Wednesday, November 7, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 11/7/12

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

1. Looks like gun owners may be in for an "interesting" four years
2. Reminder - RSVP for VCDL supper in Marion on November 13th
3. Fairfax workers allowed guns, but not knives or crossbows
4. America waits for the candidates to "go to guns"
5. Obama hints at handgun restrictions too
6. Romney, Obama, and automatic weapons
7. AP analysis shows gun industry thrives while Obama in office
8. MSN: 9 reasons why gun sales are booming
9. Video: How gun laws will play into the next presidential administration
10. Miller: Gun owners' election
11. People are driving less! Ban guns, magazines and privacy!
12. Armed citizens take ownership of their community
13. Victims of home invasion targeted by mistake
14. Gun owner stops man threatening two women with a knife
15. Children and guns don't mix? 12-year-old with gun stops home invasion
16. Volunteer firefighter shoots hammer-wielding killer to halt rampage
17. Bullet tax proposal to curb Chicago crime
18. Compliance: Banks and "concealed carry" laws
19. Fairfax County Police on gun safety
20. Gun goes off In Carroll County McDonald's
21. Trigger-happy restaurant owner definitely does not think the customer is always right
22. Neighbors' altercation ends with one shot and killed
23. Who needs a gun at the beauty salon?
24. Bringing guns to a fight
25. Of Arms and the Law: Brady Campaign
26. Socialism: Against gold, guns, and God
27. Important safety notice - Recall of Walther PK380 pistols
28. Caracal F and C pistol safety warning and recall notice

1. Looks like gun owners may be in for an "interesting" four years

With the elections over now, gun owners are heading into what could be troubled waters. I don't have a crystal ball, so were we are headed I can't say for certain. However, based on the Obama Administration's past performance and President Obama's statements made during the debates, I will point out some of my concerns.


First, with the Republicans maintaining control of the House and enough of the Senate to prevent things being ramrodded through, I don't see gun control, including an "assault weapon" ban, making it into law during the next two years. (There will be another election in two years that could change things, so that is as far as one can look for now). That is good news for gun owners because during the debates with Romney, President Obama hinted at wanting to do something with "assault weapons." Obama also brought up "inexpensive handguns," while speaking about the very high murder rate in America's Gun-Control Heaven, Chicago.

I will not be surprised if Obama now starts to talk about gun control with every shooting that gets national attention. He also has Chicago's crime rate as an excuse to bring the subject up regularly.

While I think Congress will not vote for new gun control laws, we will need to keep a very, very close eye on Congress nonetheless.


One of the biggest threats for more gun control would be items that "fall under the radar," which is what Obama told the Brady Campaign he was working on last year. Here is a list of things that the President could do without needing approval from Congress:

* Use BATFE and the Justice Department to run more staged projects like "Fast and Furious," that make it look like lax gun control laws in the U.S. are causing mayhem and then taking "actions" to "fix" the problem. Most of the media would be a willing accomplice in such an endeavor as they were with Fast and Furious.

* Use BATFE to ban a variety of guns from import by making sure they don't fit a changing "sporting requirement" standard, with AKs being the first to go

* Use BATFE to require reporting of sales of certain firearms by gun stores, a de facto registration

* Use BATFE to make certain firearms into Class III weapons that require a tax stamp and registration - for example shotguns that only have a pistol-grip for a stock

* Use BATFE to block import of military surplus ammunition

* Sign various U.N. treaties that affect our right to keep and bear arms. We will need the Senate (and maybe the courts) to block them


Another danger is that there will be more Supreme Court appointments. Two anti-rights judges were appointed during Obama's last term - Judge Kagan and the self-described "wise latina" Judge Sotomayor. There is only a one-vote pro-rights margin currently, and that could be wiped out easily. Don't count on the Senate to save the day - they didn't with the last two appointments.

As more and more appointments are made to lower courts, I don't expect them to be pro-rights, either. The antis will be using courts more and more often to get what they can't get through the Legislative branch.

2. Reminder - RSVP for VCDL supper in Marion on November 13th

VCDL will have supper meeting at:

142 East Main St.
Marion, VA 24354

The meeting will be on November 13, 2012 and is open to the public.

Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM, with food to be ordered from the menu
starting at 7 PM.

Special that night is a $5.85 Hamburger.

SEATING: If attendance is under 25, we will meet on the ground
floor--if attendance is over 25, we will meet upstairs--capacity 40;
stairs may be steep for some members.

IT IS IMPORTANT that members RSVP if they are coming so the proper
room can be set up. Please advise name and number in your group
attending. Speaker to be announced.

Email RSVPs to:

Thanks for Board member Al Steed Jr. for making the arrangements for
this meeting.

3. Fairfax workers allowed guns, but not knives or crossbows

More local government nonsense.

Jay Minsky emailed me this:


From The Examiner:

By Taylor Holland
October 14, 2012

Fairfax County employees can bring guns and ammo with them to work, as long as they leave them in their cars, but the workers are now questioning why they can't also leave crossbows, hunting knives and other weapons in cars and trucks they park on county premises.

The county is for the first time allowing employees to bring guns to work, only because the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year passed a law permitting public employees to keep firearms in locked vehicles. Visitors to county offices were already allowed to keep firearms in their cars.

But the new law doesn't specifically allow public employees to keep any other weapons in their vehicles. So county officials, who are currently updating their employee handbook to comply with the new state law, explicitly banned employees from transporting any weapon other than a gun onto county property. The change means an employee who hunts can bring his rifle to work, but not necessarily his hunting knife, employees said.

Randy Creller, chairman of the county's Employee Advisory Council, questioned how the county would distinguish exactly what was a weapon. Would it now be illegal for employees to carry self-protection devices like pepper spray and stun guns?

"Who deems what is and is not considered to be a weapon?" he asked. "We don't want to leave anything up to interpretation. The county has buildings all over, and some of them are in bad areas where employees who are entering and exiting the complex at night may want to carry something to defend themselves."

Creller also questioned why visitors, parked right next to employees in county parking lots, could have crossbows and other weapons in their cars but employees, who may want to go hunting after work, could not.

Supervisor Gerald Hyland, D-Mount Vernon, said Creller's concerns create "a real kink" in the county's current regulation.

"If an employee wants to go hunting after work, they can't keep a crossbow in their car, but they can have a gun?" Hyland said. "There seems to be a lack of consistency here."

Earlier this year, Del. Brenda Pogge, R-James City, helped lead a charge to pass the bill, designed to prevent localities from banning their employees from transporting firearms to work. Creller said the bill was "a direct response" to Fairfax prohibiting employees from storing guns in their cars and was meant to keep localities from being overly restrictive while the state continues to loosen its gun laws.

But county officials, who had banned guns altogether until now, say they remain concerned about workplace safety and whether the county could be held liable if something happens.

"The county is concerned about violence in the workplace, and I get that," Creller said. "But you can't prevent that [from happening], period."

Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said she's willing to consider rewriting the country's regulations to allow employees to keep weapons other than guns in their vehicles, but isn't committing to a broader rule.

4. America waits for the candidates to "go to guns"


By Mike Stollenwerk
October 14, 2012


Everybody remembers that Top Gun (see original movie trailer here) colloquy about air-to-air combat tactics between student fighter pilot "Maverick" played by Tom Cruise and instructor "Charlie" played by Kelly McGilles:

Charlie: A rolling reversal would look well in that situation.
Maverick: If I reversed in a hard cross I could immediately go to guns on him.
Charlie: Yeah, but at that speed it's too fast. It's a little bit too aggressive.
Maverick: Too aggressive, yeah I guess when I see something I go right after it.

But so far Maverick's "going to guns" tactic appears too aggressive for both moderators and candidates at the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates.

5. Obama hints at handgun restrictions too

Walter Jackson emailed me this:

From The Washington Examiner:

By Paul Bedard
October 17, 2012

The National Rifle Association, jumping on President Obama's new and firm support for a Clinton-style assault weapons ban, is stepping up its attack on the president in Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin with a new "we told you so" theme.

David Keene, president of the NRA, told Secrets, "the president has ratified what we have been saying" in ads and mailings to pro-gun voters. "See, he peeked out and finally said what he wants," said Keene.

In his 2008 campaign and while president, Obama has distanced himself from gun issues, aware that it could hurt him politically in key battleground states. But when pressed about gun violence during the Tuesday town hall-style presidential debate, he fully embraced a Clinton-style assault weapons ban. Clinton's ban expired in 2004.

Suggesting a ban not just on semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 but maybe even handguns, the most popular rifle in America, the president said, "What I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap handguns."

Keene said that Obama's statement was a "strategic error on his part" because it blew up the president's pro-Second Amendment rhetoric. "He knows it's politically dangerous to take on the Second Amendment," said Keene.

"We have credibility when we say that Barack Obama is a threat to your rights. But that credibility is obviously enhanced 10-fold when Barack Obama, in a moment of weakness, says, 'Yeah, as a matter of fact I am.' And that's what he did," said Keene. "This is going to help us."

The NRA is blanketing Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin with advocacy mailings and ads, hopeful of persuading the vast majority of pro-gun, non-NRA members to vote for Romney. They made a similar effort during the recent Wisconsin gubernatorial recall effort and several analysts credited the NRA with helping to save Gov. Scott Walker.

"We can move the race a couple of points," said Keene.

6. Romney, Obama, and automatic weapons

James Durso emailed me this:


From National Review:

By Charles C. W. Cooke
October 18, 2012

During Tuesday's debate, there came the obligatory question on firearms. "President Obama," an undecided voter inquired, "during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?"

In the course of his response, Obama said this:

We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. But there have been too many instances during the course of my presidency, where I've had to comfort families who have lost somebody. Most recently out in Aurora. You know, just a couple of weeks ago, actually, probably about a month, I saw a mother, who I had met at the bedside of her son, who had been shot in that theater...I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence.

Because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap handguns.

First off, while Obama's answer was not necessarily designed to conflate "weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters," "assault weapons," "Aurora," and "AK-47s," it will nonetheless have done so in the minds of those less sensible of the detail. So, to clarify: An "assault weapon" is not a fully "automatic weapon," nor a weapon "designed for soldiers." "Assault weapon," which is primarily a political term that has no real meaning outside of firearms legislation, is typically used to describe a semiautomatic rifle, one that fires a single round each time its trigger is pulled, which has been made to look like a military weapon. Obviously, making a weapon look "scary" or styling it physically on an automatic weapon does not make it one. As such, an "AK-47? that has been modified for civilian use is pretty much just a hunting rifle with a scary looking exterior. Modified weapons such as these were restricted between 1994 and 2004, while the federal Assault Weapons Ban was in force and they are still restricted at the state level in a handful of states.

Conversely, an "automatic weapon" is any firearm that fires continuously when the trigger is depressed, and, if that trigger remains depressed, does not stop firing until the magazine is empty. An "AK-47," as it exists in the public imagination, is an automatic weapon; weapons "designed for soldiers" are automatic weapons; a "machine gun" is an automatic weapon. When Obama mentions an "assault weapons ban," he is referring to bringing back federal legislation that outlaws certain semi-automatic rifles, but he is not referring to doing anything about automatic weapons. Common as it is, it is either ignorant or disingenuous to point to automatic weapons in support of reinstating an "assault weapons" ban - although its political expediency cannot be questioned - and it is downright insidious to bring up the Aurora shooting as if it had anything to do with either "assault weapons" or automatic weapons. It didn't.

Sadly, Romney did not add much clarity to the issue:

I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on - on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We, of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe is we have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of his remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have.

By saying so categorically that it's "already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons," Romney added to the misconceptions. It's not illegal. It is difficult to obtain automatic weapons, but it's not impossible. It is illegal to buy a new automatic weapon, but older weapons - of which there are hundreds of thousands - are grandfathered and still available for purchase. Such weapons are, however, heavily regulated under the National Firearms Act, which requires that all covered items must be registered with the ATF. In order to purchase an item on the NFA list (which also includes grenades, silencers, short-barrel shotguns, etc.), private owners must file a request with the ATF, obtain a signature from their county sheriff or police chief, undergo an extensive background check that includes the recording of biometric information, fully register the firearm, and pay a $200 tax. They must also receive the ATF's written permission before moving the firearm across state lines. (This is not to mention that they must also be able to afford the weapon, which can cost $10,000 or more. As Obama correctly pointed out, "cheap handguns" are an awful lot more attractive to outlaws.)

Despite the best attempts of gun-control types to imply otherwise, fully automatic weapons are not even remotely a problem in the United States. Since the last overhaul of the rules in 1986, there has been precisely one occasion on which a legally obtained fully automatic weapon was used in committing a crime, and that crime was carried out by a deranged police officer. This is unsurprising, given that the process by which one obtains automatic weapons is extremely complicated, the weapons are very expensive, and to own one is to subject yourself to serious government scrutiny. Criminal types, who by definition do not follow the rules, are better off with a Saturday Night Special.

7. AP analysis shows gun industry thrives while Obama in office

Dave Hicks emailed me this:


From Richmond Times-Dispatch:

October 19, 2012

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has presided over a heyday for the gun industry despite predictions by the National Rifle Association four years ago that he would be the "most anti-gun president in American history." The president hasn't pressed such an agenda, but gun owners still are afraid that, if re-elected, an Obama who wouldn't have to face voters again would try to restrict firearms purchases.

An analysis by The Associated Press of data tracking the health of the gun industry shows that sales are on the rise, so much so that some gun manufacturers can't make enough weapons fast enough. Major gun company stock prices are up. The number of federally licensed, retail gun dealers is increasing for the first time in nearly 20 years. The NRA is bursting with cash and political clout. And Congress and the administration have expressed little interest in passing new gun laws, despite renewed calls to do so after deadly shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin.

The poor economy, fear of crime and military veterans returning from war who want to keep their shooting skills sharp also may be driving some gun sales. But the general view of analysts and those in the industry is that Obama is the main catalyst.

"The driver is President Obama. He's the best thing that ever happened to the firearm industry," said Jim Barrett, an industry analyst at C.L. King & Associates Inc. in New York.

That despite the fact that Obama has made no promises to impose new gun control legislation and doesn't have the support in Congress or among voters even if he did. During this week's presidential debate Obama suggested renewing a ban on assault-style weapons and coming up with an overall strategy to reduce violence, but both the president and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, said the government needs to enforce gun laws already on the books.

Tennessee lawyer Brian Manookian said he never considered himself a gun enthusiast like others in his state. He owns only one handgun. But the firearms industry has proved so lucrative for him that he's enthusiastic now. Manookian and his business partner, Gary Semanchik, opened a $5 million firearms retail and training complex in September in Nashville.

Inventory is selling three to four times faster than they expected since the facility opened.

"It is a very strong investment," Manookian said.

Others agree. For the first time since 1993, the number of federally licensed retail gun dealers in the U.S. increased slightly in 2010 and 2011, as the country added 1,167 more licensed retail gun dealers, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records. After the assault weapons ban in 1994, the number of gun dealerships dropped annually until 2010. As of October 2012, there were 50,812 retail gun dealers - that's 3,303 more than in 2009.

"Business has been very good," said Frederick Prehn, who a year ago opened a small gun store above his dentistry practice in Wausau, Wis. In the past year, Prehn has relocated twice to larger spaces and gone from one employee to eight.

Some gun store owners can't keep shelves stocked, said Brian Jones, owner of Bullseye Shooter's supply in Painted Post, N.Y. Jones said he opened his gun store in November 2010. In his first year, Jones said he sold between 600 and 700 guns. A little more than halfway through his second year, he's already sold 700.

For the first time in the company's history, Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. stopped taking orders for a couple months this year. Ruger, one of the nation's largest gun manufacturers, has since resumed taking orders, though gun-sellers say demand is still outpacing production.

Obama is not yet through his first term, but the federal government already has conducted about as many background checks for gun owners and prospective buyers on his watch as it did during the first six years of George W. Bush's presidency. In the first 3 1/2 years of the Bush administration, the FBI conducted about 28 million background checks. During the same period of the Obama administration, the FBI conducted more than 50 million. The gun industry uses the number of background checks on gun owners as a reliable indicator of demand.

Ruger and Smith & Wesson represent nearly 30 percent of the U.S. gun manufacturing industry and lead the market in production of pistols and revolvers, according to government statistics. The two companies have been running production lines around the clock, hiring workers and operating at maximum capacity, said Barrett, an industry analyst who also owns Ruger stock.

Ruger's sales have increased 86 percent since Obama took office, and Smith & Wesson's sales have gone up nearly 44 percent, compared with 18 percent for overall national retail sales.

And the companies have big expectations for the industry's future, as they're spending more money on research and development than ever before.

"Wouldn't you want to be in a business where customers are just begging to hand you money?" said Bill Bernstein, owner of East Side Gun Shop in Nashville, Tenn.

The NRA itself has done well, too. The lobbying organization has had more cash on hand during the Obama years than it did since 2004, finishing 2010 with more than $24 million, according to the most recent figures available.

"Which makes it incredibly ironic that the gun lobby is opposing Obama," said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Gross said Obama, who initially campaigned to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired under Bush, has done what he said was "disappointingly little" on gun control.

But the gun lobby says the success of the industry does not indicate that Obama is good for Second Amendment rights.

"This is the most dangerous election in our lifetimes," NRA chief executive officer Wayne LaPierre said in February, a point he's made regularly during the NRA's campaign to defeat Obama.

The NRA stands by its 2008 predictions that Obama would be anti-gun. NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam noted Obama's appointment of two Supreme Court justices whom the NRA considers anti-gun, plus Obama's support of a United Nations arms trade treaty and the botched gun-walking operation called Fast and Furious, which the NRA believes was concocted as part of a plan to enforce new gun restrictions.

"Gun owners and hunters fear that a second Obama administration with no future political campaigns to worry about will try to destroy this great American freedom," Arulanandam said.

It is hard to find a single aspect of the gun world that isn't thriving.

Fears of a Democratic president taking office and issuing stricter gun control laws led to an initial spike in gun sales in 2008, giving gun dealers some of the highest profit margins they've ever seen. But even after it became clear Obama was not going to make gun control a priority as president, the industry has continued to do well.

Fears of crime may be driving some sales. The number of violent crimes rose by 18 percent in the U.S. in 2011, according to Justice Department figures released this week. It was the first year-to-year increase for violent crime since 1993, marking the end of a long string of declines.

Firearms sales typically increase during poor economic times, said Steve Sanetti, chief executive officer and president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the industry. More Americans are hunting and shooting for recreation as well, he said. Sanetti attributes that to military servicemen and women with firearms experience returning to civilian life and wanting to keep up with shooting as a pastime. He also said recreational shooting is a relatively cheap and accessible hobby, drawing in new buyers.

Voters have made clear that gun control isn't a priority. A recent AP-National Constitution Center poll found that 49 percent of adults felt laws limiting gun ownership infringe on the public's right to bear arms, while 43 percent said such laws do not infringe on those rights. After the recent mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, 52 members of Congress sponsored a bill to track bulk sales of ammunition, but the legislation went nowhere.

Bernstein and others attribute some of the industry's success to all but one state - Illinois - offering permits to carry a concealed weapon. In some cases, people have been buying guns because they're afraid of the day they won't be able to.

"Any gun owner might fear that," said Justin Paulson, a 22-year-old grad student in Nashville who recently purchased a handgun from Bernstein's store. Paulson said he's been collecting guns since he was 18. He's currently up to 16. He purchased his most recent handgun because he thought the one he had was too small to defend himself. And the timing of his purchase was deliberate. "Chances are things might be a little tighter in terms of control come November," he said.

Fears about new gun laws mean dollar signs for the gun industry.

Bernie Conaster, owner of Virginia Arms Co. in Manassas, Va., has doubled the size of his suburban Washington gun store, hired more employees and paid bonuses since Obama has been in office.

"I certainly don't want to stoke the fire," Conaster said, "but I'll ride the wave while it's here."

8. MSN: 9 reasons why gun sales are booming

Bill Albritton emailed me this:


From MSN Money:

By Kim Peterson


The Obama effect?

Americans have always loved their guns. And that love seems to have grown in recent years, as the number of legally owned guns has risen along with the percentage of households that hold them.

There are many reasons that our unique love affair with guns is growing stronger. One widely held belief is that President Barack Obama's election -- and potential re-election -- spurred fears that he will crack down on gun ownership, something he hasn't done thus far.

But there's more to it than that. People are buying more guns now for security, particularly as the economy has struggled. More Americans are getting permits to carry concealed weapons. Sport shooting is seeing newfound popularity. And you never know when economic doomsday will hit or, yes, even when zombies will attack.

Click through this slide show, published Oct. 18, for more about America's booming gun business.

9. Video: How gun laws will play into the next presidential administration

Bill Watkins emailed me this:


From The Washington Post:

10. Miller: Gun owners' election

From The Washington Times:

By Emily Miller
October 16, 2012

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens demonstrated the importance of America's upcoming presidential choice as he spoke Monday to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Justice Stevens told the assembled gun grabbers of the urgent need for Congress to adopt laws restricting the right to keep and bear arms.

As the author of the dissenting opinions in the Heller and McDonald cases, which affirmed the right of individuals to keep handguns in the home, Justice Stevens said the high court precedent still allows new laws rolling back our rights.

The 92-year-old jurist explained the landmark gun rulings leave room for restrictions on the right to carry outside the home, bans on certain styles of firearms, elimination of carry rights in "sensitive" places and background-check requirements for private gun sales.

"The Second Amendment provides no obstacle to regulations prohibiting the ownership or the use of the sorts of automatic weapons used in the tragic multiple killings in Virginia, Colorado and Arizona in recent years," the Ford nominee said, incorrectly lumping together semi-automatic and automatic weapons, which already are highly regulated.

He added, "Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cellphone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside, and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun which you're not used to using."

As Justice Stevens was issuing this call to trade in rifles for mobile phones, Mitt Romney's campaign announced the formation of the Sportsmen for Romney coalition. "Hunters, fishermen, sports-shooters, and outdoor enthusiasts not only create millions of jobs and pump billions of dollars into our economy, they stand on the forefront of defending our Second Amendment rights and protecting the natural wonder of our nation," Mr. Romney said in a statement. "If I am fortunate enough to become president, they will have a friend in the White House."

The co-chairmen include five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode, National Baseball Hall of Fame member Wade Boggs, championship-winning NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and comedian Jeff Foxworthy.

One of the coalition's national advisory board members, Remington Arms Co. CEO George Kollitides, explained that threats like that seen at the Brady Center meeting motivated him to support Mr. Romney.

"The next four years will see legislative and regulatory threats that stand to derail the hard-fought Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans," the gun-manufacturing executive told The Washington Times. "This is to say nothing of the judicial risks associated with an aging Supreme Court and a commander in chief who has already appointed two justices who do not recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right to keep and bear arms."

Mr. Obama was an outspoken gun-control advocate before he ran for president, and he still supports bringing back the so-called "assault weapons ban" that failed to decrease crime. There is no doubt he would put another liberal justice -- or three -- on the bench if given a second term.

11. People are driving less! Ban guns, magazines and privacy!

Deborah Anderson emailed me this:


Josh Sugarmann is at it, yet again, with more rantings that are utter nonsense. We already know that Sugarmann is "out in left field," as they say (both figuratively and literally) -- but, I think he's gone even further off the deep end with his latest cry for more gun control. And just wait till you hear his "reasoning" for it this time.

According to the person who wrote the article below, "...Sugarmann says that because vehicle deaths are down, more gun control laws should be imposed..."

What?!?!? And to think that the "antis" have the nerve to refer to those of us who wish to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights as "gun 'nuts'?" Oh, my goodness, is the shoe on the wrong foot!


Deborah Jane Anderson


October 12, 2012

These days, not too much time passes without Josh Sugarmann, formerly of the National Coalition to Ban Handguns, blurting out some nonsense on the Huffington Post website. Not too much time at all. Usually just enough for him to photocopy a bunch of ads from The Shotgun News, slap them together with a few paragraphs of inflammatory rhetoric that he has used a dozen times before, call the half-asked effort a "study," and run down to the bank to deposit another six-figure check from the Joyce Foundation.

However, in his latest Huffington screed, Sugarmann says that in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia combined, the total number of motor vehicle accident deaths has fallen below the aggregate of firearm suicides, murders, self-defense homicides and accidents. "That's according to a new analysis by my organization, the Violence Policy Center," he says. (Translation: Sugarmann had one of his miniscule "organization's" go-fers spend five minutes on the internet downloading the numbers from the CDC's Wisqars website.)

Sugarmann says that because vehicle deaths are down, more gun control laws should be imposed, including "Detailed and timely data collection on gun production, sales, use in crime, as well as analysis of the types, makes and models of firearms most associated with injury, death and criminal use; Implementation of minimum safety standards for firearms (i.e., specific design standards and the requirement of safety devices); Ban certain types of firearms that have no sporting purpose such as 'junk guns' and military-style assault weapons; Limit the firepower of firearms available to the general public, e.g. restrict ammunition magazine capacity;" along with "restrictions on the carrying of loaded handguns in public spaces" and "public education campaigns that communicate the extreme risks associated with exposure to firearms."

Sugarmann has long thought that since the American people and majorities in Congress don't support banning guns, the way to get guns banned is to give the BATFE the authority to do it through regulations. So, in his latest Huffington noise, he says "The long-term decline in motor vehicle deaths is the result of a decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy--centered on safety-related changes to vehicles and highway design informed by comprehensive data collection and analysis."

But there's just a slight problem, there. After dropping from about 51,000 in 1981, to about 41,000 in 1992, the annual number of motor vehicle accident deaths rose to about 45,000 from 2002 through 2006, dropped only slightly in 2007, fell to just under 40,000 in 2008 when the current recession began, and then dropped to 36,000 in 2009, and 35,000 in 2010, coinciding with the sharp rise in national unemployment figures. People who are stuck at home out of work aren't very likely to die in motor vehicle crashes, after all.

Furthermore, according to a recent Brookings Institution report, "Americans have simply been driving less, when considering both historic growth rates and the most recent annualized measures of vehicle miles traveled. At the same time driving has declined, transit use is at its highest level since the 1950s, and Amtrak ridership just set an annual ridership record in 2008." America continues to become more urbanized and, as the report notes, "Urban residents are more likely to use alternative modes of transportation than automobiles."

And there's more. The District of Columbia and Baltimore now have the fourth and sixth highest percentages respectively, among cities of 100,000 or more population, of households not owning cars.

So give it a rest, Josh, or you're going to drive yourself crazy one of these days. Pun intended.

12. Armed citizens take ownership of their community

An example for an unorganized militia in action.

From Eartlink / AP:

By Jeff Barnard
October 17, 2012

O'BRIEN, Ore. (AP) There's no room in the county jail for burglars and thieves. And the sheriff's department in a vast, rural corner of southwest Oregon has been reduced by budget cuts to three deputies on patrol eight hours a day, five days a week.

But people in this traditionally self-reliant section of timber country aren't about to raise taxes to put more officers on the road. Instead, some folks in Josephine County, larger than the state of Rhode Island, are taking matters into their own hands ˘ mounting flashing lights on their trucks and strapping pistols to their hips to guard communities themselves. Others have put together a virtual neighborhood watch, using Facebook to share tips and information.

"I believe in standing up for myself rather than waiting for the government to do something for me," said Sam Nichols, a retired marina manager.

Nichols has organized a posse of about a dozen fed-up residents who have started patrolling the small community of O'Brien, which has about 750 residents.

"We call ourselves the CAC Patrol, Citizens Against Crime," he said.

Separately, a retired sheriff's deputy in a community about 10 miles away has started a Facebook page called "To Catch a Thief," an open group that has nearly 1,200 members who post reports of crimes that aren't priorities for the county sheriff's office.

"In a rural community like this, we all know each other, and we're all related," said Carol Dickson, who started the group about three months ago and posts regularly.

"People know who's doing this," she said of the property crimes around Cave Junction, a town of nearly 2,000 people about 30 miles from the county seat of Grants Pass.

"They are getting tired of it," Dickson said. "They are speaking up, and they are saying, 'Enough.'"

Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says he's glad for the help but warns that law enforcement is dangerous work.

"They need to really understand there are consequences that can be very costly, physically as well as legally," he said, explaining that volunteers could get sued or shot if they pull a gun on someone or make a false arrest.

"Most of them haven't had what I feel is an adequate level of training to do that they do," he said. "But if they serve as eyes and ears and only report what they see to law enforcement, I think they can keep themselves at a safe level."

Policing expert Dennis Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, says neighborhood watch efforts can be positive but turn into problems when volunteers "decide that instead of supplementing law enforcement, they are going to replace law enforcement. Then you cross potentially into vigilantism."

Kenney said vigilantes tend to get "out of control ˘ especially when people are armed."

He added that "people drawn to this sort of thing are the kinds of personalities more likely to take it too far."

Nichols says what his group is doing is "not vigilantism at all.

"If it was, we would have taken care of a couple of problems a long time ago," he added. "Because we knew who they were, and where they lived."

Another CAC Patrol member, Glenn Woodbury, an electrical supplies distributor, wears a .45-caliber automatic pistol in a shoulder holster when he goes out. He says he carries the weapon only for protection and that members of the patrol consider it their primary responsibility to gather information, such as a license plate number, that would allow deputies to make an arrest.

Since the patrols started a few months ago, group members have reported a wildfire being set and someone trying to break into an SUV. The police log in the Grants Pass Daily Courier shows five thefts or burglaries in O'Brien from January through July, but none since August.

"These people know they no longer own the night," Woodbury said of potential criminals.

"They can't back a pickup up to somebody's home when you've got patrols watching," he added.

For her part Dickson, who retired from the Josephine County Sherriff's Office before Gilbertson was elected and has frequently been at odds with the man who replaced her old boss, says her digital network has helped make the Illinois Valley safer.

She says her group has tracked down stolen property, including several cars, and even helped deputies arrest a man on drug charges.

Despite her differences with Gilbertson, she won't let people post rants about the sheriff's department. And she says her group serves a vital function.

"When you have tweakers and drugs, you're going to have thefts and burglaries," she said, citing methamphetamine abuse as the root of many of the property crimes in the area.

Dickson says there isn't enough space in the county jail and that deputies don't pursue property crimes as they should.

She said criminals "know they aren't going to get punished." She added, "Nobody gets arrested. Nobody gets charged."

Josephine County, population about 83,000, recently lost $12 million in federal timber county subsidies. The jail, sheriff's patrols, prosecutors, probation officers and juvenile programs have all been drastically cut. The lockup has room for 69 inmates ˘ only enough space for the worst offenders. As a result, theft and burglary suspects are regularly turned loose, only to be picked up later for new crimes.

But neither Nichols nor Dickson think the sheriff would do a better job of protecting their end of the county with more resources.

They both voted no on a tax proposal to make up the $12 million loss and say they would do so again if county commissioners brought the issue back up.

Their independent streak is fairly common in the area just north of the California border, which was settled during the gold rush of the 1850s and has been proudly self-reliant ever since with loggers, hippie communes and survivalists maintaining the reputation. To this day residents in the area consistently vote conservative.

Much of the land is dotted with abandoned mining camps, overgrown with trees and brush. The timber county has just one remaining sawmill in operation.

At the O'Brien crossroads, a flashing yellow light and a '50s-era police car, parked permanently on the shoulder, slow what passes for traffic in front of the general store, post office, gas station, restaurant, and RV park. There also is a bar with a sign proclaiming, "Bikers Welcome."

Nichols says he decided to start the patrols after someone stole a travel trailer from his property over the summer.

He called a community meeting in August and wore a .38 special revolver, handed down from his father, in a leather holster on his belt. About 100 people showed up, one of whom recognized a photo of his trailer and knew where it had been stashed. Gilbertson, however, declined to try to retrieve it.

"I didn't have the resources to deal with it at that time," the sheriff said. "Pretty much, what we're doing now is person-to-person crime."

In response, members of the CAC Patrol have taken to slapping magnetic gold stars and flashing amber lights on their vehicles to keep watch over the community on their own. Many carry pistols and plastic ties for handcuffs.

"If we stand shoulder to shoulder, they don't have a chance," Nichols said. "And that's what we're doing."

13. Victims of home invasion targeted by mistake

Scott Dunbar emailed me this:


With the scenario in above link, criminals bursting through a door yelling "NNPD", how can any sane judge issue a "No Knock Warrant"?

If I can't determine whether it's a criminal or a police officer that is coming through my door unannounced, I will always err on the side of caution and protect my family.

From WVEC-13:

By Brian Farrell
October 16, 2012

NEWPORT NEWS -- 3 people stripped away a husband and wife's feeling of security October 9.

The group burst into the couple's house on Center Street at about 2:30 a.m. in a home invasion that police believe was meant for the house next to the couple's.

"The front door got kicked in, and I got woke up, and the guys were yelling, 'NNPD!' I was, like, trying to figure out what was going on. By that time, they were in our room," said the husband who asked his name not be used. "Basically, held us at gunpoint, asking for drugs and money."

Newport News officers said the group of 3 intended to rob Alastair Higgs who lived in a rental property next to the victims' home. Police told 13News Higgs had Ecstasy at the house and marijuana. Besides drug charges, he faces a count of Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. Higgs' girlfriend, Tenai Hodges, also faces a drug charge.

"It could happen to anybody," Detective Charles Howser said of the situation. "It could happen to someone who is unsuspecting, someone who didn't know their neighbor was involved in some kind of illegal activity that brought this to their doorstep."

Howser explained the victims and many of the people around them were unaware Higgs may have a connection to drugs.

"I've seen drug dealers' houses where there's hardly any activity. They don't bring people to their place of residence. It's hard to tell. Rental vehicles, out-of-state vehicles, heavy traffic, obviously, large, vicious dogs is another thing that we look for," said Howser, offering a checklist of items that could indicate drug or other criminal activity.

Anyone who knows anything about the group involved in the home invasion is encouraged to contact Newport News Police Department through the Crime Line. The number is 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

14. Gun owner stops man threatening two women with a knife

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



October 16, 2012

MANCHESTER - A man swinging a knife at two women in Veterans Park ultimately was confronted by the gun-toting uncle of one of them when he went to the park.

Police said the incident happened about 6:20 p.m. Monday.

James Laroche, 25, of 225 Grove St., went to the park to look for his niece when he learned she was being harassed by others. He parked his van, and he and two friends headed into the park.

From a distance, however, he could see his niece arguing with another woman. A man joined in the dispute and then pulled out a knife and began "swinging it aggressively," according to a police news release.

Laroche, seeing this, ran back to his van, got his gun, holstered it "open carry" style on his hip and then went back into the park. By then, other people had confronted the man with the knife, who ran from the park and into Monadnock Lane.

Laroche chased after him in the alley, simultaneously calling 911 to report the incident. He came across the man hiding behind a vehicle in the alley.

The man, identified by police as Joshua Cormiea, 25, of 555 Canal St., pulled out the knife and held it at chest level, pointing it at Laroche. Laroche took out his gun, chambered a round and pointed it at the man who quickly fled up the alley.

Laroche chased after him but stopped when he encountered an officer outside the Chestnut Street police station. He again reported what happened.

Cormiea later was found inside the Victory parking garage, where he was arrested on charges of reckless conduct and criminal threatening. He did not have a knife on him, police said.

Lt. Maureen Tessier said Laroche has a gun permit.

15. Children and guns don't mix? 12-year-old with gun stops home invasion

Chet Szymecki emailed me this:



By Chris McKinnon
October 19, 2012

BRYAN COUNTY, Oklahoma - A 12-year-old girl took matters into her own hands during a home invasion in southeast Oklahoma.

It happened on Wednesday when the girl was home alone. She told police a stranger rang the doorbell, then went around to the back door and kicked it in. She called her mom, Debra St. Clair, who told her to get the family gun, hide in a closet and call 911.

That was when St. Clair dropped what she was doing and raced home.

"I drove home at a really fast pace to try to get to her, and when I got here the police were already here. And they had the suspect," she said.

During that time, the intruder made his way through the house. St. Clair's daughter told deputies the man came into the room where she was hiding and began to open up the closet door. That was when the 12 year old had to make a life-saving decision.

"And what we understand right now, he was turning the doorknob when she fired through the door," said the Bryan County Undersheriff Ken Golden.

The bullet hit the intruder, who deputies identified as 32-year-old Stacey Jones. He took off but did not get far before officers took him down.

"He was sitting down, the policemen had him apprehended at the end of the block. All I saw was some blood coming down his back. I'm not exactly sure where his injury was, but I saw some blood there," explained St. Clair.

Jones was taken to a Texas hospital by helicopter after the incident. An investigator on the case said Jones was released from the hospital Thursday and extradited to the Bryan County Jail.

The 12-year-old girl was not injured during the ordeal.

16. Volunteer firefighter shoots hammer-wielding killer to halt rampage

Alan Rose emailed me this:



By Zach Harold
October 13, 2012

MINGO COUNTY, W. Va. Police in Mingo County shot and killed a man Wednesday night after he threatened them with a claw hammer, which he had previously used to attack his roommate before running over him with a stolen pickup.

The roommate also was dead at the scene.

State Trooper D.M. William son said roommates Phillip Gilman, 43, and Alfred Curry, 73, got into a fight around 9 p.m. at their Elk Creek house, near Delbarton.

Williamson said he had no idea why Curry and Gilman were fighting. Neighbors told police Gilman, a registered sex offender convicted of rape in 2005, "had been acting crazy all day." They said he walked up and down the road all day, swinging a hammer and looking at the sky.

Gilman attacked Curry with that hammer Wednesday night. The older man got out of their home but collapsed outside.

A passing motorist found him lying in the middle of the road.

Williamson said the woman saw Curry lying in the road, found out who he was and called his half-brother, Mingo County Commissioner Dave Baisden.

Baisden arrived a short time later in his county-owned Ford F250 pickup. When he jumped out of the truck to tend to his brother, Gilman got in the driver's seat and took off, running over Curry as he sped down the road.

Williamson said Gilman came back a short time later and parked the pickup over Curry's body. Gilman then got into a fight with Baisden, who shot his gun at the ground to scare Gilman off.

A volunteer firefighter then arrived on scene and drew his pistol, shooting Gilman twice in the leg. Although wounded, the suspect ran away on foot.

Trooper Williamson, along with Delbarton police and Mingo sheriff's deputies, found Gilman a quarter-mile down the road from Curry's body, sitting in the middle of the road. The man took off again when he saw police.

Gilman, still carrying the hammer he had used to injure Curry, had gained a few hundred yards by the time police gave chase.

"While we were chasing him, he turned and sprinted toward us," Williamson said.

Gilman rushed the officers, brandishing his hammer. Williamson said they gave the suspect multiple commands to stop, to put his hands up, to get on the ground and to drop the hammer.

"He didn't."

Officers opened fire when Gilman was 15 feet away, killing him.

Williamson said the volunteer firefighter, whose name he could not remember, will not be charged for shooting Gilman.

"He shot him to prevent further damage to Baisden or the victim lying on the ground," he said.
Baisden was not injured.

Williamson said he is unsure if drugs were involved in Gilman's rampage. He said state medical examiners likely would perform an autopsy on Gilman to find out. Police searched the scene but did not find any evidence of drugs.

"As of right now, we don't know," he said. "Mingo County, there always could be a possibility."

17. Bullet tax proposal to curb Chicago crime

With income down, look for government to find all kinds of ways and excuses to suck money out of your pockets.

Gee, I wonder if Chicago's gang-bangers will be paying that tax on all their stolen ammunition?

This is what happens when you dumb down society. The politicians get dumbed down, too.


By Don Babwin

CHICAGO ˘ As Chicago struggles to quell gang violence that has contributed to a jump in homicides, a top elected official wants to tax the sale of every bullet and firearm ˘ an effort even she acknowledges could spark a legal challenge.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will submit a budget proposal Thursday that calls for a tax of a nickel for each bullet and $25 for each firearm sold in the nation's second-largest county, which encompasses Chicago.

Preckwinkle's office estimates the tax will generate about $1 million a year, money that would be used for various county services including medical care for gunshot victims. Law enforcement officials would not have to pay the tax, but the office said it would apply to 40 federally licensed gun dealers in the county.
Video: Chicago police chief: Tighter guns laws needed (on this page)

Through last week, the city reported 409 homicides this year compared to 324 during the same period in 2011. Although the violence still doesn't approach the nearly 900 homicides a year Chicago averaged in the 1990s, officials say gang violence was largely to blame for a rash of shootings earlier this year.

Woman loses second grandchild in 6 months to Chicago gun violence

Preckwinkle insists the ordinance is far more about addressing gun violence than raising money for a county that faces a deficit of more than $100 million next year.

"We think that's an appropriate thing to do, especially in the light of the gun violence we struggle to deal with in our criminal justice system and our public health system," she told a local newspaper editorial board this week, according to a transcript of the meeting provided by her office. "The legal gun shops in suburban Cook County are a conduit for crimes in Chicago. There's no way around it."

Preckwinkle declined to speak with The Associated Press ahead of the announcement Thursday, but her spokeswoman Kristen Mack confirmed the details of the plan.

Mack said the office has found no other jurisdiction in the nation that has imposed a tax on bullets, even though several have considered it. Legislation on such a tax was previously introduced by state lawmakers in Springfield, but it was never been voted on, she said.

Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, scoffs at such talk, saying the tax wouldn't do anything to address gang violence but would harm local businesses and law-abiding citizens.

6 dead, at least a dozen wounded in less than 24 hours in Chicago

"If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs," he said. "All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin."

One suburban gun shop owner agreed, saying that his customers, many of whom are hunters and police officers, will simply go elsewhere.

"Who's going to come to Tinley Park to buy ammunition," said Fred Lutger, the owner of Freddie Bear Sport in that suburban Chicago community.

Chicago Searches For Ways to End Gun Violence And, said Lutger of that money going toward treating gunshot victims, "Why should be paying for gang bangers shooting each other? You're taxing law-abiding citizens for what criminals are doing."

Gun rights advocates spent years challenging in court Chicago's handgun ban, which was ultimately overturned in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lutger said a lawsuit was certain. Pearson said he and others started talking about a legal challenge as soon as they heard Preckwinkle was considering the tax.

Even Preckwinkle seemed resigned to a legal challenge in her comments to the newspaper board.

"You can't make decisions based on the basis of whether or not somebody's going to sue you or then you'll never do anything," she said.

18. Compliance: Banks and "concealed carry" laws

Bill Watkins emailed me this:


From ABA Banking Journal:

By Leslie Callaway
October 12, 2012

Is your bank allowed to post a sign barring guns in the building? You have to know your state law before you can answer the question.

Laws allowing firearms to be carried into banks concern many bankers. Love them or hate them, concealed carry laws that allow citizens of a state to bear arms are here to stay.

Because of this, banks are faced with many questions regarding compliance with such laws and how to best protect the bank's customers and employees. The purpose of this FAQ is not to answer questions about specific states' laws, but to address some of the more common questions that bankers ask and issues that banks must consider in setting bank policy. Forty-nine states have concealed carry laws on the books. (Illinois is the only state that does not, nor does Washington D.C.) All answers provided in this article are as of October 2012.

Q. Are banks federal facilities that can prohibit firearms?
A. No. According to 18 United States Code Section 930: "Possession Of Firearms And Dangerous Weapons In Federal Facilities," the term "federal facility" means "a building or part thereof owned or leased by the federal government, where federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties." Therefore, the Federal Reserve qualifies as a federal building, but a bank does not.

Q. Our state just adopted a concealed carry law. Can the bank post signage on our door stating that carrying guns inside the bank is illegal?
A. No, not unless your state law explicitly prohibits concealed weapons in banks. Alabama and Nevada are examples of two states that do not contain restrictions on carrying firearms in banks. In addition, these states and others have laws that stipulate that "No Firearms" signs are unenforceable unless posted on property where firearms are banned by state law.

For example, a school can post a sign stating that firearms are illegal, and the sign has the force of law, because the code stipulates that weapons cannot be carried in schools. If a bank is not one of the places where weapons are prohibited, a sign may not be posted that states firearms are illegal.

Some states (Wisconsin, for example) allow businesses to prohibit a concealed carry licensee from carrying a firearm onto the premises. Signs must be prominently posted near all common entrances to buildings and, if applicable, near all probable points of access to "grounds."

In the absence of posted signs prohibiting weapons, concealed carry licensees can lawfully carry weapons onto the premises.

Q. Can my bank limit or prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons on our premises?
A. Again, this is defined under state law. In most cases, it is illegal to carry inside a federal building, in or near a school, in or near a place of worship, or in restricted areas of an airport. Some states, such as Michigan, do explicitly prohibit weapons in banks, but most do not. The laws of each state may vary: Banks need to know the law in the state(s) where their branches are located.

Q. Does a bank have any recourse if it posts signage that disallows firearms but becomes aware that an individual has carried a firearm into the bank?
A. A bank may apply whatever restrictions it wants. If signage is not specifically allowed by state law, banks may still post a sign stating that no firearms are permitted (although they can't say it's "illegal," as discussed above). Whether or not these restrictions violate someone's constitutional rights is for the courts to decide.

Nevertheless, a sign barring weapons has no force of law unless specifically provided for in the individual state's law. If a bank posts "No Firearms" signage but concealed carry laws do not prohibit firearms in banks, a bank that becomes aware that a customer is "carrying" may ask the customer to leave. If the customer refuses, bank personnel may have recourse under criminal trespass laws. A bank should consult legal counsel before deciding to take any such action.

Q. Can a bank prohibit its own employees from carrying concealed weapons?
A. In most states, employers can prohibit an employee licensed to carry from carrying a concealed weapon, or a particular type of concealed weapon, in the course of employment, or restrict concealed weapons in secured areas of the job site.

However, some states do have laws protecting the employee who wants to carry inside his or her own vehicle, even if that vehicle is used in the course of employment or whether the motor vehicle is driven or parked on property used by the employer.

Q. If a bank does not prohibit firearms, is the bank protected in the case of a gun-related crime?
A. As an incentive to allow concealed carry, some states have granted businesses statutory immunity from any liability arising from the decision to not prohibit concealed carry.

There may, however, be reputational issues associated with allowing concealed carry, including a potential negative perception of the safety of the premises. Insurance costs may also be a factor (a bank's insurance costs may increase if firearms are permitted).

Q. Does an individual entering a bank have to notify the bank that he or she is carrying a concealed weapon?
A. Generally, no.

Most states do not require that a person legally carrying a firearm inform a business that they are carrying when they enter that business premises. Some states stipulate that a permit holder carrying a concealed handgun is only required to inform a peace officer or emergency services personnel unless they are physically unable to do so. Other states stress that permit holders should inform police officers that they are carrying legally in order to prevent an unwarranted arrest for illegal carry, but are not required to do so.

Q. What weapons can a person with a concealed carry license carry?
A. This may vary by state, but generally a person may carry a handgun; an electric weapon such as a Taser; a knife; or a billy club. Switchblade knives, machine guns, or short-barreled shotguns or rifles are usually banned.

Q. Where can I find information about gun laws in the states where my bank is located?
A. Check with your bank's legal counsel or your state attorney general's website. You can also link to a summary of your state's law using or search for state gun control laws at

19. Fairfax County Police on gun safety

Overall, pretty well done. Based on a few incidents where Fairfax County police have had negligent discharges, with some being fatal, hopefully their own officers are being given the following advice, too.

From Fairfax County:

Gun Safety Starts at Home

The Fairfax County Police Department has seen an increase in firearms related accidents which occur in residences. While we enjoy our freedom as US Citizens to own firearms, utmost safety should be exercised when handling firearms, especially at home. The Fairfax County Police Department would like to further promote this safety by giving citizens in Fairfax County safety tips when handling firearms in their home.


- Always treat guns as if they are loaded. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Whether you are shooting or simply handling a gun, never point it at yourself or others. Common sense should dictate which direction is safest. In a single family or townhouse for example, the lowest floor of the residence such as the basement is generally the safest place to point the gun. Being mindful of the fact that a bullet can penetrate ceilings, floors, walls, windows and doors.

- Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Whether loading or unloading a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard alongside the gun. Do not touch the trigger.

- Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. If you do not know how to check to see if a gun is unloaded, leave it alone. Carefully secure it, being certain to point it safely and to keep you finger off the trigger. Seek the advice of a person in the household who is knowledgeable in handling firearms for assistance. [PVC: Keep in mind that when a gun is being carried for self-defense, it is "in use."]

- Keep firearms secured in approved gun lockers or safes. Keep ammunition separated. By separating ammunition from the firearm, it will further ensure safety in the household in case there is any unauthorized handling of the firearm. Gun locks are also encouraged as an added level of security.


In a home where guns are kept, an even higher degree of safety must be exercised when there are children in the household. It is critical that parents accept this responsibility to learn, practice and teach gun safety rules to ensure their children's safety to a much greater extent.

Speak with your children about gun safety. Talking openly and honestly about gun safety with your child is usually more effective. Telling them to stay out of the area of the house may stimulate a child's natural curiosity to investigate it further.

When giving a safety lesson to your children, explaining the rules and answering their questions will help remove the curiosity regarding guns. Any rules you set for your children to follow should also apply to any friends who visit the home.

It is also important to discuss the use of guns on television as opposed to gun use in real life. Firearms are often handled inappropriately or carelessly in movies and in television. Explain to the child the difference between real life results and what happens in a movie or television.

If you decide that your child is not ready to engage in this type of conversation, teach them to follow The NRA's Eddie Eagle Gunsafe program instructions:

STOP! - DON'T TOUCH - Leave the Area - Tell an Adult.

Lastly, we would like to note a few code sections that relate to firearms in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

18.2-56.2 - Allowing access to firearms by children; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person to recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of fourteen. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

18.2-56.1 - Reckless handling of firearms.

It shall be unlawful to for any person to handle recklessly any firearm as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.

18.2-279 - Discharging firearms or missiles within or at building or dwelling house. If any person maliciously discharges a firearm within any building when occupied by one or more person in such a manner as to endanger the life or lives of such person or persons, or maliciously shoots at or throws any missile at or against any dwelling house or other building when occupied by one or more persons, whereby the life or lives of any such person or person may be put in peril, the person so is guilty of a Class 4 Felony.

The safety of our citizens we serve in Fairfax County is paramount. These safety tips are not intended as a complete course in gun safety and are not a substitute for formal qualified instruction in handling, the use or storage of firearms. These safety tips should be considered to minimize the chance of an accident occurring at home.

20. Gun goes off In Carroll County McDonald's

I strongly suggest that you only carry handguns that have automatic drop-safeties on them. Most modern handguns, such as Glocks, Kahr Arms, Sig, and Ruger, have drop safeties. But mechanical devices can fail. When I teach gun-safety classes, I tell my students to check that the drop safety on their handgun is working each time they clean their gun. (There is usually a button on the bottom of the slide of a semi-automatic pistol that prevents the firing pin from going forward unless that button is pressed by the trigger mechanism when the trigger is being pulled. You can push that button manually to test that it is working properly. It should block the firing pin when not pressed, allow the firing pin to move forward when pressed, and returning to blocking the firing pin when released. Revolvers have a "transfer bar" that rises up in front of the hammer when the trigger is pulled. It should retract when the trigger is released.)

Also keep your gun in a secure holster, so it can't just fall out onto the floor. This woman was really lucky that no one was hurt.


October 15, 2012

Customers having lunch at the Carrollton McDonald's received quite a shock last week after a handgun fell from a woman's purse and discharged inside the restaurant.

The Carroll County Central Dispatch received a call at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday that a woman fired a gun into the building at McDonald's. Carrollton Police officers responded to the scene and determined that a customer reached into her purse to retrieve something and the weapon fell out.

As it hit the floor, the gun discharged and a bullet struck the side of a leather chair. Nobody was injured.

Police recovered the .22 caliber revolver from the floor and unloaded the weapon. The woman, who was from Ohio, did have a valid carry concealed deadly weapon permit. Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite said his department consulted with the Commonwealth Attorney's office and determined there was no criminal behavior associated with the discharge. The gun was returned to the woman.

21. Trigger-happy restaurant owner definitely does not think the customer is always right

Who needs a gun in a restaurant? Might be the customers who do.

Jack Doyle emailed me this:


From The Consumerist:

By Mary Beth Quirk
October 17, 2012

Disputes with customers are common, sure - disagreements about the quality of meals or service are bound to happen in any restaurant setting. But police say the owner of one eatery took an argument with two customers a step too far when he fired a gun at their vehicle as they left the restaurant. Somewhat of an overreaction, no?

Police in Winter Park Village, Fla. say the two customers argued with the owner of a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar over the bill and everything went downhill from there. They say they weren't happy with their food, and while one man paid, the other didn't because he didn't want to pay for food he didn't eat. Ostensibly, he wasn't not eating because he was full, but rather objected to its quality.

"I never expected that I would receive that type of treatment because I complained about a meal; that my life would be put in danger," one of the men told WTSP News. "They begin harrassing us and cussing at us and telling us to leave their restaurant and when we got in the car to leave, they began beating the car and then they shot at the car."

And yup, news footage shows there is indeed, a bullet hole in the car's bumper.
The owner told police he was only firing because he thought the customers were trying to run him over with their car on the way out. That reason didn't fly, and cops arrested the owner and charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and another employee with criminal mischief.

22. Neighbors' altercation ends with one shot and killed

One person seemed to have forgotten that generally a gun trumps a knife.

Walter Jackson emailed me this:


By April Kellogg
October 19, 2012

APOLLO BEACH (FOX 13) - One man is dead and the neighbor that did the shooting is not facing charges at least for now.

It happened around 6 p.m. in Apollo Beach, and authorities tell us it could possibly involve a Stand Your Ground argument.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, David Cockerham, 67, was out walking his dog along Silver Falls Drive when neighbor John Gallik, 52, confronted him.

"Some kind of altercation broke loose and resulted in one man being shot and killed," said Hillsborough Sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon.

Detectives say the dog was startled and knocked over a sign blocking the sidewalk, and then Gallik got angry, yelling profanities, charging Cockerham and pulling out a knife. According to detectives, Cockerham took a step backward to create a distance between the two.

However, Gallik attacked him and threatened to cut his throat, detectives say. When Gallik charged him, detectives say Cockerham opened fire with a .38 caliber revolver that was in his pocket. Detectives say Gallik was shot once and died at the scene.

Cockerham immediately called 911 to alert them of the altercation, detectives say. He has not been charged with a crime as the investigation continues.

"So there's a lot of components in the investigation, and once those all come together a determination will be made whether this was a Stand Your Ground self-defense, or in fact someone ends up getting charged with some level of homicide," McKinnon said.

Neighbors tell us Gallik has had problems with many people in the past, and they say his house was in disrepair and his home in foreclosure.

The case is heading to the state attorney's office.

23. Who needs a gun at the beauty salon?

Steve Rouse emailed me this:


From Comcast:

By Kyle Hightower & Suzette Laboy
October 18, 2012

A gunman opened fire at a central Florida beauty salon Thursday, killing three women and wounding the manager, who had asked for a restraining order against him, police said. After the rampage, the gunman went to a friend's house and killed himself.

Authorities said the shooting was part of a domestic dispute, but did not elaborate. The gunman, identified by police as Bradford Baumet, was served with a domestic violence injunction Oct. 9 and scheduled to be in court Thursday for a hearing with the salon's manager, Marcia Santiago. Their relationship was not immediately clear.

About two hours before the hearing, Baumet, 36, entered Las Dominicanas M & M Salon in Casselberry and started shooting, police spokeswoman Sara Brady said. Two women hid inside a bathroom and one ran outside through a back door.

Santiago, 44, was in serious condition at a hospital. She was shot five times, according to her ex-husband, William Ayala, who spoke to her sister. Ayala said he had a daughter with Santiago and the girl lived with him.

"I heard he was violent and had a criminal record," he told The Associated Press.

Records in Florida and Rhode Island show Baumet has been previously arrested for domestic assault, felony assault, stalking, burglary and drug possession.

Police identified two other victims as 52-year-old Gladys Cabrera, a customer and 29-year-old Noelia Gonzalez-Brito, a salon employee. Authorities did not immediately identify the fourth woman who died.

Shortly after the shooting, about two dozen mourners gathered near the salon, located in a strip mall. Police taped off the parking lot and officers stood guard outside the business. Yellow paper covered up some of the glass windows. A Dominican Republic flag hung in the storefront along with a neon sign that read: Hair Cut. Color. Perm.

Calls to the salon's owner also went unanswered. A video posted on the salon's website shows a woman explaining in Spanish the services offered at the salon for men and women.

Casselberry is about 15 miles northeast of Orlando.

A witness to the salon shooting told the Orlando Sentinel ( he heard gunshots before seeing the gunman flee.

"We saw the guy with the gun in his hand ... coming this way ... on foot with the gun in his hand," said Juan Diaz, who was at a nearby store at the time of the shooting. He said he went into the salon once the gunman left and saw "a bunch of dead bodies."

When Baumet went to his friends' house, he did not threaten them, but said "he had some problems, problems he could not remedy," Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Heather Smith said.

Baumet was jailed in Orange County on Oct. 14 after an arrest for driving on a suspended license. He was released the following day after posting $250 bond and sentenced to time-served.

A phone number listed for Baumet was disconnected.

A year ago in Orange County in Southern California, an angry ex-husband donned a bulletproof vest before killing his ex-wife and six of her fellow stylists and patrons at a hair salon, police said. Scott Dekraai is also accused of killing a man in the parking lot. He is awaiting trial on murder charges.

24. Bringing guns to a fight

Dave Newlin emailed me this:


A local 17 year old, Rhett Goldizen, was shot and killed when guns became involved in an argument at his home in the middle of the night, on October 18th.


Bringing guns to a fight
By Hattie Cheek
October 19, 2012

"You may escalate the situation." says Captain Al Sibert. [PVC: Is that why police carry guns - to "escalate the situation?"]

Having people shot and killed in our area is not a common occurrence.

"When you bring a gun, you are bringing a gun to a gun fight. You are making it a gun fight, by bringing that weapon there. You have to be cautious about what you do when you bring that." he says.

Bill Randolph owns Stonewall Arms. He says if you're going to carry a gun, you better be prepared for what could happen. "Never put the finger on the trigger unless you intend to fire it. Never point the gun at anything you don't want to kill. Always know where that round is going to go." He says guns are not scare tactics; you only pull the gun out unless you're ready to use it. "You're responsible for that round once it's fired. Ultimately where it ends up, is your responsibility."

Randolph says when deaths like Rhett Goldizen's happen, people who have been thinking about getting a gun, usually go get one. "We all want to be safe. We all want to be secure in our homes. In today's society you don't necessarily know your neighbor like you used to."

If you feel like you could be in trouble, you need to call 911, and not take matters into your own hands. [PVC: Self-defense is NOT "taking matters into your own hands." This is confusing vigilantism with self-defense, two very different things.]

"Obviously it didn't end well for the 17 year old; still, those are the things that happened. In a gun fight anything can happen." says Sibert. [PVC: Actually that is true in a non-gun fight, too. Plenty of people are beat to death each year.]

25. Of Arms and the Law: Brady Campaign

Paul Henick emailed me this:


Dennis Henigan has left Brady?

Either that or he's taken a cut in pay.

Either way, I'm not shedding any tears.

From Of Arms and the Law:

By David Hardy
October 15, 2012

Related to my post on Brady Campaign's collapsing finances, Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned points out that Dennis Henigan has left Brady Campaign. I'd add that in previous IRS Form 990s Sarah Brady was listed in the top five staffers receiving salaries, and she now has vanished, either going unpaid or at least with greatly reduced salary. Between those moves and borrowing a quarter of its budget, it has all the marks of an organization on the verge of going under.

Bitter also notes that it's strange the way Henigan has been "airbrushed" off the Brady homepage. I find it strange that the guy who really put the organization on the map -- "Pete" Shields -- has gotten the same treatment, given scant mention in its material. Way back, 30+years ago, I debated Pete. He took them from a tiny organization into a fairly big one, recruited the Bradys, handed it over to them, and today is barely acknowledged. A personal beef -- we may have been on different sides, but I found him rather likable.

26. Socialism: Against gold, guns, and God

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From American Thinker:

By Virginia Prodan
October 13, 2012

Twenty-four years ago, I was a political refugee exiled from communist Romania to freedom in America. But today, America is in need of freedom. Socialism is spreading in America like a horrible sickness. It is time for those of us who experienced socialism to speak up.

Socialism is a false ideology and is contrary to the American capitalism system. American capitalism promotes free-market and individual freedom, while the Socialist system replaces the free market with government control and eradicates private property, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, religious rights, and national self-determination.

Romania was once a rich capitalist country, with a free-market economy, good health care, and a great school system. Bucharest, the capital, was called "Little Paris." But soon after Nicolae Ceausescu was elected president in 1965, everything changed.

Socialism is against wealth. It confiscates and distributes its citizens' wealth, destroying productivity and individual self-worth. In the name of promoting "fair share," "justice," and "equality," socialism turns most of its people equally into poor people, while the elite leaders enjoy a lavish lifestyle.

Ceausescu governed Romania with an iron fist. He nationalized big areas of our economy, eliminating the free-market economy with new laws that suffocated many corporations. Government-controlled businesses had to abide by the government's request, rules, and regulations and had to produce low-quality products that we, the customers, were forced to buy at a price established by the government.

In short, Ceausescu ruined our economy. We experienced the end of competition and choices.

Under Ceausescu's strict Socialist control system, Romania quickly experienced a drastic shortage of food, fuel, energy, medicine, and all the other necessities. Soon many stores had empty shelves, or next to nothing. Many times people formed long lines waiting for hours in front of the empty stores, hoping the stores would be replenished soon. When the stores did have something on the shelves, the purchase process was frustrating and time-consuming.

Ceausescu turned our schools into a state-owned system. The teacher's role was to indoctrinate the students in socialist ideology and report parents who dared to complain. Parents had no voice in their kids' education. Parent-teacher relationships were gone, replaced with total government control.

Presented as a "humanitarian program," our health care system was changed into a national health care system. The patient-doctor relationship vanished, as did the freedom to chose your own doctor. The government ran hospitals, and medications were rationed.

Socialism is against guns. Again citing a "humanitarian" purpose (too many people or kids killed or hurt by guns), the Socialists in power immediately established gun control in Romania. A special police system called the Securitate controlled and silenced everyone, including the media. The Securitate was the dictator's elite special forces, his loyalists, and a very privileged and powerful group. They were his eyes and ears and above the law. Any honest question or skepticism would be considered an anti-government statement, punishable by everything from loss of employment to execution.

So we lived in a constant state of anxiety and mistrust, where one could be denounced for anti-government statements by anyone: a neighbor, a classmate, even a family member. The only way to avoid punishment (usually jail or death) was to remain silent or blend in.

No free election was held in Romania during Ceaususcu's reign. Dissidents were killed, exiled, or put under house arrest. I was declared a dissident, as I defended freedom in Romania.

Finally, socialism is against God. According to the socialism system, there is no God and therefore no Bible. God was replaced with our socialist leader, the Bible with the Communist Manifesto. There was no sin; there were no morals or virtues with eternal values. Whatever advanced the Socialist philosophy was deemed and declared morally right.

By the time I graduated from a law school in Bucharest and was licensed as an attorney, Ceausescu had declared himself god, starting to jail Christians for having Bibles in their homes or going to church, and began to demolish churches in order to make room for his palace.

During my legal struggles as an attorney to stop Ceausescu and protect churches and Christians, many of my cases were the subject of broadcasts on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. They were part of U.S. State Department reports and United Nations reports on human and religious rights violations in Ceausescu's Romania. Because my work was considered "dissident activity," the Securitate sought to silence me by intimidation, house arrest, interrogation, and daily searches of my home and office. They even threatened to kill my family and me.

But by the grace of God, I am here, alive!

Those of us who have experienced Socialism and believe in freedom would rather die on our feet than live under any dictator's lies and chains. America's future is on the line-now is the time to speak up, stand up and act (vote) to save America!

27. Important safety notice - Recall of Walther PK380 pistols

Pat Webb emailed me this:


From Walther - Smith & Wesson:

PRODUCT: Walther PK380, .380 ACP

Walther has identified a condition that may exist in certain PK380 pistols which may permit a round to be discharged if the trigger is pulled, despite engagement of the manual safety. Walther has found that engagement of the manual safety may not prevent firing of a chambered round when the trigger is pulled.

This recall applies to Walther PK380, .380 ACP pistols manufactured by Carl Walther GmbH from May, 2012 to September, 2012, and which have a Serial Number ranging from PK 101201 to PK 112155


Any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential for causing injury or even death, and we ask that you stop using your pistol immediately. When unloading your pistol, please take extreme care to ensure that your firearm is pointed in a safe direction.

To facilitate inspection and the repair of your pistol, please contact Waltheramerica customer service department to receive instructions for the return of your pistol to Waltheramerica, care of Smith & Wesson.

Your pistol will be repaired at no cost to you. Your firearm will be returned as quickly and efficiently as possible. All shipping and repair costs will be covered by Waltheramerica.

To receive a FedEx pre-paid billable stamp and shipping instructions click here or contact Waltheramerica directly at 1-800-713-0356. Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive the shipping materials and information packet from us.

28. Caracal F and C pistol safety warning and recall notice

Richard Nascak emailed me this:


From Guns & Tactics:

October 19, 2012

Caracal USA has determined a potential condition of the trigger unit in a very limited number of Caracal F and C pistols that could possibly allow the pistol to fire when dropped onto a hard surface with a round in the chamber. Although Caracal USA has not received any reports of injuries, it is initiating this voluntary recall to protect the safety of its customers because of the remote possibility of an unintentional discharge occurring.

The affected Caracal pistols have serial numbers that begin with B, C, F, L, or M. If your pistol's serial number begins with one of these letters, please follow the following steps.

Only the Caracal F and C pistols with the serial numbers identified above are affected by this recall. If your pistol has a different serial number, it is not subject to the recall.

If you own a Caracal F or C pistol with a serial number identified as being affected by this recall, please do not load or fire your Caracal F or C pistol and contact us immediately to arrange to have the trigger unit replaced, completely free of charge, using the following steps:

Step 1 Contact us at 205-655-7050 (Monday-Friday 8-5 Central Standard Time), or at and provide the model and serial number of your pistol.
Step 2 After contacting us, we will send you a prepaid overnight shipping box with instructions so that you can return your pistol to us, free of charge.
Step 3 Your firearm will be returned as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, and to thank you for your patience and cooperation, we will send you a free magazine when we return your pistol to you.

For more information, you may visit or call Caracal USA at 205-655-7050.
About Caracal

Caracal is a small arms manufacturer, launched in Abu Dhabi in 2007. Working closely with the UAE Armed Forces, the company has developed a range of modern pistols in association with leading European weapon designers and international users. The Caracal range includes full and compact sized pistols, which have been sold in the Middle East region, Europe and South Africa. Caracal products are manufactured in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. Caracal International LLC recently launched Caracal USA, LLC, located in Trussville, Alabama, which serves as the importer, distributor, and service center for the US markets.

Caracal is also the parent company for the world-renowned German rifle and shotgun manufacturer, Merkel.

Caracal is a fully owned subsidiary of Tawazun, a strategic investment firm focused on the development of Abu Dhabi's industrial manufacturing and technology capabilities and knowledge transfer, with a specific focus on the defense sector.

For more information visit

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.

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