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Howard Nemerov

Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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After Afghan Terrorist Attacks, Troops Must Keep and Bear Arms At All Times

Sunday, August 19th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

With the recent murders of American troops by alleged Afghan allies, military officials have ordered troops in Afghanistan to go armed at all times:

U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan are being ordered to carry loaded weapons at all times while on base, in response to a rash of Afghan soldiers and policemen turning their weapons on coalition forces.

This proves that military brass knows even off-duty troops are safer when armed. They understand the positive relationship between guns and safety: Our tax dollars pay for a private security firm “charged with protecting and safeguarding the occupants, visitors, and infrastructure of the Pentagon, Navy Annex and other assigned Pentagon facilities.”

Anti-rights propagandists like Brady Campaign are curiously silent about the policy change. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the ranting that “more guns means more violence”?

Granted, they believe cops and military can have guns because they’re trained, a point that deserves further examination.

Some precedents come to mind:

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that government can force us to buy a product because we’ll be “taxed” if we don’t comply (Obamacare).
  • Government requires education, forcing us to send our kids to school and punishing us if we either don’t comply or don’t pay for a valid alternative (e.g. private school, home schooling).

The Militia Act includes “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age” and “female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.” The Obamacare precedent makes it logical that all law-abiding citizens should own firearms (keep arms) and train with them beginning at age 17. Then we should be forced to carry them on our person (bear arms) in order to provide for a safer society.

Then anti-rights complainers will be satisfied…assuming it’s really about guns.

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Yes, Virginia: Gun Registration Leads to Confiscation

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

One of anti-rights propagandists’ greatest pieces of compost material misinformation is that registration is a benign program to ensure only the law-abiding have guns. (As if criminals will register their guns. But then again, California has almost legalized marijuana, a powerful hallucinogen.) The dark truth of registration is how easily government can use the database to confiscate your guns.

California requires gun owners to obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate, which places personal information into a database (gun owner registration). This certificate allows Californians to buy guns.

The following email came from Paul Payne of the California NRA Members Council:

SB 249is California’s Worst Gun Confiscation Threat in 20 Years!

Contact your state Legislator TODAY!

Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco now trying to ban and confiscate more so-called “assault weapons.”

Originally, Senate Bill 249 was a quiet agriculture bill that passed in the California Senate back in May. With sneaky back-door tactics, Senator Yee turned the bill into a gun ban monster.

SB 249, as amended, would make a small but profound change to the definition of what constitutes a detachable magazine for a semiautomatic firearm. By doing so, hundreds of thousands of semi-automatic rifles, which were legally sold in California over the last decade, would become illegal on July 1, 2013.

The existing definition of detachable magazine was used by Governor Brown’s administration for the four years he served as Attorney General.

Senator Yee’s bill has no provisions to allow permitting, licensing or reimbursement for the loss of valuable property. Worse yet, the bill doesn’t require a public notice program to advise owners of this change in state law.

Thousands of owners could be arrested for inadvertent violations. If you own an affected firearm, your only choices would be to destroy it, surrender it to a law enforcement agency, sell it out of state or have it confiscated at the time of your arrest! Which option would you prefer?

Call AND E-mail your state legislators TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE SB 249

Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

Contact information for your state Assembly Member can be found here.

Also, contact Governor Jerry Brown and urge him to tell the state Legislature that he stands by the existing definition of detachable magazine, just as he did when he was Attorney General.

Governor Brown can be reached at 916-445-2841 and by e-mail at: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

Please forward this alert to your family, friends and fellow gun owners across California and urge them to do the same.

California is going to need EVERYONE to help fend off this attack!

More information is available at: http://www.calguns.net/249/

Riverside Sheriff Stan Sniff sent the following letter to the legislature.  http://www.calguns.net/249/SheriffSniff-OpposeLetterSB249.pdf

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Why Did the College Station Shooter Own Guns?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Two innocent people were killed during a shootout yesterday between Thomas Alton Caffall III and police. But anti-rights propagandists will avoid the story behind the story in their rush to use this to demand more gun control.

Caffall’s mother said her son was “having difficulties with his mental health in recent years.” His stepfather called Caffall “crazy as hell” and a “ticking time bomb.”

“At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me.”

Question: If that’s true, did you reach out to authorities?

The “Federal Categories of Persons Prohibited From Receiving” a firearm includes: “A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs…”

Caffall, age 35, “quit his job nine months ago and vowed never to work again.” Does that sound like somebody competent to handle their own affairs?

Last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported:

“According to FBI data, the number of firearm transactions that were denied based on mental health records increased from 365 (or 0.5 percent of 75,990 total gun purchase denials) in 2004 to 2,124 (or 1.7 percent of 123,432 total gun purchase denials) in 2011.”

We already have enough laws in place. The only failure here may be citizen involvement.

The government that serves best is the one the People control, but if we don’t take action when necessary, we abdicate responsibility, and there will always be those ready to assume it, provided we surrender our freedom, responsibility’s twin.

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Paul Ryan Consistently Supports the Second Amendment; Romney Doesn’t

Saturday, August 11th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins the White House, gun owners will have one friend there. Paul Ryan has a strong history of Second Amendment support, receiving an “A” grade and endorsement from the National Rifle Association since 2002 (the earliest data available online).

On the Issues confirms that Ryan has consistently voted pro-rights. In 1999, Ryan voted to force all gun show buyers to undergo a background check. This appears to be his biggest anti-rights vote. (It didn’t pass.) The NRA gives an “A+” to legislators with an “excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues,” and opposes such legislation.

In 2009, Ryan co-sponsored H.R. 2193, legislation banning the federal government from destroying military shell casings, a major source for remanufactured civilian ammunition. (It didn’t pass.)

As Christian Adams notes, Ryan is also more fiscally conservative. This is important to the Second Amendment, because runaway government spending risks inflation and higher taxes, which can erode discretionary income so that gun owners can’t afford guns, ammunition, and training.

But will Ryan provide influence in the White House?

Mitt Romney has a history of supporting gun control. He supported the Clinton gun ban, and signed a similar bill as governor of Massachusetts. During the 2008 presidential debate in Boca Raton, he said: “I do not support any new legislation of an assault weapon ban nature, including that against semiautomatic weapons.” However, he also said he would support a bill similar to the Massachusetts law “at the federal level.”

Perhaps we need an assault prostitician ban for candidates who shoot multiple policy stances with one triggering of their lips?

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Fox: No Body Armor for Aurora Theater Shooter

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Fox News’ Jana Winter did a great piece on the Aurora shooting suspect.

Much of dino-media has been reciting the “body armor” meme, probably out of the same ignorance that makes them call semi-automatic handgun magazines “clips.”

  • New York Daily News: “…was also wearing red clothing beneath the black body armor that terrified moviegoers saw when he opened fire…”
  • New York Times: “…nearly head-to-toe ‘ballistic gear,’ including a throat protector and leggings…” (Using the term “ballistic” implies resistant material.)
  • Contra Costa Times (California): “…wearing a gas mask and what looked like body armor…”

According to Bullet Proof Me in Austin, Texas, it is legal for law-abiding citizens to buy true body armor. But this is about reporting a story, not about pushing a political agenda to justify more restrictions on law-abiding citizens.

Even Criminologist James Allen Fox, who I often disagree with, has stated that more gun control won’t stop mass murderers.

In this case, Winter interviewed Chad Weinman, CEO of TacticalGear.com, who admitted the shooter’s vest came from their mail order company.

Winter used the term “urban assault vest.” Looking that up at TacticalGear.com displays this result. It’s made of “heavy-duty nylon” and has no Kevlar or other bullet-resistant materials. Granted, if you load it up with magazines you may derive some protection at the expense of your ammunition, but it’s not “body armor.”

You’re welcome to browse other offerings, like this Blackhawk vest made of “heavy-duty nylon mesh for maximum breathability.” Looks like body armor and could fool people into thinking it is, especially under low light conditions.

Let’s hope the truth continues coming out on this story.

 

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Senior Citizen 2, Bad Guys and Media Zero

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Samuel Williams, age 71, shot two suspects who attempted to rob about 30 people on Monday. One suspect had a gun, the other a metal bat. What’s most instructive about this case is how people reacted.

While other patrons were busy acting like obedient sheep, concealed carry licensee Williams drew his handgun and wounded both robbers. The video captures the entire incident, including the two erstwhile robbers falling over each other as they fight to be first out the door.

After reviewing evidence, Florida state attorney Bill Gladson said: “Based on what I have seen and what I know at this time, I don’t anticipate filing any charges” against Williams.

Not so the attackers, who were charged with attempted armed robbery and felony criminal mischief. One is now free after posting an $11,000 bond. The other remains in jail until he can make his
$31,000 bond.

The Gainesville Sun could have done a better job of describing the true Florida self-defense law by changing two words in their copy:

“Under Florida law, a person is allowed to use deadly force if he or she fears death or serious injury to themselves or others. As long as the person isn’t committing a crime and is in a place where he or she has a right to be, they are considered to be acting within the law.

Actually, the word “fear” is absent from the law. The Sun left out the part that says the defender is justified only if:

“He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony… [emphasis added]

Media promotes the idea that fear is a magical ingredient in self-defense. Were this true, it would justify their anti-self-defense rhetoric, because emotional people make bad decisions. One need only peruse the educational anecdotes from Chris Bird’s Concealed Handgun Manual to see what happens to people when they act on emotion instead of reason. That’s why reasonable belief, supported by evidence, is what Gladson based his conclusion upon.

And if that’s good enough for the state attorney’s office, it should suffice for journalists.

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Fox Promotes Gun Banners’ Propaganda—Again

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

In a recent gun-related article, Fox News had space to repeat anti-rights propaganda:

“States with the highest levels of gun ownership have 114 percent higher firearm homicide rates and 60 percent higher homicide rates than states with the lowest gun ownership.”

Here’s the problem: Journalists should report what’s told them by their sources, so including statements like the one above, even if you disagree, is reasonable. But if Fox is “fair and balanced,” shouldn’t they also present data from the other side?

“Don’t Kill a Dream” runs gun turn-ins in Chicago, posts these “statistics” on their Gun Facts page. So including them is truthful copy. But their “facts” are mostly lies.

For example, they claim: “Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest compared with the lowest household gun ownership.”

The gun ownership data comes from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which ran Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys in 2001 and 2002.

In 2001, the state (Wyoming) with the highest “gun death” rate in 2001 had 3.7 times the total rate as the lowest (Hawaii). In 2002, it was 6.5 times higher (same states). With a little rounding you get your “7 times higher.” But that’s where the truth ends and data manipulation begins.

Their mortality data comes from the CDC, too. The CDC includes Washington D.C. in their “state-level” selection window. The FBI does likewise in their annual “state-level” crime reports.

Because D.C.—a self-governing entity with a population larger than Wyoming—is the deadliest jurisdiction in American, it behooves anti-rights propagandists to ignore it in order to produce prettier results.

Here’s their problem: D.C. had the lowest gun ownership rates. Comparing Wyoming to D.C. shows that D.C. had a 50% higher total firearms death rate than Wyoming in 2001, and 76% higher in 2002.

They must have done similar fudging in order to claim that higher gun ownership means higher firearms homicide rates. In both 2001 and 2002, states with the lowest firearms were the deadliest, averaging the highest firearms and non-firearms homicide rates (see table below). For both years, the Spearman’s correlation coefficient (Rho) indicated a fair to strong negative values: As gun ownership increased, firearms homicide decreased.

 

This isn’t the first time we’ve caught Fox doing this to the Second Amendment.

Were Fox “fair and balanced,” it seems reasonable they would have included some vetting like this, instead of a major media outlet lending credence to anti-rights lies by simply repeating them unchallenged.

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Houston Chronicle Promotes Anti-Rights ‘Stand Your Ground’ Propaganda

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

To promote gun control, anti-rights promoters rely on deceitful tactics. The Houston Chronicle’s latest article—Texas justifiable homicides rise with ‘Castle Doctrine’—provides an excellent example.

Since Texas enacted Castle Doctrine in 2007, the Chronicle decided to include private citizen justifiable homicide numbers back to 2006. They also completely ignored police justifiable homicides, deleting 75% of the dataset. The Chronicle blamed Texas’ “Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground” for the increase in justifiable homicides, particularly by removing the Duty To Retreat: Defenders no longer must initially seek escape before using deadly force. But when examining all justifiable homicide data from 2000-2010, a different picture emerges.

Next, they ignored Concealed Handgun Licensee growth, which more than doubled since 2000. When correlated with private citizen (civilian) justifiable homicides, it becomes clear that licensee growth, not Castle Doctrine, is a significant factor. (For statistics buffs, Spearman’s = 0.94, a very strong positive correlation). The graph below shows that the CHL licensee population grew modestly between 2000 and 2006. As it accelerated after 2006, so did justifiable homicides.

[Red = years before self-defense enhancements; blue = years after.]

Prior to 2007—before Castle Doctrine enhancements—both police and private citizen justifiable homicides remained relatively flat, but accelerated after enactment (see graph below). The problem with the “It’s Castle Doctrine’s fault” allegation is that police already had no duty to retreat, so their rules of engagement didn’t change in 2007.

[Red and green = years before self-defense enhancements; blue and purple = years after enactment.
Red and blue = police; green and purple = private citizens.]

Before Castle Doctrine, police averaged 28 justifiable homicides per year, private citizens averaged 26. After enactment, police averaged 47 justifiable homicides per year, private citizens averaged 46.

The similarity between police and private citizens suggests evidence of more violent attackers. Over 60% of police justifiable homicides are self-defense. When criminals attack people known to be armed and trained, that indicates violent, criminal intent.

More concealed handgun licensees on the street means there’s a greater chance criminals will make an “error in the victim selection process” and attack an armed citizen.

Anti-rights articles need “experts” to justify their slant. The Chronicle interviewed a Brady Campaign operative, who stated: “Things police can’t shoot you for, your fellow citizens can. This is just appalling.”

But the Chronicle’s goal isn’t repealing Castle Doctrine, but the civil right of self-defense. This paragraph reveals their bias:

“Texas law goes further than other states in allowing deadly force not only to protect property, but also to stop rape, arson, burglary, robbery, theft at night and criminal mischief at night.”

They apparently believe it’s wrong to use forceful defense against rape and other violent attacks, but all states justify it against violent crimes. Federal standards justify it against felonies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines non-police justifiable homicide as: “The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.” Using force during burglary or arson (both felonies) generally means the victim’s at home, again justifying self-defense.

In the Texas Penal Code, civilian justifiable force circumstances involve felonies. The only difference in Texas is citizens’ ability to use force at night for criminal mischief, but this law existed prior to 2007. When the loss reaches $1,500, criminal mischief is a felony. Castle Doctrine didn’t change civilian rules of engagement.

Police can also use deadly force during arrests and are not limited to felonies. They’ve had no duty to retreat since well before Castle Doctrine.

Manipulate data. Cite “experts” who make stuff up in order to rabble-rouse. Attack the civil right of self-defense. All in a day’s work for those who hate your Liberty.

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Austin Provides Good Lesson for Gun Owners

Sunday, July 1st, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

The Austin Statesman reports that Austin’s taxing entities increased property taxes 38% over the past decade (2000-2010), with the average tax bill reaching $5,590 in 2010. Austin Community College led the way with a 184% increase (nearly tripled).

The Statesman claimed the reason ACC ran up the tab “was largely in response to a growing civic emphasis on educating the area’s workforce, particularly those who did not attend a four-year college or needed new skills to keep pace with a changing world.”

Only 5% of Austin Community College students graduate within six years (page 8). While the Statesman theory on educating those “who did not attend a four-year college” feels good, the truth is that Austin Community College’s performance is questionable, especially when previous research showed that the average community college graduated 20% of its students.

Austin Community College carries $726.4 Million in debt. Two years ago, its debt load was $444.6 Million. The college is 63% further in debt, yet increased its graduation rate only one percentage  point (they graduated 4% in 2008).

In DeShaney v. Winnebago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government entities aren’t required to provide the services that taxpayers must pay for. Austin Community College, via its legislative territorial grant, proves this truth once again.

The Statesman noted that while property taxes increased 38%, “the median income remained stagnant.”

In plain English, this means that while taxing authorities grew the government — creating more buildings, bureaucracies and government jobs — the real work force that pays for all this became poorer, since their discretionary income was consumed by more taxes.

This means that with all the feel-good but unproductive tax-and-spend, more Austin residents are faced with choosing between feeding their family or buying ammunition and practicing their shooting skills.

There’s more than one way to effect a gun ban. In America, taxation is the quickest.

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Kabuki Theatre Presents: Fast & Furious, Part Whatever

Friday, June 15th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Our Story

June 11: Experiencing repeated evasion over requests for Fast & Furious documents, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa, scheduled a vote on June 20 on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.

At first, Holder’s Department of Justice stood firm against this action, claiming Holder has “testified before the committee at least eight times about Fast and Furious.” (And what of substance did he say?)

June 13: Holder pleas before a Senate committee that he must protect DOJ’s “internal discussions,” but offers to discuss with Issa how to “alter its refusal to produce critical documents subpoenaed by the committee.”

June 14: “Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday agreed to make what he called ‘an extraordinary accommodation’ to Republicans investigating the botched ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ by turning over department emails he has long insisted deal with internal deliberations and should be protected.”

But Holder maintains some of the requested documents are “outside the scope of the committee’s interest in the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious.” So it’s partial compliance. Ball back in Issa’s court.

Let’s hope the documents are more forthcoming than those previously “turned over.”

It couldn’t be better scripted by Tetsuji Takechi.

Issa enters wearing Inquisitor makeup and draws his sword of Writ.

Holder enters with Thundercloud Over the Mountains makeup and draws his sword of Noh.

After a wardrobe/makeup change, Holder returns to declaim while holding an olive branch in his right hand, wearing a Remorseful But Resolute Victim face. Left hand on his sword, Holder offers to display the Hidden Chest of Secrets.

Wearing the face of Mollified But Still Adamant, Issa offers to sheath his sword…for now.

So what exactly has happened with all the Sound and Fury of the F&F hearings? You might respond: “Nothing!” At first, that seems to be the correct answer.

But let’s take a broader look at our Kabuki Government, because much has happened. The nature of our Kabuki is to entertain and distract attention from the real problem, all while convincing us something is being done.

There’s meeting rooms and catering, cameras, and utilities. An army of clerks, scribes and gophers run around keeping track of it all. A galaxy of electrons get disturbed with all the communications and computer technology dedicated to supporting this effort.

And it’s all paid for by your tax dollars. But you should feel good, knowing that you’ve contributed to the vast social justice program of paying for exorbitant salaries, Cadillac private health care, and lifetime retirement benefits for those incapable of holding down a productive job.

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Café Racer Shooter Had Concealed Carry Permit

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

USA Today reports that Seattle’s Café Racer shooter was a concealed carry permit holder. But as usual, the rush to affix blame on a little plastic card conveniently avoids many truths behind this sad incident.

Previous brushes with the criminal justice system highlight his troubled past:

  • The shooter had two assault cases dropped when victims recanted.
  • His family claimed the shooter was “mentally ill” but never had him committed.

These two points show how important citizen participation is for society to work. Perhaps those not pressing charges are also responsible?

To punish all concealed carry holders for the acts of this shooter is bigotry. What would happen if, after Sylvester Griffin was convicted of raping and murdering a woman, the USA Today or LA Times wrote something like “we just can’t trust blacks and should restrict their civil right of self-defense”?

(Actually, state regimes in the Antebellum and post-Civil War South—and North—did say just that, enacting draconian Black Codes that severely restricted black freemen’s ability to carry any weapon,  but that’s a discussion for another time.)

Outside some lunatic fringe, media understandably wouldn’t do this. So why is it okay to paint an entire demographic group with a broad brush? It’s also curious that anti-rights propagandists are so quick to convict. What happened to innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

Unfortunate and even catastrophic things happen, despite our best efforts to avoid them. Welcome to the Physical Plane. To affix blame on inanimate objects conveniently allows the non-functioning mind to avoid examining the complexities of the social contract.

Knee-jerk rhetoric allows a temporary feeling of smug superiority, since it conveniently avoids self-examination and the messy, effortful process of analyzing the problem and creating a more effective solution. And God forbid anybody should examine history and a plethora of modern datasets, and realize that gun control doesn’t work as advertised!

To affix blame on those who have committed no crime is to deepen the wound and delay healing, because it attaches one’s mind to an alternate reality where something should have been different.

That’s a great way to create mental illness.

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California Gets ‘Military-Grade’ Weapons Off the Streets!

Monday, May 21st, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

CBS reports that police in Colton, California have struck a blow against domestic terrorism and removed dangerous weapons from the streets:

Two people, including a 13-year-old boy, were arrested Friday on suspicion of possessing a military-grade weapon believed to have been stolen…

Three weapons were recovered, including an inert M136 AT4 “LAW” anti-tank weapon, a b.b. [sic] gun rifle and a replica 9mm hand gun, police said.

A M136 AT-4 is “issued as a round of ammunition” and “comes with a disposable fiberglass launcher.” Here’s a picture of a soldier holding a M136 AT-4 that looks nearly identical to the one pictured by CBS, which called the weapon in their picture “inert.” This means the tube was disposed of after firing, and is structurally unsafe for further use. In short, it’s a fiberglass tube.

While a BB rifle can take out an eye, a replica handgun is likely just an inert hunk of plastic.

Colton is about an hour east of Los Angeles, and California has its priorities straight: LA’s sanctuary city policy provides a fertile breeding ground for some of America’s largest Hispanic gangs. But  that’s okay, because California focuses law enforcement resources on real terrorists possessing non-functioning relic weapons that can be legally purchased in gun-hating England.

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Wow! I Agree With an Anti-Rights Prostitician!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

From the Washington Times:

Democrats backed off of their effort Tuesday to offer a “Trayvon amendment” to pressure states to drop their stand-your-ground laws…

Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, said he will still try to force a debate at a more “appropriate” time in the future…

The Ellison amendment would have docked federal criminal justice grants to states that have stand-your-ground laws, which allow residents to use deadly force to respond to an attack without first having to retreat.

Ellison is Brady endorsed, so he’s just earning his keep by parroting their propaganda. But then he said something I agree with:

“Shoot-first laws make prosecutions harder because they presume the use of deadly force is reasonable.”

He’s right: Shoot-first laws are a bad thing. It’s a good thing we don’t have any such laws in America.

What we have are laws that enable a victim to use deadly force to save their life, or the lives of other victims, when confronted with a violent attack.

We have self-defense laws based upon the “reasonable man” theory, and if a shooter doesn’t fall within those criteria, he can be prosecuted.

Ellison chose to accept Brady’s hallucinatory world where people can shoot without justification, but pushing this on the rest of us is—well—an attack.

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Fox News Just Another Lame Stream Media

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Fox authored an article about how the Congressional Black Caucus is using the Trayvon Martin shooting to push gun control. That’s a story in itself, but today’s lesson is about Fox’s bias against the Second Amendment.

As noted with other big media organizations, Fox should be able to hire a legal analyst to read self-defense law and produce authoritative copy. That they don’t is dangerous. They believe Stand Your Ground laws “allows for individuals to use deadly force — even outside their home — if they feel threatened.”

Dave Kopel has an excellent analysis of Florida’s self-defense law at the Volokh Conspiracy, a blog run by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. Highly recommended.

To begin with, Kopel notes a defender can only use deadly force without retreating when: “He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony…”

In other words, you must reasonably believe you’re in danger. Feeling threatened alone won’t stand up in court. A jury must be able to put themselves in your shoes and reasonably conclude they would have felt endangered, too. In other words, it’s not a threat, it’s a promise.

Fox’s criteria sounds more like paranoia, which Oxford English Dictionary defines as: “a mental illness characterized by delusions of persecutions…a tendency to suspect and distrust others…” Paranoid people feel threatened all the time; does the judicial system justify their shooting people?

As the Martin/Zimmerman case unfolded in the media, it became eminently clear that the fix was in:

  • Why else has NBC launched an internal investigation into their conveniently edited 911 audio of Zimmerman, making him appear racist?
  • Why else would media use outdated pictures of both Martin and Zimmerman in order to portray them different than current reality?
  • Why else would media continuously promote the presumption of Zimmerman’s guilt, when they don’t have access to all the evidence?
  • Why else would media continuously promote the fantasy that armed self-defense originated with Stand Your Ground, or that SYG enables anybody to shoot anybody for just feeling
    threatened
    ?

It’s more likely that media place society at risk with irresponsible reporting. They should be held criminally accountable should somebody show up in court claiming they shot because the media told them it was legal, simply because they felt threatened.

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LA Times: Justifiable Homicide Originated with Stand Your Ground

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

LA Times published an article entitled “ ‘Stand your ground’ law upheld in Florida murder case”.

Greyston Garcia accosted a burglar, who swung a bag of stolen car stereos at Garcia’s head. Garcia swung back, holding a kitchen knife. The burglar died later, and Garcia was charged with second-degree murder. The charge may have been appropriate, because Garcia may have escalated the confrontation by his actions:

A neighbor had alerted Garcia in the early morning hours that two men were burglarizing vehicles in the neighborhood, including his truck. Garcia ran out and yelled at them to drop the radios, but Pedro Roteta ran with the loot, provoking a chase that ended with the fight. Garcia was arrested the day after the incident.

One of the reasons Chris Bird’s “The Concealed Handgun Manual” is so highly recommended is because he liberally peppers facts with stories of how defenders actually behaved. After reading the entire book, it’s clear that one of the easiest ways for a defender to run afoul of the law is to act like a cop.

In this case, Garcia chased the perpetrator, as opposed to self-defense training where we consistently tell people to stop shooting when the threat stops (e.g. attacker runs away). There are instances when continuing may be acceptable under Citizens Arrest, when a felony—like burglary—has been committed. But, to be on the safe side of the law, this may be more appropriate in violent crimes necessitating the use of self-defensive force, as opposed to property crimes like burglary.

Garcia claimed self-defense. According to LA Times, Garcia cited Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) law. However, as noted in a previous article, pre-existing Florida statutes already delineated when the use of deadly force is acceptable in self-defense. In fact, this is what the judge referenced when dismissing the case.

So what we have here is an attempt by the Times to blur the lines between lawful self-defense and SYG, in order to make it seem that actions like Garcia’s had only become acceptable upon enactment of SYG. In reality, both Citizens Arrest and pre-existing statutes were sufficient to merit a dismissal:

Circuit Judge Beth Bloom threw out the murder charge this week, finding that Garcia’s “use of force was justified in order to defend himself from the victim’s actions.”

The Times can afford a legal researcher to determine all the above, so the question is: Does the Times intentionally mislead readers to promote an anti-rights agenda, or are they merely stupid and lazy?

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81-Year-Old Korean War Vet Fights Off Carjacker

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Barney and Constance Trusewicz, married for 56 years, stopped for gasoline at a local service station. As Korean War vet Barney went to ask the attendant to activate the pump, “39-year-old Christopher Bowens had somewhere to go and he decided to carjack Constance and Barney.”

“It turns out Bowens just got out of prison in December and has as many priors as he does tattoos — numerous bank robberies, larcenies and stolen cars.”

Bowens jumped in the driver’s seat and ordered Constance to get out. Barney saw his wife being threatened and hustled over on his “bad knees” to confront Bowens. Barney reached in, turned off the car, and wrestled with Bowens, who had a knife. Holding onto the knife hand, Barney finally forced Bowens to leave.

Here’s why it’s a good idea for law-abiding senior citizens to go armed:

“He indicated that he targeted the elderly couple because of their age,” Lincoln Park Police Sergeant Joseph Lavis said in court. “He felt that they would offer little or no resistance.”

Bowens was arrested nearby and is back in jail. With this latest attack, he faces a life sentence. Looks like Bowens has “somewhere to go” after all.

Barney and Constance are safe and unharmed.

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Cartel Drugs in Austin? Don’t Mess With Obama’s Narrative!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Flashback: One year ago, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano implied our southern border was safer than ever:

“There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been,” Napolitano said at the Bridge of The Americas border crossing in El Paso, Texas, the Associated Press reports. “That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”

Today, the Austin Police Department circulated press releases on three separate arrests of multiple suspects on drug charges, all from recent investigations. All suspects were Mexican nationals or immigrants.

Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin

Arrested: Alfredo Herrera, Julie Hernandez-Cruz, Catarino Hernandez-Cruz, Eduardo Hernandez

A Ford F-150 with Mexican license plates delivered cocaine to an Austin residence. Packages changed hands, and then two other cars left the residence. All were stopped and arrested. Police confiscated 3 kilograms of tar heroin, with an estimated street value of $1.5M. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed detainers on Catarino Hernandez-Cruz and Eduardo Hernandez.

Possession of Marijuana for Distribution

Arrested: Pedro Flores-Mondragon, Javier Ibarra

Police received a call on a residential burglary. Responding officers arrested two men as they attempted escape. Two others remain at large. Police seized 4 guns and 565 pounds of marijuana, street value estimate of $310,000. The two captured suspects drove the drugs in from Mexico, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed detainers on both.

Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine

Arrested: Gloria Rocha Bernal, Veronica Garcia Reyes

Police stopped a Chevrolet pickup for speeding. Officers “developed reasonable suspicion that narcotics were hidden inside the vehicle” and occupants agreed to a search. Police found 16.4 pounds of powder cocaine, estimated street value of $6.4M.

The two suspects are currently in custody of the U.S. Marshals service, and ICE placed detainers on both.

So everybody take a deep breath and repeat after me: “The border is safe, cartel violence won’t happen here…the border is safe, cartel violence won’t happen here…the border is safe…cartel violence…zzzzzz.

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Trayvon Martin: Opportunity for Anti-Rights Media to Attack Self-Defense Laws

Monday, March 26th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

The media has been having a field day attacking Florida’s self-defense law since George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. At the heart of the matter is whether people support the right of self-defense. “Stand Your Ground” laws (SYG), enacted by many states in recent years:

  • Place the burden of proof on the prosecutor (innocent until proven guilty).
  • Remove the need to retreat before defending yourself.
  • Create a legal presumption that when somebody attacks you in a place you have the right to be, you’re justified in defending yourself.
  • Creates an affirmative defense against civil cases where the criminal, or his survivors, legally rob you a second time.

Media thinks this is bad. For example, Chicago Sun-Times calls Florida’s law “dangerous and offensive,” labeling it “shoot first, ask questions later.” The Miami Herald calls it a “license to kill.”

But in order to maintain this propaganda blitz, media must revise the history of self-defense law to imply that self-defense was enacted with SYG.

Florida statutes from 2004 show that before SYG, deadly force was justifiable in self-defense, but “only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.” [emphasis added]

(I examine media bias against SYG/Castle Doctrine in detail in Four Hundred Years of Gun Control.)

All SYG states are similar: Some had a retreat requirement before shooting, but there were clear rules on the use of deadly force in self-defense.

These rules haven’t changed! Certain criteria must be met before a self-defense claim passes muster. Feeling threatened is not a valid legal argument without some supporting evidence. You must be in reasonable fear that you’re in danger of “imminent death or great bodily harm.” You can still be arrested and prosecuted if evidence conflicts with your claim.

Our sheriff says that in Texas, most counties take all self-defense cases to grand juries, to avoid any appearance of favoritism. So even when you are justified, there’s still legal expense and stress.

What’s changed that angers anti-rights propagandists so much?

  • You’re no longer presumed guilty until you prove your innocence (or prove why you couldn’t retreat).
  • You no longer have to run away, making yourself an easier target for somebody who’s already proven he’s a predator.
  • The attacker is presumed guilty by attacking you.

This means that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens just became more useful. It also means that defenders generally have relatively less financial risk. Both conditions increase your personal Liberty, and the big-government feudalists are incensed by this.

Proving once again that gun control is about control.

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Jesse Jackson Uses Trayvon Martin’s Death to Restore the Plantation

Sunday, March 25th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

To Jesse Jackson, Trayvon Martin’s an opportunity to promote his vision of American, which curiously is the same one held by antebellum slave owners.

To recap, George Zimmerman shot and killed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, claiming self-defense. Sanford, Florida police agreed, prompting “civil rights activists” like Jackson to protest. (Bryan Preston covers it here and here.)

Jackson wants to use this incident to repeal Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Curiously, Jackson didn’t protest when Black, self-employed roofing contractor Hygens Labidou defended himself against two white racists who called him a “N—-r” while trying to pull him from his truck and murder him. In that incident, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office stated:

“These two men approached him with a deadly weapon in an aggressive manner…Clearly, he was inside his vehicle, and he was clearly within his right to defend himself.”

(Retrieved from Miami Herald, December 19, 2007. No longer available online.)

Labidou’s story is important because Sanford police interviewed a witness who reported that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and beating Zimmerman when the shooting occurred. Curiously, Jackson didn’t mention this even though he claims he wants justice, which used to mean innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sanford police say Zimmerman was bloody in his face and head, and the back of his shirt was wet and had grass stains, indicating a struggle took place before the shooting.

Jackson claims “Blacks are under attack.” But Labidou successfully repelled an attack because he was armed.

Anti-rights extremists like Jackson want America disarmed because so many people die of “gun violence.”

Jackson is either ignorant–or supportive–of what historically was one of the most brutally racist agendas to keep Blacks enslaved via terror: gun control. (I cover this in chapter 1 of Four Hundred Years of Gun Control.)

Jackson is also ignorant–or intentionally working against Black civil rights–by refusing to acknowledge that gun control remains racist: States with the most gun control have the highest rates of Black homicide.

Meet the new Uncle Tom: Jesse Jackson.

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Only Cops Should Have Guns!!!

Monday, March 12th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

The 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer who was shot accidentally on Saturday by her brother died early Sunday morning the Snohomish County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office said.

The parents were away from their van when this girl’s brother found a loaded handgun in the glove box. Both the van and gun belong to the cop.

Here in Texas, when a child gains access to an unsecured gun via non-criminal means, and “causes death or serious bodily injury to himself or another person,” the adult gets charged with a Class A misdemeanor (Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 46, Section 13). The penalty is a fine of up to $4,000 and a year in jail (Texas Penal Code Title 3, Chapter 12, Section 21).

Interestingly, Washington is currently considering a bill that, if enacted, would make an adult “guilty of reckless endangerment” if a child gains access to their unsecured gun, a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail.

In both cases, if the child gains access via criminal means (e.g. unlawful entry), the gun owner isn’t liable.

No doubt Brady Campaign is celebrating Sunday’s tragedy, because this increases their “child gun death” numbers so they can better sell civilian disarmament.

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Daily Infographic Asks: ‘Should Firearm Industry Back Obama?’

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Daily Infographic posted some interesting graphs, showing the dramatic increase in gun sales since Obama entered the presidential stage. For example:

  • Since 2008, states with publicly available concealed carry records show increases 46% to 161% more licensees.
  • The 2012 SHOT show was the biggest yet, with over 100 countries represented and a record attendance.
  • 28 states reported an increase in hunting licenses.

The graph below shows fairly steady civilian gun sales through 2005, averaging 4.8M between 1995 and 2005. Then the GOP began losing control of the federal government, and sales began increasing, with record sales in 2009-2010 of over 7 million annually. So yes, it could be argued that Obama was good for gun sales, if looked at in sort of a opaque, delusional manner.

(Sources: ATF, National Shooting Sports Foundation, United States International Trade Commission.)

More good news before the bad.

The following three graphs show that despite burgeoning gun sales, America experienced long-term declines in firearms homicide, accidental shooting deaths, and firearms suicide rates. So much for the “more guns, more gun death” rhetoric.


(Sources listed above plus Centers for Disease Control.)

 

(Hat tip to Mike Menkus of Georgia Carry for conceptualizing these 3 correlations.)

However, keep in mind that as long as government continues to expand like Jabba the Hutt, gun rights–indeed, all rights–remain at severe risk. More government inevitably leads to more taxes, and if we can’t afford guns and ammunition due to loss of discretionary income, the Second Amendment becomes as irrelevant as if Brady won the war to ban our guns.

Don’t forget that under a GOP Congress, the federal budget grew 48% during the 2000-2006 period, posting deficits in the hundreds of billions between 2002 and 2006 (page 22). This doesn’t excuse or minimize Obama’s $$$ trillion plus deficits each year of his presidency (pages 22-23). The GOP isn’t the party of smaller government they’d like us to believe, and since 2010 the GOP House has been culpable by shirking their Constitutional (Section 7) duty to manage the budget, instead shifting blame onto the Senate and president. (New whine: “It’s Reid’s/Obama’s fault.”)

So take time to ensure your candidates support not only the Second Amendment, but also our right to be free from oppressive government.

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There’s an Andrew Breitbart in Each of Us

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Andrew Breitbart pulled off one surprise we didn’t expect when he passed at age 43. But his life serves as a lesson and inspiration to continue the restoration of Liberty.

Ten years ago, I believed gun control would make society safer and more civilized. I voted twice for Clinton and once for Al Gore. I thought the Brady Campaign represented decent Americans, while the NRA was a special interest bully fronting for ee-vee-ill gun companies.

One of my clients––perhaps channeling the spirit of Andrew Breitbart?––asked me some questions about gun control that I couldn’t easily brush off. Back in college, I loved doing research in the library, so I dusted off those skills and set to work. Three years later, I found not one dataset supporting the idea that gun control made society safer. And believe me, I looked: historically, globally, and at numerous U.S. federal government crime databases. (You know, that wonderful government that I thought was there to protect me.) The results are contained in 400 Years of Gun Control.

Going public put me at considerable professional risk. As the developer of an advanced rehabilitative therapy (Nemerov Method) potential students didn’t enroll in my training because they didn’t like what they consider my politics (the civil right of self-defense is a political issue?). One of my most successful business clients warned me not to publish 400 Years because of this, but I decided that remaining silent was to tacitly support the destruction of Liberty, and I didn’t want to live in such a world or be such a person.

I don’t cite myself as an example because I’m extra special, but because I’m not. Making a difference is about knowing your strongest skills and interests, putting them to work, and seeking to improve them whenever possible. Anybody can do this.

It requires more effort than banging out a pithy comment online. It creates more risk than walking to the refrigerator or taking a nap. But “regular folks” can make a difference––perhaps the greatest difference of all: We the People.

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New Email Hoax: Veteran’s Administration Taking Away Second Amendment Rights

Monday, February 27th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

The latest hoax email to reach my inbox contains claims by an anonymous veteran:

I had a doctor’s appointment at the local V.A. Clinic yesterday and found out something very interesting that I would like to pass along.

While going through triage before seeing the doctor, I was asked at the end of the exam, three questions:

  1. Did I feel stressed?
  2. Did I feel threatened?
  3. Did I feel like doing harm to someone?

The nurse then informed me, that if I had answered yes to any of the questions, I would have lost my concealed carry permit as it would have gone into my medical records and the VA would have reported it to Homeland Security.

My NRA contact referred me to their response. One point:

However, the Department of Homeland Security isn’t the agency that compiles records of people who are prohibited from possessing firearms. The FBI does that, in order to operate the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. And although some VA records are reported to NICS, a record will only be reported if the person has been “adjudicated as a mental defective”—in other words, that the person is mentally incompetent.

There are more details on this hoax, so I recommend a visit to the NRA page, which also discusses other rumors. Save your time and stress, and help stop a major waste of time and resources.

A little critical thinking and research would stop these emails cold. If we’re to continue winning the war against the feudalist/gun banners, we all need to step up our game and do some research before hitting the send button.

The truth is on our side, but only if we use it. Just like self-defense, don’t count on somebody else coming to your rescue.

 

More: Brady Campaign’s new president uses gang violence to promote gun control. See my latest research into gangs and violence, a major issue Brady ignores in order to promote gun control.

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Only Government Employees Should Carry Guns!!!

Sunday, February 26th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

When Georgia Judge David Barrett grew frustrated with a witness who suddenly turned hostile, he drew his concealed handgun and offered it to her, telling her she was “killing her case.”

The judge has been reported to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, but the real facts will be ignored as they frame this simply as alleged judicial misconduct.

What would happen if you had done the same thing?

First of all, you’d be violating state, and possibly federal, law banning you from carrying a gun into a courtroom: one or two felony counts there.

Next, you’d be charged with brandishing. Considering the contentious circumstances, this could amount to another felony. Maybe you’d be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, another felony.

Since Barrett is a government employee, he’s allowed by law to carry a concealed handgun into court: Four to five felonies avoided.

Such a double standard is criminal.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife May Allow ‘Silencers’ for Hunting Game Animals

Friday, February 17th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

As of today, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is accepting comments for a proposed rule change that would enable you to hunt this fall with quieter firearms, making your outdoor experience safer and more enjoyable.

Scott Vaca, TPWD Assistant Chief of Wildlife, said the proposed suppressor regulation covers hunting, and if approved at the March 29 meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, hunting with suppressors will begin on September 1, 2012.

The proposal is now official, because it’s been announced in today’s Texas Register (search for “Chapter 65” or “sound-suppressing”). According to the TPWD news release:

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted by phone or e-mail to Robert Macdonald (512) 389-4775;
e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744.

The cut-off date for comments is when the commission votes (March 29). You may also sign to speak at the meeting. Just show up in person and fill out the supplied cards.

Suppressors: What They Are and How They Work

According to gunsmith and firearm maker Doug Kelsay, to legally make a suppressor, a dealer needs a Class 3 ATF license, and must pay “Special (Occupational) Tax Rates Under The NFA [National Firearms Act of 1934]” which costs an extra $500-$1,000/year depending on their business volume. This allows to the licensee to build and sell NFA weapons like suppressors.

Buying one requires you to transfer it from the FFL, but first you must undergo a background check, obtain ATF approval, and pay a $200 tax. Each purchase goes through this entire process. Approval can take up to nine months, so if you wait until after the rule changes, you may not have a suppressor for this year’s hunting season.

Being a small manufacturer, Kelsay estimates suppressors would cost about $400 apiece. The materials cost about $100, so the tax doubles the cost for a decently-manufactured suppressor (materials plus labor).

Suppressors are made from varying designs. The quietest contain rubber washers that slow the bullet down to sub-sonic speeds, but the washers last only about 100 shots. Other designs contain no parts that contact the bullet. These can last indefinitely, but they’re louder.

An effective suppressor makes a .22 firearm sound like a pellet gun. To a shooter, any suppressed firearm is “much quieter.” But sound still travels downrange for bullets not slowed by suppressors; a normal rifle round still sounds loud to the deer in front of your muzzle, so a missed shot will likely scare off game animals. In any case, Kelsay still recommends ear protection.

If you’re considering some homemade solution, be warned that you’re violating the NFA, which could result in federal felony charges, because suppressors are considered firearms (called a “muffler” or “silencer” by the ATF).

Kelsay said: “The advantage is the suppressors make shooting more enjoyable for everybody, due to reduced noise.” This can make for happier neighbors, as well as healthier hearing.

In any case, this is an opportunity for citizen activism to take one small step forwards in restoring the Second Amendment.

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Armed Employee Saves Co-Worker’s Life

Friday, February 17th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Last night, a work-related dispute led to an ICE agent to drawing his service pistol and shooting his supervisor. The initial shots only wounded the supervisor, but before the shooter could complete the murder, another agent drew his pistol and shot the attacker, saving the victim’s life and killing the attacker.

Supposedly, if no guns were allowed at work, this never would have happened. But here’s a question anti-rights fundamentalists can’t answer:

If somebody intends to commit the major felony of capital murder, why would they care about committing a misdemeanor or minor felony at best–or getting fired–by bringing a gun to work?

The other fundamentalist mantra is: “Only police and trained government employees are qualified to have guns.”

Oops!

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Dumb Gun Owner Creates Group Silly Moment

Monday, February 13th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Moises Zambrana is a licensed security officer who should know better. While showing a semi-automatic pistol to two prospective buyers, he ejected the magazine and thought the pistol was safe. Then, as Fox reports: “The gun went off and fired through a wall,” striking 20-year-old Hannah Grace in the head.

And then the media “went off” and misfired.

The New York Daily News called the gun a “Reuger 9mm” and said “Zambrana had removed the clip. [emphasis added]

ABC got the “magazine” part right, but called it “Reuger 9mm,” too.

They probably mean Ruger.

As a public service to fellow journalists, the following copy is to help you sound more intelligent when reporting on gun stories.

Gun parts for silly media denizens

Wikipedia has a picture of an M1 Garand en-bloc clip, and here’s a magazine. Modern semi-automatic pistols used magazines, which are first loaded with ammunition and then inserted into a well in the pistol grip. Clips like the Garand’s feed groups of ammunition into a fixed magazine. In both cases, the magazines then feed individual ammunition cartridges into the firing chamber.

Negligent discharge for silly media denizens

(For those still laboring under the illusion that Fox is some sort of conservative media outlet, understand that FOX “has banned advertisements featuring firearms and ammunition.” Considering all the T&A on their web site, I’ve always thought of Murdock as Benny Hill starring as a media mogul.)

For somebody to be shot, they must be in front of the muzzle. First safety rule broken: “ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.”

For a gun to go off on modern semi-auto pistols, the trigger must be depressed. This means that somebody had their finger in the trigger. Second rule broken: “ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.”

For the gun to go off, it must have ammunition chambered. Third rule broken: “ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.”

There are a number of other safety procedures broken here. For example: “Know how to use the gun safely.” With semi-auto pistols, that means you check for a chambered round after removing the magazine.

“Know your target and what is beyond.” These guys thought doing business in a closet was safe. But at KR Training we teach that most modern ammunition will go through many layers of sheetrock, wood, and even brick, and still maintain enough energy to be dangerous.

To keep it really simple, assume every gun is loaded until you verify otherwise.

This shooting was negligent, not “accidental.” A number of safety rules were purposefully ignore to create this tragic outcome.

Finally, let this be a warning to all gun owners. The media is imbecilic regarding firearms. Add this to their anti-rights bias, and any opportunity like this only feeds their fear-driven desire to disarm us all.

I couldn’t find a Monty Python skit for stupid, so the Silly Party will have to do.

YouTube Preview Image

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U.S. Founding Included Gun Control

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

In yesterday’s article, I mentioned that governments always want more gun control. One reader commented: “don’t know that ALL our past governments wanted more gun control. as a matter of fact, i don’t believe gun control was much of a big deal (knowing our country’s gun slinging past) until of late, historically speaking. [sic]”

Some well-meaning, pro-rights readers nevertheless need to review history, which brings us to today’s lesson.

I reiterate: Governments will always want more gun control, because there will always be this us/them bias that somehow pervades the human condition. That’s true even before America became…America.

Here’s some examples:

Joseph J. Ellis, in his George Washington biography His Excellency: George Washington, wrote about gun control attitudes during the Revolution. Presuming that patriotic fervor would provide plenty of enlistments for the Continental Army during the Revolution, Black slaves and freemen were not allowed to enlist. But once it became clear that there would not be enough volunteers, George Washington became more conciliatory and gave Blacks permission to join the army.

This is a key concept, because Washington hailed from Virginia, where a 1640 militia law excluded Blacks as an excuse to ban gun ownership: “All persons except negroes to be provided with arms and ammunition or be fined at pleasure of the Governor and Council.” This law was expanded in 1723 to include other people besides Blacks: “no negro, mulatto, or Indian whatsoever; (except as hereafter excepted) shall hereafter presume to keep, or carry any gun…”

Even after the Revolution, this desire to keep Blacks out of the military–and prevent Black gun ownership–persisted. For example, the Militia Act of 1792 allowed only whites to enroll:

[E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years… shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia…every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock…

This all set the stage for Antebellum black codes, which further restricted firearms ownership for all but white Americans, which according to some states, were America’s only citizens.

From their inception, our federal and state governments promoted gun control as a way to control undesirables, in this case Blacks. And that’s why there will always be government-sponsored gun control, because there’s always somebody the government feels is a threat to its existence, as noted in yesterday’s piece.

(For more details, see 400 Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? Also available in Amazon Kindle lending library.)

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Pro-Second Amendment = Anti-Government Extremist

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

When Reuters reported the FBI’s warning about “anti-government extremists” and cited two cases where alleged “sovereign citizens” shot police, I figured it was just standard anti-gun media. But the emerging use of “anti-rights” instead of “anti-gun” is far more accurate.

The FBI has been publishing bulletins about the “sovereign citizen movement.” One indicator that you might be a “sovereign citizen” is:

“References to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments.”

Thus, referring to the Bill of Rights, DC v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, or the pending U.N. arms trade treaty may place you on the federal government’s radar.

This is curious, because all elected officials and law enforcement are required to take oaths upholding the U.S. Constitution. Here’s the FBI’s oath:

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Federal bureaucrats used to support the Constitution, along with another of the Founders’ very important documents, the Declaration of Independence, which states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

One of Oxford English Dictionary’s definitions of “sovereign” is: “Pertaining to or characteristic of supremacy…” Taken in the Declaration’s context, each of us is a sovereign citizen, supreme in ourselves. Or as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

In this case, the government is required, via the “just powers” derived from our consent, to secure our sovereignty.

Their issue with the Second Amendment is that, by nature, it implies that citizens are sovereign, possessing a God-given, inalienable right of self-defense. It also acknowledges that the government isn’t obligated to protect us, a reality regularly affirmed by the Supreme Court (Castle Rock v. Gonzales, DeShaney v. Winnebago).

The Founders warned repeatedly of gun control’s threat to citizen sovereignty, which is why they included in the Declaration:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

On the other hand, OED also defines “sovereignty” as: “A person who has supremacy or authority over another or others…”

When government becomes corrupted, it seeks dominion over, not service to, the citizenry. It sees our sovereignty as a threat to its desire for supremacy and authority–mastery–over us.

One way to condition citizens into becoming comfortable as servants is to subtly manipulate the language until what was once the ideal goal of society–securing individual rights acknowledged in the Constitution–becomes an evil to be castigated and eradicated by any means possible. Thus, the servants become the masters, and their use of force against the citizenry becomes desirable and legal.

Which is why government will always want more gun control.

(See Bryan Preston’s take here.)

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Associated Press Twists the Truth to Promote Gun Control

Monday, February 6th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Associated Press ran this article today: “Police: Man accidentally shoots self at Georgia gun show.”

To understand the nuances of subtly promoting gun control, remember that one of the most important planks in gun banners’ platform is the gun show loophole. For example, billionaire Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns has been promoting this propaganda for a while:

Currently, licensed gun dealers are required to run criminal background checks on all buyers, but a loophole in the law enables criminals to avoid these checks if they buy from gun-sellers who don’t have licenses. Often operating at gun shows, these unlicensed sellers give criminals the opportunity to sidestep the background check system and easily purchase guns. Congress should close the gun show loophole.

No doubt this is how 90% [no, it’s 70%] of Mexico’s drug cartels get their guns. Really now, perhaps 1-2% of all criminals’ guns come from gun shows, and that includes those bought by law-abiding citizens who had their guns stolen. Also, keep in mind that most “unlicensed” dealers at gun shows don’t even sell guns (anything from bandanas to ear protection to food).

But back to the AP article at hand: It turns out that the klutz wasn’t at the gun show when he shot himself. He was in the parking lot reloading a gun, because the gun show didn’t allow loaded guns inside.

Dude, keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. And AP, keep your finger off the truth until you’re ready to run with it.

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Elderly Man With Firearm Levels Playing Field Against Two Attackers

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

(Hat tip to Dan Gifford.)

World War II veteran and 87-year-old Los Angeles resident Jack Goodwin was in bed listening to the Lakers game Tuesday night, when he heard what he described as: “Boom, boom, boom, it was real loud, like a jackhammer.” He grabbed his pistol and “ran and ran to see what it was.”

With bum knees, Goodwin cannot move quickly. He’s lived the past 40 years in the Baldwin Village home, where he finished raising three daughters with his beloved wife Ruby. She passed away a few years ago.

One attacker is in the hospital in critical condition, the other remains at large.

Media reports call him an Army marksman, but video notes that was in “Carbine”, not pistols.

His interview with CBS is instructive. When asked if he was afraid, he said: “Not at all.” When asked if he could do anything differently, he said he “could run, run out the front door probably…” And this:

Goodwin says he has no regrets about how it all went down and probably would do it again the same way.

Police went on record as saying this was self-defense and plan to file no charges against Goodwin. However, the District Attorney could still do so, which is why, as in the case of another elderly man in Marin County, California, it’s a bad idea to take your 15 seconds of fame on TV.

California is anti-rights, and Dan Gifford told me about a meeting he went to where a LAPD Sergeant warned residents suffering from a spike in burglary against taking the law into your own hands, or some such silliness.

The bottom unvarnished line is that the LAPD will try mightily to find some reason to charge any homeowner with a crime for using a gun against an intruder. And since California has so many petty gun laws and technical violations, there are plenty to choose from. Charges for using unwarranted deadly force are another matter.

(By the way, self-defense isn’t “taking the law into your hands.” Each state has provisions in their laws delineating when the use of lethal force is appropriate to save yourself from grievous bodily harm or death.)

Here’s the crooked cross:

  • You say you weren’t afraid. Then why did you shoot if you didn’t feel you were in danger?
  • You say you could have run. Why didn’t you avoid confrontation?
  • You have no regrets about shooting somebody? Are you some kind of Dirty Harry vigilante?
  • You said you would do it again the same way. Do you intend to shoot people?

Good shooting, Mr. Goodwin. Let’s hope the DA does the right thing, instead of pimping for votes.

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Congressional Democrats: Fast & Furious is Arizona’s Fault!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

The new Fast & Furious meme:

Democrats investigating the failed gun-running probe known as “Operation Fast and Furious” are laying the blame at the feet of officials in Arizona, saying in a new report that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have “obtained no evidence” implicating high-level political appointees in Washington.

This is curious. Evidence surfaced this week showing that AG Holder’s office knew immediately when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by a F&F firearm.

Congressman Elijah Cummings, point man on this new propaganda, is a longtime Maryland gun control proponent and Brady Campaign endorsee.

Speaking of Brady Campaign, let’s not forget that, before F&F exploded in their faces, President Obama promised Brady he was working on their gun control agenda “under the radar,” and that AG Holder wanted to reinstate the Clinton gun ban allegedly to help Mexico soon after Obama took office.

Then Fast & Furious began.

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Concealed Carry: A True First Responder

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Just after 1AM last Saturday, two armed robbers attacked a Waffle House in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, one armed with a handgun. Justin Michael Harrison, age 22 and a concealed carry licensee, “thwarted the robbery by pulling his gun and attempting to hold the men until deputies arrived.”

The robbers attacked Harrison in an attempt to escape, at which point he shot and killed one attacker; the other escaped. Deputies “recovered a Hi-Point 9 mm handgun” belonging to the deceased.

The next day, deputies arrested the accomplice, Kenneth Jowan Craig, and charged him with “armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.”

There was some confusion from one article’s interpretation of an official press release:

“Craig attempted to leave and Harrison tried to block his path. A struggle ensued, and Craig grabbed for Harrison’s weapon and Harrison fired one shot in an effort to make the suspect take his hands off of the gun…”

It might appear from the above copy that Harrison escalated the confrontation. However, interviewing Lieutenant Tony Ivey of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office indicated otherwise:

“The customer who shot Mr. Williams (the suspect that was armed with a 9mm pistol) did so in protection of his own life as a result of Mr. Williams pointing his pistol at him. The customer attempted to detain Mr. Craig by using physical force in the form of grabbing him by the arm with his hand. It was not until Mr. Craig turned on the customer and attempted to take his pistol from him did the customer fire one additional shot in self defense. Mr. Williams and Mr. Craig had attempted to rob the Waffle House using a firearm and the customer tried to detain both suspects until law enforcement arrived.”

Citizens’ Arrest is valid when detaining a suspect committing a felony like armed robbery. Harrison initially tried non-lethal force to detain Craig, escalating to deadly force when personally attacked and in response to the robbers employing deadly force while committing robbery.

A past article noted how not to talk about your self-defense afterwards. In this case, the defender told police he “decided that his life and the lives of the others in the Waffle House was in danger.” This answer paraphrases most states’ self-defense laws.

Sheriff Chuck Wright said “he did not plan to charge Harrison.” This is the same sheriff who, after an attempted rape last November, told women to arm themselves and get a concealed carry permit.

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New Obama Scandal: ‘Cash & Curious’

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

The Associated Press reports that documents reveal how the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) worked with the “Beltran Leyva drug cartel and a cell of money launderers for Colombia’s Valle del Norte cartel” to launder drug money and lose it here.

“The group of officials conducted at least 15 wire transfers to banks in the United States, Canada and China and smuggled and laundered about $2.5 million in the United States. They lost track of much of that money.”

In Fast & Furious, federal agents lost track of firearms they forced gun stores to sell to Mexican cartel straw buyers, in violation of federal law. These guns went down into Mexico, where they were used to murder hundreds of Mexican citizens, as well as Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Now, the DEA “lost track of the money” they helped the cartels smuggle back across the border into the United States. Money flows north, guns flow south, people die, criminals get rich, all courtesy of the Obama administration.

Remember, this is the president who told the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence that he was working on some special gun control project “under the radar.”

Isn’t this curious?

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90-Year-Old Victim Alive and Well, Thanks to Firearm

Friday, January 6th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

When Samuel Joseph Cutrufelli kicked down Jay Leone’s door Wednesday, Leone was in trouble. In a CBS interview, Leone said he was held at gunpoint while the burglar ransacked his house, until he convinced Cutrufelli he needed to use the bathroom. Once there, he retrieved a .357 revolver “ran back and pointed it at the burglar.”

Leone said Cutrufelli shot him first. Here’s his narrative:

“After he shot me, I looked him straight in the eye,” said Leone. “He says, ‘Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me… I’ve got a daughter!’ I said, ‘f- you … pow, pow, pow, pow!’”

Cutrufelli was shot three times, but escaped in his car until he bled out too much, at which point he called emergency services and said he shot himself. Police determined the truth, and arrested him “on suspicion of burglary and attempted murder.”

Cutrufelli was convicted of attempted murder in 2001, when he attacked somebody “who complained about nearly being hit.”

Authorities said Cutrufelli, who had been drinking at a downtown bar, got out of the car, smashed a bottle over the 22-year-old victim’s head, and used a folding knife to stab him four times and cut tendons in his right hand. Cutrufelli left the victim in the street to crawl away for help.

Leone hasn’t been charged–yet.

In his book After You Shoot, Alan Korwin notes that about 50% of all convictions in what began as self-defense rely on 911 recordings. Korwin warns:

“Keep in mind that reporters, as observed in the overwhelming majority of their published work, hate guns, hate gun owners, don’t hold much stock in self defense and do not support keeping and bearing arms…”

Leone has now publicly testified that after retreating, he advanced from a possible safe place and purposefully engaged Cutrufelli. Next, after being shot, Leone took time to verbally notify Cutrufelli he was about to return fire, in a manner that could be taken as revenge for being shot. In the hands of a crafty prosecutor, this could show intent, converting Leone from victim to attacker.

Marin County, California is a hotbed of gun control radicalism. If the District Attorney thinks he’ll earn votes for convicting a vigilante, Leone’s ordeal may just be starting.

To paraphrase Korwin: After you shoot, call your attorney and avoid the media. The Miranda Warning says: “Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.”

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