Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Lawsuit Filed Against Private Gun Range Approval in Michigan

 Approximate boundaries of Leapers Farm

On July 12, 2022, the Northfield Township board voted unanimously (6-0) to grant a conditional use permit for a private gun range on Leapers ranch to be used for testing firearms optics. The range will be constructed five feet below ground level with a nine foot berm on either side for most of the proposed 600 yard range. There will be intermediate ranges to 100 and 200 yards. About 300 to 500 shots a day are expected.  On commenter at the hearing stated "85 decibels will be allowed at this site".

The final occupancy permit for the site will require sound testing before being granted.

85 decibels is about the sound of heavy traffic or a suppressed .22 rifle. It was not reported where the sound measurements would be taken.

On August 2, twelve residents of Northfield Township filed a lawsuit to reverse the decision of the County Board. From

LAKE, MI – Todd Brown, owner of Oasis Equestrian Center, has big concerns about a firearm optics testing facility going in across the street from his Northfield Township property – and he isn’t the only one.

Twelve residents of the township north of Ann Arbor have decided to take legal action against the township, after the facility was granted a conditional use permit on July 12. The residents filed a lawsuit in the Washtenaw County Trial Court on Aug. 2 seeking a reversal of the township board’s approval.

Leapers is an optics company which has expanded into shooting accessories. The company is based in Livonia, Michigan, on  the West side of Detroit, about 20 miles from the proposed range. Most of Leapers optics are made in Mainland China and in Taiwan.  From

Leapers, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of innovative and technologically advanced hunting and shooting sport oriented products across a multitude of different platforms. We started out as a garage business, with a 4X28 compact scope as our first product. After more than 3 decades of hard work, Leapers is now located in a 4-building complex in Livonia, Michigan, with over 150,000 square feet of space for in-house product design, development, manufacturing, and advanced order fulfillment and distribution. Our UTG brand and its sister brand, the Made-in-USA UTG PRO, have gained wide market recognition and strong customer support across the globe. With manufacturing plants overseas as well as in Michigan, plus UTG Europe distribution center in Germany, we continue to dedicate our efforts to promoting the outdoor quality lifestyle and providing customers complete and total solutions for all their hunting and shooting needs. Innovation, quality, value, and service are the central themes of our brand.

The planning consultant for Northfield Township stated the range is within the allowed uses for what is currently zoned, AR, or agricultural. Gun ranges are specifically allowed and regulated. From the Norfield zoning regulations:


Gun clubs, subject to the following:

a. Individual ranges, areas containing more than one range, or the entire property shall be enclosed with a minimum six-foot chainlink fence with two strands of barbed wire stretched on arms sloping inward from the top of the fence. Range fencing shall enclose the range proper, backstop, side walls, or greenbelt, shotfall area for shotgun ranges, firing line, ready areas, and any other area in which a person might unwittingly subject himself to reasonable hazard.

From Northfieltownshopdocuments.

Planning consultant Vidya Krishnan noted the site is 81 acres and zoned AR, and gun ranges are permitted as a conditional land use. She noted the Planning Commission recommended approval of the conditional use permit with conditions on June 15 th , and clarified that this is not a conditional rezoning and not a variance. She explained this is not a use that would be allowed in the RTM zoning district because no outdoor use is allowed there, and AR is the proper district for this use. She added that if this were to be interpreted to be an industrial or commercial use, this use would be allowed by right in those districts, with no ability for the Township to set conditions for construction and operation. She also explained the difference between the Township’s Master Plan, which is a policy, and Zoning Ordinance, which is the law.

Opinion: This correspondent believes the persons filing a lawsuit to reverse the Town Board's unanimous decision will be unsuccessful. The zoning in question specifically allows for gun ranges.  With the Bruen decision, gun ranges are protected to some degree by the Second Amendment.

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

Gun Watch

TN: Deadly Shooting in Nashville Bar likily Self Defense

Police say, Christopher Johnson Jr., 45, was killed in the gunfire.

Authorities have since interviewed the second man involved in the gunfire, Gregory Dotson, 39.

Dotson told police that he and Johnson were involved in a “heated verbal argument” when Johnson pulled out a gun and fired shots at him. Dotson told police he returned fire in self-defense.

More Here

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

TX: Domestic Defense, Father Kills Son who Assaulted Mother

Deputies received a call from a 75-year-old man who said he shot his 24-year-old son for assaulting his mother, who is also in her 70s. When they arrived they found the adult son with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The father told investigators he was awakened to his wife being assaulted by their son. The son allegedly struck his mother in the head with a liquor bottle before advancing toward the father. The father then shot the son, police said.

More Here

CA: Riverside Gunfight, Intruder Dead, Resident Wounded

A resident fatally shot a suspect who was apparently trying to break into a Riverside apartment early Wednesday, police said.

The incident was reported around 1:40 a.m. in the 5900 block of Sycamore Canyon Boulevard.

The victim alerted police to a burglary in progress, then called back to indicate gunshots had been exchanged.

More Here

Canadian Faces Charges for Defensive Shooting of Black Bear in Jasper Park


Image by Troy Nemitz, with permission.

On August 6, 2022, at about 1 p.m., a hiker In Jasper National Park was approached to within about 100 feet by a black bear. The hiker was carrying a 20 gauge shotgun. He fired a warning shot, which did not dissuade the bear.  He continued down the trail a short way, only to discover the bear had stalked closer to him. He fired a slug at the bear. The bear was hit and rolled down a creek bank toward a stream. From

A person called Jasper Dispatch to report their friend had shot a black bear with a 20-gauge shotgun on the Overlander Trail, about seven kilometres east of the trailhead, according to an email from Parks Canada.

The pair saw the bear about 30 metres away when one hiker
fired a warning shot toward it. The animal reacted but did not run away, so the hiker shot again, according to Parks Canada. The bear then rolled down a short creek bank and the pair left the scene immediately. The extent of the bear's injuries are unknown, but blood was found at the scene.

David Argument is Jasper Park's Resource Conservation Officer. His opinion is that no one except officers such as himself, should be armed in the park, because they pose a danger to wildlife. From Argument:

Carrying a firearm in a national park is illegal.

“It poses obviously a threat to wildlife here and other park users,” Argument said.

In another source, Argument reveals the bear continued to move closer to the hiker, but attributes it to "topography". This is blatantly dishonest. Black bears have excellent hearing and smell. It is not credible the bear did not know it was closing in on the hiker. From

 The bear was approximately 30-40 metres away from the individual. The man fired a “warning shot,” according to Argument, at which point the bear began moving down the creek. 

Unfortunately, the drainage intersected the footpath further down.

 “The way the topography is there, it brought the bear closer to the man,” Argument said.  

Upon his second encounter the man discharged his firearm directly at the bear. The rifle slug from his 20-gauge shot gun hit the bear, Argument said, at which point the bear “rolled down the embankment of this creek and out of the man’s site.”

It was later revealed, the individual did not know it was illegal to carry a firearm in the park.

The individual, who is a resident of Alberta, is facing charges under the Canada National Parks Act. Argument could not be more specific about what charges are being laid.

“As far as we know this individual was not aware of the regulations that it’s illegal to carry a firearm in a national park.”

Firearms not permitted to be carried in Canada's National Parks. This was the case in National Parks in the United States until 2009, when the Congress removed the ban on carrying firearms, which had been installed during the Progressive era.

Firearms and hunting are not permitted in national parks. If you are transporting a firearm through the park in your vehicle to another destination it must be unloaded and securely encased. Firearms include slingshots, bows, BB guns, crossbows and paintball guns.

Unlike the general population of Canada, park wardens in Canada are armed as of 2009.

The new weapons and role are the results of a complaint brought by a Banff park warden back in 2001 who was concerned with his/her safety and believed he/she was not properly equipped from a personal safety standpoint. After a lengthy process, Parks Canada was given a “direction” that “individuals who do law enforcement in National Parks must be equipped with a handgun for their personal safety, their personal protection. So that’s what set the requirement for us,” said Stewart.

Park Rangers have killed several bears in Jasper National Park. One was killed in 2016. From

Parks Canada was forced to kill a male black bear, May 21, after an aggressive encounter with a group of people near the Valley of the Five Lakes.

This is the first time Parks has had to kill a bear in Jasper National Park since 2014—when two bears were killed under similar circumstances.

Was it prudent for the hiker to carry a shotgun for protection?  The actions of the bear make it seem likely. Black bears usually retreat from people. Those which do not pose a much higher danger. Most black bear attacks are predatory, where they stalk individuals and attempt to see if they are suitable prey before they attack.

Canada has an abundance of black bears. They are not threatened. Their population has to be kept in balance each year by hunting, to reduce the surplus.

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

Gun Watch





WI: Madison, Masked Intruder Shot, Killed

A masked and possibly armed intruder was shot to death after breaking into a North Side residence early Friday, Madison police said.

The man broke into the home at 1714 Packers Ave. about 2:30 a.m. and was fatally shot by one of the people inside, Chief Shon Barnes said at a news conference later Friday morning at the scene.

More Here

AL: Man who attempted Self Defense, Shot, Killed.

Jamar Rogers was killed after he was shot on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at around 1:07 a.m. in the Hillsdale Community Center on 558 Felhorn Rd. East.

 According to the release Wednesday, officials believe Rogers “may have acted in self-defense during the incident.” The case will be presented to a grand jury.

More Here

Sunday, August 28, 2022

More Delay: Ninth Circuit Remands Young v. Hawaii back to District Court

On August 19, 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals summarily remanded the Young v. Hawaii case back to the District court for a re-hearing, after the Supreme Court granted cert, vacated the previous Ninth Circuit decision, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit for a re-hearing.

In 2011, George Young applied twice to obtain a permit to carry a firearm for self defense, outside his home in Hawaii, either openly or concealed. Both his applications were denied by the Chief of Police, Harry Kubojiri, who cited Hawaii law.

Young filed a lawsuit claiming his Constitutional right to keep and bear arms was violated.

Young lost at the District Court level. He appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

The three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit held for Young.

The Ninth Circuit agreed to hear the case en banc.

The en banc panel held against Young.

The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The court had not heard the case when they released the NYSR&PA v Bruen decision this year. Shortly after the Bruen decision, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to Young and three other cases, vacated all four, and remanded them back down to the appellate level to be re-heard at the various appellate courts.

In the case of Young, it was and is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At that point, it would have appeared Young had finally won his decade long court fight to be granted a permit to carry in order to exercise his Second Amendment rights.

As those who have observed this fight, and commented on it over the years, have noted, the Ninth Circuit is actively hostile to the exercise of Second Amendment rights. It is not an exaggeration to say the Ninth Circuit actively dislikes the concept of a right to keep and bear arms.

Instead of telling Hawaii to follow the standards put forth in Bruen, the Court remanded Young back to the District court, essentially telling George Young to start all over from ten years ago, albeit, with a new understanding from the Bruen decision.

A strong dissent, written by Judge O'Scannlain, and joined with Judges Callahan, Ikuta, and R. Nelson against the seven member majority of the eleven member en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, points out the needless delay created by this manuever. From the dissent, p. 12:

 Today we shy away from our obligations to answer the straightforward legal questions presented on appeal and to provide guidance to the lower courts in our Circuit. And in doing so, we waste judicial resources by sending the parties back to square one at the district court. The parties have waited a decade to resolve this litigation, and Young has waited over ten years to exercise his constitutional right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense. Because we opt not to decide this simple case, we force Young to wait even longer.

A cynical observer, such as this correspondent, might consider delay the point of the maneuver.  A delay is, essentially a partial win for those who have no desire to follow the Constitution or the rule of law.  Those in power in Hawaii are able to continue to violate the rights of its citizens for, at least, a few more months.


Who knows what might happen? The Democrats may be able to keep control of the House and the Senate in the mid-term elections, thereby putting the possibility of packing the Supreme Court back into play.

A Democrat packed Supreme Court would certainly reverse Bruen, Cateano, McDonald, and Heller. Then the Ninth Circuit would be able to return to its fable the Second Amendment was never about individual rights.

The United States might lose a hot war with China, as we appear to be losing the undeclared by obvious economic and information wars with China.  Most of our "ruling class" already appears to have been "captured" economically and ideologically by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Ninth Circuit might find the new government more closely aligned with the Ninth Circuit's views on the Constitution, if it is allowed to exist.

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

Gun Watch



GA: Armed Employee Shot at Attacker in Warehouse Shooting

“Nervous. Anxiety. We don’t know anything right now. We are just all over the place right now,” Dunn said at the scene.

Thursday night, Dunn’s sister, Angela, told CBS46 her nephew was eating lunch outside the warehouse when a man pulled up and fired shots towards employees. She says that’s when he pulled out a gun and fired back in self-defense.

More Here

FL: Postal Carrier Killed by pack of Dogs, Armed Neighbor Drove them Off

A Florida mail carrier who was hospitalized in critical condition after being mauled by a pack of dogs has died from her injuries.

Pamela Jane Rock, 61, who was a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, was attacked by five dogs after her truck broke down on a North Florida road on Sunday afternoon.

Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies found the woman on the ground when they arrived at the scene in Interlachen Lake Estates on Sunday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said in a Facebook post. They also found the dogs inside a fence at a nearby home.

A nearby resident told deputies they heard the woman screaming for help and saw five dogs attacking her. Several neighbors tried pulling the dogs off the woman and one shot a gun into the air to scare the dogs away, the report said.

More Here

TX: Armed Victim Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect

A robbery suspect was shot and killed in the early hours of Friday morning at an apartment complex in San Antonio after pulling a gun on the would-be victim, according to local media reports. 

A man was returning to his apartment around 3:30 a.m. when three males jumped out a car in the parking lot and tried to rob him, Fox affiliate KABB reports. The victim refused to hand anything over and pulled out his own gun, then shot one of the suspects in the neck, according to the local news outlet.

More Here

Saturday, August 27, 2022

IL: Chicago, Legally Armed person Wounds Armed Carjacker

A man with a concealed carry license shot and wounded an armed carjacker during an exchange of gunfire in North Austin on the West Side early Monday.

The man was in his car in the 5500 block of West Crystal Street when the carjacker fired at him around 1:25 a.m., Chicago police said.

The man returned fire and hit the carjacker in the chest, police said. He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in critical condition. His gun was recovered at the scene.

More Here

Friday, August 26, 2022

OR: Idaho Most Wanted Shot During Home Invasion in Oregon

ONTARIO — An intruder who was shot during a home invasion on Saturday is expected to survive, although he was transported to a local hospital for emergent care following the incident. If he is released from the hospital, Terry Lee Martz, 67, will be taken into custody by law enforcement.

However, it will be Idaho law enforcement, as Martz has active felony warrants out of Idaho. Idaho Department of Corrections had Martz listed on its most wanted list since October of 2020. He was listed as a fugitive with a parole violation for kidnapping/rape/sexual abuse of a minor. According to that information, he had absconded from parole and failed to register as a sex offender.

More Here

Thursday, August 25, 2022

NV: Teen Killed in Self Defense Shooting

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (KOLO) -A teenager is dead following a shooting early Sunday in Winnemucca. Police said it appears to be self-defense.

The Winnemucca Police Department did not immediately release the names of those involved.

Police said they responded Sunday at about 12:26 a.m. to the Maverik at 605 W. Haskell St. on reports of shots being fired.

They arrived to find a 16-year-old boy had been shot by a 19-year-old male. The 16-year-old was taken to Humboldt General Hospital where he died from his injuries.

More Here

TX: Armed Samaritan Wounds man who Shot Armed Guard

Toussel Kuhn, 48, allegedly shot the security guard multiple times around 10 p.m. before being wounded by a bystander and fleeing the scene. He was later arrested after crashing his car in Glenn Heights, which is just south of DeSoto.

Police responded to the Brickhouse Lounge where the shooting took place and found 47-year-old Derek Phillips, the security guard, suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

More Here

GA: Domestic Defense, Wife shoots Husband

LAGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – LaGrange police say a female was able to free herself after being physically assaulted by her husband and shot him in self defense.

On Friday, August 19, 2022, around 9:40 p.m. officers from the LaGrange Police Department responded to a call regarding a person being shot at 106 Loch Court

More Here

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

CA: Homeowner Shoots, Kills Man who tried to Stab Him

A homeowner shot and killed a man who allegedly tried to stab him outside his home in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles late Friday, police said.

Officers responded to the area of E. Avenue 28 around 9:40 p.m. on a report of “shots fired” during a home invasion.

More Here

NC: Followup, Amya Colling found not Guilty in Eight Day Murder Trial

The Buncombe County District Attorney's office says a woman has been acquitted of first-degree murder in a 2021 shooting incident.


Amya Collington claimed the shooting was in self-defense.

The eight-day trial is the second first-degree murder jury trial originating in public housing in Asheville over the past month, District Attorney Todd Williams said in a press release, adding that both defendants claimed self defense and both shootings were captured on camera.



More Here

Monday, August 22, 2022

Motion to Dismiss, as Unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, in the Autokeycard Case

The Supreme Court decision in Bruen sets an appropriate standard for evaluating laws which violate a fundamental, enumerated right protected by the Constitution in the Second Amendment. When there is a challenge to a federal or state rule, law, or regulation claiming such rule, law, or regulation violates the Second Amendment, the court is to evaluate the law based on historical tradition of firearms regulation. It is up to the State to prove the longstanding history and cultural acceptance of such laws, rule, and regulations. If the State cannot prove such history and acceptance, the laws, rules, or regulations as of the date of ratification in 1791, or possibly, the date of ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, are invalid under the Second Amendment.

One of the first legal challenges submitted to a court, relying on the Bruen decision, was from the defense representing CRS Firearms in what is commonly known as the Autokeycard case.


The new brief filed by Hoover’s legal team is a motion to dismiss the case and declare the National Firearms Act or NFA unconstitutional.

The brief relies on the recent Supreme Court decision in the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association v. Bruen. The main focus in Bruen was the right of an individual to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense, but in addition to confirming that right, SCOTUS also ruled that the two-step process that courts have been using in Second Amendment cases was also unconstitutional.

This correspondent initially considered the motion to be a "hail Mary" type long shot. After reading the motion, it is a well reasoned and crafted brief which gives the court several options to dismiss the case. From the motion to dismiss:

Defendant is charged under 18 U.S.C. 5861 and 5871, as well as conspiracy to commit those offenses. The charged statutes deal with the taxation and transfer of machineguns, and other weapons. The Government alleges the tchotchkes at issue  —the “auto key cards”—  to be machineguns.  What’s more, actions subsequent to the passage of the charged firearm statutes render it impossible to comply with the taxing provisions, thus leaving the statutes a bizarre, vestigial area of law passed pursuant to the taxing power which — in dubious constitutionality — is used by the Government as an independent effective prohibition on the sale, transfer, or possession of any controlled devices not registered by 1986.

The brief to dismiss hands the Court several theories to dismiss the charges against CRS Firearms. Each one is an incremental step toward dismantling the egregiously unconstitutional, and irrational body of regulatory law which has been erected on a fragile foundation of the federal authority to tax.

The motion shows the regulatory change declaring the autokeycard a machinegun is very recent. It was created by regulatory fiat. It is not supported by any cultural history.

[caption id="attachment_472635" align="alignnone" width="600"] Seized By the ATF, Owner Arrested For Selling A Drawing Seized By the ATF, Owner Arrested For Selling A Drawing[/caption]

The motion shows the 1986 ban on the collection of taxes from the purchase of machineguns made after 1986 was ahistorical and unprecedented. The motion shows the 1986 law made it impossible for people to conform with the requirements of the 1934 National Firearms Act.

The motion shows the 1934 NFA was of dubious constitutionality because it depends on the taxing authority, deliberately crafted to undermine Second Amendment protections.

If the court decides to dismiss the case, it could do so under several theories:

1. It could declare the regulatory decision to declare the Autokeycard a machine gun to be an invalid expansion of regulatory power, violating the First Amendment and the Second Amendment;

2. It could declare the 1986 ban on the purchase of machine guns, due to the inability of the ATF to collect taxes from the sale of machine guns under the National Firearms Act to be ahistorical and invalid under the Second Amendment.

3. It could declare the 1934 NFA, and subsequent acts to be ahistorical and invalid as an expansion of taxing power for the purpose of undercutting the Second Amendment.

4. It could declare the 1934 NFA, and subsequent acts to be ahistorical and invalid as violating the Second Amendment.


Courts have historically been unwilling to make large policy decisions (unless massively supported by the dominant media and political power).

The Courts usually take the lowest hanging fruit, requiring the least disruption of the law, on the theory a small bite is easier to swallow than a large bite.

In the Autokeycard case, the path of least resistance may be to cite the First and Second Amendments, and the recent West Virginia v EPA case, to say the ATF overstepped its regulatory limits when it declared the autokeycard to be a machinegun, without proper notice and procedure, and dismiss the case.

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

Gun Watch


WI: Intruder in Home, Attacked by Pit Bulls, Shot by Homeowner, Dies

"It all happened so fast — an adrenaline rush," she said.

The man, she said, was already being attacked by her two pit bulls, but she shot him multiple times because "he wouldn't stop coming."

A neighbor called her a "hero."

The mother said the intruder appeared to be in his late 30s and was acting erratically.

More Here

NC: Shooting of Kwaze Walker found to be Justified Self Defense

LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - A 19-year-old man was legally justified in using deadly force in a shooting in Leland last month, the District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Kwaze Walker was found dead inside a home on Night Harbor Drive on July 31.

More Here

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Book Review: Rules for Anti-Radicals, by F. Paul Valone, 352 pages, Baucus, USA Publications, 2022




There are few "How to" books for conservatives on how to be effective. Rules for Anti-Radicals: A Practical Handbook for Defeating Leftism (Rules) by F. Paul Valone is one for those who wish to win in the political arena. 

The book (Rules) uses Alinsky's Rules for Radicals as an example of a practical handbook for activists to obtain what they want.  Rules for Anti-Radicals shows activists how to use the system for activists who want to defeat Leftists, preserve our rights, and preserve the Republic.

The book is available on Amazon, but you can get an autographed copy by ordering direct at the link above. The book has 352 pages, softcover, from Baucus, USA Publications, 2022. The book is priced at $24.95. The hours and days of hard earned lessons, and avoiding mistakes, make it a bargain for those activists who are serious about reclaiming rights and conserving the Republic.

Fair disclosure: I have known Paul for many years. We met at a Gun Rights Policy Conference. We have corresponded.  

Paul knows what he is talking about. He has won his knowledge through hard study and effective political struggle as head of Grass Roots North Carolina for nearly three decades.  His tactics are part of how the Gun Culture has been winning battles in most of the states for those three decades.

Rules does not train people to be lobbyists. Lobbyists can be effective.
They are expensive.  This book is not about lobbying. It is about
effective political action through an organization for activists.

Rules has a tremendous amount of practical knowledge about how to bend legislators and legislatures to your will.  It can, and often has been, done, if you are willing to put in the work and develop an organization of people who take the Second Amendment seriously.  

It can work for any organization which can mobilize a group of passionate supporters.  It takes hard work. It takes guts. It takes courage and time and energy.  

Rules is not a theoretical, philosophical work. It is a "how to" manual to win the battles to preserve your rights, and the Republic.  It is nuts and bolts. Do this, then do that. Some will find the insights and actions distasteful.  Those who abandon the dirty business of politics will be ruled by those who were willing to do what was necessary.

There is no magic bullet. Doing the dirty work now, means not having to resort to violence later, when victory is uncertain.

If you want to know how to apply pressure with economic measures, read this book. 

If you want to know how the politics of legislatures work, how to influence them and to become a "player", who can make things happen, read this book.

If you want to know how to use non-legislative options, read this book.  

This correspondent has observed legislatures and legislators for several decades. F. Paul Valone accurately describes the system and how they work in practice, instead of theoretically. Tricks and chicanery are common. They are not new. Politicians have been using them as long as legislatures have existed.

Working the political system is far easier, and far less risky than allowing the system to default to violence and civil war.

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

Gun Watch

PA: Shooting of Iverson Gilyard Young found to be Self Defense.

A 16-year-old juvenile was arrested on Aug. 20, 2021 and charged in the deadly shooting. He was initially charged with Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Fire during Commission of a Felony.

 In May 2022, a motion to drop the charges against the juvenile was filed based on video evidence of the shooting. 


The document said in part:

“The Court finds that the evidence is uncontradicted that Mr. Young was the primary aggressor, committed an aggravated assault upon Mr. [Redacted], was in constant possession of a firearm during this crime and threatened Mr. [Redacted] that he should not attempt to run as they left the park to retrieve some allegedly stolen items. The evidence also supports a finding that Mr. [Redacted] reasonably believed that an ongoing forcible felony (kidnapping) was being committed against him and that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself.”

More Here

AL: Boyfriend uses Concealed Gun to stop Kidnap, Robbery, is Killed

Adam Simjee and his girlfriend, Mikayla Paulus, both students at the University of Central Florida, were driving along a road when they were "flagged down" by a woman, later identified as Yasmine Hider, who "asked the couple if they could give her some assistance to help get her car started," FOX 35 Orlando reports. 

When the couple attempted to assist Hider, she produced a gun and made the couple walk back into the woods for an attempted robbery, a Clay County Sheriff's office release says. 

At some point, after Hider walked them at gunpoint into the woods, Simjee produced a handgun that was concealed on his person. There was an exchange of gunfire, during which the suspect was shot multiple times. Simjee was struck by gunfire as well and died at the scene. Paulus was not injured in the gunfire exchange and was able to call for help, as well as tell investigators about a second suspect who was watching nearby during the incident.

More Here

Saturday, August 20, 2022

MI: Sixth Circuit Sends Gun Range Zoning Case Back for Consideration under Bruen Decision

 Link to Court Listener site for above.

On November 2, 2018, Oakland tactical filed a lawsuit against Howell Township, Michigan, for using zoning to prevent the ability to construct commercial ranges in the Township, particularly a thousand yard range on property which was a former quarry. Oakland Tactical has an option to purchase the property to construct such a range.

On July 11, 2019, an amended complaint was filed by Oakland Tactical. From the complaint by Oakland Tactical:

3.Howell Township has prohibited the siting, construction, and operation of shooting ranges in the town through its zoning regulations by failing to provide or allow any designated areas within the town wherein the siting, construction, or operation of a shooting range would be permissible.

4.Through its actions and inactions, Howell Township has infringed the rights of Oakland Tactical Supply, LLC (“Oakland”) to site, construct, and operate a shooting range within the borders of Howell Township, effectively banning all firearms ranges within the township, and the rights of the individual Plaintiffs to practice for lawful purposes with firearms.

Oakland tactical relied among others, on the Ezell case from Chicago, where the Seventh Circuit ruled Chicago could not ban commercial gun range in Chicago, or use a complicated regulatory scheme to do so.

On September 10, 2020, in the United States District Court, Eastern District, Southern Division, Judge Bernard A. Friedman dismissed the lawsuit, on the grounds the zoning ordinance did not infringe on the Plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights.  From the order to dismiss:

Defendant seeks dismissal of the complaint on a number of grounds, but the Court is persuaded that the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim because defendant violated none of plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights by denying the requested zoning amendment at issue.


None of the cases plaintiffs cite, and none of which the Court is aware, suggest thata municipality must permit a property owner (or a property lessee) to construct, and for interestedgun owners to use, an outdoor, open-air, 1,000-foot shooting range, such as plaintiffs propose. Norhave plaintiffs cited a single case that suggests Howell Township must change its zoning ordinance to permit the construction and use of such a facility as a matter of right anywhere within the AR district, which in this case comprises fully two-thirds of the township’s land. The claimed right simply is not encompassed by the Second Amendment.

 On March 10, 2021, the case was appealed to the Sixth Circuit.

The decision in Bruen, was published on June 22, 2022. 

The Sixth Circuit vacated the order to dismiss, and remanded the Oakland Tactical case back to the District Court on August 5, 2022, for consideration under the standards required by Bruen.  From the Sixth Circuit order:

We are unable to apply this standard based on the record and arguments currently before us.The district court should decide, in the first instance,whether Oakland Tactical’s proposed course of conduct is covered by the plain text of the Second Amendment.3 See, e.g., 2134–35 (concluding that the Second Amendment plainly covers a right to bear arms in public for self-defense). If the district court concludes that Oakland Tactical’s proposed course of conduct is covered by the plain text of the Second Amendment, it should then determine whether historical evidence—to be produced by the Township in the first instance—demonstrates that the Ordinance’s shooting-range regulations are consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. See, e.g., 2138 (concluding that “the historical record compiled by respondents does not demonstrate a tradition of broadly prohibiting the public carry of commonly used firearms for self-defense” or“limiting public carry only to those law-abiding citizens who demonstrate a special need for self-defense”).


For the foregoing reasons, we VACATE the district court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings and its order denying reconsideration and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

The District Court must first determine if the zoning case infringes on the exercise of Second Amendment rights. If the Court decides it does not violate the Second Amendment, the case will likely be appealed to the Sixth Circuit, again. 

If the District Court finds zoning, in this case, infringes on Second Amendment rights, the defendants are required to deliver proof a historical precedent for such regulation has been widely accepted in American history, with precedents near to either the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791 or ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.

Zoning cases are nearly all "means - ends" cases, where local governments restrict land use as a means to an end.  Zoning is a relatively recent development, created during the Progressive era, after 1900.

Bruen states "means - ends" cases are precluded by the Second Amendment. 

In Pennsylvania, a state appeals court ruled a zoning ban on discharging firearms on private property was an infringement on the Second Amendment, citing Ezell. 

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

Gun Watch


GA: Armed Samaritan Shoots Suspect who Stabbed, Killed Victim.

A witness followed and shot a suspect who police say stabbed a driver to death outside an Atlanta gas station.

Atlanta police told Channel 2 they responded to a stabbing and shooting call next to each other on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive around 6 a.m. Monday.

 When they arrived, they found a man in his 30s stabbed multiple times at the Texaco gas station. He later died at Grady Memorial Hospital. Police also found a man shot down the street near the Seven Court Apartments.

More Here

CO: Man Shoot Bear at Close Range in His Home

A Colorado man had a rude awaking early Saturday morning when a roughly 400-pound (181-kilogram) bear flipped the lever doorknob to his home and rummaged through some dog food, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Monday.

The homeowner, Ken Mauldin, grabbed a gun and shot the bear multiple times until it collapsed and died just after 2 a.m., said Rachel Gonzalez, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Nobody was injured, she said. Officers removed the animal from the house, located in the ski-resort town of Steamboat Springs. The couple had a legal right to shoot the bear if they felt threatened, Gonzalez said.

More Here

Friday, August 19, 2022

IL: Gunfight, Retired Officer and Suspect Wounded

A retired Chicago police officer was shot in Lawndale over the weekend when he pulled a gun and exchanged fire with a pair of robbers, one of whom may also have been wounded.

Just after 4 p.m. Sunday, the 59-year-old retired cop was sitting in his car in the 3800 block of West Grenshaw Street when another car pulled up, two people jumped out and announced a robbery, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told reporters Monday. One of them was armed with a handgun.

More Here

FL: Domestic Defense, Girlfriend Shoots, Kills Kaylon Shaw Disarm

BATON ROUGE - A man was found shot to death along Florida Boulevard Saturday night after a domestic incident, and the family of the shooter says a woman shot her boyfriend out of self-defense. 

The Baton Rouge Police Department said 24-year-old Kaylon Shaw's body was found in a grassy area along Florida Boulevard between Sharp Road and Sherwood Forest Boulevard shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Officers said Shaw was shot and killed in a domestic incident. Family members of Shaw's girlfriend, the alleged shooter, said the girlfriend shot and killed Shaw in self-defense.

More Here

PA: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoot Boyfriend

JESSUP, Pa. — A woman shot her boyfriend in Lackawanna County Thursday night, but he is the one facing criminal charges.

Police say the woman was acting in self-defense when she shot Eric Stepkovich at a home in Jessup.

More Here

Monday, August 15, 2022

NICS and Gun Sales Drop slightly in July of 2022


Gun sales and National Instant background Check System checks fell slightly in July, 2022.

The Supreme Court decision in NYSR&PA v Bruen case robustly protected Second Amendment rights. As expected, gun sales dropped slightly for July 2022.

The gun sales in July were about 1.19 million, about a five percent drop from the 1.25 million in July of 2021, and 2.7% lower than July of 2016, making 2022 the fourth highest July for gun sales on record.

NICS checks total were at 2.4 million, the third highest July on record. That is a 17% drop from NICS checks in 2021. Much of the drop is from the changes in Illinois law, which greatly reduced the number of background checks conducted for Firearm Owner IDentification cards, or FOID cards. The requirement to have FOID cards is being challenged in the courts.

The trend has not been reduced much, with 2022 likely to be the fourth or fifth highest year for total gun sales. About 8 million have been added to the private stock in the United States through the end of July, 2022.

Here are approximate gun sales in the last seven years' month of July:

2016: a record 1.22 million

2017: .91 million

2018: .85 million

2019: .85 million

2020: New record for July, 1.84 million

2021: 1.25 million

2022: 1.19 million

Those numbers indicate significant uncertainty and fear in the pivotal election years of 2016 and 2020. Once President Trump was elected in 2016, stability and a robust economy resulted in lower gun sales.

With the election of 2020, uncertainty and instability returned, along with Covid 19 hysteria. With President Biden in place, instability and uncertainty replaced stability and prosperity. Gun sales soared to record levels in 2020, and have remained at a new, higher normal in 2021 and 2022. Much of the demand comes with the creation of millions of new gun owners. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates about 13.8 million new gun owners were created in 2020 and 2021. It is likely millions more are being created in 2022.

At some point, supply will meet demand, and prices of guns will drop. It already is happening for some models. 

Supplies of the Kel-Tec P17 .22 pistol seem close to meeting demand, prices have dropped on Gun Broker to the $230 range, only 15% above suggested retail price.

The Taurus TX 22 pistol on Gun Broker is going for close to the suggested retail, while the Glock 44 .22 pistol price is now well below the suggested retail.

The new Sig Sauer P322 is still above suggested retail, but several models on Gun Broker are close to the suggested retail price.

Ammunition prices have dropped significantly. Ongoing inflation makes it difficult to know if nominal prices will ever return to those seen as recently as 2019.  There is a fair amount of .22 Long Rifle ammunition available at 6.5 cents per round, mostly Orbea, Federal, Aguila, and Blazer cartridges.  

9mm ammo is available on special at 28-33 cents per cartridge.

According to the method pioneered by Newton and Zimring and perfected by Gary Kleck  in 1991, there were about 458 million guns in private hands at the end of 2020.  Since then,  the United States has added about another 23 million, and is likely to add another six million by the end of 2022.

The total number of private firearms in the United states is expected to be 487 million by the end of 2022. It may reach 500 million by the end of 2023.

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

Gun Watch





KY: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots Man

After further investigation, officers determined Dulak was assaulting the woman in the hotel.

They said the woman took the gun from Dulak and shot him in self-defense. The woman and Dulak were in a relationship, according to police. 

Both Dulak and the victim were taken to UofL Hospital.

More Here

Sunday, August 14, 2022

OH: Paulding County Man Shot while Tresspassing, Assaulting

“Investigator’s believe Mr. Puckett was under the influence of illegal drugs,” said Sheriff Jason K. Landers. “The property owner and his friend were presented with a stranger acting erratically and the man eventually became violent by physically assaulting someone. I don’t want to see people being shot, but I wholeheartedly believe people have a right to protect themselves and their property, and in this case, it appears to be a justified self defense situation. My investigator’s will continue to process the evidence in this case and work with the Prosecutor to determine if any further criminal charges are warranted,” said Sheriff Landers.

More Here

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Texas, Silencers, ATF and the Supreme Court Bruen case

On July 15, 2022, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton amended the complaint filed in federal court against the Attorney General, Garland, in the Texas lawsuit against the ATF, challenging the constitutionality of the NFA and GCA 1968 to regulate privately made silencers/suppressors/gun mufflers made and kept in Texas. 

The amendment incorporates the Second Amendment decision by the Court in Bruen, which establishes a refined and clarified procedure for courts to use in Second Amendment cases.

The Texas case came into existence as part of the requirements of HB 957, which became law in Texas in 2021. From Ammoland:

In a previous article, the repeal of the Texas law and the anti-commandeering section were discussed. The likely federal test case was not.

HB 957 came from the brain of Representative Oliverson of Texas District 130, north of Houston. Dr. Oliverson is not a lawyer.  This correspondent was able to talk to Representative Oliverson about how he formed the idea for the law.

Dr. Oliverson came up with the idea to reform suppressor law in Texas because he had purchased two suppressors. He personally experienced the bureaucratic insanity it takes to legally obtain a silencer/suppressor/gun muffler in the United States.

Following the law, AG Paxton filed a lawsuit on February, 24, 2022. From AmmoLand:

The brief filed by AG Paxton is clear, the arguments are strong. The NFA restrictions on Silencers are attacked on the grounds of taxation of a Constitutional right (Second Amendment), inappropriate use of the commerce clause, and as a law that has no public safety justification.

The amendment filed on July 15, explains how the recent Bruen decision is applicable to and relevant in the lawsuit about federal regulation of silencers/suppressors/gun mufflers. Here are some of the arguments presented in the amendment. From the recent amendment to Paxton v. Richardson:

4. There is a historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons, id. at 2128, but firearm suppressors are neither dangerous nor unusual. They are in “common use,” and therefore the Second Amendment protects their possession and use.Id.

5. There is no historical tradition that can justify regulation of making firearm suppressors for non-commercial, personal use in Texas—including requirements that citizens ask permission before making a firearm suppressor, pay a $200 tax, place a serial number on the firearm suppressor, and register it.

 Some of the other arguments made:

Courts may not apply Means-Ends scrutiny to Second Amendment cases, only historical and textual arguments. The government has to prove its case; not the people claiming Second Amendment rights.   

114. Post-Bruen, courts may not “balance” the government’s “legitimate interests” against citizens’ rights, or use “tiers of scrutiny” or means-ends scrutiny when reviewing the constitutionality of statutes and regulations that regulate the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. “Instead, the government must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.” Bruen, 142 S. Ct. at 2127.

The government may not require advance permission to exercise a Constitutional Right.

Abuse of procedure, as mentioned in Bruen, with "lengthy wait times in processing ... applications" and "exorbitant fees", is not acceptable.

84. BATFE apparently believes that it can extend the application process indefinitely and ask for any “additional information” it wants. This includes additional information which could be used by BATFE to prosecute Form 1 applicants under the provision of the NFA declaring parts intended to be used to make a firearm suppressor are regulated as if they are already firearm suppressors.

The  government may not tax the exercise of a Constitutional Right. The 1943 case applied to the First Amendment.

113. The government cannot tax the exercise of constitutional rights. Murdock v. Com. of Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 113 (1943). Post-Heller, taxing the making of firearms in Texas for non-commercial, personal use in Texas is taxing the exercise of a constitutional right, and is prohibited.

The amendment closes with arguments contending the amended NFA of 1934, with regards to silencers is unconstitutional. 

127. The portions of the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, and the regulations made pursuant thereto, requiring Texans to apply for and receive permission to make firearm suppressors in Texas for non-commercial, personal use in Texas are unconstitutional.

128. Federal laws and regulations which require Texans to apply for and receive permission to make firearm suppressors for non-commercial, personal use in Texas regulate the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, which is protected by the Second Amendment. These laws and regulations do not have an historical analogue and are being put toward abusive ends. Accordingly, they are unconstitutional under Bruen. 

The response from the Biden administration uses long standing precedent in cases which expand the federal power via taxation.  It claims silencers, are not arms, and are not protected by the Second Amendment.  The arguments are, essentially these:

Federal tax are exempt from lawsuits. (anti-injunction act)

Precedents exist, before Heller and Bruen, which claim taxing powers used to register weapons are Constitutional...

Silencers are accessories, not "arms" protected by the Second Amendment. 

There is no precedent that taxes effecting the Second Amendment are unconstitutional. The precedent only applies to the First Amendment.

Texas has no standing, because the law affects individuals, not Texas as a State. 

The NFA is "longstanding", therefore is exempt from scrutiny under Bruen. 


It appears to this correspondent, the Biden administration arguments are based on cases settled before the Supreme Court handed down the Heller, McDonald, Caetano, and Bruen decisions.  Those precedents may be overturned by the Second Amendment cases.

Because a previous court declared the NFA as a legitimate taxing measure does not mean it is so under the recent decisions. 

This case may become a vehicle to show the Second Amendment is not inferior to the First Amendment. 

If the federal government can use the taxing authority to avoid Second Amendment scrutiny, the Second Amendment becomes a dead letter.


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

Gun Watch


TX: Domestic Defense: Woman Kills Boyfriend, claims Self Defense

HOUSTON (CW39) — A woman claimed self-defense against an abusive boyfriend when she shot and killed him in their apartment on Thursday evening, Harris County officials said.

The case was reviewed by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and will be referred to a grand jury for possible charges, officials said.

More Here

FL: Shooting at Apartment Complex was Self Defense

One person was shot and killed Thursday evening at an Escambia County apartment complex, and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office now says the shooting was self defense.

“Based on the investigation, we do not anticipate any arrests,” ECSO said in statement.

The man was shot about 6:20 p.m. at the Oakwood Terrace Apartments on Truman Avenue.

More Here

Friday, August 12, 2022

AK Bear Story of Old Groaner, The Myth Grows and Grows, Part IV

Image of Old Groaner's skull from the front. The bear's left eye arch is intact. 

Thanks to Hayley Chambers of the Ketchikan Museums for pictures of Old Groaner's skull.

In the first three segments of this series, the formation of the myth of Old Groaner was discussed.

In segment I, the original article, published in February of 1936, almost certainly written less than two months after Old Groaner was killed, is detailed. Old Groaner was killed in November of 1935. It takes time to put a paper magazine together and to print it, especially in 1936.

In segment II, the 1953 re-write and some of the major changes between the 1953 rewrite and the 1936 original article are discussed.

In segment III, the variations in the story from 1936 to 1953, to 1956, to 1986 and 1994 are covered.

In this last segment, the author speculates about the wounding of Old Groaner. The spread of the myth over time is documented.

Someone shot and wounded Old Groaner long before the Johnstones became aware of him. It appears the unknown person used a .33 caliber rifle, although there is no mention of how the bullets found in the skull were measured.  Shots placed in the area of the head to shatter the right eye arch and cheek bone often stun a grizzly bear, and they appear to be dead.  People are surprised when the bear revives.

Did Old Groaner hate men? Maybe. He feared men. The bear was very careful to avoid being seen by men, until the last event, where the dog Slasher was present.

Old Groaner was a dangerous bear. He was very large. He was suffering and in pain.  It makes for a bad temper. It seems unlikely he had hunted and killed men.

Men were seldom in his home domain near Cripple Creek. The gold fields and camps were over 15 miles upstream. The only people recorded as hearing Old Groaner were the Johnstone brothers, Jack and Bruce, and later their friend, George Lemmons.

Old Groaner's missing, rotten and broken teeth would have made it difficult for him to make quick kills on larger animals, including men. He probably survived because food, in the form of salmon, was so plentiful at Cripple Creek.

One man may have been killed by him. We will never know for certain.

As mentioned previously, LaVern Beier wrote of the event, in 2022, as he heard it from Bruce Johnstone before 1974.

In June of 1935, while Bruce was prospecting on the Unuk River, he killed a famous brown bear of the era, that had stalked him, known as Old Groaner aka the Moaning Marauder of Cripple Creek. Old Groaner had 17 bullet holes in his skull from encountering a prospector years earlier.

LaVern Beier mentioned this while he recounted the event where he had to defend himself from the first big bear who attacked him. He killed that bear in self defense, in 1974. He used a .338 magnum rifle. The .338 happens to use bullets which are the same caliber as the bullets which were found in Old Groaner's skull. The .338 magnum did not exist in 1935. The .338 magnum cartridge is much more powerful than the old .33 Winchester.

Unfortunately, LaVern misremembers both the month (June vs November) and the number of bullet holes. The skull of Old Groaner only shows 1 definite bullet hole, although there is evidence of at least two and possibly three more bullet strikes.  Only two old bullets were recovered from Old Groaner's skull.

The last bullet fired by Bruce Johnstone remained imbedded in the left cheek bone, after passing through the cranium and brain, for many years. It is not currently in the skull in the Tongass Museum.

Without the groaning and the association to the long disappeared Jess Sethington, the defensive shooting of Old Groaner is little different than the defensive shooting of the first big bear LaVern Beier had to kill, in 1974.

The Old Groaner and Moaning Maurader articles were published in the Alaska Sportsman in 1936 and 1953, respectively.

The book, "Blood on the Arctic Snow", published in 1956, is a collection of Alaska Sportsman stories.

In 1975 and later, re-writes of the "Old Groaner" mythology began to appear in other sources.

In 1975, a re-write of the 1953 Old Groaner re-write was published by Ozzie Hutchins,  as "Phantom of the Unuk Country", in the Islander Victoria B.C. Sunday.

In 1981, in the NRA Hunter magazine, a re-write titled "The Legend of Old Groaner" was published.

In 1983, Larry Kaniut devotes two pages to the Old Groaner myth, starting on page 89 of Alaska Bear Tales, based on the 1953 re-write. He starts it with: "Old Groaner was a man killer."

In 2001, Kaniut re-writes the entire 1953 re-write in "Bear Tales for the Ages", starting on page 192.

References to the myth are spread about the Internet. From Sporting Classics, there is a  rewrite of the1953 re-write:

What caused the deformity was three bullets from a .38-caliber revolver lodged in the gristle under the jaw and two .33-caliber (jacketed bullets) also in the right jaw. The five bullets proved to be Jess Sethington’s and confirmed the horror of his final moments as he desperately tried to save himself from the killer jaws of the massive grizzly.

There is a Youtube video re-make of the 1981 Hunter magazine re-write, The Legend of Old Groaner.

There is a podcast by Add Ventura, which is a re-make of the 1953 re-write. mentions an obviously misremembered version:

"He caried a British 454 webley and a Finnish made 375 H&H mag. 2 years later a another group of hunters saw a bear with his jaw broken and hanging down. he guide asked one of the hunters to put the bear out of its misery. When they approached the dead bear they found the remains of the missing guide. An autopsy was done on the guide and the bear and when they cut the bear open, they found 5 rounds from the webley all in the bears jaw and 3 rounds from the 375H&H mag in the bears body. They corener determined that the bear actually held the guide in a bear hug while the guide shot the bear straight up into the jaw."

At the, there is this misremembering:

 "Old Groaner" stalked and killed at least three people near 1950's Haines, Alaska before he was killed by a prospector he jumped. He had almost no teeth and nearly a dozen old gunshot wounds from 30-30 and 38's. Estimated 30 years old.

The myth of "Old Groaner" will never die. It is too widely spread, too much of a "it should be true, even if it is not", tale.

The original Old Groaner article, by F.W. Gabler was published in the Alaska Sportsman in the February, 1936 issue, Volume II, number 2, starting on page 16. It is a rare issue, and difficult to find.

The rewrite in the Alaska Sportsman in the March, 1956 issue, is much easier to find, as are the numerous re-writes of the 1953 re-write. It is difficult to fault subsequent writers for accepting the 1953 re-write as factual. It was presented as such.

The evidence for the event as a failure of a pistol to stop a bear attack is not credible. No evidence of the presence of a pistol was even mentioned until 30 years after the attack supposedly took place.

There is no certainty a man was attacked before the attack on the dog Slasher and Bruce Johnstone. We know for certain Old Groaner was shot, some years previously, and lived, because much of the damage from the bullets had healed.

The early reporting of the examination of Old Groaner's skull carefully mentions the .33 caliber rifle bullets. Given the added "spice" the story would have had if pistol bullets had been found, it is highly unlikely they would have been found, but not mentioned.

The 1953 re-write is the source of all future Old Groaner myths. Curiously, the "Moaning Maurader of Cripple Creek, the most famous of the stories written by Handlogger Jackson is never mentioned in his well done biography, "Handloggers".

Similarly, Bruce Johnstone, in his oral history, recorded by the Alaska Trapper's association, never mentions Old Groaner. Instead, Johnstone says he should be known for surviving the attack by three grizzly bears at once at the mouth of the Unuk river, 18 miles from where he shot Old Groaner.

Many things make the Old Groaner story noteworthy. The world record size of the bear, the groaning over three years before the bear is shot, the careful avoidance of being seen by men, while being heard.

The story is a great one. It doesn't need the addition of three .38 caliber pistol bullets under the jaw. The addition of those bullets, 30 years after an inferred attack, catapulted Old Groaner into mythological status for an indefinite period.


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

Gun Watch

KS: Maurice Hall, Not Guilty of Murder, Guilty of Possession of Firearm by Felon

An affidavit from the district attorney’s office explained that Hall’s bright yellow jumpsuit and a cup he had dropped at the scene led to his arrest in connection to the shooting.

During the trial, the defense raised self-defense in the case. Late Tuesday afternoon, jurors acquitted Hall of the first-degree murder charges but found him guilty of criminal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

More Here

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Kenosha County Supervisors Vote to Remove Ban on Guns in County Buildings

On July 5, 2022, the Kenosha County, Wisconsin, Board of Supervisors, voted 14 to 7, to remove the ban on the bearing of arms in most county-owned buildings. Kevin Matheson of the Kenosha County Eye reported on the vote. The Kenosha County Eye has graciously granted permission for this correspondent to use the images and text from the article in this article.

A famed Democrat politician once said, all politics are local. After the chaos of the riots in Kenosha in 2020, and the national attention brought about by the self defense trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Kenosha County Board has overwhelmingly voted in favor of armed self defense as a human right. From

In a bi-partisan vote just before midnight on Tuesday night, the Kenosha County Board voted 14 to 7 to allow concealed carry in most county-owned buildings. This includes taxpayers and employees. This measure was sponsored by Board Vice-Chair Erin Decker. Supervisor Yuhas proposed an amendment that passed -it directed employees who choose to carry at work to keep the firearm “on their person” and not in a desk drawer, purse, or an otherwise unattended location. Decker previously told KCE that she proposed the change because she feels that visitors to county buildings and county employees should not be denied the right to protect themselves. The “no guns allowed” signs went up in 2011 at the same time that the City of Kenosha government voted to allow guns in most City-owned buildings. Both City and County governments now have similar policies which Decker said will “eliminate confusion.”

The support for the Constitutional right to bear arms by the Kenosha County Board was affirmed with a second vote, minutes after the vote to remove the ban on arms in most County Buildings.

This was a resolution to declare Kenosha County a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. It proclaimed that the board would oppose any infringement of the constitution. This passed by a slightly larger majority, 16-6.

It will take some time for the employee's handbook to be re-written, and to take the no-guns signs down from the county buildings.

There were seven Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies at this meeting as the last meeting ended abruptly when Kenosha resident Joel Trudell was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Tonight’s meeting was peaceful and civil. Within six months, the County HR department will finalize the employees handbook and the “no guns allowed” signs will come down.

Kenosha is the third most populist county in Wisconsin, and growing fast. In 2016, President Trump won the county by 238 votes. In 2020, President Trump won the county again, with 2,700 votes, according to



Samantha Kirkman, who spent 12 years as a Republican in the Wisconsin legislature, won the election for Kenosha County executive with 51% of the vote on April 5, 2022. Seven new County Board Supervisors were elected, giving conservatives control over the Kenosha County Board for the first time in history. Gabe Nudo was then elected as County Board Chairman and Erin Decker as County Board Vice-chair. Erin Decker sponsored the measure to remove the ban on bearing arms in Kenosha County buildings.

Kevin Matheson of the Kenosha County Eye writes these elections are part of a "red wave" of conservatives being elected in 2022.

Elections have consequences. The restoration of the right to bear arms for all people in Kenosha County buildings (including employees) show how increasing majorities of the people demand their rights be preserved and respected.


Other authors have often noted how reality has a way of focusing the attention. When much of downtown Kenosha was destroyed in a wave of senseless violence, it has a way of focusing people's attention.

The newly elected Kenosha County Board is eliminating quite a few gun-free zones.

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

Gun Watch




OH: Amazon Driver Shoots Knife Wielding Man

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WXIX) - An Amazon delivery driver is not facing any charges after he shot a knife-wielding man on Sunday.

The driver was out on his route when the suspect, Christopher Roberts, walked up to him with a knife, according to Middletown police.

“Obviously, he [Amazon driver] was in fear,” explained Middletown Police Chief David Birk. “So, in defense of himself, he was able to discharge a firearm striking the individual in the leg area.”

The police report shows Roberts was suspected of being under the influence of drugs when he confronted the Amazon driver.


More Here

WA: "Road Rage" shooting appears to have been self Defense

During the altercation, police said one of the people involved grabbed a gun from the vehicle and fired it toward a man, who was identified as a 35-year-old Federal Way resident. Investigators said the man died later from his injuries.

 The initial investigation found that it was a self-defense shooting, police said.

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NV: Yeringtion Home Owner Shoots, Killes Home Intruder Suspect

A Yerington-area homeowner shot and killed an alleged home intruder Monday morning.

After receiving a call from the homeowner, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded around 11:45 a.m. to Giorgi Lane in Mason Valley, southeast of Yerington. 

Detectives are conducting a homicide investigation and the homeowner is cooperating. The deceased man's name is not being released until next of kin is contacted.

More Here

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Mural in U.S. Capitol Shows Wide Acceptance of Open Carry in 1862

In the recent Supreme Court decision of NYSR&PA v. Bruen, the court ruled the proper way to determine restraints on the exercise of Second Amendment rights was to review history and see if restraints on those rights had been widely accepted across the American polities, especially at the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791 and the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, as the Second Amendment has been applied to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.

The right to bear (carry) arms for protection of self and others has long been a part of American culture. The right to do so while traveling was especially elevated. Even an early colonial regulation in East New Jersey, which attempted to limit the right to bear arms, had exemptions for people who were traveling, before the regulation was eliminated. The regulation was only tolerated for a few years.  P. 6 of amicus curiae briefs on Bruen. 

In 1686, East New Jersey enacted a law providing that
no person “shall presume privately to wear any pocket pistol, skeines,
stilettoes, daggers or dirks, or other unusual or unlawful weapons,” 
and that “no planter shall ride or go armed with sword, pistol or
dagger” except certain officials and “strangers, travelling upon their
lawful occasions through this Province, behaving themselves peaceably.”3

The Supreme Court has declared the attitude about carrying arms, close to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, as especially important. A famous mural, painted in the United States Capitol in 1863, is relevant. 

The mural is "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, by Emanuel Leutze", and is located in the West grand staircase of the House wing. It is 30 feet wide and 20 feet tall.

The mural shows 32 individuals traveling toward the West.  There appear to be 27 adults, 19 of them men, and eight women. There are five children, including two infants.

At least 12 firearms are shown in the mural, including 10 long guns and two pistols. The woman under the word "Westward" in the top border has a long gun.  A long gun is prominent in the lower left corner of the mural, a revolver in the lower right corner. There are two boot knives evident, and two bows with arrows.

The study version in 1861 had half as many firearms, five or six, none in the lower corners or in the border. On the mountaintop, there is one or two long guns. It is uncertain. There do not appear to be any boot knives or bows and arrows.

The people who supervised the painting apparently asked for more firearms, as several were added compared to the study image. 

The mural was painted from 1861 to 1862. It was painted only 6 years before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.  It is closer in time to the Fourteenth Amendment than the Dred Scott decision mentioned in Bruen, from 1857. From the Bruen decision, p. 4:

A short prologue is in order. Even before the Civil War commenced in
1861, this Court indirectly affirmed the importance of the right to keep and bear arms in public. Writing for the Court in Dred Scott v.
Sandford, 19 How. 393 (1857), Chief Justice Taney offered what he
thought was a parade of horribles that would result from recognizing
that free blacks were citizens of the United States. If blacks were
citizens, Taney fretted, they would be entitled to the privileges and
immunities of citizens, including the right “to keep and carry arms
wherever they went.” Id., at 417 (emphasis added).

The mural depicts what Chief Justice Taney noted. American citizens could keep and bear arms wherever they went.

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

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IN: Indiana Homeowner Howard Murphy Shoots Second Home Invader

Indianapolis, IN – A armed robbery suspect was fatally shot by an Indiana homeowner during a midnight home invasion on July 29.

It was the second time in the past eight years that Howard Murphy has shot an intruder to defend himself inside his house, WRTV reported.

More Here

NM: Followup, Nathaniel Basset found Not Guilty in Self Defense Killing of William Buchanan

A jury acquitted Taos County resident Nathaniel Basset, 36, on murder charges Friday afternoon (Aug. 5) after a weeklong trial.

Basset was initially charged with the first-degree murder after he was accused of shooting and killing 43-year-old William Buchanan at a Carson Estates resident in August 2020. After three full days of witness testimony and arguments by the state and defense, the jury ultimately found Basset not guilty of second-degree murder or the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Basset testified Friday morning that he shot Buchanan, but claimed he did so only in self defense, or in defense of others who he thought would be harmed. After approximately two-and-a-half hours, the jury agreed.

More Here

Monday, August 08, 2022

"Old Groaner": Alaskan Bear Myth and Legend Part III, Changes over the Years

The original illustration by F.W Gabler was changed for the 1953 and 1986 re-writes of the article.

This is the part III in a series of four segments on the Old Groaner legend.

In segment I, the original article, published in the February 1936 issue of Alaska Sportsman is examined.

In segment II, the 1953 re-write and some of the major changes in the rewrite are examined.

We may never know why the many changes were made to the Old Groaner story when it was re-written by W.H. "Handlogger" Jackson and published in the March issue of the 1953 Alaskan Sportsman as "The Moaning Marauder of Cripple Creek".

In comparing accounts, the strong presumption is the closer to the original source, the more likely the accuracy of the account.  The differences between the original article and the 1953 rewrite are several and significant. An obvious one is the changing of the 1936 illustration, apparently to fit the concept of the 1953 rewrite. In the 1936 article, there were two bears. In the 1953 rewrite, there was only one. The bear shown above and in back of Old Groaner has been taken out of the illustration.

From the 1936 article:

Old Groaner, with another bear, led an attack on Bruce Johnstone when he was least expecting it.

While attacks by more than one bear are usually a sow accompanied by one or more cubs, more than one bear being present during an attack by an adult boar has happened.

Bruce Johnstone, the man who shot Old Groaner in November of 1935, had three bears, a sow, a boar and a yearling cub, attack him at the mouth of the Unuk in a well documented case about ten years later. Johnson thought surviving an attack by three bears was what he should be famous for.

The mouth of the Unuk is about 18 miles from Cripple Creek.

The area where Old Groaner was killed is a hot spot for bears. It was no surprise there might be more than one bear in the area.

In the 1936 article, Old groaner was not skinned because he was frozen, making it very difficult.

In the 1953 version, he was not skinned because the "hide was worthless" "no more hair than a hog".  The description was similar to that he gave a bear in an encounter Jackson had in 1946, as detailed in Jackson's biography on page 181.

The further in time from the event, the more suspect memories become.

In the 1956 book, "Blood on the Arctic Snow", the feature article is a re-write of the 1953 Alaska Sportsman "Moaning Marauder" article. There is a rare picture of Old Groaner before the head and paw were cut off, in the book.


Old Groaner from Blood on the Arctic Snow

The scarification of the right eye socket is visible; there seems to be plenty of fur. The dense vegetation matches the illustration by Gabler in 1936.

In "Blood on the Arctic Snow", the three pictures of the skull are shown. The caption differs significantly from the 1936 caption. Here is the 1956 book's caption for the picture of the skull:

Old Groaner's skull, shown here in front, right, and rear views, is on display in the Alaskan Sportsman museum in Ketchikan. Arrow 1, shows where the right side of the skull had been shot away. The eye socket is almost closed and the jaw hinge is separated. Arrow 2 indicates the shattered left eye arch, probably from a bullet fired in the same encounter. Arrow 3, point out the spot where Johnstone's fatal bullet entered the bear's brain cavity, and Arrow 5 shows were it lodged in the rear of the skull after passing through the brain. Arrow 4 indicates the worn and ulcerated teeth, evidence of Groaner's advanced age. Arrow 6 indicates where a bullet from a side shot had entered just above the right eye. Five bullets were lodged in the head, and presumably had been there for twelve years.

The caption is the same as in the 1953 rewrite and in the 1956 book. The skull pictures are the same in the book, but the illustration by Gabler is not included. In the book, a picture of a bear footprint in snow, an inside forest shot near the Unuk, and a landscape picture of the Unuk river country are included. In all three accounts the error in the captions of the skull pictures persists: the claim is the left eye arch is shattered. In all pictures of the skull, the left eye arch is intact.

In the 1936 article, written two months after the event, when memories and the physical evidence were fresh, it was deduced three shots were fired in the initial wounding of Old Groaner, years before Old Groaner was killed. Two old bullets were found imbedded in the head. Both were identified as .33 caliber jacketed rifle bullets.

The 1953 re-write (The Moaning Marauder of Cripple Creek), was written 17 years after the event where Old Groaner was killed, and 30 years after the disappearance of Jess Sethington. In the re-write, at least five shots were fired in the initial wounding, with five old bullets recovered from the bear's head, three of which were .38 caliber pistol bullets.

LaVern Beier is a well known bear expert who was a partner of Bruce Johnstone in his later years.  He partnered with Johnstone when Johnstone was 65 and he was 17, and for several years afterward.

LaVern Beier wrote of the Old Groaner event, as he remembered hearing it from Bruce Johnstone before 1974, then writing it down on facebook on Jaunuary 13, 2022:

In June of 1935, while Bruce was prospecting on the Unuk River, he killed a famous brown bear of the era, that had stalked him, known as Old Groaner aka the Moaning Marauder of Cripple Creek. Old Groaner had 17 bullet holes in his skull from encountering a prospector years earlier.

The number of bullets fired in the first wounding of Old Groaner grew from three to five to at least 9 (17 holes), in merely 38 years!

The article was reprinted again in 1986. In the 1986 Alaskan Sportsman issues, the 1953 reprint covers most of ten pages split between January and February issues. There are pictures and illustrations, but none of the Old Groaner skull, head, or paw. The picture of Old Groaner in the 1956 book is absent.

In the 1986 re-publication of the 1953 re-write, there are many minor edits. They seem of little consequence to this correspondent, who would have used the original rather than make minor stylistic changes.

Two things stand out. In the 1953 re-write, a grizzly bear, far from the domain of Old Groaner, causes extensive damage to the Johnstone's boat in 1933. In the 1953 rewrite, the grizzly is described as having done it in a "playful mood". In the 1986 re-print, the words "playful mood" have been removed.

In the 1953 re-write, the pistol Jack Johnstone used to finish off the attacking bear on Sulphide Creek is identified as a Luger.  In the 1986 re-publication, it is left unidentified.

In a 1994 interview of Bruce Johnstone, the dog Slasher, by grabbing Old Groaner's hind foot, allowed Bruce Johnstone time to inflict the deadly shots on Old Groaner.  In the 1994 interview, Johnstone says he used a .405 Winchester instead of a .38-72.

Without the revolver bullets, and the claim Jess Sethington owned a .38 revolver, the ties to Old Groaner and Jess Sethington become tenuous. It removes the presumption of where a person would have to be to place three revolver bullets under a bear's jaw.  The story becomes far less dramatic.

Could Jess Sethington have shot Old Groaner with his .33 Winchester, with the bear then coming to life unexpectedly, and killing him? It is possible. It is also possible some other person or Jess shot the bear and left the big grizzly for dead. Sethington could have disappeared any of many ways. As mentioned by both Gabler and Handlogger Jackson, there are many ways for a man to die on the Unuk river.

.33 Winchester rifles were not common, but they were not exceedingly rare. The writer of the 1953 re-write, W.H. "Handlogger" Jackson, owned a .33 Winchester, as noted in his biography.  The bullets found embedded in the skull were examined by the two Johnstone brothers and George Lemmons. There is no record the bullets were measured.

The story was a good one. As stories told around a campfire will, it grew and grew. In Part IV, the modern mythology of Old Groaner will be examined.

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

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