Saturday, October 21, 2017

TX: Gunfight, Home Invaders Imitate Police, Retreat under Fire

She knew something wasn't right because her house is in the county, which is covered by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The homeowner says that she grabbed her phone and a gun. Moments later, her back door was kicked in.

From the top of her staircase, the homeowner told us that she started firing shots. The gunmen fired back then took off, but not before shooting the front of the house too.

The homeowner is still pulling bullets out of the walls.
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WA: Armed 60-Year-Old Shoots, Kills Prowler who Attacked Him

The homeowner was awoken by the person, who was prowling in his fenced backyard in the 14500 block of Northeast 49th Circle, Vancouver police said, citing early information. Police said the homeowner then got a gun and confronted the prowler. They got in a "physical altercation," police said, and the homeowner shot the prowler one time.
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OK: Domestic Defense Husband Shoot Intruder (step-grandson)

The homeowners said they heard an unusual noise in the garage, and when they went to investigate, they found an air conditioner had been removed from the garage window.

One of the homeowners retrieved his .38-caliber revolver and shot the intruder after officials said intruder got between the male homeowner and his wife.
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Followup AL: Self Defense Shooters Privacy to be Respected

Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson said today his office will not reveal the identities of two people who were cleared of wrongdoing by a Morgan County grand jury after separate shooting incidents that claimed the lives of two people.

Anderson said it would not be fair to reveal their identities because neither person has been charged with a crime, and the grand jury found there was no cause to continue.
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Fake News: "Unsecured Guns" kill Kids

If people are sincerely interested in reducing the number of children that are killed with guns in the United States, it ill serves them to lie about the numbers. It creates distrust in everything that they say. It creates suspicion about their real motives.  In a story out of Flint, Michigan, the reporters claim that "the agencies" say that more than 7,000 children are killed every year in the United States "from" unsecured guns. From (WJRT):
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Flint Police Department are passing out 300 gun locks to keep children safe.

The agencies say more than 7,000 children are killed every year from unsecured guns in the United States.
That number is false. The total number of people under the are of 18, who were killed with firearms, unsecured or not, was 1458, about 20% of the claimed figure.  It is unknown how many of those were with "unsecured" firearms. The term "unsecured" is undefined in the story.

A quick check with WISQARS, the database maintained by the CDC, shows the real numbers for the last year available, 2015.

From the  Center for Disease Control (CDC) for 2015, the latest year available, 77 people under the age of 18 were killed in fatal firearm accidents that year. It is unknown how many of those firearms were unsecured. Clearly, many were secured, as many of those fatal accidents occurred at the hands of an adult.

566 people under the age of 18  killed themselves in a suicide with a firearm, according to the CDC. How many were in legal possession of the firearm when they committed suicide is unknown.

765 people under the age of 18 were killed in homicides committed with a firearm. Again, we do not know how many of those were committed with a firearm that was under the control of an adult, or of a person under the age of 18 who had legal control of the firearm.

The total for all the deaths of people under the age of 18 from someone using a firearm, according to the CDC, was 1458, so 50 deaths occurred where the intent was unknown.

1458 is a little more than one fifth of the the 7000 claimed in the article. But that is all deaths, whether the firearm was secured or not. We do not know in how many cases the firearm was secured, how many cases the person who used the firearm had legal access, or how many cases the person who used the firearm breached the security on the firearm in order to use it.

John Lott, in research designed to see if laws requiring firearms to be locked up reduced deaths where a firearm was used, found no effect on juvenile deaths. However, violent crime and property crime increased. From
Abstract: It is frequently assumed that safe-storage gun laws reduce accidental gun deaths and total suicides, while the possible impact on crime rates is ignored. We find no support that safe-storage laws reduce either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides. Instead, these storage requirements appear to impair people's ability to use guns defensively. Because accidental shooters also tend to be the ones most likely to violate the new law, safestorage laws increase violent and property crimes against law-abiding citizens with no observable offsetting benefit in terms of reduced accidents or suicides.
 The research does not show the effect of private efforts to handle firearms safely. Safe storage can be part of that effort. Private efforts to increase gun safety, overall, seem to have been effective. The rate of fatal firearm accidents in the United States has been reduced by 94% in the last 85 years.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Followup MI: Jury Finds Derrick Bailey Not Guilty of Murder, Guilty of Concealed Weapon

Could be sentenced up to five years on concealed weapon charge. Jurors are not told of potential sentences.  I briefly spoke to Stephanie Farkas, public defender in Berrien County. Jurors are directly instructed *not* to consider penalties.

ST. JOSEPH — A Berrien County jury believed the self-defense claim of a Coloma man who shot and killed his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend in May.

Jurors deliberated four hours before reaching a verdict Monday.

Derrick Bailey, 23, of Coloma, was acquitted of all murder charges, including first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter. However, he was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon, a pistol.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

CA: Armed Homeowner Shoots Intruder Breaking into House

Sanchez went to the location and began forcing open the front door as the residents slept. An adult male resident engaged in a confrontation with Sanchez at the door of the residence and called 9-1-1. As Sanchez gained entry to the house, the resident who had armed himself during the confrontation fired several shots, striking Sanchez.

Sanchez was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center in critical condition. The adult male homeowner suffered minor injuries during the confrontation and was treated at the scene by paramedics.

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VT: Armed Men intervene in Domestic Clever Attack

According to court records, two armed men intervened when Aita Gurung allegedly attacked his wife using a cleaver outside of the family's home in Burlington last week.

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Australian Gun Control Won't Work in the USA Part 1.

The extreme form of gun control pushed onto the Australian electorate after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 will not "work" in America. The reason is simple. It did not "work" in Australia.

There have been numerous studies about what happened after extreme restrictions on gun ownership were implemented in Australia in 1996.  The evidence is clear. There was no measurable benefit, and significant cost. The overall homicide rate was not reduced in a measurable way. The suicide rate went up, down, and up, but stayed level as other methods were substituted. This detailed article, with charts, is the best summation that I have found, even though the data only goes as far as 2009, before the latest rise in the overall suicide rate.

Proponents of a disarmed population claim otherwise. They use a form of lying with statistics to do so. They show that murders with guns and suicides with guns have fallen.  Those numbers are irrelevant. If you ban guns but the homicide rate does not change, or in the case of Australia, continues to drop to a rate that existed in a much less regulated 1950, you have not reduced the number of people murdered. If you ban guns and the same rate of people kill themselves, you have not reduced suicide.

Using "guns only" numbers is how you lie with statistics. Here is an example that illustrates the foolishness of that approach.

Millions of people die in hospitals every year. Hospitals can be banned, as they are large and easily found.

Ban hospitals, and we eliminate nearly all hospital deaths!

The death rate overall will rise, as people are prevented from obtaining first rate medical care, and are forced to go underground to black market hospitals. But the "hospital death" rate will have dropped!

That is the statistical trick proponents of disarmed populations use to "prove" that Australian gun control was a success.

The overall homicide rate in Australia has been dropping for decades, long before Port Arthur. Now it has dropped to the level that existed in Australia in the 1950's, much the same as has happened in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, with vastly different gun regulations. If you look at the early years, homicides with guns have risen as the overall rate dropped and dropped as the overall homicide rate rose.  At other times the two rates are parallel. The two are not well connected.

Another misleading number is used to claim "success" for the Australian gun control experiment. The claim is that Australia has not had another mass killing *with guns* since the 1996 port Arthur massacre. We are increasingly seeing that "fact" being used to justify the extreme Australian gun control scheme.

Understand that mass killing by gunfire is an extremely rare event, contrary to what is generally seen in the media. Much depends on the definition used. The type of event at Port Arthur, where a well financed person without a criminal record kills dozens of people, is extremely rare. The lack of such an event, in a population 1-14th the size of the United States is statistically insignificant. Legislation should not be based on one time events. Academics studying Australia and New Zealand see no statistical significance.

Australia has had mass killings since Port Arthur. The Childers Hostel Arsonist killed 15 on 23 June, 2000. The Churchill fire killed at least 10 in an arson attack in 2009. 11 people were killed by arson in the Quaker Hill event in 2011. 8 children were killed with a knife in the Cairns child killing event in 2014.  Mass killing in Australia has not stopped.

Proponent of disarming the population use changed definitions of public mass shootings to convince us there have been no more mass shootings in Australia since Port Arthur.  There are numerous definitions of mass shooting, public mass shooting, rampage shooting, and mass killing. Change the definition of what a "mass shooting" is and you are comparing pussycats to cantaloupes.  The current figure used by Australian academics is five people killed, not including the perpetrator.

Proponents of disarming the population used a different definition for "gun massacres" before Port Arthur.  It is the killing of four or more people at one time. From
“While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the NFA, resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years (and up to the present), there were no gun massacres.”
Former Prime Minister John Howard, one of the principle proponents of population disarmament, uses this trick. PM Howard benefited immensely from the Port Arthur tragedy. From
 "I don't believe we were on the cusp of going down the American path," Howard said. "But I do think the gun laws have had the practical value of reducing the mass slaughters. There were 13 before the new laws; and if you define such an event as five or more victims,  there have been none since.
Using the pre-1996 definition, the 2014 homicides by Geoff Hunt, who killed four family members, then himself, fits the "gun massacre" definition. That would discredit the "no mass shootings" since Port Arthur narrative.

If the facts do not fit your narrative, change the definition. Howard uses the general term "mass slaughters" while narrowing the definition to only guns. It is a way to lie with statistics.

Both the Australian definitions are much broader than the Congressional Research Service definition used in the United States in 2013. There, a public mass shooting is four or more unrelated people shot and killed in a public place.

Proponents of political agendas can easily change statistical outcomes by using different definitions for different times.

Crediting the lack of mass shootings in Australia to their extreme gun control polices suffers from correlation causation confusion.

If things happen at the same time, or in sequence, it does not mean that one caused the other. Both could be caused by a common factor. The correlation could be random. Flaws in data gathering, experimental design, or observer bias have to be ruled out.

In Australia a common factor can easily account for both the extreme Australian gun control laws and a reduction in Port Arthur type mass homicides. That factor is the media created copycat effect.

Before Port Arthur, the Australian media were already heavily pushing for extreme gun control. Part of this effort was in hyping mass killing with guns. One of the most explicit shows was done in October of 1995. From
A few months before the Port Arthur Massacre, a glamorous current affairs presenter showed Australia how easy it was to get the guns used in massacres.  She demonstrated every step, emphasising that she knew nothing about guns and had never held a licence. She filmed the guns lying on the street and cut in similar scenes from after massacres.  An activist showed her (and us) how to load and shoot the guns. She showed us how these guns ‘designed for killing people’ are easy to use, then blew apart a target like the head of a victim.

 Then a gun control activist offered a key to worldwide infamy: “We are going to have a massacre in Tasmania like those elsewhere!”  He sold the massacre in Tasmania as certainty, almost destiny.
A coroner ruled that a suicide, Allen Burrows, had followed the script from the show when he suicided.  There is considerable evidence that the mass killer at Port Arthur had watched the show and used it in his planning.
In October 1995 an episode of A Current Affair explicitly taught how to buy guns illegally in Tasmania, and to show how easy it was and how easy to use the guns and splattered a melon target like a victim’s head.

That show was A Current Affair, a collaboration with Rebecca Peters, Roland Browne and Greenpeace activist (name), the so-called ‘National Coalition for Gun Control’, recently become Gun Control Australia. (Hansen, Browne, & Peters, 1995) The presenter, an attractive role model dressed in a flannel shirt, demonstrated everything from locating advertisements to buying the guns, then how to use them - though she had never done so before. They splattered a melon to suggest bloody misuse of the guns
The program was essentially a how to commit a mass killing with firearms in the Australian state of Tasmania. There was a prediction that a mass killing with semiautomatic rifles would happen in Tasmania. A few months later, Port Arthur happened.

Academics have cited Port Arthur as a classic example of the copycat effect, where an unstable individual takes cues from the media to perform their crime.

The Port Arthur massacre was motivated by this media onslaught, especially the coverage of the Dunblane School massacre. Dunblane happened a month and a half before Port Arthur.  The mass murderer's lawyer and Paul Mullen, a forensic psychiatrist, heavily involved in Australian and New Zealand massacres, both confirm this motivation.

After the successful media push to pass the extreme controls, Australian media backed off from over the top coverage of mass killings. Leftist control of Australian media is more concentrated than in the United States. Their motivation has been considerably reduced by the passage of their gun control agenda.  The Australian media's script changed from "It will happen here" to "It cannot happen here". They may have been sobered by the moral implications of their role in motivating the mass killings.

Without a media push, motivations for copycat mass shootings are reduced enormously.  Lower motivations, lower numbers of mass shootings.

I recently spent three months in Australia. I was repeatedly told that semi-automatic rifles were easily available on the black market for $20,000 to $30,000.

It sounds like a lot. But to highly motivated individuals with access to hundreds of thousands of dollars, such as the mass killers in both the Port Arthur and the recent Las Vegas mass killings, such numbers are not much of an impediment.

Fortunately, the media in Australia has not hyped the mass killings by arson that happened in 2000, 2009, and 2011. Only a fraction of the coverage of Dunblane and Port Arthur were focused on those events. If the media had spent as much time dissecting the lives and making anti-heros out of those criminals, to push a political agenda, we would be having more of them.

I pray the Australian mass media will not hype the mass killer and his deed in Las Vegas.

Australia spent about $300 million in their massive gun confiscation/turn-in in 1996. They are spending about 29 million a year on the scheme since then. With other costs involved, a country of 24 million people has spent about a billion dollars on an intrusive and costly policing practice that gains them nothing is social utility. It has cost the government considerably in credibility and trust. Across much of Australia, there is a pervasive fear of outlandish penalties for minor violations of  bureaucratic gun controls.

Australia is a democracy. The worst, extreme edges of the gun controls foisted on the public after Port Arthur are being slowly rolled back.

As of November, in New South Wales, the police will be given the option of issuing a warning or a citation for a minor infraction of the draconian "safe storage" rules. Previously, immediate confiscation, loss of license, and hauling before a judge on charges was mandated.

There is no need to repeat Australia's policy mistakes in the United States. A common sense approach to reduce mass killings would be for the mass media to refrain from making anti-heros out of mass killers. It requires no attack on constitutionally guaranteed rights, only commonsense self restraint.

No mass killers are named in this article. That should be a media standard. The establishment media has standards in place that are not required by law. No media personality is allowed to use the "N" word. Rape victims are not named.

A good template is the "Don't Inspire Evil" Initiative that has been gaining adherents:
The “Don’t Inspire Evil” Initiative

Bloomfield Press, in cooperation with a growing list of nationally recognized institutions and individuals, joins in support of The Don’t Inspire Evil Initiative:

“Refrain from gratuitous or repetitious portrayal
of mass murderers’ names and images.”

Accuracy In Media, Don Irvine, President
Lori Klein, President, Western Journalism Center
Sheriff Richard Mack, Founder, Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Assn.
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Bloomfield Press, Alan Korwin, Publisher and CEO
Crime Prevention Research Center, John Lott, President
David Kopel, Columnist, The Washington Post
Second Amendment Foundation, Alan Gottlieb, President
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Rabbi Dovid Bendory

We join with Le Monde, La Croix, and CNN French TV affiliate BFMTV who will no longer publish photographs and names of terrorists “to avoid possible posthumous glorification effects.”

We stand with Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin who became world news by refusing to name the perp in an Oregon college incident given saturation “coverage” in national media.

We support the work of No Notoriety, a citizen effort to curtail glorification heaped upon the worst elements of society in perverse efforts to increase media revenue.

We join with former highly regarded FBI Director James Comey who refused to name the mass murderer in Orlando to avoid the “twisted notion” that “fame or glory” could come from carrying out the attack.

The well-established link between copycat crimes, and excessive exposure of criminal perpetrators by mass media, must finally be admitted and broken. We support adoption of the ethical guideline above to encourage responsible reporting, and discourage behavior by reporters, broadcasters and editors that tends to glorify, promote or encourage mass murderers, jihadis and related criminal activity. Every journalist who fails to take steps to limit the publicity support these heinous villains seek is tantamount to complicity in the crimes they commit against humanity.

“We must starve terrorists of the oxygen of publicity which they seek.”
--Margaret Thatcher
This means when mass killings are covered, we do not glorify the killers. It means we do not provide incentives for others to copy them. Would Port Arthur have happened if the Australia media hadn't been pushing a gun control agenda? Probably not. Would Las Vegas have happened if the establishment media had not hammered the public with coverage of Orlando and others? We cannot know for certain. The coverage of these events is so over the top the consequences take a long time to damp down.

Would future mass killings be prevented if American Media stop glorifying mass killers? Probably. Guns have been part of America forever. Copycat mass killings are a recent phenomena.

I do not expect change soon. The establishment media will have to be shamed into taking action. They do not shame easily.

More mass killings are likely to happen because the establishment media benefit from their happening.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Thursday, October 19, 2017

FL: Woman Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect

A woman called police about a stolen vehicle shortly after the shooting. She had reportedly shot at the suspects she says stole her vehicle.

One person was confirmed dead at arrival at the Mease Countryside Hospital and another person is being questioned at this time.

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IN: Resident Shoots, Kills, Robbery Suspect

One man is dead and another is claiming self-defense after an early Sunday shooting sparked by a suspected robbery.

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OK: Domestic Defense? Father-in-law Shot

GORE, Okla.— A Salina man was shot to death about 2:30 p.m. Saturday after forcing his way into the home of his daughter and son-in-law, according to Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane.

Lane said Bob Shanks, 61, of Salina, allegedly forced his way into the home of his daughter Mandy and Joseph Pack, who live at 99948 N. Highway 100, north of Gore, and was shot to death by Pack.
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OR: Armed Homeowner Shoots Intruder

Shortly after 6 a.m., officers responded to the 1300 block of S.W. Gilorr St. An unidentified resident called 911 to report that an intruder had attempted to break in to the residence and was shot by the homeowner.

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Court Issues Mandate to D.C.: Issue Gun Permits

The District of Columbia, also known as Washington, D.C., has officially become a "shall issue" jurisdiction. The outcome was certain when the government of the District decided not to appeal the decision in Wrenn v. D.C and Grace v. D.C. (the cases were combined) after the United States Court of Appeals refused to grant a review of the decision en banc. From
Q: Since you aren’t asking the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit decision, when does their ruling removing the District’s “good reason” requirement take effect?

A: It will take effect when the D.C. Circuit issues what the courts call a “mandate” that effectuates its decision. That should happen at some point in the next few days.
The mandate was issued without fanfare on October 6th, 2017. People have quietly been applying for permits. The District of Columbia has made some accommodations for people who were previously turned down under the "may issue" law.  At the Crime Prevention Research Center, founded by John Lott, the following map of D.C.'s "gun free" zones was produced. It is a "worst case" based on plausible interpretation of D.C.s muddy law.

Those "gun free" zones would make exercise of the Second Amendment in D.C. a virtual impossibility. Later, the CPRC published a map on a somewhat less pessimistic interpretation. It would still be virtually impossible to travel in the District, legally bearing arms, without violating the law.

The Washington Free Beacon investigated John Lott's interpretation of the law with the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The MPD replied that the ban on guns in most of the gun free zones was only a penalty enhancement, not a ban on people who had permits to carry.  From the
However, after further questions from other outlets including the Washington Times, MPD issued a statement disputing Lott's interpretation. Instead, they said, the provision only applies to those who are carrying illegally in those areas. It does not apply to those who are legally carrying with a valid permit.

"The provision of D.C. Code that you’re referencing about Gun Free Zones is a penalty enhancement—not a unique crime—for someone who is illegally carrying a firearm," Rachel Schaerr Reid, MPD public affairs specialist, told the Free Beacon. "That would not apply to someone with a valid license to carry. The areas of the city where a civilian with a license to carry cannot carry are listed in D.C. Code § 7—2509.07."

The Free Beacon reached out to the attorney general to confirm that they agree with the MPD's interpretation but has not yet received a reply.
The people who have gone through the multitudinous hoops to obtain a permit to exercise their Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia are still uncertain where they can bear arms and not be in legal jeopardy.

Eventually, the Attorney General may issue an opinion. Or not. District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine is openly hostile to exercise of the Second Amendment in D.C.

The Second Amendment Foundation is waiting in the wings, ready to file another lawsuit, if the D.C. government continues to make exercise of Second Amendment right in the District a practical impossibility.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LA: Homeowner Shoots, Kills Armed Suspect

Around 9 p.m., Clayton Bradford was shot in the 12000 block of West Brock Place after he brandished a firearm and charged at a 36-year-old homeowner, Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said. The shooting occurred in the homeowner's yard after a verbal altercation between the two men, Coppola said.

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AR:Husband Shoots Masked Man that Kidnaped Couple, Attempted Carjac

"The man was in the back seat of the car, my parents in front, when all of a sudden he starts screaming for his phone," Cox stated. During the commotion, Jerry Moore, reached for his gun.

"The man must have heard the safety click, because he lunged at my dad and started biting his arms as hard as he could," Cox exclaimed. "The man's hands were on my dad's, trying to get control of the gun. My dad was able to adjust his hands and shoot the man, then threw him out of the car."
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Followup TN: Antioch Church Shooter had Black Racist Motive

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement officials say a note found in the car of a man charged in a Tennessee church shooting referenced retaliation for a white supremacist’s massacre at a black church two years ago in Charleston, South Carolina.

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But unlike that church, which is mostly black, Burnett Chapel in the Nashville neighborhood of Antioch has a diverse congregation with people of various ethnicities, a detail noted in the report. And church members told investigators that Samson had attended services a year or two ago.
Samson came to the United States from Sudan as a child in 1996 and is a U.S. citizen. Police records say he had expressed suicidal thoughts in June and had a volatile relationship with a woman that twice involved police this year. He made bizarre Facebook posts in the hours before the shooting, including one that read: “Everything you’ve ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B.”
Metro Nashville Police say investigators recovered four guns after the shooting that were bought legally from in-state retailers: the 40-caliber handgun allegedly used in the shooting; a military-style AR-15 rifle found in a case in Samson’s vehicle; and a 9 mm handgun recovered from the church. Police say a relative gave the guns to Samson for safe keeping.

TN: Roommate Shot, Police investigating

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Police said a man who shot his roommate Sunday morning inside of their home in Donelson claimed he thought he was shooting an intruder.
According to officers, the man told investigators he believed someone was breaking into his home on Dellrose Drive around 6 a.m. and as the person entered the front door, he fired several shots.

More Here

Wi: Constitutional Carry Coming up for a Vote in Senate

The Wisconsin Constitutional Carry or permitless carry bill is likely to come up for a vote in the Wisconsin Senate this month, according to the NRA-ILA.
Critical legislation that will improve your ability to defend yourself may be voted on in the Wisconsin state Senate this month. Senate Bill 169 will allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where an individual is legally allowed to be. 
The bill moves the ball forward to make real what Wisconsin voted for in 1998, when they passed the Constitutional amendment noted above. Article I, Section 25.  I remember it well. The people advocating for the amendment believed it was bulletproof and extremely clear.

The amendment passed through an extremely difficult process. It had to pass the legislature. Then an election had to occur. Then another legislature had to pass the amendment again. Then, finally, the measure was put before the people. It passed with 74% of the vote.

Sources in Wisconsin have told me that the votes are there to pass this reform bill. It is not an enormous change in the law. Wisconsin already has permitless open carry. It brings a number of small changes that make rationalize various statutes to bring them in line with the state Constitution.

It will be a significant philosophical victory, however. It will show that when the people vote for something, even though the entire power of the elite establishment is arrayed against them, the will of the people can triumph.

When the last 12 or 13 states have instituted Constitutional Carry, crime rates have continued to drop. Those states show how the freedom to keep and carry weapons has no real downside. Those who demand an unarmed population detest that idea.

The bill, SB 169, contains a number of reasonable reforms, such as allowing non-residents to obtain a Wisconsin carry permit.  Here are a few others.

  • Eliminates prohibitions on carry in public buildings generally, but allows posting under the trespass law for certain sensitive government buildings such as police stations, prisons, and secure mental health facilities.
  • Eliminates prohibitions on carrying a gun or crossbow in a wildlife refuge
  • Eliminates prohibitions on carry on an all terrain vehicle
  • Eliminates prohibition on possession of a bow, crossbow, or firearm while shining a light on wildlife. (this has primarily been used against people viewing wildlife at night in car headlights. Hunting with lights is still prohibited.)
  • Eliminates the prohibition on the possession of electric weapons, such as Tasers.
  • Changes the state definition of "firearm" to be congruent with the federal definition that excludes muzzle loaders and antique and replica firearms.
The NRA-ILA is urging members to call their state senators in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin could become the 14th Constitutional Carry state in 2017. It will depend on how many Wisconsin citizens push their legislators to support this bill.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Open Carry at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas

This lady carried a S&W Shield in an inside the waistband holster.

At the Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Dallas, Texas, I noticed a significant amount of the open carry of sidearms. This would not have been legal as late as December of 2015. The open carry of a Bowie knife would have been illegal up until then end of August this year!

In addition to the licensed open carry of handguns, edged weapons with blades of more than 5.5 inches can now be legally carried in most places. One participant carried an iconic Bowie knife at the GRPC. He graciously allowed me to take a picture.

Knife Rights deserves much of the credit for reforming antique knife law restrictions in Texas. The knife laws lineage dates back to the "reconstruction" government in Texas, that wanted select groups disarmed after the War between the States, or Civil war. Full disclosure: I had a great grandfather fight in the Union Navy. He later homesteaded in Minnesota. The reconstruction government rewrote the Texas Constitution, effectively eliminating the right to wear arms.

Most Texans find it hard to believe it was illegal to carry a Bowie knife in most public places in Texas. Knife rights fixed that. Todd Rathner, Director of Legislative Affairs for Knife Rights deserves a lot of the credit for the passage of knife reform in Texas. The bill almost died after a knife attack at the University of Texas, Austin, close to when the bill was coming up for a vote.  Rathner displayed his impressive skills of persuasion to make the carry of formerly outlawed knives legal in 99% of Texas. Knife Rights will be back the next legislative session.

One participant chose to carry a Desert Eagle. I believe it was in .50 AE caliber. It makes an excellent "barbecue" gun, the term many Texans use for pistols they wear to barbecues or other semi-formal occasions. 

Open Carry Texas had a table at the conference. They have earned it with their activism to restore open carry of pistols in Texas.  Open Carry Texas organized thousands of open carry marches throughout the state. In the 18 months before the passage of open carry legislation in Texas, there were over 2,500 open carry marches. It is one of the biggest political movements in Texas since the 1960's. C.J. Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, was manning the table.

There were revolvers present. This Smith & Wesson hammerless model was in a pocket holster.  Both revolvers and semi-autos have their advantages.

As the movement to restore Second Amendment rights has swept across the United States, those who push for disarming the public try to portray people attending the NRA meeting, or other events where Second Amendment Activists gather, as hypocrites for not attending the events armed.

Those days are gone. 

There are now five states that ban open carry of handguns in most public places. They are California, New York, Illinois, South Carolina, and Florida. There are strong movements to restore open carry in Florida and South Carolina.

With open carry legal in 45 states, it is nearly impossible to rationally justify an open carry ban. Open carry does not increase crime. It does not increase accidents. It does not increase suicide.

It does what the opponents of an armed population cannot abide. It educates, clarifies, and creates activists.

Open carry was always strong, symbolic, political, speech,.  It is an act that was the seed that grew into an army of activists.   It is common for open carry marchers to be cheered by members of the public that see them as a force standing for the Constitution.

Their numbers have increased geometrically with YouTube videos and facebook pages. Activists move the political ball forward.

Now, when I am in Texas, I do not worry about finding a coat to cover my Glock, as I step outside to retrieve something from my car.

My open carry experiences in Texas have been positive.

Open carry in Florida and South Carolina is coming. Predicting when is beyond my capacity.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Followup CO: Clerk, who Defended Self, Fired

The night of the shooting was the first time Satterthwaite brought his pistol to work. After hearing of other robberies that happened that week at other Western Convenience Stores in Colorado Springs. One involving a clerk getting assaulted and taken to the hospital, the other involving an armed robbery where the suspect brought in a shotgun.

Two weeks later, Satterthwaite received a call from his manager saying he was fired for bringing a gun to work. Also, because of the shooting, the store says they are getting rid of the overnight shift and no longer needed him. He was shocked that he was fired for simply trying to defend himself.
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MT: Loose Dogs Shot

According to Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton, the neighbors have been in an ongoing dispute involving the dogs.

Sheriff Dutton said that deputies have been called out to the property before and that the dogs had allegedly killed chickens in the past.

Authorities say that when the neighbor found the dogs on his property on Friday morning, he shot them.

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CA: Gun Beats Rock at Park and Ride

Officer Dan Olivas said the shooter, whose identity was not released, was sitting in his sedan at a Park & Ride location north of the Pomona (60) Freeway when a man and woman approached, walking toward the driver’s side of his car.

“For reasons still under investigation, the male threw a large boulder through the driver’s side window toward the vehicle occupant,” Olivas said. “The man inside was armed with a handgun and fired several shots at the male, striking him.”
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AK: Armed man Stops Vehicle Theft, Wounds one Suspect

NORTH POLE, Alaska (KTUU) - An attempted vehicle theft went wrong on Saturday, leaving one of the two alleged thieves held at gunpoint until authorities arrived. The other man, identified as Connor M. O'Neill, 18, of Fairbanks, ran away from the area after he was shot in the leg.
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The Hidden Forces that Promote Conspiracy Thinking about Mass Killing

The explosion of conspiracy theories accompanying the mass killing in Las Vegas can be seen all over the Internet. The theories and their rationals range from the absurd, such as "a 64-year-old man could not have moved 10 bags up to his room alone" to somewhat sophisticated analysis of cell phone recordings that claim to find evidence of two shooters.

I have not seen any convincing evidence that requires a conspiracy to explain the mass murder.  I use Occam's razor to winnow out the theories. That is, when given two explanations, the preference should be given to the simpler, less complicated version.  For any incident, an imaginative mind can create an infinite variety of logically consistent explanations. But only one is true. It usually is the least complicated.

For example, I might walk out the door without my cell phone. The simple explanation is that the human mind is complicated and imperfect, and I forgot to put my cell phone in a pocket.

A complicated explanation would be that unknown government agents distracted me with fake bird sounds and a loud car outside of my door, just as I was about to pick up my phone. They knew the timing required by monitoring my movements though the camera in my computer. They needed me to leave the phone to access it so as to substitute a phone with sophisticated tracking devices embedded in it.

There have always been conspiracy theories. The human mind is designed to notice patterns and assign causal relationships. It works for us most of the time. But sometimes the mind creates causality where it does not exist, especially for unusual, complicated, important events that threaten our sense of safety.

The standard explanation is that conspiracy theories serve a psychological need to deny reality. From
University of Massachusetts professor Kirby Farrell is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and the author of a 2015 book about America’s fascination with rampage killings.

He prefers the term “conspiracy fantasies,” not theories.

Farrell said the need to invent — or to believe — elaborate and often unprovable explanations for attacks like the one in Las Vegas is rooted in fear and avoidance. It is an attempt to “sanitize or wish away the inexplicable violence that overtakes certain individuals,” he said.

“Conspiracy fantasies are a kind of sophisticated game people play to prop up or reinforce denial,” Farrell said.
There is more to it than that.

In the last 20 years, a number of technological advances and the resulting social changes have accelerated the tendency and motivation to create conspiracy theories.

First, we have found that real conspiracies have existed, and have been effective.

Hitler did create fake attacks against Germans to justify the invasion of Poland. The U.S. government used Mafia proxies to attempt the assassination of Fidel Castro. The Russian government used sophisticated devices to assassinate political opponents in the west. The common knowledge of real conspiracies is magnified by the prominence given to the concept in movies and TV shows. Consider "Enemy of the State" or "Conspiracy Theory" or "JFK" or, to go a little further back, "Mission Impossible".

Second, the public has often been lied to by the government, and some of those lies have been exposed. Lyndon Johnson become famous for lying about the Gulf of Tonkin episode.  Barak Obama lied about "you can keep your plan".  James Comey lied about any real intention to investigate Hillary. The Federal Government did sanction sales of AK clones to Mexican drug cartels.

Third, "Black" operations are known to exist. By nature, they are not widely publicized. I personally know two people that were involved in "Black Ops". "Black ops" existence has been widely touted.

Fourth, over the last 20 years, the establishment media has been repeatedly caught in lying, creating false narratives, and cover-ups that are blatantly partisan. The Paula Jones story was spiked by major media before it was outed by Matt Drudge. The misdeeds of Harvey Weinstein were covered up by his media pals for decades. Dan Rather was caught using fake documents in an attempt to throw the 2004 presidential election to the Democrats.  

All of the above have eroded trust in government pronouncements and media sources.

Fifth, there are real rewards for someone who can prove a real conspiracy. The people who proved the falsity of the Rathergate documents are still touted on the Internet for the heroes that they are. Codrea and Vanderboegh have been lauded for their work in exposing Fast and Furious.

Sixth, there are real rewards for putting out semi-plausible sounding conspiracy theories.  A site will gather millions of hits and much advertising revenue if it creates a plausible sounding theory that is difficult to disprove.

This all happens at the speed of wi-fi waves and electrons transmitted by wire. The access to massive data from thousands of cell phones and sensors gives citizen investigators enormous resources to pick and chose to create plausible scenarios. The lack of data is more grist for the mill, as conspiracy theorists claim the lack of data is significant. "Why haven't we seen this video?!" is trumpeted as evidence of a conspiracy when the video may not exist, or there are perfectly valid reasons why it has not been made public.

We will not see an end to conspiracy theories. We must live with them.

Objective truth should win in the end. Internet investigations have shown their worth.  I urge everyone to be careful about spreading unproven theories, and to investigate facts for themselves. Be skeptical, be careful, remember Occam's razor and other rules of logic. Don't accept a theory, just because you like it, or because it validates your politics. The truth will out, but it will take time.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Monday, October 16, 2017

NC: Gunfight, Store Clerk Wounded (video)

Authorities said a man wearing a mask entered the Smoke 4 Less shop on Avondale Drive at about 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 and fired a shot at an employee, who returned fire.

The employee sustained a gunshot wound to his arm, and the man fled without taking anything.
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IN: Homeowner with Rifle Confronts Suspect

An armed homeowner interrupted an apparent burglary attempt in a pole barn outside a home in northwest Indiana early Friday, and after a struggle, the suspect ran away, but was captured several hours later.

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TX: Homeowner Fires Shots, Burglary Suspect Arrested

A San Benito man was arrested this past Monday, after the Cameron County Sherriff’s office say he attempted to break into a home on the outskirts of San Benito. Authorities arrived on the scene after reports of shots fired. According to Sherriff Omar Lucio, the shots originated from the home owners.

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FL: Armed Homeowner Shoots Burglary Suspect

JACKSONVILLE — Authorities say a man found two burglars inside his Florida home and fatally shot at least one of them.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steve Rudlaff told The Florida Times-Union Wednesday that both the sheriff’s office and the resident received calls from a security company about an alarm triggered inside the home shortly after 11:30 a.m.
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Contrasting Painting of Obama and Trump, Symbolic, Poignant

I have seen the first of these pictures before. They  speak to supporters of the Constitutional Republic of the United States.

You can see videos about them at the links. Jon Mcnaughton is a powerful artist.

 Link to video from the Artist for You Are Not Forgotten

Link to video from the Artist for The Forgotten Man

He deserves our support.

Dean Weingarten

Sunday, October 15, 2017

MO: Woman with Gun Stops Assault by Felon with Knife

The suspect then made her drive him to a location in the county. When they stopped, she was able to reach her firearm and the man fled on foot while she drove herself to the hospital for treatment of the injury on her arm.

Police investigated and charged 61-year-old Floyd May of Moline with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery with a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated assault. He's being held in the Rock Island County Jail.
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MO: Man Shoots Pit Bull Attacking his Leashed Dog

"I was afraid he was going to kill Montana," Brashears said. "I shot him. I don't remember pulling the trigger, but the gun was touching the dog when it happened."

Brashears said he is unsure if he pulled the trigger or the gun went off when the pit bull jerked upward while still latched onto Montana's neck. After the shot, he said, the dog ran 10 or 12 feet and collapsed. A neighbor, on hearing the shot, came out with a handgun and pointed it at Brashears.

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Followup NH: Man Justified in Killing Loose, Aggressive, Dog

Boba's owner, Jennifer Poulin, who lives next door to the Mahles at 508 New Orchard Road, said the dog escaped her fenced in yard, but she told NH1 News in September that Boba had never hurt anyone.

Chief Wayne Preve said the incident falls under NH RSA 466:28, allowing a person to kill a dog that either assaults a person or is threatening domestic animals or livestock. In this case, Preve said Boba had posed a threat to the Mahles.
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Australian Gun Culture: End of the 2017 Amnesty 50,000 Guns

The Australian nationwide gun amnesty is over. It lasted three months, was nationwide, and received a lot of attention, domestic and international. I was there for almost the entire amnesty, from 1 July to September 26. The Amnesty ended on 30 September.

While I was there I talked to dozens of gun owners, employees and owners of gun shops, and police officers. There are some interesting things that are not being written about or are overlooked. Most articles are claiming that over 50,000 guns were turned in and will be destroyed. I believe the 50,000 number for guns turned in. I doubt that 50,000 firearms will be destroyed.

This amnesty was significantly different from the mandatory turn-in and compensated confiscation in 1996. During this amnesty, legal guns could be turned-in and registered. Guns could be turned in to gun shops. If the gun shop wanted to sell the gun, they could put it on their books and sell it as a registered gun. I talked to people at two guns shops several times during the amnesty. I was able to obtain a list of guns turned in.

About 25% of the guns turned in were air guns, from observed numbers at the shops I visited. Airguns have the same legal requirements to be registered in Australia as a double barreled shotgun. Before 1996, air guns were essentially unregulated. One rural Australian told me "every boy had an air gun". It explains the plentiful supply of old, rusted air guns. I only saw the guns turned in in New South Wales; but that is where half of the guns turned in came from. It made sense to turn in broken or unusable air guns when the amnesty allowed it to be done legally.

Many air guns only cost $50 new. To pay the $30 registration fee and go through the trouble and legal risk attendant with firearms ownership is not worthwhile for old, rusty air guns. Turning them in outside of the amnesty was legally risky.

Second, many of the guns turned in were then registered and placed in the legal channels of commerce. I saw this happen a number of times. It is difficult to know what percentage of guns that were turned in were registered. It makes little sense for a gun shop to give a gun to the police to be destroyed if they can sell it for a couple of hundred dollars. Gun shops had the legal discretion to either keep a gun for sale or turn it in to police, if it was turned in to them during the amnesty.

I did not see many used guns for sale in Australia. A gun shop owner told me that used guns are immediately sold. It was indicated that there was a waiting list for them. The ones I saw were in back rooms, not on the display floor. I am not implying anything illegal there; only that they never made it to the display floor before someone legally purchased them, because of high demand.

Due to a peculiarity in Australian gun law, gun parts may be considered as guns. If I were a police administrator attempting to please the Prime Minister, I would want to put forward as high a count as possible. The guns are going to be destroyed, so there seems little official incentive to make a distinction. From what I saw, gun parts might count for as much as 5% of the guns turned in.

Here is the official statement from Prime Minister Turnbull. From
Australia's 3 month National Firearms Amnesty has led to more than 50,000 firearms being handed in across Australia.

This is an overwhelming response and represents a significant reduction in the number of unregistered firearms in the Australian community.

Australia has some of the strongest gun laws in the world but illicit firearms remain a threat to community safety.

As a result of this successful amnesty, there are now 50,000 fewer firearms on the streets.

While the amnesty has now finished, the Justice Minister Michael Keenan is encouraging people who still have an unregistered firearm, or who come into possession of an unregistered firearm, to contact their local police station or firearm registry.
The official, final numbers are given.

JurisdictionFirearms receivedJurisdictionFirearms received
New South Wales24,965South Australia2,648
Queensland16,000Australian Capital Territory709
Victoria3,654Western Australia1,242
Tasmania1,924Northern Territory322

Notice that those numbers are listed as received, not destroyed.

The Australian published these numbers a few days before the final tally was released:
  • Tasmania: 1,924
  • Western Australia: 1,242
  • Northern Territory: approx. 320
  • New South Wales: 14,466 (as of 7 Sept)
  • Queensland: 7,000 (as of 25 Aug)
  • Victoria – 2,150 (as of 25 Aug)
  • South Australia – 1,338 (as of 25 Aug)
  • ACT – 264 (as of 25 Aug)
How many of the guns received are actual firearms that will be destroyed? It is very difficult to say.  I may be able to dig up numbers in a few months. I have sources in Australia that I did not have before. I suspect the number will be closer to 30,000 than to 50,000.

The low end of unregistered firearms in Australia is estimated at 260,000. A common high end is estimated at 600,000

The guns turned in are dwarfed by the number of legal guns imported. The import numbers have risen to nearly 100,000 a year. Most of those are rifles and shotguns, but there are a significant number of handguns. The chart is from official Australian sources.

Most crime with guns is committed with illegal handguns or homemade submachine guns, virtually all of them illegally possessed. About one out of eight handguns confiscated in Australia has been illegally made at home or in a small shop in Australia.

The extremely restrictive Australian gun laws cost Australians more than 29 million dollars a year. The entire cost has been upwards of a billion dollars.  Little to nothing can be shown for this expense and loss of liberty.

Proponents of the extreme laws resort to statistical tricks, such as only looking at homicides or suicides with guns, instead of total suicide or homicide rates. The very crux of the debate is about the likelihood of substitute methods being used.

In the study of mass killings before and after, no one is considering the role of the Australian media, which is acknowledged as one of the prime motivators for the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996.

It is not surprising there has not been another Port Arthur in Australia. The Australian media has switched from virtual promotion of a mass killing with a semi-automatic gun, to explaining that it cannot happen in Australia any more.

There has been one mass killing with a firearm since Port Arthur, as acknowledged in this study by the Australian government.  Former P.M. Howard simply ignores it, and claims there have been none.

The Australian gun law fiasco seems to be one where activists found a virtually non-existent problem, created a crisis with media hype, passed burdensome laws, then attempt to justify them with statistical trickery.

We saw the same thing in the United States in the 1950's with switchblade knives.

I astute observers will come up with numerous examples of other excesses of the regulatory state.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Indiana Lawmaker Turns Tables on Professional Journalists

An Indiana Representative is forcing the establishment media to look in the mirror and face their hypocrisy. He is proposing the First Amendment in Indiana be treated the same as the Second Amendment. His proposal is that journalists be required to apply for a license before they are allowed to publish. If they have felony convictions, they might not be allowed to publish. From
Lucas, from Seymour, has been critical of the media’s coverage of his efforts to repeal a state law that requires a permit to carry a handgun.

He has stated reporters, columnists and editorial boards mischaracterize his idea, which is sometimes referred to as “constitutional carry.”

“If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail,” Lucas said.

The proposal would require professional journalists to submit an application with Indiana State Police. They would be fingerprinted and would have to pay $75 for a lifetime license.
Lenin, the famous Communist, was reported to have made a similar point, as recorded in Lord Riddell's Diary of the Peace Conference, published in 1934. The entry was written in 1920
  “Why should a Government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticised? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. And as to the freedom of the Press, why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the Government?”
Lenin's point that ideas are far more dangerous than guns is a good one. Lucas is highlighting journalists' hypocrisy. They use the freedom of the First Amendment to attack the Second Amendment. They insist on First Amendment protections while promoting the denial of Second Amendment protections.

Jim Lucas has a leadership position in the Indiana House of Representatives. He is the Assistant Majority Whip.  From
Prior to being elected to the General Assembly, Rep. Lucas served on the Seymour City Council. He also owns a local small business, The Awning Guy, Inc.
Rep. Lucas is active in the community. He is a memberof Immanuel Lutheran Church, the American Legion, the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America National Association for Gun Rights, Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association and the NFIB.

As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a small business owner, Rep. Lucas brings valuable experience to policy discussions. His biggest priorities at the Statehouse are jobs, fiscal integrity, education and protecting the right to bear arms.
Representatives in Indiana are not separated from the people by much. A district in Indiana has a population of about 65 thousand people. A representatives salary, alone, would put them near the poverty level. They have to be able to support themselves.

Lucas is a citizen politician. He knows he will have to live under the rules he crafts. He is part of the Republican revolution in the states, a grass roots revolution that is pushing out the "progressive" Republicans who have more loyalty to the establishment elite than to the people they represent. It is difficult to say if this Marine could keep his integrity after 20 years in public office. Many have not.

At the moment, this former Army officer gives a "Well done Marine!" to Representative Jim Lucas.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Saturday, October 14, 2017

PA: Store Owner Shoots Man who Threatened Wife, Kids

A West Philadelphia corner store owner opened fire on a customer he claims threatened to kill his wife and kids, investigators said.

Officers responded to H & K Deli at Dewey and Market streets Wednesday night to find a 22-year-old male shot in the right leg.
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Followup NV: Clerk takes Plea Deal in Teen Shooting

Metro Police said Sunna shot and killed Fabriccio Patti on Dec. 2, 2016, after he allegedly attempted to steal merchandise from the Lucky's Cigar & Smokes on Flamingo Road near Durango Drive.

An arrest report said, on the night of the shooting, Sunna called the police and waited outside for them to arrive. He told police one of the teens ran towards him, and he drew his firearm and began shooting, the report said.

Metro said Sunna told them he believed he was about to be robbed or killed and was in fear for his life. However, Patti's autopsy showed the teen was shot seven times from back to front.
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Followup FL: Donald Hodges Justified in Shooting of Danny King

Hodges waived his Miranda rights and confessed to shooting King.

The State Attorney’s Office concluded Hodges was justified in killing King because King, who was 85 pounds heavier and 3 inches taller than Hodges, created a “well-founded fear in Hodges that deadly force was necessary to prevent his imminent death or great bodily harm” by attacking him on his property. Methamphetamine was located in his blood and urine.
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TX: 1 of 4 Assailants Shot, Victim Wounded

SPRING, Texas - A suspected robber is dead after a tenant shot him in the head and he was run over by an accomplice at an apartment complex in Spring on Tuesday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
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Trump Era NICS Checks Close to Record in September

The Trump era of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been showing robust numbers for nine months now. Two of the nine months are all time records.  The overall numbers for the year are on track to be the second highest year in the history of NICS.

NICS checks for September, 2017 have been 1,967,104, almost identical to the record number in 2016, of 1,992,219.  That is just short of 99% of the record. The total for the year to date is 18,235,898, more than the entire year of 2011. It is 92% of the 2017 NICS at the end of September.

If the 92% figure holds for the entire year, we will have over 25 million checks for 2017. That would be the second highest NICS check year on record.

That is not bad for an industry that was supposed to crash during a Trump presidency.

It is likely, with the mass killing in Las Vegas, that NICS will break records for October. I have had people call me about where to get "bump stocks" and what AR-15 clones are best to purchase. There are numerous manufacturers of America's most popular type of rifle, and prices have dropped this year.

When there is a mass killing with guns, the media, in blatant disregard for the harm they are doing, turns enormous attention on the event in order to push for strict gun laws. They do not do this for other mass killing events.

The attention they pay to these events acts as a magnet to attract copycats who want the fame that comes with mass killing with guns. It is a well documented effect.

The push for strict gun legislation, in turn, provides incentive for people who were considering purchasing a firearm, but were ambivalent. All through the Obama Presidency, gun sales broke records. They skyrocketed when he started to push for nationwide restrictions on gun sales.

With President Trump in office, the response was expected to lessen. On the other hand, the over the top rhetoric on the left could increase the incentives to purchase guns. When President Trump is demonized, people worry about political uncertainty. An improving economy under President Trump should be positive for gun sales. Increasing economic activity, a lowering of unemployment, and increasing wages all work to increase gun purchases.

An increase in gun ownership appears to have raised the baseline for gun purchases. A NBC/Wall Street Journal Survey puts household gun ownership at 48%. The Crime Prevention Research Center shows some of the difficulties with knowing the number for certain, and other indicators that the number is increasing.

Not all NICS checks translate into new gun purchases, and an increase in the private stock of guns in the United States.  Many are for the numerous weapon carry permits, now over 16 million, and their renewals.  Many are used for other purposes.

Historically, one NICS check equates to about .6 firearms added to the private stock in the United States.

If that trend hold, 15 million firearms will have been added to the total private stock in 2017.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Pass Good Gun Laws and Prevent Bad ones: Slow Down

How does the United States pass good gun laws and prevent bad ones?

President Trump had the best response.  From
"We'll talk about that later," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about gun reform Tuesday morning.
A nation has to have good laws if it is to survive and thrive. Since nations came into existence, it has become obvious that a ruling authority, or government, is necessary for people to survive and thrive. Without a ruling authority, force becomes the only law. The strongest, the best with weapons, survive as long as they can fight, defend, or subjugate others. Mankind has painfully learned a central authority is necessary to reduce internal violence and to defend against external threats.

But, the government itself becomes a means to prey upon people, both internally and externally. The central dilemma of good government is to find a way to optimize the level of government power. Enough for internal peace (domestic tranquility) and to prevent invasion (provide for the common defense), but not so much as to become oppressive (secure the blessings of liberty) while promoting the general welfare.

The genius of the United States was in recognizing the dilemma and designing a system to accomplish those objectives.  Most governments in the world do not acknowledge the problem.

Democracy was an early approach to prevent government from becoming tyrannical. But democracies have severe disadvantages. One of these is that they are subject to emotional crises. Groups of people are subject to making, or of being convinced, in the heat of the moment, of doing things they never would do if they took the time to coolly consider the problem, or legislation to solve it.

To prevent that problem in the United States, the government was specifically designed to prevent legislation from passing quickly, in the heat of the moment.  Passing laws in the heat of the moment is bad policy, and almost always results in bad law. James Madison wrote about democracies in Federalist #10.
A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
Madison explained in Federalist #62, that the Senate was designed, in part to prevent the quick and intemperate passage of laws.

Good gun law, as with good law in general, should never be passed quickly, in the heat of the moment. When reason and facts are carefully considered, most gun laws fail. It is why most bills fail to become law. It is why most bad gun laws are passed in response to specific, isolated, incidents. Bad gun laws pass when politicians use an emotional crises as cover to pass bad legislation.

Most people understand the consequences of impulsive action. To prevent bad gun law, appeal to people to slow down the process until emotions have cooled. Explain to them that they are being played by power brokers who use crises to pass laws long ago formulated in anticipation of a crisis.

"Progressives" want no limits on government power. The history of the movement is rife with examples of "progressives" who rail against Constitutional constraints as being "outdated" and preventing "progress".  "Progressives" disdain the ordinary man and call for a rule by the elite, which they conveniently identify as themselves.

There are good gun laws that should be passed. Several have been introduced in the Congress this session. Two stand out: a national reciprocity law, which would defend the exercise of Second Amendment rights across the United States, and a reform of the antiquated and unreasonable restrictions on the sale of gun silencers or gun mufflers. Logic, reason, and facts support both of those laws. There is considerable support for both laws in the legislature and among the population. Most opposition comes from the establishment media.

These laws will be passed by steady pressure brought over time. The approach has been used in most states to reform gun laws into a closer alignment with the Second Amendment.

Progressives found a way to bypass many of the checks and balance protections of the Constitution. They took over the mass media. How it happened is detailed nicely in Partisan Journalism, by Jim A. Kuypers.

The media became a way for leftists (progressives) to bypass the protections of the Constitution with emotional crises. Rahm Emanual quoted the radical Saul Alynsky when he said "Never let a crisis go to waste." Proponents of good government need to fight that effect. Government by crises only "works" on the assumption that elites cynically use crises for the improvement of everyone.

History has shown the assumption to be false.

Slow down the process. Call for reasoned discourse. Decry emotional responses.

Passing laws during a time of crises is bad political theory. It makes for bad law.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup MA: Man who Shot Dog Charged

LAKEVILLE — A man who claims he shot and killed his neighbors’ golden retriever as an act of self defense is now facing criminal charges.

On Thursday afternoon, Lakeville police announced that Mark J. Vasseur, 61, of 9 Susan Lane, is facing a charge of malicious killing of a domesticated animal.

More Here

Friday, October 13, 2017

MI: Permit Holder Shoots Suspect

DETROIT (WJBK) - An attempted robbery in Detroit didn't go as planned for the suspect, when the intended victim pulled out a gun and started shooting in defense.

A Concealed Pistol License holder acted quickly, pulled his gun and shot the armed suspect to end the threat.
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MI: Member of Aggressive Group Attempt Break-in, Gets Shot

Early investigation shows an argument got out of hand when a group of guys showed up to another person’s house.

When one of them tried to get in, police say the homeowner felt threatened, and fired a gun.

It happened on Galbraith Road in Benton Township near the city of Cheboygan Sunday night.

Police say the group of people and the shooting victim flew down the road in several cars after police were called and the shot was fired.
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MO: Neighbor Shoots Uncontrolled Dog

Ruger died a short time later. Police said a neighbor was in his driveway when Ruger approached him in an “aggressive manner, growling and barking. The resident, who felt threatened and feared the dog was going to attack him, shot the dog.”
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KS: Armed Man Shoots Aggressive Pit Bull

Dennis Cunningham said he shot Oreo because he was afraid for his life after the dog charged him while he was checking his mail.

"He was growling and jumping at me,and he had me intimidated, and I pulled the gun and shot him," said Cunningham.

Adams said the two gun shots woke him, and Oreo came running into the house with a bullet wound.
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Australian Court Appeal: Olympic Shooter Not Guilty of Unsafe Storage

There is an interesting new twist to Australian gun law. An appeal to a district court in New South Wales (perhaps the most strict gun laws in Australia) has reversed gun law convictions of unsafe storage on a Australian Olympic gold medal shooter.

Two-time Olympic shooting gold medallist Michael Diamond has been acquitted of three firearms convictions that effectively ended his illustrious shooting career.

Diamond was found guilty of the offences in May this year, seeing him banned from holding a gun licence for 10 years.

He later lodged an appeal which a Newcastle court today upheld while quashing his local court convictions after a judge questioned the legality of a car search.

 The court reversed a local courts conviction of the Olympic gold medal winner. The local conviction prevented Diamond from competing in the 2016 Olympics.

The prosecutor, P.J. O'Brien made the case the Olympic shooter had stored his shotgun without sufficient precautions. The gun was disassembled and in a short case. The case was not locked by the car was. The judge also mentioned the car had tinted windows, preventing a thief from knowing there was a case, or particularly, a gun case, in the vehicle.

The judge ruled that Olympian's state of sobriety was not relevant, because guns can be safely stored, even if the owner is not sober.

There were over a hundred shotgun cartridges in the vehicle, which was also held to be irrelevant, as the shotgun was disassembled.

The case is the equivalent of a district court overturning a municipal court decision in the United States. The result is important to Michael Diamond. He should be able to shoot in the next Olympics.

I talked to a Barrister who practises in New South Wales. I asked him if the case had precedential authority. The answer was a clear no.

The district level court does not create cit-able precedent. In the United States, precedent first occurs at the appeals court level.

This case, in Australia, was one level below that.

It might embolden others to appeal their gun convictions, but it does not change established law.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

No One is Perfect: Investigation of Michigan State Police Range Stray Bullet


 There is a stray bullet investigation ongoing in the south of Michigan, in Northville Township. A window was shattered on about the 10th or 11th of October, 2017. I am skeptical of these type of incidents. They are quite rare. The image of an Iraqi woman showing investigators two complete rifle cartridges, that supposedly hit her residence, is memorable.

This incident appears to be real, not a hoax like the famous Iraqi incident. The window was shattered. It was broken in a believable way. The bullet was found with the shattered glass. The bullet looks fresh and has rifling marks. From

Last year, two homes were hit by stray bullets. The gun range was shut down and modifications were made to ensure the neighborhood's safety.

Now, another home was hit by a bullet.

A resident on Crestview Circle came home to find his front door shattered and a bullet on the ground.

The Northville Township Police Department investigated and passed the recovered bullet on to MSP to see if it is one their rounds.
The distance from the Michigan State Police Laboratory and the broken window is 2,460 feet, or 820 yards. The google maps image below shows the geometry. The direction of fire would have been nearly due South, as is shown in the image.

The  distance is well within the maximum range of common pistol bullets. From the picture, I cannot tell if the projectile is a 9 mm or a .40 caliber. It might even be a .45 auto bullet. The Michigan State Police range is behind the Forensic laboratory. That puts it in a reasonable place to supply the bullet for the incident.

There was little energy left in the pistol bullet at that range. It would have been traveling down at a pretty steep angle. The velocity was probably in the 200-300 fps range. The combination of low velocity and a steep angel fits well with only the outside glass being broken. The glass and bullet fell outside. The inner, unbroken glass would direct the fragments to the outside, as there was not enough energy remaining to break the inside panes.

No one knows for certain if the bullet came from the Michigan Police Forensic Laboratory range. The distance is plausible. The bullet is plausible. The angles and damage are plausible.  The rifling marks are clear. If there is a close match to a gun fired at the range that day, the circumstantial evidence will be complete.

Investigators at the MSP Forensics lab are baffled, because the range has been specifically altered to make such an event impossible. But the possibility of human error is near infinite. What if the pistol was fired, at a high angle, by negligence, *before* being put in play at the range? A firearms instructor told me of exactly such an incident (that did not result in any damage), involving an officer.

Many modern handguns use barrels that leave almost no distinguishing marks on the bullets fired. You can usually narrow the firearm down to a make and model or series of models. The manufacturing techniques have become so good, the barrels in some makes are extremely uniform. There are not sufficient differences in barrels to differentiate bullets fired from individual pistols.

There are other potential sources. In the Google maps image, you can see the wooded area between the house and the lab gets a lot of use. A person could have fired a pistol in that area, the bullet could have ricocheted off of a hard object, and ended up breaking the house window. The bullet nose shows significant deformation, more than seems likely from hitting a single pane of glass at such a low level of energy.  The bullet most likely was deformed by an impact before the house window was hit. A bullet would normally be de-stablized after hitting an object that deformed it that much. A de-stablized bullet quickly loses energy as it travels through the atmosphere.

No one was hit. The danger was fairly small. If hit just wrong, an adult could have lost an eye or a couple of teeth.  A young child might have been severely wounded, possibly even killed, if hit exactly wrong. Stray bullets are a danger, but are rarely lethal. Pistol bullets, at nearly half a mile, are unlikely to break skin if the skin is protected by a layer of cloths. The velocity is about the same as such a projectile would receive from a high powered slingshot.

If the MSP lab was involved, it is a serious embarrassment, but a cheap lesson.

Pay to fix the window and tighten up the range and firing procedures.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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