Monday, July 2, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 7/1/12

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

1. Philip Van Cleave interview on Gun Talk [AUDIO]
2. Pizza delivery driver shoots, wounds stun-gun wielding bandit
3. NVCC Public Speaking Student Naomi Leydig speaks about gun carry and self defense on campus [VIDEO]
4. ODU considers cutting student "police patrol aides"
5. Gun ownership up, crime down
6. Police fatality statistics show 2012 on pace to be safest year for police in 60 years
7. Federal judge strikes down part of Chicago's gun law
8. Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents
9. Gun owners guide to the 4th amendment: stop and frisk
10. Emily Miller on NRA news [VIDEO]
11. Cover up in D.C.'s arrest of Iraq vet
12. D.C. police damage soldier's guns
13. Phoenix boy, 14, shoots armed intruder while watching three younger siblings
14. Micro stamping/micro mis-management in N.Y.
15. The futility of Chicago's gun turn-ins
16. Wrigleyville man's throat slashed in random attack
17. United Nations to convene month-long conference for international gun control
18. Virginia self-defense common law references and explanations
19. VCDL Carry Cards House Cleaning - Starting July 1st
20. Get ahead of the rush. Pre-order your VCDL carry cards
21. A note from EM Bob Sadter

1. Philip Van Cleave interview on Gun Talk [AUDIO]

It's always a pleasure to be on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk radio show. If you've never heard his show, listen to the whole segment below. Tom is real expert on guns and a strong fighter for our gun rights. His radio show kept me both informed and sane during the Clinton AWB years, when things seemed headed in the wrong direction.

My interview starts at 26 minutes.



2. Pizza delivery driver shoots, wounds stun-gun wielding bandit

Member Jay Minsky emailed me this:


From Richmond Times-Dispatch:

UPDATE: Pizza delivery driver shoots, wounds stun-gun wielding bandit
June 19, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. - A pizza delivery driver shot and wounded a stun-gun wielding man who had tried to rob him early today, Richmond police said.

Police responded about 2:16 a.m. to a shooting in the 00 block of East Broad Street, officials said in a news release.

After officers arrived, they learned that the victim had been shot after he tried to rob the pizza delivery driver, who fired in self-defense. The driver, 33, was not injured.

Michael T. Caballero, 19, who police said had no fixed address, was charged with robbery and two counts of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

Caballero was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

3. NVCC Public Speaking Student Naomi Leydig speaks about gun carry and self defense on campus [VIDEO]

EM Ed Levine emailed me this:



4. ODU considers cutting student "police patrol aides"

While doing the VCDL protest at ODU last year, several of the students said that the "escort" program was a joke. Calls went unanswered or response was delayed so long as to be useless. Now they are considering cutting back on the program. No big deal - everyone is really on their own when it comes to self-defense anyway.

Member Alan Rose emailed me this:



Student patrol aides at ODU told their jobs are cut
By Patrick Wilson
June 22, 2012

NORFOLK - About 30 Old Dominion University students have assisted campus police as patrol aides - looking for suspicious activity, escorting students at night and answering phone calls for the Safe Rides program.

On Friday, a campus police sergeant emailed them to say the program and their $8.15-an-hour jobs were coming to an end because of budget cuts. But the university says the sergeant jumped the gun, and Police Chief Rhonda Harris only wants to "revamp" the program.

Either way, the students don't know whether they'll be helping to patrol the campus in the fall.

"What we've been told constantly is, we're the eyes and ears of the police," said Hope Gordon, a senior from Hampton who supervised the student patrol aides. "It was a complete surprise to everyone."

The patrol aide program started in 2009. Students wear blue uniforms with patches, picture IDs and reflective vests and carry radios to communicate with the police dispatcher. Patrol aides are instructed to "observe and report," not intervene.

In addition to walking patrols and escorting, they drive students in golf carts. The second of two overlapping patrol-aide shifts ended at 3 a.m.

On Friday, Sgt. Marc Huckless of the campus police sent an email to the students saying he had spoken to the chief and needed to collect uniforms and equipment: "I regret to inform you that due to budget cuts for the 2012-2013 (FY) school year; the patrol aide program has been terminated."

Huckless helped launch the program and said in his email that its loss brought him "great sadness." He offered to give the students a job reference.

University spokeswoman Jennifer Mullen said this week that the police sergeant's email was "premature" and "jumped to conclusions." The Safe Ride program will be transferred from the campus police to the parking services division to accommodate demand and speed up efficiency, she said. Students probably won't be needed to handle calls or drive carts.

But what about the patrol-aide program?

The chief is "revamping it and might rename it, but we have not cut it," Mullen said. "To be sure, there were budget discussions about the funding for the program, but not in a manner of it being cut."

Gordon has been with the program since 2009 and said she has seen crime drop on campus following the high-profile homicide of a student, Christopher Cummings, just off campus in 2011. In September and October 2010, 12 robberies or attempted robberies were reported adjacent to campus. Some victims were punched or pistol-whipped.

Both Gordon and Barry Hessefort, a senior from Norfolk and patrol aide for two semesters, said crime is under control compared with recent years.

On shifts from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Hessefort checks the exterior doors of campus buildings to make sure they're locked. He walks through parking decks, peeks in bushes and looks at sports fields for anything suspicious. Student reports help police with public intoxication and property-damage cases, Hessefort said.

He estimates that he walked between 5 and 6 miles per shift around campus.

Because they are supervisors, Hessefort and Gordon earned $9.15 an hour.

Gordon said she hopes to keep working as a patrol aide up to her December graduation and will do so if the university offers her a job.

But she's skeptical.

"I don't even think they're going to revamp it, honestly."

5. Gun ownership up, crime down

Gee, who'da thunk it? Yet another splitting headache moment for Sarah Brady.

Paul Burgener emailed me this:



Gun ownership up, crime down: FBI violent-crime rates show safer nation with more gun owners
By Emily Miller
June 18, 2012

Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.

This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI's violent-crime rates, said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.

Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have shall issue laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

If the gun grabbers were right, we'd be in the middle of a crime wave, considering how many guns are on the streets. Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election, said Bill Brassard, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry. There was a leveling off in 2010, but now we're seeing a surge again.

The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise more flexibility in restricting guns in a second term.

Gun manufacturing is the one private-sector industry doing fine on Mr. Obama's watch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 - an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products.

Last month, Smith & Wesson announced a firearm-order backlog of approximately $439 million by the end of April, up 135 percent from the same quarter in 2011. Sales in that period were up 28 percent from 2011 and 14 percent over its own predictions to investors. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs and has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $28 billion.

Mr. Obama could honestly take credit for this jobs program, economic boost and the reduction in violent crime that has followed the spike in gun ownership on his watch. Instead, he's silent about his greatest positive accomplishment.

6. Police fatality statistics show 2012 on pace to be safest year for police in 60 years

Gun ownership/concealed handgun permit both up nationwide and police deaths are down. Antis are wrong yet again (yaaawwwnnn).

Ben Piper emailed me this:



Police Fatality Statistics Show 2012 On Pace To Be Safest Year For Police In 60 Years
By Radley Balko
June 22, 2012

It's been a little more than a year since media outlets and police organizations first started reporting about a mounting "war on cops." Law enforcement officials and commentators blamed budget shortfalls, anti-government sentiment, gun ownership and other causes for the rising violence against police.

We're now about halfway through 2012, and this year is on pace to be the safest ever for America's police officers. Oddly, no one is reporting it.

Fifty officers have died on duty so far this year, a 44-percent decrease from last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). More remarkably, 17 have died from gunfire, down 55 percent from last year. (21 died in traffic accidents, the remaining 12 in various other incidents.) If the second half of this year follows the first, fewer officers will have died on duty this year than in any year since 1944, a time when there were far, far fewer police officers.

Not only aren't media outlets reporting on the dramatic drop this year, some are still using last year's figures to push the line that anti-police violence is on the rise. As recently as April, the New York Times ran a front-page story based on the 2011 figures under the headline, "Even as Violent Crime Falls, Killing of Officers Rises." Like those before it, the April Times article speculated on why violence against cops is on the rise. Some sources blamed the economy, which led to cutbacks in police departments, and emboldened criminals or meant officers to provide backup during emergencies. Police officers talking about the dangers of the job.

"We try and teach that every day you go out, you are going to be encountered with deadly force by someone trying to kill you," said one FBI official who trains police officers. The Times piece did note that, at the time of its publication, officer deaths were down in 2012.

The "war on cops" articles from 2011 were even more foreboding.

One included a criminology professor at John Jay College, who blamed the violence on the "don't tread on me" sentiment of the Tea Party movement. Police officials blamed anti-police web sites, citizens who exercise their right to record misbehaving cops, the militia movement, and a decline in respect for authority. Salon writer Amy Steinberg said the attacks on cops raised "an increasingly pressing need to revisit the conversation on gun control." Craig Floyd, who chairs the NLEOMF, told UPI that cops "are being put at greater risk than ever before."

If all these trends were really happening a year ago, it's hard to see why the last six months have seen such a change. There hasn't been any new gun control legislation in recent months. Citizens are still recording police with their cell phones (and still, in some instances, wrongly getting arrested for it), and websites critical of police are still up and running. If you believe groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, anti-government sentiment is as strong as ever.

The truth is, the widely reported "war on cops" in 2010 and 2011 was exaggerated. Overall police fatalities did rise in 2010 and then again in 2011, but those figures are compared to 2009, which saw the fewest number of police fatalities since 1959. Generally speaking, police fatalities have been steadily declining since the early 1990s, along with the overall crime rate. And that's merely the raw number of deaths. Over the same period, the total number of police officers in America has also increased. So the drop in the fatality rate has been even more dramatic.

The spikes in 2010 and 2011 appear to have been driven by a few anomalous months in which there were several incidents involving the deaths of multiple officers. In March 2011, for example, 24 cops died while on-duty, and in January 2010, the figure was 22. But those are the only two months in the last 42 when the number topped 20. The following months, those figures fell back to 11 and 15, respectively.

Moreover, the rate of assaults against police officers also has been dropping since the late 1980s, so the drop in fatalities cannot be attributed only to better police armor, tactics, or weaponry. Criminals aren't merely killing police less, they're also attacking them less, which would seem to put the lie to the notion that citizens today respect police less, or that criminals have grown more emboldened.

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, the homicide rate for police officers in 2010 (the last year for which data is available) was about 7.9 per 100,000 officers. That's about 60 percent higher than the overall homicide rate in America, which is 4.8. But it's lower than the homicide rates in many large cities, including Atlanta (17.3), Boston (11.3), Dallas (11.3), Kansas City (21.1), Nashville (8.9), Pittsburgh (17.3), St. Louis (40.5), or Tulsa (13.7). In fact, of the 74 U.S. cities with populations of 250,000 or more, 36 have murder rates higher than that of police in America. It's more likely to be murdered just by living in these cities than the average police officer is to be murdered on the job.

The job of police officer also isn't anywhere near the most dangerous job in America. If we include traffic fatalities, the job of police officer will in some years rank among the 10 most dangerous in America (PDF). But take away car accidents, and it doesn't come close.

Blips in 2010 and 2011 aside (and of course, the terror attacks of 2001), the job of police officer has been getting safer for about a generation now -- much safer.

None of this is meant to diminish the deaths of those police officers who are killed on the job. But how these figures are portrayed in the media, and how they're perceived by politicians and the public, can significantly impact public policy debates. Exaggerated portrayals of the dangers of police work can be used to argue for more gun-control laws, to argue for increased police departments (or, in recent years, to argue against budget cuts), to defend the increasing militarization of America's police forces, to argue against more accountability and oversight with reforms like civilian review boards, and to argue for more leeway for police officers to dispense "street justice" in order to maintain order and to ensure that criminals still fear them.

There may be sound arguments on either side of these issues, but it is important that the debate and discourse be based on an accurate assessment of the dangers of police work, not one perpetuated by police interest groups and media outlets pushing a narrative that favors their own policy preferences.

Instead of exaggerating the threat police officers face, we should be celebrating the fact that their job is as safe as it has ever been.

7. Federal judge strikes down part of Chicago's gun law

Another vague gun control law bites the dust. Of course the main reason that DC, Chicago, and New York have such horrible gun control laws is so they can disarm minorities. They never grew out of the 1950s.


Federal judge strikes down part of Chicago's gun law
By Dahleen Glanton and Liam Ford
June 19, 2012

Chicago's firearm ordinance took another blow Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that the section banning permits for people convicted of unlawful use of a weapon is vague and unconstitutional.

The city must now decide whether to appeal the ruling or rewrite the part of its gun ordinance that bars individuals convicted of even misdemeanor offenses from possessing a firearm in their home for self-defense.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Shawn Gowder, who claimed his constitutional right to bear arms was violated when he was denied a firearm permit two years ago because of a misdemeanor conviction for possessing a gun on a public street.

The lawsuit, backed by the National Rifle Association, is one of at least five cases pending against the city's gun ordinance, which was passed in 2010 just days after theU.S. Supreme Court struck down the city's 28-year ban on handguns. The Illinois State Rifle Association also filed a brief in support of Gowder.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan addresses only a part of the ordinance that relates to applicants who have been convicted of unlawful use of a firearm. Federal lawsuits are still seeking to overturn the city's ban on retail gun stores and to remove restrictions forbidding guns from yards and on front porches.

City officials said they are reviewing the ruling and will advise police on how to proceed with enforcing the law. Since it applies only to one provision of the ordinance, a City Hall official said, city attorneys do not believe the ruling will have a significant impact on the entire ordinance.

The judge ruled that the city's ordinance does not adequately define "unlawful use of a weapon," noting that it can mean different things in different jurisdictions.

"There is something incongruent about a nonviolent person, who is not a felon but who is convicted of a misdemeanor offense of simple possession of a firearm, being forever barred from exercising his constitutional right to defend himself in his own home in Chicago against felons or violent criminals," Der-Yeghiayan wrote.

"The same Constitution that protects people's right to bear arms prohibits this type of indiscriminate and arbitrary governmental regulation," he continued. "It is the opinion of this court that any attempt to dilute or restrict a core constitutional right with justifications that do not have a basis in history and tradition is inherently suspect."

Gun rights advocates hailed the ruling as a victory for Second Amendment rights.

"The only thing Mr. Gowder did was to own a firearm. As a result, he was treated like a criminal by the city of Chicago when all he did was exercise his fundamental Second Amendment right," said Stephen Kolodziej, a Chicago attorney representing the plaintiff. "We think the city of Chicago's actions in denying Mr. Gowder a firearm permit were punitive and draconian as well as violative of his constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

Gowder was denied a firearm permit in 2010 because of a 1995 misdemeanor conviction for possession of a firearm on a public street. At the time of his conviction, the offense was classified as a felony, but the Illinois Supreme Court in 1999 struck down the Safe Neighborhood Act, which classified simple possession of a firearm as a felony, and made it a misdemeanor.

Gun advocates have long opposed laws that summarily banned those even with convictions for nonviolent felonies from obtaining a legal weapon. They have argued that several factors should be considered, including the nature of the prior conviction and the length of time that has passed since it occurred.

Brian Koukoutchos, a Manderville, La., attorney who also represents Gowder, said: "Some thought needs to be given to what the nature of the crime is."

"You have to be careful when you allow run-ins with the law to automatically strip someone of their rights," he said.

8. Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents

Board Member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



House panel recommends Holder contempt citation
By Tom Cohen, CNN
June 21, 2012

House leaders say the full chamber could vote on contempt next week
A House committee recommends a contempt citation against Attorney General Holder
Democrats call the contempt measure unfair and an election year witch hunt
At issue are documents the panel seeks on the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting

Washington (CNN) -- Voting on strictly partisan lines, a House committee recommended Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to the botched Fast and Furious weapons sting operation.

The vote ended an extraordinary daylong hearing that took place after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over some documents sought by the panel investigating Fast and Furious. The White House move means the Department of Justice can withhold some of the documents.

The committee measure now goes to the full House for consideration, expected next week, of what would be an unprecedented action -- Congress holding a sitting attorney general in contempt.

What happens if panel cites Holder for contempt?

"Unless the attorney general re-evaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week," said a statement by the chamber's Republican leaders. "If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the (committee) an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue."
DNC chair: GOP witch hunt on Holder Watch House committee vote on Holder contempt citation Congressman: I believe Holder A brief history of 'Fast and Furious'

All 23 Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee supported the contempt measure, while the 17 Democrats opposed it, reflecting the deep political divide on the issue.

Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, refused to put off consideration of the measure, saying the White House assertion of executive privilege "falls short" of any reason to delay the hearing.

Executive privilege: A rocky legal and political road in U.S. history

However, Issa said after the hearing that he believes a settlement to avoid an unprecedented contempt vote in the House is "in the best interest of the Justice Department, Congress and those most directly affected by Operation Fast and Furious."

In a statement later Wednesday, Holder called Issa's decision to hold the vote "an election-year tactic" and "an extraordinary, unprecedented and entirely unnecessary action, intended to provoke an avoidable conflict between Congress and the executive branch."

The committee's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, accused Issa of setting an "impossible standard" for Holder by initially demanding documents the attorney general is legally prohibited from providing. Now Issa has "no interest in resolving" the dispute with Holder, Cummings said.

Wednesday's developments further heightened the drama of a high-profile showdown between Issa and Holder over the Fast and Furious program that dates back to subpoenas issued by the House committee last year.

What do you think of the controversy?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched Operation Fast and Furious out of Arizona to track weapon purchases by Mexican drug cartels. However, it lost track of more than 1,000 firearms that the agency had allowed straw buyers to carry across the border, and two of the lost weapons turned up at the scene of the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Issa's committee is specifically seeking documents that show why the Department of Justice decided to withdraw as inaccurate a February 2011 letter sent to Congress that said top officials had only recently learned about Fast and Furious.

The stalemate over the documents escalated dramatically Wednesday.

CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen said such dusts-ups are usually resolved by political negotiations.That's not been the case here.

"For a lot of Americans who don't understand the complexities and really don't care about the complexity of this, it is one more illustration ... that Washington is broken," Gergen said.

But the impasse also shows something about Holder's resolve, he told "John King USA."

"He's stiffened his spine," Gergen said. "He has been under pressure to resign from some quarters in the Republican Party. He ain't going anywhere."

Now the question is whether a settlement can be reached before the House vote.

If the House finds Holder in contempt, it is unlikely he will be prosecuted for criminal contempt, according to Alan Morrison, associated dean at George Washington University Law School.

"It would look like terrible overreaching to go for criminal contempt," Morrison said, which carries a penalty of $1,000 and up to one year in prison.

Instead, Morrison said, it is more likely the House would pursue civil prosecution in federal court.

The House committee vote came more than six hours after notice that Obama had asserted executive privilege.

In a letter to Obama seeking that action, Holder said the documents involved related to the Justice Department's "response to congressional oversight and related media inquiries," and that release of internal executive branch documents would have "significant, damaging consequences."

Holder contempt vote could come next week

Holder also said releasing the documents would "inhibit the candor of executive branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the ability of the executive branch to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight."

Holder said he offered to turn over some of the documents sought by Issa when they met Tuesday in a final effort to resolve the dispute before Wednesday's hearing. Issa, however, said Holder put unreasonable conditions on his offer.

In a letter to Issa after Tuesday's meeting, Deputy Attorney General James Cole reiterated Holder's position that the documents would show Holder had nothing to hide about his role in Fast and Furious.

Cole noted that the lone point of dispute was whether the February 4, 2011, letter was part of a broader effort to obstruct a congressional investigation. "The answer to that question is an emphatic 'no,' and we have offered the committee the opportunity to satisfy itself that that is so," Cole wrote.

The department says it already has handed over more than 7,000 pages of records to House investigators and that the remaining material Issa wants could jeopardize criminal prosecutions.

Issa and other Republicans on the panel mentioned Brian Terry's death by name in accusing Holder and the Justice Department of trying to stonewall the investigation of what happened.

"The Department of Justice has fought this investigation every step of the way," Issa said.

"At the heart of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious are disastrous consequences: a murdered Border Patrol Agent, his grieving family seeking answers, countless deaths in Mexico, and the souring effect on our relationship with Mexico," Issa said in a statement. "Congress has not just a right but an obligation to do all that it can to uncover exactly what happened and ensure that it never occurs again. "

Terry's family issued a statement Wednesday that called for all of the documents sought by the committee to be turned over.

"Our son lost his life protecting this nation, and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious," the statement said.

The mother of another federal agent said Wednesday she wants to know the "full truth" about his death.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, who was working for the United States in Mexico, was murdered in February 2011 when his vehicle was ambushed on a highway between Mexico City and Monterrey.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, last year said he wanted to know if a Texas-based "gun walking" program may have played a role in Zapata's murder. He said one of the weapons used in the slaying was allegedly purchased in Texas and trafficked to Mexico.

"Unfortunately, the situation regarding Fast and Furious as well as other gun-walking operations has been something that has damaged the lives of many," Zapata's mother, Mary, said in a statement. "I would have hoped that transparency would have been a priority so that we, like so many others, could get some answers."

Holder floats 'Fast and Furious' deal with Congress

The Tuesday meeting between Issa and Holder amounted to little more than a reiteration of the positions the two staked out in an exchange of letters the previous week.

"Any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue," Holder said, noting he shut Fast and Furious down.

The subpoenas issued last year originally cited a broad array of documents, including wiretap requests and other materials involving confidential sources that Holder argued he was prevented by law from supplying. Issa narrowed the request in negotiations with Holder in recent weeks.

Holder rejects resignation call at heated Senate hearing

Democrats argued the documents demanded by Issa related to internal discussions about responding to the Fast and Furious investigation, rather than the committee's intended purpose of finding out who authorized the failed program.

The party-line division in the panel extended to the portrayal of the Tuesday meeting attended by Holder, Issa, Cummings and others.

Issa and Republicans rejected the conditions of Holder's offer, while Cummings and Democrats said the panel should work with Holder to seek a resolution.

Issa said he was surprised by Obama's action and questioned whether the White House's role in Fast and Furious "has been greater than previously acknowledged."

On the border: Guns, drugs -- and a betrayal of trust

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN he previously traced the program only up to the level of an assistant attorney general.

"Now it raises the question of what does the president know and when did he know it by the claim of executive privilege," said Grassley, who participated in Tuesday's meeting.

But Carl Tobias, professor at the University of Richmond's School of Law, said it does not appear Obama was involved with the Fast and Furious program.

"He is trying to protect the prerogatives of the department and the people who work for him," Tobias said of the executive privilege.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that while Holder may be embarrassed, he won't ultimately be found in contempt.

"This is going to be just another political dispute," Toobin told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "If people remember at all, they'll remember 23 Republicans were for it, 17 Democrats were against it."

9. Gun owners guide to the 4th amendment: stop and frisk

Law school graduate and VCDL EM John Pierce is writing a series of articles on Virginia gun laws that are very informative. There will be more to follow.


Gun owners guide to the 4th Amendment: Stop and Frisk
By John Pierce
June 19, 2012

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated - 4th Amendment

Since we started our discussion of the 4th Amendment with seizures, which are governed by Terry v Ohio and its progeny, it only makes sense to next move on to the topic of 'Stop and Frisk' which is also governed by the Terry line of cases.

But if they are based on the same material, why didn't we just cover this material in the column on seizures? Understanding the answer to this question is critical if one wishes to truly grasp the intricacies of Terry. The short answer is that seizures (the stop ) and searches (the frisk ) are distinct activities from a 4th Amendment perspective and each requires independent justification. A given situation may provide the officer reasonable suspicion to stop you but may not give the officer reasonable suspicion to support a frisk.

To understand this, let's start with a brief review. In yesterday's column, we discussed the three types of 'stops' that a person may be subject to. They are consensual encounters, Terry Stops, and detentions that amount to arrest. Let's look at what the requirements are to 'frisk' someone under each of the three types of 'stops'.

Consensual Encounters

A consensual stop is one in which law enforcement approaches a citizen and initiates a conversation but the citizen is free to leave at any time, ending the 'stop', and is also free to refuse requests to be patted down or searched, preventing the 'frisk'.

Since a consensual stop is not a seizure of the person for 4th Amendment purposes, a consensual encounter is not a Stop and Frisk and none of the cases prescribing boundaries to Stop and Frisk apply to these encounters.

Remember that! If you give the officer permission to do a pat-down, then anything they find is admissible against you in court. More important for the law abiding gun owner, you cannot support a claim that the officer violated your rights if you yourself consented to the 'frisk'.

The only possible exception to this rule is the case where an officer's conduct or expression of authority rises to the level of coercion. Let's look at what the case law tells us about coercion.

One of the first cases we turn to when discussing the boundaries between consent and coercion is Schneckloth v. Bustamonte. There are four important rules from Schneckloth that continue to govern 'consent' searches today:

-Once given freely, consent obviates the need for probable cause or even reasonable suspicion.
-In and of itself, the validity of consent cannot be challenged based upon whether or not you knew you had the right to deny consent.
-You may place conditions upon your consent and even withdraw it once given.
-Consent may be challenged as invalid if it is coerced, by explicit or implicit means, [or] by implied threat or covert force.

Another important case where consent is concerned is Bumper v. North Carolina. The rule to take away from Bumper is that, when consent is given based upon an officer claiming to have the authority to conduct the frisk in any case, consent is merely acquiescing to what the suspect thinks is lawful authority.

Since we want citizens to acquiesce to lawful authority, it would be against public policy to require them to resist every claim of lawful authority just to retain the right to challenge the validity of their consent. Therefore, if you agree to allow a frisk based upon an officer's claim of authority, you can still challenge the validity of the frisk.

Detentions That Amount to Arrest

We will be discussing 'searches' in a future article. But here, we are discussing 'stop' and 'frisk' so I will only note that, in the case of a detention that amounts to an arrest, the right to search the body of the suspect is automatic.

Terry Stops

Now we arrive at the heart of the matter. While suspects may consent to frisks in consensual encounters and arrestees may be searched incident to lawful arrest, Terry Stops are, in fact, the only encounter where the concept of Stop and Frisk is actually applicable.

A Terry Stop, named for the aforementioned case of Terry v. Ohio, is a 'seizure' of the person under the 4th Amendment and any accompanying 'frisk' is a search also protected by the 4th Amendment. According to the holding in Terry, Terry Stops are justified when swift action based upon on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat is required.

No warrant is required for a Terry Stop, nor is there a requirement for probable cause such as would be a prerequisite for obtaining a warrant. Rather, a Terry Stop requires only reasonable suspicion that criminal activity may be afoot. If the officer wishes to search or frisk the person he is seizing, they must also have reasonable suspicion that they may be armed and presently dangerous but this is not required to simply seize the person.

So, as I mentioned earlier, a given situation may give the officer reasonable suspicion to stop you but there may not be sufficient reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and presently dangerous and therefore a frisk is not justified by the Stop and Frisk exception under Terry.

An example of this might be a woman on the beach, wearing a tiny bikini and eating a candy bar, who matches the description of a person who moments ago shoplifted a candy bar from a boardwalk store. While her match to the description coupled with her possession of a candy bar might give the officer reasonable suspicion that criminal activity may be afoot thereby supporting a stop, it would be hard to justify a claim that the officer had reasonable and articulable suspicion that she was armed and presently dangerous to justify a frisk. However, as discussed in the previous section, should she be actually placed under arrest, then the rules change.

So since the determining factor in a Terry Stop seems to always be reasonable suspicion, let's have a look at what that means in real life. According to the court in Alabama v. White, reasonable suspicion is considerably less than proof of wrongdoing by a preponderance of the evidence. But what does that mean? Unfortunately, it means that law enforcement has extremely broad discretion in initiating Terry Stops. In order to understand just how ridiculously low the bar is in many district courts, you need only look at the Stop and Frisk program instituted by Mayor Bloomberg in New York.

While this abhorrent practice has been recently modified, by their own admission, in 2011, NYPD officers conducted warrantless stop-and-frisk interrogations of over 685,724 New Yorkers, mostly minorities, 88% of which were freed without even a ticket being issued. To put that in perspective, the NYPD did stop-and-frisk interrogations on more New Yorkers than the entire population of Boston!

So you tell me What does reasonable suspicion mean? I am pretty sure that in New York, it means just being a minority and walking down the street.

Open Carry as Reasonable Suspicion?

Returning to the issue from the perspective of a law-abiding gun owner, the question I am often asked is whether or not the simple act of openly carrying a properly holstered handgun gives rise to the reasonable suspicion necessary to initiate a Terry Stop. The answer to that question varies somewhat from state to state.

In those 29 states where open carry is legal without a permit or license, the answer is an unequivocal No! Since open carry is legal it cannot, absent other suspicious activity, give rise to the necessary reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot.

In those 14 states (soon to be 15) where open carry requires a permit or license, the answer is not as crystal clear but is still a resounding No! The United States Supreme Court addressed a similar question in Delaware v. Prouse (440 U.S. 648) (1979). In that case, the issue articulated by the court was:

Whether it is an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to stop an automobile, being driven on a public highway, for the purpose of checking the driving license of the operator and the registration of the car, where there is neither probable cause to believe nor reasonable suspicion that the car is being driven contrary to the laws governing the operation of motor vehicles or that either the car or any of its occupants is subject to seizure or detention in connection with the violation of any other applicable law.

Now let's change just a few words and we have the issue before us:

Whether it is an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to stop a person open carrying in public, for the purpose of checking the carry permit of the open carrier, where there is neither probable cause to believe nor reasonable suspicion that the firearm is being carried contrary to the laws of the state or that either the firearm or the carrier is subject to seizure or detention in connection with the violation of any other applicable law.

So how did the court answer the question in Prouse? They held that it is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment to seize someone to check the status of a license except where there is at least reasonable suspicion that the person is unlicensed or otherwise subject to seizure for the violation of some other law.

This is especially important today because Oklahoma will be joining the ranks of licensed open carry states on November 1, 2012 and some Oklahoma law enforcement officials have stated that they plan to seize open carriers and demand to see their permits. Midwest City Assistant Chief Sid Porter was reported to have said that:

If we see someone carrying a weapon in a holster, they have to have a permit on them and would be asked to show it. Anybody with a weapon on their side is considered a suspicious person.

Even law enforcement in states such as Massachusetts, which is definitely not considered a stronghold of pro-gun sentiment, has long since recognized that they cannot seize a person based solely upon the fact that the person is properly carrying a firearm.

In the December 2005 issue of The Police Chief magazine, John M. Collins, General Counsel to the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association published an article entitled Chief's Counsel: Responding to Gun Possession Reports. In this article, he advised officers that:

Where simply carrying a handgun is not in itself illegal and does not constitute probable cause to arrest, it follows that carrying a handgun, in and of itself, does not furnish reasonable suspicion justifying a Terry stop.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I hope that Oklahoma law enforcement spends the next few months before open carry becomes available training their officers on how to properly interact with the citizens thus empowered. If not, the courts are open every day, and 42 U.S.C. ı 1988 provides attorney's fees for those that prevail in suits brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ı 1983.

We last turn to those 7 (soon to be 6) states in which open carry is generally not legal. In those states, the sight of a person openly carrying a firearm outside of a hunting venue would probably give rise to the necessary reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot. Thankfully, that number is dropping every year and hopefully will soon be reduced to zero.

On a related note, gun rights advocate Kenn Blanchard recently asked an uncomfortable tangential question on his blog that all my readers should take the time to read. He asked Is Open Carry Dangerous For A Black Man?

Unfortunately, given the fact that the courts have largely looked the other way while New York trampled the rights of the minority community, there is more than a little truth to Kenn's concerns. We need to keep working for a society where all men and women may exercise their rights freely without fear of persecution by overzealous law enforcement.

Current Events

As a real world illustration of just about every 4th Amendment violation we have discussed, just this month, officers in Aurora Colorado rounded up motorists en masse, handcuffed them, and held them at gunpoint while searching for a bank robber based upon what they called a reliable tip.

But they had no information on which to base even the weakest suspicion of individual drivers. According to the officers themselves, We didn't have a description, didn't know race or gender or anything. So how did they have reasonable suspicion to detain and search these people?

Most of the adults were handcuffed, then were told what was going on and were asked for permission to search the car. Oh yeah that shotgun in your face is not coercive in the slightest.

The really ironic part of the story is that they found their bank robbery suspect. But based upon their tactics, I am guessing that any evidence found during the search will be excluded and the suspect will go free.


Just to recap Stop and frisk is only available when the officers have reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot and that the suspect is presently armed and presently dangerous. Absent any one of these elements, a stop and frisk is not valid under the 4th Amendment.

However, officers do not need reasonable suspicion if you willingly throw away your rights. Officers may engage in consensual encounters with citizens and if you consent, may stop and frisk you without any 4th Amendment protections attaching.

What should you do if asked for consent? Know your rights, ask Am I free to leave?, if they say Yes then do so, and if detained do not speak to law enforcement without your attorney present.

If you feel that your rights are being violated, you should state your objections clearly so that there is no possibility that it could be asserted you were consenting to the encounter. Then you should comply with the officers (note that I didn't say consent or talk) while documenting the encounter to present to your attorney.

We will discuss various voice and video recording technologies that are particularly suitable for encounters with law enforcement in a future article. Until then, stay safe and consent to nothing!

10. Emily Miller on NRA news [VIDEO]

Senior Editor Emily Miller was interviewed by NRA News about the story, Cover Up in D.C.'s Arrest of Iraq Vet about police attempting to fabricate reasons for searching Sgt. Matthew Corrigan's home and seizing his guns without a warrant. Cam Edwards is the host of the radio show "Cam and Company."


11. Cover up in D.C.'s arrest of Iraq vet


MILLER: Cover up in D.C.'s arrest of Iraq vet
By Emily Miller
June 11, 2012

Army 1st Sergeant Matthew Corrigan learned the hard way that the District of Columbia doesn't believe it has to abide by the U.S. Constitution like the 50 states do. The city ignores the Fourth Amendment right of Americans to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. If police can't be bothered to obtain a search warrant, officers have no problem busting open your front door and taking your property.

Most of all, Washington officials do not abide by the full meaning and spirit of the Second Amendment. The District believes it alone can bestow the right to keep arms on those who can afford hefty fees, pass a written test and tell the government about every single firearm owned. The Founding Fathers would be appalled.

(This is the fourth part of the series on Sgt. Corrigan's case.)

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) didn't give much thought to the Constitution late at night when its SWAT team blew through due process and into the home of Sgt. Corrigan without a warrant.

The veteran was suspected of having a personal gun in his home that was not registered with the city.

In the light of day, the department realized its case was jeopardized by the lack of a warrant. So it came up with a story of exigent circumstances to cover for this oversight.

Sgt. Corrigan's attorney unraveled the scheme before trial, and the D.C. Office of the Attorney General was forced in May to drop all ten misdemeanor charges against the defendant.

However, the damage to the reservist who volunteered to serve a year in Iraq was beyond repair. He is currently suing the city for a minimum of $500,000 in damages. The story of how the city's case against Sgt. Corrigan fell apart is instructive.

Warrantless Search and Seizure

At 4 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2010, MPD officers woke Sgt. Corrigan and ordered him out of his home. They demanded the keys to his English-basement apartment. When the soldier refused, the officers broke down his front door, ransacked his apartment, threw his dog Matrix in the pound and seized his three personal guns and seven types of ammunition.

The cops zip-tied the first sergeant's hands and put him into an armored command truck, where he was questioned before any guns were found.

The police did not read the drill sergeant his rights until he was formally charged two days later with ten misdemeanors.

They also didn't check with a judge. When I was secured, a warrant could have been obtained, Sgt. Corrigan said.

When I offered not to give my consent to enter my place, a warrant could have been obtained. When the first weapon in plain view was alleged seen, a warrant could have been obtained.

"When they did 'not have an initial on explosives,' a warrant could have been obtained. During each of these incidents what was the exigency that prevented a warrant from being obtained?

Exigent Circumstances - Booby Traps

Sgt. Corrigan's attorney, Richard Gardiner, filed a motion to suppress the evidence in Aug. 2010 because the police violated his client's rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

Assistant attorney general, Avril Luongo, opposed the motion. She said exigent circumstances justified the search.

According to the Nov. 2010 filing, Sgt. Corrigan was an expert in planting explosives and there was a smell of gas in the building. MPD gained intelligence about the defendant, including information that the defendant was an Iraqi [sic] war veteran with specialized training (believed to be training in connection with deploying 'booby traps').

The government's court filing concludes that, Under the totality of the circumstances the smell of natural gas, the information that the defendant had a military background and experience with booby traps, the defendant's call to the suicide hotline the officers reasonably believed a crisis situation existed. Thus the urgency of that crisis, including the need to secure the premises, was the basis of their decision to perform a warrantless search.

Both exigent circumstances -- the smell of natural gas and experience with booby traps -- were fabricated.

The emergency ordnance disposal (EOD) team on the scene said there was no evidence of explosives at the apartment. The same experts declined to use a dog trained to sniff out explosives, and instead brought in a special gun-searching dog.

In discovery, Mr. Gardiner asked for copies of the police notes and documents from that evening, and found they contained no reference to booby traps. He asked Ms. Luongo for the rest of the evidence supporting her theory, but that was all she had.

She told me she would talk directly to the police officers, Mr. Gardiner recalled of his conversation with Ms. Luongo. She never told me what was said, but the next thing she filed was the a notice to withdraw the claims of booby traps because the police couldn't substantiate it.

A spokesman for the D.C. attorney general's office would not comment on the case, but provided me with a supplemental document filed by attorney general Irvan Nathan before the hearing. Upon further investigation, the government is no longer relying on the proffer that the Metropolitan Police Department was aware that the defendant had training in the deployment of 'booby traps,' he wrote to the court.

Exigent Circumstances - Smell of Gas

At the hearing on April 18 on the motion to suppress, the prosecutor only had the supposed smell of gas to say their search was based on an exigent circumstance. This excuse fell apart quickly.

The night of the raid, the police told Sgt. Corrigan's upstairs neighbor, Tammie Sommons, that someone had reported the smell of gas coming from his apartment. She told them that there was no gas in the downstairs and the stove was electric.

In an interview, she recalled telling the cops that If they smelled something, it's just my roommate who was cooking chicken parmesan.

A week after the incident, MPD Lt. Robert Glover wrote a summary report to Chief Cathy L. Lanier in which he noted a noted 'strong odor' of natural gas emanating from the immediate area in and around the target address.

In court, Mr. Gardiner questioned Officer Carlos Heraud, who was one of the first on the scene and who had interviewed Ms. Sommons. Asked on the stand if he smelled gas that night, Mr. Heraud said he did not. There was no mention of gas or explosions in the officer's handwritten notes from that night.

Furthermore, an hour or two before the police woke up Sgt. Corrigan and arrested him, they had Washington Gas turn off the line to the building. A spokesman for MPD refused to comment on this case.

The Case Falls Apart

On the morning of April 19, D.C. Superior Court Judge Michael Ryan granted the defense's motion to suppress the evidence because the search violated the Fourth Amendment.

The prosecutor asked for 30 days to determine whether the city would appeal the ruling. Judge Ryan granted the request, then set the next status hearing for May 21.

Ms. Luongo called Mr. Gardiner a week before the hearing to inform him that the city decided against appealing the decision. She also said that all the charges against Sgt. Corrigan would be dropped, due to the lack of evidence.

Soldier's Guns Confiscated

The city was still holding Sgt. Corrigan's property, which includes two pistols, a rifle and ammunition, and he wanted it back.

The MPD property clerk could ship the firearms to a police station near Sgt. Corrigan's home. Or, under federal law, the soldier could lawfully transport his firearms from the evidence building in Southwest, D.C. to the Commonwealth, as long as they are properly stowed.

When Mr. Gardiner petitioned for the return of these items at the May 21 hearing, Judge Ryan initially protested that Sgt. Corrigan would be violating the D.C.'s registration laws if the guns were returned.

Mr. Gardiner told the judge that his client is now a resident of Virginia, where registration is not required. He could have his property returned lawfully in two ways.

A new prosecutor assigned to the case told the judge that he was unprepared to discuss this issue. Judge Ryan gave the city three days to file a response, and he would rule within a week.

The city filed documents repeating the discredited claim Sgt. Corrigan was planting booby traps and that the police smelled gas on the property.

I was just amazed. What they brought up was so unbelievable, said Mr. Gardiner, a longtime firearms attorney.

The judge as not yet ruled on the return of Sgt. Corrigan's guns, but the city has no right to this stolen property.He asked the judge's clerk if he could file a reply. I wrote that the opposition is unethical because he presents facts to a judge that he knows are not true because the assistant attorney general previously filed a notice to the court that withdrew these claims.

The soldier has suffered enough from the trauma of the raid, including two weeks in jail and two weeks years under court-ordered sanctions all over a set of charges that were dismissed.

This brave vet came home to the nation's capital, where he lost his freedom, privacy and constitutional rights. It's time for the city to do what's right.

12. D.C. police damage soldier's guns

Emily continues to shine a bright light in some very dark places in the DC government.


D.C. police damage soldier's guns
By Emily Miller
June 17, 2012

Army First Lt. Augustine Kim's finally got the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to return his guns after two years -- only to find them permanently damaged. The department violated its own regulations on handling firearms in evidence by engraving marks on the sides of the guns, and the city should reimburse the soldier for the loss.

(This is the final part of a four-part series on Lt. Kim's case.)

The Afghanistan war veteran was wrongly arrested while lawfully transporting his firearms from New Jersey to his home in South Carolina.

All charges were later dismissed, but the city refused to respond to repeated requests from the national guardsman to return the $10,000 worth of property seized during a traffic stop.

After The Washington Times highlighted this case, his congressional representatives -- Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tim Scott -- got involved.

Mr. Graham wrote to Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier to demand the guns be returned to his constituent immediately.

On Friday, May 18, MPD Property Clerk Derek Gray ruled that the guns should be sent to a police department in Charleston next week.

By Thursday, May 24, with one day to go until the deadline, the guns had not arrived. Lt. Kim's attorney, Richard Gardiner, could not get an answer about when they were sending it from the evidence department.

I asked MPD Spokesman Gwendolyn Crump about the status. She responded two hours later that the guns, will be delivered to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office by Saturday.

In a last-minute effort to make the deadline, MPD paid the shipping cost for priority overnight Saturday FedEx delivery.

The department should have saved the taxpayers' money because the Forensic Services Service department in the Charleston County Sheriff's office was closed on the weekend. Since Monday was Memorial Day, the soldier was not able to pick up his personal guns until Tuesday.

At first, Lt. Kim was pleased when he opened the two large boxes and found all of the items - two pistols, a rifle, various parts and accessories and even 11 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition - accounted for. Most of the items were sealed in moisture resistant evidence bags and showed little corrosion on the parts.

It looked like the property had been very well cared for, said Lt. Kim's attorney, Richard Gardiner. Then Augee investigated more closely and found markings. When the national guardsman unwrapped the pistols, he found letters engraved on the sides of the frame.

Mr. Gardiner emailed Mr. Gray's boss, MPD Inspector Nathan Sims: Lt. Kim picked up his packages this morning. He noticed that there were what appeared to be initials engraved on all but one of the firearms. Is it departmental policy to mark recovered items with the officer's initials and/or any other markings? If so, why were only three of the firearms marked?

Inspector Sims wrote back: Yes, it is our General Order 601.1 policy. Whoever was the recovering officer is required to mark pistols/handguns to allow for easy identification by the member at a later date. Large weapons would have only been tagged.

While it is routine practice for cops to engrave their initials on seized firearms, they are supposed to do it in accordance with their agency's policy.

In this case, someone ignored the policy detailed in an internal MPD directive that says evidence should be marked in a manner that does not deface or alter its appearance.

The policy to which Inspector Sims referred, General Order 601.1 which is detailed on an internal MPD directive, is much more specific about the markings on firearms. It says that evidence should be marked in a manner that does not deface or alter its appearance.

The internal guidelines are specific about how this should be done on a firearm. All pistols shall be marked by removing the grips from the frame of the weapon and making the appropriate remarks beneath the grips.

Lt. Kim's guns were marked on the side of the gun, which is clearly a violation of the policy and diminishes the value of the firearms.

Mr. Gardiner said his client has not yet decided if he will file a lawsuit.

The charges were dismissed and his property has been returned, said the longtime firearms attorney. So the case is over unless Augee decides to bring a civil suit for the extensive delay in returning the property and for the damage to the property as well.

Lt. Kim is preparing to deploy to Kosovo this summer. It's good that his two-year ordeal is over before leaving the country, but the District shouldn't have left this permanent scar on his guns as a reminder.

13. Phoenix boy, 14, shoots armed intruder while watching three younger siblings

Guns and children don't mix? Baloney. This is a much better result that one some years ago when a California girl could not get access to her parent's gun to save her siblings during a vicious attack with a pitchfork. Guns Save Lives. Gun Control Kills.

EM Ed Levine emailed me this:



Phoenix boy, 14, shoots armed intruder while watching three younger siblings
June 23, 2012

A 14-year-old Phoenix boy shot an intruder who broke into his home while brandishing a gun as the teenager watched his three younger siblings, police said.

The teen and his brothers and sisters were at home alone at their residence at 55th Avenue and Baseline when a woman rang the doorbell Friday. The teen didn't open the door because he didn't recognize her, Police Officer James Holmes said Saturday.

Soon after, the teen heard a bang on the door, rushed his siblings upstairs and got a handgun from his parent's bedroom. When he got to the top of the stairs, he saw a man breaking through the front door and point a gun at him.

The boy shot the 37-year-old man, who is in critical condition but expected to survive and be booked into jail.

Holmes said the suspect did not get a shot off. He declined to release his name until he is booked into jail.

The woman who rang the home's doorbell got away.

Holmes hailed the teen's actions and his parents for teaching the kids to never open the door to strangers.

"The police and indeed our community does not ever want to see a situation where a teenager of that age has to take a weapon to protect his family ... but this young man did exactly what he should have done," he said. "I'm not sure he gave full thought about what he had to do. He just acted."

Holmes said that the gun the teen grabbed was his father's, but did not know whether the boy had been trained to use it.

He said the family, whose names were not released, is declining to speak to reporters about the ordeal, saying that they "are all pretty traumatized."

"The dad was pretty much out of his mind with distress, officers couldn't even talk to him," Holmes said. "It's going to take them a while to recover mentally."

He said police don't yet know what the suspect's intentions were and that will be one of the first questions they ask him when he is well enough to talk.

"This was mid-block in a neighborhood, at 4:30 in the afternoon in summertime and children are there," he said. "They just took a heck of a gamble for this particular house, and we've got to try to figure out why."

Holmes added that the family is lucky that the teen acted so swiftly and effectively.

"As ugly as this is, and as much as this family is going through, we don't have injured children on our hands," he said.

14. Micro stamping/micro mis-management in N.Y.

Ah, microstamping raises its ugly head in New York, but gets it cut off in the New York Senate. It is a waste of time. A few minutes with a gun's firing pin and a file and the micro-stamping is gone - poof! Or, a criminal can collect stamped casings at a gun range (including where police shoot) and sprinkle them at a crime scene to throw the police off course.

Stupid idea and, therefore, Bloomberg loves it!

Member Charlie Whiting emailed me this:



Backdoor gun ban - Microstamping drives up costs without solving crimes
By Emily Miller
June 21, 2012

Gun grabbers need to be sneaky to accomplish their goals. Their latest trick is to convince anti-gun states to mandate that handguns be microstamp-ready. That means the weapon's firing pin is redesigned to imprint a code on the primer so that, in theory, it will give law enforcement the ability to identify a specific gun from shell casings left at a crime scene. Like most left-wing endeavors, this one isn't going to work.

That didn't stop the New York State Assembly on Tuesday from passing a microstamping bill backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The legislation, which passed 85 to 60, specifically says guns manufactured in New York or delivered to a dealer after January 2014 have to produce a unique alpha-numeric marker on at least two locations of each spent cartridge that identifies the make, model and serial number. Fortunately, the state Senate blocked the bill on the last day of this session on Thursday, as it has done in four previous sessions.

Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Cuomo don't care about the negative impact of their proposal, which they estimate to be $12 per pistol. Manufacturers stuck with the actual duty of implementing the legislation put the cost at hundreds of dollars per gun. We don't know how to do microscopic etching. The equipment to do it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we would also need a scanning electron microscope to verify it's on the pin, said Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta USA. We wouldn't invest a half-million dollars to sell guns in one state.

A spokesman for Remington Arms said if it had to add microstamping to all its pistols, it would reconsider its relationship with New York and certainly the manufacturing of our handguns in the state. New York-based Kimber Mfg. Inc. said the law would make the firm rethink its current expansion in Yonkers. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents firearm and ammunition manufacturers, estimates this bill would send 5,200 New Yorkers to the unemployment lines.

Manufacturers will simply stop selling handguns into a state that requires microstamping, explained NSSF's senior vice president, Lawrence Keane, of the ultimate consequences for the industry. This is, in effect, a handgun ban.

California and the District of Columbia are the only places in the country that have passed the mandate, but neither has actually implemented the law because the technology isn't ready. Several independent, peer-reviewed studies, including one conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, have concluded that microstamping is still flawed and unreliable.

Maryland, New York and the District required ballistics testing on spent casings for each gun sold - until they realized it was extremely costly and didn't actually solve any crimes. Each of these jurisdictions recently jettisoned the testing requirement.

The gun grabbers talk about fancy technology, but nothing will stop the bad guys from merely using an emery board to scratch the stamp off the firing pin. It also won't work on revolvers, which don't leave casings behind when fired. It's obvious that the only purpose left is to discourage the sales of handguns and infringe on Second Amendment rights.

15. The futility of Chicago's gun turn-ins

These gun buy ups (not a buy back because the police never owned the guns in the first place) are a great way to turn in a piece of junk gun and buy a really nice one! All in the name of, er, gun control.


The Futility of Chicago's Gun Turn-Ins: Who is most likely to turn in a firearm for a $100 reward? Someone with 1) a cheap gun and 2) no criminal propensity.

Steve Chapman
June 18, 2012

If you've got some clothes you don't need anymore, you can give them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. If you have an old car, you can call various organizations to take it away. And if you're in Chicago and have a gun that's burning a hole in your pocket, you can get rid of it on Saturday, no questions asked.

The city government has a great fondness for gun turn-in events. It's done six of them in the past six years, collecting more than 23,000 weapons. This one will be held at 23 churches, and anyone handing over a firearm will get a $100 gift card. The guns will then be destroyed.

The motive behind these efforts is not hard to understand in a place that had 433 murders last year and has seen a spike this year. Dozens of shootings take place in Chicago every week.

Two years ago, explaining the effort, then-Mayor Richard Daley said, "We have just too many guns in our society. When someone has access to a gun, they use it." The gun buyback is a way "we can reduce the number of guns on our streets," says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But don't put too much stock in those pronouncements. The number of privately owned guns in America keeps rising, and at last count it totaled 270 million, or about one for every adult. But nationally, the homicide rate has fallen by more than half over the past two decades.

Contrary to Daley, most people who own guns never use them for anything but legal purposes (hunting, target shooting, self-defense). Contrary to Emanuel, the weapons this sort of venture yields are probably not the ones carried in the streets or the ones used in crimes. The reduction also represents a minuscule share of the firearms in the city, which may number over a million.

Think about it: Who is most likely to turn in a firearm for a $100 reward? Someone with 1) a cheap gun and 2) no criminal propensityósay, Aunt Millie disposing of a rusty revolver her late husband left in the nightstand.

Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck noted in a 1996 book that when St. Louis did a gun buyback, those participating "were commonly middle-aged and 80 percent white, while those involved in gun violence in that city were mostly young and black."

Criminals will have trouble finding any appeal in this offer. In the first place, their weapons may have cost far more than $100, as handguns and long guns of good quality usually do.

In the second place, thugs practice a trade in which a weapon is essential for doing business. A pistol used in the course of armed robberies will pay for itself many times over. A $100 gift card won't.

The experience elsewhere offers little hope that the program will make a noticeable difference. After a successful 1974 buyback in Baltimore, the firearm homicide rate jumped by 50 percent. A study of a Seattle effort found it "failed to reduce significantly the frequency of firearms injuries, deaths or crimes."

This is the pattern wherever turn-ins take place. A 2004 study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that "the theory underlying gun buybacks is badly flawed and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs."

The people who participate are generally those who are least dangerous. Those who are most dangerous have no motive to participate. So when the buyback is done, the number of armed criminals will most likely be unchanged.

Advocates may think that getting rid of weapons will at least prevent accidents and suicides. But some people who hand over a gun will hang on to other guns, which they are just as likely to handle carelessly or leave where a child can find it.

As for suicide, the odd thing about people intent on killing themselves is that if a firearm is not available, they can find plenty of other methods that will serve their purpose. The National Academy study said that "gun control policies may reduce the number of gun suicides, but they have not yet been shown to reduce the overall risk of suicide in any population" (my emphasis).

This year's turn-in will no doubt garner a decent haul of weapons. But for anyone anticipating a drop in gun violence, it will mostly yield disappointment.

16. Wrigleyville man's throat slashed in random attack

VA-Alert reader Jay Minsky emailed me this:


This story gives the perfect reason for Illinois to allow concealed carry and not to be the only state in the U.S. not to allow concealed carry. The following article on NBC Chicago's website about a man who was attacked by a knife-wielding man while walking his dog. His throat was cut from behind. The brazen man then stood nearby holding his knife as others near a bus stop assisted the injured man.


Wrigleyville Man's Throat Slashed in Random Attack - Michael Schmidt met with police sketch artist to draw up composite sketch of attacker
By Phil Rogers and Lindsay Smith
Jun 22, 2012

Police issued a community alert after Michael Schmidt was attacked by a knife-wielding man who appeared to want to watch his victim die. Phil Rogers reports.

Michael Schmidt says he has no idea why a man he passed while walking his dog Sunday night turned around and attacked him.

"He came up behind, put his left arm over my chest, took his right arm, and slashed my throat from left to right," Schmidt explained.

The attack happened at about 11 p.m. Sunday in the 1200 block of West Byron Street. As Schmidt gripped his throat, he said his attacker just stood there for several seconds, watching his victim bleed profusely.

"He just had this sneer on his face. I think he was amazed that I didn't drop to the ground," Schmidt said.

The Wrigleyville man sought help from a man at a bus stop at North Clark and West Byron streets. As they were calling 911, Schmidt said his attacker re-appeared. The man was standing in the middle of the street, looking at them with his knife in his hand. He then walked away.

Paramedics took Schmidt to a nearby hospital where the four-inch gash on his neck was treated with 40 stitches.

Schmidt later met with a police sketch artist who drew up a composite. He described his attacker as a black man about 30 years old who stood about 6 feet, 1 inch or 6 feet, 2 inches tall. The man was wearing a white T-shirt with black stripes and black shorts.

The incident, Schmidt said, has strengthened his views in opposition of Illinois' concealed carry laws.

"And now it's justified for us to be carrying weapons," Schmidt said. "If they are, so should we."

Police urge area residents to alert neighbors about the crime and not to walk alone if possible. They encourage people to stay in well-lit areas and call 911 if they see any suspicious activity.

17. United Nations to convene month-long conference for international gun control


United Nations To Convene Month Long Conference For International Gun Control
June 16, 2012

(SAFF) Its time once again to just say, NO, to the UN. As Spain deals with a bailout to save the economy and the country, and while the country is engaged in its worst financial crisis in recent memory, the Spanish Parliament took time this week to push for adoption of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

This is the Treaty that will infringe on the US Constitution, the Second Amendment, and your right to self defense. The United Nations and specially invited anti firearms rights groups who want to eliminate our firearms freedoms will be convening at the UN July 2nd through the 27th to draft a Treaty to accomplish the goal of regulating firearms and accessories, and ultimately the disarming all of America.

Spain agreed with the drafters of the Treaty, with input from various international and US gun control groups, who want the Urgent and essential Treaty to;
a) Include a golden rule that prohibits the authorization of arms transfers where there is a substantial risk that used to commit or facilitate the commission-™ serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law.
b) Allow a comprehensive coverage that includes controls on weapons, ammunition and related material and on ALL (emphasis added) transfers.
c) explicit regulation of solid systems of licensing, transparency and reporting.

International gun ban groups are telling UN member states, including the United States, in unambiguous terms, to adopt this Treaty and clamp controls and international regulations on your firearms and ammunition, and all transfers, including purchase and sale of guns and ammunition. By the wording of the treaty, inclusion of the and related material provision would include parts, accessories, scopes, stocks, magazines, and the like. The regulations are limited only by the bureaucratic enforcers imagination. And, of course, there is the licensing provision that all signing Countries are required to implement.

Bill Clinton favored the provisions of the previous draft of this Treaty, but declined to present of the Treaty to the Senate for ratification. No doubt out of deference to the various strong pro gun rights organizations here, and the potential political wrath of gun owners.

George W. Bush was against this Treaty. And, his UN Ambassador, John Bolton, helped to keep a Treaty like this just a leftist's dream. However, with the advent of Hope and Change in January, 2009, Barack Obama instructed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Be open to the Treaty. The State Department will undoubtedly be heavily involved with the Treaty process at the UN next month.

The Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty has a already met four times to draft the Treaty that will be submitted to the UN next month.

Its efforts are being supported by the lofty sounding UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. The Treaty formulation will be carried out by the 193 countries belonging to the UN. Representatives from other organizations, including the A list of American gun ban groups were invited to attend.

Contrary to the gun control goals as outlined by the Spanish Parliament, the UN says that the treaty will not interfere with the way a country regulates civilian arms possession.

18. Virginia self-defense common law references and explanations

VCDL attorney, Richard Gardiner, put together this summary of self-defense common law references and explanations for you.


While Virginia does not have a "castle doctrine" (the rules for the use of deadly force are the same inside and outside the home), a person only has a duty to retreat if he was the initial aggressor. If retreats and the other person continues the attack, there is no duty to retreat further. Virginia's law on self-defense is not found in the Virginia Code; it is found in case law, setting forth the common law.

McGhee v. Commonwealth, 219 Va. 560, 562, 248 S.E.2d 808, ___ (1978) explained:

Self-defense in Virginia is an affirmative defense, the absence of which is not an element of murder. In making this plea a defendant implicitly admits the killing was intentional and assumes the burden of introducing evidence of justification or excuse that raises a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.

The law of self-defense is the law of necessity, and the necessity relied upon must not arise out of defendant's own misconduct. Accordingly, a defendant must reasonably fear death or serious bodily harm to himself at the hands of his victim. It is not essential to the right of self-defense that the danger should in fact exist. If it reasonably appears to a defendant that the danger exists, he has the right to defend against it to the same extent, and under the same rules, as would obtain in case the danger is real. A defendant may always act upon reasonable appearance of danger, and whether the danger is reasonably apparent is always to be determined from the viewpoint of the defendant at the time he acted.

Commonwealth v. Sands, 262 Va. 724, 729, 553 S.E.2d 733, ___ (2001) clarified as follows:

The "bare fear" of serious bodily injury, or even death, however well-grounded, will not justify the taking of human life. . . . "There must [also] be some overt act indicative of imminent danger at the time." (citations omitted). In other words, a defendant "must wait till some overt act is done[,] . . . till the danger becomes imminent." (citation omitted). In the context of a self-defense plea, "imminent danger" is defined as "[a]n immediate, real threat to one's safety . . . ." (citation omitted). "There must be . . . some act menacing present peril . . . [and] [t]he act . . . must be of such a character as to afford a reasonable ground for believing there is a design . . . to do some serious bodily harm, and imminent danger of carrying such design into immediate execution."

As to mere tresspassers, Pike v. Commonwealth, 24 Va. App. 373, 375-376, 482 S.E.2d 839, ___ (1997) stated:

The common law in this state has long recognized the right of a landowner to order a trespasser to leave, and if the trespasser refuses to go, to employ proper force to expel him, provided no breach of the peace is committed in the outset. . . . Absent extreme circumstances, however, such force may not endanger human life or cause great bodily harm.

The difference between Justifiable homicide and Excusable homicide was explained in Bailey v. Commonwealth, 200 Va. 92, 96, 104 S.E.2d 28, ___ (1958):

Justifiable homicide in self-defense occurs where a person, without any fault on his part in provoking or bringing on the difficulty, kills another under reasonable apprehension of death or great bodily harm to himself. . . .

Excusable homicide in self-defense occurs where the accused, although in some fault in the first instance in provoking or bringing on the difficulty, when attacked retreats as far as possible, announces his desire for peace, and kills his adversary from a reasonably apparent necessity to preserve his own life or save himself from great bodily harm.

19. VCDL Carry Cards House Cleaning - Starting July 1st

The color of the VCDL Carry Cards change every year for easier identification.

The 2012-13 card color is a light tan. If you see any outdated cards (see the listing below) please remove them and, if you
can, send a note to Bruce at letting him know when, where, and how many were removed if would be appreciated.

Please note that this is just for the cards and NOT the brochures.

2007-08 Goldenrod
2008-09 Green
2009-10 Orange
2010-11 Light Blue
2011-12 Fuchsia (That is manly pink BTW)

20. Get ahead of the rush. Pre-order your VCDL carry cards

The VCDL Carry Cards, identifying where in Virginia carrying of
firearms is legal (on the front) and the locations where carry is
prohibited (on the back), typically come out in early July, once all
of the new laws have gone into affect and we have had a chance to get
the new cards printed.

If you would like between 1 and 10 newly revised Carry Cards, as fast
as we can get them to you, send a self addressed stamped envelope
(SASE) and your most generous donation to:

VCDL Carry Card
PO Box 254
Garrisonville, VA 22463

Make checks payable to: VCDL or the VCDL-PAC (your choice)

Please enclose a note with:

1) the number of cards desired

2) an email address or phone number in case there are issues, and

3) if you prefer NOT to have a "Guns Save Lives" sticker affixed to
your return envelope.

Your SASE with an orange "Guns Save Lives" sticker (unless you opt out
of the sticker) and the requested Carry Cards will be sent to you as
soon as the cards are available in early July.

21. A note from EM Bob Sadter

Bob wanted me to post this to all or you:

As you all know, on March 21, Philip and I were hit head-on by an inattentive teenager and I broke my kneecap.

In the wake of VCDL member Matt Kish's fatal motorcycle crash a few days later, I said, "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine." And so I am.

On Monday the 18th, the doc gave me a clean bill of health and sent me packing [PVC: The doctor gave you a gun, Bob?!].

Now that this sordid incident is officially history, let me say thank you for all the well wishes and offers of assistance. The volume is really impressive. The people who make up this organization are a truly special bunch. I consider it a tremendous privilege to serve you, and your rights.

Let's go make some trouble.

Oh, and put yer seatbelt on when you're in the car!


VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: []
IMPORTANT: It is our intention to honor all "remove" requests promptly.
To unsubscribe from this list, or change the email address where you
receive messages, please go to: []

Modify Your Subscription:
Powered by Listbox:

No comments:

Post a Comment