Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WY: "Stand Your Ground" bill Advances

On 15 February, 2018, a "Stand Your Ground" bill passed the Wyoming House with an overwhelming majority. Only one Republican voted against it.

The bill, HB 168, passed the House 51 to 8. 49 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for the bill.   7 Democrats and 1 Republican voted against the bill. One Republican was excused during the vote.

Representative Bob Nicholas was the sole Republican voting against the popular measure.  From
More than 40 co-sponsors from both political parties signed onto House Bill 168 before it was brought for introduction Thursday. The legislation would take the castle doctrine, which doesn’t require a duty to retreat in self-defense within the home, and expand it. Essentially, it provides immunity from criminal prosecution from liability in self-defense-style shootings in public settings.

“This bill simply expands it so anywhere you are allowed to be, that castle doctrine comes with you,” Rep. Tim Salazar, R-Dubois, said on the House floor. “You do not have to retreat if you are in fear of your very life, the life of yourself or your family members. This bill is needed in the state of Wyoming because we’re the only state in the entire West that does not have it.”
The bill provides for immunity from arrest after a court hearing on self defense. It also grants immunity in civil actions, including civil asset forfeiture. From

The measure provides immunity for anyone who uses “defensive force in order to prevent an injury or loss to himself or another person” so long as he or she was not doing anything illegal or trespassing when attacked. Wyoming currently considers a person to have acted in self defense if he or she “held a reasonable fear” of death or serious injury. The stand your ground bill advanced Thursday changes that definition to a “good faith belief” of danger, specifying that a person is immune from civil liability or prosecution for using force even if it turns out they were not actually facing injury or death.
Civil asset forfeiture abuse has become more common as police departments have used it as a significant source of funding. From  HB168: immune from civil action for the use of the force, including any civil forfeiture action brought by the state of Wyoming.
The "Stand Your Ground" reform of self defense law in Wyoming seems likely of passage.  27 of the 30 senate seats are Republican. The Governor, Matt Mead, seems likely to sign this relatively uncontroversial, and popular bill. The popularity of "Stand Your Ground" bills appears to rest on reining in the power of prosecutors to prosecute people in self defense cases, punishing them by process, even though they are likely to be found not guilty.

The case of George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty in the self-defense shooting of Trayvon Martin, is often mentioned when "Stand Your Ground" laws are discussed. In fact, the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law had nothing to do with the case. It was never used by the Zimmerman defense, as it was not applicable.

HB 168 seems likely to pass. Its purpose, to keep law abiding people who are forced to defend themselves from being bankrupted during later legal processes,  may well be achieved.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

NBC’s Chuck Todd Promotes Abolishing the Second Amendment

In an appearance on NBC’s Sunday Today early that morning, moderator Chuck Todd lambasted Republicans for being the reason gun control efforts were making no progress since they were in control of the House, Senate, and the Presidency. Todd ratcheted up his anti-gun stance during Meet the Press by promoting radical calls to abolish the right to bears by repealing the Second Amendment. And he did it by highlighting the writings of Bret Stephens, a never-Trumper turned liberal.

Isn’t the difficulty here legislatively, the constitution,” Todd lamented to his largely liberal panel. “Which is Bret Stephens' point in The New York Times, he’s calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.” He then emphatically read from the liberal’s talking points:

NM: Armed Good Samaritan Saves Mother, Daughter from Death

Police say the man who opened fire in a deadly southeast Albuquerque shooting, likely saved the lives of a mother and daughter.

Albuquerque Police Department Public Information Officer Simon Drobik said a woman and her daughter were on their way to the Sunport Sunday night when the woman's estranged husband crashed into them on Gibson and Yale Boulevards.

According to police, he got out and fired into the vehicle, hitting the daughter in the arm. Then he pulled her out and began beating her on the road.
More Here

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

AL: Church Protection Act Advances

An Alabama representative, Lynn Greer (R), has filed a bill to clarify Alabama law to include churches with dwellings that have protection under the law to use deadly force to protect the people inside from attack.  On 15 February, 2018, the bill was passed with overwhelming support, 40 to 16, in the House.  39 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted for the bill, 2 Republicans and 14 Democrats voted against it. From
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, would add houses of worship to the state’s 2006 law, allowing a person to use physical force against anyone committing a crime, attempting a crime or attacking an employee, volunteer or member of a church.

“If you have someone coming into a church with a gun that starts shooting folks, you want to have someone that’s going to shoot back,” Greer said during the debate.

The House approved the measure 40 to 16. In the Montgomery delegation, Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Pike Road voted for the bill; Reps. John Knight and Thad McClammy, both D-Montgomery, voted against it. Reps. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery; Kelvin Lawrence, D-Hayneville; Dimitri Polizos, R-Montgomery and Chris Sells, R-Greenville were listed as not voting.

The bill extends the protection to offsite church social events and does not specify that the protection of church members needs to take place in a church itself, and opponents of the legislation have said it would extend Stand Your Ground well beyond houses of worship.
 The bill is one of a number of legislative measures to remove legislative obstacles that prevent effective defense of self and others in "gun free" zones.
From the bill, HB 34:

"(2) CHURCH. A bona fide duly constituted religious society or ecclesiastical body of any sect, order, or5denomination, or any congregation thereof."

(2)(3) DEADLY PHYSICAL FORCE. Force which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury." 

(3)(4) DWELLING. A building which is usually occupied by a person lodging therein at night, or a building of any kind, including any attached balcony, whether the building is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
It was not entirely clear that churches would be included as "dwellings" under the old law. The intent of HB 34 is to amend the law to insure that churches  have the same protection as dwellings, under the law.  From
The bill says a person is presumed justified in the use of deadly force if they reasonably believe someone is about to seriously harm a church member at a church function.

Rep. Lynn Greer said he proposed the bill at the request of a church in his district after shootings in other states.
The Alabama Legislature is pushing to restore Second Amendment rights in the state.  Alabama approved of a strong state constitutional amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms in 2014.  From ballotpedia:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and that any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny; and to provide that no international treaty or law shall prohibit, limit, or otherwise interfere with a citizen's fundamental right to bear arms.
Earlier in 2018, Senate Bill 3 was introduced to make Alabama a Constitutional Carry state.

To become law, HB 34 will have to be passed in the senate, and signed into law by Governor Kay Ivy.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Limbaugh suggests armed security is only answer to mass shootings at schools

Conservative talk radio star Rush Limbaugh on Sunday returned to the argument that allowing concealed weapons in classrooms -- not demonstrations or blaming the NRA -- is the way to stop school shootings, speaking three days after 17 people were killed in a Florida high school.

“The solution is we need concealed carry in schools,” Limbaugh told “Fox News Sunday.” “We need a mechanism to be defensive. It’s better to have mechanisms in schools to stop it when it breaks out.”

This is not the first time the idea of having security guards or perhaps teachers carry guns has been raised, with Limbaugh and others arguing that a shooter could be stopped more quickly, compared to having to wait for armed police officers and tactical units to arrive.

“We have armed security at every public entity except schools,” Limbaugh said.

More Here

Followup CA: Domestic Defense Shooting of 40-Year-Old Son Continues

A Klamath River man arrested Monday, Feb. 12, in connection with his son’s shooting death has since been released, according to Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus.

On Tuesday, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office reported that Stanley Mortensen, 76, had called to report that he had been involved in a shooting in the 1000 block of Barkhouse Creek Road in Klamath River.

Deputies responded to the scene and found Mortensen’s son, Henry Lee Mortensen, 40, also of Klamath River, deceased with an apparent gunshot wound.

More Here

MO: Armed Homeowner Holds Suspect for Police

Police set up a perimeter around the woods. Helicopters flew overhead. However, a homeowner, who noticed an open shed door, investigated and found the suspect asleep inside, according to the Post-Dispatch. No shots were fired as the homeowner held the suspect at gunpoint until authorities arrived, according to the Post-Dispatch.

More Here

Monday, February 19, 2018

A possible gun regulation compromise?

Leftists regularly argue while having no apparent knowledge of the relevant facts.  And the current outcry for gun control after the Florida shooting is a prime excample of that.  They act as if nobody had ever tried gun control before. 

Yet gun regulation varies greatly across the fruited plain -- so the data to assess the proposal is readily available.  And the fact is that in places like Chicago guns are very heavily regulated.  Yet Chicago, Detroit etc are also the places where gun deaths are at their highest. 

So the existing facts on the ground tell us that gun control does more harm than good.  Criminals are greatly encouraged when the rest of the population has little or no protection so shoot with every expectation of impunity.

But a conservative writer has come up with a suggestion that may have some merit.  It may not however pass constitutional muster:

Instead of debating gun regulations that would apply to every gun owner, we could consider limits that are imposed on youth and removed with age. After all, the fullness of adult citizenship is not bestowed at once: Driving precedes voting precedes drinking, and the right to stand for certain offices is granted only in your thirties.

Perhaps the self-arming of citizens could be similarly staggered. Let 18-year-olds own hunting rifles. Make revolvers available at 21. Semiautomatic pistols, at 25. And semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 could be sold to 30-year-olds but no one younger.

This proposal would be vulnerable to some of the same practical critiques as other gun control proposals. But it is more specifically targeted to the plague of school shootings, whose perpetrators are almost always young men.

And it offers a kind of moral bridge between the civic vision of Second Amendment advocates and the insights of their critics — by treating bearing arms as a right but also a responsibility, the full exercise of which might only come with maturity and age.

CA: Couple Both Shoot Career Criminal Home Invader

Police say a man broke into a home in the 1700 block of South State Street after midnight Tuesday. Jeff and Von Sagmeister, residents of the home who are in their 70s, confronted the burglar, who was hiding in a bathroom.

"I just opened the door and boom! That's all it took, and he was on me right away," Jeff Sagmeister said.

As the two struggled, Von Sagmeister ran into the living room and grabbed her gun. All the while, her husband eventually got the upper hand.
More Here

AR: Conway Teen Claims Self Defense in Fatal Shooting of Demarco Taylor

Harris said Taylor and the resident of the home knew each other and that Taylor had tried to rob the resident after being invited inside the home. The resident told authorities that he fired in self-defense.

"This was not a random act of violence," Harris said.
More Here

Sunday, February 18, 2018

IL: Video of failed Carjack, Successful Defense April 2017, Chicago

This carjacking attempt occurred on 8 April, 2017. It did not end well for the would be carjacker, who was fatally wounded.  From the

The shocking moment a man shot and killed a gunman in a shootout has been captured on surveillance video - and police say he won't be charged.

A motorist pulled out a gun when Ronald Morales, 43, approached his car at a gas station in Elmwood Park, Illinois.

The men shot at each other multiple times in broad daylight before Morales ran away and the driver sped off.

Morales eventually died from his injuries - but police say they won't be charging the man who killed him because he was acting in self defense.
The event was widely reported, but I do not see it on Gun Watch, so we report it here, 10 months later.

Dean Weingarten

One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings—And It’s Not About Guns

Every Friday afternoon, she asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student who they believe has been an 
exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, she takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her, and studies them. 
She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who can’t think of anyone to 

Who never gets noticed enough 
to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed 
by their peers. And she’s pinning down—right away—who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

More Here

1 of 200,000 Passengers Forgot Gun in Carry-on

In 2017, 771,556,886 passengers traveled through 440 federally secured airports. Of those, only 3,957 forget that a firearm was in their carry-on baggage.

There are over 400 million private firearms in the United states, 16 million people with permits to carry firearms, and 13 states where no permit is required to carry a concealed weapon.  That less than 4,000 forgot that a firearm was in their carry-on is amazingly low.

That is one for every 200,000 passengers.

Just a little over 1/3 or 34.8% of the firearms had a round in the chamber. They could not have been accidentally discharged in the luggage.

TSA says 84% were "loaded", so 50% must have had rounds in the magazine, but not in the chamber.

Most of the firearms found in carry-ons were brought without the intention of doing so. TSA gives this advice:
If you’re grabbing a bag, suitcase, briefcase, jacket or other item you haven’t used in a while, be sure to give it the onceover so you don’t accidentally take something prohibited to the checkpoint. Many people who have brought guns, ammunition, knives and other prohibited item say that they did so unknowingly. You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
People make mistakes. They get in a hurry. They grab a jacket or bag on the way to the airport and do not carefully check all the compartments or pockets. I ended up carrying a full box of 50 .22 rimfire cartridges on a flight one year, without any intention of doing so.  Noting unusual occurred with that misadventure, except that I left the .50 rounds instead of bringing them back with me.

Many people have remarked how they inadvertently brought a knife or other prohibited item in their carry-on.

As more and more people carry firearms for their personal protection and to exercise their Second Amendment rights, more and more will slip up and unintentionally bring a firearm to the secure area of an airport.

A quick look at the map shows that states that do not honor the exercise of the Second Amendment, and consequently have few people legally carrying firearms, do not have the airports with the largest number of people who are inadvertently caught up in the TSA net.

Chicago's O'hare International Airport, New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport are conspicuously absent from the top ten shown on the graphic above.

It appears that few people caught in Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, or Miami are prosecuted with heavy jail time or large fines for their momentary lapse of judgment.  Celeberities that are caught up sometimes make the news. The last I recall was former Governor Haley Barbour on January 2nd of 2018. He  ended up a paying a $3,920 fine for a lapse of memory.

The penalty is too high. If the person was otherwise legally carrying the firearm, the lost of time and money on the flight should be enough. At most, a small fine would sufficient.

Heavy fines and jail time act as a means to chill the exercise of the Second Amendment.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Followup MS: Armed Robber shot by Clerk Died in Hospital

They say one of them showed the clerk a handgun and demanded money from the register.

Police said the clerk grabbed a gun and and fired at the two. The man and woman ran out of the store. Police said the man was found suffering from a gunshot wound and was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
More Here

Followup OR: Grand Jury Finds Shooting of Kenneth McBeth to be Justified

McBeth then gave a final ultimatum to open the front door or he was coming in anyway, Whiting said. McBeth then counted to three, picked up a nearby patio chair and threw it through Hoevet's front window. The patio chair and shattered glass landed on the living room floor.

Hoevet told authorities that he was in fear for his life, believing McBeth was trying to enter his home through the broken front window. So he fired two shots in the direction of the broken window, striking McBeth in the left chest with one of the bullets. McBeth was able to retreat from the house to a nearby parking lot before collapsing where several citizens came to his immediate aid.

More Here

Followup NC: No Charges in Shooting, Killing of Daniel Lashawn Wright

HUDSON — No charges will be filed against a Caldwell County man involved in a shooting that led to the death of a 31-year-old Hudson man.

District Attorney David Learner determined after reviewing evidence, witness statements and the investigative findings of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office that the man who shot and killed Daniel Lashawn Wright acted in self-defense, according to a press release from Learner’s office.

On Feb. 8, Wright engaged in the assault of a physically handicapped family member at the assault victim’s residence.

“After being knocked to the floor while being attacked by Wright, the victim fired one shot from a 9-millimeter handgun that struck and killed his assailant,” the release states.

More Here

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Gun Confiscation in Australia: A model for the USA?

The writer below is correct in saying that differences between Australia and the USA mean that what works in Australia would not work in the USA.  He ignores the elephant in the room, however.  America has many blacks who frequently mount assaults of various kinds on whites.  So whites need guns to defend themselves.  Australia has for a long time had almost no Africans so has had much less personally endangering crime.

The situation has however just changed.  Australia has recently taken in a population of Africans as "refugees".  And in one Australian city -- Melbourne -- they have become numerous enough to form gangs of criminal black youth.  These gangs frequently break into people's homes even while the family is home and even use crowbars to defeat security doors.  That is immensely disturbing to the people victimized and leaves them feeling helpless and very insecure.

The response so far is to demand that the police stop the raids but the police clearly have got not a clue what to do about it.  Talk has been the only response so far.  Once the impotence of the police has been widely accepted, Australians too will be demanding guns to protect themelves

In the wake of last October's mass murder by a sociopath in Las Vegas, comes tragic news of another mass murder on a school campus in Florida.

The contrast between the response of two presidents is revealing, one focusing on culture and the other focussing on guns. Despite all the Democrat rhetoric about “gun control," as is the case with their faux rhetoric about immigration, when Barack Obama took office in 2009, Democrats had full legislative control of the 111th Congress. In the Senate there were 57 Democrats and two Independents who caucused with Democrats. In the House there were 257 Democrats and 178 Republicans.

Democrats could have enacted every gun control measure they wanted between 2009 and 2011 – but didn't. Why?

Regarding the most recent tragedy, predictably Democrats and their MSM propagandists have re-warmed their latest batch of lies about the murder of children in order to peddle their political agenda.

The BIG lie this week, in order to bolster the Left's calls for “gun control," is that there have already been “18 school shootings" this year. Even The Washington Post has called foul on that claim, noting it's “a horrifying statistic. And it is wrong." Indeed, it is wrong, but most of the Demo/MSM colluders don't allow facts to impede their political agendas.

However, this is an indisputable fact. There are three things the Leftmedia's saturation coverage always communicates to future mass murder assailants: 1. We will make sure you are famous by devoting all our air time, 24/7, to you! 2. As targets go, a school is best because that will get you the most attention, and nobody will shoot back! 3. Use an AR-15 – they are the most popular gun for the job and we can call it an “assault weapon"!

There are many media myths about gun control being propagated by the Left this week, and by extension, all their lemmings who regurgitate those “facts."

Most prevalent myths in social media forums are calls echoing the MSM's solution: Enact the Australian gun confiscation model. By way of addressing this claim, allow me to repost here a debate with my friend Neville, who is a deeply entrenched liberal from the UK now living in the US, and who has taken it upon himself to reform our nation. Here is an abridged summary of that debate…


The time is now to talk about Gun Control! The maiming and death of these children is so pointless, unnecessary and PREVENTABLE. Get rid of the guns. No mass shootings in Australia for over 20 years and counting after a government gun ban.


The tragic murders in Florida were, indeed, senseless — as are the emotive “solutions" that, predictably, follow such tragic events. I share your grief for these victims and their families, but not your prescription to resolve the culture of violence.

As for your solution … as I am sure you are aware, the culture in Australia has not been conducive to violence in decades. In fact, at one time the culture in America was not conducive to violence either. Not long ago, there were plenty of guns on high school campuses, but no mass shootings.

Yes, Neville, there have been no mass shootings in Australia since the gun ban was enacted, but there were few before then.

In fact, there are few murders in Australia, period. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1996, before enactment of the gun ban, Australia had had 311 murders, 98 by assailants with guns (including the 35 people killed in one mass shooting that prompted the confiscation). In the latest year of record, there were 227 people murdered, 32 by assailants using guns.

I should note here that the population of Australia is only 7% that of the United States, but when adjusting for population size, the number of murders in Australia are still only 20% of the US annual total, of which about 70% were assailant using firearms. But note that, after Australia confiscated all guns, assailants are still using guns to murder people… I guess only law-abiding citizens turned in their guns.

Of course, crime in the U.S. has actually declined more than in Australia over the last two decades. Concurrently, gun ownership in America has increased significantly while homicides by assailants with guns have also declined.

Apparently, more guns, less crime.

So what accounts for the difference in murder rates?

Australia is not plagued with urban poverty plantations created by five decades of failed Democrat social policies, and the resulting epidemic of violent crime. For the record, the top urban crime centers have the most restrictive firearm regulations in the nation. Using Demo-logic, shouldn't these “gun-free zones" be the safest places in America?

As for the “gun problem," if you are NOT a gang-banger or associated with drug trafficking (and Neville, I think you are clear on both counts), the probability of your being murdered in the U.S. falls in line with the probability of your being murdered in your beloved native UK homeland — where most types of guns have been banned for years.

Notably, however, American children are at much greater risk of being killed by a drunk driver than an assailant with a gun. Thus, while I know you favor the finer labels of liquid libation and use it responsibly, by your logic, the government should confiscate it because there are far more deaths associated with alcohol use than firearms — in fact, in many cases assailants using a firearm are alcohol impaired…

As for your sentiments about guns, I would be pleased to provide you with some “Gun-Free Household" stickers so you can broadcast the fact that your home is the best neighborhood option for uncontested intrusion!

Oh, and to put tragic deaths into perspective, there were 6x the number of drug overdose deaths last year, than there were deaths by assailants with a gun, yet I have not seen a single post from you about that…

PS: Your Redcoats tried to seize guns in Concord in April of 1775, and look how the British empire contracted in the years that followed!


The preventable death of just ONE child is too high a price to pay for a law, and an ideology, that is long past its sell by date in the modern world. When the right to bear arms was enacted in the 18th century even a well trained soldier could not fire his musket more than twice in a minute. A modern assault rifle can fire 600 times in one minute, which is the equivalent of being fired at by a rank of 300 redcoats. That sort of fire-power has no place in civil society.


We are too far apart on what ensures “preventable deaths" for reconciliation in this forum, but suffice it to say, the issue is much more complex than your solution. But understand, my views on this matter are not shaped by strong sentiments, but on having defended the lives of others at risk of my own. Thus, I am quite sure you place no greater value on the lives of innocents than do I.

And speaking of “preventable deaths," what is your position on killing unborn children?

As for your aspersions about “ideology," there is one side of the ideological spectrum that is accountable for the slaughter of millions of innocents in the last century — but in every case only after that ideology had disarmed its citizens. And that is the side you are on.

It is for this reason that there is no “sell by" expiration date on the Liberty enumerated in our Bill of Rights, most notably, the Second Amendment, which, in the words of the esteemed jurist Joseph Story, is “the palladium [protective device] of the Liberties of the Republic."

I know that Liberty is a difficult concept for you to grasp, having been inculcated for your lifetime with a statist worldview. But I find that your “solutions," as with those of other likeminded suburban liberals, have an arrogant and undeniable classist undertone that reflects your disdain for common folks.

Tucker Carlson aptly summarized it as follows: “This vital conversation [about culture] has been drowned out and made impossible by mindless screeching about gun control, led by blustery charlatans in the media … and in Congress, whose only real agenda is moral preening. They aren't trying to solve the problem. The calls you're hearing today for gun control have nothing to do with protecting Americans from violence. What you're witnessing is a kind of class war. The left hates rural America, gun-owning America, the America that elected Donald Trump. They call it ‘gun control.' It's not. It's people control. For the left, voters who can't be controlled can't be trusted."

Or as Obama put it in his infamous description about those who Hillary Clinton called “deplorables," those who are “bitter and cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

And a footnote: I know you are not familiar with firearms but point of record, the firearm used by the sociopathic killer in Florida was not an “assault weapon." And recall that the most costly mass slaughter of school children in the U.S. did not involve a gun. In 1927, a sociopathic Bath Township, Michigan, school board member detonated a bomb that killed 38 elementary schoolchildren and six adults.

Todd Orr Survived Double Bear Attack in 2016, Details from Shot Show Interview

Todd Orr is the survivor of a double mauling by a grizzly bear on 1 October, 2016.  When the bear charged him, he used bear spray in an attempt to stop the attack. It did not work. Todd was taught that bear spray was superior to pistols for stopping charging bears. He took the use of bear spray seriously, kept an up to date can of spray in a holster, and had practiced quick drawing the spray and using it. He had used bear spray on a black bear twelve years previously.

In that instance he surprised the sleeping black bear from about 30 feet away. The bear came at him, and he was able to deploy bear spray from about 10 feet, directly into the bear's face. The bear instantly turned and ran off. He never saw that black bear again.

His frame of mind was that "Statistics from recorded bear attacks show that bear spray is more effective than a gun at stopping a bear charge."

I met Todd at the 2018 shot show in Las Vegas. I was impressed. Todd appeared to have healed well. He is an outdoors professional, an obviously skilled woodsman and shooter. He is intelligent, thoughtful and articulate. He is an accomplished pistol shot, having harvested 28 elk with a pistol. He is a custom knife maker and has been an active reloader of his own ammunition for most of his life.

Todd was carrying a 10 mm Rock Island pistol with a six inch barrel and a 2x7 Burris variable handgun scope in a chest holster when he was attacked by the grizzly.

The 10 mm has shown itself to be a good bear stopper. The scope was in a custom mount made by Todd, that allows use of the open sights under the scope. Todd's 10 mm was being carried as a hunting gun, not as a defensive tool for bears.

It is axiomatic that under stress, people fall to the level of their training. This is exactly what Todd did. He carried bear spray with him as part of his job. He had attended a number of official bear identification and bear spray use classes over the years, as part of his work with the forest service. His work rules precluded the carry of a pistol. He had trained to quick draw the bear spray. Authorities higher in the organization had emphasized the effectiveness of bear spray.

Todd did as he was trained. He said he never thought of drawing the pistol to stop the attack.

Todd was seriously mauled.  As he was self-evacuating, he was attacked again. He had a spare can of bear spray in his hand, but the surprise second attack offered no opportunity to use it. During the attack, his holster was ripped from his body, so he could not access his pistol.

Todd survived, recovered, and is getting on with his life. It could have been worse, or it could have been better.

Todd had been given bad information. Bear spray has *not* been shown to be more effective at stopping grizzly bear charges than guns. No such study has ever been conducted. The claims to that effect are junk science.  I examined those claims in another article.  They are made by people who compare two different studies with very different criteria for selection of the bear encounter incidents.

The firearms study involves incidents with aggressive bears where a high proportion of the incidents ended with people being injured. The authors have not released their data, but admit to a strong selection bias.  That study is: Efficacy of firearms for bear deterrence in Alaska by Tom S. Smith, Stephen Herrero, and others, from 2012.There were only 269 incidents chosen. Many were during hunting situations where the bear was already wounded.  From the study:
First, because bear-inflicted injuries are closely covered by the media, we likely did not miss many records where people were injured. Therefore, even if more incidents had been made available through the Alaska DLP database, we anticipate that these would have contributed few, if any, additional human injuries. Second, including more DLP records would have increased the number of bears killed by firearms. Finally, additional records would have likely improved firearm success rates from those reported here, but to what extent is unknown.
The strong selection bias was in favor of incidents where human injuries had occurred. A previous study with CHARACTERISTICS OF NONSPORT MORTALITIES TO BROWN AND BLACK BEARS AND HUMAN INJURIES FROM BEARS IN ALASKA, done in 1999, considered 2,000 incidents in Alaska where bears were killed in defense of life and property (the DLP records mentioned above). In that study, only two percent of the incidents resulted in injuries to humans. That study also has a selection bias, as only incidents in which the bear was killed are recorded in the database used.

The bear spray study compared to the firearms study was also done by Tom S. Smith, in 2008. The selection process for the incidents used was significantly different. Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska examined 83 incidents with bears, humans, and bear spray.  It is not clear how the incidents were chosen. Most involve incidents where the bear was merely curious or seeking food, but was not aggressive.  From Dave Smith, a prominent author on how to avoid bear attacks:
Fact check: Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska (2008) shows bear spray was 3 for 9 vs. charging grizzlies when people had time to use their spray. The study did not include data on incidents when people did not have time to use their spray or the “success” rate for bear spray would be lower.
Fifty of 72 incidents involved bears that were acting curious or seeking garbage or food before being sprayed. It is unethical and moronic to compare the results of the Alaska bear spray study to the results of the Alaska firearms study, which examined 269 carefully selected incidents involving gun use during “bear attacks.”
Using the tiny numbers found by Dave Smith, from the Bear Spray in Alaska study, the spray was only 33% effective in stopping charging grizzly bears. Such small numbers are not sufficient for good statistics, but they are what is available.

Comparing  a study that deliberately selects incidents where people were injured (the Firearms study) to a study where Fifty of 72 incidents involved non-aggressive bears (the Bear Spray study) is junk science.

Bear spray has its uses. It is a valid option for people who are not comfortable with firearms or who do not wish to carry a firearm. It is better than nothing in places were firearms are prohibited or for people who are forbidden from carrying firearms.

A claim is often made that pistols are ineffective in stopping bear attacks. The best information we have is that pistols are very effective in stopping attacks. A number of hypothetical situations are often cited without any empirical evidence. Spray proponents claim pistols do not have enough power, are too difficult to use, or are not accurate enough.

I and associates found 28 incidents where handguns were used to defend against bear attacks. In only one of those incidents did use of the pistol fail to stop the attack. Sometimes people were injured before the pistol was used;  that situation would be common to the use of both pistols and bear spray.

All of the incidents and links to the sources are detailed in this article. We have since found six more incidents that are being researched and evaluated. If included, they change the percentage of successful defenses very little. Inclusion of the newly found instances would only change the effectiveness from 96% to 97%.

The 96% effective rate compares favorably to the 84% effective rate for pistols in the 2012 Efficacy of Firearms study, previously cited. In that study, the authors report they included 37 instances of a handgun being present when a bear attacked a human.  The instances collected were from 1883 to 2009.  They recorded 6 failures to stop the attack out of the 37 instances.  That is an 84% success rate. Pistol and ammunition technology has greatly improved since 1883.

Only four of the 28 incidents I and associates found, might have been included in the 37 instances that Smith reported in the Firearms study. None of the people in those four incidents were injured.  The range of dates in the pistol bear defense article are from 1987 to 2017. They are heavily biased toward the present.

Using the criteria in Efficacy of Firearms study, of a handgun being present during a bear attack, Todd Orr's attack would have been counted as an instance of a handgun failure to stop the attack, even though there was no attempt to use the handgun during the attack.

In the article on the efficacy of bear spray, instances where bear spray was not used, even though present, were not counted. It is not clear if they were collected.

Todd Orr was a perfect candidate to successfully use a pistol to stop the attack by the grizzly that mauled him. He had ample opportunity to draw the pistol and prepare for the attack, if he had not been trained to choose bear spray as the first, best, tool for the job.

Todd has since acquired a Smith & Wesson L frame model 69, stainless, five shot .44 magnum revolver. He carries both it and bear spray when feasible. It is handier and more powerful than his scope mounted 10 mm. More options are better.  I hope Todd never has to use either option on another charging grizzly.

The .44 magnum revolver has been an effective stopper of grizzly bear attacks in the incidents we have collected. They did not fail in any of the 11 documented attacks where they were used as a defense against bears.

In collecting the pistol defense attacks, we included all attacks where a pistol was used or attempted to be used, to defend against a bear, that we could find. Todd's case is not included, because he never attempted to use the pistol as a defensive tool.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

Followup FL: Teen Shot by Homeowner Charged with Attempted Murder

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A teenager shot after he kicked down the door of a home in the Florida Ridge neighborhood Feb. 1 told his shooter it was the "wrong house," according to the Sheriff's Office.

Howard Nelson Bartee III, 19, of the 800 block of Eighth Court Southwest, was charged Wednesday with attempted murder and armed burglary.
More Here

NC: Man Shoots Intruder who Broke into his Home

The homeowner told deputies that he heard his back door get kicked and saw a man, later identified as 35-year-old Daniel Thomas Hauser, enter his home.

He grabbed his gun and shot Hauser once, fatally injuring the man.

“I had an intruder in my house. They broke in,” the homeowner said during a 911 call. “I was asleep in bed and I heard the glass break downstairs and I got out of the bed.
More Here

Followup TX: No Charges for Self Defense Shooting of Clayton Morgan at La Bella Pizza

47th District Attorney Randall Sims said the Potter County Grand Jury Decided not to charge him.

Sims said the grand jury decided that the employee acted in self-defense when he fired the shot that killed Clayton Morgan, 36.

Sims also said that the second suspect involved in the robbery has been indicted on a charge of aggravated robbery.
More Here

Friday, February 16, 2018

Palos Heights Student Arrested After Posing With AK-47 Online

I hope the kid and his parents fight this one.  It is perfectly normal for a kid to be photographed with treasured possessions or in an unusual situation.  There was no mention of any threat.  One understands that people are nervous at the moment but you can't make the law up as you go along

CHICAGO (CBS) — A freshman at a Palos Heights high school was arrested earlier this week, after posing with an AK-47 in photos shared on Snapchat.

The Cook County Sheriff’s office said detectives were notified of the images Sunday afternoon. The 15-year-old student at Shepard High School was arrested Sunday evening at his home in Worth.

One of the images shared online included the school’s name.

The boy was charged as a juvenile with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said the gun he posed with was legally owned by an adult, but not his parents.

Autopsy Shows Mandalay Bay Shooter Committed Suicide with Shot to Head

Autopsy shows Las Vegas Shooter committed suicide with a shot to the roof of the mouth. From
The autopsy, which included toxicology tests and a brain examination, found that Paddock had anti-anxiety medication in his system. It also confirmed what authorities had previously said — that Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head after he opened fire at an outdoor concert from his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

“It seems that based on the autopsy reports there were no physical excuses for what Steve did,” said his younger brother Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Fla. “We may never understand why Steve did this.”

The bullet that killed Paddock entered the roof of his mouth and traveled to the back of his head and then upward without exiting his body, leaving fractured bones along the way, the report says. Paddock also had scrapes on his right upper calf and knee and a bruise on his left calf.

A separate examination of his brain done at Stanford University found no major abnormalities, including no evidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
The article in the Revew Journal does not say if the autopsy report shows what position the Mandalay Bay shooter was in when he committed suicide or which hand held the .38 Smith & Wesson 340SC that appears in the photograph of the dead shooter. The revolver is about three feet from the shooters head, as he lies on his back on the Mandalay Bay carpet. The article does not say what position the body was in when it was found.

Their appears to be a trail of blood spots from the pool of blood under the shooter's head to the revolver. Perhaps the revolver was moved from the position where it was found to the one in the photograph.

There seem to be two pools of blood, perhaps created at two separate times.  This could have happened if the body started face down, with the hand closer to the revolver, and was then moved to a different position or positions, perhaps as first responders made their initial investigation.

We do not know precisely when the photograph was taken, or during what part of the investigation.

The autopsy report shows that the bullet did not exit the skull.  The blood must have come out of the nose and mouth. Most seems to have come out of the nose and mouth in at least two separate events.

It is not unusual for the bullet from a .38 revolver to fail to exit the skull. The autopsy report should tell us what the remaining ammunition was in the revolver.

The Review Journal goes on to say that there were no brain abnomalities, or evidence of Alzheimer's disease in the shooter's brain.

It is likely that there are many more photographs in the autopsy report. The answers are likely there as to the orignal position of the body, and how and when it was moved.

Perhaps the entire autopsy report will be released to the public in the future.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MN: Gun Beats Knife in "Road Rage" Assault

He then grabbed a large knife and attempted to assault another driver in the crash, according to witness statements.

Authorities say that driver ducked back into his vehicle while Schiffler began stabbing at the windows, trying to break the glass.

It was at this point that an armed bystander, who was not involved in the crash, stopped to try to help the trapped driver. Witnesses tell police Schiffler "aggressively and intentionally" engaged the armed man and the man fired his weapon.
More Here

More Details KS: Domestic Defense Shooting of Jarrod O'Donnell

A Kansas City, Kan., woman said she never wanted her ex-fiancé, who she said broke into her home, shoved her and threatened to kill her over the weekend, to die.

Misty Bartlett, 43, was home with a friend and her 8-year-old son about 11 p.m. Saturday watching a movie when a fist pounding on their sliding glass door startled them.

Her ex-fiancĂ©, Jarrod O’Donnell, 48, shattered the glass and attacked her, Bartlett said. The friend in the home eventually shot and killed O’Donnell, an act that Bartlett said was in self-defense.

Read more here:

More Here

IA: Stand Your Ground Law used in Self Defense Case

The new law says law-abiding people don't have to retreat before using deadly force if they believe they're in danger, even if they are wrong in estimating the danger they face.

District Judge James Heckerman said in his order that Staley was ambushed in an alley by two men wearing hoodies and bandannas as they screamed and ran toward him. Staley pulled his registered handgun after he was knocked down and shot Davis. Both attackers ran off, and Davis collapsed and died a few moments later. A knife was later found near Davis' body.

"A reasonable person being attacked in a dark alley by masked men would believe their life to be in jeopardy," Heckerman wrote in his order.
More Here

SC: Gunfight, Howeowner Killed, Tresspasser Wounded

WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a homeowner who was holding a gun on someone who was ordered not to return to his South Carolina property was shot and killed by the suspect.

Oconee County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Watt says 24-year-old Tyler Broome was also shot around 3:35 a.m. Wednesday at the Walhalla home and is in the hospital.
More Here

Thursday, February 15, 2018

NC: After Gunfight, AR-15 used for defense of Home in Catawba County

On the 7th of February, 2018, three young masked men approached a home in Catawba County at about 6 p.m. One of the young men, a 17-year-old, shot at the intended victim.  The intended victim, also 17, was armed and fired back, hitting the attacker several times, killing him.

Shane Cauthen, Masked 17-Year-Old Shot and Killed in Self Defense Gunfight

The other two masked men have been arrested, and the incident investigated. The two remaining suspects are 22 and 16 years old.  The investigators met with the District Attorney on Thursday morning. A determination was made the shooting was in self-defense.

The family of the teen who defended himself has received death threats. A tense situation occurred when a relative of the 17-year-old suspect who was killed approached the property.  He was stopped by a man armed with an AR-15 type rifle, and told to leave. There is video of the confrontation. From

A man at the house who is a relative of the teen who was the robbery target, drove up to the edge of the driveway and asked that man to leave. He didn’t.

That’s when the relative pulled out an AR-15 rifle and asked the man to go away.

When that gentleman reached behind him, as of to pull out something from behind his back, the relative with the AR-15 raised the barrel, pointed it at the man, and yelled at him to stop.

It turned out he was just trying to show that he was not armed.

The video shows the usefulness of the rifle in stopping a threat.

While the intruder was not armed, the rifleman was confident enough of his position to hesitate in firing, even though the man confronting him chose to show that he was unarmed in a confrontational and foolish fashion.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

FL: Armed Woman Shoots, Kills Intruder breaking into Home at 1:29 A.M.

A burglar busted through the glass doors of a house in the upscale village of Pinecrest early Monday morning, only to face a deadly barrage of bullets from the homeowner — a high-ranking Miami federal agent.

Authorities said Maria Otero, the branch chief of the Miami office of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, killed Robert Young III after he broke into her home at 1:29 a.m. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Young had a weapon, or what he used to break the window.

More Here

Read more here:

WA: Bill Would Outlaw Concealed Carry on Most Private Property

The current law allows someone to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the state with a concealed weapon permit which requires a background check with both state and federal databases.

SB 6415, and its companion bill in the house HB 2738, would make it unlawful for someone to carry a concealed firearm into another person’s home without expressed permission, even with a license to carry. A violation of the law would be a misdemeanor. Also, the bill proposes that if convicted, he or she would have their concealed pistol license revoked for five years.

More Here

Followup FL: Knife Fight Death was Likely Self Defense

A pre-Hurricane Irma homicide case in Key West in which an Ohio man died from a slashed throat and a second man was left bloody and seriously injured remains an open and unresolved case.

“There’s a strong indication this is a self-defense situation,” said State Attorney Dennis Ward on Tuesday. “We’re not going to take it to the grand jury.”

A knife fight between two men at the high-end Steamplant Condos on Trumbo Road ended with the worst of it going to Jason Fitzgerald Henthorne, 47, of Wooster, Ohio, who died after his throat was slashed, according to a source close to the investigation.

More Here

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trump Era NICS Gun Checks, 2018 Starts Same as 2017

The second year of the Trump era of the National Instant background Check System (NICS) has started with numbers the same as the first year.

There were 2,030,530 checks done in January of 2018. That is 99.4% of the 2,043,184 checks done in January of 2017, virtually unchanged.

January has a traditional fall-off in sales compared to the record-breaking month of December, with Christmas in full swing.  The month of January in 2013 and  2016 were higher than January, 2018, but both of those years were marked by significant concerns that politicians would ignore the "shall not be infringed" words in the Second Amendment, and implement stringent restrictions on purchasing, owning, and using firearms.

In 2013, it was fear that pressure from President Obama and a Republican Congress fearful of the intense media push for restrictions would cave to the Progressive desire to restrict firearms ownership.

The effort ultimately failed, but many believed it would succeed.

In 2016, it was fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Hillary had signaled an antagonism to enforcement of Second Amendment rights.

With the election of President Trump, many predicted that NICS background checks and firearm sales would drop through the floor.

They were reduced from the fevered sales of 2016, but were higher than the previous record set in 2013.

Now, a vigorous economy, an increase in middle-class jobs, a record low unemployment rate, and a rise in the number of gun owners are adding up to a sustainable, historically high level of NICS checks and gun sales.

We will not know how the NICS checks relate to an actual increase in the number of guns in private hands until the BATF releases the numbers on gun manufacture, imports, and exports sometime next year.

The number of guns added to the private stock have averaged about .56 guns for each NICS check. Many NICS checks are done for carry permits, renewals, and other purposes that have little to do with gun sales. Kentucky runs a NICS check on every carry permit in the state, every month.

Many NICS checks are performed for the sale of used guns. Those guns do not add to the number of privately owned guns in circulation.

A good approximation of the number of guns added to the private stock in the United States in January, 2018, would be 1.14 million.

The number of privately owned guns in the United States is about 419 million. The number will probably reach 430 million by the end of 2018.  Most estimates of private gun ownership in the United States stop at about 2006, before the Obama administration. Over 100 million guns have been sold or imported into the United States since that time.

The estimate of privately owned guns in the United States was made using the techniques pioneered by  Newton and Zimring, which includes the calculation of the 1945 number of modern guns added to the stock from 1899 to 1945.  Firearms manufactured before 1899 are not included.

From 1945 to 1987, the data was taken from "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America" by Gary Kleck, Table 2.1.   The methodology used by Kleck was applied to  the figures obtained from the ATF for later years.  The number shown is the cumulative addition of domestic manufacture plus imports minus exports.  This does not count guns shipped to the U.S. military.   The figures are rounded to the nearest million.

The numbers added to the private stock for 2016 and 2017 were estimated from the NICS numbers.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Reason: Cody Wilson is Destroying the Concept of Gun Control

"Gun control is not dead, gun control is undead," explains Cody Wilson, the director of Defense Distributed. "We just keep killing it but it keeps coming back."

Wilson, a crypto-anarchist and serial "troublemaker," helped launch the age of the digital gun when he published files showing how to make the Liberator, a 3D-printed pistol, in 2013. It set off a panic in the media and in anti-gun political circles, and the State Department demanded Defense Distributed remove the files from their website.

But five years after the Liberator debut, the technological limitations of homemade firearms have started disappearing. The materials are cheaper and better, the machines are more precise, and the software is more advanced. Groups of hobbyist gun printers started gathering in IRC chats and internet forums, and are working together to make their own gun designs. It's a new reality that hasn't entirely filtered into public debates over gun control.

"I like the Liberator, it's fine," union carpenter and hobbyist gun printer Darren Booth says. "[But] it's only good for one shot. I thought, 'what can I do to make it a little better?'"

Booth developed the Shuty AP-9, a semi-automatic, mostly 3D printed, 9mm handgun based on the AR-15 platform.

Booth is a regular of the FOSSCAD group, and the community worked together to create the digital files for the Shuty. "It's an open community. It's an open chat," says Booth. "Anyone can go on there and just ask questions." Files for the Shuty, as well as other firearm designs, can be easily downloaded from the FOSSCAD repository.

More Here

GA: Gunfight at Liquor store, Owner, Suspects, Wounded

When officers arrived, they found the store owner suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest, a possible suspect suffering from a gunshot wound in his back and another individual who may or may not be involved in the incident was suffering from a gunshot wound to his foot.

Police believe that this was an attempted robbery and the store owner had come to this establishment during closing time when he was confronted by three individuals.

One of the alleged suspects fired at the store owner, hitting him in the chest, and a bystander then shot the individual in the back.
More Here

Followup KS: Judge Considers if Shooting of Bryce Holladay in 2013 was Self Defense

A judge is now mulling whether a 21-year-old Lawrence man acted in self-defense when he fatally shot a man who refused to leave his home.

Steven A. Drake III immediately told a 911 dispatcher that he’d just shot Bryce Holladay in the face because he wouldn’t get out of his house, that he’d set the gun he used on a table, and that Holladay was lying outside the door, dead, a tape of the call shows. Drake talked to police officers who arrived while he was still on the phone, and barely half an hour later he again described to detectives, in a videotaped interview at the police station, how he’d shot Holladay.
More Here

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

In Australia, 100th Birthday, Pig shot near Eykamp Farm

I am visiting Australia to write about the Australian gun culture. The Australian gun culture is robust and thriving, in spite of draconian restrictions imposed after the Port Arthur massacre.

While Australia has very restrictive gun laws, they have relatively unrestricted hunting laws. This wild boar was shot a few miles away from the Medway, the property where I am staying. The hunter saw the boar on a hillside from his farm house. He grabbed his rifle, and stalked and shot the pig. Wild pigs cause enormous damage to Australian farms.

 Antlers on the pack are likely pick-up sheds from a Fallow deer.

I was shown the picture at Roy Eykamp's 100th birthday party. Last year I helped care for Roy for the three months during the Australian gun Amnesty.

 The rifle in the picture looks to be  a Tikka T3 or maybe a Sako 85. They are popular rifles in Australia.

A day earlier, Roy Eykamp the younger had come into the house to get a rifle from the gun safe to go after a pig on the farm.  By the time he got back, the pig was gone.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

FL: Police Officer Explains that Self Defense Against Pellet Gun is Valid Video

In the early morning hours of Friday, 9 February, 2018, a man attempted an armed robbery of a Sunoco gas station in Tampa, Florida. The clerk had a firearm of his own and fired several shots, hitting the suspect in the leg. The suspect fled across the street, and the clerk followed him and then held him for police. Police came, took custody of the suspect, and determined that the suspect's gun was a pellet gun.

The police lieutenant at the scene educated the reporter on the validity of defense from a perceived deadly threat.

Link to video

From the reporter:
... pointing a pellet gun at that clerk, but the lieutenant here told us that really makes no difference in whether or not you are going to defend yourself
From the Police Lieutenant:
"This is typical self defense kind of stuff. If someone is threatening you with a firearm, anybody, a spouse, or anybody, the general public, you have a right to defend yourself."
While not in the video, reporters at the scene recorded this additional explanation and validation:
Investigators on scene told ABC Action News they believe the shooting is most likely justified, regardless of whether or not the gun was a pellet gun.

“Now the clerk knows when you have a gun shoved in your face you don’t know if it’s a pellet gun or a B.B. gun...” said Lieutenant Ricardo Ubinas with the Tampa Police Department. “It really doesn’t change the dynamics of the robbery. It’s still an armed robbery.”
20 years ago, police commentary commonly injected this bit into the narrative:

 We do not recommend that people act to defend themselves. Let the suspect have what they want and call the police.

Today, we see the police educating reporters on the finer points of self-defense law. I suspect they did this all along, only now is it being reported.

 ©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup KY: Accomplice Charged with Murder after Suspect was Shot, Killed by Armed Victim

This appears to be another Felony Murder Rule example.

A woman charged in a home invasion in which a Boaz homeowner shot and killed an intruder has been indicted for murder.

A Graves County grand jury returned the murder indictment against Miranda Murphy on Thursday, Commonwealth Attorney David Hargrove said. Police indicated at a preliminary hearing in November that Murphy was driving the getaway car for her boyfriend, Joshua White, and his father, Timothy Roper, who later died. Investigators said the men broke into the home, assaulted a 79-year-old man and took his wallet.

The grand jury also indicted White and Murphy on two counts of complicity to robbery.

More Here

AL: Armed Woman Holds Burglary Suspect for Police

A Cherokee County, Ala., woman held two burglary suspects at gunpoint after catching two people inside her home on Friday.

Benjamin T. Roulane, 20, of Summerville, Ga., was arrested and charged with second degree burglary. The second suspect, Alexia McGuire, 18, also of Summerville, fled the scene when she saw the homeowner.
More Here

PA: Released Inmate Attempts Carjacking within Minutes, Is Shot

PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork/AP) — A corrections officer leaving work for the day shot and critically injured a just-released inmate who authorities say attacked the guard in the parking lot of a prison in Philadelphia Friday night.

Police say 26-year-old Jamal Bennett attempted to carjack the 66-year-old guard just before 11 p.m., right after the guard finished his shift at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in the city’s Holmesburg section.

The two men fought next to the officer’s vehicle until the guard pulled his personal weapon and opened fire, striking Bennett in the chest.

More Here

NC: Man Kills Coyote that came Near to Young Daughter and Dog

Ian Vigus said that shortly after he came home from work in Orange County, he heard his dog barking near where his daughter was playing.

Vigus said his dog was spooked by a coyote, so he took both the dog and his daughter inside and grabbed his rifle.

“As he started to lope off, I shot him and killed him,” Vigus said. “I just wanted to protect my family and protect my livestock.”
More Here

Monday, February 12, 2018

OR: Video of Wolf Shooting Self Defense Interview, October, 2017

Link to video

On 27 October, 2017, an Oregon elk hunter shot and killed a wolf charging directly at him. He fired one shot from a 30-06, using  Hornaday ammunition.

The wolf was found to be an 83 pound female. Two other wolves were with the female, initially.

In the interview, the hunter indicates there likely were more wolves that he did not see.

This was the first self-defense shooting of a wolf in Oregon since they were re-introduced in the late 1990's.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

IL: Domestic Defense, Father Fatally Shoots Bat-Weilding 32-Year-Old Son

“Investigators have been told the 32-year-old man was threatening his 62-year-old father with a baseball bat and was warned several times to back away before he was shot,” Evans said. “The father has been cooperative throughout the investigation. The investigation is continuing, and no charges have been filed at this time.”
More Here

FL: Clerk Shoots man with Gun, Holds him for Police

Police said a man attempted to rob the gas station using a pellet gun early Friday.

Officers said the clerk armed himself with his own firearm and fired at the suspect striking him in the leg.
More Here

UT: Exchange of "Warning Shots" Felon Arrested

Kent Garbutt, 29, was involved in an altercation with his neighbor, Curtis said. He said according to the report, Garbutt was angry with his neighbor and was threatening him. The neighbor pulled out a pistol and shot at the ground in front of Garbutt, telling him to back off.

That’s when, according to witnesses, Garbutt left and came back with a gun of his own.

“He denies that he did,” Curtis said. However, witnesses told deputies that Garbutt fired off a couple of rounds before leaving the residence.

More Here

NC: Gunfight, Armed Tenn Defender Shoots 1 of 3 Masked Intruders

Investigators believe the three had gone to rob a 17-year-old that lived there.

Cauthen, says the sheriff, fired a shot at that teen and then that teen pulled out a weapon and fired back. Cauthen was hit several times.

His friends drove him to Lincoln County to get medical help but it was too late.

“He was a good boy,” said his mom Shanda Cauthen.

She and others were hoping charges would be filed against the other teenager.

Investigators met with the District Attorney Thursday morning and they determined that the shooting was justified. A case of self-defense.
More Here

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Most Justifed Homicides are not Recorded by the FBI UCR

Most justified homicides, both by police and by private citizens, are not recorded in the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR).

The Washington post has been collecting information on fatal police shootings from published sources and social media for the last three years. They have found that police in the United States consistently shoot and kill about a thousand people each year. Virtually all of them are justified homicides.  From the Washington Post:
For the third year in a row, police nationwide shot and killed nearly 1,000 people, a grim annual tally that has persisted despite widespread public scrutiny of officers’ use of fatal force.

Police fatally shot 987 people last year, or two dozen more than they killed in 2016, according to an ongoing Washington Post database project that tracks the fatal shootings. Since 2015, The Post has logged the details of 2,945 shooting deaths, culled from local news coverage, public records and social-media reports.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2015 reports 442 justifiable homicides by police Almost all, 441, were shootings.  In 2016, 435 justifiable homicides were recorded in the UCR by police. 429 were shootings.

The Post only records fatal police shootings, instead of justifiable homicides.

The ratio of the Post recorded shootings vs. the justifiable homicide shootings, recorded by the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, is 45%.

Only 45% of fatal police shootings are officially recorded by the FBI in the UCR.

Police have strong incentives to record justifiable shootings by their officers.

There are significant incentives to not record justifiable shootings by private citizens.

One reason is  that justification is often decided by the courts. If the shooter is charged with a crime, the shooting will be recorded as a crime, rather than as a justified homicide.  The UCR records arrests, not convictions. Here is a recent example.
Twenty-four-year-old Alex Wittenberg was found not guilty Tuesday night of second-degree murder and first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of 39-year-old Jonathan Puttmann. The two men fought when Wittenberg accompanied Puttmann’s estranged wife who was dropping off the couple’s children at Puttmann’s house on Nov. 15, 2016.
Wittenberg was charged with murder/manslaughter and arrested. That arrest goes into the FBI UCR as a murder. 14 months later, Wittenberg is found to have been justified, by a jury. The FBI UCR has no mechanism for retroactively changing the murder statistic to a justified homicide.

Another reason is that many justified homicides are recorded as murders under the felony murder rule.  Under the rule, people who participate in violent felonies can be charged with murder if anyone dies as a result of the felony.

The reporting system for the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) is voluntary. Most justified homicides are not recorded.

According to studies, the FBI UCR only catches about 20% of the justifiable homicides by private citizens.

FBI Recorded 338 justified homicides by private citizens in 2015, and 331 in 2016.

It is likely there were 1,600 to 1,700 justified homicides by private citizens in each of those years. 

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

WA: Armed Woman Motorcyclist Shoots Man 60-Year-Old Motorist who Attacked her

A 24-year-old woman on a blue 2008 Yamaha motorcycle and the man who was driving a silver 2016 SUV got into some sort of dispute just before 5:00 p.m.

Both pulled over to the left inside lane and the argument continued, leading to a physical fight, according to State Patrol.

The two were on the ground fighting when the woman pulled out a gun and shot the man, the State Patrol said.

The man's 57-year-old wife was a passenger in the SUV. She was not injured.

The motorcyclist called 911 and remained at the scene.
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Followup OK: Burglary Suspect Shot in Gunfight has Family of Criminals

"This comes to no surprise to me that Christopher Born is in the situation he's in today," Christian said.

Court records state Born has several felony charges against him including domestic abuse.

His son, Christopher Thomas Born is currently in prison for murder.

And his other son Kalup, is awaiting trial also for murder.

"This family we've dealt for almost as long as I can remember," Christian said.

Hoots is being held in the county jail without bond.
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TX: Armed Samaritan Shoots Pit Bull Attacking Leashed Dog

LEAGUE CITY, TX — An off-duty police officer shot and killed a dog that was running loose and attacked another dog that was on a walk with its owner.

The attack happened on Tuesday morning in the 800 block of Center Pointe Drive, officials said in a press release.

Police said the a resident in the Center Pointe community was walking her dog on a leash, when a dog believed to have been a pit bull, charged at them and began attacking her dog.

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Illinois Supreme Court Rules ban on Guns within 1000 feet of Parks Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court  of  the State of Illinois has ruled that a state ban on carrying guns within a 1,000 feet of a park is obviously unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because it "directly implicates the core right of self-defense".
Yesterday the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a state ban on carrying guns within 1,000 feet of a public park violates the constitutional right to bear arms. The decision in People v. Chairez extends the logic of prior rulings by the same court and by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit holding that Second Amendment rights exist outside the home and cannot be categorically restricted without a strong justification.
The decision is a number of pages long, and is well written. For those who do not have the time to read it in its entirety, this paragraph explains the logic of the court.  From People v. Chairez at
We believe the State defines the core right protected by the second amendment too narrowly. According to this court’s holding in Aguilar, neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limited the second amendment protections to the home. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116, ¶¶ 18-20. To the contrary, both Heller and McDonald at least strongly suggest that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home. Id.¶ 20. Moreover, the State’s reliance on Skoien—which did not involve the core self-defense component of the right to bear arms—is misplaced. We find that the 1000-foot firearm restriction at issue more closely resembles the restrictions at issue in Ezell I, Ezell II, Moore, and Aguilar. In fact, the 1000-foot firearm restriction not only directly implicates the core right to self-defense, it does so more severely than the regulations at issue in the Ezell cases. That is so because section 24-1(a)(4), (c)(1.5) of the UUW statute prohibits the carriage of weapons in public for self-defense, thereby reaching the core of the second amendment. While in the Ezell cases, the laws only affected a right (maintain firearm proficiency) that was merely a “corollary” to the right to possess firearms for self-defense. Although the firearm restriction at issue is not a comprehensive statewide ban, like in Moore or Aguilar, the restriction is not minimal. The firearm restriction not only covers a vast number of public areas across the state, it encompasses areas this court held in Mosley to be areas where an individual enjoys second amendment protection, i.e., public ways. See Mosley, 2015 IL 115872, ¶25.

As to the second variable on the sliding scale, the severity of the law’s burden on the right, the law at issue affects the gun rights of the entire law-abiding population of Illinois like the laws in Moore, Ezell, Aguilar, and Mosley. As in those cases, the law functions as a categorical prohibition without providing an exception for law-abiding individuals. It is therefore a severe burden on the recognized second amendment right of self-defense.
There are obvious implications for equally severe burdens placed on the exercise of Second Amendment rights by the bizarre "Gun Free School Zone Act"of 1996. That act bans the carry of guns within 1,000 feet of a school.

The first federal ban on guns in and around schools was the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990. It was held to be unconstitutional in U.S. v. Lopez in 1995.

Janet Reno and Bill Clinton lobbied hard for superficial changes to the bill, and passed it again, in 1996. U.S. v. Lopez did not rule on the constitutionality of the act under the Second Amendment, but invalidated the bill because it did not involve interstate commerce, thus limiting federal authority.

The Illinois Supreme Court is following, and building on, the precedent set at the 7th Circuit with Moore v. Madigan and the Illinois Supreme Court with People v. Aguilar.

It is uncertain when we may see those arguments applied to the federal Gun Free School Zone Act, but I expect we will see them.

The possibility of a rational ruling will be enhanced if President Trump appoints another strict constructionist and textualist, as he did with Justice Gorsuch.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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MS: Gunfight, Invader Killed, Homeowner Wounded in Hand

A burglary suspect and a resident exchanged gunfire at a remote home in Adams County. The resident was hit in the hand, but the suspect was found dead in the front yard.

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Followup NC: Video of Attempted Robbers Using Rifle, Dropping Same

In the video, one would-be robber points the rifle at the worker, who then fired a shot at the men. They ran from the store and in the video you can see them drop the rifle at the front door.
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OH: Off Duty Officer Shoots Suspect Attempting Car Jacking

Miami Township Sgt. Pail Nienhaus said it appears that car may have stopped working just about in the intersection of 725 and I-75, at which point the male got out with a handgun and tried to force other people out of their vehicles. An off-duty Miami Township police officer saw what was doing on and got out of the vehicle with his off-duty weapon.

The officer then ordered for the suspect to drop the gun, but when he didn't comply with orders, the officer opened fire and hit the suspect at least once.

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Friday, February 09, 2018

Bear Attacks Three Men, Should have been a Defensive Gun Use

On 19 December, 2017, a bear attacked a dog and her master in Northern Minnesota.  The attacks occurred at McDougal Lake a little after 10 a.m. The unusual bear attack, in midwinter Minnesota, would have been a perfect reason to use a defensive firearm.  Instead, the unarmed dog owner went hand to hand with the bear, and was bitten on the abdomen. From
ISABELLA, Minn. — Seeing his dog pinned to the ground in a black bear’s jaw, William Vagts ran to the bear, threw his arms around its neck and tried to pull the bear backward. “I didn’t even think. I just reacted. … I just held him for just a few seconds, which is a long time to hold a bear by the neck,” Vagts, 68, said as he knelt in the snow and circled his arms to re-enact what took place in his front yard on Tuesday morning. Letting go of Vagts’ 2-year-old corgi Darla, the bear turned around to bite Vagts in the abdomen before fleeing from the yard. The entire encounter with the bear was over in a minute, he said.
Bill Vagts keeps a loaded shotgun by the door and sometimes wears a holstered pistol. But Murphy was looking over Vagts  shoulder on 19 December. He did not have his pistol and the shotgun was too far away. From
Vagts keeps a loaded shotgun by his front door and wears a sidearm at times, but "there was absolutely no time to think about" shooting the bear. "If I had thought about it for 2-3 seconds, I would have watched that bear tear my dog apart.
The bear left Vagts, looking for easier prey. It attacked two carpenters building a garage a hundred and fifty yards away. The were running a power saw and never saw the bear until it was attacking. They were too tough for the bear, although one was bitten in the process.

Daniel Boedeker, 58, used a six foot level to wack the bear, breaking the instrument in half.  The bear stopped attacking his partner, 54 year old Gary Jerich.  The bear turned its attention to Boedeker, knocking him down and biting him on the arm.

Jerich then returned the  favor, pounding the bear on the head with a piece of siding.  He broke a wooden saw horse over the bear's head. At this time Boedeker was on the ground, kicking at the bear's nose and jaws.. Jerich grabbed a steel bladed shovel, and hit the bear so hard, between the eyes, the bear was knocked down.  The bear ran into the garage.

The carpenters used the time to run to their work van. The bear came after them, but they were able to close the doors and drive away. Then they called 911.

Boedeker and Jerich were partially protected by their winter clothing. The bear only bruised Jerich.  From
“The bear swung at me and got me in the back of my coat. The claws went through my coat but didn’t go hit the Carharts. I had six layers on that day. So I backhanded it again and Dan came out of the garage with the level and swung it at the bear.


Boedeker, 58, ended up with marks on his left knee, ankle and a bruised toe where the bear tried to bite through his Snow King boots.
His right arm has six lacerations an inch-and-a-half deep that barely missed arteries and tendons.

Man is a weapon using animal. Too bad William Vagts did not have one at hand. He could have saved the carpenters some trouble. A firearm would have done better than their improvised weapons.

Lake County Sheriff's deputy Mike McGreagor and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Officer Sean Williams responded quickly. They tracked the 140 pound, three year old male bear 250 yards from the garage. 150 yards was along a plowed road, the last 100 yards was in foot deep snow into the surrounding forest.  They saw the bear lying down next to a tree, from about 30 yards away. The bear looked up when officers approached within 20 yards. They had already decided the bear had to be put down.

Deputy Mike McGregor shot the bear with one round from his issue Remington 1187, with a 2 3/4 inch Federal Premium Tactical HV 00 buckshot load. Deputy McGregor says the load is impressive.  The buckshot stays inside six inch patterns at 25 yards. The bear was hit in the head. DNR Warden Sean Williams fired a couple of seconds later with a 12 gauge slug to center mass.

Deputy McGregor told me that the bear just raised its head when they approached it.  It was very windy that day. Walking in foot deep snow can be very quiet.  I asked if the bear might have been groggy because of being hit over the head with the level, shovel, and saw horse. McGregor said if might have. The level was a sturdy one, wood with metal trim.

Other officers back tracked the bear. From the
Officials retraced the bear’s footprints in hopes of finding where he lived. They lost the trail amid a mass of wolf tracks more than a mile away from the first attack.
Lake County Sheriff Carey G. Johnson, graciously returned my call. He said that while he was a shooter, he took the advice of the firearm experts at the department. They suggested, as the department firearms were all semi-autos, the shotguns should be semi-auto as well, for commonality of function. That is why the deputies carry Remington 11-87 12 gauge shotguns. The deputies carry an AR-15 clone in their vehicle as well as the shotgun. Their duty pistol is the Glock 22 .40 caliber.

The necropsy of the bear found it had scaring all around the neck, perhaps from a snare or other item that circled its neck for a long time.  It had deformed rear claws, but walked normally. The bear suffered from swelling of the brain, which may explain some of its behavior. 

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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