Wednesday, December 21, 2011

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 12/21/11

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at:
VCDL's meeting schedule:
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

1. Lobby Day is on Monday, January 16th - bus from Roanoke/Charlottesville
2. Wisconsin and Virginia reciprocity
3. Heston DVD
4. ODU vote on rules for guns on campus put on hold
5. Another VT alumni talks about having guns in dorm
6. Class of 1970 at Washington and Lee University
7. (More) guns at VT
8. Holsterless carry solution?
9. TVA property
10. Video from VCU rally
11. Correction to #26 ("Interesting graphs")
12. Point: Tech's policy prohibits right to self defense
13. VT coverage
14. RTD mentions VCDL in item on VT shooting
15. "Mighty" gun-rights lobby: YOU!
16. VA Tech coverage with comments from police
17. Campus safety and gun rules questioned
18. State group advocates for concealed weapons on VCU campus
19. Article on campus carry
20. UVa-Wise campus bans hunting weapons
21. U. of Richmond police investigate shots report
22. Why carry a gun in your kitchen?
23. VA Senators on "National Right to Carry"
24. Webb, Warner vote for cloture
25. New documents tie Fast and Furious to gun-control agenda
26. Documents: ATF used "Fast and Furious" to make the case for gun regulations
27. Story of a university rape victim
28. Carry ALWAYS
29. Some Georgia Tech students want to carry guns
30. NH activists call university gun ban illegal
31. Buddhist packing bond pistol shows American embrace of guns
32. Hollywood shootout: Gunman calmly targeted drivers, pedestrians
33. Ala. postal worker opens fire in mail room
34. Couple badly injured after bodybuilder attack- Who needs a gun in California?
35. Again, New York? No guns allowed?
36. Ready, aim . . . buy? Why gun sales spiked on Black Friday
37. Like to read more discussion like this
38. Low IQ robber
39. Gun addiction

1. Lobby Day is on Monday, January 16th - bus from Roanoke/Charlottesville

Lobby Day is coming up soon! It is Monday, January 16th - be sure to get the day off so you can help us pack the General Assembly. This could be a good year for gun owners and we need to start that year off right with a strong presence at Lobby Day.

We plan on starting around 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM, with a rally at 11 AM. More details on this to follow.


The Roanoke Tea Party has chartered a bus to Lobby Day, with a stop in Charlottesville. The cost is only $30 - you can sign up here:


EM Ed Levine has set up a Facebook page for those with Facebook:


Michael Burnham is coordinating some carpooling on

2. Wisconsin and Virginia reciprocity

We are investigating why Wisconsin will only honor Virginia NON-RESIDENT permits and not the resident ones.

Gary Slider emailed me this:


Philip, Wisconsin just updated their reciprocity list. Virginia Non Resident Only is what they are stating. VA is the only state to have this out from their listing. WI requires a NICS check and I will bet that VA runs their background check through the FBI but for Non-Residents they do a NICS Check also. That is the reason why Non Resident Only. Just wanted to give you a heads up.


3. Heston DVD

Charlton Heston was an incredible orator.

EM Robert Sadtler emailed me this:


Philip, I have to recommend that ALL gun owners, particularly those who consider themselves "activists", have a copy of the NRA's Charlton Heston compilation "Patriot At The Podium". It is a collection of 28 speeches and short films (one hundred minutes worth) done during his tenure as NRA 1st Vice President and President. Particularly stirring are the short films "Torch With No Flame" and "The Reagan In You". If you wonder where my enthusiasm came from...this is it. If it hasn't changed my life, it has certainly changed my perspective.
Patriot At The Podium
item # BK 01880
regularly $5.95 NOW $3

4. ODU vote on rules for guns on campus put on hold

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:



ODU vote on rules for guns on campus put on hold

By Bill Sizemore
The Virginian-Pilot
December 9, 2011


Old Dominion University's governing board delayed a scheduled vote Thursday on a regulation that would tighten gun restrictions on campus - a proposal that spurred dueling demonstrations by pro- and anti-gun advocates last month.

The regulation was on the agenda at the ODU Board of Visitors' quarterly meeting, but Rector David Bernd said it would be tabled. There was no discussion of the matter by the board.

After the meeting, Bernd said some board members thought the proposal needed more discussion. He said it would probably be taken up at a board retreat in January.

"We just want to take our time and make sure everybody thinks it through," Bernd said.

The regulation would prohibit guns and other weapons, except those carried by police officers, in campus buildings and at sports, entertainment and educational events.

ODU has had a policy banning guns from campus for years, as have most Virginia state colleges and universities.

But Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ruled in a July opinion that such policies do not apply to guns carried by holders of concealed-weapon permits.

To ban those weapons, Cuccinelli said, universities would have to enact regulations, which have the force of law.

The proposed ODU regulation, drafted in response to Cuccinelli's opinion, is modeled on one at George Mason University that has been upheld as constitutional by the state Supreme Court.

A gun-rights group organized a demonstration against the proposal on campus last month. In response, a gun-control group mounted a simultaneous demonstration supporting it.

Demonstrations also have been held at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University, where similar regulations are under consideration.

A shooting incident Thursday at Tech - scene of the nation's deadliest mass shooting in 2007 - left two people dead, including a campus police officer.

5. Another VT alumni talks about having guns in dorm

Steve Carrick emailed me this:


Both my roommate and I lived on the Virginia Tech campus in 1991 and we each owned and kept our SKS-56 rifles and ammunition in our dorm room. We lived across from our RA and the head RA office and never heard a peep about it.

Whenever we went shooting, we slung our rifles over our shoulders and walked down the hallway and out to the car without thinking too much about whether or not it was legal. (Afterall, the dorm was our home.)

It was cheap and fun entertainment.

Times certainly have changed.


Steve Carrick

VT Class of 1995

6. Class of 1970 at Washington and Lee University

Edward Martin emailed me this:


It was the same for me, Class of 1970 at Washington and Lee University. I kept a Savage 311 12 gauge , a Springfield 03/A3 and an M1 carbine in my closet as well as my required M1 from my ROTC Battalion. Many of my friends had the same and not even a discussion of harm or mischief ever took place in any quarter to my knowledge. I hunted on winter weekends with my friends on North Mountain. Some of us were on the Rifle Team and had matches from Ft Lee to Ft Bragg.

7. (More) guns at VT

George Venable emailed me this:


I was at VT late 68/71 (did not graduate from there, sorry to say) . Had a Ruger Single Six convertible and a double barrel 20 gauge hanging in the room the whole time. Neighbors in next room from Taswell my second year had a sawhorse with a saddle on it in their room complete with scabbard and Winchester. Across the hall the boys had a couple Colt .22's, one a very accurate Woodsman I'd sure like to have today. We'd go off campus to a farmhouse rented by an older student and blast away. Of course back then having beer in rooms was not allowed, but never heard about any permission required for guns. Pretty much like that in all the dorms, never heard of a shooting incident or an accidental discharge.

8. Holsterless carry solution?

Chip Hammond emailed me this:



The Spotsylvania self-shooting was a preventable tragedy. Although I'm not a fan of holsterless carry, some are and even so this tragedy could have been prevented. If any VCDL members prefer a holsterless carry with the Glock or other similar pistol, they should check out the GlockTech Industries MIC holster ( I've got no stake in GlockTech and I don't really like holsterless carry, but for those who do, here's a way to do it safely that could have prevented that tragedy.

9. TVA property

Gary Slider emailed me this:


Phillip, Thought you would like to know. The TVA which has a little property in the western part of Virginia have loosened up their carry rules a little. This is what I am adding to the VA Page at The link to their rules are here:

Firearms on Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA Property)

4. Firearms and Weapons - TVA campgrounds may receive use by hunters during hunting season. While firearms and weapons are generally prohibited, possession of firearms and other weapons associated with in-season hunting excursions are permissible if they are unloaded and properly cased. Possession of firearms at TVA public ramps, associated roads, and parking areas are allowed if the possession complies with the law of the state where the boat ramp is located and is not otherwise prohibited by law.

Note: Day Use Areas, Campgrounds, and other developed recreational TVA lands are still off limits. TVA lands where Hunting is presently allowed, Undeveloped Shorelines, Boat Ramps, Boat Ramp Parking Areas and Associated Roads for those areas is where carry will be allowed. It is my understanding that the "Hunting Firearms Allowed" signs will be replaced over a period of time (1 year or longer) with "No Target Practice" signs.

10. Video from VCU rally


11. Correction to #26 ("Interesting graphs")

Glenn Weaver emailed me this:


Hi Philip,

There was a correction to the last item in the list, number "26. Interesting graphs. [VCDL Update, 12/6]" The article was corrected to say that "18 times more children are killed by suffocation" rather than "18%," which is a big difference.

12. Point: Tech's policy prohibits right to self defense

From the Roanoke Times:

Point: Tech's policy prohibits right to self defense

By Alyson Boyce Stanton
2010 Virginia Tech graduate, was president for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus for one year. She is a graduate student in occupational therapy at Colorado State University.

The day of April 16, 2007 changed my life forever. Emily Hilscher, who sat next to me in chemistry, was killed in my dorm, and Mike Pohle, my good friend, was killed in Norris Hall. Prior to this event, I was unaware of the possibility of crime on campus. It seemed like a safe environment, immune to any criminal activity.

The truth is that most college campuses have considerably lower rates of crime when compared to the surrounding community, but they are not entirely immune. In my four years at Virginia Tech, I lived through an escaped convict who killed two officers, the worst school shooting in U.S. history, a mentally unstable man who beheaded a woman, numerous attempted abductions and many aggravated and sexual assaults. While many of these cases were extreme, the day-to-day robberies, burglaries and assaults are still alarming, especially to a small female such as myself.

Despite the presence of crime on the Virginia Tech campus, I was shocked to find that a university policy bans students, faculty and staff who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm from doing so on campus. This policy singles out students, faculty and staff by prohibiting their right to self defense while allowing the general public who come onto campus the same right.

While Tech has failed to learn the lesson, Colorado State University, a peer institution, welcomes the right to self defense. In the eight years that it has recognized the right to carry on campus, there has never been a single incident involving a permit holder, and it even has a lower crime rate than that of a neighboring institution that does not allow concealed carry.

If the Virginia Tech administration started recognizing the right to self defense tomorrow, no one would notice. People would go about their days as usual, just as they do here at CSU. In any given place, there are people carrying concealed firearms for self defense, but have you ever noticed? Have you ever felt unsafe in Kroger because people are afforded the right to self defense? I'm willing to bet the answer is no.

In Virginia, approximately 5percent of the population has concealed handgun permits. These permits are available only to citizens who are both law-abiding and over the age of 21, the latter of which excludes many people on campus. Further, better than 99.9percent of permit holders do not commit any crimes, let alone violent ones.

While a very small percentage do wrong, many people with mal intent, like Seung-Hui Cho, don't bother getting permits because they are already planning to break the law. The right of self defense should not be taken away from the many because of the wrongs of a few.

13. VT coverage

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Gunman had 'dark side,' but Tech killing is mystery
December 11, 2011

RADFORD -- Room 20 in the old Alleghany Hotel overlooks the Radford yard office of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The three-story building was once an oasis for weary railroad crews.

On Saturday, though, Radford University student T.J. Shaver described with solemn regret what he never came to foresee about his neighbor, 22-year-old Ross Ashley, now dead and just days ago the ever-silent, mysterious occupant of the apartment next door, Room 20.

"There was a dark side about him that was very disturbing," said Shaver, a 25-year-old graduate student who feared that the slightest provocation of the brooding young man, known to compulsively run back and forth in the hallways, somehow would set him off.

"Like when he left his laundry in the dryer and I had to remove it so I could do mine; I actually worried what he would do. So I folded it up neatly out of a sort of fear," he said.

On Thursday afternoon, Virginia State Police stormed Ashley's room even as scores of other officers from across western Virginia swarmed onto the Virginia Tech campus in reaction to a shooting that took the life of a beloved Tech police officer, left gunman Ashley dead by his own hand in a nearby parking lot, and set in motion more thoughts about what could have been done to prevent the horror of a repeat of gun violence on campus.

"I had no idea something like this could happen," Shaver said. "We never saw him with a gun."

Shaver's friend and roommate, Megan Dudley, tried to get police to explain what was going on with Ashley's room that day. After a few hours, one of them offered: "'We got ourselves a mess.'

"I had no idea what she meant," Dudley said.

* * * * *

News of the murder of officer Deriek W. Crouse, 39, was late getting to Tech graduate Colin Goddard, gravely wounded at the school April 16, 2007, when 32 students and faculty members were fatally shot by troubled student Seung-Hui Cho. Cho also took his own life.

On Thursday, Goddard was teaching a class in Brooklyn, N.Y., about the consequences of gun-related violence in America. He showed the documentary he narrates called "Living for 32," the story of the Tech massacre.

"My cellphone was blowing up with calls," he said. But he silenced the phone and kept talking with students. "My reaction when I finally heard from my mother about what had happened at Tech was, 'Oh, my God.' It was like all of the energy and effort of the last five years had meant nothing. I couldn't help thinking of the pain that yet another family is having to go through," Goddard said Saturday.

* * * * *

Goddard had arrived in New York the day after an irony-laced encounter unfolded not far from Tech.

On Wednesday, Goddard was about 20 miles from Tech at Radford University, which sits above and behind the Alleghany Hotel and where the Virginia Citizens Defense League was advocating for gun rights and concealed-weapons permits on university campuses across Virginia. The league is doing an information tour of state campuses.

League President Philip Van Cleave and 17 others handed out information to passers-by and even called police when they realized that Goddard and another advocate for keeping guns off campuses hadn't paid a fee -- a school requirement for non-school-related special interest groups.

"The police let us stay as long as we agreed to just watch," Goddard said. "We promised not to hand anything out."

Almost within eyeshot, but unknown to the demonstrators, Ashley barged into his landlord's office building beside the campus. It was 12:30 p.m., 24 hours before Ashley would fire on Crouse, killing the father of five children and Iraq War veteran who was part of his police department's SWAT team.

Displaying his weapon, Ashley demanded keys to a new Mercedes SUV outside the rental office and took off. The car would turn up just off the Virginia Tech campus Thursday, apparently out of gas.

"Why would someone rob his own rental agent with a gun and no mask?" wondered Shaver, the student from the adjacent apartment.

Radford police issued an alert about the car heist that reached far and wide. "I was on the subway in Brooklyn," said Radford senior Belle Alexandre, 22, who was in New York for a fashion design show.

She works at a coffee shop beside the Alleghany and said Ashley was a familiar sight. She called him a withdrawn, quiet person, but not mentally ill.

High crime is rare enough in the New River Valley that when Alexandre had returned to Radford on Thursday and then learned of the shooting during a cellphone call from a brother in Chicago, she immediately connected the perpetrator with the then-still-unidentified man who stole the Mercedes.

"I figured it's got to be the same guy," she said. "But I never figured it would be him," she said of Ashley, who was enrolled part time as a business management major.

Radford student Nic Robinson remembered Ashley as "friendly, nice," according to an interview with The Associated Press. She said he had broken up with a girlfriend over the summer but never saw him obsess over that.

But there were other issues in Ashley's life that he wasn't as forthcoming about, she told the AP.

"We all have our family problems, so the way that he was saying it just made it kind of seem like, 'Just another thing to add to the list,'" she said. "He never made anything sound like, 'This is serious, I need you to sit down.'"

* * * * *

The issue of concealed weapons on campus will come before the next session of the General Assembly. Goddard and Van Cleave will be on hand.

"It was a very long train ride home for me from New York this week," Goddard said. "But it gave me time to think and realize that we can't give up." His cellphone kept ringing but he didn't answer, lost in thought and searching for energy.

"My phone just rang itself dead," he said.

On the Virginia Citizens Defense League website, a different take on the events at Tech was evident in alerts sent to members of the organization.

"Cold-blooded assassination of a Virginia Tech police officer," one alert read. Another pointed to the "disrespectful anti-freedom crowd" using Crouse's death "to push their agenda."

Goddard said the events at Tech offer for him a reminder that "guns on campus aren't the solution; they are the problem."

Still unknown is whether Ashley had a weapon permit or a concealed-weapon permit. And Goddard noted that because Ashley was not part of the Virginia Tech community, he could legally carry a weapon on campus that was properly permitted.

Police say they also don't know why Ashley targeted Crouse. Authorities have turned up no evidence that there was any connection between the two.

Lost somewhere among the events of Wednesday and Thursday is Ross Ashley, the young man from Partlow in rural Spotsylvania County who won eight college scholarships while at Spotsylvania High School and was a star fullback on his high school football team.

Here's what he told the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star in September 2006 after he'd fumbled twice in the first half but finished with 103 yards and three touchdowns in a come-from-behind win over King George:

"It was all about the whole line today. They stepped it up. We've been struggling and they finally came out. They showed me something tonight. I don't know what to say.

"Coming off the ball, we were crushing people, man. That's what it was."

Back then Ross Ashley was the leader of a team, instead of the curious young man behind the door to Room 20.

14. RTD mentions VCDL in item on VT shooting

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

New details emerging about man who killed Tech officer
December 10, 2011

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The day before Ross Ashley shot to death a beloved Virginia Tech police officer Thursday and then took his own life, the gunman stole a Mercedes SUV after demanding keys to the vehicle from a woman in a Radford apartment rental office.

The incident prompted text alerts from Radford police that went throughout the community.

The 22-year-old Radford University student headed toward Blacksburg and on the Radford University campus across the street a familiar scenario was unfolding that Wednesday.

Gun rights advocate Philip Van Cleave, head of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, was advocating for the right to carry concealed weapons on university campuses in Virginia.

Standing nearby was Colin Goddard, wounded four times April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech and, unlike 32 other students and faculty, a survivor.

Read the rest of the story in tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch.

15. "Mighty" gun-rights lobby: YOU!


Fresh Virginia Tech Tragedy Renews Political Gun Debate
The Associated Press
Dec 11, 2011

Thursday's point-blank assassination of a Virginia Tech campus policeman is sure to renew the gun control battle in all its fury before the General Assembly next month.

The debate had quieted somewhat in the nearly five years since a student in a murderous rage shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.

But with Republicans expecting House and Senate majorities and a pro-gun Republican governor, conservatives are lathered and taking aim at Virginia's one-handgun-a-month law.

And prospects of closing Virginia's so-called gun show loophole appear to have slipped from slim to nil.

That won't stop those who lost loved ones at Tech in 2007 from trying as a confident and mighty gun-rights lobby brings its ambitious 2012 agenda before the most beholden and gun-friendly legislature in modern times.

16. VA Tech coverage with comments from police

The item "Hearts broken" in main story.

Look at the comments from police officers on Steger's despicable comments blaming guns for Officer Crouse's murder. Rank-and-file police officers do not go along with the "blame-the-gun" argument from mental midgets.



"In light of the turmoil and trauma and the tragedy suffered by this campus by guns, I can only say words don't describe our feelings and they're elusive at this point in time," university president Charles Steger said. "Our hearts are broken again for the family of our police officer." [PVC: So are ours, but a vicious criminal killed him, Mr. Steger. Why do you insist on sugar-coating that?]

17. Campus safety and gun rules questioned

From [videos]

Campus safety and gun rules questioned
By Maria Medina
December 7th, 2011

Radford, VA - Students with differing perspectives on gun rights demonstrated at Radford University today. Favoring rules that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses were about a dozen members of the Virginia Citizen's Defense League and RU students.

Opposing them were two students with first-hand experience of the Virginia Tech 2007 massacre who have been staging counter-demonstrations at universities where the VCDL has been demonstrating over the past two months.

"It's our belief that the innocent life is sacred and that it should be allowed to be protected," said President of VCDL Philip Van Cleave. "And we feel like the message of Virginia Tech was, no one was armed, no one could protect themselves, so they were basically just waiting to be murdered, and we think that's wrong," he said about his campaign in reference to the April 16, 2007 tragedy.

VCDL also visited VA Tech on November 17, where the campaign was the same. They are currently using the slogan "No guns? No funds!" to encourage the halt of donations to campuses with restricted gun policies.

"We are telling alumni and others, 'don't contribute any money' and basically saying 'no guns no funds.' Unless you change your policy I'm not contributing anymore... I want the students to be able to protect themselves, as well as faculty," said Van Cleave.

Liberty University is one school in Virginia already leaning towards what the VCDL is hoping for. They recently made policy changes which will allow students to keep concealed weapons in cars parked on campuses.

"We want to go much further than that. If you've got a permit you should be allowed to carry your weapon... permit holders carry in buildings all the time... and nothing unusual is happening except that these people are able to protect themselves. So we want more than that, however that was a good first step," said Van Cleave.

Van Cleave makes the argument that university policies or state laws are not going to be followed by those who bring weapons onto campus with ill will anyway.

"Keep in mind always that criminals don't ask for permission. So by giving me permission to carry or not in a building has nothing to do with a criminal, because he will do it anyhow," said Van Cleave. "I think a lot of people say 'well if the university said no guns I wouldn't carry a gun, therefor nobody will,' but that's just not the way it works."

Advocates for campus gun policy were also present. Two young men, Virginia Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard as well as Omar Samaha, who lost his sister in the tragedy, braved the cold and wet as well.

"We realize that campus violence is not something you're going to shoot your way out of," said Goddard. "If we were talking about somebody in law enforcement that's been trained in high stress situations and is accountable, then that's a conversation that, let's have. But, not just giving guns to students and saying 'shoot the bad guys first'."

Samaha pointed out that the VA Tech shooting was preventable and that campuses can become safer without the use of firearms. "First of all, the state needs to start with the background checks... from there you can get into so many different things with the school, like having locks on the doors. At Tech, there were no locks on the doors," said Samaha.

Both Goddard and Samaha also feel there is a faulty notification system, saying that there was a two hour time difference between the first homicide at Tech and when students were notified that there was a shooter on campus.

"I woke up and drove to class before I even knew there had been a double homicide with a shooter on the loose... if students had known that, you know, people wouldn't have been in class at ten in the morning," said Goddard.

Goddard and Samaha stress the point that they are not anti-gun, but against the idea that in their opinion those who would be allowed to carry concealed weapons would not be well enough trained to help a violent situation.

"Why can't we have an armed guard in each building? Okay, call it too pricey or too expensive, but I don't think you can put a price on safety in the end. But why have a student who has potentially never shot a gun in his life carry one to school? Why can't we put a professional in there to protect us?" said Samaha.

Student reaction was mixed, some grabbing stickers and handouts from VCDL campaigners and some coming to thank and speak with the opposing side of the debate.

"I am definitely for us having guns and being able to arm ourselves and defend ourselves if necessary," said Katelyn Crispino, an RU student.

Caitlin Tedesco, a transfer to RU from Tech, sees it differently. "Guns on campus would cause fear on campus where students have been told they should feel safe. Also, any mix up with a gun carrier could possibly cause major chaos leading to a dangerous situation," said Tedesco.

Earlier in the month VCDL also visited Virginia Commonwealth University and plans to take their fight on the road again to neighboring James Madison University tomorrow, starting their campaign at 10:30 am in the Commons outside of Gibbins Hall.

18. State group advocates for concealed weapons on VCU campus


State group advocates for concealed weapons on VCU campus
By Mechelle Hankerson
December 5th, 2011

Reema Samaha was finishing her freshman year at Virginia Tech in 2007. Reema was studying urban planning, but was unable to continue.

On April 16, 2007 Reema became one of the victims of Seung-Hui Cho in the Virginia Tech shooting.

Four years later, her brother, Omar Samaha, came to VCU's campus with a group of Reema's friends to advocate against allowing guns on campus as part of the Students for Gun Free Schools group during a rally held by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

"I've (always) been an advocate for keeping our schools gun-free and having schools step up security and come up with different preventative measures to prevent future tragedies like Virginia Tech," Samaha said.

The VCDL held a rally at VCU last Thursday to encourage donors of the university to withhold donations until the university revises its campus weapons policy.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the VCDL, said concealed-weapon restrictions on universities is futile in protecting students and visitors.

"Our view is very simple: The good people are the only ones that follow the law and by putting up signs ... all you're doing is telling the good people ... 'You cant protect yourself,'" he said.

The VCU student group, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, helped organize the rally.

According to the group's president, student John Allen, the majority of the group is made up of older, commuter students (to receive a concealed-weapon permit, applicants must be 21) as well as student veterans.

"We don't advocate that the laws ... that prevent illegal guns from getting on campus (be suspended)," Allen said. "No criminal should be allowed to have a gun on campus, but the fact is that they do. ... As it is right now, only the (criminals) have guns on campus. We just want the good guys to have a chance (too)."

At VCU, taking weapons into a university building is explicitly prohibited. Carrying firearms, other weapons or explosives on university property is also not allowed.

"Right now, all the universities make their own rules and regulations, and they've chosen to keep guns out of classrooms and out of dormitories," Samaha said. "We stand by that, and we think that that is a good measure to take."

Samaha said one of the biggest concerns is the process to gain a concealed weapon permit.

In Virginia, residents who wish to receive their concealed-weapon permit can complete a state-approved course, some of which can be conducted online by a member of the National Rifle Association.

"We think that it's a very low bar," Samaha said. "If you even want to have this discussion, the bar has to be much higher, but at the same time, we think having guns in the classroom is a reactive measure. It's not preventative enough."

The VCDL has been rallying at other schools in the state, including George Mason University, Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech.

The group's rallying efforts were partially motivated by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's statements earlier this year where he claimed universities have no duty to protect students. He also said university regulations have the force of law, but university policies lack the authority to restrict carrying concealed weapons.

Van Cleave said the VCDL will be taking their effort to the upcoming General Assembly session, where they will be presenting two bills, one which will aim to take away the power of universities to restrict weapon permit-holders.

19. Article on campus carry


Pro-gun rally in Radford day before VA student kills cop
By Bill McMorris
Virginia Statehouse News

ALEXANDRIA -- The day before part-time Radford University student Ross Truett Ashley killed a Virginia Tech police officer, an influential pro-gun group held a protest on his campus.

On Wednesday, Philip Van Cleave and the Virginia Citizen's Defense League, or VCDL, sparked fierce debate when they hosted a protest against campus gun restrictions at Radford University in Radford.

Van Cleave said the investigation should focus on the shooter, rather than guns.

"If a drunk driver kills somebody, we don't scrutinize every driver. You punish the guilty and leave the innocent alone," said the president of the league. "This is an assassin and exactly the type of person we want to protect ourselves from."

Virginia State Police reported that Ross Truett Ashley, 22, of Radford, shot and killed campus police officer Deriek Crouse, a 39-year-old father of five, during an unrelated traffic stop. Ashley then shot and killed himself in a nearby parking lot.

The protests sparked intrigue and outrage on both sides of gun control at Radford.

Brittany Jeglum, a graduate student at Radford, living in Blacksburg, took to Facebook on Tuesday when she heard the protest was coming.

"Could our school be any closer to Tech? I'm surprised they didn't hold it on the anniversary," she said.

Over the next three days, friends bombarded her post, leaving 32 comments.

Radford sophomore Mallory Young echoed Jeglum's reservations.

"I'm for guns, but not on campus," she wrote. "Who knows who would go insane at any moment and then we'd be like Tech."

Van Cleave was in Harrisonburg protesting at James Madison University at the time of the shooting.

Thursday's protest was no different than any other event, as Van Cleave distributed fliers and educational information to students amid debate.

At the same time, the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech, where he had protested on Nov. 17, was in lockdown.

Van Cleave's movement drew counter-protests sponsored by gun control advocates, including the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, or CSGV, and the Virginia Center for Public Safety, or VCPS, at each of its campus demonstrations.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of CSGV and a board member on VCPS, attended rallies at VCU and Old Dominion.

The protests "are utterly distasteful and disrespectful," he said.

"Campuses are generally safe places, and the idea that you need more guns is silly," Horwitz said.

Groups on both sides of the debate and university administrators have described the demonstrations as peaceful. But news of the protests have sparked controversy among young people.

VCDL, which says it has 5,000 due-paying members and 15,000 subscribers, has been effective at getting pro-gun legislation onto the floor of the General Assembly and into state law, including the 2010 provision to allow guns into bars.

Getting guns onto college campuses may prove a challenge, even for VCDL that bills itself as "the ONLY (sic) organization to get pro gun bills introduced in every legislative session since 1997."

Delegate John Cox, R-Ashland, who sponsored a VCDL-endorsed provision to speed up the concealed carry permit process in 2011, said he has not heard any proposals in the General Assembly to force universities to lift restrictions, calling it an "unlikely hypothetical."

In Virginia, any person 21 or older can obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, provided they pass a criminal background check and attend a training course. Concealed weapons, however, are prohibited at VCU, GMU, K-12 school grounds and state parks.

Van Cleave said he hopes to avoid the legislative route because the changes for which he advocates can be made at the university level.

"The real problem here is not a legal one -- guests at a university can carry their weapons outside -- we want to change the university policy that says faculty and students can't carry guns," he said. "If you break policy, you may be within the law, but you could be expelled or fired."

The protests are just the start of the VCDL's "No Guns? No Funds!" campaign. He is pressing his members and supportive alumni of Virginia colleges to halt donations to their respective alma maters unless gun restrictions are lifted.

Thursday's protest did little to alter James Madison University's position on gun control.

"We've been very clear on this, and our position hasn't changed: We don't believe that guns belong in the classroom; we don't believe that guns make campuses safer," university spokesman Don Egle said.

Police say they do not have any motive for Thursday's shooting, and the investigation is continuing , said state police spokeswoman Corrine Geller.

It was the first shooting on Virginia Tech's campus since Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 classmates and faculty in April 2007. He then shot and killed himself.

20. UVa-Wise campus bans hunting weapons

Dave Hicks emailed me this:



College changes weapon policy
By Jordan Fifer

Students and staff will no longer be able to store hunting weapons on campus under a revised University of Virginia policy set to formally take effect in Wise in January.

The University of Virginia's Board of Visitors approved a regulation Nov. 11 that bans weapons on its Charlottesville and Wise campuses, effectively reaffirming an existing policy that bans guns, fireworks, explosives and other weapons.

The revised regulation contains no exception for hunting rifles, which were previously allowed at UVa-Wise as long as they were stored unloaded and secured at the campus police office.

The new regulation took effect this month, but Wise's policy will be updated and formally put in place in time for the spring semester, said Steve McCoy, campus police chief and director of public safety.

UVa-Charlottesville and UVa-Wise both already had policies banning weapons, including guns, on their campuses and properties. But Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wrote in a July legal advisory opinion that the policies couldn't apply to people with concealed weapons permits because they did not have the force of law.

Nearly simultaneously, though, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld a regulation banning weapons at George Mason University after gun owner Rudolph DiGiacinto sued, arguing that the ban on guns in campus buildings violates the state's constitution.

A regulation, such as the one at George Mason, is enforceable because it undergoes a more formal process and must be approved by a university's governing body through the Virginia Register Act, the court and Cuccinelli said.

UVa's revised regulation covers the Wise campus and applies to students, employees, volunteers and visitors -- including those with concealed weapons permits. Because it doesn't include an exemption for hunting weapons, Wise's policy will have to be updated, McCoy said.

"I certainly stand behind the regulation," McCoy said. "It's with regret, but it's the times we're in."

But McCoy said he worries that the regulation will unduly affect a group of students who otherwise use guns in a safe manner.

"We have to have regulations, but I feel that the students that want to hunt are being limited," he said. "They're the ones that went through hunter safety programs ... they're safe around guns."

Three students currently store guns with campus police, McCoy said, a number down from previous semesters. Those students didn't immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

21. U. of Richmond police investigate shots report

John Treaster emailed me this:



U. of Richmond police investigate shots report
The Associated Press
December 6, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- University of Richmond police are investigating a report that shots were fired on the campus in Virginia.

University spokeswoman Linda Evans tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the shots were reported at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Evans says there's no indication gunfire hit anyone.

WBBT-TV says a campus text alert reported shots being fired as campus police approached a vehicle. The vehicle then fled.

No other details were immediately available.

22. Why carry a gun in your kitchen?

Board member Dennis O'Connor emailed me this:


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Man startled by armed burglar, bashes him in forehead with hammer
December 08, 2011

Police are searching for a young burglar with disfiguring facial injuries after one of his victims bashed him in the forehead with a hammer during a botched break-in at a South Richmond apartment.

The victim, who was working in his kitchen when he was confronted by two armed burglars, was seriously wounded when the other burglar shot him during Monday evening's encounter. Initially believed to have life-threatening injuries, the victim underwent surgery at VCU Medical Center and was listed in stable condition Wednesday.

Both burglars remained at large Wednesday, and Richmond police asked for the public's help in locating them.

"We think this is a good opportunity to get these two individuals off the street quickly," Capt. Emmett Williams said. "This is the community of South Richmond. We appeal to them to give us a call. There's got to be somebody out there who knows this individual and knows his injuries."

Williams said interviews with the victim and his family members indicated the burglar who was hit with the hammer took a penetrating blow to the lower region of his forehead in an area almost directly between his eyes. Physical evidence at the apartment and interviews conducted by detectives lead police to believe the injuries suffered by the burglar are significant, Williams said.

The encounter occurred Monday evening after a couple and their two children returned to their apartment in the 3700 block of Angela Drive, a short distance south of McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, about 6:40 p.m.

Williams said the family was unaware that two burglars were in the apartment, and the father got a hammer for a repair job in the kitchen before the burglars -- both wearing bandanas covering the lower portion of their faces -- entered the room and confronted him.

Williams said one of the burglars -- armed with a handgun -- briefly grabbed one of the children and demanded money. The father then lunged at the other assailant -- who was armed with a sawed-off shotgun -- and struck him once in the forehead with a hammer.

Williams said the father was shot once in the chest by the burglar with the handgun before the assailants ran from the apartment. The mother and the children were not injured.

Williams said the shotgun-wielding burglar who was bashed in the face was described as a black male with a dark complexion, about 19 years old, between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighing 150 to 160 pounds. He was wearing a black skull cap, black jacket, black jeans and a dark bandana.

The assailant with the handgun was described as a black male with a lighter, caramel-colored complexion, 19 to 24 years old, between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 6 inches tall, and weighing about 150 pounds. He was also wearing dark clothing and a dark bandana.

"These two have already struck once in violent fashion," Williams said. "There are other houses they could break into, and we want to see that stopped."

Anyone with information can call detective Christopher Foultz at (804) 646-6996 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000, or they can text Crime Stoppers at 274637, by writing "iTip" followed by the tip. Both methods are anonymous.

23. VA Senators on "National Right to Carry"

Member Tom Bradley emailed me this:



I thought you would find the non-answers from Senators Warner and Webb on the National Right to Carry legislation interesting.

I find Senator Warner's response interesting as it brings up Tucson and firearms getting into the wrong hands, which has little if nothing to do with a national reciprocity

Senator Webb's response is interesting because of his phrase about "competing constitutional rights", those of the individual and the "rights" reserved for the states. As the Second Amendment is a national constitutionally mandated right to keep and bear arms, it seems to me that it is a constitutional right, not one reserved for the states.

Overall, the responses were non-committal and really had no substance. Lackluster at best.


Dear Mr. Bradley:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822). I appreciate your taking the time to share your views with me.

As you know, this bill would allow an individual with a valid, state-issued concealed carry permit to carry his or her firearm in all other states that grant concealed carry permits. There are competing constitutional rights which this legislation would affect. In reviewing the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act it, is important to consider individual Second Amendment rights, but also those rights reserved to the states. As a gun owner and sportsman, I believe that the Second Amendment is important in ensuring our individual freedom.

Currently H.R. 822 is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, where it is under review. Please be assured my staff will monitor the progress of this legislation in order to ensure the best interests of Virginians are met.

As the 112th Congress continues to address Second Amendment rights and other important issues facing the United States, your views will be very helpful to me and my staff. I hope that you will continue to share your views with us in the future.

I would also invite you to visit my website at for regular updates about my activities and positions on matters that are important to Virginia and our nation.

Thank you once again for contacting my office.

Jim Webb
United States Senator

Dear Mr. Bradley,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822).

I realize that there are very strong opinions on both sides of the debate around Second Amendment rights. I support public policies that ensure the responsible and appropriate use of guns, as well as efforts to reduce gun-related crimes through increased enforcement and background checks. I supported full funding of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the only national database that flags individuals who are precluded under current law from purchasing or possessing firearms. I do not, however, support laws or regulations that infringe on the Second Amendment Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona and in light of the Virginia Tech shootings, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure firearms do not get into the wrong hands. In the United States Senate, legislation on gun control generally falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am not a member. However, I will keep your views in mind should any legislation on this matter come before the full Senate in the future.

Again, thank you for contacting me. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at

United States Senator

24. Webb, Warner vote for cloture

A VA-ALERT reader emailed me this:


In case you didn't know, Obama nominee Caitlin Halligan is extremely anti-gun rights.


Looking over the list of Democrats listed as voting for cloture, I see a few that have portrayed themselves as friends of the Second Amendment such as Senators Jim Webb (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and David Pryor (D-AR). I guess for them party is more important than principle.

25. New documents tie Fast and Furious to gun-control agenda

Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



New documents tie Fast and Furious to gun-control agenda
By Matthew Boyle

Emails from inside the Department of Justice appear to indicate Obama administration officials were plotting to use the consequences of Operation Fast and Furious to further a gun-control agenda.

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News reported Wednesday that the emails show agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussing how they would use Fast and Furious to "argue for controversial new rules about gun sales."

"ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called 'Demand Letter 3,'" Attkisson reported. "That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or 'long guns.' Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information."

In the emails CBS News acquired, lead Fast and Furious agent Bill Newell and ATF Field Operations Assistant Director Mark Chait discussed how to use the scandal's aftermath to promote the long-gun reporting requirement for multiple sales.

The Daily Caller has reported extensively on what Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh has called Attorney General Eric Holder's "undercurrent" of using Fast and Furious to promote gun control. Walsh was among the first members of Congress to call for Holder's resignation. There are now 52 House members, two senators, four presidential candidates and two sitting governors in that camp.

"The attitude that he took toward the young man who was killed ... was troubling," Walsh said, during a Nov. 15 press conference, referring to slain U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. "And, then, there's this undercurrent of his call -- his advocacy -- for more gun control, a problem of our guns going south of the border when our own government, led by him, was complicit in that. He needs to be held accountable."

TheDC also reported that during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in early November, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein attempted to leverage the crisis to promote gun control.

"My concern, Mr. Chairman, is there's been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made, but I think this hunt for blame doesn't really speak about the problem," Feinstein said during a November 1 hearing. "And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?"

"I've been here 18 years," Feinstein continued. "I've watched the BATF get beaten up at every turn on the road. And, candidly, it's just not right."

During that hearing, Sen. Feinstein advocated for Operation Fast and Furious as a springboard from which to advocate for strict gun control laws, including national databases and government-controlled firearms registration. She argued that new laws could prevent future programs like Fast and Furious from reaching maturity.

Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, the third congressman to demand Holder's immediate resignation, told TheDC over the weekend that more and more evidence suggests the Obama administration is trying to take political advantage.

"You're seeing more and more of this stuff coming out in the cover up and it really does look like it's an attempt on our Second Amendment rights," Gosar said. "In the hearings, it became evident that they [the Obama administration and Holder] created an incident to in the end amend gun laws. Holder himself said before the Senate Judiciary committee that, if we had 'better' gun laws, this wouldn't have happened."

26. Documents: ATF used "Fast and Furious" to make the case for gun regulations

Kurt Mueller sent me this:


We suspected it was true before, but now we have the documents to prove it. The ATF scandal "fast and furious" was DESIGNED to be a false flag operation to justify new gun regulations. Wow. I am at a loss as to what to say.


Documents: ATF used "Fast and Furious" to make the case for gun regulations
By Sharyl Attkisson
December 7, 2011

Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the "big fish." But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called "gunwalking," and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF's Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

"Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks."

On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as "(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue." And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: "Bill--well done yesterday... (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case."

This revelation angers gun rights advocates. Larry Keane, a spokesman for National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group, calls the discussion of Fast and Furious to argue for Demand Letter 3 "disappointing and ironic." Keane says it's "deeply troubling" if sales made by gun dealers "voluntarily cooperating with ATF's flawed 'Operation Fast & Furious' were going to be used by some individuals within ATF to justify imposing a multiple sales reporting requirement for rifles."

The Gun Dealers' Quandary

Several gun dealers who cooperated with ATF told CBS News and Congressional investigators they only went through with suspicious sales because ATF asked them to.

Sometimes it was against the gun dealer's own best judgment.

In April, 2010 a licensed gun dealer cooperating with ATF was increasingly concerned about selling so many guns. "We just want to make sure we are cooperating with ATF and that we are not viewed as selling to the bad guys," writes the gun dealer to ATF Phoenix officials, "(W)e were hoping to put together something like a letter of understanding to alleviate concerns of some type of recourse against us down the road for selling these items."

ATF's group supervisor on Fast and Furious David Voth assures the gun dealer there's nothing to worry about. "We (ATF) are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into detail."

Two months later, the same gun dealer grew more agitated.

"I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys. I guess I am looking for a bit of reassurance that the guns are not getting south or in the wrong hands...I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents (sic) safety because I have some very close friends that are US Border Patrol agents in southern AZ as well as my concern for all the agents (sic) safety that protect our country."

"It's like ATF created or added to the problem so they could be the solution to it and pat themselves on the back," says one law enforcement source familiar with the facts. "It's a circular way of thinking."

The Justice Department and ATF declined to comment. ATF officials mentioned in this report did not respond to requests from CBS News to speak with them.

The "Demand Letter 3" Debate

The two sides in the gun debate have long clashed over whether gun dealers should have to report multiple rifle sales. On one side, ATF officials argue that a large number of semi-automatic, high-caliber rifles from the U.S. are being used by violent cartels in Mexico. They believe more reporting requirements would help ATF crack down. On the other side, gun rights advocates say that's unconstitutional, and would not make a difference in Mexican cartel crimes.

Two earlier Demand Letters were initiated in 2000 and affected a relatively small number of gun shops. Demand Letter 3 was to be much more sweeping, affecting 8,500 firearms dealers in four southwest border states: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. ATF chose those states because they "have a significant number of crime guns traced back to them from Mexico." The reporting requirements were to apply if a gun dealer sells two or more long guns to a single person within five business days, and only if the guns are semi-automatic, greater than .22 caliber and can be fitted with a detachable magazine.

On April 25, 2011, ATF announced plans to implement Demand Letter 3. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is suing the ATF to stop the new rules. It calls the regulation an illegal attempt to enforce a law Congress never passed. ATF counters that it has reasonably targeted guns used most often to "commit violent crimes in Mexico, especially by drug gangs."


Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is investigating Fast and Furious, as well as the alleged use of the case to advance gun regulations. "There's plenty of evidence showing that this administration planned to use the tragedies of Fast and Furious as rationale to further their goals of a long gun reporting requirement. But, we've learned from our investigation that reporting multiple long gun sales would do nothing to stop the flow of firearms to known straw purchasers because many Federal Firearms Dealers are already voluntarily reporting suspicious transactions. It's pretty clear that the problem isn't lack of burdensome reporting requirements."

On July 12, 2011, Sen. Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department oversees ATF. They asked Holder whether officials in his agency discussed how "Fast and Furious could be used to justify additional regulatory authorities." So far, they have not received a response. CBS News asked the Justice Department for comment and context on ATF emails about Fast and Furious and Demand Letter 3, but officials declined to speak with us.

"In light of the evidence, the Justice Department's refusal to answer questions about the role Operation Fast and Furious was supposed to play in advancing new firearms regulations is simply unacceptable," Rep. Issa told CBS News.

27. Story of a university rape victim [Video]

From YouTube:

28. Carry ALWAYS

John Treaster emailed me this:


From [video]

Gunned down in her own backyard: Wife of high school football coach shot dead after disturbing masked burglar
7th December 2011

The wife of a Mississippi high school football coach was gunned down Monday night after she found a man lurking in their backyard.

Her husband was also shot as he sprinted outside their New Albany home to help her, but he is expected to recover.

New Albany Police Chief David Grisham says the shooting happened just before 10pm on Monday.

Chief Grisham said Amanda Price had gone outside to take their dog out and startled someone, who shot her in the chest when she screamed.

Hearing the screams and gunshots, her husband Ron Price, who was inside the house, ran out to help when he was shot in the shoulder.

Price, who was able to call 911 after he was shot, was treated and released early Tuesday morning from North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

The couple's three-year-old daughter Molly, who was inside the house at the time of the shooting, was not hurt.

New Albany Mayor Tim Kent told that the couple was always willing to help in the community.

He said: 'They just have a soft spot in their heart for everybody.'

Police have few clues about the killer, but believe he may be linked to a series of car burglaries in the area at about the same time as the shooting.

Chief Grisham told Fox 13: 'The only description we have at this time is approximately 6 foot, dressed in dark clothing, with a mask over his face.'

Ron Price had recently completed his fourth season as head coach for the New Albany Bulldogs.

His wife was a speech pathologist in the same school district.

A $20,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

29. Some Georgia Tech students want to carry guns

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From [video]

Some Tech students want to carry guns
By Bo Emerson
December 6, 2011

Armed with reports of a recent spate of crimes, including the Monday morning beating and robbery of a Georgia Tech student off campus, some Tech students will renew the annual fight today for the right to carry handguns on campus.

The Georgia Tech College Republicans will demonstrate on campus in partnership with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a pro-carry organization that has coordinated similar efforts at campuses around the country.

"We just had a robbery last night," Andres Celedon, chairman of the College Republicans, noted Monday. Celedon, a third-year student of public policy, said the goal of the effort is to even out the arms race between students and criminals. "It's just really allowing kids a way to defend themselves."

But university officials want to keep the current law, which prohibits civilians from carrying a gun on the campus of any Georgia college or university. Students cannot legally keep firearms in their dorm rooms, although legislators changed the law last year to allow them to keep guns under lock and key in their vehicles.

From year to year, Georgia lawmakers regularly entertain -- and thus far have defeated -- bills that would overturn the concealed-carry ban. That suits university administrators just fine.

"We believe that the safest environment is to prohibit firearms from being present in our classrooms, in our labs, in our dormitories and on our campuses," said Tom Daniel, senior vice chancellor for external affairs for the University System of Georgia. There is no place for guns in a learning environment, he said, adding campus security is rightly entrusted with keeping students safe.

But gun rights advocates say that Georgia Tech students, subject this year to a string of robberies, burglaries and assaults, including one rape, many of them off-campus, need more than campus police. "They believe in law abiding citizens protecting themselves," said Jason Stubbs, state director for Georgia Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, who will also be at today's event.

"That's an awful idea," said Charlotte Sloan, 23, a second-year student in chemical engineering. Having guns readily available would not make the campus safer, she said, and would probably enable suicides. The gun-rights issue came into sharper focus across the nation in 2007 after an English major at Virginia Tech killed 32 people and wounded 25 others in a two-hour shooting spree. That prompted an effort at overturning laws banning guns on campuses around the country and led to the formation of the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

Pro-carry advocates argue that an armed student body could have prevented or truncated such an attack.

At today's demonstration, scheduled from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in front of the student center, students will hand out literature and answer questions, Celedon said. Their aim, he said, is to counteract a "public perception that guns are inherently evil."

"Guns don't shoot themselves," he said. "People have to shoot them, and people who are registered gun carriers are usually the most careful with their weapons."

That's true, said a public policy analyst -- but reversing the campus gun ban would have little effect either way.

"In this debate there are two very passionate camps," said David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. "One is adamantly pro-gun, one is adamantly anti-gun.

"The pro-gun camp is operating out of the conviction that if more people carry concealed guns legally -- folks who have been through a background check and don't have criminal records -- that this will lead to a lot of crime control. They will be able to intervene in dangerous situations and do something about it."

Conversely, said Kennedy, "the anti-gun crowd is convinced that if a lot more people are able to pass background checks and get carry permits, they will end up using their guns wrongly, and then a lot of people will get hurt.

"The fact is that both sides are wrong."

When restrictions on gun-carry permits are loosened, said Kennedy, generally only a small number of people seek such permits, and those who do only rarely end up in a situation where they can use it to prevent a crime.

On the other hand, more permits rarely lead to more injuries, he said. "When you're the kind of person who can pass a background check and get a gun permit, you're not the kind of person who will shoot someone else for no reason."

30. NH activists call university gun ban illegal

From [video]

Two activists decided not to bring guns onto the campus of Plymouth State University on Friday but still brought pamphlets arguing against a school policy that prohibits guns on campus.

31. Buddhist packing bond pistol shows American embrace of guns


Buddhist Packing Bond Pistol Shows American Embrace of Guns
By Ken Wells
Dec 9, 2011

Robin Natanel picks up a compact black pistol, barrel pointed down range. Gripping the gun with both hands, left foot forward, she raises the semi-automatic and methodically squeezes off five shots. The first one creases the left edge of a red bull's-eye on a target 25 feet away. The four others paint a three-inch pattern around the first. If the target were a person's head or heart, he'd probably be dead.

Natanel is a Buddhist, a self-avowed "spiritual person," a 53-year-old divorcee who lives alone in a liberal-leaning suburb near Boston. She is 5-foot-1 (155 centimeters) and has blonde hair, dark eyes, a ready smile and a soothing voice, with a hint of Boston brogue. She's a Tai Chi instructor who in classes invokes the benefits of meditation. And at least twice a month, she takes her German-made Walther PK380 to a shooting range and blazes away.

Two years ago, an ex-boyfriend broke into her house when she wasn't home. The police advised a restraining order. Instead, she bought pepper spray and programmed the local police number on her cell phone's speed dial. "I was constantly terrified for my safety," she says.

Ultimately, she got the Walther, joining a confederacy of people who might once have been counted on in the main to be anti-handgun -- women, liberals, gays, college kids. They are part of a national story: Domestic handgun production and imports more than doubled over four years to about 4.6 million in 2009, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun-industry trade group.

'Societal Change'

The surge has been propelled by shifting politics and demographics that have made it easier and more acceptable than at any time in 75 years for Americans to buy and carry pistols. Post-9/11 fears also seem to be a factor, as has been the relentless pro-gun politicking of the National Rifle Association and marketing, particularly to women, by handgun manufacturers. Events like yesterday's fatal shootings on the Virginia Tech University campus reinforce a feeling that the world is an unsafe place, even as violent U.S. crime rates fall.

Natanel found it was no trouble to purchase the Walther, a brand favored by movie superspy James Bond, or to locate experts to train her. Her circumstances won her a conceal-carry permit in a state with tough gun-control laws. Her friends have been broadminded about her conversion.

"I'd never considered a gun," Natanel says. "I thought they were scary. I wanted nothing to do with them. I didn't think anyone should have them."

Twenty years ago, 76 percent of women felt that way about handguns, and 68 percent of all people in the country were wary enough of firearms of any kind to tell Gallup pollsters that they backed laws more strictly limiting their sale. Then what Gallup calls "a clear societal change" began.

Democrats, Women

In October, a Gallup poll found record-low support for a handgun ban -- at 26 percent among all, and 31 percent among women. The poll, which has tracked gun attitudes since 1959, documented a record-low 43 percent who favor making it more difficult to acquire guns and record-high numbers of women and Democrats saying there is a firearm at home. Forty-seven percent said someone in the household owns at least one gun, the highest reading in 18 years.

The growing acceptance of guns echoes a transformation in the politics of weapons. In 1987, Florida joined a handful of states that by law or tradition allowed people to carry hidden guns; now Illinois is the sole conceal-carry holdout, and the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 16 sent to the Senate a bill advocated by the NRA that would require those that issue concealed gun permits to recognize licenses from other states.

Virginia Tech

Congress let the ban on assault weapons expire in 2004. The last federal gun-control initiative to pass -- a 2008 measure that beefed up screening to prevent the mentally ill from buying firearms -- was an incremental change in the wake of a 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, perpetrated by a psychotic student. Yesterday, the school said one of its police officers was shot and killed on campus and that another person was found dead from a gunshot wound.

In decades past, mass shootings, such as the Jan. 8 rampage that killed six and wounded Democratic U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, provided a potent rallying cry for the anti-gun movement. These days, pro-gun forces are as likely to parade them out as evidence that citizens need to arm themselves against attacks that the authorities are often helpless to prevent. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, which claims 45,000 adherents on Facebook, sprang up in response to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.

Gaining Momentum

"Post-9/11, the thinking of more and more people is that, when push comes to shove, I need to be more responsible for my safety," says Peggy Tartaro, executive editor of Women & Guns, a magazine published by the Second Amendment Foundation, a Bellevue, Washington-based group named for the constitutional amendment regarding the right to keep and bear arms.

At the same time, the conceal-carry movement has gained momentum, in part because the dire predictions of anti-gun groups in the early years of the fight -- that carriers of hidden guns would deploy them to settle disputes over road rage and the like -- haven't materialized.

"We don't look around and see blood spreading across the country," says Deborah Homsher, an Ithaca, New York, writer whose 2001 book, "Women & Guns," explored gun politics in the 1990s. "I think that fact deflates the anti-argument."

Women in Combat

The advent of the 24/7 news cycle and its steady thrum on violent crimes may also be helping to drive people to handguns. Deciding to acquire one is part of "a broader feeling of helplessness that doesn't come out of any kind of thoughtful calculation of risk," says Homsher. "People buy guns to get rid of their phantoms."

Women, too, may be liberalizing gun attitudes, because of the unprecedented numbers of them who have trained on firearms in the military and law enforcement in the past 30 years. Some 250,000 women have served in combat zones -- and often in combat roles -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, returning with a familiarity of firearms their mothers never had.

The latest data from the National Firearms Survey, a telephone poll conducted by an arm of the Harvard School of Public Health, shows 40 percent of America's 283 million privately owned firearms are handguns, up from the 34 percent the survey found in 1994. And while middle-aged white men own the most handguns of any demographic segment, according to federal data, other groups are arming up.

Matthew Shepard

Besides Students for Concealed Carry, there are the Pink Pistols, Mothers Arms, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, the Second Amendment Sisters, the Women's Firearm Network and the International Defensive Pistol Association, among others. Their influence may be outsized in gaining converts as they set up Facebook pages, churn out blogs and post recruiting videos on YouTube.

The public face of the 11-year-old Pink Pistols, which claims 1,500 members across 29 chapters, is Nicki Stallard, a 52-year-old, San Jose, California, medical technician who has a Colt .45 and a conceal-carry permit. She recruits under the group's motto, "Armed gays don't get bashed."

Stallard, who had a sex-change operation in 2007, is in a documentary being made by HEYbabe Productions, a group of independent film makers, that amounts to a call to arms for gays. The title, "Arming Laramie," derives from Laramie, Wyoming, the site of the 1988 murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21- year-old gay college student, that led to the passage of a 2009 federal hate crimes law named after him.

'It's Emotional'

As Gwen Patton, a former spokeswoman for the Pink Pistols, says in the trailer: "We teach queers to shoot -- then we teach everybody that we've done it."

Proselytizing for handguns in the gay community can be difficult, Stallard says, given that "many people in gun culture are anti-gay, so as a reflex, the gays are anti-gun. It isn't logical, it's emotional."

Stallard, who grew up in what she calls "anti-gun New York City," acquired her handgun before the sex change, and says the surgery increased her concern about being a victim. She likens the Pink Pistols to Deacons for Peace and Justice, an armed movement in the 1960s that protected civil rights demonstrators from the Ku Klux Klan.

"I accept that the gay-rights movement began in nonviolence, and I believe in nonaggression," she says. "But if in adopting a posture of nonviolence you make yourself a target for a sociopath, that's not right. Violence is ugly, but if my life is on the line I will protect myself."

Ownership Discrepancies

While the skeptics don't dispute that the raw number of guns, including pistols, has grown, they point to the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, which indicates more guns are being concentrated in fewer hands. That poll last year found a third of households claimed to have at least one gun, far fewer than those answering the same question in Gallup's October poll. Tartaro says these discrepancies lie in the fact that people "simply don't always tell pollsters the truth about gun ownership."

Those Americans who have acquired handguns for protection are living with "serious delusions," says Caroline Brewer, a spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She contends that few are trained rigorously enough to deploy their weapons in the shock and heat of an attack, that they'll shoot innocent bystanders, that more times than not their firearms will be turned against them.

Allowing Hidden Guns

"To suggest all these guns make the world safer is pure fantasy," she says. "And the idea that Americans are comfortable with millions of guns being carried by millions of people -- I just don't buy it. Most Americans aren't aware how easily people can get guns, and all the places that they can take guns."

Such fears underpin the concerns of states that allow people to carry hidden handguns but make permits difficult to obtain by leaving it up to the discretion of local police. Densely packed New York City, with a population of more than 8 million, issued just over 2,100 permits last year, according to the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, Florida, with about 19 million citizens, issued 123,759 in the fiscal year ended June 30 and has more than 1 million active permits, state data show.

"When you look at how rigorously our police and military are trained in firearms to keep their skills up to snuff, I just think it's a huge leap to suggest people will be able to safely use guns with so little training," says Laura Browder, a University of Richmond professor of American studies and author of a 2006 book, "Her Best Shot," exploring the history of American women and firearms.

Pulling the Trigger

Browder lives in Virginia, where it's possible to get a conceal-carry permit with no more than 10 hours of training in a hunter safety course. Alaska and Vermont allow residents to carry concealed handguns with no permit at all.

Lyn Bates, an instructor with Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment, or AWARE, who taught Robin Natanel to shoot, shares Browder's concern even as she defends handgun ownership. A Boston-area grassroots group, AWARE's philosophy is built around the tenet that the gun should be the last resort and that owners need to be rigorously prepared, physically and psychologically, to pull the trigger.

One AWARE exercise presents students with a list of 45 questions that get to the nub of the legal and moral argument over shooting an assailant. A few of them: When is shooting justified? How can you tell? Can you shoot if your assailant has a knife? A club? If your assailant is unarmed? Can you shoot to stop a rape? Can you ever shoot someone in the back?

Synagogue Shooters

Bates, 64, says she believes guns can be potent equalizers that well-trained civilians can handle. "A gun is like a fire extinguisher," she says. "It isn't there because you want to have a fire or expect to have a fire. It's there because you may find yourself in that situation where it can save your life and give the professionals time to get there."

This is why more Jews should join the conceal-carry bandwagon, says Dovid Bendory, an Orthodox rabbi in Livingston, New Jersey, who heads the 4,500-member Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Post-9/11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ranks the domestic terror threat against synagogues equal to that of railroads and utilities.

"I ask Jews all the time, 'Are you prepared for an active shooter in a synagogue?'" Bendory says. "'What would you do?' The common answer is 'I'd dial 911.' So I ask, 'And what would you do until the police got there? Hide?' They don't have a good answer for that. I believe we are woefully unprepared for such an attack."

Ground Zero

Raised on the Jersey Shore in a house of liberal Democrats where guns were anathema, Bendory, 43, says his conversion was slow. He saw his first armed Jew in 1987 when he went to Israel and encountered a soldier on his way home, a rifle slung over his shoulder. It got him thinking about his reflexively anti-gun stand in America.

While Israel does have gun control laws, it is a gun-savvy society whose egalitarian obligations to military service translate to large numbers of armed civilians trained in gun use. Civilians with guns have stopped terrorist attacks there. In March 2008, for example, a school principal drew his concealed pistol and killed a Palestinian man who had attempted to stab him and another Israeli at a bus stop, according to Arutz Sheva, operator of the website

Bendory says the 9/11 attacks were a sign for him. "I worked across the street from Ground Zero," he says, "and I thought, 'The same terrorism Israel has fought for years has come to America.' I wondered what we needed to do to defend ourselves here." His conclusion was to arm himself.

Women Living Alone

Natanel is emblematic of a demographic bulge that may help explain why women are drawn to handguns: More and more of them are living alone. The number of one-person households in America increased to 27 percent of the population in 2010 from 13 percent in 1960, according to U.S. Census data. Including single mothers, about half of all women now live without spouses, up from about 35 percent in 1950, based on census estimates.

The NRA and gunmakers in the 1980s began marketing to women with self-defense classes and handguns tailored to their size and needs, often amid intense criticism in anti-gun quarters that what they were peddling was fear.

The NRA's "Choose to Refuse to be a Victim" campaign, started in 1993, rolled out magazine ads with a toll-free number that encouraged women to call for a self-defense brochure and sign up for $20 self-defense seminars taught by women.

'Marketing Fear'

U.S. Representative Nita Lowry, a New York Democrat, demanded that the association halt the program, accusing it of "a thinly veiled attempt by the NRA to add new members and promote gun ownership by preying on women's legitimate fear of violence." The NRA, noting that the promotion didn't push firearms or require callers to join the NRA, refused. These days, it dedicates several pages of its website to women's offerings, including an updated version of "Refuse to be a Victim" and female hunting and shooting clinics.

Meanwhile, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) began advertising its LadySmith revolvers, including a lightweight, snub-nose .38 caliber model with optional pink rubber handles that the company said it had developed with suggestions from more than 6,000 women. An ad described the guns as "elegant without losing any of their practicality. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp was raised to "buy" at CL King & Associates by equity analyst James Barrett.

'Not V8 Moment'

"I think the gun industry has been very successful at marketing fear of crime to women," Browder says. "If you look at gun ads directed at women, it's the lone woman walking through a deserted parking lot. The police can't protect you. You need to protect yourself with a weapon."

That the country may be statistically safer, with incidents of sexual assault against women declining 70 percent between 1993 and 2008, doesn't necessarily matter.

"A lot of women don't feel safer," says Paxton Quigley, a New York-based writer, certified NRA instructor and gun-rights advocate who bought her first handgun after a friend was raped.

Tartaro adds a caveat: "This doesn't mean that all these women are going to go out tomorrow and buy a gun for defense. Buying a gun is not a V8 Moment. It's an incremental process. It requires instruction and training."

The number of armed women in the U.S. is a matter of debate, as is the issue of whether that number is growing. The General Social Survey has found it holding steady at around 11 percent since the survey began in 1980. That would translate to about 17.5 million.

'Guns for Meditation'

Other evidence suggests female gun ownership is increasing, though not necessarily of handguns. The National Shooting Sports Foundation cites data from the National Sporting Goods Association that female participation in target shooting rose 46 percent from 2001 to 2010 while in hunting it increased 37 percent. In the NSSF's annual survey of firearms retailers, 61 percent said they saw an increase in female customers in their stores in 2010 over 2009.

None of this is news to Cathryne Czubek, a New York film maker who spent six years researching and making a documentary, "A Girl and A Gun."

"What surprised me is how a lot of women use guns for meditation," Czubek says. "They parallel it with their yoga practice. It's a certain mindset that you get into when you're in a range. You are so focused -- you slow down your breathing and metabolism."

Music Teacher

In Shawnee, Oklahoma, about 40 miles from Oklahoma City, Tammy Pinkston, 47, has her own story to tell about women and handguns. Born in Toledo, Ohio, she moved as an 11-year-old to Oklahoma with her divorced mother, who bought 30 acres (12 hectares) on a mountaintop near the hamlet of Heavener. There weren't any people living nearby, and Pinkston and her mom kept firearms in the farmhouse, as did the distant neighbors. "It's the kind of place where if you're a bad guy and break into a house you're probably going to get shot," she says.

After college, Pinkston eventually settled into a career in Shawnee as a music teacher, mostly for area churches. About five years ago, she began to apply her teaching skills to guns and gun safety, getting an NRA instructor certification in 2008 and team-teaching with an experienced male friend. A typical class would be 36 people, a handful of them women. Pinkston noticed their reluctance to ask questions because "they didn't want to appear stupid" in front of men.

'Scary Places'

Out of this observation came her company, Oklahoma Personal Defense Academy for Women. She fills up her all-women classes on a regular basis. That Shawnee isn't exactly a hotbed of crime isn't the point for her students, Pinkston says. Perception is key, she says, and hardly a week goes by without newspapers or TV reporting some awful crime against a victim caught unaware.

She tells of a case at a mall "surrounded by million- dollar houses" in which a woman was stalked by a man before he tried to kidnap her by dragging her into her car. She escaped by wrenching free and "face-planting on the mall parking lot," Pinkston says. "Like I tell my students, I don't go to scary places, but sometimes the places I go turn scary."

Most of Pinkston's students aren't crime victims; they're women living alone, widows or divorcees in their 50s and 60s. "All of a sudden they are by themselves," she says. "They feel unsafe. The majority have come to me because they realize they need to defend themselves and they need a tool to do so. In a hand-to-hand fight, they're not going to overpower a man."

Bra Holster

The Justice Department's 2009 Female Victims of Violence report showed that 552,000 females 12 and older in 2008 experienced "nonfatal violent victimizations" including rape, sexual assault, robbery or physical assault by an intimate partner. Ninety-nine percent of the assailants were men.

The not-so-subtle subtext in women arming themselves is the real battle of the sexes. Men on average are bigger, and have superior upper body strength and muscle mass. In hand-to-hand combat with men, women almost always lose.

"Not all men are predators," says Pinkston, "but all women are prey. We're the little white bunny in the field. Good men don't hunt women, but bad men do. If such a man kicked down your door and there was no cop on the couch to protect you, what would you do? For women, there are worse things than death."

'You're Done'

Over lunch at a Friendly's restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts, Robin Natanel marvels at her changed attitudes. A half-hour earlier, she was browsing the Smith & Wesson retail store and, she says, "drooling over guns -- it's like shoe- shopping to me now."

She was considering a smaller pistol because she'd become enamored of a new conceal-carry holster called the Flashbang that attaches to the underwire of a bra. The wearer simply pulls up her blouse or T-shirt and with a single swipe downward can free the gun and fire, hence the archly descriptive name. The Walther, she says, "is just too big to fit the Flashbang."

The topic turns serious. Natanel recalls the Oct. 12 shooting rampage at a Southern California hair salon in which eight people died. "If people couldn't get guns at all, yes, maybe that would have prevented the shooting. But that's not the world we live in," Natanel says. "And what if I had been there with my gun? What if I could have intervened? Slowed him down. Would people judge me then?"

She adds: "I wake up every day saying, 'Please, I never want to shoot.' But make no mistake about it -- you try to hurt me and you're done."

32. Hollywood shootout: Gunman calmly targeted drivers, pedestrians

From the Los Angeles Times blog:

Hollywood shootout: Gunman calmly targeted drivers, pedestrians
December 9, 2011

A gunman pointed his weapon at more than a dozen people Friday as he randomly opened fire on drivers and pedestrians in Hollywood before being fatally shot by Los Angeles Police Department officers.

Video shows the gunman calmly pointing his handgun and opening fire on passing cars near Vine Street and Sunset Boulevard near the ArcLight Cinema.

A man driving a Mercedes was shot in the jaw and taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was in critical condition. He is expected to survive.

PHOTOS: Hollywood shooting

The scene resembled a fast-moving Hollywood production, said some witnesses, leaving them with the sensation that they'd witnessed something surreal.

"When I heard it, I didn't react to it being real," said Greg Watkins, a student at the nearby Los Angeles Recording School who was walking on the street and had just taken off his headphones to take a call from his girlfriend when the shooting began.

"This is Hollywood, and they do film stuff all the time," he said, standing near the ArcLight Cinemas. "I honestly thought they were filming something."

Serge Durand, who said he was visiting from Atlanta, filmed the attacks from a friend's apartment above the intersection. In the video, a gray car swerves to avoid the shooter as he points what appears to be a weapon at the car.

"Is this the end?" Durand said he heard the shooter exclaim.

Emmanuel Fierro, 21, staying with a friend in another apartment above the intersection and also a student at the recording school, said, "I walk through these streets every day to go to school."

"I couldn't believe what was happening in the streets," he said, "but I guess this is Hollywood."

The attacks began about 10 a.m. south of Sunset, police said.

A young man in a white tank top was spotted walking up the street yelling and firing a handgun in the air. He then turned to firing at passing motorists who seemed to be picked at random, including the man in the Mercedes, police sources said.

The gunman was eventually shot by a detective and an off-duty officer who may have been working on a movie set nearby.

Police have so far found no motive in the shooting.

In addition to a gun, the attacker also displayed a knife during the incident. LAPD detectives have gone to the man's home to make sure there was not a domestic incident or some other act of violence that precipitated the shooting.

33. Ala. postal worker opens fire in mail room


Ala. postal worker opens fire in mail room
December 2, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The man accused of firing shots inside the main post office in Alabama's capital city was a postal employee who was carrying three guns when he reported for his shift.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Clark Morris, said the man showed up for work at the Winton Blount Post Office and began firing shots in the mail processing room about 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Montgomery.

No one was injured.

Police Chief Kevin Murphy told CBS Affiliate WAKA the man is in his late 20s or early 30s

WAKA reports several officers at a nearby shopping center on holiday patrols responded quickly to a 911 call and had the man in custody within 10 minutes, probably saving lives. Murphy said the man had several pistols with him and that it was unclear how many shots he fired.

Federal and local officials said they do not know the suspect's motive or whether he was trying to hit anyone.

Officials said the man is being held in the Montgomery city jail pending charges.

34. Couple badly injured after bodybuilder attack- Who needs a gun in California?


Couple badly injured after bodybuilder attack
The Associated Press
December 5, 2011

COLTON, Calif. (AP) -- Police say a naked, 300-pound bodybuilder savagely beat a Southern California couple at their home, leaving them in critical condition.

The Sun of San Bernardino ( says 22-year-old Ruben Arzu apparently was under the influence of steroids and other drugs, and it took four police officers, two stun gun blasts and four sets of handcuffs to restrain him.

Police say the couple came home late Saturday to find Arzu naked on the front porch of their home in Colton.

When Arzu was confronted by the 35-year-old husband, police say the bodybuilder attacked the man, causing major head trauma.

The man's wife called 911. Police say Arzu then picked her up and threw her around, causing facial injuries and multiple cuts to her head.

Arzu was booked on suspicion of attempted homicide.

35. Again, New York? No guns allowed?


Crazed shooter was looking for a bloodbath after killing girlfriend's son and man on a crowded bus, say police
4th December 2011

An ex-con who shot his girlfriend's son before opening fire in a bus packed with commuters was said to be hoping for a bloodbath.

Prosecutors say Damel Burton, of Queens, New York, was carrying a 9mm Ruger pistol with four rounds in it and had another nine rounds on him.

At his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, prosecutor Suzanne O'Hare said: 'The defendant stated that he would have shot more people but the gun jammed.'

He was held without bail on two murder charges and one count of attempted murder.

His girlfriend told the New York Daily News on Saturday that trouble was brewing before Burton shot her 18-year-old son, Keith Murrell, in the chest inside their apartment.

Sheena Tucker said: 'I didn't know he had a gun. It was out of the blue. I don't know where he came up with doing this.'

She said he had a bright future ahead of him.

'He was getting ready to graduate next year in the spring,' she said. 'He wanted to be a mechanic. He was really good with his hands.'

Friends of Murrell said he always looked out for neighborhood children.

Bonita Guin, 28, told the Daily News: 'All the kids loved him. You could catch him every morning playing with the kids outside, walking them across the street like a shepherd, making sure they were safe.'

The shooter told police: 'I had to settle a beef.' Witnesses described the scene as 'pandemonium', as one injured man fell from the bus and scores of terrified passengers fled.

Murrell managed to stumble to the nearby Royal Chicken restaurant, where workers called emergency services - but he died before reaching hospital.

The shooter had fled the scene, running to a nearby bus stop and jumping on a northbound Q111 bus around 4 p.m.

Officers responding to the 911 call went to the apartment and found an ID the gunman had accidentally dropped, police said.

On the bus, the gunman began arguing with passengers and pulled out a 9mm Luger semi-automatic pistol. He began firing and hit two men.

'The male gets on the bus and shoots two people,' Detective Martin Speechley said. 'We now have the shooter under arrest.'

Witnesses described the terrifying scenes as around 50 passengers fled the bus.

'It was crazy. I saw people running from the bus,' Shakeem Twitty, who was playing drums on sidewalk when he heard shots, told the New York Post.

Kevin Livingston, a manager at a nearby bank, added: 'I saw cops running, so I came out and I saw a young man with a red coat lying on the ground.

'He was conscious, couldn't have been more than 20. There were cops and people running everywhere.

'I'm sick of it. I'm tired of seeing young black men dead of on the side of the road.'

Another witness told the New York Post: 'It was pandemonium. I heard a shot and people started running over this way.'

Police caught the shooter and found the pistol on him.

When they asked him for a motive, the man allegedly said: 'I had to settle a beef.'

The gunman is being questioned.

Ali Nasrey, a 27-year-old worker at Royal Chicken, said co-workers told him that the gunman was a stepfather 'who shot his kid'.

Police could not immediately confirm that claim.

36. Ready, aim . . . buy? Why gun sales spiked on Black Friday

Sean Jackson emailed me this:



Ready, aim ... buy? Why gun sales spiked on Black Friday
By Martha C. White

Americans spent some $52 billion on Black Friday weekend. In addition to sweaters and iPods, though, shoppers were scooping up something else in large numbers: guns.

According to the FBI, which processes requests for background checks of prospective gun buyers, 129,166 such checks were performed on Black Friday, Nov. 25, breaking the previous single-day record -- set on Black Friday 2008 -- by nearly a third. The surge in gun sales was initially reported by USA Today.

Analysts who focus on firearms say this increase is part of a years-long trend toward increasing gun ownership. In a recent Gallup poll, 47 percent of respondents said there was a gun in the household, up from 41 percent just one year ago.

More people are buying guns these days, particularly handguns, said Cai von Rumohr, managing director at investment company Cowen & Co. For all of November, the number of background checks processed by the FBI rose by around 16 percent vs. year-ago levels.

"These numbers have been relatively strong, and I think more of it has been the trend towards lower-priced, smaller weapons," von Rumohr said. For the most part, it's unlikely these weapons are being bought to wrap up and put under a Christmas tree; many states have laws that prohibit buying a gun for someone else.

The number of first-time buyers and women buying guns has been on the rise for a few years, which may have contributed to the high numbers on Black Friday. Data from the National Sporting Goods Association show an increase in the number of female gun consumers, including a nine percentage point jump from last year to this year. Also, every state except for Illinois now lets residents carry concealed weapons.

"Retailers tell us 25 percent of customers are first-time buyers," said Larry Keane, vice president and general counsel at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade association. Many gun dealers that enroll firearm novices in safety and training courses report that their classes are full or wait-listed, another indication of growth in the number of new gun owners, he said.

Caroline Brewer, director of communications at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called the Black Friday surge a "one-time event." She said any increase in gun purchases "may be the result of marketing."

If marketing is the cause, it appears to be successful.

"Whereas five years ago it was politically incorrect (to own guns), ... what seems to be changing is social acceptance," said Bret Jordan, analyst at investment firm Avondale Partners. "I think there might be a changing view of firearms."

Jordan said the industry saw a surge in gun purchases around the time of the last presidential election, apparently because hunters and other enthusiasts feared President Barack Obama would push for more gun-control laws or stronger restrictions.

"When Obama was elected, I think people rushed out and stocked up on their tactical rifles," Jordan said, referring to military-style weapons that were potential targets of legislative restrictions.

More recently, though, the focus has switched to handguns. In spite of the economic downturn, "The category of firearm that has continued to sell very well is something one would have if they were concerned about their personal safety," Jordan said.

"The general trend is it's more socially acceptable to own a gun in the United States than it was five to six years ago," he said.

37. Like to read more discussion like this


Appropriate Restraint
So, how do we go armed, stay on the right path?
By Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D

The basic right to carry a concealed deadly weapon such as a firearm for personal defense comes with a moral imperative and legal obligation to walk the moral high ground. Unfortunately, the road is not always well paved, and there are stretches where there is no road. So, how do we who go armed stay on the right path?

I have thought about this question ever since I began carrying concealed firearms, which was right after

September 11, 2001.

As a child, I was an avid fan of TV westerns--and I still am. The most popular of this genre included such programs as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and

The Rifleman. These shows were dramas and not mindlessly violent shoot 'em up action shows. Typically, they depicted human tales with moral lessons. For example, Gunsmoke's Marshal Dillon, played by

James Arness was typically reluctant to go to guns and shoot people, even bad guys.

Similarly, the Ponderosa's Cartwrights of Bonanza, who weren't lawmen, were reluctant to shoot people. They only went to guns when they had no other choice, and when it was in defense of innocent life. And The Rifleman's hero and model father, played earnestly and convincingly by

Chuck Connors, although a very dangerous man if pushed to the limits, and a consummate gun fighter, had strong morals which he was continually teaching his son.

The TV westerns of the sixties depicted a simpler time that is long gone. Today, the world is more complicated and totally unlike that earlier time, and a far cry from the innocence of the fifties, sixties, and even the seventies and eighties. However, the dialectic of good versus evil continues to play out today. This, among other reasons, is why keeping and bearing firearms remains an absolute necessity. And this is why those of us who lived the armed lifestyle must walk the moral high ground. So, what is the moral high ground?

It all boils down to good intentions and appropriate restraint. Have you ever watched a movie in which the protagonist finally overpowers and captures the bad guy alive, and wants to wreak his longed-for vengeance? In most scenarios, unless the bad guy continues to be an immediate threat, the hero lets him live to face justice. In every fiber of his being, the hero might want to deliver a coup de grace. But he does not.

In the end, what makes him the "good guy" is that he exercises appropriate restraint. Having good intentions means you avoid doing unnecessary harm. Now, let's apply this dialectic to one aspect of everyday reality.

In an extended thread on the online forum, members examined the following scenario: A middle aged man is leaving a bar/restaurant some time after 1:00 AM, and walking to his parked vehicle with several female friends with whom he has shared a pleasant evening. Suddenly, three twenty something gang bangers walk up to them and verbalize inappropriate and invasive sexual comments to the women. Two of the punks slap one woman's rear end. She flips out.

The man confronts the three gang bangers. Essentially, he tells them that they have committed an assault and that they need to go away and leave him and his female friends alone. The gang bangers then physically assault him. Two of the women call 911. In the mean time, the man is being beaten--three young men against one middle aged man. The women do not jump in. They continue to witness the thrashing and they become hysterical.

This event actually happened in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania earlier this year. The man was not armed. The three gang bangers brutally beat this man and he sustained a severe concussion and other serious injuries, but he survived. The gang bangers fled into the night as the police sirens approached.

Now let's slightly modify the story as was done for purposes of discussion on the Defensive Handguns forum, In this version of the story, the man is armed and the question is whether this man would have been in the right to present his firearm when the three gang bangers made it clear that they were about to assault him.

Some forum discussants opined that, if the man had been armed, he would not have been in the right to present his firearm because, by verbally confronting the gang bangers, he had instigated the fight and escalated the altercation. They argued that it would be a different story if he was unarmed and had the skill set of a

Chuck Norris or a Steven Seagall. Then he might have been in the right to confront they said.

In reality, the man was in fact unarmed and he did not have advanced martial arts or hand to hand combatives skills. Therefore, these discussants reasoned, he should have avoided verbally engaging the offenders and he should have tried to move away with his charges. Their argument was that the man was beat down because it was just him against three younger and stronger men (disparity of strength and numbers) and that he foolishly erred in brazenly confronting greater power and strength. He was lucky he wasn't killed.

On the other side of the debate, there were those who argued that whether or not the man was armed, he had the right to verbally confront the offenders and take defensive actions when they attacked him. Some of these discussants argued that if he had been armed, he would have been in the right to present his firearm given the immediate threat of grave bodily harm and death with which he was confronted due to the marked disparity of force.

Which side of the debate do you fall on? If you carry a firearm for self defense, does appropriate restraint mean you must avoid all confrontations? Does being discreetly armed mean you must abdicate your right to confront bad or inappropriate aggressive behavior? If you have no intention of employing deadly force, or using your gun to intimidate, is the wisest course of action to keep your mouth shut when you witness an assault?

The extended discussion of this actual incident can be read in its entirety at and every situation is different given the totality of the circumstances. However, the common thread that runs through every social problem is the importance of exercising appropriate restraint. It cannot be reduced to a formula because the dictum is that you must employ good judgment in order to exercise appropriate restraint. Your mind must be in control of your emotions.

Common sense and survival dictate that you calculate the odds before you commit yourself to a course of action that is likely to lead to a fight. In the case above, given a clear disparity of force against him, would it have been cowardly if the older man chose to strategically appear to not react to the insult, for the sake of the greater good of keeping everyone safe?

Sure, if that man had Chuck Norris's skills, he could probably verbally confront the punks knowing they would attack, and then, he could probably calibrate his unarmed counter attack based on their degree of force. After all, three gang bangers against Norris may not be a disparity of force against Norris. However, if the bangers introduced deadly weapons, that would be another story.

Now, if the older man was armed, one would need to ask, and if he had to shoot the bangers afterwards in self defense, a grand jury would ask, whether he responded to the wrong doers in the way that he did because he knew that he had the power of deadly force with him. You see, the common sense dictum and legal standard is that one should walk away from a fight if one safely can (keeping one's own and one's companions safety in mind). Additionally, this standard demands that one must avoid using deadly force if at all safely possible.

So, this goes into the question of intent. And it is an important question. If the man was armed and he chose to confront, the question would be, what was he thinking? Was he thinking that he could and should confront because he was armed, and therefore, he could handle the situation if the bangers escalated? In fact, another question would be, was he thinking, or just reacting? And if he was just reacting, was he exercising appropriate restraint?

In the event as it happened, the man was not armed. Was he thinking or just feeling? That is an important question. We who go armed must think. Let's be clear. I am one hundred percent for immediately countering violence with greater violence to neutralize the attackers. But here's the problem. When we are carrying, we are held by the law to a higher standard than when we are unarmed. Without a doubt, this is a tough question. If you are attacked and your life and limb are in immediate danger, you must do whatever you must do to survive without grave bodily injury.

But, do we sacrifice the right to respond with righteous anger to clear wrongs when we are armed and such response could result in our having to use the deadly power at our disposal? I do not have a clear cut answer. However, what I want to leave you with is the thought that you must think before you act and stay in control of your emotions, for your own and everyone's good. So, be smart, use your head, and stay safe. Our mind is our greatest weapon.

38. Low IQ robber

Board member Dale Welch emailed me this:


Omaha, Ne (my ol' hometown)

The best defense is to have a REAL gun.

Man walked in a bar wearing a ski mask and wielding a BB pistol in an attempt to rob the place. The owner pulled a real gun - the BG left in a hurry. After a brief chase he was captured and held for police.

---- Dale


Omaha man arrested in attempted bar robbery
December 4, 2011

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A suspect in the attempted robbery of an Omaha bar has been arrested after the owner and patrons gave chase.

Omaha police say 35-year-old Robert Gallagher Jr. faces attempted robbery and other charges in the Sunday morning incident. He's being held in the Douglas County jail.

Authorities say Gallagher was armed with what was believed to be a handgun when he entered Time Clock Lounge about 2 a.m. Sunday and attempted to rob the bar. When the owner displayed his own gun, the suspect ran, with the owner and patrons giving chase. Officers took Gallagher into custody.

Police say Gallagher's weapon was an airsoft gun.

39. Gun addiction

From YouTube:

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