Thursday, August 16, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 8/15/12

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

1. Gun owner saves cop's life by shooting deranged gunman
2. Sheriff's officials: Conner's victims were 'transient travelers' from Arizona
3. Anti: Aurora shootings show assault rifles must be banned
4. Excellent read on mass shooting vs. gun control
5. Gun-free-KILLING-zones
6. Bowing low to the "people of the gun"
7. Having private guns would have altered Batman shooting
8. Where there are sheep, wolves will always thrive
9. Anti: Let's force gun owners to lock up their guns
10. Horror! 3 people carry guns into movie theater in Putnam County, TN
11. Views on gun laws unchanged after Aurora shooting
12. What Mayor Bloomberg doesn't know about police and guns
13. A Bloomberg assault hammer
14. A 65 year old woman thwarts robbery using her pistol and 2 rounds
15. More gun control, Aussie style
16. THIRTEEN stabbed, NINE killed in knife attack - will Schumer now call for a ban on cutlery?
17. Antis: Curses! Foiled again!
18. VCDL member shares his experience working the VCDL booth at the Louisa County Fair
19. More thoughts on stopping an "active shooter"
20. Anti gets caught plagiarizing
21. Appears that the Norfolk Police screwed up again
22. CMP Shooters News item
23. Carrying prevents a gang attack on a Virginia gun owner
24. VCDL signs on to an Amicus Brief in important gun rights case!
25. REPOST: Coverage of Richmond library protest

1. Gun owner saves cop's life by shooting deranged gunman

This story tears apart a lot of the theories put forward by the anti-liberty crowd:

"Gun owners won't stop a shooting, but will instead endanger the police and other citizens." This citizen is credited with saving that officer's life.

"Gun owners can't hit anything with a handgun beyond a few feet." (The gun owner hit a bad guy **at least once** at 160 yards with his handgun. I regularly shoot my Kahr, Sig, Ruger, and Glock .40 S&W handguns at toaster-sized targets out at one hundred yards and hit them. Such a 160 yard shot is entirely possible with 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP with a little practice.)

Most of the people on this alert list would have done the same to save that officer's life, that's just who we are.

Another key point: after such an event, remember that arriving officers don't know who you are, so BE VERY CAREFUL and FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS WITHOUT HESITATION. Your innocence will be sorted out fairly quickly.


Gun Owner Saves Cop's Life by Shooting Deranged Gunman! (VIDEO)
by dabneybailey
August 1, 2012

It's not every day that you hear the police give a civilian a warm "thank you" for entering a lethal shootout, but that's exactly what happened in Early, Texas on Sunday. But before we get into the heroic civilian shooter, let's back up a bit.

See a Man About a Dog

It all began, innocently enough, "as a squabble over dogs." David Michael House, 58, and Iris Valentina Calaci, 53, were both residents at the Peach House RV Park in central Texas. They were also dog owners, and their pooches allegedly had a nasty habit of relieving themselves on the lawn of neighbor Charles Ronald Conner, 58.

According to eyewitnesses, Conner approached House about his dog, and an argument broke out. Rather than dealing with the confrontation like a normal human being, Conner allegedly went back to his RV, got his gun, returned to House, and lethally shot him.

The gun shots prompted Calaci to run screaming from her trailer home, but she didn't get far. Conner chased her down, shot her once and then fired another shot into her, execution style.

Amazingly, Conner's shooting spree didn't end there. He also shot and killed the two dogs that, in his confused mind, started the mess.

Fatally shooting your neighbors over an issue of dog doo might seem absurdly over-the-top to normal people like you and us, but it might have appeared perfectly sensible to Conner. Conner's family explained that he had "mental problems." Police later found a notebook in Conner's trailer with nearly incomprehensible "ramblings."

Conner might've been able to get a lenient sentence in court due to his troubled mental state, but that day will never come – there was to be one more shooting on that tragic day, this time in the name of defense.

Shots Fired

Sgt. Steven Means of the Early Police Department came rolling onto the scene, but he had barely gotten out of his car before Conner began opening fire on the officer. Means took cover behind his police car and returned fire with an AR-15, but Conner maintained cover behind a tree. Eyewitnesses report that this positioning gave Conner the upper hand over the out-gunned police officer.

A Helping Hand

Means and Conner weren't the only two people with their attention riveted on the gun fight. Vic Stacy, another resident of the RV park, saw the gun fight break out as he was watching TV in his mobile home and thought to himself, "I'm going to see what's going to happen here and if I need to I'll, you know, get in on it."

Stacy, who had a seen Conner around his trailer park and described him as "off the wall", watched the gun fight for a few moments and concluded, "I think (Conner) is gonna take (the officer) out if I don't help him out."

So, that's when Stacy decided to act. Conner may have had excellent cover against the Officer Means, but Stacy was in a flanking position that gave him the perfect vantage point. Stacy recalled, "I had a side view of that man the whole time standing there, and I thought, I'm fixin' to put one in him, if I can."

Stacy raised his gun, fired, and landed one hell of a shot – by his estimate "a good 165 yards" – with a pistol (we do not know the make or caliber at this time). Stacy wasn't even sure if he could make the shot at that distance: "I hope this magnum bullet'll hold up, you know, this distance. And sure enough it did and I hit him in the thigh."

At that point, Conner returned fire against Stacy with his AR-15. He missed his shot, luckily, but that gave dead-eye Stacy another opportunity to pull the trigger. Stacy "hit him again and put three more in him … The patrolman got two shots in him with that AR-15. And it seems like he's all over with, then."

Conner died on the scene, but if it wasn't for the aid of Vic Stacy, the body count might have been a lot higher.

Thanks for the Help!

More police arrived on scene an promptly threw Stacy in cuffs, but after Officer Means cleared up what had happened they released Stacy. Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs later said, "The citizen that fired these shots did a tremendous job out there. Had he not had a gun and the presence of mind to do this, we don't know what the outcome would've been."

It is currently unclear as to whether it was Stacy's shots or Officer Mean's shots that delivered the killing blow. Either way, the police are not planning to press charges against Stacy. If anything, they should give him a medal.

Police and RV park residents alike have been calling Stacy a hero, but he's rejected the label. He said that he's just an "average workin' person" who was just "trying to help an officer out."

Stacy told Brownwood Bulletin that he wasn't able to sleep at all the night following the shooting, but the following day was a different story. Stacy was able to get a good night's sleep after police convinced him that he had acted appropriately and saved lives.

Stacy added, "I hate that it happened. But I'm glad that we got him down. I felt sorry for those people."

We might have a new role model. Vic Stacy was not overeager to pull the trigger, he felt the appropriate weight on his conscience after taking the life of another person, and he hasn't let the media attention get to his head. If you ask us, the world could use a few more Vic Stacys.

2. Sheriff's officials: Conner's victims were 'transient travelers' from Arizona

The hard, cold fact is that a murderer can come for you at any moment and you are either ready to fight back or not. Period.


Sheriff's officials: Conner's victims were 'transient travelers' from Arizona
by Steve Nash
July 30, 2012

Brown County Sheriff's officials released the identities Monday afternoon of the man and woman who were shot to death Sunday by Charles Conner in a dispute over dogs as "transient travelers" from Arizona. Conner was also killed in the shooting.

David Michael House, 58, and Iris Valentina Calaci, 57, had been at the Peach House RV Park for a couple of months, where the 1:30 p.m. shooting occurred, sheriff's officials said. Sheriff's officials have described the couple as common-law spouses.

Conner fired shots at Early police Sgt. Steven Means, the first officer on the scene, and at a man identified by sheriff's offers as a "witness shooter." Means and the witness-shooter fired back at Conner, killing him. The couple's two dogs were also killed in the shooting.

Addressing the media Monday morning at the Law Enforcement Center, Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs and Police Chief David Mercer released additional details of the shooting. Grubbs and Mercer also hailed the reactions of Means, the officer who Conner shot at, and of the witness-shooter.

The Peach House RV Park, is about a mile north of the Brownwood airport on U.S. Highway 183 North. The shooting happened after Conner became angry that the couple's two dogs had defecated in front of Conner's camper, sheriff's officials have said.

Authorities initially had withheld releasing the couple's identities because they were having trouble finding relatives to notify. The pair had been doing some work for W.T. Harris, the owner of the RV park and a peach orchard at the same location, Grubbs said.

The sheriff said Conner fired a lever-action 30-30 rifle at Early Police Sgt. Steven Means a short time after Means arrived in his patrol car. Means, the first officer to arrive, saw Conner, got out of his car with an assault rifle and took up a position behind the patrol car, Mercer said.

The witness-shooter, a 66-year-old man, fired a .357 revolver at Conner. A round hit one of Conner's legs, "which rattled Conner enough that he missed (Means)," Grubbs said. "As (Means) and the witness-shooter returned fire, Conner collapsed dead."

The witness-shooter, a temporary resident of the RV park, acted courageously and valiantly and may have saved the lives of Means and other responding officers, as well as the lives of other citizens who could have inadvertently walked into the situation, Grubbs said.

Means also acted valiantly and with "great courage and is to be commended by law enforcement and the community he serves," Grubbs said. "His courage is an example of what law enforcement may face at any moment's notice."

Means returned fire with an assault rifle. Sheriff's officials said earlier that Means and the 66-year-old man fired a total of 11 shots. He did not have information on how many times Conner was shot or whether the rounds that hit him came from Means, the witness-shooter or both. All three bodies have been taken to the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office for autopsies, Grubbs said.

Conner had already complained to the couple about their two dogs — a small poodle mix and a border collie mix — before he shot them, Grubbs said. "He'd made complaints about this, and evidently was pretty quick to anger anyway, based on what we've got," Grubbs said.

Conner had words with the couple Sunday afternoon, then went back to his trailer, got a 9 millimeter handgun and went back to the area of the couple's trailer, Grubbs said. Conner shot the man, shot the dogs and shot the woman, who had been in the trailer and came outside screaming, Grubbs said.

All area law enforcement officers were dispatched, and Means' arrival was followed by the arrival of deputy Terry Sliter about 45 seconds later, Grubbs said.

"It's a bad situation," Grubbs said. "I really want to commend the police officer for his response out there. The citizen who fired these shots did a tremendous job out there. Had he not had the gun and the presence of mind to do this, we don't know what the outcome would've been.

"Everything I've seen on this, this is a clean shooting. It was handled commendably by the officer. I don't think he had an option."

Texas Ranger Danny Crawford, who is heading the investigation, has interviewed some of Conner's relatives who said Conner had been "acting strange and had twisted a little further off-center sometime back in the spring … I don't think they kept real close contact with him," Grubbs said.

"What was pushing him toward this, I honestly can't say at this point," Grubbs said.

Conner did not have a criminal history, Grubbs said, but investigators found "writings" from Conner that indicated Conner "had some problems," Grubbs said earlier. Grubbs described the writings Monday as "rambling" and did not seem to have a topic.

"I can't understand this guy's mental state anyway … I probably never will," Grubbs said. "I can't understand how the dogs got to be an issue."

Investigators also found five or six firearms in Conner's trailer, Grubbs said.

3. Anti: Aurora shootings show assault rifles must be banned

John Wilburn emailed me this:



Aurora shootings show assault rifles must be banned
by Eric Jones
July 25, 2012

The Second Amendment to our Constitution famously allows us our right to bear arms.

The amendment has been the focal point of many arguments from gun advocates to lessen the impact of gun control, citing our right to defend ourselves with deadly force if necessary as an integral piece of individual liberty.

Unfortunately, the issue at stake has reached a greater sense of urgency in the turn of recent events. Brazen flourishes of violence have brought gun ownership, particularly ownership of assault weapons, under immense scrutiny and it is time for us to assess our constitutional values with a more modern approach.

The Second Amendment is old literature. It was written at the dawn of our government, a government that was shackled by infancy and hardly an adequate representation of national identity. It was difficult for the federal government to assemble and manage a standing army, and smaller, regional militias were the strongest early solutions to the problem.

The amendment was also a secure method of allowing citizens the right to protect themselves in the event that the government succumbed to tyranny.

The people could be adequately equipped to defend their rights.In the 21st century, this issue is hardly a problem anymore. Personal protection still is reasonable justification for owning a firearm. But being able to purchase assault weapons and equipment online without background checks, and to assemble an arsenal fit for a small tactical squad, oversteps the boundaries of personal protection.

In 1994, a law was passed that banned civilian manufacture and purchase certain semi-automatic firearms designated as assault rifles. The provision, however, was only a ten year agreement, and in 2004 the bill expired.

Gun advocacy groups, such as the National Rifle Association, were primarily involved in resisting the bills extension, and since 2004, the NRA and other prominent gun lobby groups have spent over $1.5 million a year advocating gun ownership, and specifically keeping the bill from passing again.

Since the ban's expiration in 2004, at least six efforts have been made to renew the law, and each time the proposals have hardly had enough steam to leave committee.

This is despite data released by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence that says that gun crimes committed with assault weapons dropped 66 percent during the ban.

There are also loopholes that we need to consider when scrutinizing weapons sales. Popular events in the US are gun shows, which have suffered criticism due to there being no regulation on gun sales that are considered private.

Weapons can be bought at gun shows from private sellers without any kind of background check or even presenting identification. No laws or regulations have made ground trying to monitor private sales at gun shows.

But in the wake of the shooting in Aurora, Colo. at a theater screening the new Batman movie, we have to start seriously considering what we consider valuable in our lives--our guns, or our collective safety?

The tragedy in Aurora left 12 dead and 58 wounded--the largest number of casualties in a mass shooting in US history. James Holmes, the prime suspect, allegedly did most of the damage with an AR-15 assault rifle, which was one of the firearms previously banned from civilian ownership in the assault weapons ban.

The suspect also purchased a few thousand rounds of ammunition and equipment typically assigned to SWAT units, all of it online without any kind of background check or red flags. James Holmes had no criminal record prior to the incident and had just once brushed up against the law - cited for a traffic violation.

According to authorities, all of his weapons, ammunition and equipment were purchased under accordance to the law.

Students at Virginia Tech should be more than aware of the kinds of threats people can pose to one another. In just the past five years, we have witnessed two violent gun-related incidents on our campus.

Both shootings were carried out with handguns, understood as acceptable measures in practicing self-defense and easily procured with clean background checks. And yet, both shootings demanded intense scrutiny of gun control laws, and little has been accomplished.

The Tucson, Arizona shooting in early 2011 was also carried out with a handgun, and sparked scrutiny of gun control as well. It is time for our collective voice to stop scrutinizing gun control laws and take serious action.

Too often over the past 19 months have we stood witness to tragic incidents of large-scale gun violence, and the recent use of assault weapons has turned the debate in the new direction.

The suspected shooter in Aurora used weapons and equipment that have been federally banned before, but due to pressure from gun advocacy groups, owning such equipment is entirely legal today.

Gun control may not significantly reduce gun violence on our streets, but it will definitely make it much more difficult for seemingly average Americans to cause inexcusable amounts of destruction on a whim. Too often we have stood idly by these splurges of violence without addressing the issue with serious consideration for change, and it is time to set a new course. [PVC: It will also make it harder for the average American to protect his life and his family's lives.]

4. Excellent read on mass shooting vs. gun control

Board Member Dale Welch emailed me this:


Since this Big Brother approach will not be tolerated by Americans — and would not necessarily solve the problem anyway — anti-freedom busybodies move on to the next debatable point: Ban the guns. Everything from motions to repeal the Second Amendment to bans on high-capacity magazines are fielded and debated.


G&A Perspective: How Should We Respond to the Aurora Shooting?
by B. Gil Horman
August 2, 2012

The recent mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., has triggered yet another vigorous debate in the media — and in the halls of government — about gun control. While this type of non-politically motivated attack on civilians by a single individual is relatively rare, the event drives a powerfully heartbreaking, gut-wrenching sense of terror through the community and nation where it occurs.

And rightfully so. While government and law enforcement agencies can plan and prepare to counter or curtail military invasions, terrorist attacks and the activities of organized crime, the lone gunman — in this case, the accused is a former neuroscience student named James Eagan Holmes — on a mission of destruction is nearly impossible to detect or to deter.

As we look back over similar events in the last 10 years, the disturbing behavior patterns of these criminals prior to the shootings become apparent. But it's not an understanding that brings much comfort. Instead, it verifies how difficult it is to prevent this kind of crime.

On April 16, 2007, in two separate attacks, Seung-Hui Cho shot 49 people on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., killing 32 and wounding 17 before committing suicide. Although it's impossible to know what was going through this young man's mind, a review of his past showed how Cho became mentally and emotionally disconnected from society. His history of mental illness, social problems and disturbing classroom behavior all come together to show how he became a threat, but only in hindsight. With the limited amount of information we currently have on Holmes' background, it seems he followed the same path of social disconnection, but possibly in a much more rapid descent.

Perpetrators of mass shootings tend to be meticulous planners, spending months or even years preparing to make their strike. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the masterminds behind the April 20, 1999, massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., are an example of long-term planning and concealment. Early in 1997, Harris was posting online about his anger towards society. On January 30, 1998, Harris and Klebold were arrested for stealing tools from a parked van that may have been intended to help them prepare for their assault. In the 16 months after this arrest, the boys carefully documented their activities leading up to this tragedy in videos and journals. This included illegally obtaining and altering firearms, laying out their strategy in detail and constructing over 90 explosive devices. Unfortunately, all of this evidence came to light after the fact because these young men were careful to keep it hidden. Preliminary evidence in the Aurora case shows that the accused shooter may have spent six months planning the shooting.

The most disturbing aspect of these terrible shootings is the selection of "soft" targets. Much like terrorists do, these criminals look to inflict maximum damage as efficiently as possible by selecting easily accessible and crowded areas. On March 13, 1996, in the Scottish town of Dunblane, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton entered Dunblane Primary School armed with four handguns. He then shot and killed 16 children and one adult before committing suicide. It remains one of the worst criminal acts using handguns in the United Kingdom's history.

In much the same way as Hamilton chose to kill people he knew could not fight back, Holmes allegedly chose a dark, noisy movie theater filled with fans who were oblivious to the coming assault. Evidence points to his use of homemade smoke devices that caused skin, throat and eye irritation. He also fortified himself with body armor and possibly painkillers in order to stay on his feet as long as possible in case someone shot back.

All these attacks, no matter how we analyze them, are monstrous. But how exactly are we supposed to respond to them? What do we do with people whose mental state and horrific choices lead them to plan and carry out mass murder? The solutions that some policy makers would like to implement would require us to convert our free country into a kind of police state in which our movements, purchases, and mental state are constantly tracked and monitored.

Since this Big Brother approach will not be tolerated by Americans — and would not necessarily solve the problem anyway — liberal busybodies move on to the next debatable point: Ban the guns. Everything from motions to repeal the Second Amendment to bans on high-capacity magazines are fielded and debated. The U.K. used the Dunblane massacre as leverage in passing draconian gun restrictions, including the Firearms (Amendment) Act and the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act in 1997. These bans have greatly reduced the numbers of guns in the hands of the citizens of the U.K., but they certainly have not reduced violent crime. Rather, crime levels have climbed.

This desire to ban guns shows a fundamental flaw of logic, which is to blame the tools a criminal uses instead the criminal himself. For example, how does society react when an unlicensed, mentally unfit or substance-impaired individual chooses to get behind the wheel of a powerful motor vehicle and inflict death and destruction? This happens far more frequently than mass shootings, but what has been done about it? Where is the debate? Where is the hue and cry for change? Why not increase the legal driving age to 35-years of age? All heavy, powerful SUVs could be banned in favor of lightweight, and less lethal, Smart cars. All speed limits could be dropped to 20 mph to reduce the number of fatal collisions. If fact, why not collectively sue the automotive industry for providing people with easy-to-operate machines that are, by their design, inherently dangerous to operate?

Americans, quite logically, are not ready to sacrifice the freedoms that a diverse supply of automobiles provides because of the bad behavior of a minority of motorists. Instead of sliding down the slippery slope of blaming vehicle-inflicted harm on the company that built the car, the dealership that sold the car or the gas station that put fuel in its tank, we rightfully prosecute the person who was driving it.

So what should we do in the face of past and future mass shootings? First and foremost, we need to grieve this meaningless loss of innocent life. Let's do what we can to lend support to those who are suffering so much at this time.

Secondly, let's tell the members of our government to place the blame for mass shootings where it belongs: the instigator of the crime. Since criminals will always rise up to do harm no matter what legislation we have in place, let's work to ensure the government will be vigilant and vigorous in enforcing the strict laws we already have in place. In the case of accused murderer James Holmes, he has been officially charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder for the shooting. Each count comes with a possible death sentence, which is already the natural limit of what the law can do to punish anyone.

Finally, for those who have decided that now is the time to purchase a defensive firearm, please do so with proper foresight and planning. Research your purchase so that you know the gun of your choosing is one you can safely operate and practice with regularly. Make sure to meet federal and state requirements necessary to legally purchase and carry a firearm. Follow up your purchase with the appropriate gun safety and self defense training.

Remember, a gun is just one tool that can be added to a personal protection plan. It's the information lodged between your ears that ultimately provides the means to stay safe. Although individuals exercising their rights to be responsibly armed cannot provide a solution in every single personal protection situation, citizen-owned firearms do provide important defensive options that cannot be applied in any other way.

5. Gun-free-KILLING-zones

John Pepper emailed me this thought:

Words are important.

We should do all we can to modify, "Gun Free Zone, " to something like, "Gun Free Kill Zone, " or along these lines. If words are continuously repeated eventually they catch on.

Actually gun free kill zone is a more accurate description of the zone.

6. Bowing low to the "people of the gun"

Or, shaking your head and sighing at the "people of the press."

Board Member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



Bowing low to the People of the Gun
by Laura Washington
July 29, 2012

A semiautomatic assault rifle, anyone? How about a few thousand rounds of ammo? On July 20, those weapons of choice killed 12 innocents at the Century 16 Theatre in Aurora, Colo.

The shooter legally bought an AR-15 assault rifle, three other guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to police. In America, acquiring a lethal assault rifle is almost as easy as picking up a buttered popcorn at the movies.

The communities of Aurora, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and Chicago's South and West sides know that.

The families of thousands of murdered and injured souls get it. All those left behind, forever transformed, see it.

Why don't our politicians?

The minute the grim news blasted out of Colorado, our "leaders" started scrambling, running away from the message seared into every lethal bullet — these guns must go.

After every gun rampage, with every street shooting, the pols slip into see-no-evil mode. First, claim respect for the victims. Then, bleat: It's not the time or place. We already have plenty of gun restrictions, they posture.

It starts at the top. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, have been missing in action for years.

In 2008, presidential candidate Obama pledged to revive the federal ban on assault weapons. It never happened.

While governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed an assault weapons ban into law. Now he advocates for Second Amendment rights.

Both sides of the political aisle avert their eyes from the ongoing slaughter. They are terrified of the People of the Gun, particularly in election swing states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia.

And they lust for their money. During the 2010 election cycle, the NRA spent more than $7.2 million advocating for or against federal political candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In 1994, liberal U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer led the charge for the assault weapons ban; it expired 10 years later.

Today, the Democratic Senate leader says there isn't much hope for tighter gun laws, Bloomberg News reports. After Aurora, Schumer was quoted as saying: "We see the power of the NRA around here."

Michael Bloomberg is a rare and gratifying exception. The New York City mayor has been crusading against guns since 2006. Last week, Bloomberg hit the airwaves and editorial pages with a call for action: "12,000 innocent people [are] killed each year with guns, many of them possessed illegally," he wrote in a July 25 op-ed in the New York Daily News. "During the next president's term, if we do nothing, 48,000 people will be murdered with guns — nearly as many Americans who were killed during a decade of fighting in Vietnam."

"Yet," Bloomberg bemoaned, "neither presidential candidate has offered a plan to lower the death toll . . ."

They won't. Olympic mania is here, and they're back to attacking each other on the campaign trail.

The People of the Gun win, once again.

7. Having private guns would have altered Batman shooting


Guns: Cause or Solution?
by Faith Heaton
July 30, 2012

In light of the recent Colorado shooting that occurred at the final Batman movie premier, many have the long debated controversy of gun-control on their minds. Much like abortion rights and the death penalty, this topic doesn't seem to have one answer that appeases everyone. I would like to shed some light on recent events that may prove more helpful in forming an opinion.

Within recent years, more violent acts have been committed with a gun as the primary weapon. In this movie theater shooting, the suspect used several large guns to kill and wound the maximum amount of people in the minimum amount of time. The Virginia Tech shooting, the Columbine shooting and most wars and robberies are also executed with guns.

This has brought many people to blame guns for the violent crimes in society. But if that were the case, why are the jails full of people instead of guns? Guns are an instrument and if put in the wrong hands, they can create a lot of devastation and fear. I propose guns are not only used to inflict crime, but also for defense against it.

I think using guns and weapons for defense was the primary motive for our forefathers to put "the right to bare (sic) arms" in the Bill of Rights in 1791. These men understood how precious freedom was after winning their liberty in the Revolutionary War. I'm sure they wanted to be able to defend themselves and protect those freedoms.

Many Americans now argue that guns should be banned or put under tighter, limiting restrictions. I have heard and read many arguments that state that people who have concealed weapons permits can often prove to be an equal hazard in a public shooting, because these individuals may not have the required training to protect or take down a shooter. Others also argue that if guns are less accessible, the crime rates will decrease.

But studies in recent years have shown that countries that have banned guns or restricted their gun laws have actually seen violent crimes increase dramatically. The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, more commonly known as East Timor, is one country that has completely banned guns from the public and only allowed access of firearms to the military and police. Militias and individuals gained illegal access to guns – surprise, surprise – which resulted in 100,000 people from forced from their homes and widespread violence across the country in 2006.

Australia and England have both shown an increase in violence since they strengthened gun-control laws. A "USA Times" article by John R. Lott Jr. shows that in the four years after the United Kingdom banned handguns, their gun crime rose by an astounding 40 percent. Since Australia's laws banning most guns and making it a crime to use a gun defensively, armed robberies rose by 51 percent, unarmed robberies rose by 37 percent, assaults increased 24 percent and kidnappings by 43 percent. Lott's research also showed that the three worst public shootings in the past year all occurred in Europe, which has enacted much of what American gun-control proponents favor.

In the instances that an individual has been armed when a mass shooting attempt has occurred, the ending has been much different. On July 18, the day before the Colorado shooting, a 71-year-old man with a concealed weapons permit stopped two young men from attempting an armed robbery at an Internet café in central Florida. They came into the building waving around firearms, and the old man simply took control of the situation by firing back at the two would-be robbers in self-defense. No one was killed, and the only ones wounded were the two young criminals.

Another case-in-point is the famous Utah Trolley Square shooting in 2007. A gunman entered Trolley Square in Salt Lake City and started shooting people, but his rampage was stopped by an off-duty police officer with a concealed handgun.

An armed robbery in Midvale was also thwarted because the manager of Kelly Jewelers had a concealed weapon he took out when one of the would-be robbers threatened him with a gun. The store owner also held one of the would-be robbers until the police arrived.

There are dozens if not hundreds of further examples that could be given when an innocent civilian had a weapon to protect themselves and others. But I think my point has been made that guns can be beneficial in preventing mass violence.

Now, most of humanity would love to live in a world where guns were not needed at all. I for one try to wish for and work towards world peace. Frankly, doing away with guns wouldn't solve any of these goals. As long as people are selfish, greedy, power hungry and mentally disturbed, violence will continue.

I have worked in the security system business for about two years, and during that time I learned a phrase. "Locks keep the honest people honest." Most people realize if a burglar wants to get in their house badly enough, they are going to get inside. I feel that putting a ban on guns would have about the same effect. The honest people would abide by the laws, and the criminals would continue not caring about any legalities and would smuggle guns. The criminals would hold greater control and the honest citizens would be rendered defenseless.

In this argument, I hope I have shared a new perspective and examples that can be reasoned within support of gun rights. I don't encourage violence, but I do believe in self-defense. As long as we live in a world where evil resides, guns are needed to protect the innocent.

8. Where there are sheep, wolves will always thrive

Montford Oakes emailed me this:



Where There Are Sheep, Wolves Will Always Thrive
by Michael Filozof
July 23, 2012

Another mass homicide, and another round of the usual media drivel. It was a "senseless tragedy." "Shocking." The suspect was "quiet" and a "loner." He "must've just snapped." More pictures from the suspect's high school yearbook, more predictable cries for gun control.

Yawn. Frankly, I'm sick of it. Guess what, people! Evil exists. That's E-V-I-L, and people freely choose to commit it. They always have, and they always will.

I know that's a bizarre concept in post-Christian America, where we're taught that nothing is really evil or immoral (except a lack of "diversity," maybe) and that everyone is really good. Evil is simply an idea concocted by Hollywood script-writers for our entertainment, and if a gunman walks into a movie theater throwing gas grenades, it must all be part of the act.

I once read an account of a mass shooting in Australia back in 1996, and an eyewitness stated that as the gunman began killing people, bystanders began laughing. They thought it was some kind of stunt. It wasn't. They simply weren't conditioned to process the fact that they were witnessing actual murders with their own eyes.

The fact is that postmodern society has created an "artificial reality." Americans, and residents of other Western nations, live in air-conditioned buildings, eat processed foods, drive instead of walk, wait for the government check to come in the mail, and glut themselves into morbid obesity. They hire out a handful of volunteers to fight wars for them, and they hire out illegal aliens to mind their children and do their gardening. They walk around zombie-like, faces glued to iPhones; they fly around at 35,000 feet at 600 mph above the clouds where it's forty below zero -- and they get bored and bitch about the airplane food.

Evil thrives on vulnerability, and we're vulnerable because we're so detached from actual reality. After the 9/11 attacks turned the World Trade Center into an ash heap, a common reaction was "Duuude, it was just like a movie!" September 11 was the second attack on the WTC in eight years, and thousands of people a hundred stories up -- literally swaying in the breeze -- and millions of their fellow Americans still didn't "get it." I distinctly recall walking down a back-country road on a small-game hunt about a week after 9/11, rifle in hand, cognizant of the unusual quiet as all aircraft remained grounded, thinking, "Why don't you bastards try something now?" Of course, they wouldn't have -- evil avoids a confrontation. It hides from countervailing strength. It waits for the moment when you least expect it to seize its opportunity. And by failing to stand guard against it or acknowledge its presence, you, the victim, enable it.

Our forefathers hacked this nation out of a wilderness inhabited by Stone-Age tribesmen. They were in touch with reality. They fought wars, hunted their own meat, built their own homes, cleared their own forests, saddle-broke their own horses, birthed their own children, and buried their own dead. If they made a mistake, it could easily cost them their lives. "Reality" -- good, evil, pain, work, reward, suffering, joy -- was in their face 24-7. It wasn't artificially manufactured for them. They sure as hell weren't watching some Batman fantasy in a movie theater at midnight after a day eating Whoppers in the food court at the mall.

The great danger of the "Batman" shooting is that the still-deluded folks among us will believe that more government power and more gun control will solve the problem. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't even wait for the bodies in Aurora, Colorado to cool before he began his usual braying for gun control. Well, if guns are the problem, perhaps Mayor Bloomberg could lead by example and disband the armed NYPD security detail that protects him 24-7. Perhaps someone should remind him what armed NYPD men did to Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima. Or remind him about the Happy Land Social Club fire, in which 87 people were killed not by a gun, but by $5 worth of gasoline, or the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which 168 people were killed by diesel fuel and fertilizer, or the 3,000 people killed on 9/11 by box-cutters and airplanes.

The numerous journalists who think that we need to enact "sensible gun laws" like "other countries" should be reminded that mass shootings have occurred in Germany, Norway, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain, even after gun control laws far stricter than those in the U.S. were enacted.

Anyone who thinks that only the government should have guns, or that government officials wouldn't possibly commit acts of evil with guns, ought to familiarize himself with the following: Katyn Forest, Holodomor, NKVD, Khmer Rouge, Cultural Revolution, Tianenmen Square, Dujail, Babi Yar, Nanking, Waco, and Srebrenica.

The lesson of the "Batman" shooting is this: where there is a large sheep herd, the wolves will always thrive.

Do we want to be sheep, or not? [PVC: No need to answer that one, VCDL - I think I know where YOU stand.]

9. Anti: Let's force gun owners to lock up their guns

The antis continue to look for something, anything, they can get traction on. We, in turn, will fight to make sure they fail.

Sean Clarkson emailed me this:



What Protects Kids From Guns? Not An Eagle Costume
by Jacoba Urist
July 27, 2012

A week later, the nation is still reeling from the awful events in Colorado. And once again, our gun laws and concern about protecting children from gun violence have been thrust into the spotlight.

We are, it seems, a country where gun ownership is as American as apple pie. Approximately 38% of U.S. households own at a least one gun. Colorado saw a 40% jump in the number of gun applications this past weekend (gun sales were up in other states too, like Florida and Oregon). The apparent logic being, the best way to protect your family is to arm yourself. Call it the Mad Max theory of gun control.

But parents should think long and hard about whether a gun really makes you safer.

Professor Jon Vernick, Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research explains: "The evidence is overwhelming that kids with a gun in their house have a higher chance of suffering a gun-related homicide, and that teens with a gun in their home are more likely to commit suicide than those who don't have one– even controlling for other factors."

Why? Because most parents don't store their guns safely.

According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, 43% of gun owning families with children under 18 reported having at least one unlocked firearm, while other surveys place the number at closer to 55%. Long story short: people get lazy about locking up their guns and ammunition, even when they have young children around. Like anything else, a locked cabinet only works if you use it.

Parents may be lax about storing their gun safely because they think you can teach a child about gun safety. They may be relying too heavily on gun education programs–which evidence shows just don't prevent gun-related deaths and injuries.

Take Eddie Eagle. He's like Mickey Mouse and Joe Camel rolled into one– cuddly, kid-friendly, and backed by one of the most influential lobbies in America. Developed by the National Rifle Association, the program's mascot "Eddie" teaches kids from Pre-K through grade school to follow four simple steps when they see a gun: "Stop– Don't Touch– Leave The Area– And Get An Adult." Eagle costumes are available for purchase by law enforcement agencies on the NRA's Eddie Eagle site. Or you can call the 800 number and request an Eddie Eagle appearance, though they warn folks, "with a limited program staff, it's impossible [for him to] attend all these events."

But when it comes to children and guns– shocker!– "just say no" doesn't pan out so well. While there is plenty of data showing that a variety of firearm safety programs don't protect children from gun-related violence (it's not just Eddie), anyone with a kid can tell you that a "stop and don't touch" policy isn't the best way to keep a child from life-threatening harm. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health found that children as young as three or four could pull the trigger on most handguns. Think about how many parents invest in child safety locks for their bathroom cabinets and cleaning supplies. If only it were as easy as saying no.

So what does make children safer? Stricter sanctions when parents don't lock up their firearm properly. Child Access Prevention ("Cap") laws require gun owners to store their guns so that children can't easily access them. And they work.

Adopted in only a minority of states, CAP laws differ on the definition of "underage child," acceptable storage practices, and penalties. But studies agree that, overall, CAP laws reduce accidental deaths among children and reduce teen suicides– especially when the penalties are strongest.

Samuel Hoover, an attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, says that they strongly advocate for CAP laws with criminal penalties because they work, and he emailed a list of studies backing up the claim. Safe storage practices– keeping firearms locked away and unloaded and keeping ammunition in a separate, sealed location– reduce gun injury in kids of all ages. Most importantly, parents actually store their gun safely when they risk serious jail time.

We'd all love to think that parents always put their children's safety first. But we need to get real about protecting kids from guns in their own homes.

At the end of the day, adults aren't so different from their offspring: they respond better when there's a consequence to their dangerous behavior. People lock up their guns more carefully when they think they'll get in serious trouble if they don't. You don't need an eagle to learn that lesson.

10. Horror! 3 people carry guns into movie theater in Putnam County, TN

I like Mikael Soh's thinking on this.

Mikael Soh emailed me this:


Hey Philip

The jist of the story is that three law-abiding citizens carried their guns into a "gun free zone" and were asked to return their guns to their cars. Apparently, the sign was too small.

I used to think that stores that forbid guns on their property didn't deserve my business for political reasons. Now, I'm starting to think this is a safety issue. Almost every major shooting has been done on "gun free zones." It's no longer a matter of economics but a matter of public safety. I now think twice before entering a store that has a gun free zone since the statistics alone show that more people have died in these gun free areas than anywhere else.

In reference to the story, leaving a loaded gun in the car is probably more dangerous than having it on your person because you no longer can control the firearm.

Makes me wonder how twisted your mind has to be to think that an unsecured weapon is safer than a holstered weapon.


3 people carry guns into movie theater in Putnam County
by Micca Terrell
July 28, 2012

COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Despite a sign prohibiting weapons, police said three people had brought guns into a movie theater Friday night where the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" was showing.

According to the Herald Citizen, all of the gun carriers had permits.

Police said the movie was stopped briefly and officers entered the Carmike Highland Cinemas on South Jefferson Avenue around 9 p.m.

According to investigators, a theater employee called police after seeing a man with a holstered pistol walk into the theater.

Police found the gun carriers after making an announcement in the theater.

The officers explained the policy prohibiting weapons and asked the men to return their guns to their vehicles, which police said they did.

Police said the theater sign showing that weapons are prohibited was not large enough to be seen easily, so officers advised that it should be made more visible.

11. Views on gun laws unchanged after Aurora shooting

Ah, how the antis must long for the "good old days" when every massacre gave them traction on taking everyone's guns away. Not any more. America has awakened to their boloney. In fact, the wave of gun purchases and CHP applications continues to soar nationwide.


Views on Gun Laws Unchanged After Aurora Shooting
July 30, 2012

There has been no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights following the July 20th shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Currently, 47% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 46% say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. That is virtually unchanged from a survey earlier this year in April, when 45% prioritized gun control and 49% gun rights.

Other recent major shootings also had little effect on public opinion about gun laws. There was no significant change in the balance of opinion about gun rights and gun control after the January, 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was injured. Nor was there a spike in support for gun control following the shooting at Virginia Tech University in April, 2007.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 26-29, 2012 among 1,010 adults, shows that relatively few Americans view the shooting in Aurora as a sign of broader social problems. Two-thirds (67%) say that shootings like this one are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals. Only about a quarter (24%) say shootings like this reflect broader problems in American society. This is similar to the public reaction after the Tucson shooting in early 2011, which 58% thought of as the isolated act of a troubled individual and 31% connected to broader social problems. Americans were more likely to see broader problems behind the Virginia Tech shooting five years ago – at that time, 46% thought the event reflected broader societal problems.

Public opinion about gun control and gun rights has been divided since early 2009. Prior to that, going back to the first Pew Research Center polling on this issue in 1993, majorities consistently rated controlling gun ownership as a higher priority than protecting the rights of Americans to own guns.

The issue remains a highly partisan one: Republicans prioritize gun rights by a 71% to 26% margin, while Democrats prioritize gun control by a 72% to 21% margin. Independents are split, with 50% saying the priority should be protecting the right of Americans to own guns, while 43% say it should be controlling gun ownership.

The issue also continues to divide along racial and gender lines. Whites tend to see the protection of gun rights as the higher priority (by a 56% to 38% margin), while blacks overwhelmingly back gun control (by a 73% to 23% margin). Men prioritize gun rights (57% to 38%), while women prioritize gun control (56% to 37%).

The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted July 26-29, 2012 among a national sample of 1,010 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States (609 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 401 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 190 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who is now at home. Interviews in the cell sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that person was an adult 18 years of age or older. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see:

The combined landline and cell phone sample are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and region to parameters from the March 2011 Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and population density to parameters from the Decennial Census. The sample also is weighted to match current patterns of telephone status, based on extrapolations from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the combined sample and adjusts for household size within the landline sample. Sampling errors and statistical tests of significance take into account the effect of weighting. The following table shows the sample sizes and the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:

Sample sizes and sampling errors for other subgroups are available upon request.

In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

12. What Mayor Bloomberg doesn't know about police and guns

James Durso emailed me this:



What Mayor Bloomberg Doesn't Know About Police and Guns: They're not about to go on strike for more gun control. Most believe law-abiding citizens should be able to own firearms for self-defense.
by John R. Lott Jr.
August 1, 2012

In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Colorado, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on police to join him in fighting for more gun control: "I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say we're going to go on strike." It is illegal for police to go on strike, and Mr. Bloomberg later backed off his statement. But the mayor is just as far off the mark in his assumption that police agree with him on gun control.

Take the annual survey by the National Association of Chiefs of Police of more than 20,000 chiefs of police and sheriffs. In 2010 it found that 95% believed "any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense." Seventy-seven percent believed that concealed-handgun permits issued in one state should be honored by other states "in the way that drivers' licenses are recognized through the country"—and that making citizens' permits portable would "facilitate the violent crime-fighting potential of the professional law enforcement community."

National surveys of street officers are rare, but they show officers to be overwhelmingly in favor of law-abiding civilians owning and carrying guns. A 2007 national survey of sworn police officers by Police Magazine found that 88% disagreed that "tighter restrictions on handgun ownership would increase or enhance public safety." In the same survey, 67% opposed tighter gun control because the "law would only be obeyed by law-abiding citizens."

Regional or local surveys show similar patterns. For example, a 1997 survey conducted by the San Diego Police Officers Association found that 82% of its officers opposed an "assault weapons" ban, 82% opposed a limitation on magazine capacity, and 85% supported letting law-abiding private citizens carry concealed handguns.

These are not views consistent with Mayor Bloomberg's assertion: "The bottom line is if we had fewer guns, we would have a lot fewer murders." Police generally understand that too often the laws disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals, and thus make it easier for criminals to commit crime. Police are extremely important for reducing crime, but they know that virtually always they arrive at the crime scene after the crime has been committed. When victims face a criminal by themselves, guns are critical for self-defense.

Mr. Bloomberg's claims about guns are mere hypotheticals, apparently based on guesses and little knowledge of what happens in real life. He also uses inaccurate, scaremongering terminology that suggests he doesn't even understand how guns operate.

He seems to dismiss the idea of letting people defend themselves when he speculates that if concealed-handgun permit holders had been present at the Colorado attack, the crossfire between permit holders and the killer would have been even worse than the mass shooting itself. But we have the evidence of multiple occasions when mass shootings were prevented by civilians.

One incident took place at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in December 2007. There were 7,000 people inside when an armed man came on the church's property and began shooting, killing two people and wounding others. What stopped him was a parishioner who had permission to carry her permitted concealed weapon on church property. Despite this and other incidents—preventing shootings in schools, a mall and other public places—there is no case on record of a permit holder accidentally shooting a bystander.

Mr. Bloomberg keeps pushing for renewing the federal ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004 after being enacted during the Clinton administration in 1994. What the mayor ignores is that no published peer-reviewed research by criminologists or economists—even that funded by the Clinton administration itself—found reductions in violent crime from the 1994 ban. It is particularly noteworthy that the law's sunset in 2004 was not followed by the bloodbath that Mr. Bloomberg and so many others predicted.

As for assault weapons, the AR-15s or AK-47s used by civilians are indeed "military-style weapons." But the key word is "style," since the weapons look similar but operate differently. The guns covered by the federal assault-weapons ban were not the fully automatic machine guns used by the military but semiautomatic versions of those guns, meaning they fire only one bullet per pull of the trigger. If the mayor wants to ban all semiautomatic guns—meaning a vast number of civilian-owned weapons that can fire a number of bullets without reloading—he should say so.

Mr. Bloomberg complains that "gun manufacturers flooded the market with the type of high-capacity magazines [the killer in Colorado] used." But we have already tried a magazine ban as part of the assault-weapons ban, and it won't be any more helpful now. A magazine, which is basically a metal box with a spring, is trivially easy to make in any size. Even if large magazines are banned, they will always be readily available on the illegal market.

Although Mr. Bloomberg wants to ban "armor-piercing bullets," he doesn't seem to know much about them, either. First, nobody can get them legally for handguns except the police. Then the mayor claims that: "The only reason to have an armor-piercing bullet is to go through a bullet-resistant vest." That is just not so. Rifles with standard ammunition often can penetrate such vests, because their bullets travel faster than those fired from handguns. Yet if the mayor had said that hunting rifles can penetrate these bullet-resistant vests, his comments wouldn't have generated the same support.

Mr. Bloomberg's emotional responses are understandable. But facts matter. The mayor should take a private lesson from his police officers on gun basics.

13. A Bloomberg assault hammer

Who needs a gun in Bloomberg's gun-free New York City?

Board Member Dennis O'Connor emailed me this:



Spanish tourist beaten with hammer in NY park
by Jennifer Peltz
August 01, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — An unemployed man in a business suit abruptly pulled out a hammer and beat a Spanish tourist eating lunch with his girlfriend in the park around City Hall until bystanders wrestled the hammer away, prosecutors said.

John Yoos, his head shaved and wearing his navy blue suit, said nothing Tuesday as a prosecutor described the bizarre, unprovoked attack on a man who had no connection to Yoos beyond sitting next to him on a park bench.

"This is a completely random act of brutal violence on a total stranger," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Allison Altmann said.

Yoos, who was arraigned on an attempted-murder charge, is being held without bail and is due back in court on Friday. Despite the strange allegations, prosecutors and Yoos' lawyer aren't seeking a psychiatric evaluation for him.

Altmann said the tourist, Hugo Alejandre, was on a bench in City Hall Park on Monday when Yoos stood up and started hitting him in the head with the hammer's claw end.

"He did it over and over again," she said.

After Alejandre fell to the ground, Yoos whacked him in the back and hit his girlfriend when she tried to help him, the prosecutor said. Bystanders intervened and pried the hammer away, she said.

Alejandre, of Barcelona, was treated at a hospital for a spinal fracture, deep gashes to his face and cuts on his chest and arms. He declined to comment as he left the Manhattan district attorney's office on Tuesday.

Yoos, 43, was arrested nearby, and police collected the bloody hammer plus a 5-inch-long steak knife from his jacket, prosecutors said.

"I hit him approximately 10 times with the hammer, at least once in the head," Yoos told an officer, according to a court complaint.

Alyssa Gamliel, Yoos' lawyer, told a judge that Yoos has lived in New York for two years. He had been arrested once before, in Hawaii in 2008, in a case that involved failing to pay a fine, she said. The details of that case were unclear.

The New York allegations more likely should reflect an assault charge, rather than an attempted murder charge, Gamliel said, noting that Alejandre was released from a hospital within a day.

She said she wasn't planning to seek a psychiatric exam for her client, at least for now.

14. A 65 year old woman thwarts robbery using her pistol and 2 rounds

Charles Losik emailed me this:



by Jason Howerton
August 2, 2012

A 65-year-old woman fired two rounds from a handgun at five masked men after they attempted to rob her jewelry store in Garden Grove, Calif. on Sunday. Her shots sent the men fleeing in such a panic that they literally tripped over each other trying to exit the store, KTLA reports.

The woman then went running after them down the street, still gripping her pistol. And all of it was caught on surveillance camera.

In fact, the would-be robbers were in such a frenzy from her gunfire that their white getaway SUV actually left three of the suspects behind. They were later picked up roughly a block and a half away.

Police are still looking for the suspects.

According to KCAL, the five men entered the store wearing masks while some wore hoods. Police have confirmed that at least two of the men had guns.

Lt. Jeff Nightengale of the Garden Grove Police Department told KCAL that three of the men were also carrying pillowcase, most likely to carry their loot. But they never got that far — and they certainly didn't expect the old woman to fight back so fiercely.

"They demanded everyone get down on the ground. They asked for valuables inside the store," Nightengale said.

Moments later, the 65-year-old owner whipped out her handgun and shot two rounds at the group of thugs, sending them scrambling out the front door.

"She felt her life was in jeopardy. She felt it was appropriate action to protect those people in the store," Nightengale added.

The store owner declined to comment on her heroic actions.

More from KTLA:

Police say the suspects could be the same men who tried to rob another jewelry store at the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster one day later.

In that heist, the store owner shot a suspect in the face.

Garden Grove police say it may be the same crew, but they caution store owners about defending themselves with guns. [PVC: I guess then that they Garden Grove police should also be cautioned about defending themselves with guns, too, in that case. What are the police saying - it is better to die than to fight back? What a foolish and massively hypocritical statement.]

15. More gun control, Aussie style

Bruce Solberg, who is an Australian, emailed me this:


Dear Mr. Van Cleave,
I visited a gun show in Richmond a few years ago and signed up for your email. How lucky you are to have such great shows. I saw this article yesterday and thought you may be interested in how bad things can get in a country not unlike yours. Australia is still a penal colony.

Best regards,
Bruce Solberg


Three-month amnesty for illegal and unregistered guns
by AdelaideNow
August 01, 2012

PEOPLE possessing unregistered or illegal firearms can hand them in from today without fear of prosecution as part of a three-month gun amnesty.

The State Government and SA Police are encouraging people to give up their firearms at any local police station until October 31, or risk facing harsh penalties.

Attorney-General John Rau said possessing an unregistered or illegal firearm carried a maximum $50,000 fine or 10-year prison sentence.

Mr Rau said every firearm taken out of circulation incrementally improved the safety of the community.

"There may be many people out there who have a firearm by reason of an accident of history - it might have belonged to a deceased relative it might have been something that they once used but no longer used," he said.

"The three-month amnesty is a chance for anyone with an unregistered, illegal or unwanted firearm to hand it in without fear of penalty or retribution.

"If your home is burgled and that weapon is stolen do you want to be part of the problem of illegal firearms in the hands of criminal groups?"

Police Commissioner Gary Burns said the amnesty would take more firearms off the streets, with about 200 stolen each year.

Mr Burns said 1700 guns were handed in during the last amnesty in 2009, but didn't expect everyone would partake in the initiative.

"I don't expect criminals to hand in firearms as part of an amnesty and they are not protected as part of an amnesty if the firearms have been used illegally," he said.

He said it was important people were aware of what condition their firearm was in and that sentimental value did not preclude a firearm from needing to be a lawful.

16. THIRTEEN stabbed, NINE killed in knife attack - will Schumer now call for a ban on cutlery?

Hmmm - I thought the antis say that only guns could be used to create a massacre. Wrong AGAIN.


Chinese teen kills nine in knife attack: reports
by AFP
August 2, 2012

A teenager has been arrested after killing nine people and wounding four others in a knife attack in northeast China, state media reported Thursday.

The 17-year-old, who was identified only by his surname Li, barged into the home of his girlfriend armed with a knife following an argument and killed two relatives of the girl, the Legal Daily said.

As he left his girlfriend's home in Liaoning province's Xinbin county, he stabbed six more people to death and wounded five, it said.

One of the injured died Thursday in hospital, the paper said.

Li was arrested near the scene of the attack, late on Wednesday night, and was taken into custody, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Police had nabbed him as he was preparing to jump from a building in an apparent suicide attempt, it added.

No other details were immediately available. Calls made to local authorities and police in Xinbin county went unanswered.

Violent crime has been on the rise in China in recent decades as the nation's economy has boomed and the gap between rich and poor has expanded at an alarming rate.

Experts say the increase in assaults shows that China is paying the price for focusing on more than 30 years of economic growth while ignoring problems linked to rapid social change.

Studies have described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders in China, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and socialist support systems wither.

However, authorities stress that murder, which carries the death penalty, remains far less common than in most Western countries.

17. Antis: Curses! Foiled again!

New York Senator Chuck Schumer's plan to control ammunition with an amendment to a cyber security bill has been blocked!

Guns are not mentioned in the story, though:

From the

18. VCDL member shares his experience working the VCDL booth at the Louisa County Fair

Thanks to the following volunteers for the VCDL booth in Louisa: Board member Bruce Jackson, EM Brandy Polanowski, Greg Trojan, Tom Woolfolk, Mike Austin, Albert Shank, and George Overstreet

Member Albert Shank emailed me this:

This is a brief, personal report on my activity at the Louisa County, Virginia Fair and Ag Show, on Saturday, August 4, 2012. I reported at 1300 hours and once again, met Brandy Polanski who had set up the table and was busily informing and advising the public on VCDL's goals and missions. Brandy is an outstanding person and a fine representative of the organization.

It was a fun atmosphere, but warm and humid. As the afternoon wore on, we all became like wilted flowers in a vase. The foot traffic was in fact very heavy and we handed out "Guns Save Lives" stickers to all who wanted one, including the children of many of the families present. Several folks were picked up for the "e" mail list and we encountered many folks who are already "VCDL" members (or so they reported).

In discussing firearms in general with the public, I concluded that a major problem for the folks in this area is that they have no organized place, reasonably close by, where they can go to shoot. Yes, many have farms, large acreages, etc., but there are fears of shooting even on these lands because of the distances bullets can travel, especially from the AR's which a lot of these people seem to own. A good, well-run public range or club within a reasonable driving distance seems needed.

Being a county fair, I observed that, unlike some gun shows, this was primarily a "family event" and there were many families present. Most everyone we spoke with was very "gun-friendly" and reported owning at least one or more firearms in the home. Many reported teaching their children how to shoot, etc.

All told, I enjoyed this activity and seeing Brandy again is always good! I would rate our reception and interest at this event as excellent. Thanks for allowing me to participate. [PVC: Albert has no need to thank us - we owe him the debt of gratitude for manning that booth!]

19. More thoughts on stopping an "active shooter"

Board member Dennis O'Connor reminded me of a tough. but true, statement about someone trying to stop an active shooter: the mission is to STOP THE SHOOTER, and NOT to tend to the wounded UNTIL the active shooter is down. If the shooter is still active, no one is safe, including you and those you might be tending to.

From the article below: "…the gunman "ambushed" one of the first officers to arrive at the temple as the officer tended to a victim outside, and shot the officer multiple times."


20. Anti gets caught plagiarizing

Fareed Zakaria wrote an article in Time magazine recently calling for more gun control. First link below goes to a critique of that article and the second link talks about Fareed getting suspended by Time after getting caught plagiarizing in that article!

From the

From the

21. Appears that the Norfolk Police screwed up again

The Norfolk Police charged a man with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit because the man had a loaded handgun in his GLOVEBOX. As all of you know, the law changed over a year ago and that such a thing is no longer a crime.

Several of you contacted VCDL questioning that charge.

I called and talked to the Police Chief's aide, who refused to even write down the code section that was violated. Pretty rude, considering I was just giving them a heads up. Oh, well.

I got in touch with the gun owner and made sure he understood that the police were flat out wrong on that charge. He said he knew of the law, but the officer wasn't interested in hearing it, so he dropped it. (Smart thing to do. Things like that cannot usually be settled on the side of the road.)

I also called the Virginian Pilot reporter, who was very interested in my comments and included them in his final article. He did a good job in following up.

Here is the article:


Former ODU wrestler charged with concealing gun
By Patrick Wilson
The Virginian-Pilot

Te Edwards, a former nationally ranked wrestler at Old Dominion University, has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon after a traffic stop at a shopping center near campus.

The charge is a misdemeanor. Edwards, 21, of the 4700 block of Mayflower Road, also was charged with having an open container of alcohol, police said of the Aug. 4 incident.

According to a police report, officers were on foot near the 7-Eleven at 4720 Hampton Blvd. when they saw a Honda Civic go by with alcohol on the floor in the back. They approached the car about 2:10 a.m. and asked the occupants whether they had any alcohol, drugs or firearms.

Edwards, a passenger, said he had a loaded handgun in the glove box, according to the report, but did not have a concealed weapon permit. Police seized a 9mm handgun and ammunition. Two other people in the car were not charged, police said.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the gun-rights organization Virginia Citizens Defense League, said police may have made a mistake by charging Edwards with having a concealed weapon. A change in Virginia law approved by the General Assembly in 2010 allows guns to be secured in a vehicle's glove box or in a container or compartment in the vehicle, he said, whether they're loaded or unloaded. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an advisory opinion in May saying the container need not be locked.

Edwards is a student at ODU but is no longer on the wrestling team because his eligibility is exhausted, said Jennifer Mullen, spokeswoman for the university. He is scheduled for a hearing Sept. 25.

Edwards was a state wrestling champion in 2008 at Cox High School in Virginia Beach.

22. CMP Shooters News item

CMP Shooters News August 10 2012 - The latest issue:

23. Carrying prevents a gang attack on a Virginia gun owner

EM Ed Levine forwarded this email to me, from a gun owner who had a close call - I'll call the gun owner B.F and have obscured other identifying information. Let me say, personally, that I would NOT have passed through the middle of that group, gun or no gun, dog or no dog. When you are in that close of proximity to that many hostiles, you could find yourself with too many assailants and too little time to shoot:

Late last night I came home late. It must have been around 10 PM or so and I had to take my 65-lb pit bull on a walk. So, I took her on our usual path near my home.

Our walk is usually only a mile following the path. Near the end of our walk, my dog started to growl and bark. It was really subtle at first then she started getting more and more agitated. She was making it clear that she was alerting me to something or someone's presence.

Thank God she did. It was very dark on the path, visibility was maybe two or three feet and I didn't have my flashlight turned on (stupid on my part). My dog then started to lunge forward, so I turned on my flashlight and suddenly I saw FOUR individuals in front of me, TWO MORE on the right in a wooded area, and another TWO on the opposite side (totaling EIGHT people).

They all were in an arch formation about to engulf me. If my dog had not alerted me to their presence I would have been surrounded.

When they all came into sight it startled me at first and I apologized to the group for my dog and said "Y'all can keep coming, I'll move off to the side to let y'all pass." [PVC: A good way to handle this based on what he knew at that moment about this group, assuming he stepped far out of their way.]

One individual replied "nah we're good." I replied, "okay? Well, then can you make a hole for us to pass?" The individual replies again "nah we're good."

That was very unsettling, so I re-survey the group and I noticed that one of them is holding a broken glass bottle, another holding a long stick, and the one I was speaking to was holding a folding blade.

I then spoke to the apparent leader, "if y'all are gonna do what I think you're going to do, you need to stop and reevaluate this situation. Y'all have some form of weapon which is fine, I myself have a knife and a 65-pound pit bull who would love nothin more than for me to drop her lead and give her the 'go' order to do her job and defend me. Y'all look like you're about fifteen feet in front of me. The weapons that you have are meant for close quarters. What y'all fail to see because it's so dark is that I'm also carrying a firearm. Y'all look no more than 15 or 16 years old, what's wrong that you don't wanna see your 21st birthday? Y'all need to really think it over and quickly. So I'm gonna to ask again, are you going to make a hole for my dog and I to pass through, or are you going to continue down this road...? I have absolutely no problem in defending my life and will not hesitate to do so."

After a short pause, they made a hole and my dog & I walked back to my house. I told my girlfriend what had happened to us and with my girlfriend's advice; I called the County's non-emergency line.

I spoke to an operator and told her what had happened. From what I could tell in the operator's voice, she didn't start amping up until I told her about my gun. She then dispatches a unit to my home, she tells me to lock up my firearm and keep it in a safe or something. She said it would be much easier for the officer if it was put away. [PVC: And what happens, then, if the miscreants have a change of mind and kick in his door while he's unarmed? I would not have locked up MY gun - no way.] So, I take off my thigh holster and put it in my locking case. I turned on all exterior lights and my girlfriend and I waited for the officer.

The first officer shows up and his first question is, "Where's the firearm?" I tell him and he says "okay".

I told him what had happened and let him know all of the details. He said: "You made the right decision in calling. What we're going to do is make a report of what happened and this is going to serve as a method of crime prevention."

Then another squad car shows up and the first officer lets the second officer know where this happened and had the officer check it out. The first officer comes back and says: "it's good that you're armed. Bring it everywhere. Now, I can't tell you that as an officer but…" My girlfriend laughs and says: "he already does." To which the first officer replies: "you never know when you're going to need it, or if some knucklehead is going to do something stupid." He then says: "If this happens again to another person there's a definite possibility it could go a heck of a lot further. What if they don't have a Pit, knife, or…. a gun?" The officer said he was going to make a report, and was going to have some other officers look for the group along the path. He said that this report will help if the group does something to someone else. "Thank God you were armed."

24. VCDL signs on to an Amicus Brief in important gun rights case!

VCDL has signed on to an Amicus Brief ("Friends of the Court") in the case about Maryland's "may issue" of concealed handgun permits being unconstitutional. The case is being heard by the Federal 4th Circuit Court in Richmond and would affect all the states in the 4th Circuit.

The Amicus Brief can be read here: (PDF)

25. REPOST: Coverage of Richmond library protest

The list server (the system that sends out these alerts) had a hiccup last night and I don't think everyone got the alert below. If you did get it, disregard. If not, you'll want to watch the coverage below.

Here is coverage of the VCDL protest at the Richmond main library:

Channel 6 (video):


Channel 8 (video):


Channel 12 (video):


Here is the Richmond Times-Dispatch coverage (video, too):

Other than the several dozen patrons packing holstered pistols, it was a normal night at the library.

More than 30 gun owners sporting side arms and orange stickers that said "Guns save lives" filled tables Wednesday at the Richmond Public Library's main branch on East Franklin Street as part of a "read-in" organized by the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League.

The demonstration was held to protest the wording of a library regulation concerning carrying concealed weapons that drew the attention of the 5,000-member gun-rights group. The regulation says carrying concealed weapons is prohibited, "except as permitted by law." A version of the regulation on the library website, since amended, formerly said carrying concealed weapons in the library was prohibited.

Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave and other gun-rights advocates who showed up for the demonstration called on city officials to get rid of the policy, because holders of concealed-firearms permits are legally allowed to carry inside the library.

Van Cleave said there are nearly 300,000 people who have been authorized to carry concealed handguns in Virginia.

"Let's not confuse people," said Van Cleave, a former Texas deputy sheriff who was wearing a holstered Glock .40-caliber pistol. "What purpose does that rule achieve?"

Paul Henick of Chesterfield County had equipped himself with a sign stating he was carrying a concealed weapon, "as permitted by law," a dig at the library's reworded policy, which he called "ridiculous."

"They're trying to get someone who is not sophisticated in the law to believe there's special permission needed," Henick said.

Elizabeth Triplett, acting library director, said the library had changed its regulations to reflect the right of concealed-carry permit holders to lawfully carry their firearms but had not updated the website. An updated list of regulations was reviewed by the city attorney in February. The inconsistency was noticed last week when the group pointed it out, she said.

"It was our oversight that we didn't have the current one on the website," she said.

Triplett, who has worked for the library for 33 years, said she had never heard of an instance in which a gun owner's right to carry inside the library — either openly or concealed — was restricted.

She added that the library's policies, which were developed by the staff with help from the city attorney's office, exist "to help us make our spaces inviting places to visit … inviting and safe."

"We welcome everybody into the library," she said. "We know that is the law, and we'll comply with the law."

Quietly perusing titles that ranged from "Armed America" to "My Life With Charlie Brown," by comic strip artist Charles M. Schulz, the gun owners included older couples and at least one family with young children, with a man wearing a shoulder-holstered semi-automatic tending to a toddler.

The presence of so many armed people stunned some library regulars.

"I was just kind of astounded," said Lamont Burrell, 39, of Richmond. "I didn't know what was going on."

Several said the demonstration made them uncomfortable.

Katrina Riley, a 33-year-old mother from Richmond, said the library is among her 9-year-old son's favorite places.

"I don't really agree with it," she said, adding that a library wasn't a place for guns. "I was definitely caught off guard by it. I won't even have a weapon in my home." [PVC: Not a smart thing to admit publicly. A criminal might take note of that. :-( ]

Riley said she was in favor of "more stipulations" in gun laws.

"Just because you have a paper that says you can tote a gun … a whole bunch of those people shouldn't be allowed to have weapons," she said. [PVC: And exactly WHO should be the arbiter of gun rights, then? Katrina? I hope not.]

Timothy Wilson, 44, wasn't sure whether armed citizens made a place like the library safer or more dangerous, given the recent mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin.

"With things going on today, it's hard to say," he said. "I've never seen a need for anyone to bring a gun in here." [PVC: That's the great thing about liberty - others do not have to see a need for things you want to do!]

Van Cleave said many of his group's members, including him, carry their guns openly all the time, citing the unpredictability of events such as the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre.

"You never know when a criminal's going to strike," he said, rejecting the notion that some public places should be firearm-free. "Who needs a gun in a movie theater? Well, they found out."

Dale Welch, 73, a former firearms instructor, says he openly carries his .45-caliber pistol partly for protection — "It's a very obvious deterrent," he said — but also to educate the public about the commonwealth's gun laws.

"If people don't see it, they're not going to come up and talk to me about it," he said.

Marjahn Goodman, 19, was checking out books before starting school again at the University of Mary Washington and was unnerved by all the firepower on display.

"Everyone has their rights," she said. "It's just odd."

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

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