Wednesday, October 17, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 10/17/12

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

1. Victory in Surrey!
2. VCDL booth at Madison County Hunting/Fishing/Gun Show needs volunteers! Oct 27-28
3. VCDL booth at Marshall Gun Show needs volunteers! Oct 20-21
4. Chesterfield to have final hearing on loaded handguns in parks on Oct 24
5. VCDL Newport News picnic online [VIDEO]
6. Who needs a gun at a fairgrounds?
7. Editorial: Guns don't belong at Radford University
8. VA State Police - link to firearms and concealed handguns frequently asked questions
9. Arms kept: an American tradition
10. Supervisors return gun ordinance for further study
11. 83 year old woman uses gun to scare off burglar and is killed by police [2 articles]
12. MILLER: Washington warms to gun-toting tourists
13. MILLER: D.C.'s mace control
14. MILLER: Lead bullets under fire
15. The new gun culture
16. University is uneasy as court ruling allows guns on campuses
17. Editorial: Conceal carry vs. colleges
18. Editorial: Allow concealed-carry on campus
19. Debate on concealed weapons at college campuses heats up at Georgia Tech
20. I guess the editor took the day off...
21. Who needs a gun at work?
22. 5 dead, 23 wounded in shootings since Friday night
23. Debunking the police qualification myth [VIDEO]
24. Poor firearm handling
25. The tide turns across the pond

1. Victory in Surrey!

As you recall from last week, I was contacted by a gun owner in Surrey County who was denied his temporary CHP for well over 90-days by the Circuit Court Clerk, Gail Clayton, who is an elected official. She refused to obey the law and issue a temporary CHP 45 days after she had received the application.

The gun owner called me earlier this week to say that he had received his temporary permit two days after I spoke to the Circuit Court Clerk. Ms. Clayton sounded defiant on the phone when I talked to her, but ultimately she decided to follow the law and issued the temporary permit.

Now we'll see if the gun owner gets his permanent CHP.

2. VCDL booth at Madison County Hunting/Fishing/Gun Show needs volunteers! Oct 27-28

Madison County Hunting, Fishing, and Gun Show, October 27-28, 2012
180 Washington Street, Madison, VA (just off US-29)

Saturday, October 27 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 28 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Please contact Robert Herron at help in Madison.

3. VCDL booth at Marshall Gun Show needs volunteers! Oct 20-21

Saturday, October 20 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 21 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Please contact Richard Kroh at to help at the Ruritan Club in Marshall.

4. Chesterfield to have final hearing on loaded handguns in parks on Oct 24

Chesterfield County will make a final decision on either striking the ordinance that prohibits hunters from carrying loaded guns within 100 yards of a park or school or modifying it to clarify that ordinance doesn't apply to a handgun carried for self-defense by a hunter.

The wording the County Attorney is recommending is:

"Except for handguns carried lawfully pursuant to Virginia Code section 18.2-308 B 6, no person while hunting shall transport, possess, or carry a loaded firearm within 100 yards of any property line of any county public school or county park ."

The meeting will be at 3 PM on Thursday, October 24th in the County Public Meeting Room, Chesterfield Administrative Building, 9901 Lori Road. They will NOT be taking public comments at this meeting.

If you live in Chesterfield, send a message to your Board of Supervisors member, encouraging him or her to repeal the hunting ordinance ("Sec. 14-11 (B)").

Here are the email addresses for the Board members. You can also leave a phone message for them at: 804-748-1200.

Daniel A. Gecker, Midlothian District,

Dorothy Jaeckle, Bermuda District, (I had to make an educated guess on this address, no contact information was provided for her.)

Jim Holland, Dale District,

Steve A. Elswick, Matoaca District,

Art Warren, Clover Hill District,

Not sure what district you live in? Here's a link to a map:

5. VCDL Newport News picnic online [VIDEO]

Thanks to member Don Litten for compiling this video from the September 17th VCDL picnic in Newport News:


6. Who needs a gun at a fairgrounds?

Board Member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



Gun fired at Washington County, Virginia fairgrounds
by Megan Brantley
September 13, 2012

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - Gunshots are not something you expect to hear at the fairgrounds. Washington County, Virginia deputies are working to keep the area safe after a shot was fired there.

With the lights dim and the rides turned off, it did not keep the excitement from happening on the Washington County Virginia fairgrounds.

We learned from the sheriff's department that two men were in town working the carnival as employees. But as the sun went down, emotions rose.

"Two individuals began arguing, it escalated into a fight," said Captain Byron Ashbrook.

John Douglas Hicks, from Richland, Virginia pulled out a gun and shot it into the camper where the other man was located. Fortunately no one was injured.

"We believe it's an isolated incident, no spectators were there. The fairgrounds weren't open," said Ashbrook.

However, Ashbrook says they are still going to take precautions.

We learned that since the altercation, the Sheriff's Department has actually sent in more deputies to patrol the area to keep you and your family safer.

"We have put additional personnel up there at night; obviously we have people up there when the fair grounds are open, always have. But now there are some people for after it closes as well," said Ashbrook.

We spoke with a local fairgoer and he told us that it would not keep him from bringing his family.

"I feel that the authorities will take care of it and everything will be handled correctly and it'll be a safe place to bring our children," said Randy Hyde.

Fairgoer Jordan Whitesides says she feels safe. "I think the security here is great. I've seen a lot of cops, so I think that they are doing their job," she said Thursday.

We learned Hicks is charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling as well as assault and battery.

7. Editorial: Guns don't belong at Radford University

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:


Editorial: Guns don't belong at Radford University

Radford University has not experienced the same terrible gun tragedies as Virginia Tech, but it took a smart lesson from the bigger public university in Blacksburg.

A few months ago, the Tech Board of Visitors banned guns from campus buildings and events. The Radford Board of Visitors last week jumped through Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's hoops and did the same.

It's been more than a year since Cuccinelli, in one of his many supplications to the fervent right wing of the Republican Party, issued a formal opinion that advised state schools that they could not limit weapons on campus with mere "policies." They would need "regulations."

It's a subtle distinction, and Cuccinelli's opinion is not binding, but legal prudence argued for going through the regulatory process.

So Radford's Board of Visitors, on a 9-5 vote, approved the regulations. Students and university employees may not bring guns onto campus. Members of the public visiting campus may not bring guns into buildings or to outdoor events, including sporting events.

The rules apply to open carry and concealed carry with a permit. They also cover other weapons, including knives, stun guns, hatchets and more.

Read the entire policy on our RoundTable blog at (

College campuses are like churches, schools and courts. They are sensitive places where guns have no place. [PVC: Baloney. If they are so sensitive, where are the security fences and the metal detectors at each building entrance?] When there are thousands of not-quite-mature young people under pressure, the introduction of weapons can be disastrous. [PVC: More elitist baloney.]

It need not be, of course. The vast majority of gun owners handle their weapons responsibly. Nevertheless, all it takes for things to go horribly wrong is a roommate getting hold of a gun or a student cracking from academic stress.

The commonwealth has an obligation to provide a safe environment to students, most of whom are living away from home for the first time.

Keeping guns out of the mix is smart policy and regulation.

8. VA State Police - link to firearms and concealed handguns frequently asked questions

Fred Tippett emailed me this:


Information pertaining to Virginia firearms transactions, and also to CHPs, is sometimes difficult to obtain.

I found this website for the Virginia State Police online. It addresses multiple Frequently Asked Questions that might be of interest to our members:


9. Arms kept: an American tradition

Will Aygarn emailed me this:


The Va. Pilot has started a series titled "Arms Kept; An American Tradition" by Ross Taylor.


Arms Kept: An American Tradition
by Ross Taylor
September 15, 2012

Soft pops snap the air behind Sarah Osborn as she stands firm below an American flag - a fitting symbol of the 4-H Patriot Shooting Club in Yorktown.

"I like the sport a lot," said Osborne. "I like knowing that if I put my mind to it, if I practice enough, I can do well."

The thirteen year old gained an interest after watching her brother shoot a BB gun he got for Christmas one year. "We went down to the club and my dad said, 'Why don't you shoot it?' I felt comfortable with it, and I was good at it." She and about a dozen other youth train weekly in air rifle competition at the Yorktown club, which meets each Wednesday. Osborn says learning how to focus your attention, as well as about gun safety, are key components of the sport.

"A gun is just an object," said Osborn. "Most people are afraid of it, because they don't know the safety aspect of it. Shooting can be a very safe sport." Her father Stephen Osborn smiles while looking on at his daughter. "I'm the proudest dad in the world. She's dedicated to the sport. She's working very hard and it's paying off." Osborn, adds (regarding firing a rifle): "We're carrying on an American tradition."

Soon after, Osborn carries her Feinwerkbau air rifle back to practice. When asked what she thinks about as she lines up her next shot, Osborn replies with a focused intent.

"I tell myself, make this a good shot. I can do this."

If you're interested in more information about the club, please visit their website at:

10. Supervisors return gun ordinance for further study

Jay Minsky emailed me this:


Supervisors return gun ordinance for further study
by Michael Buettner
September 26, 2012

A seemingly routine proposal to update a county firearms ordinance was sent back for more study by the Board of Supervisors last week after it ran into armed opposition.

County Attorney Jeff Mincks explained that a change in state law makes it necessary for the county to amend its ordinance relating to the carrying of firearms near schools and parks.

The current wording states that "no person can carry, transport or possess a loaded weapon within 100 yards of the property line of a county public school or park."

However, state law now allows the carrying of firearms in most public places. What it doesn't allow is hunting near schools or parks. So the language of the county ordinance needs to change from "no person" to "no hunter," Mincks explained.

When the board opened a public hearing on the proposal last week, the first speaker was Philip Van Cleave, a county resident who is also the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a group that supports gun rights and open-carry laws.

Van Cleave, who has appeared as a gun-rights advocate on national news programs, said the change in state law was sparked by a case in which "one of our members was unlawfully kicked out of one of our parks."

The member, who was questioned by police at a park, was found to have a handgun in his vehicle. Although no arrest was made, the case pointed up the ambiguity in the previous state law, Van Cleave said.

Van Cleave supported the ordinance change, though he suggested rewording it to make it clearer that the restriction applies only to people who are actively hunting and still allows them to carry handguns legally for self-defense.

Several members of Van Cleave's group also attended last week's meeting, several of them sporting holstered handguns on their belts.

One member of the group told the board he believes the ordinance is still too restrictive. He said he belongs to a local hunt club that borders on a county park and that the 100-yard, no-hunting zone limits the club's use of its own property.

"Is this a situation where this ordinance is not even needed?" he asked. The ordinance "makes me a criminal if I step one foot over the line to retrieve a deer I've just shot," he said.

Two other speakers supported the suggestion of eliminating the ordinance completely, and Van Cleave said his organization would also back that option.

Mincks said state law would allow the county to delete the ordinance entirely, since that would be less restrictive than the state's policy.

Midlothian District Supervisor and board Chairman Dan Gecker suggested deferring action on the ordinance change until next month to give the board more time to study the issue.

Vice Chairman and Bermuda District Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle agreed and said she would also like to know why the county law was written in the first place.

The board voted unanimously to defer the proposal for a month to give county staff time to study it and report back.

11. 83 year old woman uses gun to scare off burglar and is killed by police [2 articles]

If you are holding a gun after an incident, you had best follow the orders of the responding police. They don't know who you are. Follow commands and straighten it out later.

This tragedy most probably was caused by a communication issue with someone hard of hearing.

Alan Rose shared this:


Article 1: From

Woman shoots at intruder, killed by cops who respond to her 911
by Michael Walsh
September 25, 2012

A police officer shot and killed an 83-year-old woman in her own backyard.

Delma Towler dialed 911 to report a burglary but when police arrived, one officer killed her outside her home in Altavista, Va.

"It's not over yet. I'm going to get some justice because our mother did not deserve to die like this ... to be gunned down like she was an animal or a criminal," Towler's daughter Lind a Langford told The News and Advance.

Towler had never fired her gun before that night. She fired a warning shot out the window to scare the burglar off. Then she started walking through her backyard toward her sister's house. She grasped the gun for protection from the reported intruder - not the police, her family maintains.

The police "heard shots fired from within the residence. As the officers took cover, they saw a woman armed with a handgun leave the back of the house," according to a statement released by the Virginia State Police.

The two responding officers claim that they fired at Towler after she refused to put her weapon down. The woman reportedly did not have her glasses on or hearing aid in at the time.

The police statement also alleges that Towler pointed her gun at the officers — a point her son Robert Barbour does not buy.

"Mom ain't gonna hurt no police officer or nobody else. She was a good Christian woman and she wouldn't hurt a soul," Barbour said.

The officer who killed Towler is currently on administrative leave, according to WDBJ7.

"If I have to spend every penny, someone's going to pay," said Langford. "They took my mama."


Article 2: From

83 Yr. Old Woman Uses Gun To Scare Off Burglar, But Is Then Shot & Killed By Police in Her Backyard
SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

An 83 year old woman in VA allegedly used a handgun to fire a warning shot to scare off a burglar late at night. The woman, Delma Towler, also called police to report the break in.

Before police arrived, Towler fired the warning shot and then tried to make her way across her backyard to her nearby sister's house, while still holding her gun.

When police arrived on the scene they saw the armed woman in the backyard and at some point shot and killed her. Police say the woman was uncooperative and pointed her gun at the officers. Her family isn't buying the story.

According to NY Daily News, her son, Robert Barbour said, "Mom ain't gonna hurt no police officer or nobody else. She was a good Christian woman and she wouldn't hurt a soul."

Daughter Linda Langford said, "If I have to spend every penny, someone's going to pay. They took my mama."

We'll keep an eye on this one and post more details as they become available.

When calling 911 to report a break in, home invasion, robbery, etc make sure to tell the operator if you are armed and give a physical description of yourself so police can more easily identify you from a potential criminal. We don't want to publish anymore stories like this.

12. MILLER: Washington warms to gun-toting tourists


MILLER: Washington warms to gun-toting tourists
Those coming to see monuments less likely to leave with criminal conviction
by Emily Miller
September 24, 2012

Under pressure from Congress and the public, D.C. officials are moving to ease one of the least defensible of their anti-gun ordinances. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, also the Judiciary Committee's chairman, held a hearing Monday on his proposal to decriminalize possession of a gun or ammunition for nonresidents.

Mr. Mendelson opened by reading my accounts of military men jailed over innocuous mistakes with the city's gun-control laws. Army 1st Lt. Augustine Kim was arrested while legally transporting his firearms through the city because he stopped for a doctor's visit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for an injury he sustained in Iraq.

Another veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, former Army Spc. Adam Meckler, was arrested at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building because he had 14 long-forgotten rounds of loose ammunition in his bag.

The bill under consideration would give the D.C. attorney general discretion not to charge nonresidents like Lt. Kim and Spc. Meckler with criminal counts carrying up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Instead, possession of an unregistered firearm or ammunition could be handled with a fine and no record.

The legislation will work its way through Mr. Mendelson's committee before a final version is put before the full council and Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Even the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, David Horowitz, did not oppose the change, though he found it necessary to note in his testimony that the bill is "not an attempt to placate the NRA."

Andrew Fois, a D.C. deputy attorney general, said his office opposed the measure because administrative disposal "is not appropriate for firearms-related offenses for anyone." Laura Hankins of D.C.'s Public Defender Service testified that it's a question whether the bill violates the Constitution's Privileges and Immunities clause by only imposing criminal sanctions on residents.

Dick Heller, the man who successfully sued Washington and put an end to its unconstitutional, 30-year handgun ban, told Mr. Mendelson his bill is a "mere micro step in the right direction in the slow slog toward true firearms freedoms in our city." He wants carry rights recognized and elimination of the law requiring every firearm to be registered.

After the Supreme Court ruled in Mr. Heller's favor in 2008, the city council looked around the country and slapped every known firearm restriction into the D.C. code. The result was a convoluted, confusing mess that turned otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.

With millions of tourists who come through Washington every year, it's only fair to make sure they don't leave with a criminal record for something that only happens to be illegal in the nation's capital.

13. MILLER: D.C.'s mace control

Dale Hawley emailed me this:


Emily Miller (the Washington Times writer doing all the articles on how insane DC's gun laws are) received a death threat.

She makes some good observations.


MILLER: D.C.'s mace control
by Emily Miller
September 25, 2012

Now that I've registered a gun in Washington, I've realized how limiting it is for self defense since I can't legally take it out of my home. Since the District does not recognize the constitutional right to bear arms, residents are just sitting ducks on D.C. streets. Criminals know that they can rob, assault, rape or murder anyone without fear. D.C. politicians do everything in their power to keep people defenseless.

For the city council, it's politics. For me, the self-defense issue is personal.

After I went through 16 of the steps to register a gun earlier this year, I had to endure the 10-day waiting period to "cool off." During that time, I received a terrifying call one evening. The stranger, whose number was blocked, left a minute-long voicemail.

"I know everything about you," said the caller in a high-pitched voice. "I've been watching you. Your every step. I'm coming for you Emily." Also, "I'm a crazy mother f--er. This is not a game. This is not for some f--ing scary f--ing movie. This is real business." Finally the caller ended with, "Don't you think of going to the police."

Listening to the message, my hands were shaking so hard, I couldn't dial the phone. With my heart pounding, I ran to my car and drove to the nearest police station. It was dark out, but I looked in my rearview mirror as I drove, hoping just to get in the parking lot before something happened.

I played the message to the desk officer, but she was nonplussed. "Did you break up with a boyfriend recently?" she asked. No. "Is there an ex-husband?" No. "What about a girl who thinks you dated her boyfriend?" No, I said there's nothing like that in my life. I refused to be brushed off as a girl in a love triangle.

"You should know that this might be a threat of violence," I said pointedly. "I've been writing a series of articles in the newspaper about getting a gun in D.C., and some people aren't happy about it." That was enough to get her to call a detective to the front desk to take me seriously.

"Detective Kim" (she said her last name was hard to remember) was very thorough and helped calm me down. She told me to call Verizon and ask for them to look up the blocked number. Then Detective Kim gave me a helpful lecture on keeping safe.

She recommended only going to public places, and if I think I'm being followed, go into a store with a video camera to get the person on tape. photo. She suggested notifying neighbors to keep an eye out for anyone suspicious. She repeated several times that if I see or sense anything even slightly concerning, call 911.

I told her that I'd have a gun in the home in about a week, but had no way to defend myself on the street. So I asked about getting something like mace. "You should go ahead and buy it," she said. "But you'll have to register it with the police."

Can I do that here? "We don't have those forms here, so you'll have to go down to MPD headquarters to do it." I must have looked frustrated. "Look, if you use it for self-defense, we won't charge you."

I was stunned. Somehow in the convoluted logic of public safety laws in the District, I am supposed to be comforted that if I attempt to defend myself with pepper spray against an armed homicidal maniac on the street,

I probably won't go to jail for it. I don't blame the police for this stupidity, but rather the liberal city council that passes these inane ordinances in the name of public safety.

Detective Kim gave me vague instructions to buy the pepper spray and have the store register it. She didn't know where it was sold in the city. She then gave me a report number, and I left.

When I got home, I ran from my car to my front door with my keys in my hand, terrified that someone was out there in the dark who wanted to kill me.

I emailed my editor about what had happened in case the the threat was somehow connected to my work. I ended the note by writing, "I'd sleep a lot lot better tonight if I was armed."

This is what makes the waiting periods so dangerous. People get guns because they aren't safe. When you arbitrarily make them wait, while not disarming the bad guys, you're just setting people up to be victims.

Next in the series on self-defense... other residents demand rights.

14. MILLER: Lead bullets under fire


MILLER: Lead bullets under fire
Senate bill would protect ammunition from EPA grasp
by Emily Miller
September 27, 2012

Should President Obama win in November, it's a certainty he'll try once again to ban lead ammunition. Just two months after he moved into the White House, the National Park Service suddenly announced it was banning lead bullets from its parks. The blowback from sportsmen was intense, so the agency backed down. Mr. Obama surely will exert "more flexibility" in a second term to accomplish this backdoor assault on the Second Amendment.

Sen. Jon Tester, Montana Democrat, introduced a bill to make sure that can't happen. Just before the Senate adjourned Saturday to go campaigning, the body voted 84-7 to take up the Sportsmen Act during the Nov. 13 lame-duck session. It's a priority for a number of pro-hunting groups, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

"The threat to ban use of traditional ammunition without sound science is the most significant threat facing the firearms and ammunitions industries today," NSSF senior vice president Larry Keane told The Washington Times. "If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were to ban traditional ammunition using the Toxic Substances Control Act, it would destroy the ammunition industry in the U.S., crater conservation funding and create massive supply shortages for consumers."

The ban is a priority for liberal groups like PETA, the Humane Society and the radical Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) that want legislation to prohibit anything but "nontoxic bullets." This is mostly an excuse to sue ammo manufacturers out of business. In June, CBD filed suit against the EPA for not addressing the "toxic lead in hunting ammunition that frequently poisons our wildlife."

Opponents are ridiculing CBD's "Get the Lead Out" campaign. "The notion that you can get lead out of the environment showed these people should not have passed their high-school chemistry test," said Mr. Keane. "Lead is in the periodical table. There is no more lead in the environment than there was 100 years ago."

Don Saba, a research scientist and National Rifle Association board member, said that these groups are deliberately attempting to confuse the public into thinking the lead in bullets is the same as lead paint that is harmful to children.

"The lead that is used in ammunition is metallic lead and is a very inert material that does not dissolve in water and it is not absorbed by plants or animals," Dr. Saba explained. "There is a tremendous toxicity difference between the highly inert metallic lead used in ammunition and the highly toxic lead compounds used in legacy leaded paints."

The ammunition demonized by the self-styled environmentalists happens to fund highly successful animal-conservation efforts. The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 set up an excise tax, now 11 percent, on ammunition and long guns and 10 percent for handguns. The resulting $7 billion in revenue over the years has gone toward restoring habitats for wild turkey, bald eagle, duck, elk and antelope populations.

America's ammunition industry works on high volume and thin margins, manufacturing 9 billion cartridges a year, 95 percent of which have lead components. Lead is used in bullets because it is the perfect material — dense, heavy, soft and inexpensive. Asked for an alternative, Winchester Ammunition engineer Mike Stock replied, "We'd use gold if it was cheap enough to make bullets."

The NSSF estimates a lead ban would result in tens of thousands of jobs lost as prices would necessarily rise 190 percent. Mr. Obama has killed enough jobs in his first term. The last thing our economy needs is another assault on successful businesses.

15. The new gun culture

The profile of a gun owner is changing, opening up gun ownership to a wider group of people. And that is good news!

Dean Marky emailed me this:



by Richard L Johnson
September 21, 2012

The gun community has forever changed. Once in a supposed slow decline, the popularity of shooting and gun ownership has come roaring back during the past couple of decades. Sales of firearms are setting all kinds of records, and gun ranges are frequently packed with people.

Michael Bane calls the latest generation of gun owners "Gun Culture 2.0," which I find to be an exceptionally apt description. Much like the move from the "old" internet, to the current generation of interactive and social web sites was called "Web 2.0," the Gun Culture 2.0 is a similarly remarkable change in our own community.

But the new generation of gun owners no longer fit the old-school sportsmen look of yesteryear. The new generation of gun owners are fiercely independent, yet socially active – especially in the online space. The new generation comes from urban centers as well as middle America. New gun owners are of all genders, colors, creeds and social strata. They are not Elmer Fudd.

Unlike the reserved approach to politics that the traditional firearms lobby has taken, the new generation is outspoken, unashamed and willing to fight for what they believe. They are educated on the origins of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right to be free. They do not advocate for the Second Amendment as a right to hunt, rather they perceive it as a guaranteed ability to resist an oppressive government.

But, why the shift? There are a variety of reasons, but I contend the internet is the primary reason for the revolution in the gun culture.

No single material thing is likely to have had a greater impact on humanity than the internet. The internet, and more specifically, the world wide web, has allowed people to communicate around the country and all over the world with virtually no interference from the government. Being able to come together and share ideas about politics, self defense and recreational shooting has helped cause a surge in new gun ownership – especially by people who have never been exposed to the "traditional" methods of introduction into our community.

Instead of the image of the white male father dressed in flannel taking his son off to the woods for the traditional deer hunt, the new image of gun ownership is much broader and more diverse. The members of the 2.0 gun culture are more likely to own an AR15 with a suppressor than a Winchester Model 70. And, you can rest assured that a new gen gun owner is likely to be carrying a Glock or KelTec when you run into them at the local coffee shop.

In today's gun culture, there are many more women, a broader mix of races and a wider range of backgrounds. Instead of being a clean cut poster child of the 1950's many gun owners are bikers or body art enthusiasts covered with tattoos. Others are fashion conscious while others still are computer nerds. Members of the new gun generation range in age from teens to retirees.

The point is, our culture has changed. And, it has changed for the better. We attract all kinds of people into the gun world because all of the lies about us are easily disproven now that the mass media no longer has control over what people know. The internet has allowed the truth about firearms to get out.

How the industry will respond to the culture shift remains to be seen. Some companies, like Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), have fully embraced the new paradigm. As a result, they have gained the confidence of many members of the gun culture and have played a role in shaping the future.

AAC, for example, is a manufacturer of silencers. Some 20 years ago, silencers were considered the tools of assassins and criminals. Through the educational work of AAC and others like them, perspective on sound suppressors has radically changed, and they are far more common on the range today than they ever have been in the past. Without embracing Gun Culture 2.0, the upswing in acceptance of silencers would never have taken place.

Others, however, have not made any moves to change with the times. I fear that some of those companies will not survive. I overheard two executives from a major firearms company discussing the internet culture in the airport after the SHOT Show this year. It was obvious they had no idea how to approach the new crop of gun owners so they were trying to convince themselves that they didn't matter. I wonder if those two used to sell typewriters or pagers?

The gun culture has changed. If you are from the old guard, reach out to the new shooters every chance you get. They are a powerful force that can help safeguard all of our freedoms going forward.

16. University is uneasy as court ruling allows guns on campuses

Ah, the Ivory Tower occupants are uneasy that students can protect themselves. This is not an experiment. It's been done elsewhere and works just fine. All that the faculty's gnashing of teeth is going to do is to make the local dentists rich. ;-)

EM Dave Hicks emailed this to me:



University Is Uneasy as Court Ruling Allows Guns on Campus
by Dan Frosch
September 22, 2012

BOULDER, Colo. — During her 19 years teaching English at the University of Colorado Boulder, Karen Jacobs never gave much thought to whether one of her students was carrying a gun.

Three professors at the University of Colorado, Boulder, spoke on Friday during a campus meeting about the lifting of a ban on firearms.

State Representative Claire Levy also spoke.

John Davis was a plaintiff in the ultimately successful suit to lift the concealed gun ban.

As the state's flagship university, it had a longstanding firearms ban. So even in a place like Colorado, where gun rights are nearly as deeply cherished as John Elway and fresh snow, there was never a need for concern.

But ever since a State Supreme Court ruling in March forced the university to allow those with Colorado concealed weapon permits to carry their guns on campus, Ms. Jacobs and other faculty members have found themselves increasingly uneasy.

"This is a place where we depend on being able to speak our minds and offer sometimes controversial opinions in a free and open place," she said. "The feeling among a percentage of faculty is that this will create a climate of fear and intimidation."

Over the last two months, with the school year in full swing, anxiety over the university's new gun policy has risen — driven in part by the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater on July 20 by a troubled University of Colorado Denver graduate student and by the deep scars that still cut through the state from the killings at Columbine High School 13 years ago.

Some teachers have spoken out publicly against extending the concealed gun policy to campus, fearful that an unstable student — who now, ostensibly, could be legally armed in their classrooms — might hurt them or a fellow student.

Last month, the chairman of the Faculty Assembly at the campus in Boulder, Jerry Peterson, told The Boulder Daily Camera that he would cancel class if he discovered one of his students was carrying a gun. And on Friday, faculty members gathered to discuss how to overturn the policy through legislative channels.

Gun rights proponents, conversely, have argued that lawful gun owners should not be precluded from protecting themselves on college campuses, and they contend that gun bans make those campuses less safe.

Besides, they say, anyone disturbed enough to open fire is not going to heed university policy.

"This gives us the right to protect ourselves, where currently, many colleges suspend that right," said David Burnett, a spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry, a national group that advocates for the right to carry legally permitted guns on public college and university campuses.

According to the group, more than 200 colleges and universities in the country allow individuals to carry concealed firearms.

"Very often people come back and say allowing students to carry guns is a crazy, paranoid idea," Mr. Burnett said. "But we're not just talking about letting students carry guns. It's only those people who already have the permits."

Ever since a shooting at Virginia Tech University left 33 people dead in 2007, the issue of whether guns should be allowed on campuses has been hotly debated in statehouses around the country.

Some 21 states have an outright ban on concealed weapons on campuses, according to data compiled last month by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two dozen states leave it up to individual universities and colleges to decide.

Five states — Oregon, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Utah and Colorado — now have provisions permitting the carrying of concealed weapons on campuses, the group said.

The controversy here dates to 2008, when a conservative legal foundation brought suit against the University of Colorado on behalf of two students and an alumnus from the school's Colorado Springs and Denver branches.

The suit was initially dismissed, but the state appeals court overturned the dismissal. After the university appealed, Colorado's Supreme Court held that the school's gun ban, in place for more than 40 years, violated a 2003 state law allowing concealed firearms.

John Davis, one of the plaintiffs in the case, and then a graduate student at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, said he had wanted to carry his Ruger p90 pistol on campus for protection, as he often found himself leaving school alone at night.

"I felt that the right to defend me and my family shouldn't be taken away because some people are afraid of firearms and nervous around them," said Mr. Davis, an Army veteran.

In the wake of the ruling, university officials have sought to soothe faculty fears, recently creating a policy that requires students who want to bring their firearms on campus to live in separate graduate student apartments and cottages.

Colorado law requires anyone with a concealed carry permit to be at least 21 years old. But the prospect of inserting a number of armed students, however small, into traditional college dorm life was a concern nonetheless, said Bronson Hilliard, a university spokesman. Of the school's nearly 30,000 students, no one has requested the special housing yet, Mr. Hilliard said, and it is unclear how many students, if any, currently carry concealed guns. The university has continued to ban guns at ticketed athletic and cultural events.

But that has not quieted the nervousness among faculty members. This month, the University of Colorado Boulder provost, Russell Moore, convened a widely attended town hall meeting to address the issue.

"What was explained to the faculty was first of all, we understand what you're saying, your fears, your concerns and your doubts," Mr. Hilliard said. "But just being concerned about the situation doesn't allow any faculty member to simply cancel class or refuse to teach someone because of the mere concern that somebody is exercising their concealed carry rights in the classroom."

At the campus meeting on Friday, State Representative Claire Levy, a Democrat from Boulder, said she planned to introduce a bill during the coming legislative session that would let the university's Board of Regents decide whether guns should be allowed.

About 30 faculty members peppered Ms. Levy with questions, some raising their personal concerns about the new policy.

"The classroom is a place where judgment is levied upon individuals, not unlike a court of law," said Noah Molotch, an assistant professor of geography. "You interject a firearm and there's potential for a confrontation."

17. Editorial: Conceal carry vs. colleges

More gnashing of teeth! Some just can't tolerate other people's freedom.

Craig Rupert emailed me this:


Editorial: Concealed carry vs. colleges
September 27, 2012

In May, when University of Colorado students left Boulder for summer break, their campus was gun-free. Last month, they returned to a campus where just about anyone can carry a gun just about anywhere.

This misguided change wasn't the university's idea. For 136 years, dating to the days of the Wild West, Colorado's flagship university had kept guns off campus. Then, in 2008, two students and a national group called Students for Concealed Carry challenged the ban, and they eventually prevailed in the state's highest court. That made Colorado one of five states — Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin are the others — where public colleges can no longer ban guns on campus. (Wisconsin can still ban them inside buildings.)

You don't need a Ph.D. to understand that letting college students pack heat is a recipe for tragedy. More guns on more campuses — places where binge drinking, drug taking and immature judgment are common — will undoubtedly cost more lives than they save.

The gun lobby's push to allow concealed firearms on college campuses gained traction after the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, when a deranged student killed 32 people in a matter of minutes. Pro-gun groups insist that an armed student or professor might have saved the day. But that notion is as far-fetched as it is alluring.

The odds that a student or professor with a gun might be in the right place at the right time — with the skill, nerve and presence — to deter a criminal are incredibly slim. The notion also assumes that everyone with a concealed gun permit is well trained. Not so.

In many states, including Colorado, a gun permit and a single training course, often lasting a day or less, are all you need to legally carry a concealed weapon. Many courses don't include live firing. In Virginia, people from out-of-state can qualify by taking a course online.

Still not convinced that arming students is risky? Consider this: In New York City this summer, when police shot and killed a gunman on the street near the Empire State Building, they also wounded nine innocent bystanders. Imagine what might happen with armed amateurs firing away in a darkened theater, or a barroom brawl.

Mass shootings are rare on campuses. One way to protect students and professors is to ensure that armed campus security can respond quickly to any incidents. An even better way is to identify individuals who pose a threat and make it harder for them to get guns and ammunition.

Background checks are designed to keep the mentally ill, like the Virginia Tech shooter, from buying guns, but many states are lax in reporting mental health records to the federal system. Among the worst offenders: Mississippi and Utah, two of the states where universities are no longer allowed to ban firearms.

Colorado, of course, was home to this year's Aurora theater shooting and the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. It doesn't need any more tragedies. Some Colorado professors and students, upset by guns on campus, are pushing for a new law to bring back the ban. They know there are smarter ways to protect students than arming them for potential gun fights. [PVC: Actually guns ARE the only viable last resort. Period.]

18. Editorial: Allow concealed-carry on campus

And now for some fresh air!


Opposing view: Allow concealed-carry on campus
by David Burnett
September 27, 2012

Disarming victims doesn't protect them. With every spree shooting in recent memory, from the Aurora theater and Sikh temple to Fort Hood and Virginia Tech, occurring in a gun-free zone, we cannot reasonably conclude otherwise.

Everyone believes criminals should be disarmed but disagrees on the means. Instead of controlling access, colleges rely on colorful "no gun" signs, foolishly expecting compliance from psychopaths. Such policies demonstrate consistent failure, serving only to render lawful citizens defenseless while empowering criminals to prey with impunity. (Imagine if airports replaced checkpoints with signs!)

Some call armed self-defense an extreme response, but in reality campus carry would only allow permit-holders to protect themselves on campus just as they do off-campus. We'll never know whether one responsibly armed citizen could have stopped the Virginia Tech shooter because armed self-defense is the only outcome colleges specifically prevent.

Because licensing requires federal and state background checks coupled with training, fingerprinting, written exams or range tests, we can't believe that criminals will register murder weapons, or that lawful citizens who've behaved peacefully elsewhere will suddenly snap on campus and become violent.

Concealed carry has steadily increased in recent years, but contrary to criticism, crime has fallen. Government-approved vetting procedures in 49 states virtually guarantee that only responsible citizens have access to meaningful self-defense options. Criminals don't ask for permission.

Campus carry is not untested. More than 200 colleges in six states have allowed it for years without incident. Some colleges even see crime decline, indicating criminals fear armed victims more than the threat of suspension.

About 4,500 robberies and 5,000 assaults occur every year on college campuses. Colleges only maintain status quo, and encourage victims to comply or play dead.

Laws must be crafted to favor the law-abiding. Laws requiring innocent victims to disarm merely groom targets for predators. Unless colleges can guarantee safety, Students for Concealed Carry supports stacking the odds in favor of victims by allowing licensed concealed carry on campus.

19. Debate on concealed weapons at college campuses heats up at Georgia Tech

At last week's VCU town hall on the university's violent crime problem, the Chief of Police said that some of these crimes are being perpetrated by criminals coming from up to 100 miles away. Why, he wondered aloud, were they choosing to come to VCU to commit violent crimes?

Because it is well known that VCU disarms its students, of course. VCU is providing a victim-rich zone for Virginia's sociopaths!

Here's a similar battle going on in Georgia:

by Elizabeth Prann
September 22, 2012

For the past two years, dozens of states have debated allowing college students to carry concealed weapons on campus. The issue is heating up in the Peach State where Georgia Tech students say an uptick of campus violence, has made them uneasy. Some want the right to carry concealed weapons on campus.

"Concealed weapons holders are significantly less likely to be arrested or convicted of crimes than the remainder of the population," Robert Eagar of Students for Concealed Carry said. "However, the second they step on to the campus the argument is made they become irresponsible -- and can no longer carry their weapons safely."

Three Tech students were robbed near campus in Atlanta in August. More recently, a student asleep in his dorm room behind three layers of security woke up to a gun pointed at his head. He was unharmed, but robbed. Students who fear crime on campus, rallied this week for the chance to protect themselves.

"We're not advocating for vigilante justice -- we're advocating that firearm is a last resort for defense," Eager said. "Criminals know the population here at Georgia Tech is unarmed so we make an ideal target. Carrying high end laptops, cell phones, text book, whatever money you have. They know we have zero chance of defending ourselves against a criminal."

Eager is part of a larger trend -- Students for Concealed Carry-- a national group formed after the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. The group's goal is to legalize concealed carry for current permit holders on college campuses.

On the other hand, some students see a solution in tightening restrictions to keep guns off campuses. Many argue students have enough stress and life issues -- guns shouldn't be added to the mix.

Georgia Tech spokesperson Matt Nagel said in a statement: Tech adheres to the state law, and the policies of the university system of Georgia. So in essence, the campus has no direct control over the gun policy. Georgia Tech and other colleges say campus security already works to keep students safe.

"We are realizing some success in our focused safety initiatives," he said. "For example, compared to the first seven months of 2008, property crimes during the same period of the current year are down 48% and violent crimes are down 62%."

The debate continues outside of Georgia as well. Twenty-one states ban carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds, 24 states leave it up to the university. Earlier this year, Colorado's Supreme Court, ruled in favor of Students for Concealed Carry. They argued the University of Colorado's prohibition on guns violated the state's concealed carry law, students are now allowed to exercise their right to bear arms. A year earlier a state Court of Appeals overruled an Oregon University System prohibition on the carry of firearms.

20. I guess the editor took the day off...

The article is about AK-47s used by criminals, but the main picture for the article is of an AR-15 held by a police officer. To the press all guns, from handguns to shotguns to BB guns, are AK-47s.

James Durso emailed me this:



AK-47s are turning up more in US
by Matt Sedensky, Associated Press Writer
March 26, 2008

KENNER, La. — The cake had been served and the children were jumping up and down in a big, inflatable castle when the birthday party turned to bedlam.

Clarence McGraw's jaw dropped as he saw the visitors coming, guns drawn. The screaming began.

Children ran everywhere in the courtyard of the low-income apartment complex; adults fell to the ground. Bullets flew. The killers wounded three youngsters, but for reasons police can't explain, it was 19-year-old McGraw they were after.

As McGraw lay in the center of the green square, the gunmen stood over him and fired again. He was shot 15 to 20 times in all.

The Sept. 15 killing was remarkable in that it took place in the most innocent of settings -- the fifth birthday of twin boys. But it was unremarkable in that one of the guns brandished was an AK-47-type rifle -- a powerful, rapid-fire weapon that has long been used in Third World conflicts but is increasingly being used in American street fights.

Figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests, show a marked increase in the number of AK-type weapons traced and entered into the agency's computer database because they had been seized or connected to a crime.

The number of such tracings rose even while the federal assault weapons ban was in effect and has continued to climb since its expiration.

Since 1993, the year before the ban took affect, ATF has recorded a more than sevenfold increase in 7.62x39mm guns -- which includes the original Russian-made AK-47 and a variety of copycats from around the world. The number of AK-type guns rose from 1,140 in 1993 to 8,547 last year.

Since 2005, the first full year after the ban's expiration, ATF has recorded an 11 percent increase in such tracings.

ATF says the increases in the first half of the 1990s are partly the result of wider usage of its weapons database by local law enforcement agencies. But after that point, the numbers reflect a real increase in tracings of AK-type guns, the agency acknowledged.

The numbers corroborate what police chiefs around the country have been saying: AKs and other so-called assault weapons are terrorizing their communities and endangering their officers.

The numbers are reflected in some of the most horrifying violence of the past year, including a deadly shooting rampage at a department store in Omaha, Neb.

They're reflected in the growing number of police forces equipping their officers with higher-powered guns to match the bad guys' firepower.

And they're reflected in a single 72-hour period in September that started with the shooting of four Miami-area officers and ended here, in a drab apartment complex just outside New Orleans.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, Jose Somohano, a 37-year-old officer with the Miami-Dade Police, was cut down during a traffic stop in suburban Miami by a man with an AK-type weapon. Three other officers -- armed, like Somohano, with just handguns -- were wounded, one of them suffering a bullet wound the size of a grapefruit in her leg.

By midnight, the gunman, Shawn LaBeet, had been shot to death by police after a huge manhunt.

Police have refused to say how many times Somohano was hit or how many shell casings were found.

The officer's wife, Elizabeth Somohano, had gone off to her job at an insurance company earlier that day, and just before noon, Jose's sister reached her at the office. "Have you heard?" she asked. Something was going on in the area Jose patrolled.

Elizabeth called his cell. She text-messaged him, over and over. She called her kids to see if they had heard from him. She checked the Internet to find out what was happening, and learned that officers had been shot and a gunman was on the loose.

A colleague of Jose's -- one of his closest friends -- called Elizabeth and told her to stay put. He showed up at her office, and when their eyes met, he broke into tears.

"He didn't make it," he told her. She screamed.

Later, she took some comfort in knowing that her husband had eaten lunch that day, which meant he must have seen the hot-pink note she had slipped into his lunch bag along with his chicken salad-on-pita sandwich: "I love you, macho man."

Days before the ambush, Miami Police Chief John Timoney agreed to let patrol officers carry assault rifles to help counter the use of such weapons by criminals. John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, pleaded for the same for officers in the Miami-Dade department, which protects more than 1.4 million people around the city.

"It's almost like we have water pistols," he said.

For years, only SWAT teams and the like carried AR-15s or similarly powerful weapons. But police forces nationwide have increased their firepower to match the criminals' arsenal -- not only in urban areas such as Miami and Los Angeles, but in Waterloo, Iowa, Stillwater, Okla., Danbury, Conn., and Merced, Calif.

"We're in an arms race," said Police Chief Scott Knight of Chaska, Minn., chairman of the firearms committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.


On Friday, Sept. 14, along the Tigris River outside Baghdad, an alleged Shiite extremist linked to roadside bombings was taken into custody with his AK-47s and grenades. In Afghanistan, in villages south of Kabul, troops arrested three suspected Taliban militants and confiscated their weapons, including their AKs. And in Sydney, Australia, a former soldier pleaded guilty to gunning down a photographer with an AK in a contract killing.

With AK-47-type guns used in wars and insurrections all over the world, some 250,000 people are said to be killed by such weapons each year, and more than 75 million are believed to be in existence. In Iraq alone, congressional investigators estimate 110,000 AKs bought by the U.S. for security forces there cannot be accounted for.

The AK was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and went into production in 1947, with its name standing for Avtomat Kalashnikova and the year.

"Once the Wall fell, these guns were everywhere," said Carlos Baixauli, an agent with ATF.

Kalashnikov, who is now 88 and still lives in Russia, has said he is proud of his invention but saddened it's been used by terrorists. He said he wishes he had invented something like a lawnmower.

Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.

Knockoffs of the AK can be bought from legitimate gun dealers for as little as $300, and are also available on the street. Original Russian-made models are more expensive. Normal ammo clips hold 30 rounds, but higher-capacity ones are also available.

Most of the AKs on American streets are semiautomatic, meaning they fire as fast as the gunman can squeeze the trigger. Fully automatic ones, common on the battlefield, require just one pull of the trigger to release a burst of fire.

A 2004 study by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence concluded the U.S. ban on AKs and other guns was successful, saying in the five years before its passage, assault weapons made up 4.82 percent of ATF crime gun traces, compared with 1.61 percent between 1995 and 2003.

Many politicians, police chiefs and gun control advocates point to the expiration of the assault weapons ban as a reason for the spread of the guns. But many others argue the law was so riddled with loopholes that it had little effect.

The National Rifle Association says the focus must be getting criminals off the streets, not more legislation.

"The basic reason why gun control laws fail is that they require the cooperation of a very unlikely source, and that is criminals," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "Each time you pass a gun control law, the only people that are going to be affected by that law, the only people that are going to follow that law are law-abiding Americans."

On Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Glenwood Apartments in Kenner, Trinioucka Martin rose early and cooked all morning for her twin boys' birthday party -- meatballs, fried chicken, baked macaroni, sandwiches. She had already ordered a cake with the youngsters' picture on it, hired a DJ, and rented the inflatable castle and house.

McGraw woke up at his aunt's house across a highway from the apartment complex and had a hankering for something sweet. He wanted some cake.

At the party, after the crowd had dispersed and the officers arrived, McGraw lay dead on the ground near a sewer grate, his torso and lower body riddled with bullet wounds. Balloons still floated from ribbon; the "Happy Birthday" banner still hung.

No arrests have been made. McGraw was buried in a $450 grave against a chain-link fence in a crumbling New Orleans cemetery. The mound of dirt above his casket is littered with rocks and bone fragments and teeth. There was no money for a marker.

21. Who needs a gun at work?

Any bets that employees are prohibited from legally carrying guns at work for self-defense?

Bill Hine emailed me this:



Gunman in Minneapolis office shooting kills 4, then self, police say
Associated Press
September 28, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS – The gunman who opened fire inside a Minneapolis sign-making business killed four people before fatally shooting himself, police said early Friday.

The bodies of four victims were found shortly after officers arrived at Accent Signage Systems, located in a residential area in the city's north side, and evacuated the business Thursday afternoon, police said in a statement.

No details were released about the shooter, other than he was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Four other people were wounded in the shootings, including three critically.

During a news conference Thursday night, Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Kris Arneson wouldn't specify how many people had been killed, saying only that "several" victims were found dead inside.

She said police never fired at the shooter but released few other details, including the shooter's possible motive or whether he had worked at the company.

Hennepin County Medical Center was treating the four patients, including three men in critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman. None of the victims' names has been released.

Someone from inside the building called 911 around 4:30 p.m. to report the shootings, police said. The first officers on the scene quickly began evacuating people from the business and closed off several blocks.

Dozens of squad cars and SWAT officers swarmed the neighborhood Thursday afternoon, and traffic was stopped on a nearby bridge along Penn Avenue, where officers had rifles drawn and pointed at the business and a park below.

By Thursday evening, police vehicles were still surrounding the business. People from the neighborhood milled around but deputies kept them back.

Marques Jones, 18, of Minneapolis, said he was outside a building down the street having his high school senior pictures taken when he and his photographer heard gunfire that sounded close.

"We heard about four to five gunshots," Jones said. "We were shocked at what happened and we just looked at each other. We all just took off running to our vehicles."

According to Accent Signage Systems' website, the company makes interior signage and lists its founder as Reuven Rahamim. A phone messages left at the business was not immediately returned, and a woman who answered the phone at Rahamim's residential listing declined comment.

The company employed 28 people as of July, according to a feature on the business in Finance & Commerce, a local business publication. The paper reported that U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez visited it in August in a trip focused on exporting, and praised the company for its innovation.

The company developed a patented technology for producing signs in Braille and had licensed out the technology to companies in 38 countries, the newspaper said.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said employees who were working when the shootings occurred were together and being cared for Thursday evening.

"We are deeply sorry about what has happened here," he said, calling the shootings "a horrible tragedy."

22. 5 dead, 23 wounded in shootings since Friday night

Syria? Mexico? Nope - worse: self-defense-free Chicago, of course. Lucky they don't allow guns to be carried outside of a law-abding person's home, because then they could lose their title as being one of the most dangerous cities in the world!

Board Member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



5 dead, 23 wounded in shootings since Friday night
Chicago (Sun-Times Media Wire)
September 15, 2012


Five men have been killed and at least 23 people were wounded in gun violence on the city's streets from Friday night to Sunday night.

The fatal shootings include one man who was fatally shot and two others that were wounded by police in two separate incidents this weekend.

Police shot at one man and killed another after they allegedly pointed handguns at officers responding to a Roseland neighborhood block party 9:30 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of West 110th Street, according to police.

Christopher McGowan, 22, of the 14900 block of Marshfield Avenue in Harvey, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:49 p.m. Friday, according to the medical examiner's office.

The second man who allegedly pointed a gun was found in a nearby yard and arrested without incident, the statement said. The third suspect was arrested at the scene.

No police officers were injured and two weapons were recovered, the statement said.

Alex J. Benison, 35, was shot and killed during a robbery about 8:45 p.m. Friday night, in the 12200 block of South Ada Street, two blocks away from his West Pullman neighborhood home on the Far South Side. Benison, of the 12100 block of South Ada Street, was pronounced dead at the scene at 9 p.m., according to the medical examiner's office.

Brian Cherney, 22, was found dead on a sidewalk in the 4800 block of West George Street in the Northwest Side Belmont Cragin neighborhood at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Cherney, of the 4800 block of West Wolfram Street, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Jerell Butler, 26, was killed and another hurt when a shooter on a bicycle opened fire about 1:10 a.m. Saturday in the 900 block of North Drake Avenue in the West Side Humboldt Park neighborhood. Butler was dead at the scene after he was shot in the head and the chest. The other man, 32, was shot in the upper right arm and taken in "stable" condition to Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.

Devon Fields, 22, was shot at least twice in the head and once in the shoulder as he stood outside with a group of people gathered in a backyard in the 1300 block of North Latrobe Avenue about 3:30 a.m., authorities said. Fields, of the 5200 block of West Bloomingdale Avenue, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he later died.

A 26-year-old woman was also injured in the shooting, police said. She was listed in good condition at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park with a graze wound to her right calf.

In non-fatal shootings, police shot a 17-year-old boy after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers about 9:10 p.m. Saturday in the 7700 block of South Wolcott Avenue in the South Side Englewood neighborhood. He was taken in "stable" condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a gunshot wound to the buttocks, said Fire Media Affairs Cmdr. Sean Flynn. No officers were injured and a weapon was recovered.

23. Debunking the police qualification myth [VIDEO]

Having qualified at the shooting range as a deputy sheriff years ago, I don't find this surprising in the least.

Alan Rose shared this:



24. Poor firearm handling

David Custer emailed me this:


This is why police shouldn't routinely disarm citizens who are not doing anything more than getting a traffic ticket. Handling a gun that a person, including a police officer, is unfamiliar with can lead to a negligent discharge and possibly a tragedy.


Flight Attendant Tries to Bring Loaded Gun Through Airport Security
by Richard Esposito
September 23, 2012

A Republic Airlines flight attendant was detained and then charged with disorderly conduct after she attempted to pass through security at the Philadelphia International Airport with a loaded .38 revolver in her purse, triggering an incident in which police accidentally discharged the weapon while securing it, authorities said.

According to officials, at 6:33 a.m. today, the flight attendant entered a Terminal C security checkpoint lane with a loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Airweight revolver in her purse.

A Transportation Security Administration employee discovered the gun on the x-ray machine and notified police.

The flight attendant was taken to secondary screening room, where an airport police officer attempted to unload the gun, and it discharged into a wall.

There were no injuries to passengers, employees or police, officials said.

The flight attendant, identified by ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as Jaclyn Luby, of West Chester, Pa., had a valid Chester County permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said.

The permit was confiscated and forwarded to the Chester County Sheriff, and the weapon — an Airweight revolver — was confiscated by the crime scene unit and transported to for testing.

She was charged with disorderly conduct, as per Airport Unit policy.

The officer who accidentally discharged the flight attendant's gun is on desk duty pending completion of an internal investigation, police said.

The Airweight is a small frame, aluminum alloy, short barrel personal defense revolver and is among the most popular of these.

25. The tide turns across the pond

Stephen Wenger emailed me this:



'Expect to be shot if you burgle gun owners', judge warns criminals - A judge has defended the rights of people to protect their homes, telling two burglars shot during a break-in: "That is the chance you take."
by Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent, and Sam Marsden
September 26, 2012

Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell were blasted with a legally-held shotgun after they smashed their way into the isolated rural home of a businessman, Andy Ferrie, and his wife Tracey last month.

The two men, who have a string of convictions between them, were arrested when they arrived at hospital seeking treatment for their injuries. Mr and Mrs Ferrie were also arrested and questioned for more than 40 hours on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. They were later released without charge.

O'Gorman and Mansell appeared at Leicester Crown Court where they were both jailed for four years after admitting burglary.

In a move welcomed by justice campaigners, Judge Michael Pert QC, told the pair they could not expect any leniency simply because they had been wounded in the incident.

He told them: "If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally-held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it."

O'Gorman, 27, and Mansell, 33, both of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to breaking into the Ferries' isolated cottage in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire in the early hours of Sept 2.

Andrew Frymann, mitigating for O'Gorman, said that being shot had been like a "near-death experience" for which his client was not prepared. Responding to the barrister's suggestion that O'Gorman was traumatised by the experience, Judge Pert said the arrest of Mr and Mrs Ferrie was just as severe.

"Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma," he said.

The judge's remarks were widely welcomed by those arguing that the justice system needs to be more on the side of the victim of crime rather than the perpetrator.

Alan Duncan, the international development minister and the Ferries' constituency MP, backed the couple's actions at the time and welcomed the sentence and the judge's remarks.

Speaking from the United Nations in New York, the Tory minister said: "Three cheers for the judge; he has been robust and sensible. Justice has been done and, as I said from the start, the culprits are the culprits and the victims are the victims. The police did a very good job and investigated as thoroughly as they had to when a firearm is involved."

Patrick Mercer, an MP who has campaigned for a change in the law to allow home owners more protection when defending their property, also welcomed the sentencing remarks.

He said: "These are remarkably sensible comments from Judge Pert and will be widely welcomed. The judge has shown that he has his finger on the pulse of the nation and it is a welcome contrast to the extraordinary comments of Judge Peter Bowers when he recently described burglars as demonstrating bravery."

Mr Mercer added: "The criminal law needs to be brought in line with the civil law where the threshold is set at grossly disproportionate force, rather than simply unreasonable force."

Sir Clive Loader, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Leicestershire, said: "The penalty for burglary is not death, either by the State or by the person whose house you break into.

"But on the other hand, if you go into someone's home in the dead of night, wearing a balaclava in an extremely frightening way, what might follow as a result is not entirely predictable."

Mrs Ferrie's mother believed the burglars had got off lightly. Hazel Towell, 63, from Burton-on-Trent, said: "I don't think four years is nearly enough. It's no deterrent to villains like these.

"They put Tracey and Andrew through hell."

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said Mansell was released from prison in May last year after serving part of a six-year sentence for wounding with intent. In total, his criminal record consisted of eight previous convictions involving 19 offences. O'Gorman had 16 previous convictions involving 27 offences.

The debate over the right to defend property began when Tony Martin killed a burglar at his Norfolk home in 1999 and was convicted of murder and jailed for life. The sentence was reduced on appeal to manslaughter and five years' jail.

Last year Peter Flanagan, who fatally stabbed an armed burglar at his home in Salford, Great Manchester, escaped prosecution after he was found to have been acting in self defence.

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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