Elyria's Midway Mall Removes "No Guns" Signs
Written by Rich Hardway
Thursday, 22 March 2007
I have been asked to write an account about my experience in changing management’s opinion and policy on posting “No Guns” signs on the doors at Elyria's Midway Mall in Elyria, OH so others might learn from the way I handled the situation.
I was asked by Daniel White, OFCC Director-At-Large, to verify that the Midway Mall had indeed posted signs on the doors as reported by a member in the forums on the OFCC web site. He asked me if I would be willing to talk to someone about their policy if the doors were in fact posted.
I accepted his request on behalf of the members of OFCC and went to the mall that evening after work. I walked the perimeter of the mall to look at each door and indeed all but one was posted. I then went to the office of the mall but found it to be closed because it was after 5:00 PM.
I then decided this was a good thing because it gave me a chance to prepare what I wanted to say to the mall managers. I then went to the information booth where they rent the strollers and wheel chairs to ask who I might be able to talk to about the signs or someone in public relations. The lady handed me a business card for the assistant manager of the mall.
That night at home I developed my plan of action with the power points that I wished to cover in a meeting with him the next morning
The next morning bright and early I went to the mall wearing an OFCC shirt and a large smile on my face. I asked to speak with the gentleman on the card I received the night before. When he came to the counter, I introduced myself and asked him if we could sit down and discuss the mall’s new policy prohibiting legal concealed handguns.
We began our conversation on what OFCC is and represents. Then we began talking about the mall’s reasons for changing their policy and posting of the property. Within a few minutes, he stopped me and said that he wanted to bring in a couple other management members. After a brief introduction to the general manager, Mark, I began all over again. I asked them why they suddenly changed their policy. Mark said that they wanted to create a safer environment for their customers’ shopping experience. I asked them if they truly feel that they had achieved this goal by refusing to allow law-abiding citizens in the mall that had properly and legally obtained a permit from the state of Ohio to carry a concealed handgun. I went on to say that I don’t feel they did. They made a reference to the recent shooting in a Utah mall and that they did not want a similar action in their mall. I fully agreed with them that I also never want to hear or see such a thing in any mall.
I then countered with the facts. The facts are that a deranged teenager went to that mall with a premeditated plan to illegally assault and kill as many victims as he possibly could. If it was not for the fact that an off-duty police officer was dining in that mall at the time, many more innocent people would have become victims at the killer’s hands. The truth is that due to the off duty police officer’s ability to carry a concealed handgun, he was able to cut the rampage short until police arrived and put an end to the carnage. This man saved innocent lives.
I then asked them if they really think that any sign posted at the door of the Utah mall would have stopped the teen from entering that mall on that day with the small arsenal that he had to support his plan of terror. In fact, that mall did have a “No Weapons” policy. John Lott reported on his website and linked to a picture of the actual sign on the doors. You can view the sign by clicking here.
I asked both managers if they had ever read the concealed carry law, as I handed them a copy of it. Then I made the following statement: “People that have a license to carry a concealed firearm issued by the state of Ohio have obtained that license after successfully attending the mandatory class, been fingerprinted by their local Sheriff, and passed a complete background check that the Sheriff has performed.”
When someone has a license you know that that person is someone that has a clean background and has never been convicted of a serious crime. You can not say that about anyone who comes into your mall that has not received a license just off the fact they don’t have a license
Then I told them that people that have a license would do one of two things when they see the sign on the door. They will either return to their car and remove their sidearm, locking it in the trunk before returning to shop or they will do their shopping at a retailer that respects and supports their Second Amendment rights under the law.
Let’s look at Wal-Mart for a moment. I think we can all agree that Wal-Mart is one of the largest retails in the world and they understand the thinking here. They removed their signs and changed their policy to a pro-choice stance and with that they let the American people decide if they want to carry a concealed handgun or not with their license.
Although law-abiding people will honor your request to not bring a weapon into your mall, criminals will ignore your signs and do as they please. Which customers would you prefer do their shopping here?
The Manager was agreeing with what I was saying and he said that the mall would remove the signs and make changes to their policy as well.
Three hours later I received the following e-mail from him.
Thank you for coming in to see me today and addressing your concerns. After talking with you and considering the facts that you have voiced we have reconsidered our position and have elected to remove the signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons. They have all been removed today.
Our intention for posting the signage was an attempt to create a safer environment for our shoppers. However, your points are well taken and thus we have removed the signage.
We hope you and the other members of the O.F.C.C. will continue to consider the Midway Mall a safe place to shop in the future that does value and respect your rights under Federal and State laws. We recognize the fact as pointed out by you that people whom have been issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon are law bidding citizens and that’s the type of shoppers we want in our stores.
Mark J. Bressler
As OFCC members, we can all make a difference with a polite and understanding voice. The use of diplomacy with education and the truth must be our weapons of choice. The facts are a powerful thing when delivered with respect.
Mr. Hardway is a proud OFCC member that shows what one dedicated individual can achieve. This is his first article for our website.
Friday, March 30, 2007
In February, hunter and outdoorsman Jim Zumbo enraged shooters across the United States with comments appearing his now-discontinued blog on Outdoor Life. Since that fateful blog, Zumbo's professional life has changed - profoundly. A marquee career in hunting has effectively been reduced to nothingness. Television sponsors bolted, contracts were cancelled and a former front-man for hunting found himself the object of hatred and ridicule by shooters who felt betrayed by his comments.
Zumbo hasn't tried to shift the blame to anyone else. In fact, he pledged to go on the offensive to fight HR 1022, the newly introduced and significantly broadened, assault weapons ban.
Last week, Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a staunch opponent of firearms, used Zumbo's remarks to attack firearms owners, reading portions into the Congressional Record. Zumbo has fired back, sending an open letter to the United States Senate that responds to Levin's action and makes it plain that Zumbo isn't letting that action pass.
Last night, Zumbo provided us a copy of his response to Senator Levin. Today, in the sense of fairness, we offer it in its entirety - without comment.
An Open Letter to the United States Senate
Dear Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:
It recently came to my attention that one of your colleagues, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, has chosen to attack firearms owners using remarks I wrote in mid-February as his launch pad. As you probably know, Sen. Levin has been making anti-gun speeches every week for the past eight years because of a promise he made to the Economic Club of Detroit in May 1999.
Mr. Levin has an agenda, and he should have spoken to me before using my name in one of his speeches, especially since his remarks were entered into the Congressional Record. I would like my remarks here entered into the Congressional Record as well.
Sen. Levin is only one of 16 members of the Senate to vote against the Vitter Amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. This amendment prohibits the confiscation of a privately-owned firearm during an emergency or major disaster when possession of that gun is not prohibited under state or federal law.
Eighty-four senators voted for that amendment, inspired by the egregious confiscation of firearms from the citizens of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005. Those seizures, you will recall, led the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association to join in a landmark civil rights lawsuit in federal court that brought the confiscations to an abrupt end.
The taking of private property without warrant or probable cause - even firearms - was considered an outrage by millions of American citizens, and yet Sen. Levin joined 15 of his colleagues in voting against this measure. It is no small wonder that Sen. Levin gets an "F" rating from gun rights organizations. He would have American citizens disarmed and left defenseless at a time when they need their firearms the most, when social order collapses into anarchy and protecting one's self and one's family is not simply a right and responsibility, it becomes a necessity.
That in mind, Sen. Levin must know that almost immediately after I wrote those remarks, I recanted and apologized to the millions of Americans who lawfully and responsibly own, compete with and hunt with semi-automatic rifles. I took a "crash course" on these firearms and visited with my good friend Ted Nugent on his ranch in Texas, where I personally shot an AR-15 and educated myself with these firearms.
Some of us learn from our mistakes, others keep making them. Legislation to which Sen. Levin alluded, HR 1022, would renew the ban on so-called "assault weapons," and dangerously expand it to encompass far more perfectly legal firearms. For the Congress of the United States to even consider such legislation is an affront to every law-abiding firearms owner in this country.
This legislation that Sen. Levin appears to endorse is written so broadly as outlaw not only firearms, but accessories, including a folding stock for a Ruger rifle. As I understand the language of this bill, it could ultimately take away my timeworn and cherished hunting rifles and shotguns - firearms I hope to one day pass on to my grandchildren - as well as millions of identical and similar firearms owned by other American citizens.
It is clear to me that the supporters of this legislation don't want to stop criminals. They want to invent new ones out of people like me, and many of you, and your constituents, friends, neighbors and members of your families. They will do anything they can, go to any extremes they believe necessary, to make it impossible for more and more American citizens to legally own any firearm.
In his final paragraph, Senator Levin misrepresents what I said. I never spoke in favor of a general assault weapons ban. Again, I immediately apologized for my blog statement that was exclusively directed toward hunting and not gun ownership.
I will not allow my name to be associated with this kind of attack on the Second Amendment rights of my fellow citizens.
A few weeks ago, in a letter to Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, I promised to educate my fellow hunters about this insidious legislation "even if I have to visit every hunting camp and climb into every duck blind and deer stand in this country to get it done."
I will amend that to add that I will bring my effort to Capitol Hill if necessary, even if I have to knock on every door and camp in every office of the United States Senate. In promoting this ban, the Hon. Carl Levin does not speak for me, or anybody I know.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
"Guns do not save or secure livesIf you couldn't be bothered to read the whole bucket of tripe, this first paragraph pretty much sums up the whole article. Throw in three or four bogus statistics from the IANSA (no I won't link to them) and toss in a blender. Voila!
It is often said that everything's bigger in Texas - and without the assistance of Academy Award worthy films such as "Debbie Does Dallas" - some may believe this saying to be nothing more than a myth. But for the Texans who don't quite measure up there is always another way to compensate: own a gun. Because we all know how Texans love their guns, right?"
I commented on the article, but I seriously don't expect it to be posted. Below is my comment back to Mr. Seiber:
"What a self serving, smug little essay. Too bad your arguments are both disingenuous and puerile. First you start off with the tired old, "He must be compensating for something" gag. Grow up. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, leave the childish insults at the door.
There are many reasons that Americans own guns, hunting, target shooting, protection and just because they have a right to under The Bill of Rights. Rights I might add, that pre-existed the United States.
Do you have a degree in Philosophy Darren? Why your insistence that gun rights supporters have one? The facts are, it doesn't take a mental giant to understand that criminals are responsible for their crimes, not the tool they used. With your reasoning we should also ban pagers, cell phones and cars, since they are all used by criminals. While we're at it, let's ban swimming pools too since the risk of drowning in a pool is nearly 100 times higher than from a firearm-related accident for everyone, and nearly 500 times for ages 0-5.
Did you know that guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year, or 6,849 every day. Often the gun is never fired and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed. This includes 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9% of the time is the gun ever actually fired....and since you bring up Canada, "Statistics Canada, Oct. 1, 2003" States that the firearm homicide rate in Canada is virtually unchanged from before and after gun registration.
Saying "We are wrong because guns are wrong" is like saying "I am right because I'm right." Saying so doesn't make it so Darren. The “Kellerman study” you site used three non-random counties, a limited (266) case file, began with only cases where a death was involved, and had many other statistical weaknesses. This “study” also notes that the majority (54%) of the homicides were committed without firearms, and concluded that “household use of illicit drugs and prior domestic violence increase the risk of homicide.”
The British Home Office – not a “pro-gun” organization by any means, says that you are far more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a gun. In episodes where a robbery victim was injured, the injury/defense rates were:
Resisting with a gun 6%
Did nothing at all 25%
Resisted with a knife 40%
Non-violent resistance 45%
Also, the National Crime Victimization Survey states that when using guns in self-defense:
• 83% of robbery victims were not injured
• 88% of assault victims were not hurt
• 76% of all self-defense use of guns never involve firing a single shot
Based on your reasoning that the Second Amendment is no longer appropriate, I could also say that about the First Amendment. Which parts of The Bill of Rights should we keep? Using your very arguments I could also make a case (a weak one at that) that you should only be allowed to use quill pens and hand operated presses. And the internet? Fugetaboutit!
Your argument that gun owners are more likely to kill someone over an disagreement or a crying child is idiotic. Likewise, all men are not potential rapists, and all women are not potential prostitutes just because they have the required equipment. It's called "Transference" Darren, look it up. Anti-gun advocates have been crying this same old song and dance for years. Every time a state enacts a law allowing law abiding people to carry a concealed handgun, they scream that there will be blood running in the streets, that people will have shoot-outs over a stolen parking space and that fender benders will result in massacres. In fact Multiple victim public shootings drop in states that pass shall-issue CCW legislation. The anti's even admit that they were wrong, but they keep repeating it anyway. Saying something is so multiple times doesn't make it true. As a reference the Earth still isn't flat and still revolves around the Sun.
Your article is based on false assumptions derived from flawed statistics from people with an agenda . I'm sure I won't change your mind, but I would encourage you to discard the rhetoric and look at all the facts before coming to any conclusions. I would also encourage anyone reading this to do the same."
by Dave Workman
“I’m an idiot. I’m ignorant. My words obviously have come back to destroy my career.”
Thus was the observation of outdoor legend Jim Zumbo, who told Gun Week in an exclusive interview that he harbors no ill feelings toward the legions of angry gun owners whose backlash has possibly cost him his livelihood, and perhaps his reputation.
“I did it to myself,” he said. “I have nobody to blame.”
But in a candid conversation from his home in Wyoming, Zumbo said that the most important lesson he learned—and that he hopes will translate into action in defense of the Second Amendment in this country—is that “When the gun community acts and decides to take on an issue, this is proof positive they can make it work. I am proud of them.”
Stunning words from a man whose 42-year career came to a crashing halt within days of his ill-advised remarks against AR-15 rifles on an Outdoor Life Internet blog. Zumbo said his assignment was to write three of those columns each week, and on Feb. 16 when he came back from a long, grueling coyote hunt and had a spirited discussion about semi-auto rifles with the guide, he sat down and wondered, “What can I write for these guys? What the hell is controversial?”
He found out the hard way.
“They got me,” he said. “I used the word ‘ban’ which I should never have used, and I used the word ‘terrorist’ which I should never have used.”
He has publicly apologized on Ted Nugent’s Internet forum, and he offered the same apology to Gun Week and its readers. The experience has humbled him.
But the disaster to his career has not made Zumbo want to run and hide, though many of his critics say he should. Instead, Zumbo is going to use this experience to become what he hopes will be the worst nightmare that gun-grabbing politicians and gun control activists could imagine.
“I want to join the fight, do whatever it takes,” he said in earnest. “Let’s educate the other dumb people like me who didn’t know about AR-15s. I will lead that charge.
“I’m stupid,” he added, admitting that he has never had what some people might call a “fascination” with firearms. “From my ignorance, let’s enlighten everyone else.”
Zumbo said he could have retired a year ago, and he could do likewise today, but in his heart, he feels a responsibility to square himself, and use his energies to unite the hunting and shooting fraternities, which do not always see eye-to-eye, even in this controversy.
“I want to come out of this and make our gun and hunting community a better place, a more understanding place,” he said. “Within our community, some hunters don’t understand shooters, and some shooters don’t understand hunters…I have got to fix this.”
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
House Bill 1417 and Senate Bill 2356 are companion bills that have been introduced to stop businesses from searching customer and employee vehicles in parking lots and from taking punitive action against people who keep firearms in their vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes.
You may think this does not happen, but it does!
Below is a letter received by Marion Hammer, former NRA President and current Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, from Ernest J. Myers, Esq. Mr. Myers represents a couple who were fired from their jobs of 10 years because they had a firearm in their locked vehicle on their employer’s property.
Please take the time to read this letter. This is the ugly truth of what is happening in Florida.
Dear Ms. Hammer:
I am an attorney in Orlando, Florida. I understand that you are supporting the proposed Personal Private Property Protection Act introduced to the Florida Legislature this year. I wanted to bring a matter to your attention that relates to this Bill.
I represent Doug and Linda Gray, a husband and wife who were both employed by the Walt Disney World Company. They worked similar shifts, and traveled to work together. The Grays had to begin their commute before sunrise, and had to travel through some less than safe areas. In fact, they had been accosted on their commute to work in the past. They contacted law enforcement about this and were advised that they should purchase a firearm for their own protection during their commute. Based on this advice, Mr. Gray purchased a revolver to protect he and his wife. When the Grays arrived at work, the revolver was locked in their vehicle.
The Grays were both hired by Disney on November 13, 1996. They met at Disney during the final entry interview process, and were later married. Just 17 days before their 10th anniversary of employment at Disney, they were both terminated. While Mrs. Gray was being asked about an absence from work, she responded that her husband was unable to attend, and she didn't feel safe traveling into work without him. Upon further questioning, Mrs. Gray revealed that Mr. Gray had the firearm in their vehicle for their protection. Disney had the vehicle searched, and the firearm was found, locked in the vehicle where the Grays indicated it was. Both Mr. and Mrs. Gray were terminated. Additionally, Disney had the Orange County Sheriffs issue a trespass warning against Mr. and Mrs. Gray, so that neither could step foot on any Disney property again.
I attempted to intervene on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Gray. However, Disney would not allow me to participate in their review of this incident. Disney claimed that they had a zero tolerance policy with respect to firearms on their property. They would not listen when they were told that the revolver belonged to Mr. Gray, and that Mrs. Gray had never even handled the same. They would not listen when they were told about the Grays' commute and how it was dangerous for them to travel to work at the times they were scheduled.
Moreover, Disney showed no leniency toward the Grays whatsoever. The punishment for Mrs. Gray was the same as for Mr. Gray, because she knew that he kept a firearm in the vehicle and the vehicle was titled in both of their names. Disney did not take the Grays' years of service into account when they were terminated. Disney did not take into account the fact that the Grays voluntarily reduced their hours in the post-September 11, 2001 tourist slump, so that Disney would not have to lay off as many employees. Disney would not even withdraw the trespasses against the Gray so that they could bring their grandchildren to the parks when they visited on vacation. Mr. Gray was originally granted unemployment compensation, but Disney fought that as well and now Mr. Gray is obligated to pay back the unemployment benefits he was paid.
Doug and Linda Gray are good people. They had recently bought a house and were working hard to pay for the same. They worked for Disney for almost 10 years, and they no plans to change their careers. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect world. The Grays had been threatened by criminals on their commute to work during the pre-dawn hours. Mr. Gray purchased a firearm for the sole purpose of protecting himself and his wife so that they could continue to show up for work at Disney. However, when Disney discovered that there was a firearm in its parking lot, Disney fired these hard working, long time employees without hesitation, without remorse, and without any recourse. When Disney was given the opportunity to show leniency, it failed to do so.
In short, Mr. Gray lost his job because he wanted to protect himself and his wife when they were traveling to and from work. Mrs. Gray lost her job simply because her husband wanted to keep her safe during their commute. Their lives have been thrown into upheaval because they were willing to take responsibility for their own safety. Certainly Disney did nothing to keep them safe during their commute; to the contrary, in complete disregard for the safety and welfare of its employees, Disney prohibits employees, such as the Grays, from protecting themselves while traveling to and from work.
The Grays understand that there was no law preventing Disney from terminating them as it did. However, they have asked me to share their story with you and with the Florida Legislature, so perhaps other good citizens of Florida are protected from similar actions in the future.
If I can provide any additional information on this topic that would be useful to you or the Florida Legislature, please do not hesitate to contact me. Until then, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Ernest J. Myers, Esq.
Orlando, FL 32801
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
By Nick Allen
March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ashgar Jilow used to sell stab-proof vests to nightclub bouncers and security guards at his London military surplus store. Now his clients are kids as young as 10 who fear they're going to be knifed at school or on the street.
``Some of them are so tiny the vests don't even fit under their school uniforms,'' said Jilow, 55, who sells about three of the 120-pound ($230) vests a week. ``Parents don't know what to do to keep their kids safe.''
Every week in London 52 teenagers are victims of knife crime, according to the Metropolitan Police. A child is stabbed to death in Britain every two weeks and knife killings outnumber gun homicides three to one, said Norman Brennan, a police officer and director of the Victims of Crime Trust.
``Knife crime is out of control and kids carry them like fashion accessories,'' Brennan said. The youngest child to be suspended from school for brandishing a blade was just five.
Last week two teenagers were knifed to death in London. Adam Regis, 15, was attacked March 17 on his way home from the movies in Newham, an east London borough that is being regenerated by the 2012 Olympics. He called his girlfriend for help as he bled to death, police said.
Three days earlier, Kodjo Yenga, 16, was stabbed to death as a gang of boys and girls chanted ``Kill him, kill him'' in Hammersmith, west London, where homes sell for more than 1 million pounds, eyewitnesses said.
Statistics indicate that more children are reaching for blades as gang culture spreads. Some 42 percent of boys aged between 11 and 16 in state-funded schools admit to having carried a knife, according to the Youth Justice Board, which oversees punishment of child offenders.
Natashia Jackman, then 15, was stabbed in the eye with a pair of scissors at Collingwood College in Camberley, Surrey, by a 14- year-old girl who didn't like her taste in music.
``I came from a private school,'' Natashia said in court, according to a transcript of her testimony. ``When I started realizing that there were gangs and when I realized that stabbing was common in state schools, then I started worrying about it.''
Her assailant was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail in December.
Some students have brought machetes, combat knives, swords and sharpened screwdrivers at school, police say. Girls have been caught with blades hidden in lipstick and mascara tubes.
``I wouldn't blame any parent for giving their child a stab vest if it makes them feel a bit more secure,'' said Nancy Odunewu, a pastor whose son Emmanuel, 19, was stabbed to death in Lewisham, southeast London, in November 2006. ``If I could have done anything to save my son then I would have.''
She said all schools should have security guards and airport- style metal detectors. George Mitchell School in Leyton, east London, became the first in the capital to use handheld metal detectors for random checks.
Juvenile knife crime first grabbed the public's attention in the U.K. when 10-year-old Damilola Taylor was fatally stabbed by other youngsters on his way home from school in Peckham, east London, in November 2000.
Prime Minister Tony Blair opened a community center named after Damilola in 2001. In February 2004, a 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of stabbing another teenager at the facility.
In 2004, 170 pupils between the ages of 12 and 14 were convicted of possessing knives, double the 2000 figure. Last year, one teacher was injured by a pupil every school day. In the 12 months to March 2006, knife crimes rose 73 percent, according to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London.
The report said the government's strategy for tackling knife crime was ``incoherent'' and criticized the lack of data. Home Secretary John Reid announced March 19 that, beginning in April, police will record knife crimes as a separate offense for a ``more detailed understanding'' of the problem.
The government's Violent Crime Reduction Act, passed last year, increases the maximum sentence for possession of a knife in a school or public place to four years from two and raises the minimum age for buying a knife to 18 from 16. An amnesty last year brought in more than 100,000 weapons.
Kids Company, a south London charity partly funded by the government, works to turn around the lives of violent children who have been expelled from school.
``At street level, children are getting killed,'' said Camila Batmanghelidjh, a psychotherapist who runs the program. ``They are sleeping with knives under their pillows because they don't feel safe.''
There's no doubt schools are getting more violent, said Jilow, whose military supply store has received 400 enquiries from parents about protective products.
``The 15- and 16-year-olds have started to ask for bullet- proof vests,'' he said. ``Some want it for protection, some as a status symbol. One group wanted to buy a gun. They wouldn't believe me when I said I didn't sell them.''
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Belvidere, N.J, March 19, 2007—In a landmark written opinion filed
February 27, a New Jersey Superior Court recognized the Second
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and held that a citizen's
Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms cannot be involuntarily
waived under a New Jersey firearms forfeiture law.
"The recognition of Second Amendment rights in New Jersey is long
overdue," said attorney Evan F. Nappen, whose law firm (including
Richard V. Gilbert, Esq. and Louis P. Nappen, Esq.) represented
appellant Dennis W. Peterson in the Warren County case. "In this
appeal, the Second Amendment was applied to New Jersey via the
Constitutional doctrine of fundamental fairness, overcoming a
significant legal hurdle needed for the Federal Bill of Rights to
apply to the State."
This decision coincides with the recent Parker v. District of
Columbia case, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia struck down a decades-old handgun ban in Washington,
D.C. on the ground that it violates the Second Amendment.
"The legal significance of the Second Amendment is finally being
recognized by American courts," Nappen continued, "and this New
Jersey case is part of a growing trend in American jurisprudence."
In the New Jersey case, the appellant was denied re-issuance of his
Firearms Purchaser ID card based on his consent to relinquish
firearms seized in a domestic dispute in 2000. In 2004, New Jersey
enacted a law barring Firearms Purchaser ID cards to any person
whose firearms have been seized and not returned.
The Honorable John H. Pursel, J.S.C. held that the statute did not
apply and the Firearms Purchaser ID card should be issued because
the appellant did not know that his prior consent to relinquish his
firearms would subject him to permanent loss of his Second Amendment
rights under the 2004 law.
The ruling states in key part:
"Fundamental fairness is a doctrine to be sparingly applied. It is
appropriately applied in those rare cases where not to do so will
subject the defendant to oppression, harassment, or egregious
deprivation." Doe v. Poritz, 142 N.J. 1 (1995), citing State v.
Yoskowitz, 116 N.J. 679, 712, 563 A.2d 1 (1989) (Garibaldi, J.,
concurring and dissenting). Egregious deprivation would surely be
the result if this applicant were precluded from obtaining a
firearms purchaser identification card by virtue of the fact that he
consensually surrendered his weapons at a time when it was
impossible for him to have known that such action would later
subject him to lifelong deprivation of his second amendment right.
Additionally, it is clear that in consenting to the disposition of
the weapons seized as a result of the temporary restraining order,
the applicant did not intend to waive his right to bear arms as
provided by the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He
therefore could not have knowingly, intelligently, or voluntarily
waived that right." (Emphasis added.) Click here for full text.
The Warren County Prosecutor has filed a notice of appeal in the
For more information, contact Evan F. Nappen at 732-389-8888.
Today, I had the displeasure of reading an opinion piece by him in The Seattle Times where he uses the Zumbo affair to urge hunters to "Stand Up" to the NRA. Below is my fisking, for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
In point of fact Mr. Schoenke, it was the gun owners themselves who were his undoing, not the NRA. From the time line I have, the NRA didn't even issue a statement on the matter until six days had passed. Numerous sponsors, including Remington and Gerber had already jumped ship at that point. Your assertion that it was the NRA who were his downfall just doesn't hold water. Also, Jim Zumbo himself has stated numerous times since then that "I was wrong - big time." He also goes on to say "The Second Amendment, which guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms, has nothing to do with hunting, but everything to do with gun ownership." What's that Ray? ...crickets from Ray Schoenke's corner.
Real hunters and shooters need to stand up to the NRA
By Ray SchoenkeBEFORE today's presidential candidates go courting the National Rifle Association for support (witness Mitt Romney's sudden enrollment), they should be aware of the case of Jim Zumbo. One of nation's most famous and respected hunting and outdoors journalists, Zumbo was professionally assassinated by NRA hysteria for simply uttering a single and — many hunters would say — reasonable point of view.
Special to The Times
Returning from a weekend hunting trip in which he witnessed people using semiautomatic, military-style weapons to hunt varmints, Zumbo dashed off a column for his blog on Outdoor Life in which he played devil's advocate, suggesting these weapons are not appropriate for hunting.Ray, that's just not true, and you know it. He did not witness these rifles being used to hunt varmints and he wasn't playing devils advocate. He heard from some of the people he was with about them. Incidentally, you know those sniper, I mean, "hunting" rifles you profess to love so much? All of today's "hunting" rifles are the end result of military-style weapons that have been turned into "hunting" rifles after the fact. For instance, the .30-06 cartridge was not developed for hunting, but you knew that, right?
The reaction was swift — and brutal. The NRA whipped up a frenzy on the blogosphere, where a rabid fringe element of the hunting community denounced Zumbo in the harshest terms, even attacking his patriotism. Bowing to the intense pressure, Outdoor Life magazine fired Zumbo from his writing job, where he had won a huge following. The gun-company sponsors of Zumbo's highly rated weekly television show promptly pulled their support, thus killing the program. The NRA very publicly suspended all ties with Zumbo and cited the incident as a warning to anyone — "even fellow gun owners" — who might cross its powerful lobby.Again Ray, that's just not true. As previously stated, the NRA didn't get it's butt into gear until six days had passed and they knew which way the wind was blowing. Blaming Zumbo's undoing on a "rabid fringe element" is just being divisive, but you already knew that, didn't you. In matter of fact, since hunters only make up 18 million out of 80 million gun owners in The United States, which group are you calling a "fringe" anyway? Your illogical and false attack on the gun owners and the NRA is showing your true colors. Be careful Ray, your bias is showing.
This incident is regrettable not only because it publicly humiliated an honorable sportsman, but also because it suggests that hunters and shooters are vindictive, close-minded zealots. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hunters and shooters are passionate about the Second Amendment, but we are not fascists. We recognize that reasonable people can disagree on reasonable issues.Yes people have the right to disagree, but Zumbo didn't just say that he didn't like AR15 type rifles. He called them "terrorist rifles" and called for their "banning". Maybe you're different Ray, but if someone called me a terrorist and called for the banning of a legally owned firearm, based on it's LOOKS alone, yeah, I'd be pretty pissed. Face it, the only real difference between an AR15 and a sniper, sorry, "hunting" rifle, is the looks and what material it's made of. A semi-automatic firearm functions the same no matter the cosmetics. That poll you site by Field & Stream lists 67% of Field & Stream subscribers considered "assault-styled" (you even admit it) rifles as not legitimate sporting arms. According to Field & Stream, their current readership is 9,991,000. So, 67% of 9,991,000 is 6,693,970 subscribers, or an estimated 8.37% of American gun owners. That leaves 91.63% of American gun owners, hardly a fringe element.
For instance, in a 2003 hunters poll by Field & Stream, the majority of hunters (67 percent) considered assault-styled rifles as not legitimate sporting arms. The NRA knows this, which is why it moved so quickly to preempt any debate — and threaten any sportsman who dared express another opinion.
When the NRA can destroy a man like Zumbo for making a single observation that is actually embraced by a majority of sportsmen, it's time for all genuine sportsmen and women to ask a few basic questions:What do you consider a "genuine" sportsman or sportswoman? Are they as close minded as you? Are they those 8.37% of American gun owners who "considered assault-styled rifles as not legitimate sporting arms"? I don't know if you're aware of it Ray, but Zumbo has made a 180 and freely admits the ignorance and prejudice he had. He even goes on to dedicate his influence in the hunting community to education about these "assault-style" rifles, and support for the second amendment. The second amendment, by the way, doesn't mention hunting at all, but it does mention the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. I suggest you read it, and the whole bill of rights, if you have the time. ...and again Ray, it wasn't the NRA who went after Zumbo, it was outraged gun owners whom he had called "terrorists". In actuality, since it wasn't the NRA who brought down Zumbo, the whole basis for your essay is invalid. Let me ask you something Ray, if hunters stand for the freedoms on which this country was built, do you support someones right to own an "assault-style" rifle and hunt with it if they want to? Think before you answer that question. Remember, that sweet scoped Remington 700 bolt action in .30-06 propped up in your gun safe was once a "sniper" rifle.
If the NRA's leaders can turn on a hunting legend like Zumbo simply for engaging in a reasonable and rational discussion of a growing issue, what can they do to you and me? Is this the type of organization sportsmen should look to for leadership? Is this the organization political candidates should cozy up to?
Hunters and shooters stand for the freedoms on which this country was built — freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to own a gun. We do not need a new brand of NRA "McCarthyism," or a loyalty oath for those involved in the outdoor world.
We need more freedom, not less. We need to unite behind what binds us together — not demonize anyone who offers a different viewpoint. As we fight to defend the Second Amendment, we also need to fight for access to and conservation of public lands.I agree, we need more freedom, not less. So why are you demonizing the NRA, and people who own "assault-style" rifles, based solely on their looks? Why would you throw one group of gun owners out of the life raft in the hopes that the sharks will eat you last? United we stand Ray, divided we fall. I submit Ray, that it is you who have turned your back on the second amendment and not the NRA. I have never once heard the NRA not support law enforcement and work to keep our communities safe. It was the NRA after all who devised most of today's training for law enforcement and ironically, hunter education. It was the NRA who developed the Eddie Eagle child gun education/safety course that has educated and made safe millions of American children. And Ray, as much as you'd like to believe so, the NRA doesn't support the right of criminals or terrorists to own guns. Hyperbole doesn't make it so. I, and every gun owner I know believes in not only the first and second amendments, but the entire bill of rights. There is common ground here, but no room for prejudice and bigotry. There is an opportunity for a dialog here, but leave your baggage at the door.
The NRA has turned its back on these goals — and on basic matters of public safety. Along with the right of gun ownership comes a basic civic responsibility to support law enforcement and keep our communities safe. Criminals and terrorists do not have a constitutional right to own a gun, but you would never know that listening to today's NRA leadership.
There is common ground to be found among those of us who are staunch defenders of the Second Amendment and policy makers and police chiefs who seek to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Although we will disagree on some issues, unlike the NRA's leaders, most hunters and shooters are not afraid of the dialogue; we believe in the First Amendment as well as the Second.
The character assassination of Jim Zumbo — whether you agree or disagree with him — is an outrage. The attacks on his patriotism were un-American. And the silencing of legitimate debate is the latest evidence that the NRA puts its own political power over the interests of its members.Jim Zumbo did it to himself. To quote Tamara, "On Friday evening, a gun writer who was apparently tired of his 42-year career put his word processor in his mouth and pulled the trigger." Remember Ray, everyone has the freedom of speech, but no one has the guarantee of an audience. ...and again (I'm tiring of reminding you now.) the NRA was the last one to the party. By the time the NRA issued their statement severing all ties with Jim Zumbo, it was already all over for him. Gun owners don't like to be bullied, silenced or sold out. Perhaps that is why they reacted as angrily as they did? I agree, we cannot let this pass. You would see everyone except you disarmed to save your precious sniper, "hunting" rifles and shotguns. A shotgun, by the way, as witnessed by the Utah Trolley Square Mall and Seattle Capitol Hill massacre, is much more effective at killing people than any so called "assault-weapon" could ever be. Guess what, after they come for us, they're coming for you.
Hunters and shooters don't like to be bullied, silenced or sold out. But that's what has happened. We cannot let it pass. The Zumbo case is a call to arms for every hunter and outdoorsman. Let's raise our rifles in defense of our freedoms, and speak out against any body — whether government or the NRA — that stifles honest discussion
Just as the founding fathers guaranteed our right to keep and bear arms, against all enemies, foreign or domestic, we will raise our arms in defense of all those who would see us stripped of our God given rights.
The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:
1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations."
1714: "The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world."
1812: "The equation of time ... is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial."
1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor."
1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding."
1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city."
The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
These two are related. Although the first victim wasn't able to defend herself, the other one was able to. Criminals target the elderly and infirm because they think they are easy prey, a gun is a great equalizer. As long as you are able to aim and pull the trigger, it makes no difference. These are only two stories from an estimated 2.5 Million cases every year, often with no shots fired, where law abiding citizens used firearms to protect and defend themselves.
Go to Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog to read more.
From the Bradenton Herald of March 13, 2007
Manatee home invasion suspect shot in ClewistonFrom MyFoxTampaBay.com of March 12, 2007
A string of home invasions that started in Manatee County ended when a homeowner shot one of the suspects in Clewiston, authorities said Monday.
Two 20-year-olds, a man and woman, were arrested and are suspected in the Saturday home invasion in Manatee County, where a 92-year-old man was beaten and pepper-sprayed, and another one in Polk County, where an 85-year-old woman was beaten.
According to the Clewiston Police Department, Luke Irons (pictured -Yuri), of St. Petersburg, and Chrisanthe Apergis, of Seminole, armed with a BB pistol and a tire iron, forced their way into the home of two elderly homeowners at about 7 p.m. Sunday.
The suspects struggled with the victims, a 74-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman.
The man broke free, grabbed a handgun and fired twice at Irons, hitting him both times, according to a police report.
Irons and Apergis fled the home, but Irons collapsed in the driveway, where the police found him.
The two are suspected in the Manatee County crime, as well as the similar home invasion in Lakeland on Sunday.
Manatee County sheriff's investigators on Monday were in Clewiston, a small agricultural town on the banks of Lake Okeechobee, taking statements for charges to be filed in Manatee County incident, according to Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office.
"We extremely pleased there were captured," Bristow said. "They picked on the vulnerable by preying on the elderly."
According to a Manatee sheriff's report, the Saturday attack occurred about 11 a.m., when the 92-year-old victim was in his carport, in the El Rancho Mobile Home Park, in the 500 block of 44th Avenue East, when a man asked to use his bathroom.
The elderly man said OK, but the suspect dragged him into the mobile home and started beating him, according to a sheriff's report.
During the attack, the man used pepper spray on the victim.
They were charged with attempted home invasion robbery, burglary and aggravated battery of an elderly person.
Home invasions stopped with gunfire
Cora Canale was in bed with her oxygen going when someone showed up in her bedroom.
"He stood over me and said, 'Come on, come on, you gotta give me the money,' and I wasn't even awake," the 85-year-old recalled.
What Canale thought was a dream at first became a real life nightmare. The intruder forced her into the living room and pushed her onto the floor next to the sofa.
"I thought at one time he was going to choke me because he stuck a pillow or something across my face. I couldn't breath and he finally let up," she said.
She took off her two diamond rings and hid them while he rifled through her belongings.
Investigators say Luke Irons and his girlfriend Chrisanthe Apergia of Pinellas County were behind the robbery at Canale's and at the homes of two other elderly people over the weekend.
Police say when Irons left Canale's home, he took her car. He left one he took in a Manatee County home invasion behind.
But after terrorizing older folks in the Bay Area, investigators say he met his match in Hendry County.
Clewiston police say when Irons was breaking into a home there, an elderly man shot him.
"So I hope it would say 'bad guys beware,'" offered Lakeland police spokesman, Jack Gillen.
Irons is now hospitalized in intensive care. He just got out of prison a few months ago.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
"Anyone who reads this blog semi-regularly has probably noticed that I really enjoy picking on the Gun Guys website. There's just something about the hysterical dissemination of outright lies (such as "where there is a firearm, there will be firearms violence."--the kind of thing they say all the time, and about as honest as saying "where there are children and parents, there will be child abuse.") that bothers me. Today, though, instead of making fun of the Gun Guys directly (which was kind of fun for awhile, but way too easy), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at their funding. Comments from 1957 Human provided much of the inspiration for this little project--thanks '57.
The Gun Guys are part of the cynically named "Freedom States Alliance" (that name might be the biggest lie of all), which also boasts such paragons of internet wisdom as 50 Caliber Terror--about the "horrific threat" of .50 caliber rifles (tell me, guys, have you uncovered a single case of someone in the U.S. being killed with one of those yet--get back to me when you do), License to Murder--which is their catchy name (they do like lurid sensationalism, don't they?) for laws that explicitly state that the burden of proof that a self-defense shooting was not self-defense lies with the prosecution (apparently, the whole concept of the presumption of innocence pending proof of guilt offends them), and (I'm not kidding here) Newspaper Loophole (apparently, the mythical "gunshow loophole" isn't quite silly enough for these geniuses, so now they're trying to make it impossible for people to place classified ads to sell their used guns).
Of all the Freedom States Alliance websites, the Gun Guys would seem to be the flagship--at least it gets updated regularly--the rest seem to be pretty static. The Freedom States Alliance, in turn, is apparently part of, or managed by Mark Karlin and Associates, a Chicago based public relations firm. The funding, or at least a vast chunk of it, comes from the Joyce Foundation. According to this, in 2006, the Joyce Foundation gave $650,000 to the Mark Karlin group, for the Freedom States Alliance (they also gave $185,000 to the same PR firm in 2003, "to help raise the media presence and capacity of Midwest gun violence prevention groups," although this may have been before the Freedom States Alliance was formed). Actually, a look on the Joyce Foundation's list of grants for public policy dealing with "gun violence" is something of a who's who of anti-gun groups--and the money involved is huge: $500,000 to the Violence Policy Center, a staggering $1,795,000, since July, 2004, to the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (here, here, here, and here)--and that's just a sampling--in all, there's over six and a quarter million dollars devoted just to pushing more restrictive gun laws (according to this)--and that doesn't count all the money for firearms "research."
Something I found interesting is that over half a million dollars (here and here) of that money has gone to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, just in the last year. That certainly sounds impressive, (or would--if one believes that an international group should have a say in U.S. public policy). The Gun Guys, by the way, quote the IACP all the time--apparently, half a million dollars in one year buys quite a lot of support for one's position to strip Americans of their Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.
In fairness, attacking the Second Amendment isn't the Joyce Foundation's only passion--they also seem to have it in for the First Amendment, as seen here by their monetary support for the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002
Joyce helped fund several of the groups that provided critical research and advocacy on behalf of state and federal campaign finance reforms. After Congress passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold) in 2002, Joyce provided funding to the Brennan Center at New York University, Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Public Citizen Litigation Group to help defend the act against lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. The Supreme Court upheld BCRA in 2003.Does anyone besides me find it ironic that they would use money to support legislation ostensibly aimed at "keeping money out of politics"?
So it seems that the Gun Guys and their pals are well funded. You'd think with all that money, they could afford a word processing program with a spell check feature, or am I just not clever enough to have encountered the word, "renowed" before? Update: I guess they dropped in, learned of their spelling problem, and fixed it--hey Gun Guys, how about sending some of that Joyce Foundation money this way, if you're going to use my proofreading service?
EDITED TO ADD: Living as I do (unfortunately) in the self-defense denied state of Illinois, I kind of left out the Joyce Foundation's contributions to self-defense suppression in other states--to give an idea, since 2003, they've given $1,270,000 to WAVE Educational Fund, $112,000 to Citizens for a Safer Minnesota Education Fund , $350,000 to Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, and $250,000 to Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence. Basically, if you're a gun rights deprivation advocacy group in the Midwest, the Joyce Foundation has a big stack of blank checks for you."
This graphic from http://www.gun-nuttery.com illustrates the great strides made in the last twenty years in recognizing a law abiding citizens right to carry a concealed weapon for their, and their families, defense. Red is BAD and Blue is GOOD!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”
coalition, telling the Second Amendment Foundation in a letter that
she joined in hopes of finding “community based solutions to reduce
However, in a letter to Bloomberg – a copy of which Mayor Wolf
forwarded to SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb – she told Bloomberg, “I
have learned that the Coalition may be working on issues that
conflict with legal gun ownership and that some actions on your
behalf are dubious.”
Mayor Wolf joins several other mayors who have withdrawn from
Bloomberg’s coalition. Last month, after Bloomberg’s office was
advised by the Justice Department against conducting any more “gun
shop sting” operations, Gottlieb sent an open letter to all mayors
who had joined the anti-gun group, urging them to reconsider their
involvement, which might be associated with Bloomberg’s vigilante
“I am grateful that Mayor Wolf took a second look at Bloomberg’s
coalition,” Gottlieb stated, “and that she thoughtfully advised SAF
of her decision. Like several other mayors who think for themselves
and the constituents who are their friends and neighbors, Mayor
Wolf has demonstrated the kind of leadership that will set her
apart from those who have been beguiled by Bloomberg’s media hype.”
In her letter to Gottlieb, Mayor Wolf said that, in her opinion,
“It was always clear that licensed gun dealers, sportsmen, gun
collectors and other similarly situated individuals were not part
of the problem…”
Meanwhile, in her letter to Bloomberg, Mayor Wolf was
straightforward, noting, “The intent of the coalition was well-
founded but current initiatives seem counterproductive to…reduce
the criminal misuse of firearms.”
“It takes a special quality and a certain amount of political
courage to go against the current of political correctness and
media favoritism,” Gottlieb said. “Hers is the example that fellow
mayors ought to follow, not Bloomberg’s.”
March 14, 2007
Last week's decision, striking down the District of Columbia's ban on guns as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, flowed directly from the text, history and original understanding of the Constitution. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's decision rejected the Ninth Circuit's "collective rights" theory and embraced instead the Fifth Circuit's holding that the Second Amendment protects individual rights. In so doing, the D.C. Circuit took a major step forward in protecting the rights of gun owners throughout the country.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
(Of particular interest is the parts that discuss criminals attitude to gun laws and where they get their guns! -Yuri)
NEW FINDINGS FROM FBI ABOUT COP ATTACKERS & THEIR WEAPONS
New findings on how offenders train with, carry and deploy the weapons they use to attack police officers have emerged in a just-published, 5-year study by the FBI.
Among other things, the data reveal that most would-be cop killers:
--show signs of being armed that officers miss;
--have more experience using deadly force in "street combat" than their intended victims;
--practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;
--have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. "If you hesitate," one told the study's researchers, "you're dead. You have the instinct or you don't. If you don't, you're in trouble on the street...."
These and other weapons-related findings comprise one chapter in a 180-page research summary called "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers." The study is the third in a series of long investigations into fatal and nonfatal attacks on POs by the FBI team of Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, clinical forensic psychologist, and Ed Davis, criminal investigative instructor, both with the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit, and Charles Miller III, coordinator of the LEOs Killed and Assaulted program.
"Violent Encounters" also reports in detail on the personal characteristics of attacked officers and their assaulters, the role of perception in life-threatening confrontations, the myths of memory that can hamper OIS investigations, the suicide-by-cop phenomenon, current training issues, and other matters relevant to officer survival. (Force Science News and our strategic partner PoliceOne.com will be reporting on more findings from this landmark study in future transmissions.)
Commenting on the broad-based study, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, called it "very challenging and insightful--important work that only a handful of gifted and experienced researchers could accomplish."
From a pool of more than 800 incidents, the researchers selected 40, involving 43 offenders (13 of them admitted gangbangers-drug traffickers) and 50 officers, for in-depth exploration. They visited crime scenes and extensively interviewed surviving officers and attackers alike, most of the latter in prison.
Here are highlights of what they learned about weapon selection, familiarity, transport and use by criminals attempting to murder cops, a small portion of the overall research:
Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available "was the overriding factor in weapon choice," the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked a particular gun "because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being."
Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws."
Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they first started packing "most of the time." Gang members especially started young.
Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."
One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers "go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything."
In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50 officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what their department required, and that was mostly in competitive shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the officers they assaulted, and this "may have helped increase [their] marksmanship skills," the study says.
The offender quoted above about his practice motivation, for example, fired 12 rounds at an officer, striking him 3 times. The officer fired 7 rounds, all misses.
More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of these "street combat veterans," all from "inner-city, drug-trafficking environments," had taken part in 5 or more "criminal firefight experiences" in their lifetime.
One reported that he was 14 when he was first shot on the street, "about 18 before a cop shot me." Another said getting shot was a pivotal experience "because I made up my mind no one was gonna shoot me again."
Again in contrast, only 8 of the 50 LEO victims had participated in a prior shooting; 1 had been involved in 2 previously, another in 3. Seven of the 8 had killed offenders.
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.
In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
Almost all carried when on the move and strong majorities did so when socializing, committing crimes or being at home. About one-third brought weapons with them to work. Interestingly, the offenders in this study more commonly admitted having guns under all these circumstances than did offenders interviewed in the researchers' earlier 2 surveys, conducted in the 1980s and '90s.
According to Davis, "Male offenders said time and time again that female officers tend to search them more thoroughly than male officers. In prison, most of the offenders were more afraid to carry contraband or weapons when a female CO was on duty."
On the street, however, both male and female officers too often regard female subjects "as less of a threat, assuming that they not going to have a gun," Davis said. In truth, the researchers concluded that more female offenders are armed today than 20 years ago--"not just female gang associates, but female offenders generally."
Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street combat veterans, "claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights," the study says.
"They practice getting the gun out and using it," Davis explained. "They shoot for effect." Or as one of the offenders put it: "[W]e're not working with no marksmanship....We just putting it in your direction, you know....It don't matter...as long as it's gonna hit you...if it's up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever....Once I squeeze and you fall, then...if I want to execute you, then I could go from there."
More often than the officers they attacked, offenders delivered at least some rounds on target in their encounters. Nearly 70% of assailants were successful in that regard with handguns, compared to about 40% of the victim officers, the study found. (Efforts of offenders and officers to get on target were considered successful if any rounds struck, regardless of the number fired.)
Davis speculated that the offenders might have had an advantage because in all but 3 cases they fired first, usually catching the officer by surprise. Indeed, the report points out, "10 of the total victim officers had been wounded [and thus impaired] before they returned gunfire at their attackers."
Officers would less likely be caught off guard by attackers if they were more observant of indicators of concealed weapons, the study concludes. These particularly include manners of dress, ways of moving and unconscious gestures often related to carrying.
"Officers should look for unnatural protrusions or bulges in the waist, back and crotch areas," the study says, and watch for "shirts that appear rippled or wavy on one side of the body while the fabric on the other side appears smooth." In warm weather, multilayered clothing inappropriate to the temperature may be a giveaway. On cold or rainy days, a subject's jacket hood may not be covering his head because it is being used to conceal a handgun.
Because they eschew holsters, offenders reported frequently touching a concealed gun with hands or arms "to assure themselves that it is still hidden, secure and accessible" and hasn't shifted. Such gestures are especially noticeable "whenever individuals change body positions, such as standing, sitting or exiting a vehicle." If they run, they may need to keep a constant grip on a hidden gun to control it.
Just as cops generally blade their body to make their sidearm less accessible, armed criminals "do the same in encounters with LEOs to ensure concealment and easy access."
An irony, Davis noted, is that officers who are assigned to look for concealed weapons, while working off-duty security at night clubs for instance, are often highly proficient at detecting them. "But then when they go back to the street without that specific assignment, they seem to 'turn off' that skill," and thus are startled--sometimes fatally--when a suspect suddenly produces a weapon and attacks.
Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had "experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority" to use deadly force "but chose not to shoot." They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. "It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available," the researchers concluded.
The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis said the study team "did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don't hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant."
"Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms," the report states. "In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.
"Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves." Nor, in the interest of personal safety, can officers "let their guards down in any type of law enforcement situation."
NOTE: For new findings from the FBI researchers about highly dangerous suicide-by-cop confrontations, read the exclusive 2-part report by Force Science Research Center board member Chuck Remsberg at:
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Separating Reality from Symbolism
by Don B. Kates, Jr.
Why Gun Waiting Periods Threaten Public Safety
By David B. Kopel
Of Holocausts and Gun Control
by Daniel D. Polsby
Friday, March 9, 2007
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."In the appeal for SHELLY PARKER, ET AL., Vs. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ADRIAN M. FENTY, MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, in regards to the Washington D.C. "gun ban", the appeals court reverses the previous ruling finding that the second amendment refers to a collective right, rather than an individual right. For a summary see BREITBART.COM. Consider the following language from their decision:
"In determining whether the Second Amendment’s guarantee is an individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the right—“the people.” That term is found in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion,interference, or usurpation. We also note that the Tenth Amendment—“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”—indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of distinguishing between “the people,” on the one hand, and “the states,” on the other. The natural reading of “the right of the people” in the Second Amendment would accord with usage elsewhere in the Bill of Rights."Notice how they, correctly, read the references to states rights vs. the rights of the people. The constitution doesn't take a highly educated scholar to interpret folks, it's written in plain english. Everywhere in the Bill of Rights, the language refering to states rights and the rights of the people is consistent.
The Supreme Court also interprets the language of the Bill of Rights this way. In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990), the Court looked specifically at the Constitution and Bill of Rights’ use of “people” in the course of holding that the Fourth Amendment did not protect the rights of non-citizens on foreign soil:
'“[T]he people” seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution. The Preamble declares that the Constitution is ordained and established by “the People of the United States.” The Second Amendment protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are retained by and reserved to “the people.” See also U.S. CONST., amdt. 1; Art. I, § 2, cl. 1. While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that “the people” protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.'So, is the second amendment a collective "state" right, or is it an individual right? Consider the case of United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). Miller, a rare Second Amendment precedent in the Supreme Court, the holding of which we discuss below, described the militia in the following terms:
The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia—civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.According to Miller, the militia included “all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defence” who were “enrolled for military discipline.” And Miller’s expansive definition of the militia is in accord with the second Militia Act of 1792, passed by the Second Congress.
The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. “A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.” And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.
In reading the Federalist Papers and other documents concurrent with the Constitution and The Bill of Rights, it is quite clear that the second amendment is an "individual" right, and not a collective one.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Mr. Alan Gottlieb, Chairman
Citizens Committee for the
Right to Keep and Bear Arms
12500 N.E. Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA 98005
They say that hindsight is always 20-20. In my case, hindsight has been a hard teacher, like the father teaching the son a lesson about life in the wood shed.
I was wrong when I recently suggested that wildlife agencies should ban semiautomatic firearms I erroneously called “assault rifles” for hunting. I insulted legions of my fellow gun owners in the process by calling them “terrorist rifles.” I can never apologize enough for having worn blinders when I should have been wearing bifocals.
But unlike those who would destroy the Second Amendment right to own a firearm – any firearm – I have learned from my embarrassing mistake. My error should not be used, as it has been in recent days by our common enemies, in an effort to dangerously erode our right to keep and bear arms.
I would hope instead to use this spotlight to address my hunting fraternity, many of whom shared my erroneous position. I am a hunter and like many others I had the wrong picture in mind. I associated these firearms with military action, and saw not hunting as I have known it, not the killing of a varmint, but the elimination of the entire colony. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I know from whence it comes. This ridiculous image, formed in the blink of an eye, exerts an unconscious effect on all decisions that follow. In seeking to protect our hunting rights by guarding how we are seen in the public eye, I lost sight of the larger picture; missed the forest for the trees.
My own lack of experience was no excuse for ignoring the fact that millions of Americans – people who would share a campfire or the shelter of their tent, and who have hurt nobody – own, hunt with and competitively shoot or collect the kinds of firearms I so easily dismissed.
I recently took a “crash course” on these firearms with Ted Nugent, to learn more about them and to educate myself. In the process, I learned about the very real threat that faces all American gun owners.
I’ve studied up on legislation now in Congress that would renew and dangerously expand a ban on many types of firearms. The bill, HR 1022 sponsored by New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, is written so broadly that it would outlaw numerous firearms and accessories, including a folding stock for a Ruger rifle. I understand that some of the language could ultimately take away my timeworn and cherished hunting rifles and shotguns as well as those of all American hunters.
The extremist supporters of HR 1022 don’t want to stop criminals. They want to invent new ones out of people like you and me with the simple stroke of a pen. They will do anything they can to make it impossible for more and more American citizens to legally own any firearm.
Realizing that what I wrote catered to this insidious attack on fellow gun owners has, one might say, “awakened a sleeping giant within me, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
I made a mistake. But those who would use my remarks to further their despicable political agenda have made a bigger one. I hope to become their worst nightmare. I admit I was wrong. They insist they are right.
Enclosed, you will find a check that is intended to be used to fight and defeat HR 1022. I also hope it inspires other gun owners to “do as I do, not as I say.”
I’m putting my money where my mouth should have been, and where my heart and soul have always been. I know the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting and never has been. My blunder was in thinking that by working to protect precious hunting rights I was doing enough. I promise it will never happen again.
I don’t know what lies over the horizon for me. I am not ready for the rocking chair.
I’m going to devote every ounce of my energy to this battle. I will remind my fellow hunters that we are first, gun owners. Whether we like it or not, our former apathy and prejudices may place that which we love, hunting, in jeopardy. I will educate fellow outdoorsmen who mistakenly think like I talked, even if I have to visit every hunting camp and climb into every duck blind and deer stand in this country to get it done. I was wrong, and I’m going to make it right.
2. Washington DC's low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.
3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."
4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates, which have been declining since 1991.
5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.
6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.
7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.
8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.
9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should "put up no defense - give them what they want, or run" (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete Shields, Guns Don't Die - People Do, 1981, p. 125).
10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.
11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seat belts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computer programmer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.
12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, which was created 130 years later, in 1917.
13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a "state" militia.
14. These phrases: "right of the people peaceably to assemble," "right of the people to be secure in their homes," "enumerations herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people," and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people" all refer to individuals, but "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.
15. "The Constitution is strong and will never change." But we should ban and seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to that Constitution.
16. Rifles and handguns aren't necessary to national defense! Of course, the army has hundreds of thousands of them.
17. Private citizens shouldn't have handguns, because they aren't "military weapons'', but private citizens shouldn't have "assault rifles'', because they are military weapons.
18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting, government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which is responsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations, variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, no fingerprints, no government forms and there were no school shootings.
19. The NRA's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign is responsible social activity.
20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.
21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.
22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gun is "an accident waiting to happen" and gun makers' advertisements aimed at women are "preying on their fears."
23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.
24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.
25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population supported owning slaves.
26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a "weapon of mass destruction" or an "assault weapon."
27. Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.
28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.
29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self- defense only justifies bare hands.
30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.
31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as president of the NRA is a cheap lunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.
32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger capacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.
33. We should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive guns because it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too.
34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns that private citizens can never hope to obtain.
35. Private citizens don't need a gun for self- protection because the police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the police are not responsible for their protection.
36. Citizens don't need to carry a gun for personal protection but police chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled with cops, need a gun.
37. "Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people. The police need assault weapons. You do not.
38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential promotion, that's bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that's good.
39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.
40. Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to "keep guns out of the wrong hands." Guess what? You have the wrong hands.