Saturday, February 18, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 2/17/12

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

1. Christiansburg Supper Meeting on Monday, February 27th!
2. Virginia moves to loosen gun-ownership rules
3. Proposed Va. bill would allow professors to carry guns
4. Anti-gun editorial in the Pilot
5. Another anti-gun LTE
6. MS-13 in Richmond
7. Norfolk anti-gun Councilman Paul Riddick to be censured for tax evasion
8. LTEs by gun phobes
9. Brian Terry's parents speak out on Fast and Furious [VIDEO]
10. MILLER: Running D.C.'s gun-owner gauntlet
11. MILLER: My testimony at D.C. city council [VIDEO]
12. Wisconsin citizen with carry permit thwarts bad situation [VIDEO]
13. Gary, Ind., fast food worker's concealed gun helps foil robbery [VIDEO]
14. Great TV interview [VIDEO]

1. Christiansburg Supper Meeting on Monday, February 27th!

***Street address below has been corrected from "NW" to "NE" ***

VCDL will have a supper meeting on Monday, February 27, 2012 at:

1130 Cambria St NE
Christiansburg VA 24073


Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM
Buffet meal starts at 7 PM.
VCDL meeting starts by 8 PM--we expect the meeting to last 1 to 1.5 hours.

Cost: $12.00 per person including buffet, salad for the tables, drink, and tip. (does NOT include alcoholic beverages). Speaker(s) to be announced. This is a FAMILY event.

Special considerations: Parking is limited to about 50 spots, so car pooling is encouraged.

SEATING in the meeting room is limited to about 50 persons. Additional attendees will have to sit in the main part of the restaurant and join the meeting after the meal.

We are asking for RSVPs by midnight, February 25th. Please indicate number attending in your group. Firm numbers are needed so the buffet can be prepared properly. (IF we should have less than 20 attending, the meal will be ordered from the menu).

RSVP to:


From I-81 take exit 118B (Virginia Tech exit) to 460 bypass, then take the Christiansburg exit, then immediately take the Downtown exit. Turn left at light on Cambria Street. Restaurant on left.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2. Virginia moves to loosen gun-ownership rules


Virginia Moves to Loosen Gun-Ownership Rules
By Hannah Hess, Virginia Statehouse News
February 03, 2012

RICHMOND -- In 1989, Douglas Wilder campaigned for Virginia governor with a promise to crack down on gun violence.

He won the election by less than a half percent -- becoming the nation's first post-Civil War black governor -- and promised to be a leader for gun control in a historically "pro-gun" state, Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, said this week.

The governor made good on his promise, but now the pro-gun Republican majority is looking to loosen some of Wilder's stricter rules on handguns.

To squelch the state's reputation as the gun runner of the South, Wilder pushed for a one-handgun-per-month limit on gun buying. Over the objections of Second Amendment advocates, lawmakers enacted the limit to prevent gun dealers from shipping handguns bought in Virginia to cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.

This week, lawmakers pushed a repeal of the limit through the House, 66-32. Petersen may cast a vote on the issue in the Senate.

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, R-Woodridge, introduced the proposal, H.B. 940, which has been referred to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee for a hearing.

Virginia lawmakers have chipped holes in the ban since its passage 18 years ago, Petersen said.

"There are numerous exceptions to it," he said. "If you trade in a gun, you can get a new gun -- up to one a day. If you have a valid concealed-carry permit, you can exceed the limit."

Lawmakers have diluted the limit so much that, in the opinion of gun-control advocates, out-of-state buyers alone are affected. People who would try to buy large quantities of handguns and ship them for use in violent crime and gang activity are still thwarted by the limit, which has no loophole for out-of-state buyers.

"Right now, we have a good equilibrium," Petersen said.

But the Republican lawmakers who hold a majority in Virginia's statehouse see the limit as a restriction on constitutional freedoms. The Second Amendment is a clearly defined right to bear -- and purchase -- weapons, Delegate Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, said on the House floor Thursday.

"It's not a gun-owner's business to decide what someone needs to buy," said Delegate Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, who is proposing multiple pieces of gun-friendly legislation this session.

Lifting the ban also serves practical purposes, he said. Some collectors like to purchase guns with sequential serial numbers; others may purchase a set of pistols, or guns as Christmas gifts.

For Christmas shopping purposes, it's easier to stuff stockings with handguns in December than spread your gift-buying over two months, he said.

Cole said the ban is outdated because of modern technology and the availability of instant background checks.

State law requires that people who buy guns from a licensed dealer submit to a criminal background check by the Virginia State Police.

Pro-gun groups, such as the the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization, support the measure.

The group is "dedicated to advancing the fundamental human right of all Virginians to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 13 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia," according to its website.

But moderates and gun-control advocates are pushing back.

"I think Republicans read the Second Amendment as an absolute right that you will be able to carry guns anywhere; you'll be able to buy them any place, any time," said Delegate Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, "And I just don't believe that. [PVC: Delegate Hope's belief is wrong, of course.]

"There's two extremes here," Hope said. "I think that our laws that are currently on the books are right in the middle."

Gun-shop owners and employees seemed reticent to talk about the limit Thursday. A worker for Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, for example, declined comment when reached by Virginia Statehouse News.

3. Proposed Va. bill would allow professors to carry guns

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



Proposed Va. bill would allow professors to carry guns

WASHINGTON - With the goal of preventing the next Virginia Tech massacre, a delegate in Virginia is proposing full-time college professors be allowed to carry guns on campus.

Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, has proposed the bill which would allow professors who already have concealed weapon permits to carry the weapons. That way, a professor would be able to protect his or her class from an intruder.

The idea is garnering mixed reactions from students.

"I don't think I would want to carry a gun on campus," says one George Mason University student. "They could just go to that gun instead of resolving the issue another way."

Another student agreed, saying, "To be honest, I think no one should be having guns on campus. [PVC: That absolute statement includes police, too, I would note.]

4. Anti-gun editorial in the Pilot

The sky is falling!!! The sky is falling!!!

Or maybe not.

Josh Kellogg emailed me this:



Back to an ugly gunrunning future
The Virginian-Pilot
February 2, 2012

Twenty years ago, Virginia's lax regulation of firearms earned the commonwealth the distinction of being the No. 1 source of guns illegally trafficked to other states.

In 1993, Republican and Democratic lawmakers responded by coming together to approve a law that limited handgun purchases to one per month. The law allowed Virginians who wanted to purchase multiple guns to apply for a waiver.

Two years later, the Virginia State Crime Commission conducted a study of the measure's impact on public safety and the illegal flow of firearms to other states. Its findings were clear.

Virginia dropped from first to eighth on the list of states used by illegal gun traffickers. The chances of a gun purchased in Virginia being recovered in a criminal investigation dropped 36 percent nationwide, 66 percent along the northeast corridor and more than 70 percent in New York and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, State Police reported 92 percent of Virginians who applied for a waiver received one.

"Virginia's one-gun-a-month statute... has had its intended effect of reducing Virginia's status as a source for state gun trafficking," the report concluded. "The imposition of the law does not appear to create an onerous burden for law-abiding gun purchasers who apply for a multiple handgun purchase waiver."

Since then, gun-rights advocates have persisted in their effort to undermine a prudent, bipartisan solution. They've posted successes. In 2004, lawmakers approved a bill allowing concealed-carry permit holders to buy multiple handguns. It also lifted the restriction on private sales.

Today, some legislators, led by gun-rights advocates and apparently unencumbered by memory, are pushing to end the restriction altogether.

"One-gun-a-month is no longer needed," Del. Scott Lingamfelter said recently. "It has been obviated by actions of this body over the last 20 years."

His assessment of the General Assembly's actions may be correct, but his solution is not. If anything, lawmakers' success in diluting the one-gun-a-month restriction suggests a need to return to the initial version of the law.

Several studies in recent years show Virginia climbing back among the favorite sources of gunrunners.

In December, federal officials touted the arrest of 10 Virginia men suspected of operating a gun and drug ring out of Manassas and Fairfax County. The arrests brought the total to more than 60 over three years. A few months earlier, a New Jersey man and two Virginia men pleaded guilty to running guns from Virginia's Eastern Shore to Trenton. Authorities linked two fatal shootings there, including the drive-by killing of a 13-year-old girl, to weapons purchased in Virginia.

The General Assembly in the past decade has made it easier for gunrunners to operate in Virginia. It has eroded the gains made possible by a law that prevented weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

The latest push ensures that the progress made over the past 20 years is undone. 1992, here we come. [PVC: The only "progress" will be found in the over-active imaginations of the Virginian-Pilot's editorial staff.]

5. Another anti-gun LTE

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Who does repealing the one-handgun ban help?

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I was dismayed to see a state Senate committee approve repeal of Virginia's ban on buying more than one handgun per month. Legislators need a refresher in current events.

The law was passed with bipartisan support because so many weapons on the streets of New York, Washington and other big cities were directly traced to Virginia gun shops. Our lax gun laws were helping fuel a crime wave. Background checks did not solve the problem because gangsters were using girlfriends without criminal records as straw purchasers. Passing the law decreased the amount of weapons purchased in Virginia. [PVC: Criminal networks aren't going to depend on just one person to do the straw purchasing.]

Who needs to buy more than one handgun a month? Does law enforcement want the ban lifted? Do we want Virginia to be known for our history, beauty and universities or for supplying murder weapons to gangsters? [PVC: Gangsters are going to get weapons and we can't stop them, no matter what we do.]

As a lawyer, I have helped citizens exercise their right to own weapons when incorrect information on file has kept them from doing so. This issue has nothing to do with the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and everything to do with political payback to the gun lobby. Legislators should examine their consciences closely before repealing this ban. [PVC: Ah, the eeevil ''gun lobby" - that's you and me for crying out loud! What exactly do WE gain, other than getting our freedom back? Mr. Simon has no idea what he is talking about.]

Alexander N. Simon

6. MS-13 in Richmond

A good reason to carry a high capacity magazine or two with you.

Board member Dennis O'Connor emailed me this:


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Officials warn of MS-13 gang activity in area
February 03, 2012

An emerging presence in the Richmond area of MS-13, a notoriously violent national street gang, is raising concern among law enforcement officials as they investigate several violent incidents, including a stabbing in Richmond.

On Thursday, Richmond Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill issued a strong warning about the dangers posed by one Chesterfield County man, Jose A. Bran. Baskervill told a judge during a bail hearing that Bran is an admitted MS-13 member who ordered a hit on a man who was abducted last month in South Richmond, stabbed repeatedly and critically wounded.

"He is extremely dangerous," said Baskervill, arguing against bail for Bran on a gang-participation charge. "I've never lost sleep over a bond hearing until this one, because it is so dire and urgent and necessary" that he remain locked up.

Baskervill also told Judge Beverly W. Snukals of Richmond Circuit Court that Bran, one of five suspects charged in last month's stabbing, is suspected of involvement in other violent incidents as well.

"There are gangs," Baskervill said, "and there's MS-13."

Defense attorney James Bullard asked the judge to set bail for Bran, arguing that he works as an electrician and supports a family. Snukals denied bail.

A source familiar with the investigation into the Jan. 14 stabbing said this week that police believe the attack is linked to an MS-13 clique called Sailors Loco Salvatrucha Western, or SLSW, which has ties to Northern Virginia and the Washington metro area.

Sgt. George Norris, a gang investigator for the police in Prince George's County, Md., said authorities in Maryland arrested a suspected SLSW member from Chesterfield in a carjacking that occurred late Monday night in Bowie, Md.

Norris identified the suspect as Efrain Ernesto Pineda-Martinez, 20, who is charged with armed carjacking, armed robbery and related charges. Two females believed to be associates of the gang were taken into custody and released without charges. Charges are pending in the case against two other SLSW members from Chesterfield, he said.

The victim, who is from the Richmond area, was not injured. Norris said the assailants announced to the victim that they are MS-13 members, which Norris said is typical behavior for members of the gang.

The source familiar with the Richmond stabbing said authorities have identified about 10 members of SLSW in the Richmond area but are concerned to see they are committing crimes as a group.

Norris said that such activity can spread "like a cancer once they take root." He added that MS-13's ultimate mission is "Mata, Viola, Controla," or "Kill, Rape, Control."

"Some gangs' mission is to make money, to get fancy clothes, to buy fancy cars and to live the high life," said Norris, who also is a training coordinator for the International Latino Gang Investigators Association. "MS-13's mission generally is to be the biggest, strongest, dominant gang in the Latino community that they're in."

Typically, when they start out in a new area, Norris said, their posture with members of other Hispanic gangs is that those members are "with us or against us."

"They either absorb or eliminate the other Latino gangs in the area," Norris said.

It could not immediately be determined what other Hispanic gangs, if any, are active in the Richmond area. Commonwealth's Attorney Michael N. Herring said this week that it was premature to comment on the gang aspect of the stabbing case because to do so would give the gang undeserved attention.

The Jan. 24 stabbing occurred after the 21-year-old victim was abducted in the area of Jefferson Davis Highway and Terminal Avenue, stabbed as many as seven times by multiple assailants inside a vehicle and left behind in the 3800 block of Terminal Avenue, police said. The victim was treated and released from VCU Medical Center.

Authorities plan to ask a grand jury on Monday to indict Bran and the other suspects on several charges, including gang-participation and wounding charges. All five suspects have addresses in Richmond or Chesterfield but are being held without bail at the Richmond City Jail.

Authorities say MS-13 has had a presence in Richmond and Chesterfield in the past. Police said in 2004 that the gang existed in Richmond. Then-Police Chief Andre Parker said he couldn't say how many members were in Richmond, but the gang's graffiti and tattoos had been spotted in earlier years.

In 2009, three MS-13 gang members who authorities said tried to import their criminal enterprise to central Virginia were convicted in a vicious gang attack in Chesterfield. The attackers pleaded guilty to ambushing a man in 2008 with knives inside a bathroom of Valentino's restaurant in the 8800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway.

The three gang members, all from El Salvador, mistakenly believed their victim was a member of a rival Hispanic gang known as 18th Street, authorities said. The victim nearly was killed after one of five stab wounds to his chest punctured his heart and left him hospitalized for weeks.

7. Norfolk anti-gun Councilman Paul Riddick to be censured for tax evasion

Another not-so-nice anti-gunner is in legal trouble.

First, here's a reminder about who Paul Riddick is and how he treated VCDL members back in 2007:


Gun-rights advocates stage protest at Norfolk council meeting
The Virginian-Pilot
August 29, 2007


More than 100 gun-rights advocates, most carrying handguns on their hips and wearing buttons saying "Guns Save Lives," came to the City Council on Tuesday night to protest what they called harassment of law-abiding gun owners by city officials.

The protest was called by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group, after Chet Szymecki of Yorktown was arrested in June at Harborfest for carrying a gun.

Szymecki was arrested for violating a city ordinance banning guns at Harborfest - an ordinance that officials now acknowledge violates state law. City Attorney Bernard A. Pishko said city officials were unaware of a state law prohibiting localities from banning guns.

Carrying a weapon openly is legal in Virginia, even at a large gathering such as Harborfest. Once city officials realized their error, the charges against Szymecki were dropped.

"We made a mistake," Councilman Barclay C. Winn said. "It was unintentional."

Most who came to protest didn't appear to believe it was an innocent mistake.

"You know it was illegal," said Dave Vann, who drove from Falls Church to speak. "You arrested someone, and now it's going to cost you dearly."

Szymecki, a Navy veteran, said he was manhandled and hurt and that his wife, Deborah, his three children and two other children who accompanied them were traumatized. He said he has hired Norfolk attorney Stephen Merrill.

An emotional Deborah Szymecki told the council that after several police officers were done handcuffing her husband, she was left without money or the keys to the family car.

Others rose to describe incidents in which they said they were questioned and often handcuffed by police for simply carrying a firearm openly.

"Apparently you have some officers who don't understand the law," said the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Philip Van Cleave of Midlothian.

The meeting drew more rowdy as it continued, with speakers receiving thunderous applause and some expressing disgust for the council. Some used unsavory terms to describe the police.

***Councilman Paul R. Riddick left the meeting as gun-rights advocates began speaking, he said, in protest of their protest.***

Kim Barton, who would not say where she lives, tried to speak but was told by Mayor Paul Fraim that she couldn't because she had not signed up to speak.

"I want to hear what she has to say," Vann said.

Fraim replied, "I'm running this meeting " and informed Vann his time to speak had expired.


Now flash forward to 2012:


Feds claim Norfolk councilman owes $246,000 in unpaid taxes
By Harry Minium
Tim McGlone
The Virginian-Pilot
January 19, 2012

Editor's note: Because of a source error, a story ("Feds: Councilman owes $246,000 in tax case") on the front page Thursday reported that Norfolk City Councilman Paul Riddick is $1,908 behind on his real estate taxes. Treasurer Thomas W. Moss Jr. says Riddick is current on the real estate taxes. Riddick owes $4,810 in delinquent business taxes, according to a spokesman for Commissioner of Revenue Sharon McDonald.


The federal government is seeking to foreclose on City Councilman Paul R. Riddick's funeral home business because he failed to pay more than $200,000 in employment taxes over the past 14 years, according to a court filing.

The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a claim against Riddick in U.S. District Court seeking payment of $246,000 in back taxes and penalties. The claim, filed Friday, was made public late Tuesday.

Riddick said Wednesday that he has not been served with the lawsuit, but that "I knew this day was coming."

He said he owes back taxes, though he disputes the figures in the federal suit.

"I know that I owe some back taxes, but I know it's nowhere near $240,000," he said. "I would say it's more like $120,000, with penalties and interest."

Riddick said he has been hurt by the economic downturn and changes in the funeral home business. He said more people are choosing less-expensive cremations over more-costly funerals.

Riddick owns Riddick Funeral Service at 1215-1225 Norview Ave. in Norfolk. His family has been in the business since 1937 and moved the funeral home to its current location in the mid-1980s.

"It's a tough economy, and people don't have as much money as they once did," Riddick said. "People are using other alternatives. On top of that, when someone comes to you and they don't have any money, I can't hold them hostage because my business isn't doing well. I have to deal with them with compassion even if they don't have money. I've never turned anyone away."

Riddick said he hopes to negotiate a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service and vowed that his funeral home will not close.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, which is handling the matter for the IRS, declined to comment beyond what's in the court filing. No hearing date has been set.

The lawsuit says that between 2002 and 2011, Riddick failed to pay about $196,000 in income, Social Security and Medicare taxes; it also says that between 1998 and 2009, he failed to pay about $27,000 in unemployment taxes from his business. The IRS also tacked on $23,000 in penalties and says he will owe interest on top of that.

The lawsuit also states that Riddick transferred ownership of the property to a limited liability company in 2005 "for the purpose of evading" taxes. As a result, the transfer should be considered fraudulent, the suit says.

Riddick has a history of tax problems and remains delinquent on some city taxes as well, officials said.

According to Charles Hartig, spokesman for Commissioner of Revenue Sharon McDonald, Riddick owes $4,810 in back city taxes: $4,423 in business personal property taxes and $387 in taxes for a car he bought for his business. The IRS has been filing federal tax liens against Riddick with the state since 2002.

In 1994, Riddick paid off $34,000 in delinquent real estate taxes shortly before he was re-elected.

In 1998, he was sued on criminal charges for failure to pay back taxes by the state. He reached a settlement with state officials that included paying $5,755.

Riddick maintains he is current on his city real estate taxes but said he's slightly behind on some state withholding taxes.

Riddick has been an outspoken, at times fiery, member of City Council. He has been critical of the police, city administration and, at times, other council members.

About 15 years ago, he was convicted of misdemeanor assault for tossing a pound of sliced ham at a store clerk.

He consistently gets re-elected to the council.

After serving on the city School Board, Riddick was elected to the council in 1992, representing Ward 4, which includes some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

He has been re-elected five times.

He said the federal lawsuit will not affect his performance on the City Council.

"You're always going to have citizens say, 'If he can't keep his business straight, how can he keep the city's business straight?' " Riddick said. "But this has nothing to do with City Council. It won't affect my efforts on council any, and it won't sidetrack me.

"It's just something I'm going to have to work out."



Poll Question

Should Norfolk City Council censure Councilman Paul R. Riddick?

8. LTEs by gun phobes

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

How many guns are enough?

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

A recent edition of your newspaper featured a story on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resignation from Congress due to the effects of a bullet wound from the gun of mentally ill person who was able to purchase a handgun. Several pages later in that same edition was an account of a Hanover teenager who was killed by a gun in the hands of another teen. And on yet another page, was a list of laws advancing in the General Assembly to make guns more accessible with less checks on who is buying them.

Ironic? No, tragic. Reuters reported that in 2007 there were almost 90 guns for every 100 men, women and children in our country. Virginia legislators, how many more guns do we need, and at what cost? [PVC: Freedom isn't measured by need, Mr. Sprowl. It is measured by want.]

Mark Sprowl


It is time to get out of Dodge

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I wonder when I'll be able to get a street vendor's permit to sell guns from a corner cart.

I wonder if they'll take me back in Massachusetts. The statue of limitations on living in Virginia may have run out. [PVC: What a shame! Well, don't let the screen door hit you on the butt as you head back north, Ms. Dispersio! Trust me, Taxachusetts will be happy to take you and your wallet back.]

Marianne Dispersio

9. Brian Terry's parents speak out on Fast and Furious [VIDEO]

Dennis O'Connor emailed me this:



Parents say slain agent's death exposed flaws of gun-running operation
By Moni Basu
February 3, 2012

(CNN) -- Brian Terry's life serves as inspiration to those who knew him. His death, a thorn in the side of the federal government.

Terry, a 40-year-old federal agent, was killed December 14, 2010, after he confronted suspected drug bandits near the Arizona-Mexico border. Two weapons found near the scene of the killing were traced to a federal operation known as Fast and Furious.

The program, started in 2009, allowed firearms to be purchased from gun stores in Arizona and taken across the Mexican border to drug cartels. The intent of the operation was to monitor the flow of weapons to their ultimate destination.

But hundreds of weapons were lost or unaccounted for. When two of them showed up near Terry's body, furor erupted, and the program folded.

Terry's grieving mother, Josephine, was incredulous that her son's life had been taken with a gun that should have been confiscated.

"I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe it at first," she said.

Policymakers in Washington have been at odds over what happened, as evidenced in hearings this week.

Who knew what about the operation and when?

Consequences coming, Attorney General Eric Holder says

Terry's parents, Josephine and Kent Terry Sr., filed a $25 million wrongful death claim Wednesday in an Arizona court. Their son's name spurs the contentious Fast and Furious debate, scorned by critics as a travesty. His name is published in newspapers, and his face appears on television as the Justice Department defends itself before angry lawmakers.

But they must live every day with the memory of the man who triggered the fury.

They remember a boy who grew up happy in a Detroit suburb wearing color-coordinated clothes. Sometimes, he even missed the bus because he was fussing over the way he looked. His parents chalked it up to his drive for perfection.

He led the "Dead End Gang," a group of the neighborhood boys who built forts in the woods near their homes and played ball in the local park.

The court documents filed Wednesday also portrayed a boy prone to accidents who quickly got to know the sting of stitches and hospital rooms. He even chopped off the tips of three of his fingers once, when he was helping his dad cut wood.

His parents say their son's eyes lit up at the sight of a police patrol car or the sound of a siren. He told a trooper, "I'm gonna be a police officer when I grow up."

The Marine Corps put him closer to his dream, and with a degree in criminal justice, Terry landed his first job as a police officer in a suburban town close to where he grew up. Eventually, he became a Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The local gym in Sierra Vista had to order 150-pound dumbbells just for Terry's workout as he focused on keeping himself fit. His goal was to join an elite tactical unit that required grueling training. And when he succeeded in securing a job there, he felt that he had realized his life's mission.

He was patrolling some of the most dangerous areas of American soil, where battles raged between rival Mexican drug cartels. His family knew he risked peril every day.

The cartels often armed themselves with sophisticated rifles and firearms purchased in U.S. gun "straw shops." Cartel members hired men and women with clean records who could pass the background checks to buy the weapons for them.

The Justice Department put its Fast and Furious operation, named after the action film, in place to try to trace where the guns ended up. It let the guns "walk" from the shops.

Terry's family claims that despite red flags about Fast and Furious, about the guns being used to commit acts of violence, the government allowed it to continue.

That's how on January 16, 2010, Jaime Avila walked into the Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Arizona, purchased two AK-47-type assault rifles and walked out, according to a federal indictment. He lied and said the guns were for his personal use.

On the night he died, Terry had been patrolling the hills with three other agents in the remote Peck Canyon area, known for illicit drug activity, They were looking for suspected illegal immigrants affiliated with the drug cartels, according to documents submitted by his family in the wrongful death claim.

The agents came across five men; two were carrying AK-47-type rifles.

The details of what happened next are murky. But Terry reported over the radio that shots had been fired. Paramedics and a medevac chopper were on the scene within minutes. But they were not fast enough.

They rushed Terry to a hospital when they could not find a pulse. He was pronounced dead moments later.

Four of the five bandits escaped. Avila was arrested and indicted with Uriel Patino, another straw buyer.

Terry's family claims that the federal government knew long ago that Avila's guns killed Terry, that their program was responsible for an agent's death. But they lied, Terry's parents say in their claim, to hide the failure of their program.

Some of Terry's colleagues have spoken out against Fast and Furious, including agent John Dodson, who expressed concern to lawmakers in Washington last year.

"I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest," he said. "I hope the committee will receive a better explanation than I."

Terry's family is also waiting for an explanation.

Brian Terry should not have died that night in the lonely Arizona desert. But his death, his parents believe, was not in vain, for all that it brought to light.

10. MILLER: Running D.C.'s gun-owner gauntlet

From the Washington Times:

MILLER: Running D.C.'s gun-owner gauntlet
Re-registration requirement criminalizes innocent conduct

By Emily Miller
January 31, 2012

Owning a gun in the District of Columbia can be dangerous, because the city's hastily drafted rules are putting the innocent in jeopardy. A gun owner who has cleared the District's 17 registration hurdles still isn't home free.

To continue exercising the Second Amendment right to keep arms, individuals have to renew registration certificates every three years and show up at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) every six years to be fingerprinted. The citizen is responsible for the fees in each case.

The city council hastily drafted these requirements after the Supreme Court smacked down D.C.'s handgun ban in the 2008 Heller decision. The laws are proving to be so badly written that even the city can't enforce them.

Anyone who registered a new pistol or owned a long gun prior to March 31, 2009, was supposed to receive an expiration notice from the police by the end of 2011 and submit a request for renewal by Jan. 31. This apparently did not happen.

The law says gun owners must resubmit their address, information on each firearm and confirmation that they are complying with all aspects of the regulations. The MPD's registration office lacks a modern database system that can stay updated on the status of certification. That means gun owners who were never notified may inadvertently be breaking the law.

At a hearing Monday, Councilman Phil Mendelson proposed a slight change in the law to make it clear the re-registration process doesn't require taking the 20-question written test again. The Democrat at-Large would still keep the rest of the requirements in place.

The District's top cop insisted the burden for these checks should not fall on the citizens. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said MPD would need a new and expensive database system similar to that used to track drivers' licenses. "This effort needs to be properly funded, or we need to reconsider whether the city can afford this requirement," she explained.

Furthermore, the police chief said the fingerprinting requirement can be eliminated if the department begins regularly running background checks for convictions, protective orders and other disqualifying factors.

The head of D.C.'s police union says the city council is clearly trying to make life difficult for gun owners. "They've been clear on the record and they aren't going to comply with Heller and are going to frustrate what is a constitutional right," Kristopher Baumann told The Washington Times. "Whether they agree with it or not, they have to embrace the court's decision and act accordingly and quit trying to frustrate the issue."

Gun owners are already required to tell police if they move or sell the gun. The whole issue could be simplified by the council eliminating the tracking requirements. Ms. Lanier said she has the resources now to do background checks without new fingerprints, and that should satisfy the city council's irrational desire to keep a tight leash on residents who are trying to follow the law.

11. MILLER: My testimony at D.C. city council [VIDEO]

From the Washington Times:

MILLER: My testimony at D.C. city council
By Emily Miller
January 31, 2012

I testified on Monday before the District of Columbia Council's Judiciary Committee about my experiences and reporting on the gun registration process in the city.

Below you can watch the video of my oral testimony, followed by the extensive grilling I got from the committee's chairman, Phil Mendelson, Democrat at-Large. If you want to watch the whole six-hour hearing, click here. The text of my statement is below the video.

Mr. Chairman and committee members, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my experiences with you.

My name is Emily Miller. I'm a District resident, and I want to get a gun to protect myself. As I've been going through the gun registration, I've documented every detail in my newspaper, The Washington Times. But today, I'm here to testify as a private citizen of D.C. about my personal views and experiences trying to get a legal gun in this city.

I always knew getting a legal gun would be a challenge, but I had no idea it would be this frustrating, time-consuming, expensive and complicated.

As of now, I'm in the 10-day waiting period to see if my registration application is approved for a handgun. Or as I've tracked it, I've completed 14 of the 17 steps the city requires to register a gun. For me, the safety class has been the biggest barrier to gun ownership - in time, expense and my personal safety.

It took me a long while to find an instructor for the course - it seemed the District was making it as difficult as possible. As you know, the police give out the list of certified instructors with only their names and phone numbers.

I called every single one of the 47 people on that list. And only found four instructors willing and able to teach the class. The prices were mostly in the range of $200 to $250.

It doesn't say it in the registration packet, but from making all these calls, I quickly learned that the instructors are not allowed to teach the course within the District city limits.

I just don't understand how it can be constitutional that I have to go outside Washington in order to exercise my Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in D.C.

All of the instructors are in Maryland and Virginia and teach the class out of the their homes - or more specifically, as one man said, in his basement. They all live from 30 minutes to an hour drive each way. None were near a Metro stop. I don't know what a D.C. resident who doesn't have a car would do to take the mandatory class.

Above all that, the biggest problem is being a woman and trying to find a way to feel safe while taking a class at a strange man's house. Since the list only gives the instructors' phone numbers - but no important details such as address, website or business affiliation- they are almost impossible to investigate.

I don't believe it it right that the DC police require me to go to an armed stranger's house - in another state - for any reason. I already don't feel safe. That's why I wanted a gun in the first place and still do.

Another huge hurdle in the gun registration process is buying the gun. Nowhere in the 22-page packet does it say that Charles Sykes is the only gun dealer in DC. And since it is mandatory to use his services - because we aren't allowed to pick up guns ourselves from stores in neighboring states - I think you should tell people in the instructions that they will have to pay his $125 transfer fee.

Which brings me to the astronomical cost of registering a gun in DC. On top of Sykes's fees, I paid $225 for the class. $35 for range fees and ammunition. The passport photos cost $20. Then I paid the city $35 for fingerprints, $13 for gun registration and $12 for a ballistics test.

So I have spent a total of $465 in fees. And that doesn't include the cost of the gun!

I had no idea registering a gun would be this expensive. I think the registration packet should state these costs up front. This is a lot of money for me, and I have a good job. So I don't know how a lower-income DC resident could afford almost $500 in fees to have a legal gun.

Mr. Chairman, I was pleased to see your bill would have the police take photos instead of our having to buy passport photos. And you would eliminate the ballistics test. Those things would save us $32 in fees, but it helps more in saving time.

And that's the other and final huge hurdle I want to mention today. It takes way too much time to get a gun legally in D.C. From taking the written test, the five-hour class, waiting in line at the DMV to pay the fees, getting fingerprinted, meeting with Sykes to transfer the gun and on and on.

No one can register a gun in DC without taking at least two or three days off work. And as you know, the registry office is closed on weekends.

Members of the committee, in my opinion, this complicated registration process doesn't stop people from getting guns, it just drives them to get guns illegally because it's faster and cheaper and a lot less frustrating.

I think you should encourage people like me -- who are trying to abide by the law -- by making this gun registration process less burdensome on the citizen.

I've only touched on some of my main issues with the registration process. My written testimony will give you a complete perspective of what we go through.

Thank you for your time.

12. Wisconsin citizen with carry permit thwarts bad situation [VIDEO]

Guns Save Lives


Aldi customer won't be charged in shooting
By Bruce Vielmetti
Feb. 3, 2012

The Aldi customer who shot an armed robber in the store Monday won't face any criminal charges, prosecutors confirmed Friday.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said the law allows use of reasonable force in threatening situations, regardless of whether the shooter has a concealed-weapons permit, which the customer did.

"He disrupted an act that potentially exposed himself and others to great bodily harm," Chisholm said. Video footage from the store showed "he acted reasonably and in a controlled manner during the encounter," Chisholm said.

It was a best-case scenario for gun-rights advocates who say such incidents will dissuade criminals from using guns. Critics of Wisconsin's new concealed carry law, however, say things could have easily gone worse.

"Obviously, we're glad things turned out the way they did," said Jeri Bonavia, of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort. "But we believe a robbery is bad enough and that adding this grocery store shoot'em-up just increases the risk there will be a bad outcome."

The customer, Nazir Al-Mujaahid, 35, of Milwaukee, called the incident nothing to brag about, but that "sometimes you have to do what you have to do."

A dinner stop

At a news conference Friday, Al-Mujaahid said he and his wife stopped at the store, 7601 W. Fond du Lac Ave., for some last-minute dinner items. They'd never shopped there before, he said.

As they were in line to check out, he noticed the suspect pointing a shotgun at a cashier, demanding money in a very agitated way. He said he feared for the safety of himself and others so he unholstered his semiautomatic 9mm Steyr handgun, cocked it and kept it down at his side as he motioned another customer behind the robber to move away.

"It was surreal," he said.

When the robber turned the shotgun toward him, Al-Mujaahid said, he fired six or seven shots from about 20 feet away. He said he hit the suspect in the leg and forehead. The robber then dropped the shotgun and bag of money, and fled the store. Police later arrested Dierre Cotton, 20, and Edyon Hibbler, 19, who were charged late Friday with the robbery and two other holdups on the city's northwest side.

According to the complaint, Cotton's gun wasn't loaded; he thought it would just scare cashiers into giving up money more quickly.

Over in 30 seconds

Al-Mujaahid estimated 30 seconds elapsed from the time he first noticed the robber to the time he shot him. He said he knew from his recent training that you need to breathe, keep a clear head, and "commit to a decision."

Al-Mujaahid said he works in Internet marketing. His Twitter profile describes him as, "Former Thug turned Successful Entrepreneur, Speaker, Internet Marketer, & Life Coach! Teaching How to Take Care & Take Charge!" A Muslim since about 1995, he is also active with Muslin Action Network, which helped set up Friday's news conference at Dera Grill, a Pakistani restaurant.

He said he's always been a gun-rights supporter and previously exercised his right to openly carry a firearm. When Wisconsin adopted a concealed carry law last year, he applied for his permit in November. He said he received it Jan. 17 or 18.

He said he did not notice the sign at Aldi prohibiting weapons in the store, and that if he had, he would have gone elsewhere.

He said since he began to carry a concealed gun, he does not patronize places with signs banning weapons.

Al-Mujaahid said he hopes the incident will deter criminals from using guns in areas where law-abiding people may defend themselves.

Al-Mujaahid said he'd never shot at a person before Monday, and he admitted to making some mistakes as a youth.

Court records show he was adjudicated as a juvenile of armed and masked robbery and was incarcerated.

But because the offense occurred before April 21, 1994, it did not prohibit him from getting a concealed carry permit.

Legal run-ins

He's had other run-ins with the law related to guns, but none led to convictions.

Charges of being a felon with a gun, furnishing a gun to a felon and pointing a gun at someone were all dismissed, records show.

He has successfully petitioned for the return of guns seized by police during other investigations, even writing extensive legal briefs to the Court of Appeals.

But his main work is promotion and consulting, he said.

At his news conference, Al-Mujaahid plugged his new website, It reads in part:

"Learn from Real People like you and me, normal Ordinary Citizens that have awaken the spirit of personal responsibility and freedom that this country was founded upon!

"Sign up to hear exclusively from the Man that stopped an Armed Robbery at a Milwaukee Aldi store. Many have called him a hero, we like to call him our brother!"

The Michigan company whose firearm and CCW training course Al-Mujaahid took in November was already touting the case on its website Thursday night.

13. Gary, Ind., fast food worker's concealed gun helps foil robbery [VIDEO]

Guns Save Lives

Paul Burgener emailed me this:



Gary, Ind., Fast Food Worker's Concealed Gun Helps Foil Robbery
January 25, 2012

GARY, Ind. (CBS) - The Indiana law that allows licensed residents to carry concealed firearms has apparently helped break up what could have been a bloody robbery.

As CBS2's Mike Parker reports, Gary police said two armed men wearing ski masks burst into the Rally's at Broadway and Washington on Jan. 11 and tried to rob the place.

During the attempted heist, one of the employees pulled out a gun he was carrying and shot one of the would-be thieves. They both took off and one of them collapsed and died outside the restaurant.

Gary Police Detective Del Stout said the robbers picked the wrong place for a stickup.

"They certainly did. It was their bad luck that day," Stout said.

The body of 24-year-old Marcus Patillo of Merrillville was found later in a vacant lot behind the restaurant. The other robber got away.

It appears the employee who shot Patillo won't face charges. Concealed carrying of firearms is legal in Indiana.

Stout said, "While we don't encourage people being robbed to take the law into their own hands, it did work out in this instance. There is no telling what might have happened if the employee had not had a weapon."

Three weeks ago, a gunman and an accomplice robbed and roughed up the owner of a Northwest Side pizzeria in Chicago. It was a brutal incident that was caught on surveillance video. Although concealed carry in Illinois is illegal, it is legal for a business owner to keep a registered firearm - not on his person, but on the premises.

Is that victim now mulling it over?

John Gagliardi Jr., whose father was terrorized, said his dad "doesn't like guns. He feels that he's from the 50's or 1960's, from the old days when you don't have to carry a gun."

However, Gagliardi added, "I would probably have one, yes , for safety reasons but I don't know if I could use one."

One suspect in that pizzeria robbery has been arrested, charged with assisting the gunman in that $800 robbery. He's been identified in a lineup by the victims.

14. Great TV interview [VIDEO]

An oldie, but goodie. Not Roy Scherer - the video! ;-)

Roy Scherer emailed me this:


From YouTube:

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: []
IMPORTANT: It is our intention to honor all "remove" requests promptly.
To unsubscribe from this list, or change the email address where you
receive messages, please go to: []

Modify Your Subscription:
Powered by Listbox:

No comments:

Post a Comment