneapolis, who followed written policy, and ended with a prison sentence or undergoing trial.

The incentive to deny permits en mass is extreme. An alternative would be to delay permit approval by months or years.

The social media requirement is a blatant wrench thrown into the gears of the approval process.

Johnathan Corbett, Esq. has made a compelling case of how the law
specifically violates the Second Amendment rights of people in New York
City by imposing the requirements in Section IV and others.  The lawsuit was filed on July 11, 2022, against Governor Hochel and NYS.  Corbett uses well thought out arguments to show how three of the law's sections are obviously unconstitutional. He appears to have standing.

Several other lawsuits have been filed against the law passed in extraordinary session.

Will the Federal Courts in New York State side with the Supreme Court?

Will the Second Circuit openly defy the Supreme Court?

We should know shortly. It does not take much time to grant or deny a request for an injunction to stop enforcement of the new law.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

OR: Man Breaks into Home, is Shot by Resident

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A man was shot by a resident after breaking into a home early Saturday morning, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

PPB said just after midnight Saturday, officers responded to a shooting in the 100 block of Northeast 22nd Avenue. They found a man who had been shot a few blocks away. They used a tourniquet on the arm of the man. He was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

More Here

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Mass Murder stopped by Armed Samaritan in Indiana Mall

Entrance 1 Greenwood Park Mall Indiana from Google Maps

Three victims and the murderer have been killed at the Greenwood Park Mall, in Indiana, about 6 p.m., and two people were wounded. The murderer was almost immediately shot and killed by an Armed Samaritan. The Armed Samaritan has been reported to be a 22-year-old man from Bartholomew County, who has a valid permit to carry. He is believed to have been armed with a handgun. Greenwood Park Mall is on the South edge of the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

Make, model and caliber(s) of the firearms involved have not been released at this time.

A spokesman for the Greenwood Police Department said the responding agencies got their very quickly. They had trained intensively for this scenario.

But, he said, the real hero was the Armed Samaritan who stopped the mass murder just as it was getting started. From the video of Greenwood Police Department spokesman:

 "I am going to tell you the real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying firearms in that food court and was able to stop this shooting almost as soon as it began."

Details of the mass murder and fast response by an Armed Samaritan are still emerging. From

The Greenwood Police Department confirmed Sunday that a lone shooter, believed to be an adult male, entered the food court of the mall around 6 p.m. with a rifle and several magazines of ammo. The suspect then shot into the mall, killing three people and injuring two more.

GPD also confirmed Sunday that the shooter was shot and killed by a Good Samaritan who was armed with a handgun. The man who shot the suspect, identified as a 22-year-old from Bartholomew County, had a legal gun permit and is fully cooperating with police.

Link to video of Greenwood Police press interview

A quick search of the Internet for Greenwood Park mall did not find any policies restricting the carry of firearms on the premises. A quick google maps survey of entrance doors to the mall did not reveal any obvious signage restricting firearms. It is always possible small, inconspicuous signs could be missed.

At first examination, it appears Greenwood Park mall is not a gun-free zone. This confirms what the Greenwood Police Department stated. The Armed Samaritan was not violating any laws.

Based on the recent law passed in New York State, the Armed Samaritan would almost certainly have been banned from a mall there.

Indiana passed a Constitutional Carry bill in 2022. It went into effect on July 1, 2022.  In Indiana, no permit is required to carry a firearm in public places, openly or concealed, as long as the carrier may legally possess the firearm.


While we cannot know how many lives were saved by the Armed Samaritan, the police appear to believe many were saved. This validates the wisdom of a dispersed, armed populace, which can react to a mass murder much faster than police can.

The responder does not need to be Wyatt Earp. They just need to be where they are needed, and have the will to respond.  Armed Samaritans have the great advantage of being inside the event, rather than coming to it and having to determine what is happening minutes into the event.

When seconds are lives lost, police are only minutes away.


©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


GA: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots Man

Police officers in Atlanta are trying to determine whether a woman will face charges for shooting a man overnight.

Officials say the shooting happened shortly after 2 a.m. at an apartment complex near the 200 block of Greenhaven Drive SE.

Investigators tell FOX 5 right now they believe the woman shot the man in self-defense while he was assaulting her.

According to police, the incident started inside the apartment and that the woman fled to a nearby Publix parking lot before shooting the man in the leg.

More Here

Supreme Court EPA Decision may Apply to ATF Rules

On June 30, 2022, the Supreme Court issued its decision on the West Virginia v. EPA case

The decision reinforced earlier precedent on the non-delegation doctrine. It is a welcome start to roll back the lawlessness of the administrative state. 

Might the EPA case signal a willingness to strike down arbitrary rule changes in the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agency?

The architects of the administrative state understood very well it was a critical way to undermine the Constitution:

The reason for this is that the ideas that gave rise to what is today called "the administrative state" are fundamentally at odds with those that gave rise to our Constitution. In fact, the original Progressive-Era architects of the administrative state understood this quite clearly, as they made advocacy of this new approach to government an important part of their direct, open, comprehensive attack on the American Constitution.

In the decision, on page 4 of Justice Gorsuch's concurrence, in footnote 1, Justice Gorsuch points out the Progressive disdain for power in the hands of the people:  

1. For example, Woodrow Wilson famously argued that “popular sovereignty” “embarrasse[d]” the Nation because it made it harder to achieve “executive expertness.”

In the EPA decision, the Court explains it is defending the Constitutional protections of separation of powers. It shows there is a long history of court decisions preventing the agglomeration of powers from one of the three governmental branches to another by improper delegation. From the decision p. 17-18:

Despite its textual plausibility, we noted that the Agency’s interpretation would have given it permitting authority over millions of small sources, such as hotels and office buildings, that had never before been subject to such requirements. Id., at 310, 324. We declined to uphold EPA’s claim of “unheralded” regulatory power over “a significant portion of the American economy.” Id., at 324. In Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U. S. 243 (2006), we confronted the Attorney General’s assertion that he could rescind the license of any physician who prescribed a controlled substance for assisted suicide, even in a State where such action was legal. The Attorney General argued that this came within his statutory power to revoke licenses where he found them “inconsistent with the public interest,” 21 U. S. C. §823(f ). We considered the “idea that Congress gave [him] such broad and unusual authority through an implicit delegation.

 In the recent case involving the CDC, SCOTUS told the CDC it had overstepped its authority. The quote is on page 18:

Extraordinary grants of regulatory authority are rarely accomplished through “modest words,” “vague terms,” or “subtle device[s].” Whitman, 531 U. S., at 468. Nor does Congress typically use oblique or elliptical language to em-power an agency to make a “radical or fundamental change”to a statutory scheme.

This seems to apply to changes in the BATFE's changing regulatory stance on pistol braces. The BATFE  reversed what it said about pistol braces previously. The BATFE is changing their definition and changing the law. The ATF estimates three million stabilizing braces have been sold:

It is estimated that manufacturers of stabilizing braces have sold 3 million stabilizing braces since 2013. ATF has observed that the development and production of rifled barrel weapons with “stabilizing braces” has become more prevalent in the firearms industry and that, consequently, requests for classifications for this kind of firearm design have also increased.

In a dissent by Justice Gorsuch on a decision of the Supreme Court not to accept a bump stock case, he makes a plea for the rule of law, rather than a rule by administration. 

Justice Gorsuch on bumpstocks:

Chevron’s application in this case may be doubtful for other reasons too. The agency used to tell everyone that bump stocks don’t qualify as “machineguns.” Now it says the opposite. The law hasn’t changed, only an agency’s interpretation of it. And these days it sometimes seems agencies change their statutory interpretations almost as often as elections change administrations.

Then, on page 19 of the EPA concurrency by Justice Gorsuch, he makes this point:

The Court acknowledges only that, under our Constitution, the people’s elected representatives in Congress are the decision makers here—and they have not clearly granted the agency the authority it claims for itself.

 It is difficult to know how the Supreme Court will rule. It appears several justices are willing to rein in administrative agencies. The BATFE is not a popular agency. Some justices on the court are concerned with the rule of law. People subject to the law cannot be expected to follow the law if it changes willy-nilly, without Congressional debate and voting.


There are several justices on the Supreme Court who are willing to rein in the power of the administrative state. It is easier for the Court to keep the status quo instead of subjecting the country to radical change. Striking down regulations which propose radical change, before they have gone into effect, has a reasonable chance. In addition, the BATFE regulations directly impact the Second Amendment. This gives proponents of the status quo two separate, but reinforcing arguments to strike down the proposed changes.

There is no certainty the Supreme Court will decide to hear the cases challenging the BATFE regulatory changes. The chance for the Supreme Court to hear a case increases if there is a split in the circuit courts of appeal. 

This correspondent believes the EPA case makes it significantly easier for the courts to strike down BATFE regulations as unconstitutional under either the non-delegation principle or the Second Amendment. 

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch




Saturday, July 23, 2022

IL: Legally armed Man Shoots Carjack Suspect

Prosecutors said the concealed carry holder and his daughter were sitting in their car at McDonald’s on 106th Street near the Indiana state line when a masked man approached them and began yelling around 5:12 p.m.

The masked offender, identified by prosecutors as Castanon, pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the victim’s car, prompting the concealed carry holder to return fire.

Castanon fired more shots toward the car as he ran away, prosecutors said. Cops found him in a nearby residential garage with gunshot wounds to his hand, arm, and foot.

The entire incident was recorded by the restaurant’s security cameras.

More Here

Friday, July 22, 2022

FGC-9 3D-printed Hybrid 9mm in Australia: Can't Stop the Signal

 from twitter video:

Police in the state of Western Australia have seized a fully functional 9mm semi-automatic carbine, made, apparently by an 18-year-old hobbyist, using a simple 3D printer, basic tools, and plans readily available online.  

The Australian police have mistakenly called the firearm a "semi-automatic assault rifle", although it fires the 9mm pistol cartridge. More accurately, it is a pistol caliber carbine. The carbine uses 3D printed copies of the common Glock pistol magazines.

The short barreled carbine has been identified a an FGC-9 variant (F*ck Gun Control Nine) by Armaments Research Services, which did an extensive write up on the firearm. From

The firearm in question is an FGC-9 with a non-standard fore-end. From the available images, the weapon in question appears to be an FGC Mk II model. The stock and grip are both of the Mk II style, as is the enclosed ejector on the left-hand side (visible briefly in some of the available video footage). The FGC-9 Mk I (see Figure 2) and Mk II (see Figure 3) differ only slightly. The FGC-9 (‘F**k Gun Control 9mm’) is a semi-automatic hybrid 3D-printed self-loading rifle (of a type often called a ‘pistol-calibre carbine’), chambered for the 9 × 19 mm cartridge, and designed by Deterrence Dispensed—an online 3D-printing community focusing on firearms design development. The FGC-9 is arguably the most capable craft-produced firearm one can procure at the time of publication. FGC-9 model firearms have recently been documented in Australia, Burma (Myanmar), Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, numerous countries across mainland Europe, and elsewhere.

Testing of the FGC-9 is reported to show good accuracy, of 2.5 inches at 25 yards. One specimen, described as "not particularly well built" is said to have fired more than 2,000 rounds without catastrophic failure.

Complete tooling and materials to build an FGC-9 are quoted as costing less than $1,000. If a small production facility is put together, as reportedly occurred in Finland,  costs can be reduced to about $200 per firearm.

A  conference on combating 3D printed firearms was held on May 24-25 hosted by Dutch Police and Europol.  

The FGC-9 may be the most effective hybrid design yet created for home manufacture of firearms. It uses existing metal shapes which are easily modified with with simple tools. The barrel is a simple high pressure pipe, chambered and rifled with electro-chemical machining, easily done at home with little risk or cost. 

The relatively complex shapes for the feed mechanism and fire control are either commercially available and unregulated, or produced on inexpensive 3D printers, where the software is readily available on the Internet.

Thus, the necessary strength is obtained with simple, commercially available steel shapes. The necessary complexity is obtained with 3D printers and software.

The resulting pistol caliber carbine is as effective as some commercially available products. It appears to be on par with a Tech-9 pistol, for example. 

The easily added optics, stock, and suppressor may give the FGC-9 the advantage. 

9mm cartridges are one of the most common cartridges in the world. They can usually be obtained in the grey and black markets.  Manufacture in home workshops is a bit more difficult, but not out of the reach of hobbyists.

Even primers for reloading 9mm brass have been recharged with simple techniques. 

 ©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.


MS: Crime Spree Stopped By Homeowner who Shot, Killed Assailant

While deputies gathered information about those assaults, they received another 9-1-1 call about a man attempting to break into another home. As deputies arrived on that scene, they heard a gunshot at a nearby residence.

As they arrived to the home where the gunshot occurred, they found that a man had been shot while trying to hit someone with his car. The man was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Through an investigation, it was discovered that he was involved in every disturbance.

Two of his victims were treated at a hospital for various injuries. The homeowner who killed the suspect has not been charged.

More Here

FL: Three people Shot During Home Invasion

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - GPD officers say that three people were shot.

They responded to a home invasion a little before 7:00 am in northeast Gainesville.

Officers performed life-saving rescue procedures before the three people were taken to the hospital.

More Here

When did .22 Shorts become More expensive than .22 Long Rifle Cartridges?

The short answer is: 1987. 

.22 Short rimfire cartridges became more expensive than .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridges in 1987. They have remained more expensive since then.

This correspondent has been able to obtain manufacturer price list information for .22 Shorts from 1911 to 1996, and .22 Long Rifle ammunition from 1911 to 2022. That is 111 ears of pricing history. Of the 111 years, this correspondent was able to collect data for 70 individual years. There are enough data points to give shape to the curve. 

There are several ways to measure the value of money, and how it changes over time. 

You can choose a particular commodity. Gold has been popular. Determine what an ounce of gold has cost in dollars over time. This was easy when the price of gold was fixed by the US government (the gold standard) from 1789 to 1932, at 20 dollars per troy ounce.

It became dubious from 1934 to 1973-74, because the price was set at $35 per ounce, but you could not legally own gold in the United States.  After 1974, the dollar was completely decoupled from the price of gold, so the dollar prices are readily available. 

In 1911, a round of .22 Short cost .625 cents. Gold was 20 dollars an ounce, so a .22 short cost .0003125 troy ounces of gold. Today, that much gold costs 57.8 cents. Using the same measure, a Long Rifle in 1911 cost .000347 ounces of gold, or 69.4 cents of gold using the price of gold in 2022. 

In 2022, a Long Rife cartridge costs about 8 cents, or .000043 ounces of gold at 2022 prices.  The price of a Long Rifle in 2022 is almost exactly 1/8 the amount of gold it cost in 1911.

A second method is to choose a basket of commodities, and determine how many dollars it takes to purchase the same, or roughly equivalent goods, in a given year. This is commonly referred to as constant dollars, with one year chosen as the constant to be used as the standard.

A third method is to determine the buying power of an hour of labor, and measure how many hours of labor it takes to purchase a similar amount of things at the different years. You can chose a level of skill for the labor. Unskilled is a fairly consistent way to compare labor. 

In 1911, unskilled labor could be had for  as low as 10 cents an hour, or about .005 ounces of gold. In 2022, unskilled labor is about $7.25 per hour, or .0039 ounces of gold. 

In  1935, an hour of unskilled labor could be had for .0043 ounces of gold, but you were no longer allowed to own gold. A .22 short cost .36 cents per round, or nominally, .000102 ounces of gold.

1n 1967, unskilled labor was $1 per hour, or nominally .029 ounces of gold.  The price of gold was set at $35 per ounce. But, you were not allowed to own gold.  A .22 short cost 1.3 cents, or nominally .00037 ounces of gold.

In 1980, unskilled labor was $3.10 per hour. Gold was about $600 per troy ounce. 1 hour of labor was valued at .0051 ounces of gold. A .22 short cost .000034 ounces of gold, about 1/9 of the amount of gold it cost in 1911. 

The above unskilled labor rates may vary somewhat from those calculated in the chart.  They are chosen as examples.

The relationship of gold to .22 ammunition was greatly distorted by the price control the government put on gold, and the legal prohibition of owning gold.

This correspondent chose unskilled labor as the measure, because commodities are difficult to compare over a century, and gold prices were used directly as money, then artificially repressed by government edict. 

Once a standard is chosen to determine the value of a dollar, you can determine the value of an item, in the past, in today's (2022) dollars.

For consistency, the prices are those of smokeless high velocity .22 rimfire cartridges. Shorts were chosen with 29 grain bullets. Long Rifle cartridges where chosen with 40 grain bullets.  The prices are all from one highly successful American manufacturer.

This correspondent was curious as to when Shorts became more expensive than Long Rifles. It was in 1987. Presumably, the greater demand for Long Rifle cartridges introduced efficiencies of scale which overcame the advantage of a smaller amount of brass, lead, and powder.  The priming compound, manufacturing process, and labor costs would be nearly identical. 

The greatest differential between Long Rifle and Short prices occurred during World War one and just after World War II.  In 1917 and in 1947, a Short cost 60% of what a Long Rifle cost.

According to my scale, a .22 Short uses 2 grains less brass than a .22 Long rifle. It uses 11 grains less lead, and about .6 grains less powder. 

Industrial brass is running about $3 a pound. Lead is about $1 per pound. Nitrocellulose at industrial scales is about a $1 per pound. Converted to gunpowder it may be $2 a pound on an industrial scale. 

The production cost of a Short is thus about .26 cents per round cheaper because of lower material costs (in 2022).  As the popularity of Shorts diminished, the scale costs of shorter runs of cartridges may account for part of their increased price. 

As this is written, ammunition prices are falling, and .22 Shorts cost about 30% more than .22 Long Rifle cartridges at retail.

Shorts have become another specialty ammunition, while Long Rifle cartridges have become a commodity.  

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Thursday, July 21, 2022

ID: Drunk Man Enters Wrong House, is Shot, Killed

Damien S. Giles was killed May 13 after entering a neighboring residence on the 600 block of Second Street in Nezperce, according to police reports. Although Giles was known to the previous owners of the home, he had no connections to the current owner and no prior communications with him.

In a prepared statement, Lewis County Prosecutor Zachary Pall said “this is clearly a case of self-defense. The homeowner was startled by an intruder into his darkened house with nearly all of the lights off. ... (The homeowner) told Giles to leave before Giles aggressed him. Not only did Giles not leave but he did aggress the homeowner. Although the homeowner had no duty to retreat under Idaho law, he did so. He called for law enforcement prior to shooting and can be heard warning Giles again before shooting.”

More Here

IN: Shooting at Terre Haute Greenwood Manors was Self Defense

According to the police, the person who shot the other man was acting in self-defense. The person who ultimately was shot was the aggressor.

Police said the man who was defending himself was " physically incapable of stopping the aggressor," adding he has a medical condition.

The investigation is ongoing, but police said the shooter would not face charges since he was defending himself.

More Here

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Bear Spray Failure in 2003: Russian Bear Researcher Vitaly Nikolayenko

Vitaly Nikolayenko from Facebook 

Nearly 20 years ago, there was a well documented bear spray failure in Russia. A world famous bear researcher, Vitaly Nikolayenko, was killed by a bear only two months after Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard were killed and partly consumed by a bear or bears in Alaska. Nikolayenko was half eaten. 

All the bears involved were variations of the brown bear, also known as the European brown bear, grizzly bear, or Kodiak bear. 

Treadwell disdained any type of defensive weapon. Nikolayenko had bear spray and a flare gun. When Nikolayenko was late in reporting, a search team, including his long time friend, Victor Rebrikov, found his body and evidence the spray was ineffective. From archive of

"Vitaly must have begun to take pictures of the resting bear, but the tree trunks and branches were in the way, and he must have decided to get inside the grove. His footprints lead into the grove after the bear. He approached the bear at a distance of three meters," Rebrikov said.

A large swath of orange pepper spray indicates Nikolayenko tried to defend himself, and a flare gun was lying next to the body, unfired. Half his body had been consumed.

His camera was broken and bloody nearby. The film has not yet been developed. The researcher's wife, Tatiana Nikolayenko, had spent most of last week trying to find a helicopter flight to bring her husband home in time for the New Year's holiday.

Russia, since the Soviet takeover in 1917, has been loathe to allow anyone but the authorities to carry handguns.  

Nikolayenko did not view the bears as harmless as Treadwell did; he understood they were dangerous. Still, his methods of research were similar to Treadwell's eco-adventurism; he approached the bears to very close range, and depended on their tolerance for his life. In December of 2003, both the tolerance and bear spray failed. 

The fatal failure of bear spray at this early date seems to have been ignored by bear spray proponents. 

Those who promote bear spray appear primarily concerned about preventing bears from being killed (cynics claim the concern is to sell bear spray). 

The percentage of bears killed in defensive encounters with humans is relatively small where bears are hunted. Bears killed in defensive encounters are a fraction of those required to be killed to maintain a stable population. In Alaska, over 26 years, defense of life and property (dlp) killed bears were 5.1% of the total of hunter bears (sport kills, 26,489) and dlp kills (1,413).

For brown (grizzly) bears to have a stable population, more than 10% of bears must be killed each year. Whether those bears are killed by another bear, by bear hunters, or as aggressive bears confronting humans, does not matter to the the bear population. Bears killing other bears is not sufficient to keep the population stable. 

Removing bears which are aggressive toward people can change the genetics of the bear population.  Bear populations which are hunted are likely to be less aggressive toward humans.

Bear encounters are not subject to legal standards of proof. If bear spray is sprayed during an encounter, and the person is still killed by the bear; that is a bear spray failure.

Bear spray proponents may claim because of bear spray was used during a bear attack, and the bear killed the person, is not a proven bear spray failure. The bear spray may not have been the "right" brand; the bear spray may not have been deployed exactly "correctly". 

If we apply the same standard to firearms, a person killed by a bear, who is found with a fired gun next to the body, would not be a proven firearms failure. 

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch




DC: Off Duty Police Shoot, Kill Man Brandishing Pistol in D.C.

WASHINGTON — Off-duty D.C. Police officers shot and killed a man who was pointing a gun at the Wharf in Southwest D.C. late Saturday night, Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said. 

According to D.C. police, another person, police described as a "witness" who appeared to be with the man, also suffered a graze wound. The person was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment with a non-life-threatening injury. 

More here

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Winning: 2 Decades of Progress Expanding Constitutional Carry in the USA


In two decades, Constitutional Carry has progressed from an ideal pursued by Second Amendment activists and Constitutionalists, to a reality in half of the states of the United States. In 2002, only Vermont had Constitutional Carry.

Constitutional Carry exists where most citizens can exercise the right to carry a loaded handgun in most public places, openly or concealed, without special government permission or the worry of being arrested.

Constitutional Carry was the state of the law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.

Vermont has 1/4 of one percent of the land area of the United States of America. 20 years later the 25 states with Constitutional Carry comprise 61.6% of the land area of the United States.

Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry, long before it became a state.

All other states had adopted infringements of the Second Amendment right to bear arms of some kind or another, as groups in power sought to disarm various minorities, be they black people, immigrants, or political opponents. Most of those laws had been applied very selectively. If you were favored by the good old boys network of connected power brokers, you could always get a permit, be appointed a dollar a year sheriff deputy, or obtain special police credentials.

As more and more people realized how badly the Progressive movement had distorted the Constitutional order, more and more people demanded the right to bear arms be respected. Much of this happened as Progressives pushed to disarm the population. Much of it was backlash when the majority suffered from the tyranny which had been inflicted on minorities. Part of it was in response to climbing crime rates combined with stricter gun control measures.

Conversion of most states to a "shall issue" permit system was well underway when Alaska became the first state to restore Constitutional Carry, in 2003. An Alaska state representative, Democrat Eric Croft was the sponsor. From AP:

Rep. Eric Croft, D-Anchorage, said he sponsored the bill out of frustration with continually fine-tuning the state's gun laws.

"I object to the government putting a precondition on that
constitutional right (to carry a weapon). I'm presumed to be a
responsible citizen until proven otherwise," Croft said.

House Bill 102 does not eliminate the state's concealed handgun permit
program. The governor's office said Alaskans could still apply for a
permit in order to carry a concealed weapon in other states or to be
exempt from background checks when purchasing firearms.

Alaska set the precedent for other states to follow. All of those who have restored Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) have kept their shall issue permit systems.

All but one of the governors who signed Constitutional Carry laws have been Republicans. The one Democrat Governor who signed a Constitutional Carry bill said he did so by mistake, in Arkansas, in 2013. There have been 14 vetoes of Constitutional Carry bills, 9 by Democrats, 5 by Republicans. In two states, vetoes by Democrat governors were overridden by the legislatures.

Here, in chronological order, are the states, governors and years when Constitutional Carry bills were signed into law or had vetoes overridden.

Alaska, Republican Governor Frank Murkowski, 2003.

Arizona, Republican Governor Jan Brewer, 2010.

Wyoming,  Republican Governor Matt Mead, 2011.

Arkansas governor Mike Beebe signed a "stealth" Constitutional Carry bill in 2013. Democrats argued they did not realize the bill contained Constitutional carry.

Kansas,  Republican Governor Sam Brownback, 2015.

Maine,  Republican Governor Paul LePage, 2015.

Idaho, Republican Governor Butch Otter, 2016.

Missouri, Veto by Democrat Governor Jay Nixon. Veto override by legislature, 2016.

Missisippi, Republican Governor, Phil Bryant, 2016.

West Virginia,  Democrat Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed Constitutional Carry in 2016. The legislature overrode the veto.

North Dakota,  Republican Governor Doug Burgum, 2017.

New Hampshire,  Republican Governor Chris Sununu, 2017.

South Dakota, Republican Governor Kristi Noem, 2019.

Oklahoma, Republican Governor, Kevin Stitt, 2019.

Kentucky, Republican Governor, Matt Bevin, 2019.

Utah, Republican Governor, Spencer Cox, 2021.

Montana, Republican Governor Greg Gianforte, 2021.

Iowan, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, 2021.

Texas, Republican Governor, Greg Abbott, 2021.

Tennessee,  Republican Governor Bill Lee, 2021.

Indiana, Republican Governor, Eric Holcomb, 2022.

Alabama, Republican Governor, Kay Ivey, 2022.

Ohio, Republican Governor, Mike DeWine, 2022.

Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp, 2022.

Most Republican governors who signed Constitutional Carry bills did not do so because they were strong supporters of the Second Amendment. All would claim to be supporters.  All Democrats would also claim to be supporters of the Second Amendment.

Most Republican governors signed because the Republican party had philosophically become aligned with support for the Second Amendment and because of strong grassroots demand they support it.

Democrat governors did not sign (except for Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas, who signed HB 746 without knowing it contained Constitutional Carry), because the Democrat party had become aligned with the Progressive movement, which is fundamentally opposed to limits on government power.

Actual practice showed the theory of government aligned with the Second Amendment was closer to reality than the theory of government which demanded no limit on government power.

Those who claimed unlimited government power repeatedly predicted massive crime waves when freedom to carry weapons was restored. They claimed there would be "blood in the streets". It did not happen. Over and over and over, it did not happen.

As the restoration of Constitutional Carry has become a wave, Republican governors have become more enthusiastic about signing Constitutional Carry bills.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become one of the most enthusiastic governors in supporting Constitutional Carry. Florida may yet restore Constitutional Carry this year.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch










TX: Armed Robbery Gunfight in Houston, Robbery Suspect Shot, Killed

A suspected robber was shot and killed over the weekend by his intended victim who had his own weapon, Houston police said. 

The robbery occurred around 10:30 p.m. when a man was leaving an ATM. Another man tried to rob him and the victim pulled out a gun, Fox Houston reported. 

Both men fired their weapons.

More Here

Monday, July 18, 2022

Change of the term "engaged in the business" in Federal Firearms Law


On June 25th, 2022, the gun control compromise, initiated in the Senate, and passed so fast it was unlikely to have been read by most of the representatives and senators voting for it, was placed into law.

It will likely be years before all the changes made in the bill are understood in their effect on the administration of firearms law in the United States. One of the ways the bill was sold was claiming it calls for "clarifying the definition of federally licensed firearms dealer".

The objective has not been achieved. The bill changed the definition of "ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS". From the bill:


Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—21(1) in paragraph (21)(C), by striking ‘‘with the principal objective of livelihood and profit’’ and inserting ‘‘to predominantly earn a profit’’;

The old law, wording to be changed in bold,  From

(21) The term “engaged in the business” means—

(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as
defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention,
and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or
business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through
the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not
include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of
firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or
who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;


(22) The term “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit
means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is
predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed
to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms

The new law: From

(21) The term "engaged in the business" means—

(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as
defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention,
and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or
business to predominantly earn a profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;


(22) The term "to predominantly earn a profit"
means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is
predominantly one of obtaining pecuniary gain, as opposed to other
intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms

 This correspondent does not see any clarification in the changes of these words.

There does not seem to be any significant change for enforcement of the law between "with the principal objective of livelihood and profit" and "to predominantly earn a profit".

One possibility: The changing of the phrase allows law enforcers to claim there is a difference; so that older court rulings and precedent can be challenged, because the wording is different.

A second possibility: The change could force more regulation of people who regularly sell at gun shows. It seems unlikely the change will do much in that arena.

A third possibility:  The change was put in place to claim "something is being done", without any substantive thing being done.

When this change is considered through the lens of the recent clarification of the Bruen decision, the lack of substance appears the more likely outcome. 

Dealing in guns was never licensed by the federal government before the 1930's, because it is an obvious infringement on the Second Amendment. When the federal bills were passed in the 1930's, they were passed as tax bills specifically stated as a way to circumvent the prohibitions inherent in the Second Amendment.

As seen through the lens of Bruen, the federal gun laws are a recent innovation, not backed up by history or culture.

The counterpoise to this is the Heller decision, which specifically allows for federal regulation of commercial sales of arms. From a previous AmmoLand article:

Here is the limiting language Justice Stevens claims to have been influential in having inserted, in trade for Justice Kennedy’s vote:

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.


This correspondent expects little change in enforcement from the limited change in the definition of "engaged in the business".

Perhaps others can discern more subtle effects. Please include the analysis in the comments.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch