Bearing Arms

  • Project To Buy Guns For Women Arms First Two
    A while back, I wrote about a plan to help arm 50 women with shotguns, an effort to assist them in being able to defend themselves. While there were some initial problems with GoFundMe, the program is underway and happy to report the first two women have been armed. The truth of the matter is that women are more likely to be a target of a violent attack than almost anyone not involved in criminal activity. As such, they tend to have a pressing need to be armed so they can defend themselves from those attacks. Despite what some might like to think, less than lethal options aren’t effective enough for some to be willing to bet their lives. Additionally, the average woman is weaker than the average man, especially in upper body strength. That’s where the firearm comes in. However, guns aren’t cheap. Even a low-cost option is going to be over $100 most of the time. If it’s not, it’s probably not worth trusting your life to. Then couple it with Illinois requirements for things like Firearm Owners Identification Cards and so on, and the price continues to climb. That puts it out of reach for many disadvantaged people who are decent, law-abiding folks. That’s not right. Which is why this program exists, to help raise money. Currently, the effort has armed two women and is poised to arm three more of their candidates. However, that’s a long way to their goal of 50 people. More funds are needed, so if you can, please donate. The fact of the matter is that we all know that guns in the hands of potential victims is the most effective means of stopping crime. Not just that crime, but crime in general. A load of buckshot into a burglar or rapist has a further reaching effect than just stopping a single instance of criminal activity. But without help, there are a lot of people who will never be able to obtain a firearm so they can defend themselves. While it boggles the mind for those of us in gun friendly states, places like Illinois don’t trust their citizens. They treat everyone like criminals, and guess who suffers the most? It’s not the criminal, who just ignore the laws. It’s the poor, disadvantaged people who are most likely to be exposed to violent crime in the first place. Help 50 is trying to change that. Frankly, we all need to put our money where our mouth is. If you believe that more guns mean less crime, then kick in a few bucks to try and make it happen. Who knows, if this works well enough, this one organization may do more to stop violent crime in Illinois than a thousand marches through downtown Chicago. Though, in fairness, it’s not like the marches will do a blasted thing. Arming 50 ladies so they can take care of business should the need arises, though? That will have longlasting and real effects in the long ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Saturday, July 21, 2018By Tom Knighton
    11 hours ago
  • Arkansas Man Sentenced To Seven Years For Gun Trafficking Scheme
    While guns are easier to obtain legally in Chicago than they used to be, it’s still not “easy” to get a gun and comply with the law. For the criminals, though, it’s never much of a stretch. They have numerous sources for illegal guns and they’re more than willing to avail themselves of all of those. An Arkansas man was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in helping to provide those guns. An Arkansas man was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for buying guns in his home state to sell illegally in Chicago and the southwest suburbs. U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman sentenced 28-year-old Klint Kelley of Malvern, Arkansas, to seven years and three months in federal prison on Wednesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Kelley pleaded guilty earlier this year to one federal count of unlawfully engaging in the business of dealing firearms and one count of selling firearms to a known felon. … The buyer was a childhood friend of Kelley’s who had turned informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was arrested in a sting operation after the Chicago Ridge sale. Some friend, right? The fact of the matter was that Kelley had to know what he was doing was illegal and now he’s going to prison for it. I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for him. While I’m often skeptical of the ATF and how some of their informant work, it doesn’t negate the fact that Kelley still broke the law. However, let’s also face one very simple fact here. Only an idiot would think Kelley is the sole source of guns to the Chicago area. Anywhere there is a market for a product, that product will exist. It’s why the free market works, after all. In Chicago, people who can’t buy guns legally are a huge market, and because they are, someone will provide products to sell to that market. It’s why all the gun control efforts in Illinois have done little to curb the violence in Chicago. Kelley isn’t the problem, he’s a symptom. He’s a symptom of a criminal culture that wants guns, cares nothing for gun laws, and will pay whatever they have to in order to arm themselves. If it hadn’t been Kelley, it would have been someone else. It’s just that simple. If you somehow prevent guns from coming in from anywhere in the country, they’ll start flowing in from outside the country, same as drugs. In fact, the cartels will become gun runners on top of drug smugglers. They’ll get the guns into the country, get them into criminals’ hands, and never lose a wink of slip. The problem of armed criminals won’t go away. Instead, we need to spend more time looking at why they become criminals in the first place and work to reverse that trend. We need to find the roots of violence and then unroot it, so to ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Saturday, July 21, 2018By Tom Knighton
    12 hours ago
  • Regardless Of Laws, Criminals Will Do As They Wish
    When a criminal wants to do something, they’re not overly worried about anything other than their task. In some ways, it would be an admirable trait if used properly, but alas, with the criminal element in this country, it isn’t. Instead, they’ll endanger anyone without a second thought. Yes, even children. The Fayetteville Police Department’s gang unit seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana, 10 guns and more than $70,000 during a drug bust that spanned several locations in Fayetteville on Monday and Tuesday, including a fully functioning day care facility. … On Tuesday, an additional search warrant was executed at a home in the 1000 block of Ronald Reagan Drive. During the investigation, detectives learned the home was the site of Tori’s Playhouse, a day care center. No children were at the day care center at the time the search warrant was executed. … Detectives also seized marijuana “gummies” and marijuana “cookies” from the day care, along with six firearms. In other words, these alleged scumbags conducted criminal activity on daycare property. Now, we all know how violence is closely associated with the drug trade. The nimrods accused of involvement in this case had to know that. They knew it and still put people’s children in danger, possibly in hopes that it would serve as some kind of shield. Then, to top it off, the also stored drugs in forms that children would likely grab in a heartbeat if given half a chance. So, to those who are calling for more laws on things like guns, let me ask them this: Just what would have stopped these people from putting people’s kids in danger? Just a hint here, but it’s not banning guns. Drugs are already banned, and yet they had plenty of those on hand. Only a fool thinks guns wouldn’t flow through those same pipelines. What else? The answer is, nothing. There’s literally nothing more that can be done to prevent people like this from getting guns and drugs. New laws won’t stop it, and we know that because the countless drug laws didn’t stop that. When it comes to criminals, they do what they want, when they want, and they don’t really give a damn about anything else. That includes the lives of children. With that mentality, why would anything think a few new laws would dissuade them from getting their hands on guns they could then use on other people? Why would anyone think this can stop with more laws? Frankly, those who advocate gun control seem to rarely understand the mentality of those involved in criminal enterprises. They don’t get their creativity either. They can’t grasp that they will do literally anything to arm themselves and that they’ll hurt anyone they need to in the process. Instead, gun control zealots want to hurt our ability to defend ourselves from these monsters. Well, it ain’t happening. We’re not budging on the subject of guns because, among other reasons, we refuse to be victims. People like this ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Another Example Of Why ‘Gun Free Zones’ Actually Aren’t
    When anti-gun zealots want to keep an area safe, they pass requirements that guns aren’t allowed. They see the signs warning people that firearms aren’t permitted as magic talismans that repel anything that fires a bullet. Of course, more rational sorts recognize that these rules only apply to those inclined to follow the rules. For those who aren’t, they’ll try and find a way. For example, there’s a rule that guns aren’t allowed in the secure areas of airports or on planes. How did that work out? A former Delta Air Lines baggage handler was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison for allegedly smuggling guns onto passenger planes at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung J. “BJay” Pak, 34-year-old Eugene Harvey of College Park as a Delta baggage handler used his security badge to smuggle guns to restricted areas at the Atlanta airport in 2014. At food courts or in men’s restrooms on airport concourses, Harvey allegedly transferred the firearms to a former Delta employee, who hid the guns in carry-on bags and took them onto flights from Atlanta to New York. The guns were then illegally sold in New York, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. “Harvey breached airport security at one of the nation’s busiest airports in the world, when he smuggled illegal weapons – some of which were loaded – onto passenger planes,” Pak said in a written statement. Harvey trafficked a total of 135 firearms between Georgia and New York, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. There were 18 guns in the last shipment on Dec. 10, 2014, including seven that were loaded. Harvey was arrested on federal charges 10 days later. The kicker here is that it’s entirely possible to drive to New York without hitting any checkpoints or vehicle searches. In other words, they could have transported these guns in a way that would have been far less likely to get them prosecuted. But they did this because it was faster, most likely. In the process, they showed just how effective gun free zones really are. After all, a commercial airliner is basically a mobile gun free zone, yet there were guns, some loaded, on airliners. Look, I get the thinking. However, let’s also face the hard facts. If this could happen, so could a lot of other scenarios where bad guys get guns on planes. In particular, terrorists. Meanwhile, everyone else is unarmed and unable to respond. Following 9/11, a lot of people aren’t willing to go along with the old suggestion of just playing nice with the terrorists. Why be docile if you may well die anyway? However, if faced with an armed terrorist, you don’t have a lot of choice, all because someone thought they knew better. The truth is that “gun free zones” aren’t anything of the sort. Some call them “victim disarmament zones,” and for good reason. The predators will never give up their claws and fangs because of a sign. The ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Why Doctors Need To Mind Their Own Business On Guns
    I’ve mentioned before that I’m somewhat surprised at the idea of a battle line being drawn between gun owners and doctors. There’s no reason we should be opponents, but we are and that won’t change in the near future. However, it seems some see these lines as natural somehow. For example, an attorney writing for Harvard’s website seems to think that doctors not only should be permitted to speak to their patients about guns–a matter I tend to agree with. I don’t like the government telling people what they can’t say or who they can’t say it to–but that they probably should talk about them. Though the ruling technically applies only within the Eleventh Circuit, the decision (which Florida wisely declined to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court) had social and legal ramifications far beyond that region. The message was clear: physicians have a right to talk to their patients about firearms. The next logical step is to ask whether they actually have a duty to do so. Firearms violence killed more than 36,000 people in 2015, twice as many as brain cancer killed, and slightly more than motor vehicle incidents killed. Of those 36,000 deaths due to firearms, 22,000—a full 61 percent—were suicides. About 13,000 (36 percent) were homicides and the remaining 1,000 (3 percent) were due to unintentional incidents. Firearms also accounted for more than 67,000 additional non-fatal injuries, though that number may be a significant underestimate, given that nonfatal gun violence is much trickier to measure than deaths. Physicians represent not only the front lines of treating gun violence, but also of preventing it in the first place. The presence of a gun in the home is one of the most important risk factors for suicidehomicide, and unintentional injury. Inquiring and counseling about the presence of firearms, the storage of firearms, and the handling of firearms constitutes a simple, cost-effective, and potentially very impactful way for physicians to assist in reducing the number of firearm injuries and deaths. In fact, many professional associations encourage these questions. But no articulated duty for physicians to ask about or talk to their patients about firearms exists in current statutory or case law. The author brings up the case of a suicidal individual as evidence of when a physician may need to talk about guns, and I’m fine with that. For example, if one of my kids was feeling that way and his or her doctor was talking to me about and mentioned the need to make sure guns–as well as any other weapon, to be sure–were out of reach, that would be fine. That’s a prime example of a doctor doing it right. Where things break down, however, is the idea that guns in my home are the business of anyone other than me and my family. The statistics claiming that having a gun in the home will raise your risk of being shot has been debunked countless times in countless places. It’s simply not true. The sheer number of law-abiding gun owners in this country who have never been injured, nor has anyone in their family, is a testament ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Gun Group Claims Few Californians Complied With New Registration Law
    California’s new assault weapon registration was supposed to help keep the state safer somehow. Apparently, they think that knowing where all the guns are will somehow make it impossible for someone who isn’t registered to do something bad, which is a load of wishful thinking. However, I’ve always believed that most people will be law abiding citizens right up until the law goes too far. That’s especially true when you’re talking about something that’s a fundamental right like firearm ownership. You can push and push, but at some point, a lot of people will up their middle finger and tell those in power to perform anatomically improbable sexual acts upon their own person. It looks like I was right. The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) said the likely registration rate of “bullet-button assault weapons” was only about 3 percent of the total number of firearms in California that fall under the state’s latest expansion of its “assault weapons” ban. State documents obtained by the group through freedom of information requests show the Department of Justice approved 6,213 individuals to register 12,519 firearms under the new law by the end of June. It rejected a further 1,373 registration attempts. As of June 30, 2018, 52,443 applications for registration were pending. The 66,335 applications for registration pale in comparison, FPC said, to the number of firearms sold between January 2000 and December 2017, which the state said must be registered by June 30, 2018. Using data on gun sales from state records and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the group estimated there were 1.3 million firearms sold in California that would fall under the registration requirements. They estimated an additional half-million home-built firearms fall in the same category. That would put the number of attempted registrations at about 3.6 percent of the total number of firearms required to be registered. Additionally, the group said the pending applications do not count as registrations. The 12,519 completed registrations represent only .69 percent of the estimated firearms required to be registered by law. The group said there were a number of reasons why the registration law has been so ineffective. “In 2016, I predicted ‘mass noncompliance with these laws,’ and that seems to be what happened,” Brandon Combs, FPC president, told the Free Beacon. “I think there are a number of reasons people didn’t register as many firearms as many originally expected. First, the legislature refused to require DOJ to do any outreach or education campaigns to inform gun owners about the law changes. In spite of our many requests for outreach during the legislative cycle for SB 880 and AB 1135 in 2016 and showing that historically a major law change like this came with an outreach program, they just refused to add outreach to the bills. Because of that, many gun owners probably have no idea that the laws changed and that they could be in serious legal jeopardy.” Combs also cited the arrest of a prominent rancher after he attempted to comply with the law as a motivator for ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • 29 Guns Seized Along With Drugs, Cash
    If gun grabbers weren’t trying to attack our fundamental rights, they’d almost be cute in their ignorance. One of my favorite claims is that if private citizens can’t get guns, then neither can the criminals. I mean, I get the thinking here. They figure that even if the crooks don’t buy them outright, they steal them from law-abiding gun owners, so if those gun owners can’t own guns, the bad guys can’t get guns. Well, a recent arrest, one of probably millions of similar arrests calls some of that into question. Four Pittsburgh-area individuals face felony charges after separate investigations led to the seizure of 29 guns, drugs and cash in two Allegheny County boroughs, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday. … Agents were serving a drug asset forfeiture when they detected an odor of drugs coming from the West Francis Avenue residence, according to the Office of Attorney General. Investigators recovered 19 firearms, drugs and $8,000 in cash. A 17-month-old girl was also living in the home. Chad Lubawski, 37, and Colleen Secilia, 38, are charged with possession of stolen firearms, tampering with the serial numbers on those firearms, drug possession, and endangering the welfare of children. … Matthew Smith, 20, and Marcus Smith, 18, are charged with possession of stolen firearms, manufacturing and distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, and endangering the welfare of children. They were arraigned and were released after posting $10,000 bail. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for July 19. If criminals can only get their hands on guns because of law-abiding gun owners, then just how in the hell do they get their hands on cocaine? I mean, meth I can see. That’s locally manufactured. But cocaine isn’t. That has to come from somewhere else. So, if laws banning people from possessing things stops bad people from getting it, just how in the hell did they get the cocaine? Now, I get that at least two of these people are charged with possessing stolen guns. That’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about is how criminals were able to get their hands on an illicit substance that can’t be obtained legally in the U.S., can’t be made here for several reasons, and has to come in from somewhere else despite laws against transporting it across national borders. If that can continue to happen despite a decades-long war against drug trafficking, just how do these gun control-loving nimrods really think you can stop bad people from getting guns? Right now, no, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of illegal guns coming into the country. There’s no reason for them to import guns. Bad guys get guns readily enough as it is. But if you were somehow able to take all the guns, do you really think some enterprising soul wouldn’t figure out a way to put guns in these very same people’s hands? If they can get their hands on drugs like cocaine and heroin, do you really think illegal guns would be a problem? ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Clerk Turns Tables By Taking Robber’s Gun Away
    Finding yourself looking at the business end of a firearm is stressful, to say the least. If it happens to you, it’s not something you ever want to repeat, even if it’s for a brief moment. It’s difficult to keep a clear head in such a moment. However, one store clerk sure did make it look easy.   Kevin White, 38, of Durham, was found lying in front of a house on Hillcrest Street with gunshot wounds to the legs, Michael said. He was taken to the hospital, treated for injuries and then taken to jail. About 9:30 a.m. Monday, Durham police responded to a shooting and attempted robbery at the Mini Mart at 2014 Guess Rd. A clerk told officers that a man had brought a beer to the front counter, but instead of immediately paying for the beverage the man pulled out a gun. The clerk told police he struggled with the suspect, grabbed the gun the gun away from him and fired several shots. Of course, this kind of thing is generally not a good idea, but you know what they say. If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid. This clearly worked, so… The clerk certainly flipped the script on the robber, but there’s also a takeaway for everyday folks. I can’t help but think that part of the reason this worked was because White wasn’t really willing to shoot anyone. Oh, he committed robbery with a gun and he was also apparently a convicted felon, but that doesn’t mean he actually wanted to shoot someone. That’s a good thing. However, this is something that applies to you and me. Some people talk about drawing a gun to try and scare the other guy off. A lot of times, that will work. When it doesn’t, though, you get a replay of this situation only in this case, the bad guy gets the gun and you get murdered. One criticism that is often made about concealed carry is that a criminal could take your gun from you. That’s especially true if you’re timid about using it, that you only carry it as a fear-inducing talisman rather than a lethal weapon. I get that no one wants to kill, but that’s often not necessary. You just have to be willing to pull that trigger, one way or another. You have to be willing to do more than simply scare the bad guy. In this case, the clerk got the gun and was more than willing to use it. Over at  The Truth About Gunsthey note that the clerk had never shot a gun before, but was now looking to buy his own. Luckily, he lives in North Carolina where he can, and I hope he gets himself a nice, quality firearm then never has to fire at another living soul again. But we already know that if it comes down to it, he will. That puts him well ahead of a large number of us, at least in my ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Not Everyone Fell For Sacha Baron Cohen’s Schtick. One Gun Store Owner Didn’t
    Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is making headlines right now. What else do you expect to happen when you somehow dupe several pro-gun voices to advocate for small children to carry guns? Only a fool wouldn’t see that one blowing up quickly once word got out. However, it’s good to know that not everyone fell for Cohen’s schtick. A California gun store owner said on Wednesday he kicked Sacha Baron Cohen out of his shop after the comedian attempted to trick him into thinking he was a Hungarian immigrant looking to buy a gun. Norris Sweidan, the owner of Warrior One Guns & Ammo, said Cohen came into his Riverside, Calif., store in full costume and with a film crew early last year. As soon as Cohen spoke to Sweidan he recognized the comedian and told him he wasn’t welcome in the store. “He comes in, off the bat you can see in the video I’m looking like, this guy does not look like a Hungarian immigrant, tight ass leather pants, a beard, it just didn’t fit,” Sweidan told Fox 11 after sharing security footage of the encounter with them. “The moment his words came out of his mouth I was like this guy is full of s—t. I’m looking at the producer, and I’m just like, am I being fooled right here? And I just kept looking at the guy and I was like you’re Borat. As soon as I said that his eyes just looked at me like, and he did a turn right out the door.” After Cohen left the store, his film crew remained and Sweidan attempted to ask them what they’re doing. When they refused to answer, Sweidan said he kicked them out. Of course, this makes me wonder how many other people may have spotted Cohen early. Good on Sweidan for catching on quickly. I don’t know if Cohen was attempting to try and trap Sweidan into a similar situation as what was published or he was trying something different, but let’s be honest, it wasn’t going to be something that would paint gun owners in a positive light. The fact that Cohen got all the footage he did is problematic for the gun rights movement, to say the least. Clips of this will be popping up for years to come, especially whenever any of us say we’re not trying to arm everyone. Now, I’ll admit that I haven’t watched any of it. I frankly find Cohen’s brand of comedy annoying and have since his Ali G days, so I’ve had no interest in seeing him try and make a mockery of the Second Amendment movement. With that out there, I still find it mind-boggling that anyone fell for it. The idea of small children carrying guns? It just doesn’t make sense and without more context, I won’t be able to make a whole lot of sense out of how it could have happened. But it did, and now we get to deal with it. But ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Lee County, VA School Board Approves Armed Teachers
    Following the Parkland massacre, the anti-gun forces started pushing to ban certain weapons because they were all scary and stuff. They were convinced they could change the laws of the nation to ban these guns. While a few states have changed some laws, mostly about ages of people who can buy rifles, they haven’t gotten nearly as much traction as they thought they would. Meanwhile, schools are arming teachers–a pro-gun proposal that was widely mocked by anti-gun zealots–and a healthy rate. The latest to do so is Lee County, VA. A small school district in far southwestern Virginia is set to become the first in the commonwealth to arm teachers in classrooms — a decision that is prompting criticism from the state’s top law enforcement official. The five-member Lee County School Board voted unanimously last week to approve a plan that will select an undisclosed number of teachers and staff members to carry concealed weapons or store them in safes on school property. Applicants will undergo background screenings and psychological evaluations, and those who are selected will receive training this summer, school officials said. They said they expect the plan to be implemented by September for the 11 schools in the 3,200-student district. “People more or less want something done, and this was the best we could do at this time,” said Michael Kidwell, chairman of the Lee County School Board. “This is better than doing nothing.” Just four of the district’s schools have school security officers, also known as school resource officers. The school system cannot afford to hire more officers for the remaining schools, so arming teachers and other school employees was the “next best thing we could do,” Kidwell said. To be clear, I don’t actually approve of putting teachers through additional screenings. A Virginia carry permit should be more than enough to warrant a teacher carrying on campus. That said, armed teachers will provide a significant deterrence effect. While school resource officers are great, they’re necessarily limited. There’s only one or two per school generally. That means they can only be in so many places at once and may actually become targets of a determined attacker. But teachers? That’s something else. By not knowing who is carrying, no individual teachers become targets simply because they’re carrying. No one would know, which means a rampage might begin and end so quickly that no one gets hurt. Yes, that includes the shooter, though to be frank, I’m not worried about them. No one thinks that teachers should become security ninjas who train for combat on a regular basis as part of their everyday jobs. We simply think teachers, as free citizens, should have the right to defend themselves. In the process, they’ll defend numerous students. This isn’t rocket science, but I have little doubt that despite more and more districts arming teachers, we’ll see more and more backlash from anti-gun jihadis who continue to labor under the delusion that “Gun Free Zone” signs are magic talismans ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • More Cities Considering Weapon Storage Laws After Seattle’s Passed
    On paper and to the uninitiated, safe weapon storage laws sound like they do a lot of good. I mean, what’s the harm in telling people they need to lock up their firearm so they don’t fall into the “wrong” hands? However, like most things involving firearms, it’s rarely that simple. Seattle’s law requires guns to be in a locked container, so a simple gun lock won’t suffice, which ramps of the cost of gun ownership for one thing. For another, keeping guns behind locked containers means they’re not necessarily accessible when you need one. In other words, storage laws may sound good, but they could easily cost people their lives. Despite that, however, it seems a number of communities around Seattle are considering their own law following the larger city’s lead. Communities not far from Seattle are now considering their own safe gun storage regulations after the Emerald City passed its own. “I would rather be spending my time debating signs and locations of city buildings and not have to talk about firearms,” said Edmonds Council President Mike Nelson at the council’s Tuesday meeting. “I never thought when I took this job that this was something I would be doing. I also didn’t think I’d have to hear from my six-year-old, beaming with pride, that he now knows how to properly barricade himself from an armed gunman.” “My personal focus on this is what we can do to protect our kids,” he said. Nelson, a gun owner himself, has proposed a safe gun storage ordinance for Edmonds. It echoes Seattle’s recently-passed regulation, aiming to get owners to lock up their guns. It differs from Seattle’s rule, however, by allowing the use of trigger locks. Gun owners could be fined up to $500 for not safely storing their firearms. If a child or prohibited person gets access to their gun, the fine goes up to $1,000. If a child or prohibited person harms another or commits a crime with the gun, the fine goes up to $10,000. Money raised from the fines will be used to pay for trigger locks, which the city would hand out to owners for free. Nelson notes the fines are recommended, but judges will have discretion, offering owners other penalty options. He said the primary goal of the ordinance is gun owner education. I’m sorry, that’s not how you educate people. If you want to educate gun owners, there are ways. A media blitz on television, radio, and the newspapers would raise the issue as well as teach how to safely store your weapons. Working with gun groups to provide free training would be another. You don’t create a law and a series of punishments, all in the name of “education.” Educating people isn’t want laws are for. They exist solely for the purpose of maintaining an ordered society. If you want to educate people, find another way. If you want to make people do something, you create a law. Plain and simple. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Charges Dropped Against Iowa Man By Prosecutor
    Yesterday, I wrote about the troubles of Mr. Michael Hodges. He was charged with attempted murder after he reportedly used his firearm in self-defense. He had a concealed carry permit and promptly went to police after the shooting. By contrast, the other party in the shooting was using a stolen gun, hand no permit, and had already pled guilty to lesser charges stemming from the incident. But a judge denied Hodges’s request for charges to be dismissed under Iowa’s Stand Your Ground law. Luckily, the prosecutor in the case used his own discretion and dropped the charges. A Cedar Rapids man who sought immunity under Iowa’s stand-your-ground law after authorities say he shot and wounded another man won’t go to trial — not thanks to the controversial law, but because the Linn County Attorney’s Office asked the court Wednesday to dismiss the charges. “After a thorough review of the evidence, especially the video, I believe Michael Hodges Jr. was justified in drawing his weapon and shooting,” said Assistant County Attorney Monica Slaughter, who took over the case this week. Surveillance video from downtown cameras, which captured the January shooting outside a bar, shows the other man — Zevon Johnson of Urbandale — was the “primary aggressor,” she found. Hodges drew his gun, which he had a permit to carry, in response, she concluded. The finding contradicts a criminal complaint, another county prosecutor’s arguments in an earlier hearing and a few statements from 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady, who had denied Hodges’ immunity. … Slaughter, who was promoted to the felony division last week, said she wasn’t involved in Johnson’s case or plea. But after watching the video many times and slowing it down over and over again, she became convinced Johnson was the first to raise his gun. It would be difficult to see if she hadn’t replayed it many times, she added. Slaughter said she couldn’t release the video to the public because it was evidence in Johnson’s case. He hasn’t been sentenced yet. In the video, Slaughter said, Johnson is behind another, larger man but steps out and to the side of that man, Slaughter said. She said Johnson then immediately pulls out a gun from his pants or pocket, points it at Hodges and fires. This fits with Johnson’s claims pretty well. What people need to understand is that those who get concealed carry permits aren’t looking for trouble. We’re typically people who simply want to be ready when trouble comes looking for us, kind of like it came looking for Hodges that day. Johnson broke several laws all at once, which shows he wasn’t exactly the most law-abiding. My guess is that the only reason he wasn’t prosecuted for stealing a firearm was that it was his mother’s gun and she opted not to press charges. Using a gun in self-defense can be traumatic enough, but being prosecuted for it adds another layer of problems into the mix. Luckily, that aspect of Hodges life ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Iowa Judge Denies Immunity To Permit Holder On ‘Stand Your Ground’ Claim
    The purpose of “Stand Your Ground” laws is to protect people from being convicted when acting in self-defense. By removing a duty to retreat, the idea is that people who act in self-defense won’t be prosecuted for acting when faced with a threat. That’s the theory, at least. Unfortunately, while “Stand Your Ground” can be used as a defense, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to court, as one man in Iowa is finding out. A judge on Monday denied a request by a Cedar Rapids man to receive protection from prosecution under Iowa’s “stand your ground” law after he and another man shot at each other earlier this year. Michael G. Hodges, Jr. of Cedar Rapids claimed he should not have to go to trial after he and Zevon L. Johnson of Urbandale shot almost simultaneously at each other early in the morning Jan. 28 outside Pub 217, a bar and restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids. Hodges, 23, shot and injured Johnson, 21, in the encounter, while Johnson’s shot missed Hodges. Patrick Grady, Iowa’s sixth judicial district’s chief judge, denied Hodges’ claim to dismiss the case against him, writing that Iowa’s law lacks a procedure to determine whether Hodges should receive immunity before going to trial. “This court is without authority to declare as a matter of law that Hodges is immune from any further prosecution,” Grady wrote in his denial. Security video shows the two men exchanging gunfire early Jan. 28 outside Pub 217, according to a criminal complaint from the Linn County Attorney’s Office. “Both defendants are seen simultaneously raising their guns and firing at each other while just a few feet away from each other,” the complaint states. Hodges went to the police and even turned over his weapon. He has a valid concealed carry permit and had reportedly been harassed by Johnson and his friends for some time prior to the fatal altercation. Johnson, however, didn’t have a permit and it was later learned that his firearm was taken from his mother’s vehicle, making it basically a stolen gun. Now, Hodges will go to trial for attempted murder. Johnson had also tried to claim he was standing his ground, but eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge. He was sentenced to one year of probation and will have his record expunged if he keeps his nose clean. I’m sorry, but I think Hodges shouldn’t be prosecuted. I can’t help but see Johnson’s guilty plea as an admission he was the aggressor, meaning Hodges was defending himself. That said, we live in a world where things aren’t usually so cut and dried. It’s my hope that if what Hodges has said is correct, he will be exonerated at trial. It’s a shame we have to see things like this, but law-abiding gun owners can still have to deal with such situations despite laws designed to prevent some of this. The thing to remember is that it has prevented some of this. Stand Your Ground laws have prevented numerous people from ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Ninth Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction Against CA Magazine Ban
    In California, it’s well-known that you can’t buy magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. Oh, if you had a 30 round or other so-called “high capacity” magazine from before the ban, that was fine. “If you like your magazine, you can keep your magazine,” kind of thing. However, recently, the grandfather clause that permitted that was removed, requiring people with those magazines to either remove them from the state, sell them to a licensed gun dealer (and why they would buy something they couldn’t sell is beyond me), or turn it in to law enforcement for destruction. Unsurprisingly, the rule was challenged and a preliminary injunction was issued. This is a logical step designed to keep people from being forced to lose magazines they can’t recoup should the challengers win. Then, in a shocking turn of events, the Ninth Circuit actually affirmed the preliminary injunction. Earlier today, a Ninth Circuit Panel affirmed the district court’s grant of the preliminary injunction. The panel found that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that “magazines for a weapon likely fall within the scope of the Second Amendment.” The opinion also stated that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it found the challenged statutes did not survive intermediate scrutiny. For a law to survive a constitutional challenge, the intermediate scrutiny standard requires that a law further an important government interest and do so by means that are substantially related to that interest. The district court concluded that the magazine ban contained in Proposition 63 did not, and the Panel agreed. The decision also found that the preliminary injunction was proper under a Takings Clause challenge. The case is set to go to trial in the near future. While this can be perceived as a win for California gun owners, it is only temporary. The trial may result in a permanent injunction being issued which, as was the case with the preliminary injunction, can be appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Alternatively, the district court could find in favor of the state, which would still allow the Plaintiffs to appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Regardless of the outcome at the district court, you can likely count on an appeal. That last paragraph is important, because yes, it’s a temporary win. To me, though, the shocking thing is the Ninth Circus (not an autocorrect) actually affirmed the preliminary injunction. They’re perhaps the most liberal court in the country, and while not all liberals are anti-gun, the vast majority are. If there’s going to be an anti-gun law upheld, it’ll be upheld in the Ninth before almost anywhere else in the country. Yet they affirmed the injunction. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything. It’s a temporary injunction, after all, and they may feel like it’s right in this case, but figure it’ll only be a temporary reprieve for gun owners. Or, maybe they actually think this is going too far. Who knows. I wouldn’t get too excited, though. Again, Ninth Circus. Still, ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • VIDEO: The Custom Built Donald Trump 1911 Pistol By Jesse James
    Editor’s note: This piece was originally posted on Guns.com. On display at the Jesse James Firearms Unlimited booth at SHOT Show 2018, is a beautiful hand-made 1911 pistol that James made for his good friend Donald J. Trump. The pistol is on display at the booth (#411) until Jan. 26. When Trump became the president, James felt an obligation to make his friend a gun. “I build cool guns. So, it’s like, I’m going to build a presidential gun,” he said. Setting out to build the gun, James wanted to capture the essence of Trump. “Donald Trump’s kind of old school, like 1970s,” James said. “You know, New York City rich guy. So, a little bit of gold, a little bit of decorative filigree work.” Being the 45th president of the United States, of course the gun had to be a large 1911 in .45ACP. James used one of his Grandmaster X seven-inch 1911 model frames as a base, and added a two-inch comp to the barrel to bring the total length of the pistol to nine inches. This gave him enough real estate to be able to write the president’s entire name down one side “Donald J. Trump.” On the other side he put, “The 45th President of the United States of America.” “It’s kind of like, a modern Dirty Harry gun,” said James. “He’s kind of bigger than life, I think. So he needs a bigger than life pistol.” James only made one of the gun and he hasn’t spoken to Trump about it. He figures he’ll probably make a trip to the White House and present the gun to his friend. However, if he does this in a formal fashion, by law, the gun then becomes the property of the people. So Trump wouldn’t be able to keep it. To this Jesse said, “I guess I shouldn’t bitch about having a pistol in the presidential museum.” The post VIDEO: The Custom Built Donald Trump 1911 Pistol By Jesse James appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By BA Staff
    3 days ago
  • Editorial Argues In Favor Of Gun Safety Classes In Public Schools
    Gun control advocates often complain that people who own guns are often untrained, that there’s no requirement people learn how to use a gun safely before getting one. This is especially true when you start talking about concealed carry. While some states require people to go through a training class before getting a permit, many others have no such requirement. But one thing we all tend to agree on is that people should get training. Where we disagree is whether it should be mandatory. I’ve tended to take a different approach, and that’s the idea of firearm education being part of the public school curriculum. If you’re attending a public school, you should be taught at least something about handling a firearm safely. After all, don’t we teach kids about free speech, voting, and how to exercise many other rights? Why should guns be different? A recent editorial from Salem, Oregon seems to think it’s time to discuss just such a thing. Gun-rights advocates last week filed an initiative petition to make firearms-safety instruction mandatory in all sixth-grade public schools in Oregon. Condemnation was swift among those convinced that such a requirement was tantamount to endorsing gun use. Maybe it is. There also was talk of instruction adding to the prevalence of guns in children’s lives. Maybe it would. But it is an idea that is worth talking about and should be considered by the Oregon Legislature. We have too many stories in our community about gun accidents that might have been prevented if young people had been shown how to recognize gun danger and act appropriately. Personally knowing how to recognize gun danger can help save lives. Which has been my argument all along, and I’m glad to know I’m not alone. Far too many accidents happen when a child finds a gun, either in the home or outside of it, but has lacked the basic understanding of gun safety to know what to do. Instead, they see a gun and think of what they see on television and in movies, and let’s be honest here. That’s not what anyone needs to learn about firearm safety. The Statesman Journal finishes up by saying: We know responsible gun owners teach their children gun safety just as responsible parents teach their children about sex education. These parents don’t leave issues as important as sex and gun use solely up to our public-school system. But what about the children who have no exposure to the potential dangers of gun use? Don’t they deserve to know how to recognize when someone shouldn’t be handling a firearm or when to notify an adult? This knowledge can save lives. I couldn’t agree more. While I’m not a big fan of public education, having seen the trainwreck from up close for far too long, if we’re going to have it, we might as well make the most of it. That includes a basic understanding of gun safety. I think the Oregon measure is a good start, but I think that just ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Alabama Mayor Suspends Officers Because Of Supposedly Racist Hand Gesture
    (@noone_you_know/Twitter) A while back, the internet troll website 4Chan decided to have a little fun. They managed to convince a large group of people on the left that the hand gesture for “OK” was a white supremacist gesture. Since then, virtually everyone they disagree with making the gesture has been labeled a racist on such flimsy evidence. Now, a number of Alabama police officers have been suspended for making a similar gesture. David O’Mary, mayor of Jasper, Alabama, suspended four police officers after a photo of the officers went viral after some local residents said that the cops were making hand gestures to signify white power and supremacy. What are the details? The photo in question, which was published in the Daily Mountain Eagle, featured several police officers who were instrumental in successfully carrying out a drug bust on a repeat offender. O’Mary was pictured in the paper along with the officers. The officers said they found crystal meth, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin during the bust. In the photo, at least four of the Jasper officers can be seen making an “OK” sign on their legs with their fingers. A Twitter user pointed out the hand gesture, calling them “white nationalist hand signs.” In a tweet, the user wrote, “Jasper, AL police making white nationalist hand signs. Many faces are visible. Please help ID.” In other words, someone went off half-cocked and wants to dox these officers who had also just helped make a significant drug bust. Does anyone else see how that could work another way? Here’s the tweet in question: Jasper, AL police making white nationalist hand signs. Many faces are visible. Please help ID. From All Things Walker County fb page. @afainatl @IGD_News @BhamDSA @NorthAlabamaDSA @SocialistRA pic.twitter.com/wtuqJLLbw7 — Jeff (@_noone_you_know) July 16, 2018 Here’s the thing, though. Those aren’t even OK signs. Sure, it looks like them, but it’s not. It’s the Circle Game. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it’s a rather juvenile game played by all kinds of people, but it’s often popular with military and law enforcement. The goal of the game is to make a circle with your forefinger and thumb, typically hold it somewhere below the waist, and get people to look at it. In real life, you get to punch the “looker” in the arm, but thanks to the internet, you can get entire swaths of people to look, which has its own brand of humor. I was first exposed to this game when I was in the Navy and have seen it played off and on since then. Frankly, the kind of officers who would be driven to kick-in doors on a drug raid are the kind of guys who would play this game to some extent. In other words, it’s a stupid game and some wanker wants to destroy careers over it. Not that the mayor cares. According to Quinn, O’Mary said that he has not spoken to the officers who were suspended and did ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • MGM Suing More Than 1,000 Victims Of Las Vegas Shooting
    The Las Vegas shooting was horrific. It was the worst mass shooting in American history. With 58 people killed and a mindboggling 851 injured, though “only” 451 were shot, it was a nightmare scenario for everyone involved. Almost a year later, we’re still trying to understand just what happened that night and what motivated the killer. Today, we get to understand why MGM, the company that owned the hotel the shooter fired from, is looking to sue 1,000 or so victims of that horrific night. MGM Resorts International has filed federal lawsuits against more than 1,000 victims and relatives of last October’s shooting rampage in Las Vegas in a bid to squelch liability claims against the hotel-casino giant. MGM owns the Mandalay Bay resort, where shooter [REDACTED] opened fire Oct. 1 on a crowd of thousands of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others. [The killer] was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The company’s lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Nevada and California, noted that more than 2,500 victims and related persons have either filed or threatened to file complaints against MGM, claiming negligence and responsibility for death, injury and emotional distress related to the massacre. But MGM’s suits argue that those current and potential claims against the company must be dismissed because of a 2002 federal law that grants liability protection to any company that uses anti-terrorism technology. MGM asserts that the security company hired for the festival, Contemporary Services, was protected from liability as it was certified by the Department of Homeland Security. MGM said such protection extends to itself since it hired the security vendor. The named plaintiffs in MGM’s suits include MGM Resorts International, Mandalay Resort Group, Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts Festival Grounds and MGM Resorts Venue Management. MGM has also said that they don’t feel years of litigation are in the best interest of the victims. Just a hunch here, but being sued by a large corporation is probably not in their best interest either, especially if their injuries or lost loved ones are due in part to incompetence. The company’s claim that they can’t be sued since they used anti-terror technology makes no sense. As CNBC noted in the above-linked story, the rampage hasn’t been classified as terrorism by the FBI, mostly because there’s been no link to any attempt to advance an ideology of any kind. While the event was terrifying, that doesn’t make it terrorism. However, there’s also the optics of something like this. In a world where businesses are typically image conscious, for good reason, this makes MGM look particularly heartless. I get them defending themselves from liability claims, but this? This decision is targetting people who have already been victimized to play offense instead of defense. This is despicable, in my not so humble opinion. I’m not saying MGM is responsible. I think the killer played a system that’s been in place in ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Arizona Candidate Recounts Shooting His Own Mother
    Arizona state Senate candidate Bobby Wilson understands the importance of the Second Amendment more than most. He’s one of the 2.5 million people every year who has used a gun in self-defense. Only, instead of just displaying a gun and scaring off the attacker like most, he actually had to fire his weapon. The fact that his attacker was his own mother makes the whole story even more sensational. Wilson recently brought this up and has shocked the gun control community in Arizona. Bobby Wilson, who is running to represent a southern district, told the Associated Press that he’s not trying to hide anything. He says his mother was insane and shot at him with a rifle when he was in bed in their Oklahoma farmhouse one night in 1963. He then shot and killed her. Wilson’s sister also died that night, and the house caught on fire. “I’m lucky to be alive, twice over,” Wilson said. Wilson wrote about these events in his 2010 book, “Bobby’s Trials,” and mentions them on his website biography. But they caught public interest when he appeared at a Moms Demand Action forum in Tucson this month. Wilson told the crowd he was “living proof” that the only one who can stop someone trying to harm somebody is a “good guy with a gun.” … Rep. Daniel Hernandez, a Democrat who represents the district Wilson is running in, was at the forum. He said Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman who was shot in Tucson in 2011, and other gun violence survivors were in the audience. Many were shocked, he said. Hernandez — who was at the scene when Giffords was shot — said Wilson also brought up the Giffords shooting, saying that she should’ve had security. “I’ve never ever heard someone be so aggressive in that view, and also to drag Gabby into it, I thought, was so distasteful and so disgusting,” he said. I’m trying to figure out what’s so distasteful and disgusting about it. Giffords has put herself in the front line on the gun control debate because of her status as a survivor. It’s certainly her right to do so, but that also means she’s a legitimate target for criticism. You can’t shield yourself with a survivor status while targeting a fundamental right. You get to pick one. You can’t have both. However, that wasn’t the only stupid displayed. Jacob Martinez is one of the organizers for March For Our Lives AZ. His take away from Wilson’s story is that it’s evidence in part of the need to lock guns up in the home. Well. That’s stupid. Wilson’s mother was an adult in the household. It’s highly unlikely she wouldn’t have been able to gain access to the guns. On the other hand, Wilson would have been disarmed at a time when he actually needed a weapon in ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Why Gun Beats Pepper Spray Every Time
    When someone defends the Second Amendment and cites self-defense as part of the reason they defend it, someone will usually suggest alternatives. They’ll sometimes claim that guns aren’t great for self-defense and suggest people arm themselves with things like pepper spray instead. A case in California kind of proves how bad an idea that one really is. This one features a pepper spray-wielding attacker who ran into an armed citizen. It didn’t work out well for the bad guy. A smash-and-grab crew busted into a jewelry store armed with hammers and pepper spray but what they didn’t know is the owner had a gun. The attempted smash-and-grab at Dana Kathryn Jewelry in Studio City took place on May 25th. Security video shows one man unloading a canister of pepper spray on the owner and two customers. Then, a guy with a hat pulls out a hammer and starts to bash the display cases. … Police say the store owner stayed calm even though the guy with the shaved head swung a hammer at her while she was out of camera view. “That changed the game there. Turned basically from a smash and grab burglary into a robbery,” said LAPD Det. Jennifer Hammer. When the bad guy turned his attention to the door he had to be buzzed out of, the store owner was able to grab her firearm and take a shot before the robbers escaped. They got away with nothing, though, because their hammers were insufficient to break the glass. However, for me, the takeaway was how even with pepper spray supposedly so thick the police needed protective suits when they arrived on the scene, the store owner was still able to grab a weapon and open fire on the suspects. Just how do people think a blast of pepper spray would take out armed attackers? Don’t get me wrong. I know pepper spray can be an effective alternative for self-defense. However, it’s limited, and that’s the problem. This instance illustrates just how limited it could be. If it didn’t stop a store owner, how will it stop a determined attacker? Especially if it’s someone who has a vested interest in ending your existence. The truth is, when you play the self-defense version of “Rock-Paper-Scissor,” gun beats everything. It is, hands down, the most effective self-defense tool available. It’s why I fight so damn hard to keep things so we can access these tools of self-defense and would even if the Second Amendment didn’t exist. While there are alternatives out there, none are as all-around effective as a firearm and unless something major happens in technology, that status quo will continue for a long, long time. This instance illustrates that beautifully, in my opinion. Gun beats hammer and pepper spray, even if the bad guys got away. They got away empty handed and the innocent didn’t get hurt. That’s a win in my book, and since they already took a swing at the store owner, that wasn’t guaranteed by ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 17, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Pulse Victims Asks Court To Revive Lawsuit Against Social Media Sites
    A victim of the Pulse shooting in Orlando has asked a federal appeals court to reopen a lawsuit against sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for their potential role in radicalizing the shooter who gunned down 49 people in 2016. From Guns.com: A federal judge in Michigan dismissed the suit in March — the same day an Orlando jury acquitted Mateen’s widow on charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice — noting there’s no evidence any of the ISIS propaganda found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube directly influenced Mateen to murder 49 people at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. “The only conduct involved with the attacks that is described with any particularity is Mateen’s,” U.S. District Judge David Lawson concluded in a March 30 opinion, pointing out that none of the companies nor ISIS itself participated in the shooting. The families of victims Tevin Eugene Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to review Lawson’s decision in court documents dated July 6. “Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” Keith Altman, counsel for the victims’s families, wrote in court documents. “Plaintiffs’ claims are based not upon the content of ISIS’ social media postings, but upon Defendants provision of the infrastructure which provides material support to ISIS.” Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it amusing how Facebook and YouTube have been tripping all over themselves to limit firearm-related content, content that ties directly into the free exercise of an American right, yet are continuing to enable a terrorist organization to flourish? When it comes to whether these sites should be held responsible or not, I tend to side with the “not” category, but I’m not leaning that way in this case. Yes, it’s because of their anti-gun stances. Well, sort of. You see, by limiting gun-related content, they’ve clearly shown a willingness to interfere with speech that doesn’t conform to their personal ideology. As a private company, they certainly have that right. However, I also figure that also means speech they don’t interfere with somehow does conform to their own ideology. In other words, the very fact that they’ll attack content related to exercising a fundamental American right while not blocking content known to be a recruiting tool for our enemies means they providing at least some support to those enemies. It’s difficult to argue from a position of protecting all speech when you’re already limiting some of it. As such, I can’t help but think they can easily be held responsible when those recruiting tools actually seem to work. Now, whether or not there’s evidence of that happening or not is a matter for the courts, but if the Pulse killer watched any of those videos, I’d say that’s pretty ample evidence that it played a role since he swore is allegiance to ISIS before committing his horrific crime. But I’m ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 17, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Why The Parkland-Inspired ‘Never Again’ Tour Will Never Accomplish Anything
    The Parkland kids were probably feeling a little desperate. Their 15 minutes of fame was coming to an end, so they had to do something. They decided a bus tour was just the thing. Not only would it make a few national headlines at the start, but it would create local headlines all over the country. Oh, and they could try and keep up the pressure on our right to keep and bear arms. To their credit, they’re not just hitting friendly areas like New York, Massachusetts, or California. They’re also going to places like Texas. I’ll give them credit for that. But they’re still wasting their time. Students who survived the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, joined young activists from Texas in a series of panel discussions on gun control last week. Their vision for gun violence prevention is in stark contrast with state lawmakers’ plans. The Parkland students are on a national summer road tour with other young activists. Their goal is to keep the gun control conversation going, and get people who care about that issue to show up at the polls. Cameron Kasky was a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a former classmate entered his school and killed 17 people in February. He said the “Never Again” movement he and his classmates created is not calling for a “national collection of guns,” just some restrictions to gun access. “This is us taking a problem that has not been fixed and saying, surprisingly enough, if you look at history, not addressing a problem will not fix that problem,” Kasky said. Much of the town hall in San Antonio focused on bringing change to a red state known for its pro-gun-rights politicians. Panelists talked about common arguments, and starting a dialogue about gun rights. Here’s the problem with that. Where are they trying to start that dialogue? They’re starting it with people who already agree with them. Their bus tour involves setting up in places where the audience is mostly going to be made up of people who already support them. Gun rights activists have little interest in attending, though some do thankfully. Even then, there’s no real dialogue being opened. Of course, they don’t really want a dialogue. They aren’t interested in listening to the other side. Every time I’ve tried to engage people like that, I’m accused of wanting to see more people slaughtered in mass shootings which, as I’ve noted before, really pisses me off. However, it tells me that they don’t want a dialogue. They don’t want a discussion. They want to lecture. Which is why few pro-gun activists will attend. In other words, this entire bus tour is about preaching to the choir. They’re reaching out to supporters. They’re not actually reaching anyone who doesn’t already agree with them and hang on their every word like a pathetic little sycophant. Which is what this is really about. They’re not going to accomplish anything, but they get to feel like they ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 17, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Australian Tragedy Proves It Will Never Be Enough For Gun Grabbers
    When you talk to a gun control activists, they may well point to another country and tell you how that country is doing it right. One popular choice is Australia. After a mass shooting, Australia went after guns hard, making sweeping gun control laws that completely revamped how the country looked at firearms. However, it hasn’t stopped tragedies from happening there. Another recent tragedy in the Land Down Under has their own brand of gun control activists demanding lawmakers examine laws currently in place. ANGER is mounting over laws which allowed a murderous Sydney dad to legally purchase two powerful handguns — one of which he used to kill his two children in a sickening home attack. Almost 10,000 Australians have signed a petition which calls for a “full-scale” review of gun laws after the July 5 shooting in which John Edwards killed his children 15-year-old Jack and 13-year-old Jennifer in West Pennant Hills in the city’s west before returning to his home and killing himself. The 68-year-old financial planner, who was involved in a custody battle over the children with his estranged wife Olga Edwards, was able to join St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre. He then obtained a firearms licence and permit before legally buying two high-powered firearms. This week, Gun Control Australia’s (GCA) petition to make sweeping changes to ensure this can’t happen again has received backing from thousands. “As the law currently stands, when a person applies for a firearm licence or permit to acquire additional firearms, the spouse of the applicant does not need to be notified or consulted, even when a family law matter has commenced in the courts and there has been previous history of threats and fear,” the petition reads. “If the law had required police to notify and consult with Olga Edwards before approving Mr Edwards’ application for a firearm, then his firearm application could have been denied.” In other words, there is virtually nothing that will ever be enough for these people. Don’t get me wrong, what happened was awful. As a father myself, I can’t imagine what kind of person would murder their own children, especially due to a divorce proceeding. However, that also doesn’t mean others should be punished because of his insanity. Take a look at the bolded suggestion. They want to make an estranged wife capable of blocking someone from buying a gun, simply on their word? What if that law were in place, but the spouse consulted is the true danger? The wife says, “Oh, no, he’s threatened to murder me. Please don’t let him have a gun,” to the authorities, who then block the purchase, but then she goes and kills her estranged husband who doesn’t have the means of self-defense. If you’re going to apply the law equally, what about the woman who wants to buy a gun to protect herself from her abusive partner, who then blocks the sale and commits murder? Honestly, it’s not rocket science here. But for gun control activists, ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 17, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Illinois Governor Signs New Gun Reform Bills Into Law
    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) While gun control and the Second Amendment aren’t the main topics of discussion in the national media or at the federal government at the moment, state legislatures across the country are still busy passing gun control and gun reform measures of their own. The latest state to pass new gun legislation is Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican who is up for re-election this November, signed a “red flag” bill and another bill that creates a 72-hour waiting period for all firearm purchases. According to the Associated Press, the “red flag” law will allow family members of an individual or members of law enforcement to go before a judge and petition the court for an order that will temporarily confiscate the individual’s firearms, if they can prove the person poses a threat to him/herself or others. The order can last up to six months. Illinois joins several states across that country that have passed similar legislation. Here are 12 other states that have passed “red flag” bills: Washington Oregon California Indiana Florida Vermont Rhode Island Connecticut Massachusetts New Jersey Maryland Delaware States still considering similar legislation are: Ohio Pennsylvania As Tom covered last week, the state of Texas may even consider a “red flag” law of its own. Red flag bills and bills that implement similar orders resulting in firearm confiscation, whether they be gun violence restraining orders (GVRO), extreme risk protection orders (ERPO), or risk protection orders (RPO), are gaining popularity. Members on both sides of the gun debate see these bills as a form of middle ground. Still, many gun owners are concerned that such laws will strip them of their Second Amendment rights without proper due process. As Tom reported earlier, New Jersey police officers tried to confiscate a veteran’s firearms without a warrant or due process. While concerns are justified, there are reports of “red flag” bills doing what they are intended to do. In April, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida confiscated the firearms of a man charged with attempted murder after he refused to turn them over. In a case from Washington, 31-year -old Alexander McKenzie, an Army veteran receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, had his firearm taken away after people reported his strange behavior. After Seattle police took away his firearm, McKenzie told Fox News, “I’m grateful that the police got the gun away from me.” At the federal level, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced their bipartisan Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Protection Act which would appropriate funds to states that are interested in passing similar bills. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (R-CT) have also introduced a bipartisan bill that would implement a “red flag” bill that would apply nationwide. The post Illinois Governor Signs New Gun Reform Bills Into Law appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 16, 2018By Micah Rate
    5 days ago
  • Man Uses AR-15 To End Multi-County Crime Spree
    The AR-15 is the most vilified gun in America. Gun control zealots continue to maintain that there are no legitimate, peaceful uses for these firearms in civilian hands. They claim that the only purpose of such weapons is to slaughter the innocent or similar such nonsense. However, they’re valuable personal defense weapons that can end threats a handgun just can’t. Take, for example, what recently transpired in Oklahoma. A retired officer from Alabama was the person who shot a man Douglas County deputies said was pointing a gun and firing at random people on a multi-county crime spree, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by 9NEWS. … The retired officer said when he went to speak with [Austin] Benson, the man told him “to get him water and that the law was after him.” According to the affidavit, Benson had a rifle in his left hand at the time and was pointing it at the retired officer. The affidavit said the retired officer went into his camper and gave his wife a handgun, telling her to take cover. He then took an AR-15 out of the camper and went outside, ordering Benson to drop his gun, according to the affidavit. Benson, however, started to drive away and began shooting at the retired officer and his camper. This prompted the officer to return fire. According to the affidavit, Benson crashed into a tree. When the retired officer thought he had fired all of the ammunition in his AR-15, he told deputies he set it in the bed of his truck and took out a second AR-15. According to the affidavit, the retired officer told deputies that he fired one more shot to see if Benson would react since he didn’t see any movement in his car. In the process, the retired officer ended Benson’s crime spree. Benson had been involved in a carjacking earlier that day and had opened fire on numerous vehicles, though he didn’t injure anyone, thankfully. However, it does illustrate that Benson had little regard for human life and was more than willing to pull the trigger. Unfortunately for him, he finally crossed someone who was armed and willing to shoot back. Benson was shot in the arm and face but wasn’t killed. He now faces a slew of charges for attempted first-degree murder (6 counts) and a count of attempted aggravated robbery. Meanwhile, it’s possible that there would be more, including actual murder charges, had the man at the campground not had an AR-15. Gun control opponents will latch onto his status as a retired police officer, but I feel it vital to point out that if AR-15s are banned, even retired officers wouldn’t have them. If they’d have gotten their way, this man or someone else may well have been killed before Benson’s rampage ended. Gun control activists don’t like to think about that, but it’s true. This retired officer was a private citizen, same as you and me in most legal ways, and wouldn’t have ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 16, 2018By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago
  • Parkland Crowd Reveals Cluelessness In Daytona Beach
    By now, we all know just how clueless the Parkland kids tend to be. More importantly, though, they’re traveling the country all to display that ignorance. When I saw a story from their visit to Daytona Beach, Florida, I couldn’t help but be struck by just how idiotic and clueless they are. A panel of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students criticized Legislature’s decision to place one armed school resource officer or trained guardian at every school during a March for Our Lives Road to Change tour stop in Daytona Beach on Sunday, July 15. “We shouldn’t be reactive,” said Ryan Servaites, a 15-year-old rising sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. “We should be preventative. We shouldn’t need a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun because the bad guy shouldn’t have the gun.” Ah, what a nice platitude. If only gun control could always stop the bad guys from getting guns. But it doesn’t. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what happened in Paris, France in 2015. France has incredibly strict gun control laws, yet terrorists were able to get fully automatic AKs to commit their heinous attacks. The fact is, bad guys are going to get weapons of some kind. Even if you did somehow prevent them from getting guns, they’d use something else. It’s a simple fact. It’s also a simple fact that a good guy with a gun can stop almost all of these attacks. Period. Alshaibi said the measures being taken now, including arming school staff, adding metal detectors and making students wear clear backpacks, were just “Band-Aid” solutions. The panel agreed. “When you break it all down, the solution to gun violence is not more guns,” McConnell said. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Armed good guys provide a deterrence effect. Why do you think there aren’t mass shootings at places like gun shows, police stations, or gun ranges? It’s because the kind of people who will launch such an attack know there’s a high likelihood of armed people at all of those places, so trying anything there will lead to them getting shot. Further, we have evidence that a gun in the hands of someone willing to use it will stop school shootings. Just over a month after Parkland, a student walked into Great Mills High School seeking to conduct his own rampage. Unfortunately for him, Scot Peterson wasn’t the school resource officer. Instead, the school had someone willing to fire, and he did, ending the attack. That’s kind of what happens when guns are in the hands of good guys. Servaites said teachers in particular already wear too many hats in a classroom and that they’re meant to be educators, not protectors. “We need to stop school shootings from happening in the first place, not think of ways to react to them, and it’s just ridiculous because I remember a few years ago we had to have a limitation on how much paper we could use at Douglas ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 16, 2018By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago
  • Des Moines Business Owner Won’t Face Charges Despite Family’s Outrage
    (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane) Despite the outrage from the family of a man shot while committing a burglary, the owner won’t face any charges. It seems the police investigated and found that it was a clear-cut case of self-defense, apparently based on the state’s Stand Your Ground law. A Des Moines business owner who fatally shot an intruder in an apparent “stand your ground” case will not face any criminal charges, police said. The burglary-turned-deadly shooting happened just after 7:15 a.m. Wednesday at Kraft Imports and 5 Star Muffler at 1400 Army Post on the city’s south side. Police said that the business owner, 67-year-old Thomas Kraft, of Des Moines, discovered the burglary when he arrived at the store and found a pickup truck loaded with his merchandise. Kraft confronted the suspected burglar, 37-year-old Amund Haarstad, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, who threatened to kill the business owner, detectives said. Kraft told authorities that he feared for his life and fired a single round into the ground. The bullet ricocheted and struck Haarstad in the head, killing him. According to Iowa law, people don’t have to retreat before using deadly force if they believe they’re in danger. Kraft was taken to a nearby hospital for an unrelated medical emergency. After presenting the evidence to the Polk County Attorney’s Office, it was determined that no charges will be filed in the case. Now, I’m not a fan of firing a shot into the ground. As a general rule, if you’re justified in pulling the trigger at all, you should use it on the person threatening you. Firing into the ground could embolden the criminal by them assuming, probably correctly, that you’re hesitant to fire on a human being. That said, Kraft didn’t break the law and was justified in pulling the trigger. Haarstad was a drug addict according to his family, a fact that did little to endear him to anyone, I’m sure. However, we also know that drug addicts can be aggressive when confronted, meaning the threat to Kraft’s life was real. So, Kraft fired. The fact that the bullet ricocheted and struck Haarstad in the head is weird, but not implausibly so. Regardless, if he was justified to shoot, he was justified to shoot, and the police have already ruled that he was. While Haarstad’s family may think it was premeditated, there’s no evidence to support that other than their own biases. Personally, I’m glad to see Kraft ruled to have acted in self-defense. I can’t help but think that cases like this will help remind drug addicts that there are alternatives to stealing to support their habit, like getting help and getting clean. Those alternatives tend to not end with the said addict on a slab at the morgue. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I generally prefer to be alive and tend to assume that’s true for most people, even drug addicts. But when you decide to commit crimes and then threaten people, guess what happens? ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 16, 2018By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago
  • Will Insurance Be The Next Anti-Gun Weapon Deployed?
    Anti-gunners are getting creative. This year, they’ve used financial institutions to try and undermine the Second Amendment. After all, if they refuse to do business with any gun manufacturer or gun store, they can effectively destroy the gun culture without the first bit of legislation. Now, it seems they might be deploying another weapon. Insurance. Kristen Moore is an associate professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. She co-authored a piece for The Actuary Magazine exploring how the insurance industry treats the risk of firearms. “Actuaries use math, statistics, and finance to figure out the cost today of uncertain risky things in the future,” explained Moore. So, if you apply for health insurance, an actuary will assess your behaviors – like whether you exercise, are overweight, or engage in risky sports like rock climbing – to determine the likelihood and cost of you getting sick. Yet, despite the potential risks of injury and death from firearms, Moore found very little evidence that insurance companies consider gun ownership when determining the cost of coverage. “There’s not a lot in the literature about how firearm risk compares to scuba diving or private aviation,” said Moore. “To the best of my knowledge, it has not been studied.” That doesn’t mean that gun ownership is risk free. According to Moore’s research, death rates are higher for gun owners than they are for scuba divers. In fact, Moore found that gun owners would see changes in several kinds of insurance policies, including life, health, homeowners, commercial liability, and disability, if actuaries calculated gun ownership risk. Of course, her research shows that. What do you want to bet that her research included all the flawed studies we’ve debunked countless times? Now, what do you want to bet she never bothered to look at the studies that counter any of that, including the CDC’s unpublished study showing roughly 2.5 million self-defense uses of a firearm each year? Over at The Truth About Guns, a great point about the potential for this kind of thing was made. The most influential state insurance regulator is the New York Department of Financial Services. Other state insurance regulators tend to defer to New York’s lead, except when unique policies such as no-fault auto insurance are being regulated. This is both a matter of tradition and practicality. New York is the largest insurance market, most of the really large insurers are headquartered there, and all of the insurance exchanges used to lay off risk are there. Governor Andrew Cuomo is no friend of gun owners and has already used the New York Department of Financial Services to directly attack the NRA. It’s not difficult to imagine Cuomo or whoever follows him in office pressuring insurance companies to start doing this kind of thing. Further, we’ve seen remarkably little resistance from the financial sector over Cuomo’s other shenanigans, so while my free market loving self would rather argue that someone will provide insurance without this nonsense, I can’t say for certain. I wish I could, but… What’s happening ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 16, 2018By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago