Saturday, December 3, 2011

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 12/3/11

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

1. VCDL President to speak at Liberty University on Monday - open to the pubic
2. VCU wrap up and press coverage
3. VCDL President interviewed on "The Score" with Scott Lee
4. UVA: Regulation roulette
5. Student wants to carry guns at Purdue
6. Man entering homes around UVa and groping men
7. Tennessee students want their gun rights too!
8. LTE: Findings run contrary to theories of anti-gun zealots
9. Mark Proulx, NH Legislator, says 'gun free zones become killing zones'
10. Umbrella, not gun, causes lockdown at ECU
11. Who needs a gun in D.C.?
12. Who needs a gun in New York City?
13. Tucson shooting survivors lobby lawmakers for stricter gun laws
14. Pizza driver says he was fired for carrying weapon
15. HCSO: Dad shoots man holding daughter hostage
16. Father accidentally kills himself in front of children at grocery store
17. Woman fires gun to ward off man trying to steal her car, Akron police say
18. Arizona SWAT team defends shooting Iraq vet 60 times
19. Sterling sub-machine gun found near children's playground in UK
20. CMP Shooter's News 11-16-11

1. VCDL President to speak at Liberty University on Monday - open to the pubic

I am going to be a guest speaker at Liberty University on Monday, December 5, at 6:00 PM. The meeting, which runs until 8:00 PM, will be held at DeMoss Hall, room 1101. The event is sponsored by a new student club - the College Constitutional Conservative Christian Coalition (C5) - and the meeting was arranged by student Craig Storrs.

I will be speaking about VCDL and VCDL's various initiatives - past, present, and future.

The meeting is open to the public, so bring family and friends!

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. has been invited to speak about the new policy that allows student, faculty, staff, and guests to carry firearms outside of buildings and to store guns in their vehicles, but not carry into buildings (with a few exceptions). It is not yet clear whether the Chancellor will be able to speak at the meeting.


DeMoss Hall is the central academic building on campus. The meeting room is on the first (ground level) floor. There will be signs directing people to the room. You can park in the righthand parking lot in front of the DeMoss Hall, or across the street. Basically, you can park anywhere that is not marked "Reserved" after 5 PM.

You can download a map of the campus here:

DeMoss is in the center and is building #45.

Facebook page for the event:

2. VCU wrap up and press coverage

The VCU protest was another success! We passed out 1,200 brochures and countless stickers. In fact, we ran out of brochures at the end. :-(

I would like to thank the VCU Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) and the following speakers: John Allen (President of VCU SCCC) , Jim Reynolds (ex-LEO and firearms instructor), Will Aygarn (gun rights activist who lost a family member to violent crime), Kurt Mueller (attorney and SCCC Board of Directors member) and Clayton Rhoades (long-time gun-rights activist). All of them did an excellent job in their presentations.

The antis were there (around a dozen of them vs. about 40 of us).

Things were a little different for them at VCU. I was surprised as they behaved themselves and stayed at the outer edge of our protest. Turned out, as I learned later, the antis were told that if they attempted to "occupy" or interfere with our protest, they would removed from the area.

Suddenly the Universe made sense again!

Like I have said before, we don't care that they are exercising their free speech at our protests. But it was nice to have them off to the side and not jammed right in the middle of our protest, or parading back-and-forth through it, both of which they had done at our previous protests.

I can't say the antis were perfectly behaved. They were sticking their "No guns on campus" stickers on passersby without getting the person's permission. That is really bad form.

I witnessed the result of them doing that firsthand when one student, who was infuriated to find out they had put one of their stickers on her sleeve, grabbed a "Guns Save Lives" sticker from us and put it over the offending sticker while she glared at the antis. ;-)

A few minutes later a couple of other students told us that they inadvertently grabbed the antis sticker when they actually wanted one of ours. After destroying the "No guns on campus" stickers they were holding, they proudly put on "Guns Save Lives" stickers.

The VCU Police Chief, John Venuti, dropped by to see how things were going. There were around 5 officers at the protest initially and then they all gradually disappeared - nothing much for them to do. The VCU PD was professional and was easy to work with.


John Allen does a great job in this video coverage!

From WRIC Channel 8, Richmond:

And coverage in the local paper:

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Pro-gun rally at VCU stirs debate
By: Mark Bowes
Published: December 02, 2011

A gun-rights rally at Virginia Commonwealth University aimed at allowing students and faculty members to carry concealed guns on campus struck a positive chord with VCU student Heidi Floyd, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and mother of two small children.

Floyd, 32, of Midlothian, stopped to listen as members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League and VCU Students for Concealed Carry on Campus talked up the idea of self-protection and allowing responsible gun owners to carry concealed firearms with a permit on school grounds.

"I want to be able to protect my family, protect myself," said Floyd, who said she would now look into getting a permit.

Floyd said she was "terrified" for her husband when he took classes at Old Dominion University, where he walked by an incident where a student got robbed. Now, her husband fears for her safety.

"He doesn't want me taking classes at night here because he hears these stories of people getting robbed and assaulted on campus," she said.

But Zachary Madrigal, a 23-year-old VCU graduate student studying advertising, believes there's a time and a place for guns — and college campuses are not among them.

"We're not anti-gun," Madrigal said. "There are a lot of people with our movement who actually own guns and fire them recreationally."

But he's concerned about the unpredictable consequences of a concealed-carry permit holder pulling a gun in an adrenaline-fueled encounter.

"A lot of people don't have the training, and they don't know what will happen in the heat of the moment," said Madrigal, a Virginia Tech alumnus who lost friends during the campus massacre in 2007. [PVC: So when those same students are not on campus, but carrying a gun, they are not exposed to "adrenaline-fueled encounters"?]

Madrigal was standing Thursday with about a dozen people who oppose guns on campus, a counterweight to the pro-gun crowd whose numbers swelled to more than 40 toward the end of the 2½-hour rally.

At least half a dozen students wearing pro-gun stickers stood among the older adult members of the VCDL, which is holding demonstrations at more than a dozen public colleges and universities across the state in opposition to efforts to ban concealed carry on campus.

"We are here on a mission, and our mission is to save lives," VCDL President Philip Van Cleave declared to the peaceful gathering.

Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was wounded in the Virginia Tech massacre, flatly rejects the notion that students and faculty members with concealed guns will make college campuses safer.

The notion that "anyone on a college campus in Virginia needs a loaded firearm is patently false," Haas said, "because campuses are one of the safest places in Virginia and across the nation." [PVC: Yep, until Cho shows up.]

Haas, who has participated in counterdemonstrations at other schools, described those holding Thursday's rally as a "bunch of older gentlemen who are promoting a special interest" and are "coming into an environment that they are not part of." [PVC: ROFLMAO! That was said by an older lady who is promoting a special interest and coming into an environment that SHE is not a part of! ;-) ]

VCU student John Allen, a rally organizer who formed the VCU chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, countered that description by noting that his group's Facebook page has about 55 student members.

"Those of us that have concealed-handgun permits and carry guns (are blocked) by an invisible line that we cross into (when entering) this non-existing gun-free zone" at VCU, Allen said. "And we can't defend ourselves while we're on campus and, for commuters like me, while walking to and from campus."

3. VCDL President interviewed on "The Score" with Scott Lee

EM Hal Macklin emailed me this:


From Bearing Drift:

By Norman Leahy
November 5, 2011


On this special, election-eve edition of "The Score" radio show...

Scott leads off with Phil Van Cleave, who heads-up the Virginia Citizens Defense League, on the topic of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest foray into Virginia's elections, this time on behalf of anti-gun Democrats. Also, a report on the VCDL's trip to ODU, which has decided to ban guns on campus.

4. UVA: Regulation roulette

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From Cavalier Daily:

By Sam Novack
November 16, 2011

THE UNIVERSITY adopted a new regulation concerning the use of concealed firearms last weekend, superseding the policies already in place and bringing the University legally up-to-speed with schools such as George Mason University. This was done in response to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion about current weapons policy, issued last summer per the request of state Sen. Emmet Hanger, Jr.

According to Cuccinelli, the previous weapons policy did not prevent non-student possessors of concealed-carry permits from bringing concealed firearms into on-Grounds buildings and events. The University's new regulation closes this loophole and prohibits weapons from on-Grounds facilities and events, with law enforcement officials being the only ones exempt from the regulation.

The only real change brought on by this regulation is that concealed-carry permit holders are now legally unable to bring firearms to on-Grounds buildings and events. But do more stringent gun control laws make us safer, or do just the opposite?

The debate about gun control is certainly nothing new. The idea that stricter gun control laws will reduce violent crime has been advocated in the United States, with varying degrees of success, since the nation's founding. The anti-gun side of the argument gains steam whenever a tragic event like Columbine or the Virginia Tech massacre occurs, and people join together to blame the nation's lax gun laws for the deaths of the innocent. If the perpetrators of the horrendous crimes had not been allowed to legally possess the firearms used to commit the murders, gun opponents say, the massacres could have been avoided. Ample evidence, though, suggests just the contrary.

One can look to the United Kingdom for an example of the ineffectiveness of gun control legislation. During the 1980s and 1990s when crime rates were steadily on the rise, the British government began to implement stricter and stricter gun laws. These, however, were unable to curb the country's trend of increasing crime.

This same phenomenon also is evident in the United States. Washington D.C., which has one of the strictest gun control policies in the nation, also features one of the nation's highest rates of violent crime and in the past has been called the "murder capital of the United States."

This correlation between gun control and violent crime stands in complete opposition to the ideas of those who would advocate firearm regulation. In addition, with more relaxed gun laws seem to come fewer violent crimes. Florida adopted a concealed carry law in 1987, and its rates of violent crime and homicide have dropped dramatically since then.

It is true that anyone can Google "statistics proving gun control works" and find numbers proving just the opposite, but this issue of gun control and crime deterrence can be looked at from a localized, common sense level, as well. Regulations like the one passed at the University make it illegal for all individuals, aside from law enforcement officials, to possess firearms, concealed or otherwise.

But does this stop a criminal who is already intent on committing a crime? I cannot see an individual intent on murder deciding not to carry out his attack because he fears being in violation of the weapons regulation. Criminals, or would-be criminals, by definition, have no regard for laws or regulations. Regulations like the one just adopted by the University only remove weapons from those who are legally trained to use them for self-defense.

This was the case for Bradford Wiles, who was a Virginia Tech graduate student in 2006 when he wrote a column for The Roanoke Times titled "Unarmed and Vulnerable" about the school's gun control policy. In the piece, he described the school's rules banning guns on campus, which prevented Wiles, who was registered to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia, from arming himself for self-defense. Though he was trained to use a firearm, Wiles's safety was entirely in the hands of armed law enforcement officials while on Virginia Tech's campus.

Should it be made more difficult for people with criminal records or suspected mental conditions to get their hands on deadly weapons? Certainly. But the reality is that these people, intent on carrying out horrendous crimes, are not going to pull up short when they hear about the new gun regulations in town.

There will always be people out to hurt and kill others, and no amount of red tape will stop someone determined to do so. It is those in danger of being hurt or killed who need to have the means to stop such attackers and to deter tragedies from ever occurring.

5. Student wants to carry guns at Purdue

More drums beating.

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



November 14, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (CBS) - A Purdue University student wants to carry a gun to class and thinks other students should have that right too.

Student government senator Zach Briggs thinks carrying concealed weapons would make campus safer.

"Students, staff and faculty, if they have the proper state licensing, should be able to also be licensed by Purdue to carry a handgun, "Briggs said.

Briggs is working on a legislation for it in the student government. He said a concealed carrier could have stopped the Virginia Tech shooter in 2007.

Briggs proposes students take an eight hour class to get a license from Purdue to carry a weapon. He's already arranged discounted gun safety classes at a West Lafayette shooting range.

But, not everyone's sold on the idea.

"If I took an 8 hour course and I had a gun I would feel a little bit safer but I just don't think that's right," Rachel Stege, a Purdue senior said.

Dawn Williams is a freshman at Purdue. She said, "I don't feel like just anybody should just have a gun, you know, because I feel like crime rates would go up." [PVC: As usual she has no logic or proof of her fears, only her "feelings."]

Alex Illium, a senior, doesn't think it's a good idea either.

"It's only going to cause more chaos in the end if a situation did occur," he said. [PVC: Another person with a vivid imagination.]

The campus police chief said Purdue's crime rate rises no where near gun necessity. He also has concerns about mixing guns and alcohol. [PVC: So, Chief - if no guns are necessary due to the low crime rate, then why don't you and your officers give up your guns?]

"Just putting firearms in the mix with alcohol and young men and women can only lead to more of those random acts of violence," John Cox, the Purdue University Police Chief, said. [PVC: So, when did people over 30 stop attending universities? You'd swear there were only teens attending based on the Chief's statement.]

Student government has to pass the resolution first. Then, it would go to the University Senate and on to Purdue's Board of Trustees.

6. Man entering homes around UVa and groping men

The UVA spokeswoman forgot to add: fall to the floor and curl into the fetal position.

Jeff Buchanan emailed me this:


From The Daily Progress:
November 18, 2011

Multiple male victims have reported being sexually assaulted by a male suspect in a series of nighttime incidents at residences near the University of Virginia, according to police and university officials.

Larceny is not a motive, and in each case victims reported awakening to find themselves being groped, officials said.

In a university email alert sent Thursday to all students, UVa Police Chief Michael A. Gibson described the suspect as a thin black male in his 20s or 30s who entered apartments through unlocked doors.

Charlottesville police said the first incident occurred on Sept. 29 on University Circle, followed by subsequent incidents on 17th Street Northwest on Oct. 15 and 22, and an incident on Virginia Avenue on Oct. 21. The last incident occurred on Nov. 13, according to city police, but many were not reported to police until the university sent out the email.

In an email, UVa spokeswoman Carol Wood reminded students to be alert of their surroundings and to remember to lock windows and doors.

7. Tennessee students want their gun rights too!

And the drumbeat continues to get louder.

Aaron Johnson emailed me this:



NASHVILLE, Tenn.- After an armed robbery on MTSU's campus Tuesday night, some students have decided to make a push for more gun rights for students.

The robbery occurred Tuesday night just before 9 p.m. at the Scarlett Commons Apartments on MTSU Campus. Police said during the robbery the student and the suspect got into a fight over the gun. At one point the student took control of the weapon, but then lost it to the robber, and was hit in the head.

The incident has sparked action by campus groups, like Raiders for the Right to Bear Arms, who have called on lawmakers to allow students the right to carry on campus.

"A deranged gunman can show up anywhere, anytime and campus police simply aren't able to be dispatched and be at the crime scene before things get really bad. The only people that are able to stop situations like that are the ones that are there and potential victims," said Porsche Kristina, with Raiders for the Right to Bear Arms.

MTSU's Campus Chief of Police, Buddy Peaster, said he is not against firearms, but he doesn't believe they belong on campus. Chief Peaster also said incidents like Tuesday night's armed robbery are a rare occurrence.

8. LTE: Findings run contrary to theories of anti-gun zealots

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From Decatur Tribune:

November 19, 2011

Dear Editor:

Researcher John Lott, Ph.D. is widely considered the world's premier expert on gun control. Having examined every multiple-victim public shooting in America over a 50-year period, his findings run contrary to the theories advanced by anti-gun zealots in just about every way.

Probably the biggest single factor for determining how many people get killed or injured at one of these scenes when an attack occurs is the amount of time that elapses between when the attack starts and someone is able to arrive there on the scene with a gun. Dr. Lott explained that the only gun-related law that has any effect on such attacks is the passage of "right to carry" laws.

According to his research, allowing citizens to be armed was associated with a 60-percent decline in mass shooting sprees and an 80-percent drop in the rate at which people were killed or injured in such attacks.

On top of that, when shooting rampages did occur in jurisdictions where citizens could be legally armed, they were "virtually all in the tiny areas within the state where permitted concealed handguns weren't allowed." In America, those places are known as "gun-free zones." That's what killer and would-be robbers look for.

As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Donna Negangard

9. Mark Proulx, NH Legislator, says 'gun free zones become killing zones'

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:


From Huffington Post:

By John Celock
November 15, 2011

A Republican state lawmaker in New Hampshire endorsed guns on college campuses on Monday, saying in an email to fellow legislators that "gun-free zones become killing zones."

State Rep. Mark Proulx (R-Manchester) came out in support of the bill, which was favored by the House criminal justice committee, in response to an email to legislators from two community college leaders urging the defeat of the legislation. The bill was introduced earlier this year after Republican takeover of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The measure allows the state legislature to govern all firearm regulation in the state, taking away power from other private and public entities.

Wildolfo Arvelo, president of Great Bay Community College, and Nancy Pierce, the college's advisory board chairwoman, wrote that the bill should be amended to allow the state's community college system and the University of New Hampshire to set gun policies on their campuses. The letter, which was sent out by email early Monday afternoon, was addressed to state legislators representing Rockingham and Strafford Counties.

"In testimony, college and university security personnel, including a former New Hampshire police officer and a member of the New Hampshire state police/major crimes unit, emphasized the dangers in eliminating current restrictions on gun possession on a college campus," the administrators wrote. "Thousands of young people attend New Hampshire's colleges, sharing close quarters in residential, social, academic and other group activities. At this age, judgment and behaviors are still being developed and tested. To the best of our knowledge, presently in New Hampshire every private and public college bans firearms."

Arvelo and Pierce listed nine specific reasons why they wanted the college exemption, including fears that professors would not be able to do their jobs -- and possibly give low grades -- if they were worried about their students being armed. Another reason included concern that armed students may respond to situations on campus, potentially causing issues for campus security officials, and the fear that drunk students could accidentally shoot others.

Proulx "replied all" to the email with his own response late Monday afternoon, addressing the college advocates as well as the legislators on the original message.

"For people that are supposed to be so smart, you never learn from history," Proulx wrote from his state email account. "The history lesson you should have learned is that gun free zones become killing zones. These killing zones are the places that crazy people who are looking to make a name for themselves go."

Proulx continued, saying he believes that allowing guns on campus would stop violent incidents.

"Not to mention when these incidents happen there were people there that could have stopped the killing early on but could not," he wrote. "They could not because they were following some ridiculous law or rule that would not allow them to carry the weapon they wear every day."

Proulx, a first-term Republican and former Nashua fire lieutenant, said he would be supporting the bill to prevent the creation of "another killing zone."

Utah, Mississippi and Wisconsin are the only states that allow guns on college campuses. Texas and Arizona both considered similar bills earlier this year, with Arizona's legislation passing both houses of the state legislature before being vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R). In Texas, the bill passed the state Senate, but stalled in the House after state Rep. Mike Vilarreal (D-San Antonio) blocked it on a procedural issue.

Wisconsin's campus gun law allows for guns to be carried on college campuses, but allows academic institutions to enact bans on carrying guns in buildings. The University of Wisconsin, for example, has enacted a ban on bringing guns into university-owned buildings. The bill was signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) over the summer.

In September, a state appeals court in Oregon overturned the Oregon University System's regulations prohibiting guns on campuses. The ruling -- which the university system is not appealing -- does not change rules prohibiting guns from classrooms, dorm rooms and other indoor facilities.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) issued an advisory opinion earlier this year, saying that private colleges bans on weapons are easier to enforce than public college ones as public universities are owned by the state. The Virginia Senate voted down a bill earlier this year to allow guns on campus. In January, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld a gun ban at George Mason University.

10. Umbrella, not gun, causes lockdown at ECU

People panic when they are disarmed sheep and a wolf might be on the prowl - they have no other options. We are seeing more and more of these lockdowns. It's a very different world for the armed citizen, who is like a sheepdog and not a sheep.

Brennen Palmer emailed me this:



By Amanda Lamb
November 16, 2011

East Carolina University was locked down for about three hours Wednesday after people reported seeing a man with an assault rifle walking casually on a main thoroughfare near the Greenville campus.

The item the man was carrying was, in fact, an umbrella.

The man was seen near the corner of 5th Street and Reade Circle at about 10 a.m., ECU spokeswoman Mary Schulken said. Campus police, Greenville police, the state Highway Patrol and Pitt County deputies systematically swept the campus and nearby neighborhoods to search for the man.

When they found him, they determined he was not a threat.

The lockdown was lifted shortly after noon for ECU's medical campus, and it was lifted for the main campus at 1 p.m.

Greenville police Sgt. Carlton Williams said rumors circulating on Facebook and Twitter caused authorities to "chase ghosts" and use resources inefficiently. Still, he said, the university handled the reports properly, law enforcement worked well together and students remained calm and orderly.

False leads about a potential hostage situation caused the evacuation of the Rivers Building.

Police also surrounded several city buses with weapons drawn after witnesses reporting seeing the armed man on board. That report was unfounded and all the buses were secured, authorities said.

"We'd rather respond 10 times than have someone not call and have it be something tragic," Williams said.

About 27,000 students attend ECU. The university said classes would resume at 3 p.m.

Chancellor Steve Ballard said he was relieved that the reports turned out to be false.

"East Carolina University will always err on the side of campus safety when these situations arise. Our response by faculty, staff and students was timely and professional," he said in a statement.

The school had an emergency drill to prepare for a lockdown like this back in August.

Three nearby schools also were locked down as a precaution ˚ Elmhurst Elementary School, Wahl-Coates Elementary School and C.M. Eppes Middle School.

This is the fifth time in recent weeks that a North Carolina college campus has been locked down because of reports of a gunman.

On Nov. 5, police shot a former Elizabeth City State University student who allegedly brought an assault rifle to campus. The school was temporarily locked down after officers on foot patrol ran into students running from the man.

Wake Technical Community College's campus in north Raleigh was locked down on Nov. 7, but authorities couldn't locate a gunman seen in some nearby woods. Campbell University was locked down a week ago during a three-hour standoff with a student suspected of stealing weapons from a Fuquay-Varina gun shop.

Late Monday, a man who robbed a business near the University of North Carolina at Wilmington was seen running toward the campus, prompting another lockdown.

11. Who needs a gun in D.C.?

Ah, more crime in a gun-free Shangri-La.

Deborah Jane Anderson emailed me this:


Below are two blog articles from the Washington Post about crimes committed this weekend. Stories like these might never occur, though, if DC residents could be armed and able to defend themselves.

1. In the first article, the victim was confronted by up to 5 thugs in an armed robbery. Having his/her own gun for self-defense sure would have helped to even out the odds.

2. In the second article, while it might not have prevented the assailant from shooting in the first place, the bad guy might not have gotten away from the scene, if the bus at which he fired shots happened to have had a few armed citizens on-board. On the other hand, he might not have shot in the first place if he knew that people on board just might be carrying.

Deborah Jane Anderson

From Washington Post:

By Martin Well
November 13, 2011

Robbers Flee After Southwest Holdup

As many as five robbers took part in a gunpoint holdup Sunday night near one of the busiest intersections in Southwest Washington.

The robbery occurred around 10 p.m. at 4th and M Streets SW, near the Arena Stage and the Waterfront stop on the Metro Green Line.

Police said the robbers fled east toward South Capitol Street. No information about the victim was available immediately.

The Metro station was closed Sunday night for the replacement of track switches.


From Washington Post:

By Spencer S. Hsu
November 13, 2011

Metro bus rider shot at close range in Southeast Washington

An unknown assailant fired three gunshots into a Metro bus at a stop near Fort Dupont Park in Southeast Washington at about dawn Sunday morning, wounding a Prince George's County man in the left hand and right arm, transit authorities said.

The victim was taken from the scene at 37th Street near Ely Place to Prince George's County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said. The shooter escaped.

"We are currently interviewing both the victim and the person he was with, as well as reviewing camera footage from onboard the bus as the investigation continues," Stessel said. "At this point it is unclear whether the shooter knew either one of these passengers on the bus, but that is something we are looking into."

Stessel did not identify the victim. The U-6 bus was just pulling away from the stop shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday when a man who had declined to board the bus pointed a gun at the last panel of the bus's right, or curbside, window, firing three times at near-point blank range, Stessel said.

12. Who needs a gun in New York City?

Surprise! New York is a violent city, but you can't carry a gun to defend yourself. Mayor Bloomberg should set an example of the joys of being disarmed by getting rid of all of his security guards - all of them. Any bets he would never do that?

John Treaster emailed me this:


From CBS New York:
November 16, 2011

Nervous Straphangers Say Crime Appears To Be Escalating Underground

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Police in Queens are hunting for three suspects they say are wanted for an assault on a subway train that was captured on video.

The video was recorded just after 2 a.m. on Nov. 8. It shows an argument between two men on a Queens bound L train that police say quickly escalated into a beating.

In the video, the victim is seen pushing away one man when another jumps in and the two begin punching the victim. Soon, three men can be seen hitting and kicking the victim to the floor. The bloodied 25-year-old tries to crawl away, but the suspects are relentless.

CBS 2's Dave Carlin showed the shock video to city straphangers on Wednesday.

"They keep on bothering him for no apparent reason," Chastity Reyes said. "It's more and more crime and it's happening every day."

"I'm scared. I take the L train evey day that makes me feel a little too scared," added Stella Lowder of Queens.

"Guy looks like he's not messing for anybody and they're just looking for a victim. It happens," said Robert Flores of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

There was no word on the extent of the victim's injuries or what he was arguing about with the suspects.

13. Tucson shooting survivors lobby lawmakers for stricter gun laws

More misguided souls who think that restricting private sales will make a difference in crime.

John Treaster emailed me this:


From FOX News:
November 16, 2011

A dozen survivors of the January shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that severely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) lobbied federal lawmakers Tuesday to broaden federal background checks on potential gun owners.

The effort marked the first time since the shooting, which killed six and wounded 13, including Giffords, that a large group of Tucson survivors have banded together to weigh in on the politically charged issue.

"Tucson is yet another extreme tragic example of what is at stake each and every time a gun is placed into the wrong hands," said Patricia Maisch, who witnessed the shooting and wrested a magazine of ammunition from the accused shooter, Jared Loughner. Maisch urged lawmakers to "fix the broken system" of background checks.

The lobbying effort, which included private meetings with lawmakers and an appearance before a Senate subcommittee, was organized by a coalition of mayors pushing for tighter gun control. The mayors -- led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino -- and the Tucson survivors are lobbying for a bill that would require states to supply more complete mental health and criminal records to a federal database used for background checks on gun buyers.

The bill would also require federal background checks for those seeking to buy guns from private dealers, who often sell at gun shows. Now, purchases from private dealers are not subject to background checks.

Loughner legally purchased a gun from a licensed dealer even after college officials removed him from the school because of mental health issues. Loughner is in custody amid efforts to restore him to competency so he can stand trial.

"It's entirely possible Jared Loughner might not have bought the Glock" if his admission of drug use to the army or mental health problems were known, said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, who led the subcommittee hearing. "I don't want there to be any more what-ifs."

Some mental health advocates worry the bill would unfairly punish those seeking mental treatment or discourage people from seeking treatment. A National Rifle Association spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gun control is a complex issue for the Tucson victims, some of whom own firearms and live in a conservative state that expanded gun rights after the January shooting. Giffords, a moderate Democrat, is known for her support of gun rights.

"I'm really distraught and pretty angry," Tucson shooting survivor Roger Salzgeber told Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, in a meeting in Flake's office Tuesday afternoon.

Salzgeber helped subdue Loughner. His wife, Faith, wrapped a nine-year-old victim, Christina Taylor Green, in a tablecloth to keep her warm and comforted her as she lay on the ground dying from her wounds.

"I'm a gun owner. I've had my check done," Salzgeber told Flake. "I'm not here advocating to take anyone's guns away. I'm here to advocate that people who shouldn't have guns don't get guns."

Flake said he would look at the proposed bill.

The group of 12 survivors and their family members met with lawmakers the day after Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, appeared on national television for their first extended interview since the shooting.

14. Pizza driver says he was fired for carrying weapon

If we can find out which Domino's franchise this is, we should boycott it.

Jeff Koke emailed me this:


From WVEC TV-13:

By Karen Hopkins
November 18, 2011

SUFFOLK - A pizza delivery man says he's been fired for carrying a weapon to fight off a robber.

Ronald Youmans stopped at home while delivering pizza on the night of November 11. When he got back into his car, he says a man pointed a gun at his window and demanded money.

"I could tell it was a pellet gun, the same exact one my dad had years ago," he described on his Facebook page.

Youmans says he got out of his car, reached into his back pocket like he was going for his wallet, but he pulled out a knife instead. He says he flipped open his knife with his right hand and snatched the robber's fake gun with his left hand. The robber ran off.

"I've never seen anyone run that fast. I guess he wasn't expecting any of that to happen," he stated.

Youmans didn't expect to lose his job a few days later. He says Domino's has a policy against carrying concealed weapons.

"So I guess they want to send us to a bad neighborhood with a target on top of our car, with no protection. We have to just lie down on our backs and let these lowlife pieces of crap just take whatever they want from us without a fight," Youmans wrote.

Police do not recommend fighting off the crooks.

He also said he was told that "Because you defended yourself, now the next driver will be shot," Youmans stated.

He says he worked for Domino's for three years.

Youmans says his employer also told him he wasn't supposed to have stopped at home, which he admits he is true, but he states "I was not the only driver to ever stop somewhere else while on delivery."

Domino's statement:
Domino's Pizza, like virtually every employer in America (including yours, I would imagine), has a no weapons policy.

I've not heard of the specific incident you're referring to, most likely because it involved an employee of a franchisee. We do not, and cannot, make hiring/termination decisions on behalf of franchisees, as they are independent business owners.

We do provide safety and security training information to those employers. One of the things many police departments tell us is that in a robbery situation, your goal is to end the situation as quickly and as safely as possible. One of the ways to do that is to turn over the pizza and the money (since you're only supposed to be carrying less than $20) quickly and let them be on their way. Confrontation can and often does, lead to injury.

Again, because I don't have any other information, I'm only speaking generally, not about this specific situation.

Tim McIntyre
Vice President, Communications
Domino's Pizza LLC

15. HCSO: Dad shoots man holding daughter hostage

What would one of the "nobody needs a gun" crowd do if two violent criminals were abducting THEIR child? Just let the miscreant take the child and hope for the best?

Hell, no. Not if that was my daughter about to be dragged off to her death.

Michael Burnham emailed me this:


November 18, 2011

HOUSTON - One of two men who grabbed a teenage girl as she was leaving for school Friday was shot by her father, investigators said.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said the girl's mother orchestrated the plot.

Investigators said the men grabbed the girl in the 9200 block of Woodland Oaks Drive near Breezeway Street about 6:45 a.m.

"(The suspect) grabs her around the neck in kind of a chokehold and puts a pistol up to her head," said Jeff Stauber of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The men made the girl take them back to her house and unlock the front door, detectives said.

Deputies said the girl's father, Richard Goodie, heard the commotion, grabbed a gun and fired a shot through the door.

The father went outside and found his daughter was being held hostage, detectives said.

Investigators said one of the men threatened to kill the girl if Goodie did not back down.

"(The suspect) started dragging the young girl into the street," Stauber said. "There was some separation, and, at that point, the daddy was able to fire one shot at the suspect."

Goodie shot the man, Michael Hendricks, in the stomach, deputies said.

The man was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital. His condition has not been released.

Detectives said the other man ran and stole a vehicle from a nearby home. The owner of the vehicle said she ran inside when she heard gunshots.

"I was outside, turned on my truck, went back to the house, came back outside and they took my truck," Pat Garcia said. "They stole it from my driveway."

The girls' mother, Deanna Horn, drove up to the scene, crying about the attack.

Investigators said Horn hired the men to rob her daughter's father after he received a $17,000 settlement for a car wreck.

Detectives said Horn dropped the men off in front of the home.

Horn and Hendricks have been charged with aggravated robbery.

Goodie said his daughter was physically OK, but she was shaken up.

The stolen vehicle is a 2008 Saturn Outlook with Texas license plate No. CL4 J425.

16. Father accidentally kills himself in front of children at grocery store

A very sad story. Here are some key safety reminders:

1. Do NOT put a handgun loose in your pocket unless that pocket holds the gun tightly so it cannot move or shift, protects the trigger, and there is nothing else in the pocket. Instead always use a pocket holster (but even then, do not put anything else in that pocket)

2. Never do a "Mexican carry" where a handgun is tucked in your waistband without a holster (perhaps "Plaxico Burris" carry would also be a good name for this dangerous habit). The trigger is not protected from being snagged and the gun can easily fall out of your pants or down your pants, a al Plaxico. Always use a holster when carrying inside the waistband

3. A holster MUST completely cover the trigger, otherwise throw it in the trash and buy one that does

From WTVR CBS-6:
November 14, 2011

SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VA (WTVR) - A father accidentally shot and killed himself at the grocery store Sunday evening, according to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.

The father, a 45-year-old Spotsylvania man, was in his minivan with his children waiting for his wife to return a DVD to the Redbox outside the Giant Food Store in Harrison Crossing when he was shot, said Captain Elizabeth Scott with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.

The wife said she heard a pop and when she ran back to the minivan, her husband told her he thought he'd shot himself, said Capt. Scott. [UPDATE: Police say shooting victim had gun tucked in waistband]

A family friend says the couple has four children under the age of 12, including an infant.

When a Spotsylania County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene minutes after the shooting, the man's wife and others in the Giant parking lot were trying to revive the man.

The deputy reported the man suffered significant blood loss and was already unconscious when he arrived. The man was later pronounced dead at Mary Washington Hospital, said Capt. Scott.

She said the initial investigation indicated when the man tried to unbuckle his seat belt, he hit the trigger of his .40 caliber glock and shot himself in the hip.

It is unclear whether the man carried his gun in a holster or his pocket. The family friend says it likely was loose in his pocket. It has also not been determined whether the man was a licensed gun owner, however his wife indicated to investigators she knew he carried a weapon with him from time to time, said Capt. Scott.

"If you're going to carry a concealed weapon, put it in a reputable holster," Capt. Scott said when asked about general gun safety tips.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the shooting to determine whether there are any signs of foul play.

17. Woman fires gun to ward off man trying to steal her car, Akron police say

Chaz Holland emailed me this:



By Phil Trexler
November 12, 2011

'I honestly believe I would not be here today if I didn't have a gun. ... I'm just glad I'm here today and not in the obituaries tomorrow,' says victim who fired gun

Outside Shirley Bennett's home in Lakemore hangs a sign that reads: Forget about the dog, beware of the owner.

She very well could make a similar sign for her SUV.

Bennett, 39, and a card-carrying concealed weapon holder, fired a single shot from her .38-caliber revolver in a successful effort to fend off the man during an attack outside an East Wilbeth Road bank Thursday afternoon.

"I honestly believe I would not be here today if I didn't have a gun," Bennett said Friday. "I'm just glad I'm here today and not in the obituaries tomorrow."

Bennett trained with her boyfriend and obtained a permit to carry her gun after an attempted break-in at her home three years ago. At the time, she was a single mother of two teens.

She said the break-in attempt made her feel vulnerable to the whim of criminals. She didn't like the feeling.

On Thursday, she said, her training took over in the parking lot of the PNC Bank branch. Police say a man confronted Bennett as she left the bank and was about to get into her 2007 Mercury Mariner.

In an attempt to at least steal her SUV and perhaps take her along, the man confronted Bennett, a truck sales office manager, in the parking lot about 4:30 p.m. He tried to push her into her vehicle, police said.

"He was hitting me from behind, trying to force me into my vehicle," Bennett said.

Bennett struck the man with her elbow, then was wrestled down across the front seat of the SUV. While lying on her back, with her assailant atop her, Bennett arched her spine, opened the SUV console with her right hand and pulled out her firearm.

"I said, 'I got a gun. Don't make me use it,'?" she recalled. "I think my heart was going 90 mph."

While the man tried holding her arm, she fired a shot out of the open passenger door. [PVC: Not a good idea if that round had hit an innocent person. Better to let the criminal be the backstop for such a shot.] The assailant had enough. He ran off. Bennett was not injured.

Meanwhile, Akron police officers found Billy Joe Covington, 23, walking several blocks away.

Police say the suspect, who is homeless, admitted he wanted to take the woman's car and return to California.

Covington is a registered sex offender, according to court records. He was paroled from a state prison in May after serving nearly 18 months for a conviction in Stark County of gross sexual imposition against a woman.

Covington was already wanted by police on escape charges. He is accused of walking away from a community-based correctional facility after parole for failing to register his address as a convicted sex offender.

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which advocates for conceal-carry laws in Ohio, said instances of attacks or robberies are far more common than some people realize. As a result, more citizens are arming themselves, he said.

Ohio recently set another record with the number of conceal-carry permit holders. According to figures released this month by the Ohio Attorney General's Office, more than 253,000 people are licensed to carry a gun, more than double the number licensed in 2007.

Irvine said the state's conceal-carry laws, first enacted in 2004, continue to protect ordinary citizens like Bennett.

"We've seen enough abductions to know they're not going to be taken some place for a manicure," he said. "It's not going to have a happy ending. And frankly, I'd rather read about someone defending their life than someone being killed by an attacker."

18. Arizona SWAT team defends shooting Iraq vet 60 times

Imagine if you or I had shot someone 60 times and then refused to let the person that we shot get medical treatment for AN HOUR. Do you think the police would be defending our actions, too?

Brian Agreen emailed me this:


From ABC News:

By Ellen Tumposky
May 20, 2011

A Tucson, Ariz., SWAT team defends shooting an Iraq War veteran 60 times during a drug raid, although it declines to say whether it found any drugs in the house and has had to retract its claim that the veteran shot first.

And the Pima County sheriff, whose team conducted the raid, scolded the media for "questioning the legality" of the shooting.

Jose Guerena, 26, died the morning of May 5. He was asleep in his Tucson home after working a night shift at the Asarco copper mine when his wife, Vanessa, saw the armed SWAT team outside her youngest son's bedroom window.

"She saw a man pointing at her with a gun," said Reyna Ortiz, 29, a relative who is caring for Vanessa and her children. Ortiz said Vanessa Guerena yelled, "Don't shoot! I have a baby!"

Vanessa Guerena thought the gunman might be part of a home invasion -- especially because two members of her sister-in-law's family, Cynthia and Manny Orozco, were killed last year in their Tucson home, her lawyer, Chris Scileppi, said. She shouted for her husband in the next room, and he woke up and told his wife to hide in the closet with the child, Joel, 4.

Guerena grabbed his assault rifle and was pointing it at the SWAT team, which was trying to serve a narcotics search warrant as part of a multi-house drug crackdown, when the team broke down the door. At first the Pima County Sheriff's Office said that Guerena fired first, but on Wednesday officials backtracked and said he had not. "The safety was on and he could not fire," according to the sheriff's statement.

Tucson SWAT Team Shot Iraq War Vet 60 Times

SWAT team members fired 71 times and hit Guerena 60 times, police said.

In a frantic 911 call, Vanessa Guerena begged for medical help for her husband. "He's on the floor!" she said, crying, to the 911 operator. "Can you please hurry up?"

Asked if law enforcement was inside or outside the house, she told the operator, according to a transcript of the call, that they were inside. "They were ... going to shoot me. And I put my kid in front of me."

A report by ABC News affiliate KGUN found that more than an hour had passed before the SWAT team let the paramedics work on Guerena. By then he was dead.

A spokesman for Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said he could not discuss whether any drugs had been found at the home or make any other comment. "We're waiting for the investigation to be complete," he said.

In a statement, the sheriff's office criticized the media, saying that while questions will inevitably be raised, "It is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a coverup, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge."

Mike Storie, a lawyer for the SWAT team, said at a press conference Thursday that weapons and body armor were found in the home as well as a photo of Jesus Malverde, who Storie called a "patron saint drug runner," according to KGUN.

Storie defended the long delay in allowing paramedics to enter the home, saying of the SWAT team, "They still don't know how many shooters are inside, how many guns are inside and they still have to assume that they will be ambushed if they walk in this house."

But Scileppi, Vanessa Guerena's lawyer, said officers were "circling their wagons."

"They found nothing in the house that was illegal," he said. Framing the delay in providing medical attention as a tactical decision is "nonsense," Scileppi said. "There was an ambulance there in two minutes and they were never allowed in."

He pointed out that when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson, law enforcement let paramedics have access to victims in a far more volatile situation.

"The pieces don't fit. I think it was poor planning, overreaction and now they're trying to CYA," Scileppi said.

Guerena served two tours of duty in Iraq until he left the Marines in 2006.

"Every time he was under my command, he definitely pulled his weight," said Leo Verdugo, his master sergeant in Iraq, who helped arrange for Guerena to be buried in his Marine dress blue uniform. "I have a hard time grasping how something so tragic could happen."

He speculated that perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity. "At the wrong place at the wrong time in his own home," he said.

Vanessa Guerena is "devastated and distraught" and seeking justice for her husband and two sons, said her lawyer. "The main thing she wants is her husband's name cleared and his honor restored."

The oldest boy, Jose, turns 6 on Tuesday. "He went to school, came back and never saw his daddy again," said Ortiz. As for Joel, "He's asking, 'Why did the police kill my daddy?'

"We were so worried when he was over there fighting terrorism, but he gets shot in his own home," Ortiz said. "The government killed one of their own."

19. Sterling sub-machine gun found near children's playground in UK

If you ban guns, there won't be any to be found. Especially machine guns. Er, someone forgot to tell that to some British gang members. Yet another gun-control failure in a long, long list of them.

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From Daily Mail:

By Jessica Satherley
November 11, 2011

Three gang members faced jail today after being found guilty of possessing a sub-machine gun and its ammunition, which was found stashed near a children's playground.

The Sterling 9mm weapon, which fires 500 rounds a minute, and a balaclava, were discovered on the Pembury Estate in east London by a Hackney Gangs Unit.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the police officers were cycling past the play park, an area known as a hang-out for the Pembury Boys gang, when there was a commotion and around ten men dispersed.
The weapon: The sterling parabellum 9mm sub-machine gun was found on Pembury Estate in London by a Hackney Gangs Unit

The weapon: The Sterling Parabellum 9mm sub-machine gun was found on the Pembury Estate in east London by a Hackney Gangs Unit

The suspicious officers searched the area and found the weapon wrapped in a plastic bag.

Not far from the scene, they found bullets, a kitchen knife and a balaclava, also in a plastic bag.

Fingerprints belonging to the defendants were found on the bags.

Tyrell Goather, 21,and Helal Miah, 17, were sentenced to a combined eight years in prison, while Philip Johnson, 18, was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order at Snaresbrook Crown Court for possession.

They are all believed to be 'younger' members of the notorious Pembury Boys gang, whose turf war with the rival London Fields Gang was the inspiration for Channel 4 drama Top Boy about East London gangs.

Goather was also key witness in the murder trial of Shaquille Smith, who was stabbed as he sat in a park near London Fields in 2008.

Jailing the defendants, Judge Wendy Joseph said: 'There have been many incidents in London in recent years when young people have been killed or maimed and innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire.

'This was a British Army issue sub-machine gun capable of being fired repeatedly. It was in a children's playground on a heavily populated estate. It was near to live ammunition that could be fired from it.

'It is obvious that a gun to be used to threaten only does not require ammunition.'

A hat and bike belonging to Miah were dumped near to the weapon.

The gun was linked to two non-fatal shootings in south London in 2009 after undergoing police testing.

Both Miah and Goather denied the charges and gave alternative explanations as to why their DNA was found on the weapon and bullets, but their accounts were rejected by a jury.

Johnson, who is homeless after his gang activity put his family in danger, admitted looking after the bullets for 'around half an hour' while he was staying with a friend.

Describing the offence as one of 'significant gravity' Judge Joseph said: 'I know it is not easy to grow up on such an estate where there are others encouraging people to join activities that are not legal.

Sentencing Goather, whose testimony jailed the murderers of his friend Shaquille, she added: 'You of all people should have known better than to associate himself with those who obtain weapons.'
The men are all believed to be members of the Pembury Boys gang, whose turf war with the rival London Fields Gang was the inspiration for Channel 4 drama Top Boy (Top Boy actors pictured)

The men are all believed to be members of the Pembury Boys gang, whose turf war with the rival London Fields Gang was the inspiration for Channel 4 drama Top Boy (Top Boy actors pictured)

Goather was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon and possession of ammunition and sentenced to five years in prison.

Miah, who can be named after the judge lifted reporting restrictions, was convicted of the same offences and sentenced to three years in prison.

Johnson, who admitted possession of ammunition, was found not guilty of possession of an offensive weapon and was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order due to the six months he had served in custody on remand.

Detectives from the borough's Operation Bantam gun crime unit later linked the weapon to the three through DNA evidence and analysis of phones.

Police believe they were left in charge of the weapon for the 'older' members of the Pembury gang.

20. CMP Shooter's News 11-16-11

Michael E. Irvin emailed me this:


The latest CMP news release (11-16-11) available at:

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