Monday, April 9, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 4/9/12

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

1. VCDL meeting April 19 at Mason District Govt Center
2. VCDL family POT LUCK picnic in Salem on April 21st
3. How Trayvon Martin case would play out in VA
4. More facts coming to light in Trayvon Martin shooting
5. The journalist's guide to gun violence coverage
6. Stand your ground law blamed for death
7. Thoughts on higher education's illogical view of self-defense
8. Gun sales explode as election looms
9. More on New Mexico and VA CHP's
10. Changes to weapons policy on Greater Lynchburg Transit Co. buses
11. VIDEO: Crowder argues gun rights with anti-gun 'news anchor'
12. Who needs a gun at the pharmacy?
13. Legal U.S. gun sales arm Mexican cartels
14. Chicago bloodbath: 6-year-old among those killed
15. Who needs a gun in an office building?
16. Customer who pulled gun to stop knife-wielding man receives award
17. Who needs a gun on a college campus?
18. Will Indiana's self-defense measure mean "open season" on cops?
19. Tenn. tourist who brought loaded gun to 9/11 Memorial avoids jail
20. Two Washington County boys charged for bringing gun to school, planning attack
21. Holding a gun may make you think others are too
22. The "Open Carry" gun owner's starter kit
23. Gun confiscated from UMW student
24. States with the most guns in 2012

1. VCDL meeting April 19 at Mason District Govt Center

VCDL will be having a membership meeting on Wednesday, March 21st at 8 PM at the Mason Government Center. Fellowship starts at 7:30 PM.

As with all VCDL membership meetings, it is open to the public, so bring a friend!

Afterwards, we will go to a local restaurant for continued fellowship.


2. VCDL family POT LUCK picnic in Salem on April 21st

VCDL will again have a family POT LUCK picnic on Saturday, April 21st at:

(this is the shelter at the top of the hill.)

Early birds will start arriving at 10 AM --- food to be served at 11 AM. Please bring a dish of your favorite food to share with others. VCDL will furnish plates, eating sticks, drinks, cups, paper napkins and ice for the drinks.

There is a small playground for our younger family members close by the shelter -- and restrooms are very close. We would appreciate RSVP -- numbers of your group attending so we can plan on the proper quantity of items to have.

This event is open to all VCDL members, families and guests. There is NO cooking grill at the shelter site.

3. How Trayvon Martin case would play out in VA

Bill Hine emailed me this:


From NBC12:

By Yvette Yeon

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The outrage over the shooting death of a Florida teen continues to grow.

Thousands took part in a March and rally in New York City, calling for the arrest of suspect George Zimmerman.

He claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin out of self-defense. Martin's parents attended tonight's rally and told the crowd they won't stop until they get justice.

NBC12 legal analyst, Steve Benjamin, says the self defense excuse in Florida wouldn't fly here in Virginia.

"No, this would never happen this way in Virginia, anytime an unarmed person is shot and killed there's an immediate investigation and usually an arrest," Benjamin said.

In Virginia you have to prove you did everything you could before using deadly force. But in Florida: "Even if you're at fault in Florida in bringing about the problem, Florida says you have the right to stand your ground and use even deadly force. That's wrong," said Benjamin.

In this case, it's the shooter's word against a dead man's and now after the public outrage, the U.S. Justice Department is involved.

"I'm not all surprised by the national outrage we have seen because it resonates with so many people, it resonates with young people who know they are targeted and suspected of being up to no good every time they go out in public especially young males," said Benjamin.

Martin was a 17-year-old black teen. His shooter is a light skinned Hispanic neighborhood watch leader.

Groups like the NAACP say there was racial profiling involved. And even though the laws are different in Virginia, Richmonders say racial profiling happens everywhere.

"You definitely get the looks you get the extra stares the extra glances," said J.P.

"Racial profiling happens it's sad but true part of the community," added VCU student, David Richardson.

4. More facts coming to light in Trayvon Martin shooting

Two weeks ago a couple of members chastised me for not immediately denouncing George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin in Florida last month.

I stand by that decision.

I didn't denounce Mr. Zimmerman's actions because we had really only heard the story and seen photos as presented by a gun-hating media (and Fox isn't much better any more). Before condemning anyone we need to be comfortable that we know what really happened.

Lo and behold, it turns out the media had "doctored" some photos and even edited the 9-1-1 call audio to influence the public perception of the incident.

I will continue to keep my eye out for articles that peel back the dark veil the media has put over this case.

JJ Dacanay emailed me this:



By Kyle Rogers
March 21, 2012


Last weekend in the city of Chicago alone, gangbangers slaughtered ten people and wounded another forty. The youngest fatality is only six years old. The youngest person wounded is only one-year-old. Many of the victim were pedestrians sprayed with bullets in drive by shootings. The national news has said nothing about this.

So why does one shooting in Florida warrant weeks of national news? Why has there been thousands of articles a day, for the last four days, about one single shooting?

Almost all of the news items about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin contains a combination of false statements, opinions presented as facts, transparent distortions, and a complete absence of some of the most relevant details. Almost all news items are written soley from the point of view of the grieving family. The media also fills their articles with outdated baby-faced pictures of Trayvon. Very few include that he was a towering 6'2 football player. Is the media really reporting the news, or is this classic agitation/propaganda to advance a political agenda.

Literally thousands of articles contain at least one false statement in the first couple of lines. They usually read "George ZImmerman, a white man," or "shoot by a white man." Zimmerman is described by family as a multiracial Hispanic. His appearance is clearly that of a Latino/Mestizo individual. However, the media wants him to be white because that better fits the political narrative they are trying to artificially create. Many news articles have also claimed the neighborhood is "mostly white." This is also a lie. The neighborhood is only 49% white. It is over half non-white.

All the way back on February 27th, the local Orlando Fox station interviewed the witness who dialed 911. Almost none of the thousands of articles since have mentioned any of the details described by the witness. Some, however, have attributed false statements to this witness. On March 16th, the Sanford police department released new details to the Orlando Sentinel. Once again, these details have been ignored or changed by the media.

1. The witness reports that George Zimmerman was on the ground and Trayvon is on top of him punching him.
2. The witness says that George Zimmerman was screaming and yelling for help.
3. Police arrive and find Zimmerman bleeding on his face and the back of his head. He also has had grass stains on his back. All this confirms the story told by Zimmerman and the witness.
4. Police play the 911 tape for Trayvon Martin's father, who tells police that the voice screaming is not the voice of his son.

The neighborhood this took place in has seen a lot of crime. Would you be surprised to learn that there were eight burglaries, nine thefts, and a shooting just in the past year? In fact, the local homeowners' association reports that George Zimmerman actually caught one thief and aided in the apprehension of other criminals. The Miami Herald wrote about this on March 17th. None of the thousands of articles and cable news segments that came after, thought this was important.

In fact the Miami Herald goes on to interview neighbor, Ibrahim Rashada, who is black. Rashada confirms that there has been a lot of crime in the neighborhood and indicates to the reporter that the perpetrators are usually black.

The media also characterizes Trayvon as a "model student." In fact, he under a five day suspension when the shooting took place. That is why he was staying at a house so far from his school on a school night. A laywer for Trayvon's family has blocked access to his school records. However, you have to do something pretty bad to get suspended for five days.

Now that you know the suppressed facts of the case, you can for form a better more balanced opinion. Maybe you still think Zimmerman was wrong to pull the trigger. However, I think you will come to the conclusion that the "mainstream" clearly is pushing an agenda. Even when they have to grossly alter and adjust a story to fit that agenda.


Zimmerman was apparently getting pummeled by Martin

Larry Pratt emailed me this:


From My FOX Orlando
March 26, 2012

SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Investigators with the Sanford Police Department are still trying to figure out exactly what happened during an altercation which resulted in a fatal shooting in the Twin Lakes area. The shooting happened just after 7 p.m. Sunday evening on Twin Trees Lane. A man who witnessed part of the altercation contacted authorities.

"The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911," said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.

John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot.

"And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point."

On Monday afternoon, a FOX 35 News crew met with Tracy Martin who said the victim in the shooting is her 17-year-old son, Trayvon, who was visiting from Miami.

"He walked out of the house to go to the store. He was going to the store," she said. "He doesn't know anybody here. He just came down here, so he was bored, so he walked down to the store. He was on his way back home. I'm living down here. He was sitting on the porch and this man killed him."

Police said the shooter, identified as 25-year-old George Zimmerman, surrendered immediately. He has been questioned, but no charges have been levied and no arrest made.

Neighbors tell us that the shooter patrols the community at night and is a member of the Neighborhood Watch committee; however, police are not commenting.

5. The journalist's guide to gun violence coverage

A tongue-in-cheek look at guns and journalism.

Alan Korwin emailed me this:



By Dr. Michael Brown

Guns are a sad fact of life in American culture and are a major topic
in modern journalism. A good Journalist has a duty to get involved
and make a difference in this important societal debate. By following
certain guidelines, the concerned Journalist can be assured of having
the maximum impact on this shameful problem.

The first principle to remember is that subtle use of terminology can
covertly influence the reader. Adjectives should be chosen for
maximum anti-gun effect. When describing a gun, attach terms like
"automatic," "semi-automatic," "large caliber," "deadly," "high
powered," or "powerful." Almost any gun can be described by one or
more of these terms. More than two guns should be called an

Try to include the term "assault weapon" if at all possible. This can
be combined with any of the terms above for best results. Nobody
actually knows what an assault weapon is, so you cannot be criticized
for this usage. Your local anti-gun organization can provide you with
a list of the latest buzz words like "junk guns," "Saturday Night
Specials," and "the criminal's weapon of choice."

Don't worry about getting technical details right. Many a reporter
has accidentally written about semi-automatic revolvers or committed
other minor errors. Since most people know little about guns, this is
not a problem. Only the gun nuts will complain and they don't count.
The emotional content of your article is much more important than the
factual details, since people are more easily influenced through their
emotions than through logic.

Broadcast Journalists should have a file tape showing a machine gun
firing on full automatic. Run this video while describing "automatic"
weapons used in a crime or confiscated by police. At the least, a
large graphic of a handgun should be displayed behind the on-air
personality when reading any crime story.

Do not waste words describing criminals who use guns to commit crimes.
Instead of calling them burglar, rapist, murderer, or repeat offender,
simply use the term "gunman." This helps the public associate all
forms of crime and violence with the possession of guns.

Whenever drug dealers are arrested, guns are usually confiscated by
the police. Mention the type and number of guns more prominently than
the type and quantity of drugs. Include the number of rounds of
ammunition seized, since the number will seem large to those who know
little about guns. Obviously, the drug dealers who had the guns
should now be called "gunmen."

Political discussions on gun control legislation usually involve
pro-gun organizations. Always refer to these organizations as "the
gun lobby." If space permits, mention how much money the gun lobby
has spent to influence political campaigns and describe their
legislative lobbying efforts as "arm twisting" or "threats."

Gun owners must never be seen in a positive light. Do not mention
that these misguided individuals may actually be well educated, or
have respectable jobs and healthy families. They should be called
"gun nuts" if possible or simply gun owners at best. Mention details
about their clothing, especially if they are wearing hunting clothes
or hats. Mention the simplistic slogans on their bumper stickers to
show that their intelligence level is low. Many gun owners drive
pickup trucks, hunt and live in rural areas. Use these details to
help portray them as ignorant rednecks. Don't use the word "hunt."
Always say that they "kill" animals.

Don't be afraid to interview these people, they are harmless even
though we don't portray them that way. Try to solicit comments that
can be taken out of context to show them in the worst possible light.

Never question the effectiveness of gun control laws or proposals.
Guns are evil and kill people. Removing guns from society can only be
good. Nobody really uses guns for legitimate self-defense, especially
women or children. Any stories about armed self-defense must be
minimized or suppressed.

Be careful about criticizing the police for responding slowly to 911
calls for help. It is best if the public feels like the police can be
relied upon to protect them at all times. If people are buying guns
to protect their families, you are not doing your job.

Emphasize stories where people kill family members and/or themselves
with guns. It is important to make the public feel like they could
lose control and start killing at any moment if they have a gun in the
house. Any story where a child misuses a gun is front page material.

View every shooting as an event to be exploited. Always include
emotional quotes from the victim's family if possible. If they are
not available, the perpetrator's family will do nicely. The quote
must blame the tragedy on the availability of guns. Photos or video
of grieving family members are worth a thousand facts. Most people
will accept the assertion that guns cause crime. It is much easier
than believing that some people deliberately choose to harm others.

Your story should include terms like "tragic" or "preventable" and
mention the current toll of gun violence in your city or state. Good
reporters always know exactly how many gun deaths have occurred in
their area since the first of the year. List two or three previous
incidents of gun violence to give the impression of a continuing crime

Little space should be devoted to shootings where criminals kill each
other. Although these deaths greatly inflate the annual gun violence
numbers, they distract from the basic mission of urging law abiding
citizens to give up their guns. Do not dig too deeply into the
reasons behind shootings. The fact that a gun was involved is the
major point, unless someone under 18 is affected, in which case the
child angle is now of equal importance.

Any article about gun violence should include quotes from anti-gun
organizations or politicians. One quote should say that we must do
something "for the children." Anti-gun spokespersons should be called
"activists" or "advocates." If your employer wishes to appear
unbiased, you can include one token quote from a gun lobby group to
show that you are being fair. The anti-gun statements should be
accepted as fact. The gun lobby statement can be denigrated by
including text like, "according to gun lobbyist Jones."

Fortunately, statements from anti-gun organizations come in short
sound bites that are perfect for generating an emotional response in
the reader or viewer. Gun lobby statements usually contain boring
facts that are easy to ignore.

Feel secure in your advocacy journalism. The vast majority of your
fellow Journalists support your activism. The nation will be a better
place when only the police and military have guns. Remember that you
are doing it for the children so the end justifies the means.

Eventually, the government will have a monopoly on power. Don't worry
about the right to freedom of the press, just contact me then for
more helpful hints.

Professor Michael Brown
School of Journalism, Brady Chair
Vancouver College of Liberal Arts

6. Stand your ground law blamed for death

From My Earthlink:

By Curt Anderson
March 20, 2012

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) An unarmed black teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch captain told his girlfriend moments before he was killed that he was being followed, a lawyer said Tuesday as federal and state prosecutors announced they would investigate.

"'Oh he's right behind me, he's right behind me again,'" 17-year-old Trayvon Martin told his girlfriend on his cellphone, the Martin family's attorney said.

The girl later heard Martin say, "Why are you following me?" Another man asked, "What are you doing around here?'" attorney Benjamin Crump said.

The phone call that recorded Martin's final moments was disclosed as the U.S. Justice Department opened a federal civil rights probe into the Feb. 26 shooting and the local prosecutor convened a grand jury to investigate. A grand jury will meet April 10 to consider evidence in the case, said Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger.

The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, has not been charged and said he shot Martin, who was returning to a gated community in Sanford after buying candy at a convenience store, in self-defense after Martin attacked him. Police say Zimmerman is white; his family says he is Hispanic.

"She absolutely blows Zimmerman's absurd self-defense claim out of the water," Crump said of Martin's girlfriend, whose name was withheld.

The case has ignited racial tensions in this Orlando suburb of 53,500 people, sparking rallies and a protest in Gov. Rick Scott's office on Tuesday. The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said it is sending its community relations service this week to Sanford to "address tension in the community."

At a town hall meeting on Tuesday, more than 350 people packed into the wood paneled sanctuary of the Allen Chapel AME Church, located in a traditionally black neighborhood of Sanford. A line flowed down steps with others trying to get in. The Rev. Al Sharpton was expected to join city leaders at the meeting but did not attend.

Civil rights leaders from the NAACP, ACLU and the Nation of Islam urged residents to remain calm but demand that Zimmerman be arrested. They also said the town's police chief should step down.

"I stand here as a son, father, uncle who is tired of being scared for our boys," said Benjamin Jealous, national president of the NAACP. "I'm tired of telling our young men how they can't dress, where they can't go and how they can't behave."

Residents attending the meeting cheered and jumped to their feet when local NAACP leader Turner Clayton Jr. said the U.S. Department of Justice shouldn't just review the investigation but the federal agency also should take over the Sanford Police Department.

"This is just the beginning of what is taking place," Clayton said. "We're going to make sure justice prevails."

When The Associated Press tried to reach the police department Tuesday evening for comment, a dispatcher told a reporter to call in the morning.

Prior to the meeting, Sandera Duval held up a white sign in the sanctuary that said in simple black letters, "Justice for Trayvon."

"We want justice for Trayvon because this is a senseless crime," said Duval, 62, a retired nurse. "That could have been my child or my grandchild."

Crump told reporters Tuesday Martin cried out when a man bearing a 9mm handgun came at him. Police said Zimmerman, who was found bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, told authorities he yelled out for help before shooting Martin.

Martin, who was in town from Miami to visit his father in Sanford, called his 16-year-old girlfriend in Miami several times on Feb. 26, including just before the shooting, Crump said. The discovery of the lengthy conversations, including one moments before the shooting, was made over the weekend by Martin's father, who checked his son's cell phone log, Crump said.

The teenager told the girl on his way back from the store he'd taken shelter the rain briefly at an apartment building in his father's gated community, Crump said. Martin then told her he was being followed and would try to lose the person, Crump said.

"She says: 'Run.' He says, 'I'm not going to run, I'm just going to walk fast,'" Crump said, quoting the girl.

After Martin encountered Zimmerman, the girl thought she heard a scuffle "because his voice changes like something interrupted his speech," Crump said. The phone call ended before the girl heard gunshots.

The last call was at 7:12 p.m. Police arrived at 7:17 p.m. to find Martin lying face down on the ground.

Zimmerman was handcuffed after police arrived and taken into custody for questioning, but was released by police without being charged. Police have interviewed Zimmerman two times since then.

Crump called the treatment patently unfair and asked if Martin would have received the same treatment if he had been the shooter.

"We will not rest until he is arrested. The more time that passes, this is going to be swept under the rug," Crump said.

Crump said he plans to turn over information about the call to federal investigators; a grand jury in Seminole County is also likely to subpoena the records. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also involved in the state case.

Former federal prosecutors said there are limitations to a Justice Department civil rights probe, which typically would involve a sworn law enforcement officer accused of abusing his authority.

In this case, they said, it's not clear whether Zimmerman had any actual law enforcement authority or if the Sanford Police Department did anything improper. Zimmerman had a permit to carry a gun, but it was not required for his neighborhood watch patrol.

"I think the community has the feeling that there's some type of cover-up," said Jeffrey Sloman, former U.S. attorney in Miami. "At least the department's involvement makes sure it gets some review. He wasn't a police officer. I'm sure that this is going to be a tough case to prosecute."

Authorities may be hamstrung by a state "Stand Your Ground" law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force and does not require a retreat in the face of danger. Asked Tuesday if that law needs change, Republican Gov. Rick Scott said "it's always positive to go back and think about existing laws."

During the town hall meeting in Sanford, Florida Rep. Geraldine Thompson promised the law's repeal would be a top priority for the state legislature's black caucus.

"If vigilante justice becomes the norm, will visitors feel comfortable coming to our state?" she said.

An online petition urging local authorities to prosecute Zimmerman has drawn more than 500,000 signatures at website About 50 defense attorneys and protesters filled the lobby in the governor's office Tuesday to deliver a letter seeking an independent investigation and a task force to study racial profiling. They applauded when Scott came out of his office to talk to them.

"I will make sure justice prevails," Scott said. "I'm very comfortable that (state law enforcement) is going to do the right thing. They're not going to let somebody do something wrong and get away with it."

7. Thoughts on higher education's illogical view of self-defense

Ray Kasey emailed me this:


Good afternoon Phil.

After reading the debates concerning campus-concealed carry I've come to the conclusion that the educators and administrators of the colleges throughout the nation have a distinctly skewed attitude toward the students and parents that pay the bills. (Many of these students go on scholarships and grants that come out of taxpayer funded monies paid for by some young citizens who were not attending college.)

The students are smart enough to enter the best schools in the country having attained the highest academic grades, extra curricular activity credits, and social and societal accolades yet certainly are not responsible enough to understand the responsibilities of carrying a weapon for self-defense.

On the other hand, the high school students that choose to work for a living or enter the military are provided with and are responsible for instruments of annihilation each costing millions of taxpayer dollars.

Seems to me that just like everything else in our society is becoming topsy-turvey, this wrongly thought-out college prohibition is one more item that is not logical in its apparent policy; smart enough to go to school but not responsible enough to have a gun, but not smart enough to go to school but plenty smart to handle million dollar equipment. While the educators and administrators can teach logic, they make it clear they don't really understand it.

8. Gun sales explode as election looms

The antis say that the boom in gun sales is just to existing gun owners and that the actual number of gun owners is slipping.

Nice try, but no cigar.

Jay Minsky emailed me this:

From FOX News:

By Perry Chiaramonte
March 22, 2012

Sales of handguns and ammunition are booming across the country, and retailers say it's all about the November election.

Gun shop owners around the nation told that sales, brisk ever since President Obama was elected, have spiked upward in recent months. And manufacturers are having so much trouble keeping up with the demand that one, Sturm, Ruger & Co., can't keep up with demand. The Southport, Conn.-based company has had to suspend new orders after taking orders for more than 1 million guns in the first three months of the year. Smith & Wesson sales are way up, as well.

Gunmakers' stock soars

"Sales usually increase this time of year with tax returns, but this year has been higher than most," Mike Weeks, owner of Georgia Gun Store in Gainesville told "People are scared their gun rights are going to be curtailed after the election."

Weeks said his sales are up around 30 percent, and that he now sells ammo by the case.

"Usually people come in to buy three or four boxes for target practice. Now they are coming in asking what kind of deals they could get on a case," he said.

Industry experts and gun shop owners alike say the factor driving gun sales is the Nov. 6 election. There was a similar spike before President Obama was elected to his first term, and many gun buyers are saying they fear Obama's re-election could mean more regulations on firearms. Obama famously told fundraisers in 2008 that many Americans "cling to guns or religion," and gun enthusiasts believe he is not fully behind the Second Amendment.

"It's definitely the election year," Jason Hanson, a former CIA officer and personal security specialist, told "People feel that Obama will serve second term and with it their gun rights with taken away, so they are stocking up.

"They're also worried that the economy is not getting any better and that they need to protect themselves," Hanson added.

In 2009, gun sales had shot up after Obama took office and firearm enthusiasts rushed to stores, fearing he would tighten gun control. Sales have continued to grow throughout his administration.

This year's uptick comes on top of a record 2011, when nearly 11 million firearms were sold in the U.S., according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. The group notes the $4 billion firearms business has bucked the weak economy, with robust sales since 2008.

One of the best indicators of firearms sales is the FBI's National Instant Background Check System, which federally licensed firearm retailers use to conduct the mandatory background check on purchasers of new and used firearms. Statistics through December showed an unprecedented 19th straight month of background check increases when tabulated year over year. "Black Friday," Nov. 25, 2011, saw a record for the most background checks in a single day --129,166.

Another strong indicator comes from Wall Street. Smith& Wesson shares are up a whopping 125 percent over the past year, while Sturm, Ruger's are up about 112 percent. Even Taser, which makes non-lethal weapons, has seen its sales surge.

"It's been a strong cycle. Sales of tactical rifles have been extremely strong," Bret Jordan, a stock analyst specializing in the firearms market, told, "Personal handguns have had a steady rise since 2008. The kind of stuff that fits in the waistband for when someone tries to steal your gas can."

"There's a lot of speculation that the Second Amendment will be affected by the next presidential term. There was one investors call and an executive was asked what he thought would happen if Obama was elected a second term and he said, 'No one in the gun industry will tell you they like Obama, but everyone will vote for him,'" he said implying that a second Obama term would be good for continued business.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said he is skeptical of claims that firearms sales are way up. But he said the gun industry does work to promote that perception. [PVC: The government's background check numbers confirm it, Josh.]

"There's no doubt [National Rifle Association President] Wayne LaPierre is out there every day saying that President Obama has a secret plan to take away your guns," Horwitz said. "They want to gin up sales." [PVC: For what? The NRA doesn't sell guns.]

9. More on New Mexico and VA CHP's

Justin Melvin emailed me this:


It may be worthwhile to point out that although open carry has its place in New Mexico, it is not an option in any place that serves or sells alcohol. As a result many people may not even lawfully enter a grocery store or gas station that sell beer and wine with their firearm carried openly in any situation without comitting a felony. The same is true in restaurants serving only beer and wine, and although licensed concealed carry is fine for places serving beer and wine only, any place that serves liquor is off limits to folks carrying firearms in any situation. (See New Mexico Annotated Statutes 30-7-3)

It is my understanding that some of the criteria that qualify Virginians to obtain a Virginia CHP, will also qualify non-residents to obtain an Arizona CCW permit. As of this point in time, Arizona DPS (Department of Public Safety) indicates that New Mexico recognizes an AZ CCW permit, without a written reciprocity agreement.

From AZ Dept of Public Safety:

10. Changes to weapons policy on Greater Lynchburg Transit Co. buses

EM Ed Levine recently volunteered to get GLTC to remove their "no guns" signs after a member emailed VCDL about them. Ed got this email from GLTC:


Dear Mr Levine:

I have received your email about the automated announcement on GLTC's buses concerning weapons. I have consulted with legal counsel and we are removing the notice on the website immediately, and will update our PA system and any printed material as soon as practical.

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.


Michael J. Carroll

General Manager, GLTC
PO Box 797
Lynchburg, VA 24505
"Go Green, Ride Blue"

11. VIDEO: Crowder argues gun rights with anti-gun 'news anchor'

Norwood Rich emailed me this:


From Youtube:

12. Who needs a gun at the pharmacy?

Chet Szymecki emailed me this:


Phil - do you think that a "No butcher knifes allowed" sign on the front door might have helped? Lol...

From The Daily Press:

By Tyra M. Vaughn
March 23, 2012

Man armed with butcher knife robs Newport News pharmacy

NEWPORT NEWS - A man armed with a serrated butcher knife robbed a Newport News Rite Aid Thursday, police said.

The man entered the pharmacy located in the 13000 block of Warwick Boulevard at 8:25 p.m. after approaching an employee outside the store and demanding cash, said Holly McPherson, spokeswoman for the Newport News Police Department, in a news release.

The man took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the store in an unknown direction, McPherson said.

The man was wearing dark blue jeans, a black thin jacket with a hood and a ski mask, McPherson said.

13. Legal U.S. gun sales arm Mexican cartels

Jay Minsky emailed me this:

From Reuters:

By Stephanie Rabiner
March 15, 2012

Recent focus on the relationship between U.S. guns and Mexican cartels has been limited to the ATF's "Fast and the Furious." That plan had agents selling assault rifles to Mexican gun runners so that they could track high-ranking cartel members.

Though the ATF's actions are a bit questionable, there's actually a completely legal -- and perhaps more harmful -- way the U.S. is arming Mexican cartels. It's called "direct commercial sales" and it's operated by the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

So how is taxpayer money paying to arm drug dealers?

Under the direct commercial sales program, foreign governments can submit an application to the DDTC. When approved, they are free to purchase weapons made by private U.S. manufacturers.

In 2009 alone, U.S. manufacturers sold 18,709 guns to the Mexican military, reports CBS News. About 26% of those guns were "diverted" into the wrong hands.

This is because an estimated 150,000 Mexican soldiers have defected and now work for cartels. They take their military-issued guns with them.

Between "Fast and the Furious," the direct commercial sales program, and other channels, a significant number of U.S. guns go to Mexican cartels. Some estimate that 90% of all cartel guns seized by ATF can be traced to the U.S.

"Fast and the Furious" will likely never happen again, and gun trafficking is notoriously difficult to stop. But what can the government do about the direct commercial sales program? Can it prevent legally sold guns from being used by cartels?

The U.S. can't monitor Mexico's military and prevent defections. Thus the only way to curtail the number of U.S. guns used by Mexican cartels is to stop selling guns to Mexico. Either the State Department must choose to stop the sales, or Congress must pass a law prohibiting it. Until then, such sales will continue to occur.

Meanwhile, Mexican authorities have arrested a top figure of the Sinaloa drug cartel who has been linked to "Fast and Furious" weapons. Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, 33, had been a top lieutenant to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. He was arrested last month.

14. Chicago bloodbath: 6-year-old among those killed

Ban guns and violent crime skyrockets - Chicago is proof.

David Custer emailed me this:


March 19, 2012

At least 10 people were killed and 39 others wounded during a bloody weekend in Chicago, police said.

Among the dead is a 6-year-old girl -- identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office as Aliyah Shell -- who was shot Saturday outside her house in the 3100 block of South Springfield Avenue, police said. A pickup truck approached and somebody inside began shooting, striking the girl in the abdomen, police said.

The little girl's sister was inside the house when she heard a popping sound outside.

"They started shooting but I thought it was fireworks. I heard like five or six gunshots. I thought they were fireworks," said Desiree Valzquez, Aliyah's sister. "I ran outside, and my mom was holding my sister. My sister wasn't talking anymore. She wasn't breathing."

Sunday afternoon, police charged two teens with Aliyah's murder -- 18-year-old Juan Barraza and a 16-year-old boy. Both teens are charged with murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Police said they recovered a gun at the scene.

Here are details on some other weekend shootings:

Saturday evening, somebody inside a vehicle fatally shot a 24-year-old man standing in the 5900 block of South Fairfield Avenue about 7:04 p.m., police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was initially taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Adrian Cruz, 24, of the 5900 block of South Fairfield Avene suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 8:17 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

At 7:50 p.m., police found a 21-year-old man dead with a gunshot wound to the head in the 800 block of East 79th Street, Zala said.

The victim was identified as Vincent Fitts, 22, of the 4100 block of West Cermak Road, according to the medical examiner's office.

The last fatal shooting Saturday happened at 10:30 p.m., when a man in his 20s was shot in the back while inside a vehicle in the 6300 block of South Ellis Avenue, police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. He may have driven himself to nearby University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was dead upon arrival.

Jeremy Anthony, 24, of the 6400 block of South Ellis Avenue was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center at 10:50 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

After a few hours without reports of any fatal shootings, more murders ensued early Sunday.

About 1:20 a.m., a 36-year-old man was fatally shot in the 7500 block of South Wolcott Avenue, police said. The man was in a back yard at a party when shots were fired into the yard from a passing vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Bert Lindsey, 36, of the 7500 block of South Wolcott Avenue was pronounced dead at 2:16 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

At 1:55 a.m., one person was shot dead and two others wounded during a shooting in the 1400 block of West 53rd Street, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said. Two people were taken to Stroger and one was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Saturday and Sunday saw numerous other serious but non-fatal shootings.

At 3:22 p.m. Saturday, an 18-year-old man was shot in the arm and a 20-year-old man was shot in the body in the 5200 block of South Albany Avenue, police said. Both men were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, according to Fire Media Affairs.

About 3:35 p.m., a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg in the 100 block of East 107th Street, Zala said.

Paramedics took the teen to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in serious-to-critical condition, according to Fire Media Affairs.

About the same time, an 18-year-old man was shot in the arm during a drive-by attack in the 4600 block of South Michigan Avenue, police said. The man drove himself to Provident Hospital of Cook County and was listed in good condition.

About 7:30 p.m., two men were wounded in a shooting on the Eisenhower Expressway near the 2900 block of West Congress Parkway, Zala said. State Police are investigating, but a spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

One of the men, 37, was shot in the head and back, Zala said. Information on the other wounded person was not immediately known. The fire department said it took two men from the scene to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious-to-critical condition.

About 9:05 p.m., a man and two teenage girls were standing on the sidewalk in the 8300 block of South Kedzie Avenue when several males fired shots, police said.

One 14-year-old girl was shot in the left leg, and the other girl, also 14, was shot in the right leg, police said. The girls were taken in good condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and Holy Cross Hospital. A man in his 20s was also shot in the chest and taken in serious condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

At 9:50 p.m., a 28-year-old woman was shot in the face when she opened the door of her apartment in the 5000 block of North Mango Avenue and a male shot her, police said. The shooting was possibly domestic-related. She is in "stable" condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

A 33-year-old man was in the 6300 block of South Richmond Street at 11:30 p.m. when a male approached, produced a handgun and demanded money, police said. The victim was taken in serious condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with gunshot wounds in the back and leg.

Sunday at 12:05 a.m., a 20-year-old man was sitting on the porch in the 5900 block of South Laflin Street when he heard shots and felt pain, police said. He was taken in "stable" condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County with a gunshot wound to the groin.

At 12:55 a.m., a 22-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk in the 800 block of East 66th Street when a dark-colored sedan drove by and shots were fired, police said. He was taken to St. Bernard with a gunshot wound to the left shoulder.

A teenage boy was hospitalized in serious condition at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County after suffering multiple gunshot wounds on the South Side. The boy, 17, was shot in the back and face in the 500 block of East 67th Street about 2:17 a.m., police said.

A male shot multiple times on the West Side early Sunday is hospitalized in serious condition. He was in the 3300 block of West Evergreen Avenue about 4:20 a.m. when an unknown offender fired gunshots, hitting him in his chest and legs, police said. The unidentified male victim was taken in serious condition to an unknown hospital, police said.

15. Who needs a gun in an office building?

Chaz Holland emailed me this:


From Buckeye Firearms Association:

By Chad D. Baus
March 16, 2012

The stabbing of four people in a downtown Columbus office building, and subsequent shooting of the knife-wielding assailant by police, has made national news headlines over the past two days. Glaringly absent from news coverage, however, is any mention of the fact that the building is a "no-guns" zone, thanks to Ohio laws which prohibit concealed carry in government buildings (the building houses offices for the state attorney general) and college campuses (the building houses Miami-Jacobs Career College).

From the Associated Press:

John W. Mallett was armed with three knives when he entered a downtown office building that housed a career college and other offices Wednesday afternoon and stabbed four men, the first an employee of Miami-Jacobs Career College, police said. Other people intervened and took away a knife the man was using but didn't realize he had others, police said.

Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner said the attack appeared to be random. The 37-year-old Mallett has no criminal record in Columbus.

An aunt in Columbus reported to police that she thought the suspect was Mallett, Weiner said. She told police he was mentally ill and had been off his medications.

"We have no link as to why he went there," Weiner said.

Mallett lived in Nashville for 10 years until a month ago when he came to Columbis, police said.

Two of the victims worked for the college, one was a student and another worked for the attorney general's office, Weiner said.

Student John M. Desir was in stable condition Thursday, while school employee Donte Dunnagan was in critical condition.

Weiner said attorney Jeff Maloon was also in critical condition, though a message sent to employees at the attorney general's office said Maloon was alert and talking to his family.

Gerald Dowe Jr., also an employee at the school, was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital. Weiner said Dowe returned to the building to help officers with their investigation.

A knife was recovered inside the school, and two knives were found near the attacker outside after he had been shot. Police wouldn't describe the knives except to say they were bigger than pocket knives.

One officer used a stun gun on the attacker at around the time another officer shot him, Weiner said.

The attacker had a knife in each hand when he went at officers, said Jim Gilbert, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police.

Multiple shots were fired at the man by the officer who was closest to him, Gilbert said. The officer, who has been on the police force for 15 years, "did what she had to do," Gilbert said.

16. Customer who pulled gun to stop knife-wielding man receives award

Stephen Wenger emailed me this:


From RoyalOakPatch (Michigan):

By Judy Davids
March 20, 2012

Praised for his composure in a volatile situation, Dale Vigliarolo received a Royal Oak Police Department Citizen Award for preventing the actions of a knife-wielding man from escalating at Holiday Market on March 5.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue presented the award to Vigliarolo at Monday's City Commission meeting.

In the incident in the parking lot outside the Royal Oak market, police say David Harold Shuten, 43, of Madison Heights had a knife drawn as he approached a couple with an infant after they saw him attempting to break the driver∆s side window of a vehicle occupied by a 49-year-old man.

O'Donohue described how Vigliarolo, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, ordered Shuten at gunpoint to drop his knife and was able to hold the man until police arrived.

"Quite frankly, he did everything right in this situation," O'Donohue said. "He showed willingness to get involved in a life-threatening situation and he was incredibly composed. There is no doubt in my in mind that a tragedy was prevented."

Vigliarolo admitted he was a little nervous after the incident was all over. "The police made me very at ease and comfortable with the whole situation and what I had just done and what I had gone through," Vigliarolo said.

Shuten was arraigned March 7 in 44th District Court in Royal Oak before Judge Terrence Brennan on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

17. Who needs a gun on a college campus?

Who needs a gun on campus?! This time at USC, Columbia, S.C.

From The State:

By R. Darren Price
March 16, 2012

A University of South Carolina student was robbed at gunpoint near campus Thursday night.

The robbery is the second such incident in the area this last few weeks.

The student was walking in the 1900 block of Pendleton Street about 10:30 p.m. when a gray four-door SUV pulled up next do him and a male passenger asked him for change for a $10 bill, Columbia Police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said. When the student said no, the passenger pulled out a handgun and demanded money.

The student told the passenger that he didn't have any money, but he could give him an iPod, which he took. The vehicle sped away, Timmons said, but not before the student was able to get the car's tag numbers. Police are working to identify the vehicle's driver and passenger.

A female student was also robbed at Wheat and Pickens streets about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 29. The student was also walking in the area carrying an iPad when a man approached her on foot and told her he had a weapon. The man then took the iPad and ran toward Blossom Street.

USC police issued text alerts on the university's Carolina Alert system following both robberies. The university also sent an email to faculty, staff and students referencing "multiple armed robberies...near campus," and listing safety tips. The email says to travel on well-lit and -walked routes, have a plan before leaving, walking in groups and to be aware of surroundings. The email tells people call 911 immediately if they feel unsafe.

18. Will Indiana's self-defense measure mean "open season" on cops?

A new law in Indiana that allows a person to protect themselves against police acting in what the person reasonably believes is an unlawful manner has caused considerable controversy in that state.

In Virginia you have the right to defend yourself when you reasonably believe that you are about to be murdered or grievously hurt. If someone kicks in your door in the middle of the night and comes at you with a gun, you can use deadly force to protect yourself, even if that person ends up being a police officer performing a "no knock" warrant on the wrong house.

"No knock" warrants are a bad idea that puts both citizens and police in unnecessary danger and are sometimes used unnecessarily. Police need to be triply sure that they are at the correct address (and therefore acting legally) before even considering such a thing. A police officer murdered by a criminal is a tragedy and is never acceptable. But the same thing can be said about an innocent citizen killed by police during an unlawful entry.

Steve Nagy emailed me this:

From Force Science Institute:

By Chuck Remsberg
March 20, 2012

Will Indiana's self-defense measure mean "open season" on cops?

You may have heard of the bill passed recently by the Indiana General Assembly that gives citizens the right to physically resist--even with deadly force--any LEO they "reasonably believe" is unlawfully entering their dwelling or is about to cause them injury.

At this writing, the legislation awaits the signature of Gov. Mitch Daniels to become law. Daniels is expected to approve the measure this week.

When he does, "it will mean basically open season on police officers," predicts Tim Downs, president of the state FOP, which campaigned vigorously although unsuccessfully against the bill. "Law enforcement officers are definitely going to be put in harm's way."

In this report, we explore the background and implications of the new law, which understandably has sent shock waves through the Indiana law enforcement community and has cops in other states wondering if they're next.

HOT POTATO DECISION. The legislation was drafted in response to a controversial decision by the Indiana Supreme Court last May in a domestic disturbance case, Barnes v. State of Indiana.

Back in 2007, a distressed woman in southern Indiana had called 911 during a heated argument with her husband. When officers arrived, the man, "very agitated and yelling," belligerently informed them that they were "not needed." When they tried to enter the couple's apartment to check on the complainant's wellbeing, he blocked the doorway and shoved one officer against a wall. He was subjected to a neck restraint, Tasered, and then arrested on 4 counts, including battery on a police officer.

In appealing his subsequent conviction, the defendant argued that the officers' forcible entry was illegal and that he had a common-law right to "reasonably resist unlawful entry" by law enforcement into his home.

The state Supreme Court acknowledged that such a right, sometimes called the "castle defense doctrine," can be traced back to the Magna Carta of 1215. On 2 occasions, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized it: in Bad Elk v. United States [177 US 529 (1900)] and in United States v. Di Re [332 US 581 (1948)].

However, legislative and judicial thinking has changed significantly in recent years, the Indiana Supreme Court majority pointed out in its 3-2 decision. The Model Penal Code has now eliminated the right because "alternate remedies," including civil suit, now exist for an "aggrieved" party and because forceful resistance is "likely to result in greater injury." A "majority of states have abolished the right" to resist via statutes and judicial opinions, the Court stated.

"We believe...that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," the justices declared. "[W]e find it unwise to allow a homeowner to adjudge the legality of police conduct in the heat of the moment. As we decline to recognize a right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, we decline to recognize a right to batter a police officer as a part of that resistance."

According to the Indianapolis Bar Assn., "the same issue has been ruled upon similarly" by courts in an overwhelming majority of other states.


According to media reports, the Court's ruling ignited a "public uproar." Before long, legislators had drafted an act in the Indiana General Assembly [Senate Bill 0001] to rectify the situation by affirming the "robust self-defense rights" of the state's residents.

Earlier this month, the bill was approved 38-12 by the state Senate and 67-26 by the House. In its final form, it includes these key provisions to "ensure that a citizen feels secure...against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant"; e.g., an officer of the law:

"A person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to:

(1) "protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;

(2) "prevent or terminate the public servant's unlawful entry of or attack on the person's dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or

(3) "prevent or terminate the public servant's unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person's possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person's immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect."

A person is not justified in using force against the police if he or she:

(1) "is committing or escaping after the commission of a crime;

(2) "provokes action by the public servant with intent to cause bodily injury;

(3) "has entered into combat with the public servant or is the initial aggressor"...unless the officer "continues or threatens to continue unlawful action;

(4) "reasonably believes the public servant is...acting lawfully [or is] engaged in the lawful execution of [his] official duties."

However, the bill specifies that even deadly force can be justified in resisting the police if a citizen "reasonably believes" an officer is "acting unlawfully" and "the force is reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person." In other words, Downs states, "There is no limit on the resistance that can be used."

POLICE REACTION. The only organized voice that has spoken out against this legislation, says President Downs, is the Indiana state FOP. When the bill was passed despite the group's vehement objections, Downs requested an audience with Gov. Daniels to plead in person for a veto. Early this week, he spent 20 minutes with Daniels but was unable to persuade him to kill the bill. At this writing, the governor is believed to be just hours away from affixing his approval.

Downs has been an active LEO for more than 3 decades, currently serving as chief of police for the Lake County (IN) SD, and he has headed the state FOP since 1999. We asked what he thinks will be the outcome when Daniels signs the legislation into law.

Downs: It's only a matter of time before an officer or a civilian gets seriously hurt or killed because of this law. At the very least, it will result in more use of force. If a subject offers resistance he believes is justified, an officer isn't going to just meekly back off. He'll escalate force to overcome the resistance, one or both of them will likely be injured or worse, and a subject who survives will go to prison.

With this law successfully on the books in Indiana, I believe other states may look at it and be encouraged to adopt similar legislation.

Force Science News: Are there any subtleties in this law that make it less crazy than it seems?

Downs: No, it's insane. Backers of the bill kept saying it gives the police more protection, but there is no protection in it whatsoever. Criminals and other people who dislike the police are interpreting it that they can do anything they want against us now. I'm already getting hate mail from people saying, "Let's get it on. If I kill you, I'm justified in doing it." This is potentially lethal thinking. I've not found a police officer yet who has anything good to say about this statute.

FSN: As the legislation is written, much hinges on a subject's "reasonable belief" as to whether an officer is acting lawfully. Don't most suspects automatically believe officers are wrong in the actions taken against them, regardless of the circumstances?

Downs: Suspects always think we're in the wrong. The average citizen, even if they're well-intentioned, has no training in the law and police procedure on which to base a 'reasonable' decision. They're going to subjectively judge the circumstances to decide whether an officer is acting lawfully. And this subjective decision is going to be made at a time when emotions are likely to be highly charged, and drugs and/or alcohol will be involved a huge percentage of the time, affecting people's thinking.

Police officers are called upon every day to investigate domestic disturbances, child and elder abuse, and many other serious matters. Sometimes they don't have time to secure a warrant, yet they're duty bound to make entry onto private property and into private residences in order to protect the innocent. Empowering people to resist them is a recipe for disaster that will lead to senseless loss of life.

FSN: Is there any leeway given for officers who make legitimate mistakes and unwittingly force entry into an incorrect residence?

Downs: No. This is one of the many realities of police work that the politicians who voted for this don't understand.

FSN: And if it is determined later that the belief on which a subject acted was not reasonable and therefore the resistance was not justified, by then the damage from resisting is already done, right? [PVC: That is a two-way road. The citizen could have been shot by police who invaded the wrong house. The damage from that unlawful entry is already done, too.]

Downs: Right.

FSN: Who was the driving force behind this legislation?

Downs: Well, one group that sticks out and that surprised me was the National Rifle Assn. They give a lot of money and backing to politicians, and NRA people lobbied hard at the state capitol in favor of this bill. They thought the Supreme Court decision last year gave authorities too much power.

Also the press got a lot of people upset about not being able to defend themselves from unlawful intrusions when the decision came down. One legislator told me that a poll showed that 60% of the citizenry favored the bill. You'd have to prove that to me. I find it hard to believe. Many, many civilians I spoke to thought it was ridiculous. We had many legislators on our side, including one who's a former police chief, but the ones against us had the power.

FSN: What do you recommend for Indiana officers as this bill becomes law?

Downs: Stay on high alert during any response, especially to a residence. Even more than before, you don't know what you may be going into.

FSN: Are you planning to test the constitutionality of this law?

Downs: We'll definitely have our attorneys look into any possible way we can get it reversed. This law is not only dangerous, it's not needed. If an officer acts unlawfully, there are plenty of state and federal statutes to deal with it. That's a matter best handled by a judge and jury, not by a person standing on a doorstep thinking, 'I'm going to take care of this myself.' " [PVC: Those remedies don't mean much to a dead homeowner who was trying to protect himself against what he reasonably thought was a criminal home invasion.]

FS News Extra: More mail on post-shooting procedures

The Los Angeles PD, 1 of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country, has post-OIS procedures that differ radically from those recommended to the federal DOJ by Atty. John Hoag, which we described in Transmission #199 and which readers commented on in a special transmission sent 3/16/12.

Now a reader intimately familiar with LAPD's policies adds his observations to the discussion...and takes issue particularly with Hoag's preference of having involved officers give voluntary statements after a shooting rather than compelled statements under Garrity/Lybarger protection.

Voluntary statement a matter of context
I have functioned as a rollout attorney representing LAPD officers involved in shootings for the last 16 years and have been called out in over 400 shootings.

People tend to take Mr. Hoag's recommendation of officers giving voluntary statements without knowing his context. I attended the certification class in Force Science Analysis and listened to his lecture. He has his reasons for this recommendation, but it does not transfer to LAPD and I suspect to many other departments.

At the end of his lecture, I asked him the following: "If you were representing an LAPD officer and were told that the officer WOULD be giving a statement before he is allowed to go home, even if the officer had been up over 24 hours (and sometimes longer); that the statement WOULD be tape recorded; that the attorney and officer WOULD NOT see the scene until actually going through the walk-through with the investigators; that any external tape of the shooting WOULD NOT be shown to the officer prior to the interview; would you still advise the officer to give a voluntary statement?"

His answer was that he would not. And neither do we.

Atty. Gary Ingemunson, certified Force Science Analyst
Independent Counsel, L.A. Police Protective League

Atty. Hoag responds:
I did state that if I were faced with the L.A. system I would not recommend a voluntary statement. I do salute the officers and attorneys who have to function under that system, as it is broken. As I understand it, their current process is part of a federal consent decree. That process is fundamentally wrong and cannot produce the best possible statement from involved officers.

19. Tenn. tourist who brought loaded gun to 9/11 Memorial avoids jail

Walter Jackson emailed me this:


There may be a glimmer of hope after all!!

From NBC4 New York:

March 20, 2012

A Tennessee woman arrested for trying to check her loaded gun at the 9/11 Memorial during a visit to the city has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge.

Meredith Graves, a 39-year-old a registered nurse from Knoxville, was spared jail time under the plea deal.

Her lawyer, Daniel Horwitz, said bringing the weapon to New York was "inadvertent," and that her actions did not constitute a crime in her home state.

Graves has a legal permit to carry a weapon in Tennessee, but New York's gun laws are among the strictest in the nation. It's illegal to carry a concealed weapon that is not licensed in New York even if it's licensed in another state.

The incident happened when Graves and her husband drove to the Big Apple for a job interview at a Long Island hospital last year. While in town Dec. 22, she decided to visit the 9/11 memorial and noticed a sign that said "No guns allowed," so she tried to check the loaded gun with security officials at the site. She was promptly arrested and hit with a felony weapons charge.

After court Monday, Horwitz said he engineered the plea deal in hopes the misdemeanor would not impact his client's ability to practice medicine in the field of her choice. She's due to graduate from a Tennessee medical school in May, Horwitz told The New York Post.

"She's happy that this ordeal is over, and she's looking forward to getting on with her life and her career as a doctor," Horwitz told the paper.

20. Two Washington County boys charged for bringing gun to school, planning attack

The perfect place for a mass shooting is in one of Virginia's "gun-free school zones." Even fifth graders have figured that one out. My question for the General Assembly - are YOU as smart as a fifth grader? If you are, then you need to restore to right of citizens to carry for self-defense on school grounds.

Dave Hicks emailed me this:


By Associated Press
March 20, 2012

The Associated Press - Two boys in Washington County face charges of bringing a gun to an elementary school and planning to attack staff and other students.

Media outlets report that the 10-year-old and 12-year-old boys are being held at a juvenile detention center on charges of conspiracy to commit capital murder and possession of a firearm on school property.

Both boys are fifth-graders at Meadowview Elementary School. They haven't been identified because they are juveniles.

Commonwealth's Attorney Nicole Price says authorities believe the boys planned to kill or harm "multiple individuals" at the school and then flee.

Schools Superintendent Jim Sullivan says a teacher saw the gun in a book bag Friday after noticing the boys were acting suspiciously. She took the boys to the school's office. They were later arrested.

21. Holding a gun may make you think others are too

More voodoo psychology on guns.

Deborah Anderson emailed me this:


What will the antis come out with next? Talk about twisting things, when the fact of the matter is that there ARE "bad guys" out there in our world, and some of them DO have guns with which they intend to do harm. But, that doesn't mean that responsible gun owners will just shoot someone else willy-nilly unless and until they pose an actual threat.

As for the situation in Florida, I wasn't there when the neighborhood watch volunteer was on his route, so I'm not going to comment on that situation other than to say that (a) I don't think it's standard procedure for neighborhood watch volunteers to pursue those who they think are suspicious, nor to chase someone who they believe is armed, and (b) in that particular incident, it's up to law enforcement to decide if there's enough reason to arrest the gun owner, and then it would be up to the judicial system to decide whether or not he acted responsibly.


Deborah Jane Anderson


By Malcom Ritter
March 20, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - No one knows what led a Florida neighborhood watch captain to shoot Trayvon Martin, a teenager carrying no weapon.

But a new study raises an intriguing question: Could the watch captain have been fooled into thinking the youth was armed in part because he himself was holding a gun?

In the study, volunteers who held a toy gun and glimpsed fleeting images of people holding an object were biased toward thinking the object was a gun.

It's another indication that the brain shapes what we perceive in the world beyond the information that comes in through our eyes, said James Brockmole of the University of Notre Dame, who did the work with psychologist Jessica Witt at Purdue University.

In a telephone interview, Brockmole stressed he had no inside information on the Feb. 26 shooting of 17-year-old Martin, who was shot and killed in a gated community in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando. The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, said he shot the teen in self-defense because the youth attacked him. The case has drawn outrage and protests, and the federal Department of Justice said Monday it will investigate.

Brockmole said it's possible that Zimmerman's perception might have been skewed by being armed.

Race may have also played a role. Martin is black; Zimmerman's family says he is Hispanic. Past research suggests that people can be more likely to perceive a poorly seen object as a gun if it's held by a black person than by a white person, experts say.

Zimmerman has not spoken publicly. The police report does not mention whether he thought Martin had a firearm. But during his patrol of the neighborhood in his SUV, Zimmerman called 911 and told a police dispatcher that he was following Martin. "We've had some break-ins my neighborhood. ...There is a really suspicious guy."

Then a bit later, he said the youth was approaching and "he's got something in his hands."

In the study which was carried out well before the shooting, undergraduates at Notre Dame and Purdue glimpsed scenes of people holding objects and had to decide quickly whether the object was a gun. The results showed they were biased toward thinking so if they themselves were holding a toy gun, rather than a plastic ball. Just having a gun nearby didn't make a difference, researchers found.

Why is that? Brockmole said people are primed to act in the world rather than just passively see it. So their minds have to contain information both about what they see and what they might do in response. Evidently, each kind of information can influence the other, he said.

He said the work is not intended to support gun control, but it suggests that people should know that when they hold a gun "that might change how you're going to interpret what's around you."

Brockmole's findings make sense, said Evan Risko, who studies perception and attention at Arizona State University. "Our perception is influenced by a number of different factors, and that can have important consequences," he said.

Dennis Proffitt, who studies visual perception at the University of Virginia, said there are many reasons why one person might think another is armed, such as if he is worried about his own safety or if he thinks the other person is a robber. The effect of holding a gun oneself "could be part of the story" in Florida, he said.

22. The "Open Carry" gun owner's starter kit

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

By Keenan Mayo
March 21, 2012

For some Americans, happiness isn't a warm gun but a nearby gun, one snugly holstered to the hip like a gunfighter's. Since 2004, the most vocal proponents of expanding Second Amendment laws to encourage Americans to carry loaded sidearms in public are the devoted members of the "Open Carry" movement-an inchoate mass numbering in the tens of thousands, according to their website. The group consists of armed citizens who go about their business in public with unconcealed weapons attached to their belts wherever possible. They believe that more guns will lead to less crime.

Firearm laws vary state-to-state, but in 14 states across the country-with the right permits-it's perfectly legal to walk around with a holstered weapon in full display. Just this week, it was announced that open-carry bills sailed through the Oklahoma state legislature. (As the Wall Street Journal reported, Representative Steve Martin, a Republican who co-authored the House bill, said: "Just because some people are not in favor of the practice doesn't mean we should forbid it. If that were the case, we would also ban face-piercing.") Minnesota was the most recent state to relax its gun laws, in 2005.

Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to founder John Pierce, who lives in Virginia (a "gold star" state, he says, where he can go anywhere with a weapon and where "there are no obstacles whatsoever"), and commutes to Pennsylvania for work (not a gold-star state "because there you can open-carry on foot-but you have to carry a permit in a vehicle. It's a quirk in the law."). From the pistol itself to the must-have accessories to an app meant to combat unjustified seizures, Pierce provided his perfect "open carry" starter kit for those who wish to legally and prominently pack heat on a daily basis.
The Gun

Glock 17

"There are a number of very popular firearms. The Glocks are some of the most popular for law enforcement and for civilians. Glock 17 is the market leader. A generalized tip: Like any other high-end tech product, when you go below a certain price point, you get what you pay far. You're looking at a $400-plus purchase for a quality firearm."
The Holster

Galco Paddle Lite Holster

"I am a big fan of the Galco holsters, simply because it's what I personally wear. I've had really good luck with it in terms of durability. The one I'm wearing right now I've had for almost a decade now-worn everyday-and that includes some pretty rugged outdoor activities. Not a stitch is out of place. The most important thing that a holster does is cover the trigger and trigger guard to make sure that the trigger doesn't get snagged. From an open-carry perspective, it has to have a retention characteristic."
The Belt

"You can't underestimate the importance of having a good belt. One of the most common mistakes people make in open carry is they will tend to try and use a standard issue dress belt or just a work belt. What happens because it doesn't have enough torsional tension: The belt twists and the gun will be aimed out. Also improper belts and improper balancing can cause back problems. The Glock, fully-loaded, is a decent weight. You can literally get back problems if you're carrying every day."

Hollow-Point Bullets

"Your traditional ammo that you buy for target practice is ball ammo. If you ever had to deploy that in a residential environment, that ball might go through several interior walls and endanger people in subsequent rooms and subsequent apartments. Hollow points, when they strike their first target, they expand into the first thing they strike-whether it's a bad guy or a wall. It provides greater safety. And it helps stop the threat more quickly."

Galco Magazine Holder

"You're getting into options here, but some people carry an extra magazine on their belt. You have an extra magazine that is loaded in a small sliding pouch. A Glock 17 holds 17 rounds of ammunition. Between the two, you'd have 34 rounds of ammunition."

Qik App for iPhone or Android

"Some people will carry a voice recorder in case that law enforcement approaches them. The number of interactions with law enforcement across the country that are unpleasant is becoming much, much smaller. But some people like to be prepared. It's simply to record the conversation in case the consensual encounter becomes more than that and rises to the level of a seizure. But with the prevalence of cell phones these days, a separate voice recorder is becoming an unnecessary accessory. Most people these days use the Qik application on their cell phones. It streams it up to the cloud, so even if your device is seized, you still have a copy on the cloud. If the local copy were to disappear, you'd still have the cloud copy."

23. Gun confiscated from UMW student

Robert Herron emailed me this:



By Robyn Sidersky
March 22, 2012

Just after 10 p.m. Monday, University of Mary Washington Police were notified that a student in Eagle Landing was in possession of a handgun, according to a notice to the UMW community from Doug Searcy, vice president for student affairs.

Campus police responded to the scene and determined that there were no bullets and confiscated the gun.

They also determined that the incident posed no ongoing threat to Eagle Landing or the university and a UMW alert was not issued.

The student was placed on interim suspension, pending an administrative hearing.

It is against UMW's code of conduct for students to keep, use, possess, display or carry any lethal or dangerous devices.

The news was first reported by the UMW Bullet.

24. States with the most guns in 2012

Steve Rouse emailed me this:


I know this data is flawed, but I'm still disappointed. We all need to work on getting to number 1.

From The Daily Beast:

March 21, 2012

The shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, has sparked a fierce debate about Florida's self-defense and gun laws but is Florida among the most-armed states in America? The Daily Beast runs the numbers to find out where guns are most prevalent.

The shooting of Trayvon Martin has focused national attention on Florida's so-called Stand Your Ground law, under which a person claiming self-defense can justify killing an alleged assailant.

Because Trayvon was killed by George Zimmerman's 9mm semi-automatic handgun, we wondered how the gun-ownership rates have changed since our 2010 report, in which we crunched the numbers to find out which states (including Washington, D.C.) are the most armed.

For our updated ranking, we considered state data from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System for the last 18 months. We divided the number of background checks by each state's population to come up with our final ranking.

A point of caution: states are not consistent in reporting NICS data. Some use the system for background checks on purchases on the secondary market and others do not. Also, Kentucky implemented monthly NICS checks on concealed weapons, which inflates its numbers.

America's Most-Armed States 2012

(See complete list: )

1. Kentucky
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents Sept. 2010 Feb. 2012): 78,703
Previous rank: 1st

2. Utah
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 46,898
Previous rank: 2nd

3. Montana
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 16,888
Previous rank: 3rd

4. West Virginia
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 15,718
Previous rank: 6th

5. Alaska
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 14,616
Previous rank: 5th

6. Wyoming
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 13,986
Previous rank: 4th

7. North Dakota
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 13,952
Previous rank: 8th

8. South Dakota
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 13,624
Previous rank: 7th

9. Oklahoma
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 11,279
Previous rank: 12th

10. Arkansas
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 11,150
Previous rank: 9th


35. Virginia
NICS background checks per 100,000 residents: 6,387
Previous rank: 30th

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