Wednesday, September 5, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 9/5/12

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

1. Urgent - Help needed to man VCDL booth at the Norfolk Gun Show THIS WEEKEND!
2. Reminder: Newport News picnic on September 15
3. VCDL Supper Meeting in Christiansburg on September 17
4. Loudoun County Fair - anti-liberty event
5. Details reveal murdered college student tried desperately to fend off attacker
6. Virginia non-resident CHP numbers surging!
7. Prince George's honors student slain in her bed
8. Young people's pro-gun rally alters debate in D.C.
9. Gun control failure: DC violent crime climbing
10. In wake of FRC shooting, Gray backs D.C. gun laws
11. Miller: Armed against tragedy
12. Richmond convenience store requires employees to have concealed handgun permit and training
13. Sihks consider carrying firearms
14. Man credits concealed carry weapon for saving two lives
15. RT LTE: Guns don't belong at the library
16. Dairy Queen clerk kills sword-wielding robber
17. Guns: Inconvenient truth
18. If he has a gun, he belongs in jail
19. Blood on our hands: Why do nothing about gun violence?
20. VCDL member reports that First Bank of Virginia is a criminal-friendly environment
21. Video: Open carry incident in Alpine, Wyoming
22. A liberal gun radio show
23. Who needs a gun in New York City?
24. Video: Mayor Bloomberg gets upset when reporter ask him about NYC selling spent ammo casing
25. Holding 'Gunwalker' figures 'accountable' evidently involves sweetheart deals
26. Guns not the problem in Chicago
27. Prosecutor hopes to stir debate on Ill. gun laws
28. Getting a gun in Chicago quick and easy
29. States may lose gun makers over new laws
30. Miller: Flying with a gun
31. The anti-gun male
32. The Hot Coffee Bandit and the Second Amendment
33. More knife attacks in S. Korea
34. University of Colorado chancellor takes stand for student's right to carry guns on campus

1. Urgent - Help needed to man VCDL booth at the Norfolk Gun Show THIS WEEKEND!

NORFOLK, September 8-9

Saturday, September 8 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 9 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Please contact Jerry Brunner at to help at
the Norfolk Scope.

2. Reminder: Newport News picnic on September 15

The VCDL cordially invites the general public to a picnic at the Riverview Park in Newport News, VA on September the 15th from 11 AM until 2 PM. This is a family affair so bring the little ones along and enjoy the beautiful park. Food and drinks will be provided by the VCDL but attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share if they so desire.

VCDL president Philip Van Cleave and Delegate Brenda Pogge will be speaking at the picnic. Delegate Pogge carried an important bill for VCDL this year, which allows local government employees to keep their firearms in their private vehicles while at work.

The Riverview Park is located at:

125 City Farm Road, Newport News, Virginia 23602

3. VCDL Supper Meeting in Christiansburg on September 17

VCDL will again have a meeting and supper on Monday, September 17 at:

Phone: 540-381-7878

Fellowship starts at 6 PM, food will be served at 7 PM. BUFFET COST $12.00, price to include drinks (soft drinks, tea and such)--and tips.


* I-81 to EXIT 118 B (VA Tech exit) to 460 Bypass
* Take the "Christiansburg" exit; then immediately take the "Downtown" exit
* Turn LEFT at the traffic light onto CAMBRIA ST
* Restaurant is on the LEFT a few blocks down the street.

This event is open to the public. AMELIA's is known for their fine food and great service! We respectfully request an RSVP to include numbers in your party, so the proper amount of food may be prepared, and seating can be prepared. Speaker to be announced.


4. Loudoun County Fair - anti-liberty event

Timothy Dunlap sent me a photograph of a "NO FIREARMS - except for sworn law enforcement" sign prominently displayed at the ticket booth for the Loudoun County Fair. The fair can do that because they are on private property, and you can spend your money elsewhere - I know I will.

5. Details reveal murdered college student tried desperately to fend off attacker

College students can be victims of violence, just like anyone else. While this particular event didn't happen on campus, those who wish to take their security seriously should not have that right taken away by the Ivory Tower. Holding the threat of being expelled over students' heads for wishing to protect themselves is morally wrong.

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From FOX News:

August 17, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La.- A Louisiana college student desperately tried to fend off her killer by spraying him with mace and even stabbing him several times with his own knife before he fatally shot her, according to details revealed Friday in a guilty plea hearing.

Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of first-degree murder in the death of the student, Michaela "Mickey" Shunick, and the separate July 1999 slaying of Lisa Marie Pate.

Under a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, he was required to give details about both slayings in exchange for a life sentence without parole.

Shunick, a student at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, went missing in the early hours of May 19 after leaving a friend's house on her bicycle. Surveillance videos captured Lavergne following her in a white Chevrolet Z71 pickup truck, changing lanes and turning corners in order to follow her.

Court documents say Lavergne, a registered sex offender, hit Shunick's bike with his truck, throwing her to the ground. Then, Lavergne either forced or persuaded Shunick to get into the vehicle and her damaged bike was loaded into the bed of the truck.

Shunick tried to use her cellphone to call for help but Lavergne, who had a knife and a semiautomatic handgun in his vehicle, threatened to stab her if she continued. Shunick sprayed mace in Lavergne's face and managed to wrestle the knife from Lavergne and stab him several times before he grabbed the knife from her.

Lavergne stabbed Shunick at least four times before she collapsed. He then drove 30 to 40 minutes to an isolated sugar cane field in north Acadia Parish.

"The Defendant believed that Mickey was dead from the stab wounds he had inflicted upon her. The Defendant drove deep into the sugar cane field and brought the Z71 to a stop, intending to drag Mickey's body into the field," the court documents said.

Shunick suddenly jumped up and stabbed Lavergne in the chest after re-arming herself with the knife. Lavergne then pulled his semiautomatic weapon and shot Shunick in the head. She died instantly.

With fresh wounds, Lavergne drove back to his home in Swords while Shunick's body slumped in the passenger seat. He destroyed his clothing, attempted to clean out his truck and got rid of the empty bullet casing. He then drove to an old cemetery in Evangeline Parish and, unable to dig a grave because of his injuries, covered Shunick under tree branches and debris.

Later, Lavergne dumped Shunick's bicycle under a bridge in Whiskey Bay and drove to New Orleans to stay with a friend, where he checked into a hospital, seeking treatment for his injuries.

A day later, Lavergne returned to the cemetery to bury Shunick's body.

Lavergne was arrested July 5 on charges of first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. Shunick's body was eventually found Aug. 7. The body was in such an advanced stage of decomposition the coroner's office had to send it to forensic experts at Louisiana State University.

Lavergne was the "credible witness" officials say led them to the remains. Prison records show he was checked out of prison hours before her body was discovered.

The Advocate reports Shunick's sister, Charlene "Charlie" Shunick, said in a written statement that, "my sister, Mickey Shunick, was a warrior. If it wasn't for her, our community never would have been able to bring down a dangerous man that harmed multiple people."

Clay Lejeune, one of Lavergne's defense attorneys, says his client is relieved he can bring an end to the Shunick family's suffering.

"I think he had been carrying this. He was very remorseful throughout the process and wanted to bring some closure to the Shunick family. He wanted to give them some closure and recognized that a trial would only serve to create greater harm to them," Lejeune said.

Lavergne also pleaded guilty to the murder of Pate, whose body was found in Acadia Parish in 1999. Court documents say Lavergne and Pate checked into a hotel for several days shortly after they first met in Lafayette. Pate eventually told Lavergne she wanted to leave and see her children but Lavergne refused to give her a ride or let her borrow his vehicle to return home.

Court documents say Pate attempted to surreptitiously grab Lavergne's keys and wallet while he was asleep, but Lavergne caught her and bloodied her face and nose. Pate died a little later and fellow inmates of Lavergne have said Lavergne confessed to suffocating a woman with a plastic bag over her head.

Lavergne later moved Pate's body to Acadia Parish, where remnants of a plastic bag were found around the body's skull.

6. Virginia non-resident CHP numbers surging!

At least two out of the ten antis in Virginia are upset because Virginia allows on-line training for CHPs. ;-)

Forget that we are not having any problems with our training requirement. The surge in non-resident permits is from states with more draconian requirements for training, like Texas. But if you compare crime rates by Texans vs Virginians, both are miniscule.

And there is the issue of the government dictating or setting standards for training. The government should stay out of that as much as possible. I think that Virginia is proof that the minimalist approach for government CHP training requirements works just fine. But I'd like it even better if we had no mandatory training requirements. That's not to say I don't think training is a good thing - it absolutely is. Heck, I'm an NRA and a Utah certified instructor myself. But people should not be forced into it. Look at Vermont - no training requirement to carry a concealed handgun there, and they have a very low crime rate and I don't believe they have any more gun accidents per capita than Virginia or Texas. I'm sure that most Vermont gun owners seek out training on their own if they feel a need for it.

This whole issue is just another tempest in a tea kettle courtesy of the anti-liberty crowd (or is such a group actually an anti-liberty flock, herd, covey, gaggle, or pod? ;-) )

From Fox News:

Virginia's online classes make it easy for out-of-state gun owners to get permits

Virginia is issuing a rising number of concealed-carry gun permits to people who live in other states in a trend that may be helped along by online gun classes.

The commercial courses allow applicants to seek a permit from Virginia that is valid in their state, but without having to meet tougher requirements their home states may impose, such as firing a gun with an instructor.

Virginia State Police issued 1,632 concealed-carry permits to nonresidents through the first half of 2012, topping the previous year's total of 1,321 nonresident permits. There was no corresponding increase in demand for resident permits, with just under half the previous year's number reached by mid-2012.

There are no hard numbers to explain why nonresident permits are soaring because state police do not track how many people take online training compared to other types of training.

However, state police note that the increase came after Virginia law was changed and coincides with online marketing campaigns targeting states that impose tougher training standards for their own permit applicants but also will honor Virginia's easy-to-obtain licenses

"The statute was amended to require the commonwealth to accept certificates issued online as proof of competency, and that's when the increase started," said Donna Tate, manager of the state police Firearms Transaction Center.

One of at least two Internet sites that offer the training,, highlights on its home page the eight states that allow residents to carry a concealed weapon if they get a permit from Virginia.

"You heard me right -- Virginia," a pitchman says in an online promotional video outlining the process for potential customers.

Their home states may impose more stringent requirements, he tells prospects, but they can get a Virginia permit simply by paying $39.99, reading five chapters about firearms and correctly answering 15 of 20 true-or-false questions on a quiz. The customer receives a certificate to be mailed along with other application materials to the Virginia State Police. After passing a criminal background check, the applicant receives a permit to carry a concealed weapon in his or her home state and 26 others that have reciprocity agreements with Virginia.

Customers can take the test up to four times if they have trouble passing, the man in the video says, adding: "I don't think it's going to be a problem."

Sample questions on the website seem to bear that out.

"The first step in cleaning your firearm is to make sure it is unloaded," says one true-false offering.

"Always keep firearms pointed in a safe direction," says another.

A competing online training course offered by the Concealed Carry Institute at also concludes with a 20-question quiz, mixing true-false with multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank formats. The institute says more than 99.9 percent of customers pass the test the first time they take it.

Andrew Goddard, president of the Virginia Center for Public Safety that lobbies for gun control, doesn't carry a firearm. But he obtained a resident permit by taking the online training so he could speak authoritatively about it to state lawmakers.

"I swear it's third-grade level, and I could have answered every one of the questions right without ever watching the video," Goddard said. "The funny part is the certificate that I printed out says I met the proficiency requirements, but how can you prove proficiency by answering some silly questions?"

The Virginia General Assembly amended the state's concealed-carry statute to specifically allow the online training in 2009 because localities differed over whether those classes met the legal requirements. Lawmakers overrode a veto by then-Gov. Tim Kaine, who said there were no safeguards against cheating.

Lori Haas, who became a gun-control activist after her daughter Emily was wounded in the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, shares that concern.

"Your blind grandmother could take the online test because who knows who's really pushing the buttons," she said. "It endangers public safety in an immense way."

The law authorizing the online training imposes no specific standards and does not require applicants to actually handle a firearm. A spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who sponsored the amendment when he was a member of the state Senate, said that Virginia's concealed-carry program has never required hands-on training because its goal is to teach gun safety, not proficiency.

The only requirement for the online classes: The instructor must be certified by the state or by the National Rifle Association.

Ryan Willis of Shepherdstown, W.Va., the NRA-certified instructor who runs, said he is pleased that he has been able to help many non-Virginians obtain the state's concealed handgun permit.

"I just feel like we're making a difference, making safer communities by supplying responsible citizens with concealed-carry licenses," he said.

Willis acknowledged that Virginia "makes it easier than some" to obtain a license, but he noted that Vermont allows citizens to carry a concealed handgun without a permit and has a relatively low crime rate. Vermont's population of about 626,000 is a little more than double the number of Virginia concealed handgun permit holders: 282,591.

Among the states Wills targets on his website is Texas, which requires applicants for its concealed handgun permit to complete a 10- to 15-hour course. Along with passing a written exam, applicants must score at least 70 percent in firing 50 rounds from a handgun at three different distances.

Or, they can avoid all that by spending a little over an hour taking the Virginia training on the Internet. Statistics suggest many have done just that. According to the Virginia State Police, the number of nonresident permits issued to Texans has increased 96 percent since the online training provision took effect three years ago.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who authored the state's concealed-carry law in 1995 when he was a member of the state Senate, said hands-on training isn't the only thing Texans are missing if they opt for a nonresident Virginia permit.

"The most important thing in the license application to me is not the practical firing of a firearm, it's knowing the laws that relate to deadly force and where you can lawfully carry," he said. "I'm more concerned that the online course doesn't give folks the knowledge they need to have about Texas law than I am about them not being proficient."

Four of the other states that Willis's website targets -- Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio and Missouri -- have seen increases ranging from 63 percent to 95 percent in the number of nonresident Virginia permits. Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas have not joined the trend.

7. Prince George's honors student slain in her bed

Who needs a gun in their bedroom? Why would a college student need a gun? Who needs a gun in gun-unfriendly Maryland?

The Washington Post:

By Allison Klein, Matt Zapotosky & Hamill R. Harris
August 23, 2012

Amber D. Stanley, a Prince George's County honors student, started her senior year this week with aspirations of going to Harvard. Wednesday night, a gunman kicked in the front door of her house, climbed the stairs and shot her several times in bed.

Police think that the gunman set out to kill someone specific, walking straight to Amber's bedroom, shooting and then fleeing without taking anything. But they don't know whether he intended to kill Amber or whether he had gone into the wrong bedroom or even the wrong house.

Those who knew Amber said they could not fathom why anyone would want to harm the Charles Herbert Flowers High School student who tutored her peers and wanted to become a doctor.

"It is a tragedy when you lose someone with such potential," said the school's principal, Gorman Brown.

Police on Thursday revealed few details of the killing, saying only that the man kicked in the door of Amber's two-storyChartsey Street house shortly after 10 p.m. and that he shot the 17-year-old multiple times. Three other people in the house escaped through a window and ran to a neighbor's house, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case.

"At this early stage of the investigation, we are exploring any and all possibilities," said Julie Parker, a county police spokeswoman. She said detectives returned to the neighborhood Thursday evening to distribute fliers in the hope of turning up clues.

As word of Amber's death spread among her friends, condolences and photos of the teen flooded social media sites.

Amber was studious and could seem shy at first, but those who knew her best said she had an outgoing and bubbly side. On her Twitter account, she described herself as a model and piano player.

"She was very popular among students," said one of her former teachers, Lisza Morton-Wilson. "She was known for her positive attitude."

Amber was enrolled in her high school's elite Science and Technology Program, which admits the top 15 percent of county students. Morton-Wilson said that Amber was known as a peer leader and was part of a group that tutored other students.

Amber also loved to bake, and on Monday - the first day of school - she brought in a half-dozen chocolate cupcakes.

"They were great," Morton-Wilson said.

Neighbors in Amber's Kettering enclave of single-family homes said that Amber's mother is a hairstylist in the District who was raising a foster child and also had two biological daughters. Amber's parents could not be reached to comment.

Neighbors described Amber as a teen who kept to herself and seemed focused on her studies. "You would see her walking to the bus stop and coming home," said a neighbor, TJ Vaughn.

Officers had visited the house last week for an issue involving Amber's foster sister, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is just beginning. It was unclear whether that visit could have any link to the shooting.

Amber was active on Twitter, and her tweets included teen angst and joy about about classes, school schedule, friends and love interests: "Genetics class .?.?.I have a good feeling about it. I love that we can eat & drink." And she engaged in some silly boasting: "I'm so cool I eat ice to warm up."

Other times, she groaned about her mother being overprotective and bragged that her mother hadn't found her Twitter account. Her tweets also complained about the foster childin the house.

On the first day of school, Amber posted a picture of herself in a white shirt, looking fresh and ready for class and smiling at several different angles into the camera. She wrote: "Yesterday \ First Day of Senior Year."
Morton-Wilson said that Thursday was a difficult day for her, the students and teachers at Flowers. The school community is discussing how to honor Amber, she said.

Several students said they did not want to speak publicly about Amber, but when asked, one student gave a thumbs-up and said, "She was amazing."

8. Young people's pro-gun rally alters debate in D.C.

From The Washington Times:

By Tom Howell Jr
August 19, 2012

It's hard to say whether it was a first, but it was certainly unusual: a pro-gun rally in the District. [PVC: VCDL did a protest rally against Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group in D.C. around 8 years ago. There have been other pro-gun rallies in DC, including the Second Amendment Sisters March in 2000 and the Second Amendment March in April of 2010.]

And in front of city hall, no less, where elected officials in the heavily Democratic city have no qualms about promoting some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

About 40 young people waved signs and voiced loud support for Second Amendment rights in the front of the John A. Wilson Building on Friday, capturing the attention of passing motorists and tourists with their argument that increased gun ownership equals increased public safety.

The rally occurred two days after an unarmed security guard was shot in the arm at the Family Research Council, a conservative organization in the District's busy downtown, and in the wake of Mayor Vincent C. Gray vowing to preserve the city's strict gun laws after the incident renewed debate about firearm safety in the city.

Organizer Mike Armstrong, 25, of Arlington, acknowledged the rally arrived on the heels of the FRC shooting, but said they had been planning a protest for some time. The debate around gun control shows no signs of stopping in the District or elsewhere in America, especially after mass shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.

Mr. Armstrong said armed residents might be able to stop such tragedies from escalating. He also said the District's level of violence shows its strict gun laws are not working.

Mr. Gray begs to differ. The city is "currently on pace to have the lowest homicide rate it's had in over 40 years our laws are working," his spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro, said Friday.

Protests are a frequent occurrence in front of city hall, which houses the offices of Mr. Gray and D.C. Council members. Yet pro-gun rallies are unusual -- taxi drivers, immigrant groups and proponents of social services are usually the ones making their point on the Wilson Building steps.

"We're trying to hit it at a local level," Mr. Armstrong said about gun policy. "It hasn't gotten better with every regulation. It's gotten worse."

Earlier this year, the council passed legislation to fix stumbling blocks that made it difficult for residents to meet pre-registration requirements for owning a gun within the city's borders. City lawmakers supported the measure, despite insisting they are no fans of looser gun laws.

The change put the District more in line with other jurisdictions' gun laws and with the spirit of the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark 2008 ruling that struck down the city's long-standing ban on handguns as unconstitutional. The city's tough approach to guns also has loomed large in the District's pitch for statehood or a vote in Congress, with lawmakers from other states openly questioning whether the District has taken the best approach to firearm privileges.

The sight of young protesters promoting traditionally conservative and libertarian views at city hall brought new vigor to the issue. Protesters riffed off popular songs by Twisted Sister and the Beastie Boys "You gotta fight. For your right. To caaaaarrrry!" to get their message across.

"I really do believe we should be allowed to have our Second Amendment rights," protester Amanda Haas, 21, said. [PVC: Ohhhh - I know she can't possibly be related to Lori! ;-) ]

Ms. Haas said she is "a single girl who's living in the city" and should have the right to protect herself with a firearm if, for instance, she is accosted while walking at night from the Metro to her home near Eastern Market.

Many of the protesters told The Washington Times that they lived across the river in Virginia, although some noted that they work in the District.

Mr. Armstrong said almost all of the protesters resided in the Beltway area. Many of them know each other, so they easily were able to organize the rally over the Internet. He described public reaction to their forceful message as "mixed."

"I think a lot of people are startled to see young people out here," he said.

But some passers-by were not amused by the spectacle.

"I'm just embarrassed by this," Malcolm Odell of Georgetown said after he stopped to engage in lively debate with several of the protesters. He said the rally promoted a "fantasy belief" that increased gun ownership makes for a safer America.

"We're so far behind any civilized country in the world," he said.

In a recent interview on NewsChannel 8, Mr. Gray said he is proud of the District's gun laws and renewed his criticism of a billboard in the District that touts formal gun training.

"While we support their right to express their opinions under the First Amendment, the facts are clear that more guns do not equal safer communities," Mr. Ribeiro said Friday. "States with the lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates have the highest per capita number of gun-related deaths."

Danielle Forsythe, of Woodbridge, Va., could not hide her disgust as she walked past the rally, deeming the protesters "idiots."

"It doesn't make any sense because so many people die because of guns and people who are careless with them," she said.

9. Gun control failure: DC violent crime climbing

While City Council fiddles around, forcing its citizens (and everyone else but police) to walk around unarmed, DC's city is burning. Their violent crime rate continues to soar, up a whopping 56% in some neighborhoods! How much more proof do they need that GUN CONTROL DOES NOT WORK?

Benjamin Turner emailed me this:


From Washington Examiner:

By Liz Farmer & Aubrey Whelan
August 21, 2012

As a 29-year-old solar energy analyst lies in a D.C. hospital fighting for his life, the brutal beating of Thomas Maslin on well-to-do Capitol Hill is telling of the two worlds in which many residents live, where crime rate and property value can change from block to block.

Maslin, a husband and father, was found on the doorsteps of one of North Carolina Avenue Southeast's many million-dollar homes with his head beaten in. His attack, which appeared to have occurred on his walk home from a bar early Saturday morning, became the latest violent crime in a neighborhood that has seen a 56 percent increase in violent crimes so far this year compared with this time last year.

"There's an underlying anxiety. People are talking about what's going on," said Ivan Frishberg, an advisory neighborhood commissioner. "This latest incident just put a fine point on it."

Frishberg said a community meeting with police is scheduled for Tuesday.

Overall, the city has seen a 9 percent increase in violent crimes this year, and gun crimes in particular are on the rise, according to the latest Metropolitan Police Department data. The increases are highest across the Anacostia River in Wards 7 and 8, D.C. neighborhoods that have long struggled with poverty and crime. In the districts where similarly high crime levels have given way to neighborhood revitalization, certain areas -- like Eastern Market, where Maslin was found -- are also experiencing spikes in violent crime.

Maslin lives just off Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. He attended a Nationals game on Friday night, then went to the Tune Inn tavern on Capitol Hill. He was found unconscious at 8:30 a.m. seven blocks from his home. Two hours later, his wife, who has said in interviews that she assumed her husband slept over at a friend's house, filed a missing-persons report. The neighborhood was riddled with drugs and crime two decades ago. Today, the area is largely gentrified, and home values range from $800,000 to more than $1 million.

But it sits on the edge.

When asked about the increase in violent crime in Capitol Hill, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said on Tuesday that police have been working to lower crime there since the beginning of the year and violence had decreased in the last three months.

"We are working tirelessly to address ALL types of robberies throughout the city through comprehensive strategies," Lanier said in an email. "We have several teams of officers conducting a variety of patrol strategies and tactics to prevent robberies and to also arrest offenders."

Just blocks away to the east, property values hover around $450,000, and violent crime is occurring at an even higher rate -- 75 incidents so far this year -- than in the police service area that encompasses Lincoln Park.

It's a story that repeats all over the District. In the H Street Corridor, where a revitalized night life scene is booming and property values are climbing, violent crime has decreased by 10 percent this year from 2011 -- thanks to increased police presence. But northeast of H

Street in the Trinidad neighborhood, where townhomes can be found for less than $300,000, violent crime in that police service area has increased by 59 percent, with 172 incidents to date.

The Capitol Riverfront -- which includes Nationals Park -- has seen violent crime spike to 60 incidents so far this year compared with 46 last year. Even Columbia Heights, long considered a prime example of D.C.'s revitalization, saw violent crime rise 5 percent and robberies without guns spike 24 percent -- from 76 to 94 incidents.

"There's some things about our neighborhood that make it a good target," Frishberg said of Capitol Hill, "but I don't think its unique in that respect."

10. In wake of FRC shooting, Gray backs D.C. gun laws

And here is the problem exacerbating DC's crime rate - a Mayor and City Council who don't live on the same planet as you and I.

Using the logic below, if Mayor Gray ate something that made him violently sick, he would eat more of it, thinking that he only got sick because he didn't eat enough in the first place!

I'm tired of these fools. Who are they to dictate the value of someone else's life?


By Martin Austermuhle
August 16, 2012

Mayor Vince Gray today spoke in defense of D.C.'s gun laws, a day after a Virginia man allegedly opened fire at the Gallery Place headquarters of the Family Research Council. "I'm proud of the gun laws in the District of Columbia," he said on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt. "I will work hard to preserve our gun control laws."

D.C. residents have been able to legally own handguns for use in their homes since the 2008 Supreme Court Heller ruling, though no gun stores exist in the city and there's only one federally licensed gun transfer agent that can receive and register a gun after it is purchased outside the city. (The D.C. Council recently passed legislation simplifying the registration process.) Gun rights advocates have criticized the regulations, though two courts have said that they withstand constitutional muster.

Shooting suspect Floyd Lee Corkins II was said to have purchased his gun legally in Virginia, which recently lifted a prohibition on the purchase of more then one gun per month. Gray said that easing restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns "opens up opportunities for untoward activities."

Gray also spoke out against a new billboard on Massachusetts Avenue NW promoting a Virginia shooting range. "It just promotes guns," he said. "We don't need to make guns more available to people...the more access they have, the more they threaten people."

11. Miller: Armed against tragedy

Dick Heller is readying to sue DC for the right to carry! This is one battle I am going to relish watching. Dick's got an excellent attorney working on the case - Richard Gardiner, who has dealt with the U.S. Supreme Court on other gun-related cases. (Richard is also VCDL's corporate attorney.)

Steve Scott emailed me this:


From The Washington Times:

By Emily Miller
August 17, 2012

Liberals are anxious to talk about workplace or school shootings when it suits their political agenda. That's why the usual suspects are observing a vow of silence regarding Wednesday's armed attack on the Family Research Council (FRC). This incident puts the debate over the right to bear arms in the District of Columbia into the spotlight.

The nation's capital maintains an all-out ban on open or concealed carry of any firearm, as it refuses to recognize the Second Amendment right to bear arms outside the home. The deranged shooter at FRC knew he was entering a gun-free zone. The security guard there, Leonardo Johnson, didn't have the "special police" commission authorizing him to use a gun on the job. As a result, he was shot in the arm as he successfully thwarted what could have been a deadly assault on the pro-family group.

Dick Heller, the District's most famous security guard, said he thinks Washington's gun laws made the FRC incident especially dangerous. "Any security guard anywhere else in the country -- where we have 49 states that have concealed carry -- that security guard could have been carrying," Mr. Heller told The Washington Times. "If this shooter would have pulled what he did in Maryland, they would have taken him out in a body bag."

Mr. Heller does have the certification allowing him to carry a firearm lawfully while on the job protecting a downtown office building, but that wasn't enough. A decade ago, he launched his fight for the right to keep a gun at home, taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

In 2008, Mr. Heller won, ending the 30-year handgun ban in the nation's capital. While the Heller decision forced Washington to recognize the constitutional right to keep arms, it didn't deal with the right to bear arms outside the home.

The Second Amendment activist didn't rest on this high-court victory. His ongoing "Heller 2" case challenges the constitutionality of the District's mandatory firearm-registration law. In October 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided the burdensome requirements are valid only if the District presents "some meaningful evidence, not mere assertions, to justify" them.

The D.C. Council amended its ordinances in May to ease the registration process. Mr. Heller's attorney, Richard Gardiner, said a new complaint has been filed in the case and is awaiting the District's response.

Mr. Heller is also working on "Heller 3" to push for concealed-carry rights in Washington. He sent a letter to Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier informing her he intends "to conceal carry this firearm when I'm off duty on the streets at midnight." His shift runs from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Violent crime in Washington is up 10 percent over last year, proving that disarming law-abiding citizens hasn't deterred any criminals. D.C. residents shouldn't have to wait for unelected judges to force the city to respect the Constitution. The city council should grant carry rights now.

12. Richmond convenience store requires employees to have concealed handgun permit and training

Now THIS is my kind of convenience store owner!

VCDL member Paul Henick emailed me this:



By Ashley Monfort

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Detectives with Richmond Police are looking at surveillance video of two robbers wanted for stealing from convenience stores in The Fan and Museum District.

Police told the store owners they believe these robberies may be related. The suspect description is similar and the get-away vehicle is the same type of scooter.

The video from the Cary Street Mini-Mart near VCU shows a lone employee working the night shift.

Nobody is in the store, when the robber with his face covered walks in. Immediately the employee puts his hands up.

"He told him he had a gun, that it was right under the counter, then pointed it at him, then asked him for the money," the store owner Elias Haddad says.

Elias Haddad owns the market and looked over the disturbing video, which is now also in the hands of police.

"He looks like he didn't have any experience because when he came in, just the way he was acting," Haddad said.

The robbery happened Sunday night just before 8 p.m., but this was not the first time these criminals struck that day.

Police were already investigating a similar crime that happened earlier in the afternoon at the Patterson Mini-Mart in the Museum District. A clerk there tells us she was alone when it happened.

Haddad had heard about it and warned his employee.

"That same day I had told my employee, three stores [were] robbed," he said.

Detectives say there are two suspects, but their descriptions are vague. However, the getaway vehicle stands out. Police are now looking for a tan or white scooter, possibly a Vespa brand.

Haddad believes these robbers may live nearby and calls it a shame they would target a locally owned store.

"It's a shame for me because I lose employees because of it every time," he said.

Now he is changing policies, a sign at the Cary Street market says no customer can cover their face inside the store. He is also now requiring all employees to have a license to carry a concealed weapon.

Unfortunately, this store owner says being robbed is what comes with the business.

The surveillance video also shows the robbers were hanging around the store at least an hour before the crime. Employees say they got away with a small amount of cash.

If you know anything call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.


Employees get firearm training after multiple robberies


By Angela Pellerano
August 22, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The owner of Cary Street Mini Mart, located at the corner of Randolph Street and West Cary Street, says he's had enough.
He's had two robberies in three and a half years.

The latest one occurred Sunday, around 8:30 p.m., when an unarmed man wearing a paper bag over his head demanded money from the store clerk.

"We got to put a stop to it," Elias Haddad, store owner, said.

Haddad is taking matters into his own hands and having his two employees trained to fire a gun.

"We have that right to carry guns so, I want them to use it," Haddad said.

"The phrase is 'It's better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it'," said instructor, James Reynolds. He runs Proactive Shooters, LLC in Richmond.

Reynolds will be training Haddad's two employees in the classroom and also with live fire training.

This, he says, is how to fire a gun in close proximity:
"Take [your left arm], and bring it up [and across] the upper chest. That's going to protect your lungs and heart - your vital organs against any kind of weapon they have. But, at the same time you`ll be able to fire from your holster [with your right hand] and shoot from the hip," he said.

Haddad hopes the gun training will make his employees feel safe, and keep criminals out of this business. He said that his employees feel safer having a firearm around.

"And I'm personally going to take them to the range, and I'm personally going to watch them for a while before they can handle a gun," said Haddad. "I have the liability after all," he said.

Richmond Police have not caught the suspect from Sunday's robbery.

13. Sihks consider carrying firearms

Sikhs are required to be able to defend their families under their religion at all times. No tool is better for that than a handgun. Some Sikhs are now looking at carrying one.

From FOX News:

By Maxim Lott
August 21, 2012

The Sikh temple massacre prompted calls for stricter gun control, but some members of the India-based faith -- who carry ceremonial knives -- are considering taking up firearms in light of the tragedy.

Sikhs are rattled after the horrific Aug. 5 shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., in which Wade Michael Page opened fire for no apparent reason before a police officer gunned him down. Although the religion teaches tolerance and good deeds, some believe arming themselves could be the best protection against hate crimes that have too frequently been perpetrated by assailants who mistake them for Muslims. Page's own motive is unclear, though he was a known white supremacist.

"I think that being able to legally obtain and carry a gun is the best thing any Sikh can do, especially after 9/11 where there have been over 800 documented cases of harassment and violence against us," Sim J. Singh, a practicing Sikh and Florida-based law clerk who carries a concealed handgun for protection, told

At a news conference after the shooting, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of gun control, appeared with several Sikh leaders and called for stricter gun laws to stop such attacks in the future.
"Every day 34 Americans are murdered with guns," Bloomberg said during a press conference with Sikh leaders. "The fact that criminals, terrorists and other mentally ill people have access to guns is a national crisis."

But the Sikhs who spoke at the same press conference never mentioned gun laws. Sikhs are split about the issue, and some say that the Wisconsin tragedy has made them consider getting a permit to carry a gun for self-defense.

"The way the world is changing, I think I need to think about carrying a gun now," Rajwinder Singh, the President of a Sikh Temple in Las Vegas, told

The Sikh religion requires males to carry a dagger -- known as a "Kirpan" -- for the protection of themselves and others, at all times.

"Our prophet said we should protect ourselves, and protect those who cannot defend themselves. He made sure that every [Sikh man] should carry a weapon," Rajwinder Singh said.

He added that in the U.S., most Sikhs carry miniature Kirpans so as not to run afoul of state and local ordinances against knives. Where the laws are less strict, they often carry real weapons.

"In India, you see people carrying 10- inch, 11-inch Kirpans," Singh said. "That really can protect you if something happens.

"And now I know why my prophet says that I should carry a Kirpan. He saw that people should have some kind of protection."

The president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin had only a butter knife on hand, which he used to fight the gunman. He was killed, but his heroic actions were credited for slowing the shooter. Guns were not allowed in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

"No guns [were] allowed in the temple," Kulbir Singh, an attendee of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, told "Everyone knows that it's not allowed, anywhere in the temple."

Still, some Sikhs support stricter gun laws in the hope that it will prevent dangerous people from getting guns. Sim J. Singh and Rajwinder Singh both said that reliable background checks and some limits on firepower seemed reasonable. Others went further.

"A gun can harm somebody. I never even think about owning a gun," said Maninder Arora, a practicing Sikh in Hartford, Conn., who owns a Liberty Tax Services franchise.

"I know the gun lobby is strong. But at least they should put restrictions on the size of the gun, or the quantity of guns. My cousins -- they have 3 or 4 guns, which is not right," he added, saying that he would rather put his faith in the legal system.

"We have a system where cops can arrive anywhere in a few minutes. In the [Wisconsin shooting] situation, the officer was there in about four minutes."
Gurdev Singh Mann, the president of a Sikh temple in Renton, Wash., agreed about gun laws.

"Gun laws should be more strict. When giving guns to people, it's better if we check with a judge, look at their behavior and everything," he said.
Arora added that times have changed since carrying the Kirpan was mandated by the Sikh guru Gobind Singh in the year 1699.

"Carrying a Kirpan is part of our religion... if you think about our history... at that time it was a necessity for protection... the cops or the police were on horses. There was no telephone. Somebody had to run to where the officer was. But now, look at the technology. The way the technology is going, maybe the officers will soon be there in two minutes, rather than four minutes."

Sim Singh, however, said that he personally carries a gun because he cannot rely on police arriving soon enough.

"Sometimes the police are not able to arrive in time," Sim Singh said.
"I do not believe stronger gun control is the right solution, as it ends up hurting the law-abiding citizens from having the option to defend themselves with guns when necessary."

14. Man credits concealed carry weapon for saving two lives

Yet another example of a CHP holder pulling a gun to save both his life and another person's life. And he protects those lives without having to fire a shot (only 1 in 10 chance that an armed person will actually have to shoot an assailant once the assailant sees the person's gun).

Mark Greenlaw emailed me this:


By Jeremy Ross
March 25, 2012

MILWAUKEE - A would-be victim says his concealed carry gun was the reason a criminal's intentions were stopped cold. He says investigators told him it's possible the man who tried to rob him Saturday night could have robbed others this weekend.

Saturday night, March 24th, Danny Black and his girlfriend Julie took the dogs out for a walk. Seven-year-old golden-doodle Chloe was along for the stroll when Black says another person interrupted.

The two were confronted by the driver of a van in the area of 73rd and Courtland. Worrisome words quickly turned into threatening actions. Black says the driver was armed, and tried to rob the two. "He was saying to her, 'give me the bag, give me the bag.' It was a semi-automatic and he clicked it like he was loading it," Black said.

Black says his heart began to pound, but it wasn't the adrenaline that helped him through. He credits his own firearm. Black has a concealed carry permit, but hoped to never even threaten to use his weapon in public. "Me pulling a gun out saved both of our lives last night. I pointed the gun at him and he said, what was I doing, and just drove off," Black said.

Black says he's all too aware in a different scenario, pulling out a gun against another gunman could have greatly escalated the violence. "I'm just happy with the way it turned out. I don't ever want to be in that situation again," Black said. [PVC: If someone is threatening my life with a gun or other dangerous weapon, they have already escalated the situation far enough. I'll take my chances on drawing my gun in self-defense.]

Black says this incident should serve as a reminder to Wisconsin criminals that the victims they target may no longer be as defenseless as they may have been before the concealed carry law took effect in the state. "There are thousands of people like me, carrying guns, so them looking for easy targets - that's all over now. That's not going to happen anymore," Black said.

FOX6 News contacted Milwaukee police for comment on this story, but they did not return our email. It's unclear at this time whether anyone is in custody in connection with this incident.

15. RT LTE: Guns don't belong at the library

Looks like Mr. Morgan has some anger issues he ought to deal with! ;-) An anti-liberty type with a temper - why am I not surprised?

From Richmond Times-Dispatch:

August 19, 2012

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Using the public library as a setting for a gun rights demonstration is abhorrent. The presence of guns at a public library is antithetical to its mission of education, self-improvement and civic betterment. [PVC: For crying out loud! It's a building with a bunch of books in it, not St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.]

I am opposed to the Virginia Citizen Defense League or any others defiling the library with politically driven, intellectually feeble, Constitutionally dubious claims of Second Amendment entitlement. Its pursuit of unfettered gun rights tramples on my right to a pursuit of happiness - which decidedly does not include guns at a library.

Don't tread on me, and if you're wearing a gun, don't tread in my library either. [PVC: He says this while trying to trample everyone else's rights. Bigotry on display.]

John Morgan

16. Dairy Queen clerk kills sword-wielding robber

Bad guy with a sword, a good guy with a gun - didn't the bad guy ever see the Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark? (

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:



August 20, 2012

LAS VEGAS - Police say a clerk at a Las Vegas Dairy Queen shot and killed a sword-wielding, masked man who tried to rob the restaurant.

Detectives say the suspect was shot twice and was lying just outside the doors when officers arrived around 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

The suspect died at a hospital.

Metro Police Lt. Les Lane tells the Las Vegas-Journal the sword was at least three-feet long.

Authorities say the shooting appears to have been in self-defense but that detectives were investigating whether the gun used was properly registered.

They say only two employees and no customers were present at the time of the shooting.

17. Guns: Inconvenient truth

Board member Dennis O'Connor emailed me this:


From Richmond Times-Dispatch:

August 21, 2012

Here's a minor detail overlooked by many progressives in the wake of recent high-profile killings: During the previous decade, the gun ownership rate rose and the murder rate fell.

That's not what is supposed to happen according to leftist orthodoxy, which posits a positive correlation between gun ownership and homicides. Some liberals like to compare America to Great Britain, which has few guns and few killings. They rarely broaden the analysis to include other industrialized countries such as Israel and Sweden. That's because a more thorough comparison shows there is no correlation.

It's the same story in the U.S., too. Consider:

From 2000 to 2010, gun purchases increased more than 60 percent. During the same period, the murder rate fell by 14 percent. What's more, as Mark LaRochelle notes in Human Events, the rate of murders committed with firearms fell even faster: "The overall murder rate declined . . . 14 percent, but the murder rate by gun declined more than 20 percent."

As he points out, this suggests one of two possible conclusions: "there is no correlation between gun ownership and the murder rate, or . . . gun ownership is negatively correlated with the murder rate (in other words, more guns means fewer murders)."

To borrow the title of a well-known book, you might call that an inconvenient truth.

18. If he has a gun, he belongs in jail

"Even while conceding the affected inmates were 'legally innocent' of the crimes for which they were convicted, federal prosecutors still argued in court for keeping McCullum and those like him behind bars."

This is about tyranny and misconduct by federal prosecutors in North Carolina. I don't use that word "tyranny" and "misconduct" lightly, but when someone in government says laws don't matter and the government should be able to incarcerate citizens at will if a prosecutor doesn't happen to like them being gun owners, what would YOU call it?

If it is true that they have put 3,000 innocent people in jail knowingly, then perhaps those prosecutors need to see those jail bars from the other side.

Thankfully there was a good judge and some tenaciousness by the ACLU. I keep hoping that some day the ACLU will truly come to appreciate the Second Amendment. This isn't the first time lately when I have been thinking that the ice has thawed.

Board member Dennis O'Connor emailed me this:

From The Virginian-Pilot:

August 19, 2012

RALEIGH, - A federal judge has overturned the conviction of a North Carolina man sent to prison after he was wrongly charged as a felon for possessing firearms, the first of what could be thousands of inmates with similar convictions set aside.

Federal law makes it a crime for anyone with a felony record to have a gun. But because of an erroneous interpretation of North Carolina sentencing laws in place since 1994, federal prosecutors charged people with firearms possession even when their past offenses weren't serious enough to qualify them as felons under federal law.

Senior U.S. District Judge James Fox on Thursday overturned the 2009 firearms conviction Terrell McCullum of Elizabethtown, N.C., declaring him innocent.

McCullum, 26, had already been released from prison in July after serving his full sentence, but he was still on probation.

Federal gun cases from North Carolina came under scrutiny after a U.S. Appeals Court ruled last year that prosecutors had been misapplying the law when it came to defining who is a felon. Even while conceding the affected inmates were "legally innocent" of the crimes for which they were convicted, federal prosecutors still argued in court for keeping McCullum and those like him behind bars.

That changed Monday, when the government dropped its opposition to releasing those improperly convicted of firearms possession when it was not illegal for them to have guns.

"After careful consideration, the Department of Justice has decided to take a litigating position designed to accelerate relief for defendants in these cases who, by virtue of a subsequent court decision, are no longer guilty of a federal crime," said Justice Department spokeswoman Adora Andy. "We are working with the court, the probation office and the federal public defenders to ensure that these matters are addressed as effectively and quickly as possible."

Andy said prosecutors haven't yet determined exactly how many people currently in prison could eventually be released. Reviews by federal public defenders in North Carolina and the USA Today newspaper identified more than 60 inmates whose circumstances are similar to McCullum, several of whom already have appeals pending.

A preliminary review conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina found more than 3,000 federal prisoners that are potentially innocent or entitled to reduced sentences.

"This is an encouraging first step, but much more has to be done to obtain justice for those who were wrongly incarcerated," said Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation. "We continue to urge the Justice Department to take a proactive stance toward identifying and assisting all those who may be unjustly languishing in prison."

19. Blood on our hands: Why do nothing about gun violence?

Get out the duct tape. Another rant on "if only we had gun control" - from rationing guns to out-right bans. He wants to be coddled by "big government." Gun owners do not - we prefer our freedom and independence. How horrible it must be for Mr. Amrhine to be in a country that was founded on freedom. A country where government is supposed to be subservient to the People, and not the other way around.

Dennis Hannick emailed me this:



By Richard Amrhine
August 19, 2012

A KILLING machine walks into a darkened, sold-out movie theater. He doesn't shout "fire"--he opens fire, murdering 12 patrons and wounding 58 others. We're outraged, all right, just not enough to do anything about it.

An angry white man with a gun and a grudge against anyone unlike himself walks into a Sikh temple, kills six people and then himself. Is that even news?

Another troubled man walks up to a congresswoman's public gathering and shoots her in the head, leaving a wound that changes her life forever. Six of the 18 others who are shot die. It's just another day in America.

At a public high school not far from that movie theater, two misguided students stroll through, firing away. Twelve youths and a teacher die before the students kill themselves. Columbine was particularly disconcerting, don't you think?

At Virginia Tech, a disturbed young student enters a classroom building, chains the doors behind him, and proceeds to open fire in classrooms. Thirty-two are killed and 17 wounded before the gunman kills himself. "Campus mischief" takes on a whole new meaning.

It is amazing to me how we can immerse ourselves in the details of these senseless killings, grieve for the victims, follow along as they are eulogized and buried, and then turn our attention elsewhere until the next one happens, maybe as soon as next week.

No big mass shooting today? Guess again. In recent years there's been an average of between 25 and 33 firearms murders (plus another 44 gun suicides) each day in the United States.

Sure, there is anger and debate about gun violence, and a presidential call for a "national conversation," but we might as well be talking about the weather. It might as well have been a tornado that ripped through that Aurora, Colo., movie theater, because we appear as powerless to stop guns from falling into the wrong hands as we are to stop a tornado. Sadness and a shrug. At least it wasn't me or my loved ones. Not this time.


Whenever a plane goes down, we strive to figure out what happened and take steps to prevent a recurrence. Why wouldn't we do the same thing after another mass shooting?

Why don't we try to make weapons harder for the wrong person to obtain? The National Rifle Association, that's why. Because of the political power brandished by the NRA, efforts to do something, anything, fall on deaf ears in Congress. So much for democracy--when non-NRA members in America outnumber NRA members 308 million to 4 million.

Of course there are plenty more avid Second Amendment defenders who aren't NRA members, but I bet a lot of them are enlightened enough to agree that:

The general public should not have easy access to military-style assault weapons.

The sale of large ammunition magazines should be highly restricted.

Firearms purchasers at gun shows should undergo the same background checks as any other gun buyer.

There should be a limit to the number of guns any individual can purchase in a given period of time.

These are common-sense steps to take, and from where I stand anyone who disagrees has the blood of Blacksburg, Aurora, Tucson, and all the other places on his hands.

I dare NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to visit those who were wounded or lost loved ones in Aurora and explain to them how it's constitutionally defensible that some deranged young man can so easily equip himself with an AR-15 assault rifle and a 100-round drum magazine.

Maybe he could explain how modern developments like social media might demand some fine-tuning of the First Amendment, but that the development of high-powered weapons doesn't warrant some Second Amendment tinkering.

OK, here is the standard disclaimer: There should be nothing to prevent law-abiding, gun-respecting citizens from owning guns if they choose to.

But for the wellbeing of society we need to make it as difficult as possible to buy a lot of them at once, to buy the ones that are made to kill people, and to buy massive amounts of ammunition.

The Second Amendment bestows upon Americans the right to keep and bear arms, but it doesn't say we can't keep track of them, or require thorough and comprehensive training in their use before allowing ownership.

In my recent "Final Notice" membership letter from the NRA, Chief Fear Monger LaPierre says I can be one of those who "will do whatever it takes to defend our guns, our hunting and our freedoms."

Would that include our freedom to go to the movies without getting shot up? When do we stop giving in to the gun-lobby paranoia that the government is out to take all the guns away? Yes, people actually think that.

Reasonable Americans, and I think that applies to the vast majority gun owners, know that hunting and personal protection are not at issue here. They should be the first to demand that we take common-sense steps to manage the distribution of guns and ammunition. We'll never be entirely successful, but choosing to ignore a problem is so un-American.


Virginia needs to quit backpedaling and clean up its reputation as gun supplier for the East Coast. It once again chooses to look the other way as its guns end up as murder-case evidence in far-flung big cities.

Since the one-handgun-per-month law was abolished on July 1, sales are up significantly, according to the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center. Sales are counted by background checks--one background check no matter how many guns an individual buys at a given time. Some transactions, as at gun shows, don't involve background checks. That means so-called sales estimates have no comprehensive data on which to be based. We have no idea.

So here we are. As proud as I am to be an American, to see our athletes receive their gold Olympic medals as the U.S. flag is raised front and center, I am equally embarrassed to be an American as the world sees us killing our own, anywhere from one to a couple of dozen at a time, and doing nothing about it.

20. VCDL member reports that First Bank of Virginia is a criminal-friendly environment

John Wilburn emailed me a photograph of a "No Weapons or Firearms" sign on the door of a First Bank of Virginia (surprise, surprise, a North Carolina-based bank). Upon checking with the manager, it was confirmed that this is their policy for "security" reasons. Oh, yeah - exactly WHOSE security are we talking about?

John told me to make it clear that the offending bank is the First Bank of Virginia and NOT the First Bank and Trust.

21. Video: Open carry incident in Alpine, Wyoming

This gun owner did a great job articulating his rights under the Constitution to a Wyoming police officer that overreacted to the gun owner's openly carried gun. The gun owner stands his verbal ground in a calm manner, while being detained for for 45 minutes. Well worth a listen.

He's now suing the officer in court.

Troy Mason emailed me this:


From [audio]

Here's article on the lawsuit:


22. A liberal gun radio show

VCDL Member Terrell Prude Jr., a liberal, has put together some podcasts on guns directed at other liberals. This is a great idea to move more liberals into the fold by educating them in the truth about guns and about our right to keep an bear arms. If you have any liberal friends that are not, let's say, gun friendly, you might direct them toward the following web site:

This is still in pilot mode with the Gun Rights Radio Network. If they get enough positive feedback, they will give Terrell ("Cowboy T") his own formal show.

The director can be contacted at the following email address to encourage the network to carry the show (use "Liberal Radio Submission" as the subject line):

23. Who needs a gun in New York City?

Who needs a gun in a diner? Who needs a gun on the streets of New York City in the middle of the day? The Grim Reaper never sleeps and never takes a vacation.

Paul Mattson emailed me this:


From CBS New York:

August 23, 2012

Apparent Beef Between Food Cart Vendors Leads To Wild Shootout Near Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Diners in a Bronx community ran for cover as shots rang out Thursday afternoon.

A bloodied shirt, deserted stands, and plenty of police were part of the aftermath of a broad daylight double shooting involving an ordained minister just blocks from Yankee Stadium.

The incident happened in the shadows of the ballpark on East 161st Street and Gerard Avenue, near the Crown Diner, around 1:30 p.m.

Witnesses said a man dressed in a suit and straw hat, later identified by police as Horace Coleman, shot two victims before dropping his gun and putting his hands up. He was then quickly arrested by court officers in the area who were on their lunch break, CBS 2?s Sean Hennessey reported.

Witnesses said the shooting occurred following a dispute between food cart vendors who were arguing over a spot. Investigators said the alleged shooter owns a water stand in the concourse area.

Patricia Perez and Anne Davis said they were inside the diner scared out of their minds.

"Everyone was having lunch and all of a sudden we heard like four pops - pop pop pop - and everyone started running," Perez said.

"When I heard the pop, I hit for the bathroom. I was running for cover," Davis added.

The shooting took place right outside the diner door, police said.

"He turned around and shot the man in the newsstand, then he turned around and shot down the block, a couple of bullets. I don't know whether he hit somebody. They say he hit another person. Then he turned back, leaned over the man in the newsstand, and shot him again," witness Debbie Haughton said.

"I could see the guy, I heard the shot. I looked over there - point-blank he was shooting this guy at least four times," one street merchant told 1010 WINS' Al Jones.
bronx shooting surveillance Apparent Beef Between Food Cart Vendors Leads To Wild Shootout Near Yankee Stadium

Alleged Bronx shooter surrenders (credit: surveillance video via CBS 2)

As the bullets flew, so did the diner's customers, some fleeing to the back, others to the window to see outside.

"I saw the shooter running up the block with a gun in his hand," witness Peter Katsihtis said.

Katsihtis said one of his customers, a man in an orange shirt, had just left his diner after a meal when he became a victim.

"He was telling me 'Help me! Help me! I can't breathe!' and I noticed he was shot, a lot of blood on his body," he said.

Police told 1010 WINS' Jones a 41-year-old man was shot multiple times and is in critical condition, while a 60-year-old was shot in the torso. The shooting victims were transported to Lincoln Hospital.

One of the victims reportedly underwent surgery.

On Thursday night, Coleman's family visited the precinct where he was being held and said the ordained minister had to have been pushed to the edge to ever use a weapon.

"He doesn't curse. He doesn't fight. He doesn't to get in confrontations," said Mickey Bentson, the suspect's cousin. "It had to be him protecting himself in order to get out of that situation."

24. Video: Mayor Bloomberg gets upset when reporter ask him about NYC selling spent ammo casing

It's fun watching Bloomberg tap dance to the media's questions about New York City selling empty brass to Georgia Arms for reloading. How does it feel to be on the other side of the media's political correctness fence, Mr. Bloomberg?

Norwood Rich emailed me this:


From The Daily Candidate:

25. Holding 'Gunwalker' figures 'accountable' evidently involves sweetheart deals

Sweetheart deals to help with a coverup?


By David Codrea
August 22, 2012


A letter sent today from Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa to B. Todd Jones, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, asked how "a top ATF official involved in Operation Fast and Furious...can remain on paid leave while simultaneously drawing an additional six figure salary from a major financial services company," a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform release announced.

"Given [former Assistant Director William] McMahon's extensive involvement in the leadership failures of Operation Fast and Furious, Grassley and Issa sought a detailed explanation of why the Justice Department would approve this special arrangement for McMahon," the letter stated. "Under any reading of the relevant personnel regulations, it appears that ATF management was under no obligation to approve this sort of arrangement

26. Guns not the problem in Chicago

Greg Trojan emailed me this:


Poll shows that the people of Chicago are a lot smarter than the corrupt politicians running the place.

From The Daily Caller:

By Alex Pappas
August 23, 2012

While liberal activists like the Rev. Jesse Jackson are calling for more gun laws in response to the spike in violent crimes in Chicago, a poll indicates that residents are largely not blaming the violence on the notion there are too many guns on the streets.

The main reason for the spate in crime, they say, are gangs.
Asked by Illinois-based pollster Michael McKeon to finger the major cause of the increase of violent crimes in Chicago neighborhoods, 20 percent of Cook County, Ill., residents blamed gangs as the major reason for violence in a poll conducted of 629 residents Aug. 15-17.

Thirteen percent blamed a lack of parental guidance, 12 percent blamed a lack of economic opportunities, eight percent blamed the need for more police officers and seven percent blamed young people having nothing to do.

The option that polled the least is the notion that there are too many guns. Only six percent of those polled blamed the violence on access to guns.
McKeon, a political consultant, argues the poll shows that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other activists pushing gun control are devoted to the wrong solution.

"If you want the community to believe you want to help address the problem, see the problem they see not the one you do," McKeon told The Daily Caller.
In June, Jackson - who leads the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and has protested the violence in Chicago - called on Congress to enact more gun-control measures, including reviving the ban on assault weapons.

"Far more African-Americans are killed on our streets than on foreign battlefields," Jackson said. "If a foreign foe took these lives, we would mobilize armies and armadas to stop them."

There have been hundreds of people killed in the city this year. "Almost all the violence we're seeing now is from the gangs," Sgt. Matt Little of Chicago's Gang Enforcement Unit said.

27. Prosecutor hopes to stir debate on Ill. gun laws

I love this one! A prosecutor in Illinois is saying publicly that he will NOT prosecute citizens who carry concealed handguns because he considers such prosecution unconstitutional! That will put the fire under Illinois to have some provision for lawful discreet carry.

Walter Jackson emailed me this:


From Newsmax:

August 22, 2012

Despite a statewide ban on concealed weapons, gun owners in one central Illinois county don't need to worry about facing charges because its top prosecutor is refusing to enforce a law he considers unconstitutional.

Illinois is the only state that still bans residents from carrying concealed guns. McLean County State's Attorney Ronald Dozier calls the law antiquated and said Wednesday that he hopes his policy against prosecuting harmless violations will send a message.

"I felt like I just wanted to make a statement to the Legislature," said Dozier, a retired judge who was appointed state's attorney in December and plans to step down in October.

And legal experts say he's completely within his rights.

As a prosecutor, Dozier has the power to decide which cases he will and won't pursue, though it was unusual to publicly announce that a whole class of offenses is off the table, American University law professor Angela Davis said.

Also rare is basing that decision on the prosecutor's own opinion that a law is invalid, she said.

"I'm not saying it's never been done, but it's certainly not common," said Davis, author of "Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor."

Dozier believes many state's attorneys have privately decided not to pursue charges against people who violate some of Illinois' gun laws, such as failing to properly store a gun or allowing their state-issued Firearm Owners Identification Card to expire.

But he said he decided to tell the public about his policy and make clear that it extends to violations of the law against carrying a concealed weapon to encourage changes in state law.

The governor isn't pleased and suggested that Dozier abide by his oath of office.

"You have a duty to respect the law," Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, said Wednesday. "If you don't agree with the law, we have procedures where you can challenge the law properly."

But a fellow Democrat who supports legalizing concealed carry, Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg in southeast Illinois, predicted that state's attorneys in areas like his where guns are popular will now face pressure to follow Dozier's lead.

"A lot of voters in those areas, especially at town hall meetings, are going to say, 'What's your position on what the McLean County state's attorney did?'" Phelps said.

Dozier, who also served as McLean County state's attorney from 1976 to 1987, said he is not urging anyone to carry a weapon or break the law. Police in the area say they will continue to arrest people if they see violations.

But in a four-page statement Tuesday, Dozier argued that state laws on where and how people can carry guns are unconstitutional under recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

People have the right to carry a concealed gun if they aren't disruptive or threatening, he said. A trucker passing through Illinois with a pistol under his seat shouldn't face felony charges, and a widow who inherits her husband's guns shouldn't be arrested for not having a Firearm Owners Identification Card, Dozier said.

The prosecutor said his decision to drop such cases is "absolutely parallel" to President Barack Obama administration's decision not to pursue deportation of certain young illegal immigrants with strong ties to the United States.

Dozier said he would decide whether charges are appropriate by asking several questions about each case, such as whether the gun was actually displayed, whether the owner was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and whether the owner has a criminal record or gang background.

That's where prosecutorial discretion gets tricky, said Davis, the law professor. Prosecutors can't possibly pursue charges in every case, but they must make sure decisions don't wind up being based on the wrong factors, such as class or race, she said.

"Whenever there is discretion, there is the possibility of unwarranted discrimination," Davis said.

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence condemned Dozier's "reckless" decision. Executive Director Colleen Daley said Dozier should run for the General Assembly and work to change the law if he thinks it's unconstitutional.

But the state's attorney in southeast Illinois' Edwards County praised Dozier's announcement. While stopping short of adopting a broad policy, Mike Valentine said he is unlikely to press charges over minor violations of gun laws.

State's attorneys as a group haven't taken any position on Dozier's action or the issue of legalizing concealed carry, said Matt Jones, associate director of the state Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor. He said it's long been established that each county prosecutor has almost complete discretion on how to use the office's limited time and money.

"Ultimately, the check on that is the voters who can vote them out of office," Jones said.

28. Getting a gun in Chicago quick and easy

In the story below a criminal documents how easy it is to get a gun illegally in gun-free Chicago. From straw purchases, to burglary, to getting a "hand-me-down" gun that had been used by someone else in a murder, gang-bangers are making a complete mockery of Chicago's draconian gun laws.

VCDL member "Charlie" emailed me this:

From Chicago Sun-Times:

By Frank Main
August 25, 2012

Want to know how to get a gun?

Just ask Chris.

The skinny teen attends high school in Chicago and is a talented athlete. But he's also a notorious gunslinger.

As a shooter in a South Side gang, he can get his hands on a gun as quick as you can get a burger at a fast-food restaurant.

"I will make a call and say I need a gun. I will ride down the street on my bike and get it - five minutes."

The Chicago Sun-Times sat down with Chris for a lesson on how gangs get guns. Armed gangs like Chris' have driven up Chicago's murder total 28 percent above the tally at this time last year. And Chris is on the front lines of the shooting.

"For your 'hood, you can't stop [getting] guns because it's war season. A gang need any gun it can get," said the teen, who has worked as an informant for police and asked for anonymity. The Sun-Times is identifying him by an alias.

'Gun guys'

He knows men whose full-time job in the underground economy is to buy guns from suburban stores and illegally sell them to criminals.

Chris calls them the "gun guys." The cops have another name for them: "straw purchasers."

"Gun guys" have clean records allowing them to obtain Illinois firearm owner's identification cards. With FOID cards, they can legally buy guns at stores in the suburbs.

Then they illegally sell them to gang members banned from owning guns because of their criminal backgrounds.

Most of the guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were bought in suburban gun stores, according to a new University of Chicago Crime Lab study of police gun-trace data.

The police sometimes interview the people who originally bought the guns. Often, police are simply told the guns were stolen from them.

But authorities say most straw purchasers are lying when they say their guns were stolen. It's hard to catch them unless they confess to the crime.

"It can be a man or a girl, but it's mainly a guy," Chris said of the straw purchasers he knows. "Somebody that got a gun license, they buy the gun, scratch off the serial number and sell it to you."

Chris said the big drug dealers in his neighborhood have the cash to pay straw purchasers for guns - more than $600 for a decent semiautomatic handgun, a markup from the retail price.

But Chris doesn't sling dope. He doesn't have a job. He doesn't have the money to pay a "gun guy."

So he and his crew look elsewhere for guns.

Stealing 'gats'

Their demand for handguns is insatiable because cops seize them or they have to ditch them after they commit crimes with them.

"Say one of your guys gets bumped [arrested] with a gun," Chris said. "Now your gang need another gun. It's a lot of people who get bumped, a lot of people who get caught. The chances are like 50-50. If I get caught, I'm gonna need another gat."

"Or you may have people who did a murder and want to get rid of their gun," he said. "Now they get another gun and you take theirs."

Chris said one major source of guns in his neighborhood was a ring that burglarized suburban gun stores.

In January, one of those stores, Maxon Shooters Supply & Indoor Range in northwest suburban Des Plaines, was looted of about 200 guns after thieves broke in with a sledgehammer, police said.

Lots of those guns wound up in the hands of gangs on the South Side - including people Chris knows.

"They sold people the guns - and when those people got caught, they snitched," he said.

Police have arrested the suspected thieves, including some members of the Gangster Disciples street gang. But police are continuing to try to track down all the guns, officials said.

Another source of stolen guns is "the freights," Chris said.

He was talking about the freight trains parked on easy-to-access rail yards on the South Side.

"You bust the lock," he said. "Once you get in there, you may get the wrong thing. You may get shoes or something. You feel me? But you keep trying. We tried it before and we know what kind of containers they in. They're carrying all type of handguns - in crates."

But the revolver Chris most recently acquired came from yet another "hot" source: a friend who stole the gun from a relative who legally registered the weapon with the city.

The friend lent the revolver to Chris, but he never gave the gun back.

"It's a grimy world these days, I won't lie," he said. "I told my friend I lost it, but I kept it for myself."

The gun had a serial number on it, so Chris scraped it off with a screwdriver. The cops can't trace the weapon back to the original owner without the serial number, he explained.

"I don't want no one to snitch on me," the teenager said.

He'd like a 'Nine'

A revolver isn't the weapon of choice for Chris or his gang buddies.

They prefer "nines" - 9mm semiautomatic handguns - but they're harder to get.

"It can hold like 17 shots," he said. "A revolver only holds six shots. And I like the grip on a nine. I don't like the revolvers, but that's what I've mainly been getting. People holding on to their nines."

Chris said his crew members hide their weapons in their homes, but keep them "steady moving" to different locations to avoid police seizures.

Anyone in the gang can use one of the weapons, Chris said. Five of his crew members also have guns, he said.

The crew needs its weapons about three times a week, he said. Sometimes, it's for self-protection.

Sometimes it's to go shooting at rivals - or "drilling," as he puts it.

Other times, the young gangsters simply pose with their guns in homemade rap videos they post on Facebook and YouTube.

Chris credits the Chicago rapper Chief Keef with inspiring him to carry a gun and use it over the past year.

"I wasn't doing this before I started watching the videos. The females want to see you be a tough gang-banger," he said.

Unlike the Hollywood caricature of a gangster who points his pistol sideways to fire at his rivals, Chris said he knows how to shoot correctly.

"Two hands on the weapon, arms straight out," he said.

In his neighborhood, nobody calls the police when he practices with his gun in his backyard.

"What are they going to say, like, 'I just heard a random shot?' "

He said he takes the gun with him when he and his friends are venturing into the neighborhoods of rival gangs. He calls his rivals "ops" for opposition.

"If I'm going to go over there and kill somebody, if we're going to go over there and drill or if we're trying to get past the ops to go downtown or the beach, we [have] our guns," he said.

Guns or games?

Chris said he wants to leave gang-banging and concentrate on sports - and his dreams of attending junior college.

Often, he escapes his neighborhood to hang out with high school friends who live in places where he won't cross paths with his gang rivals. He and his high school friends shoot hoops instead of guns.

"Everybody wants out of this," he said. "Everybody would love to live in a mansion, move out of town and live in the suburbs."

But the reality is that retribution is a powerful force that keeps gang members like him from changing their ways.

It motivates Chris to keep hanging out with his crew members in the 'hood - even though cops, ministers and other authority figures have encouraged him to get out of the gangster life.

He notes that four of his friends have been killed in gang shootings.

"You want to shoot back," he said. "You want to go over there and drill."

Asked whether he would feel bad if he fired at a rival and hit a child, he quickly answered:

"I ain't gonna think about it. If it's his nephew or something, he gotta feel the pain because he put his nephew there. If you a gang-banger, why you have a little kid with you?"

Chris said he doesn't think the police will ever rid the streets of guns in Chicago - unless legislators make getting caught with a firearm punishable with an extraordinarily harsh sentence, such as life in prison.

He said his first gun-possession arrest, which resulted in probation, was a "joke."

He was standing with his crew when police stopped and frisked them and found a gun on Chris.

The arrest taught him how to avoid getting caught with a gun, Chris said.

Now when he goes on the street and needs a gun, a girl carries it for him in her purse.

Chris said he's confident he and his crew will always be one step ahead of the police.

"You'll never stop us from getting guns," he said. "You feel me?"

29. States may lose gun makers over new laws

I suggested to Governor McDonnell's office that Virginia make overtures to New York and Connecticut gun makers such as Remington, Colt, and Kahr, encouraging them to relocate to Virginia. They would have a great home here, less taxes, no silly gun laws requiring things like micro-stamping, and they would bring much appreciated jobs to Virginians! A win-win-win.

Paul Burgener emailed me this:


From Freedom Outpost:

By Tim Brown
August 25, 2012

East Coast gun manufacturers may pick up and move west should New York and Connecticut pass laws that would not only drive up their costs, but in doing so, limit their sales. The reason for such drastic measures is that both New York and Connecticut are looking to mandate firearms microstamping, which would cost the industry, taxpayers, and consumers.

The New American reports,

That could be the fate of the Remington Arms Company plant in Ilion, New York, the economic lifeblood of the small New York town lying halfway between Albany and Syracuse. The company's roots in the town go back nearly 200 years, since Eliphalet Remington, Jr. forged his first rifle barrel there. Today the company employs about 1,000 workers in a town with a population of just over 8,000. But the company has suggested, none too subtly, that it may move its Ilion plant to another state if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state's lawmakers enact gun legislation now under consideration in Albany.

The proposals, the New York Times reported Friday, include a limit in firearms sales of no more than one per month to any one person and a background check of anyone purchasing ammunition. Most troubling to the manufacturers, however, is a plan to require, for the purpose of ballistics identification, the microstamping of every semiautomatic pistol sold in the state. The law would require manufacturers to laser-engrave the gun's make, model, and serial number on the firing pin of each handgun so the information is imprinted on the cartridge casing when the gun is fired. Gun makers say the method is flawed, could easily be defeated, and would require a retooling of the industry that would add what Remington executive Stephen P. Jackson, Jr. called "astronomical sums" to the cost of manufacturing.

Chief Strategy and Acquisition Integration Officer for Remington Arms, Stephen P. Jackson, Jr., wrote to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,

Mandating Firearms microstamping will restrict the ability of Remington to expand business in the Empire State. Worse yet, Remington could be forced to reconsider its commitment to the New York market altogether rather than spend the astronomical sums of money needed to completely reconfigure our manufacturing and assembly processes. This would directly impact law enforcement, firearms retailers and consumers throughout New York- if not the entire country.

"Of course, passage of microstamping would also hurt New York taxpayers, who would be forced to foot the bill for expensive scanning electron microscopes and software necessary to read the firearms make, model and serial number," he wrote. "Hurting businesses and tax payers to support a concept that has been proven flawed is ill-conceived."

On the same day that Remington released the letter from its North Carolina headquarters, Connecticut-based firearms manufacturers also held a press conference.

Carlton Chen, Vice President & General Counsel for Colt Firearms said, "This feel-good legislation will do more harm than good. Let us not make a mistake with the unintended consequences of driving businesses and jobs out of Connecticut."

Mike Holmes, Shop Chairman at Colt Manufacturing, UAW Local 376, also blasted the legislation exclaiming, "The proposed microstamping technology would jeopardize the employment of all hard working union members that I represent at Colt. The effects would in turn be far reaching by also hurting our vendors and suppliers around the state also placing their jobs at risk."

PR Newswire repots,

Opposition to microstamping legislation has intensified as firearm manufacturers have indicated that even if they chose to remain in the Connecticut market - something that is anything but certain - the passage of a microstamping bill could force them to raise prices of guns significantly, perhaps as much as $200 per firearm, because the unreliable technology would require a complete reconfiguring of the manufacturing and assembly processes.

Last year a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report commented on the technology of firearms microstamping. Scientists said, "Further studies are needed on the durability of microstamping marks under various firing conditions and their susceptibility to tampering, as well as on the cost impact for manufacturers and consumers."

Further emboldening opposition to the microstamping bill is a study by researchers at the University of California at Davis proving that the technology is "flawed" and "does not work well for all guns and ammunition." The authors concluded that, "At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology in all semiautomatic handguns in the state of California be made. Further testing, analysis and evaluation is required."

Republican Senator James L. Seward said that passing new guns laws like the microstamping mandate "would send a bad signal to this gun manufacturer that they're in a state that's hostile to gun ownership and gun manufacturing."

"It may make people feel good to think they've done something," he continued, "but at the end of the day, the criminal element and those that go out and do these horrible things, they're going to get their weapons. And the cost could be great for a community like Ilion."

Senator Seward is correct in his assessment. This is 'feel good' legislation. It is just further evidence that when liberals react to the gun industry, they do so emotionally and without facts. They do not appeal to reality, but to an agenda. It is the same agenda that Mayor Bloomberg adheres to and that is to eventually end gun ownership by law abiding citizens, which is their God-given right, that is supposed to be protected in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Sadly that right and the variety of weapons one can choose to both keep and bear are under attack by members of both the right and the left.

30. Miller: Flying with a gun

From The Washington Times:

By Emily Miller
August 19, 2012

I took my gun on a airplane for the first time, and it was much easier than getting it across town in Washington, D.C. The most difficult part of the process on Sunday was figuring out how to legally transport my firearm from my home in the District to Reagan National Airport in Virginia. The rest was -- surprisingly -- a breeze.

I was traveling to St. Louis for a self-defense course for female journalists who cover firearm-related issues at the Winchester Co. In planning the trip, the company rep, Michael, recommended I bring my own Sig Sauer P229 so that I could learn on my own pistol. He sent me United Airlines firearms guidelines, which looked pretty simple: the unloaded gun had to be in a locked, in a hard case and checked in the luggage.

Still, I was nervous about flying with it. My gun doesn't get out much since it's against the law in D.C. to take my gun anywhere other than another state. Another rep, Shannon, said I should bring it in a locked box to ensure that it didn't disappear with airport security. She also suggested that I call Ronald Reagan National Airport for any local laws, like the one in New York that requires a police officer escort the bag.

Having dealt with the absurdly restrictive and often irrational gun laws in Washington, I was prepared for anything. I called the airport customer service number and told the lady on the other end of the line my question. She gasped. When she got a hold of herself after hearing the word "gun," she said that it couldn't be loaded. I said that I was aware of that. She reiterated the same guidelines given by the airlines. Reagan Airport is conveniently a stone's throw across the Potomac River in Virginia, which must keep the gun laws in check.

Since the Metro doesn't come within three miles of my home in Northwest D.C., I had to take a cab to the airport. I put my gun in the lock box with the registration certificate, which I have to produce if I get pulled over and admit to having a gun.

When the driver arrived, it was pouring rain, but I had to ask him to get out of the car and open the trunk. Since there are no carry laws in the District, I couldn't put my small suitcase in the backseat. The irritable cab driver got very wet putting my little carry-size bag in the trunk and blared the caribbean music loudly the rest of the way.

At the airport, I took my bag and got in line at the United desk. An agent waved me from the line over to to self-checkin kiosks. I waved to say, "no thanks," but she kept the rope open to force me to go there. I leaned over and said said quietly to her, "I have a firearm."

"That's fine. We can help you here," she said cheerfully.

I put my reservation number into the machine and paid for one check bagged. I heard the agent whispering "gun" to two other agents behind the machine. As the boarding pass was printing, the agent pushed a form turned upside down across the counter and whispered, "If you are taking it on the plane, you need this form."

I was surprised. I didn't think I looked much like an air marshal at 5'2" and wearing jeans and flip flops. I suppose other federal agents must fly through this airport so often that carrying on a plane is more common than checking. I said, "No thank you. I'm not carrying it, just checking it."

She handed me a form to sign. Then gave me a bright orange card that said "FIREARM(S) DECLARATION." She told me to open the bag. I unzipped the suitcase and showed her the secure box inside. I pushed a button, swiped my finger and the box opened. The other agent was excited.

"How did you do that?" she asked. "Biometrics," I explained. "That's my fingerprint." Both women stared at the stainless steel 9mm pistol in my bag.

I asked where to put the orange form. "Inside the box," the agent told me. I couldn't figure out how a form inside a metal box which doesn't show up on a TSA scan could make any difference in security. If the form was on the outside of the box or on the outside of the suitcase (as used to be the procedure), that at least made sense. So the gun, registration certificate and firearm declaration form were all locked together.

I locked everything back up and was told to walk the bag around to the TSA screeners. The agent came over with me to tell him that I had a gun in my bag. The scanner told me to wait until he had put it through the machine, then said I could go.

As I walked to my gate, it occurred to me that they never checked if the gun was loaded. Anyway, after going through the full body, TSA, x-ray, I still got a pat down. I don't know if gun owners are marked on the boarding pass for extra security or it was just random. Either way, if something didn't show up on a 3D scan, I don't know what touching me would do to make the plane more secure.

After flying through Cleveland, I landed in St. Louis and my bag came off the conveyer belt intact, still locked with my gun inside.

It's quite remarkable how much easier it is to take a gun lawfully one-third of the way across the country compared to how difficult it is to take it legally across the tiny District of Columbia.

31. The anti-gun male

An oldie, but goodie. This certainly nails the anti-gun male pretty well. He secretly envies the independence of gun owners and wants to bring them down to his more dependent level by disparaging and disarming them.

Bob S. emailed me this:


From Jewish World Review:

By Julia Gorin
March 8, 2002

LET'S be honest. He's scared of the thing. That's understandable--so am I. But as a girl I have the luxury of being able to admit it. I don't have to masquerade squeamishness as grand principle-in the interest of mankind, no less.

A man does. He has to say things like "One Taniqua Hall is one too many," as a New York radio talk show host did in referring to the 9-year old New York girl who was accidentally shot last year by her 12-year old cousin playing with his uncle's gun. But the truth is he desperately needs Taniqua Hall, just like he needs as many Columbines and Santees as can be mustered, until they spell an end to the Second Amendment. And not for the benefit of the masses, but for the benefit of his self-esteem.

He often accuses men with guns of "compensating for something." The truth is quite the reverse. After all, how is he supposed to feel knowing there are men out there who aren't intimidated by the big bad inanimate villain? How is he to feel in the face of adolescent boys who have used the family gun effectively in defending the family from an armed intruder? So if he can't touch a gun, he doesn't want other men to be able to either. And to achieve his ends, he'll use the only weapon he knows how to manipulate: the law.

Of course, sexual and psychological insecurities don't account for ALL men against guns. Certainly there must be some whose motives are pure, who perhaps do care so much as to tirelessly look for policy solutions to teenage void and aggressiveness, and to parent and teacher negligence. But for a potentially large underlying contributor, psycho-sexual inadequacy has gone unexplored and unacknowledged. It's one thing to not be comfortable with a firearm and therefore opt to not keep or bear one. But it's another to impose the same handicap onto others.

People are suspicious of what they do not know-and not only does this man not know how to use a gun, he doesn't know the men who do, or the number of people who have successfully used one to defend themselves from injury or death. But he is better left in the dark; his life is hard enough knowing there are men out there who don't sit cross-legged. That they're able to handle a firearm instead of being handled by it would be too much to bear.

Such a man is also best kept huddled in urban centers, where he feels safer than he might if thrown out on his own into a rural setting, in an isolated house on a quiet street where he would feel naked and helpless. Lacking the confidence that would permit him to be sequestered in sparseness, and lacking a gun, he finds comfort in the cloister of crowds.

The very ownership of a gun for defense of home and family implies some assertiveness and a certain self-reliance. But if our man kept a gun in the house, and an intruder broke in and started attacking his wife in front of him, he wouldn't be able to later say, "He had a knife--there was nothing I could do!" Passively watching in horror while already trying to make peace with the violent act, scheduling a therapy session and forgiving the perpetrator before the attack is even finished wouldn't be the option it otherwise is.

No. Better to emasculate all men. Because let's face it: He's a lover, not a fighter. And he doesn't want to get shot in case he has an affair with your wife.

Of course, it wouldn't be completely honest not to admit that owning a firearm carries with it some risk to unintended targets. That's the tradeoff with a gun: The right to defend one's life and way of life isn't without peril to oneself. And the last thing this man wants to do is risk his life-if even to save it. For he is guided by a dread fear for his life, and has more confidence in almost anyone else's ability to protect him than his own, preferring to place himself at the mercy of the villain or in the sporadically competent hands of authorities (his line of defense consisting of locks, alarm systems, reasoning with the attacker, calling the police or, should fighting back occur to him, thrashing a heavy vase).

In short, he is a man begging for subjugation. He longs for its promise of equality in helplessness. Because only when that strange, independent alpha breed of male is helpless along with him will he feel adequate. Indeed, his freedom lies in this other man's containment.

32. The Hot Coffee Bandit and the Second Amendment

Paul Burgener emailed me this:


From Political Outcast:

By Michael Minkoff
August 24, 2012

In all the arguments concerning gun control, one thing usually doesn't come up: anything can be used as a weapon and most criminals will commit crimes even if they don't have access to advanced weaponry. In a recent story, a man robbed a Best Western hotel with hot coffee. Police were unable to find the assailant, who made off with about four hundred and fifty dollars and a cell phone. No wonder he got away... the police probably got held up at Starbucks interrogating the barista turned arms dealer. If you can rob a hotel with coffee, what couldn't you use?

Many domesticated Americans will say, "Yes, but you wouldn't have the same level of violence if there weren't guns. Someone can't do nearly as much damage with coffee as they can with an AK-47." Assuming you could actually ensure that criminals couldn't get guns, I guess you're marginally right, Mr. Hypothetical-Gun-Control-Advocate. They wouldn't do as much damage... by themselves and in one go anyway. But gun controls cannot make the average citizen safe from the average criminal, even if the average criminal doesn't have a gun. Because when average citizens don't have guns, average criminals become more daring and more numerous. If you can make an easy five hundred using nothing more than a steaming cup of joe, why not, right? Now, if you are concerned that you might get a quail shot facial, you might think twice. Well, you wouldn't, Mr. Hypothetical-Et-Cetera. You're a decent human being, and you wouldn't even think of robbing a Best Western. It's so much easier to rob your rich neighbor staring down the muzzle of a Form 1040. But I digress.

Socialists love to make the argument that a gunless society would be a less criminal one. But I don't think this is true given our current social environment (as the Coffee Man episode illustrates). A society free of non-criminal civilian guns would absolutely necessitate a larger and more intrusive police force than we currently have to ensure public safety. And I would be extremely surprised if big-government socialists didn't know this. In fact, I think they're banking on it. See, guns aren't just to protect citizens from civilian criminals; they are even more crucial for protecting citizens from tyrants.

We need to stop saying, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." It's catchy and all and basically true, but it leaves one of the most crucial points out of the discussion. Socialists are happy to argue about whether or not gun control works to reduce civilian crime. What they don't want to talk about is the real problem with gun control: If you outlaw guns, only the civil government will have them. Our founding fathers understood that. Alexander Hamilton said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." What are "external controls on government"? Your guns. Period. The internal controls have already broken down. And unless you're planning on using hot coffee to ward off tyrants, I recommend you start fighting harder for your Second Amendment rights.

33. More knife attacks in S. Korea

A disarmed society is a safe society? Don't bet your life on it.

Tom Pike emailed me this:


From WTOP:

By Sam Kim
August 22, 2012

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Police say a man wielding a knife has injured four people in the third such rampage in South Korea in less than a week.

A police officer says the man attacked his victims Wednesday in Seoul's Yeouido area. He says a 30-year-old surnamed Kim was arrested and none of the injuries was life-threatening. Another officer said two victims worked with Kim previously.

Both officers declined to be named or provide more details because the investigation has just begun. They say the man's motive was unclear.

Another man was arrested after cutting or stabbing eight people Saturday at a subway station just outside of Seoul. And another attacker killed one person and injured four Tuesday in a city south of Seoul. Such rampages have been rare in South Korea.

34. University of Colorado chancellor takes stand for student's right to carry guns on campus

The chancellor is batting .500: one good idea - students have a right to carry. One bad idea - CHP holders need to have their own dorm and, even then, need to lock up their guns when at the dorm.

From The Blaze:

By Jonathon M. Seidl
August 23, 2012

While the debate over whether the University of Colorado has the right to segregate gun permit-carrying students to separate dorms, the university's chancellor has just stood up for the rights of those same students to carry guns on campus.

Earlier this week, one professor at the University's main campus in Boulder threatened to cancel his class if any students showed up legally carrying guns. Physics professor Jerry Peterson declared his stance during a faculty assembly on Monday.

"My own personal policy in my classes is if I am aware that there is a firearm in the class - registered or unregistered, concealed or unconcealed - the class session is immediately canceled," Peterson said. "I want my students to feel unconstrained in their discussions."

But on on Wednesday, Chancellor Phil DiStefano squashed the idea in a pointed email to faculty.

"I have the utmost respect for Professor Peterson, who is an old friend and valued colleague, but I want to make clear that if the student carrying the weapon has a concealed-carry permit, the position implied by Professor Peterson's comments directly violates Colorado law and the operating principles of the campus," he said according to the Daily Camera.

"On this issue, there can be no ambiguity: all CU-Boulder faculty, as CU and state employees, are expected to teach their assigned courses and to hold classes for all enrolled students," DiStefano added.

The Daily Camera reports that he also threatened disciplinary action for any professor caught cancelling class because of legal gun owners exercising their right.

The controversy over guns on Colorado campuses came to a head this summer when the state supreme court ruled that schools cannot ban legal, permit-carrying gun owners from carrying their weapons on campus.

"I believe we have taken responsible steps to adhere to the ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court while balancing that with the priority of providing a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff," DiStefano said last week.

Still, the university's policy to segregate students in campus housing based on their concealed weapon status has gun rights advocates worried that university is creating a dangerous environment for both those carrying guns and those not.

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: []
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