Sunday, January 25, 2015

Richard Davis, Inventor of Soft Body Armor, at the Shot Show


Richard Davis, in short sleeves, at the Shot Show, Las Vegas, 2015

At the Shot Show this year, I was working away in the media room.  Media are given a room and special access at the Shot Show, as they are most places.   A guard at the door insures that only the privileged are allowed inside.  (The management also provides free food.)  I was chatting with Destinee of FateofDestinee fame when I got the call.   Richard Davis was at the shot Show and willing to talk! 

Richard Davis is legendary to gun culture people born before 1960.   He has done more to save police officer's lives than thousands of administrators and hundreds of doctors.  He invented modern soft body armor.   Armor so light weight and comfortable, that officers would routinely wear it.   Armor that defeated the most common projectiles.   He was so driven to get it into officer's hands and on their chests and backs, that he offered an 'installment plan' consisting of five post dated checks.  

You sent him the checks, he would send you the body armor and cash the checks when they became valid.   His ground breaking bullet resistant vests sold for about $75 in 1978.  

Richard lived up to his reputation as a natural raconteur, bon vivant, and salesman.  He was constantly cracking jokes, chatting up a young lady present, and was willing to offer up many interesting anecdotes, though some were off the record.  

According to Davis, he was at John Ross' house when Ross was writing 'Unintended Consequences'.  The novel went on to become an iconic story of resistance to a distopian government hostile to the second amendment.  Davis clearly is in the book, thinly veiled as Davis Richards.   

Richard got into the business of making soft body armor after he was shot with a pistol while delivering pizza in 1969.  He searched for an effective defense.   His search and the invention of Kevlar fiber resulted in lightweight, flexible body armor, soft body armor.  

Various  types of soft body armor had been tried before.  Some were effective, but expensive, not very flexible, and uncomfortable.   Archduke Ferdinand, whose assassination is said to have set off WWI, was wearing a bullet proof vest made of silk when he was shot.   The shot hit his neck, not the armor.   The vest cost $800 at the time, about $20,000 today. 

We talked about the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, where body armor saved the life of Lt. Brian Murphy.  Murphy was shot 15 times but survived.   Davis said that 30 more women and children were inside, and that the murderer had plenty of ammunition when he was stopped.

Richard Davis gave his definition of body armor failure.   According to Davis, body armor failure is when a police officer could have been saved by wearing body armor, but failed to wear it, and was shot and killed because they did not wear it. 

He gave an example of the Miami FBI shootout where the FBI was not wearing their body armor because it was so uncomfortable.  He said that even though vests are not rated for rifle rounds such as the .223 used by Michael Platt, if a round hit intervening material, such as glass or a car door, the armor had a good chance of stopping it.

He also gave a list of people who were assassinated who could have been saved if they wore soft body armor.  He listed:   President Garfield, President McKinley, President Teddy Roosevelt (wounded), George Wallace, and Malcolm X.  I added Lee Harvey Oswald.  

He said that his body armor saved two heads of state, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan (the bullet was stopped by a guard's armor, but would have penetrated him and her, but for the armor) and the Prime Minister of Sierra Leone, who after being shot, said to the crowd "I am the son of God, and I cannot die."

Davis, at 71 seemed happy, active and pleased that fame has passed him by.   He sold the Second Chance name for $45 million, bought a yacht (great deal, used) and has been enjoying himself. 

The National Institute of Justice had been investigating the use of Kevlar for bulletproof vests before Davis, but as with the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, private industry got the patent and brought vests to the market before the government did.   In a few years, NIJ came up with standards for the production of vests.  

The NIJ standards for vests that once again made them less comfortable and less likely to be worn, mostly because the standards require very little 'blunt force trauma'.  Departments were reluctant to buy vests that were not 'approved' by the government's voluntary standards.   Vests made to NIJ specifications have to be thicker and stiffer.

Davis was at a booth when my brother discovered him.  My Brother said "this body armor reminds me of the ultra-thin vests that Second Chance produced."   Richard Davis was standing in front of him, and said.   "That was me.  I invented modern soft body armor.



The above vest will stop .44 magnum ammunition out of a six inch barreled revolver.

Davis sold his armor by touring the country and shooting himself while wearing a vest.   He has shot himself over 200 times.  The marketing was very effective.  He sold lots of vests, documented over 1,000 lives saved, became rich and enjoyed life.

The vests at the booth were incredibly thin and light, and were said to be able to stop standard .44 magnum loads from a six inch barrel.

They do not meet NIJ standards, but they stop most threats, and police wear them.  Numerous individuals buy non NIJ vests, and some departments as well, according to Davis.

I hope that Richard Davis has a long and happy life.  He is an exemplar of the American success story.   Invent a useful product.   Save and improve numerous lives.   Become rich, live long, and prosper.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

IL: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear 'Assault Weapon' Ban Case



The 7th Circuit federal court of appeals will hear a case against a local ban on some common rifles, handguns, shotguns, and magazines.  The city of Highland Park, notorious for its anti-second amendment laws, passed an ordinance that requires residents to turn in, modify or remove the banned items from the city.   Ordinance 136(pdf) deals with "Assault Weapons".  The ordinance includes very broad boilerplate language.   Some claim that the ordinance was lifted from the City of Chicago.

The definitions are broad and cover most semi-automatic rifles, and a fair number of pistols and shotguns.   Highland Park has a very low crime rate, so it is hard to justify the ban as having any practical effect, except to anger second amendment supporters and to make a symbolic statement.  

I found particularly amusing the fact that the ban seems to include nearly all airsoft guns.  The ordinance includes a ban on all "Large Capacity Magazines" and has a very broad definition of what a firearm is.   From the ordinance:
(F) "Firearm" means any device, by whatever name known, which is
designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas, excluding however:
(1)
Any pneumatic gun, spring gun or B-B gun which expels a
single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inches in diameter;
As most airsoft guns use expansion of gas, or escape of gas to propel projectiles  of greater than .18 inches in diameter, and have magazine capacities of more than 10 rounds, they seem to be included.   No one seems to have been prosecuted under the ordinance to date.

Courthouse news reports that the attorney for the plaintiffs, who say that the ban is clearly unconstitutional, were well prepared.  The city attorney, not so much.  Volks is the pro-second amendment attorney, Wilson the attorney for the disarmists, Easterbrook one of the judges on the panel.   :
"But you haven't pointed to one study showing that assault weapons are better for self defense than handguns," the judge said.
Vogts was clearly prepared for this. "They are accurate, reliable and easy to use. They have many attributes useful for self-defense. They are some of the safest as well because they use lightweight rounds less likely to go through walls and hit a family member during self-defense. This is essentially the technological evolution of firearms."
Highland Park's attorney, Christopher Wilson, generally seemed far less prepared for the grilling he received. He repeatedly stumbled and referred to Blackstone before an impassive Easterbrook.
"This doesn't implicate Heller or the Second Amendment ..." Wilson began.
Easterbrook laughed: "That's ridiculous! Of course it implicates it."
"No," Wilson replied, " the right is not a right to carry just any weapon, but a right to carry handguns."
Easterbrook picked up the plaintiffs' logic: "The Supreme Court said that commonly owned weapons are covered, and plaintiffs say these are commonly owned. If we don't know whether that's the case, then summary judgment was inappropriate."
It is far too early to predict the outcome of this case.  While those who have studied the second amendment might expect a quick striking down of the law, the district court upheld it, essentially holding that second amendment protections were very, very narrow.  In the Courthouse News article, no references were made to U.S. v Miller, where the Supreme Court held that arms that were effective for militia use were protected. 

Clearly, semi-automatic firearms are useful for militias.  The Seventh Circuit may also provide guidance on what the court considers as 'common'.   The plaintiffs say that many of the banned guns are "common".  As the AR and AK style rifles are some of the most popular in the country, it is a severe stretch to claim that they are not 'common'.   I have seen disarmists attempt to do so by saying that they are only 'three percent of all guns' or similar arguments.

Of course, using that logic, you could ban all guns as uncommon.   Even the most popular of firearms would have to have production figures of 9 million to reach a 3% definition of common.  Even the ubiquitous model 94 Winchester was not produced  in those quantities. 

 Definition of  disarmist 

 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

NM: From the Volok Conspiracy, Court Upholds Ban on Switchblade Knives



From State v. Murillo (N.M. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2015) (paragraph break added):

Viewed from any approach, the switchblade statute is a modest infringement. Because Section 30–7–8 bans only a small subset of knives, which are themselves a peripheral subset of arms typically used for self-defense or security, the statute effects an unsubstantial burden on the right to keep and bear arms. Cf. Heller I, 554 U.S. at 629 (“[T]he American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon…. [H]andguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home[.]”).
  More Here

MN: Woman Shoots Man from Failed Relationship



A Maplewood man was shot in the chest by his ex-girlfriend Sunday night as he attacked her in her Mounds View home, according to charges filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.

Daniel A. Carlson, 45, who survived the shooting, was charged with making terroristic threats and domestic assault.

The 29-year-old woman was not charged.

More Here

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Brian Anse Patrick: All Things Left Considered: Progress Of A University Of Michigan Ph.D. And The “Gun Culture”



The recent Susan Douglas controversy at the University of Michigan has captured considerable attention from various publics. Professor Douglas, chair of the Department of Communication Studies, published what many (something like 4,000 online commentators) have interpreted as a hateful invective against Republicans and political conservatives.

Douglas was apparently unnerved by the volume and intensity of the digital outcry after she referred to millions of citizens, many of whom are UM donors and alums (and taxpayers), as hateful dogmatists and intolerant supporters of authoritarianism, so much so that she has allegedly requested police protection. The professor has perhaps spent too much time in unbalanced power relationships with students who must either put up or suffer the consequences of independent thought. A bigger problem here, obvious to just about everyone but many professors, is that professorial displeasure may be earned for ideological reasons entirely unrelated to academic standards.



It may not be an exaggeration to say that in some academic departments, especially in social sciences and the humanities, rigorous academic standards have transmuted over time into ideological sniff tests—is candidate X the right kind of person with the proper set of Left-leaning beliefs? Through processes involving group norms, incentives, rewards, hiring and cronyism, departments select for true believers. Especially at the graduate level where future professors are trained, conformity is in great demand. Orthodoxy becomes de facto a systemic result rather than the enabling of creative, self-directed individuals. All this not only carries over into the undergraduate classroom, but also taints the production of research and publications. Terms like “critical thinking” so often come to mean in practice ‘Think as I do.”

More Here

KS:Constitution Carry set to Pass Kansas Senate



SB 45 allows those who may legally own a gun to carry it concealed, without a permit.   The bill has 26 co-sponsors.  Only 21 senate votes are needed for passage.

The bill changes a number of laws, but the primary effect is to reform the law by removing the requirement to have a concealed carry license in  order to legally carry a handgun concealed.  People in Kansas already have the right to carry handguns openly.

From the text of the bill(pdf):
(5) possession of a concealed handgun by an individual who is
licensed by the attorney general to carry a concealed handgun under
K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 75-7c01 et seq., and amendments thereto
not
prohibited from possessing a firearm under either federal or state law.
If the law passes both the Senate and the House, as seems likely, the question will be, will Governor Brownback sign it.   It seems likely as well.  In 2013 Governor Brownback signed the Kansas law to stop state and local officials from enforcing Federal gun laws that infringe on second amendment rights.  From the tenthamendmentcenter.com:
TOPEKA, KS (April 16, 2013) – Today, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law Senate Bill 102 (SB102), formerly HB2199 – the 2nd Amendment Protection Act. In the wake of increased federal interest in restricting the right to keep and bear arms, the new Kansas law is the most comprehensive nullification of such acts thus far.

The new law nullifies a wide range of federal attacks on the right to keep and bear arms in the State of Kansas. It states, in part:

Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas
 Much has to happen before SB 45 reaches Governor Brownback's desk.


 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

David Codrea: NY Gun Ban Politician Arrested for Bribery, Kickbacks

New York's first serious gun control law, the Sullivan Act, was passed to protect organized crime.

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been arrested on a five-count federal complaint charging him with accepting millions of dollars in exchange for using his political influence, New York Daily News reported Thursday. The charges are described as “stunning” for “the Manhattan Democrat [who has been] a state political fixture for decades.”

As such, Silver has been a leading proponent of “gun control” throughout his terms of office, including being a driving force behind passing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “SAFE” Act. In 2012, Silver pushed through a package of bills after the Sandy Hook killings, using that as the springboard to enact legislation that had failed to be enacted in prior years, including microstamping, gun locks and “closing loopholes.” He stated his post-Newtown goal flatly, to impose “a complete ban on assault weapons.”

Silver’s arrest is reminiscent of other arrests for criminal acts that prominent citizen disarmament-demanding politicians have made headlines with in recent years, including numerous members of Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” Other anti-gun pols charged with serious criminal activity include California State Senator Leland Yee, including racketeering and gun trafficking.

More Here

Kel-Tec has a new Patent for a 33 round .22LR Magazine




Toby Obermeit, Lead Design Engineer at Kel-Tec, holds a PMR-30 magazine.  That magazine holds 30 .22 WMR cartridges.  The design is popular, with Kel-Tec shipping 500 of the pistols each week.

I talked to Toby at the Shot Show this week.   He and Kel-Tec recently obtained a patent on a new magazine design that would create an even larger capacity for the .22LR cartridge.  It would fit in a pistol grip, with a preliminary capacity of 33 rounds.



Toby said that Kel-Tec CNC has been granted the patent just a few weeks ago.  It is specifically aimed at the .22LR.   The one pictured in the patent drawings holds 33 LR cartridges, but would likely fit in a regular pistol grip.  The patent is a departure from Kel-Tec's more common practice.   Kel-Tec has generally followed the strategy of getting product to the market, rather than filing for patents.   Here is the abstract from the patent.  From uspto.cov:
 Abstract from the patent:

Double stack magazines have a tubular body defining an elongated passage and a lower and upper end, a floor plate element connected to the lower end, an elongated separator element within the passage, a follower defining an aperture receiving the separator element and movable within the elongated passage, a spring within the passage having a first end contacting the floor plate, and having an opposed second end contacting and biasing the follower toward the upper end of the body. The separator may be a rod spaced apart from the body surfaces. The spring may be spaced apart from the separator element. The spring may be a coil spring having multiple winds, each encompassing the separator element. The separator element may be medially located in the body. The separator element may be positioned to define first and second stack passages between the left and right side walls and the separator element.
It makes sense to me, in that the rod keeps the two columns of rimed cartridges separate, while using only a single spring system.  Knowing Kel-Tec and Toby, I assume that it was prototyped with a 3D printer.

Toby made no promises as to when a product might come of this patent.  He said that it would be at least a year in the future.

I have often thought that there was a lot of space inside .22 LR pistol grips that was not being utilized effectively.  A 30+ shot full sized .22LR handgun with a 5 inch barrel, threaded for a suppressor, and weighing about a pound, would be a very nice backpacking and general field or "kit" gun.   A simple blowback design would allow for multiple barrel lengths and configurations.

I would like to see arrangements for an optical sight.  A small reflex pistol sight would work nicely.  A fixed barreled .22 pistol with an optical sight might be usable for small game to 60 yards.


©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

FL: Act Compliant to Gain time and Opportunity


Most armed robbers are reluctant to shoot.   There can be many reasons for this, including additional scrutiny from the authorities, drawing attention to the crime in progress, even a reluctance to inflict harm.   Often, this will give the victim an opportunity to feign compliance in order to gain an advantage.

It happened in this case in Florida yesterday, the 22nd of January, 2015.  The victim in this case was Fabian Rosario.  He is a surveyor who was working with a colleague on a land survey when he was approached by a suspect who pulled a gun and demanded money.  From nbcmiami.com:
The victim said he didn't have any money and the suspect demanded his cellphone and told him to get on the ground. The victim complied but while he was on the ground he took out his own gun and shot the would-be robber, officials said.
When an assailant has you at gunpoint and demands that you do something, You should be thinking about how the purported "compliance" can be used to position yourself to resist successfully.  In this case, the victim was able to draw his firearm and hit his assailant without being injured himself.  The assailant is in the hospital, and will likely be arrested when released.

The owner of the engineering firm that Fabian works for said that robbery is an occupational hazard for surveyors. 
"There is actually a law enforcement database of all of the robberies that are going on that are affecting surveyors and there has been hundreds of instruments and equipment stolen," he said.
Surveying was a hazardous profession in George Washington's era as well, though mostly on the frontier.   High crime urban areas have become the "modern frontier" in our time.

In another recent case, a robber demanded that his victim drop his pants.  It was a very good opportunity to feign compliance and access his own weapon.  From naplesnews.com:
Deputies say 37-year-old Ronald Farmer was standing beside his car when an armed man approached him wearing a ski mask and sunglasses. The man told Farmer he was robbing him and ordered him to drop his pants. Farmer told authorities he began to comply with the orders but distracted the man's attention and reached for his own gun. He shot the man, who was later identified as 21-year-old Rontavis James Holton.
Rontavis James Holton did not survive.

Armed robbery is a complicated, difficult and dangerous endeavor.  Most smart criminals realize that the rewards are not worth the substantial risk.  The remaining pool of criminals often make serious errors that alert victims can exploit to their advantage.

 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

TX: Armed American wins Gunfight with Robbery Suspect

According to police, a man was walking along the sidewalk when a vehicle drove up next to him. The driver pulled out a gun and demanded money. However, the pedestrian was armed as well, and he started firing. The robbery suspect was struck by the gunfire.

More Here

OH: Store Worker drives off Robbers with Gunshot

According to a report, two men entered Raine’s Jewelry, 2330 Shawnee Road, and attempted to rob the store. At least one of the men was carrying a handgun. A worker at the store brandished a weapon and took a single shot at the robbers, causing them to flee.

More Here

Friday, January 23, 2015

A wise woman


FL: Judge rules; Fists are a Deadly Threat

Jason Kinsey, found justified in self defense shooting.

I have written about the concepts of disparity of force before, and of the fact that a punch to the head is a deadly threat.   Disparity of force can come into play in a number of ways.  The assailant can be much younger, stronger, bigger, faster, there can be multiple assailants, the element of surprise, or, an assailant with known martial arts skills. 

The concept is that the attacker or attackers are a serious threat to a person's life or bodily integrity because of factors that give them unequal power outside of their having a commonly identified deadly weapon, such as a knife, club, or gun.

Known martial arts/fighting skills seem to be one of the deciding factors in this case from Florida.   From the miamiherald.com:
But when Smith felt insulted and began shouting at neighbor Jason Kinsey, the confrontation did not end in fisticuffs. Instead, Kinsey, 20, fatally shot the unarmed teen — claiming he was defending himself against the martial arts expert.

A judge agreed. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas last month ruled Kinsey indeed acted in self-defense, saying prosecutors are “discounting the enormity of Smith’s rage and the level of physical skill that Smith possessed as compared to Kinsey.”
Disparity of force has long been upheld by the Florida legal system.  It is a well understood and applied concept in the law.   A case that was pushed to the Third District Court of Appeals is that of Gabriel Mobley, who, with his friend, was attacked by surprise as they sat outside of a restaurant.   The attack was caught by surveillance video.

Gabriel Mobley

The judges on the Third District Court of appeals watched the video as part of the evidence presented.  It was clear that Mobley and friend were attacked by surprise, and that Mobley's friend was seriously injured in the initial attack.  The case was so clear cut that the Court of appeals granted Mobley immunity rather than waste state and local resources on the case.

The Kinsey and Smith case discussed at the start of this article occurred in 2013, but the legal decision finding that Kinsey was justified happened just last week.   Video also exists in this case, showing Smith threatening Kinsey.   Smith was known in the neighborhood as a proficient fighter who studied karate and who taught neighborhood kids how to defend themselves. 

Those who claim that fists are not deadly weapons have not considered the facts or the dynamics of street fights.   There are numerous cases every year where people are killed with one punch to the head.   Here is one example from Washington State.  Even if a person is not killed, serious brain injuries are common.  If a person is knocked unconscious, the victim is left to the mercy of the attacker, who can then kill, mutilate, or otherwise disable the now helpless victim.  To claim that a fistfight is not potential deadly force is simply to show an ignorance of reality.  

If you wish to look at a list of hundreds of people that have died from one punch to the head, you can look at the site created by Steve Kokette of Madison, Wisconsin, onepunchhomicide.com.

There is no need for anyone who wishes to avoid the dangers of hand to hand fighting to submit to a beating, hoping that they will not be hurt severely.  We are not a society that establishes a pecking order based on mutual combat.

One of the fundamental precepts of civil society is the right to be left alone.  When a person attacks another without justification, they forfeit their rights, and sometimes, as in this case, their life.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-gardens/article7438982.html#storylink=cpy

TX: Friend of Family Stops Home Invasion, Kills one Suspect


Investigators said one suspect struck a family member in the face with a handgun while the second suspect forced the family inside the residence.

A friend of the family managed to retrieve his gun from his vehicle and fired at least once at one suspect, who fled the scene on foot. Police said the family friend then confronted the second suspect and fatally shot him.

More Here

OK:Armed Robber Suspect Demands Rolex; Gets Shot Instead



According to police, Lee pulled out a gun and threatened the owner, demanding his Rolex watch.

The business owner, who did not want to be identified, said he was able to distract Lee and pull out a gun in self-defense.

KOCO 5 checked into Lee’s background and found he has a lengthy criminal history.

More Here

OH: Home Invader from NY Shot Twice with Own Gun in Ohio

The story is not entirely clear.  It appears that the 60-Year-Old defender fought with the home invader from New York, and managed to shoot him twice with his own gun.

The 60-year-old and Martinez fell down the basement stairs during the scuffle. Martinez's gun fired during the fall, according to police. The 60-year-old man was not injured.

Martinez, however, was shot twice — once in the stomach and once in the right bicep, court records say.

Akron police found Martinez seeking treatment for the gunshot wounds at Akron City Hospital. Officials will transfer Martinez to jail once he recovers.

More Here

TX: Roommate uses Sword and Gun to Drive off Attacker



Police first got a 911 call reporting a burglary and robbery at 2015 Cedar Bend Drive at 2:48 a.m., where Faz allegedly broke in and threatened two roommates with a weapon. One of the roommates told police he managed to chase Faz out of his apartment with a sword and an antique gun. The roommates told police they were playing video games inside their apartment when Faz knocked on the front door. When one of roommates opened door and looked outside, no one was there. They told police Faz suddently ran from around the corner and charged the doorway, forcing one of the roommates back into the living room.

More Here

TN: Clerk Shoots Robbery Suspect



Antonio Martin, 24, was listed in stable condition Wednesday afternoon after he was shot during a holdup at the Grand Slam Market.

Martin, a parolee, has six aggravated robbery convictions and a conviction for facilitation of especially aggravated kidnapping, all out of Shelby County.

Bryant Gumbel Hates the NRA



In an interview with Rolling Stone, HBO host Bryant Gumbel was asked about the National Rifle Association and a segment he did on his Real Sports show about the "Eat what you kill" movement.


There are a few things I hate more than the NRA. I mean truly. I think they're pigs. I think they don't care about human life. I think they are a curse upon the American landscape. So we got that on the record.

That said, I'm willing to separate that this story had nothing to do with that. It's not a gun story. So I would like to think that I would have done it, but I don't know. Obviously, that was my first experience around killing and guns and hunting.

More Here

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dart Center for Shoddy Journalism?



The above is a screenshot from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma's call for applications from journalists to attend a "workshop for journalists on covering guns and gun violence".   It is from dartcenter.org website, so you can look for yourself.

In their invitation to apply for a two day workshop in which they purport to educate journalists about how to report on guns and "gun violence", they list a  highly questionable "fact". They state that:
Nearly 100 school shootings have occurred since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary only two years ago.
Presumably, this is taken from the everytown.org web site, which claims that there have been:
  Since the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, CT, there have been at least 96 school shootings in America — an average of nearly one a week.
The number has been repeatedly debunked as misleading propaganda, outside of the usual meaning of the words.   It was rated "mostly false" by politifact.com about seven months ago.   Even CNN, definitely on the left side of the media spectrum, only classified 15 of the 74 incidents listed at the time, as similar to Sandy Hook incident.

It is not promising that the Dart Center call for applications to educate journalists uses a misleading number produced by the advocacy organization that is paying for the workshop as a "fact".

Does Dart consider accepting numbers from advocacy organizations without fact checking, a good journalistic practice?   They have claimed that the money for the journalist workshop did not come with any strings.  Yet they promote one of the major contentions of the advocacy group in their application request.

Here is part of the mission statement for the Dart Center.  From dartcenter.org website:
Advocates ethical and thorough reporting of trauma; compassionate, professional treatment of victims and survivors by journalists; and greater awareness by media organizations of the impact of trauma coverage on both news professionals and news consumers.
I sent an email to the contact for the Dart Center, to ask about this inclusion, several days ago.  I have not received any reply.

Other questionable items in the Dart request for applications are the use of the term "gun violence".   This is a loaded propaganda term, as if violence committed with guns is somehow worse than other unjustified violence,  with the implication that violence committed with guns is always unjustified.

These are items that are subject to much debate in the public sphere; they are hardly accepted as self evident truths.

Finally, Dart includes the long used "developed countries" gambit to create statistics that are useful for those who push restrictive gun controls.

Economics is hardly the best indicator of crime and violence; the choice of "developed countries" vs say, New World English speaking countries, allows an advocate to obtain whatever result is desired.   International comparisons have numerous problems when comparing crime rates.  Focusing on "gun violence" vs. all unjustified violence further stacks the statistical deck.

I would  like to see the Dart workshop as more than a means of indoctrinating journalists with the propaganda of those who want a disarmed public.   I have requested a list of presenters, and have made a couple of suggestions.   Any such workshop that did not include a presentation by John Lott, would be  incomplete.   He literally "wrote the book" on media bias on guns.  Another good inclusion would be Brian Anse Patrick,  from University of Toledo, Ohio, who has done the most work on documenting the interaction between the media and the NRA, and who wrote the ground breaking analysis on the gun  culture and new media interaction in his seminal work, Rise of the Anti-Media.


©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

New Glock w/optical site base Popular at Shot Show Industry Day at the Range



The new Glock 40 10mm with factory optical site mount.  A long slide version with a 6 inch barrel is available.  This could be important in some states, such as Wisconsin, which requires a minimum 5 inch barrel for hunting big game with a handgun.  I saw the pistol at the industry day at the range for the Shot Show in Las Vegas on Monday.

I asked if Glock had entered this pistol in the Army competition for a new, more powerful handgun.  The representative did not know.



The line to try out the new Glock was fairly long; I did not shoot it, but a close friend had obtained one.   He is an accomplished shooter.  He said that the big difference that he noticed was the speed with which 50 yard hits could be made.    Hits on man sized targets should be easily made out to 100 yards, if a supported position, such as kneeling, sitting, or from a rest, were used.

He also stated that some shooters were co-indexing the iron sites so that the dot on the optical site sat on top of the iron sights.  Then the transition from iron to optical would be easy and seamless.

 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


FL: Bill Filed for Campus Carry in Florida, Passes First Subcommittee 8-4



Bills have been filed in the Florida House (HB4005) and in the Senate (SB176) to reform the Florida concealed carry law to remove the restriction in the law that prevents people with concealed carry licenses to carry on Florida public colleges or Universities.   The bill passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on an 8-4 vote with one representative not voting.  From myfloridahouse.gov, as shown in the screenshot above.

The opening statement of the bill seems a bit confusing, in that it 

A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to licenses to carry concealed weapons
3 or firearms; amending s. 790.06, F.S.; deleting a
4 provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from
5 openly carrying a handgun or carrying a concealed
6 weapon or firearm into a college or university
7 facility; providing an effective date.
The bill does not appear to eliminate the provision banning the open carry of firearms.  Statute 790.06 (12)(a) still states:

(12)(a) A license issued under this section does not
15 authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a
16 concealed weapon or firearm into:
It simply eliminates "Any college or university" from the list of places that people are not allowed to carry with the concealed carry license.

The bill seems to have some legs, in part due to the shooting at a Florida State campus where two students who had concealed carry permits were not able to effectively defend themselves against an active shooter.  Police eventually shot and killed the attacker.

An online poll carried out after the attack showed an astonishing 15 to
1 in favor of allowing people to carry guns on campus.

The bill has a considerable way to go through the Florida legislative process.  The next step appears to be the Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee, then the Judiciary Committee.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

WI: Attacker slices Man's Throat, driven off by Woman's Gunshot



An intruder who said he planned on killing the occupants of a home he broke into in rural Racine County slit one person's throat but fled when a second fired a gun at him, according to a criminal complaint.

(snip)

 Kaehne, who is also charged with substantial battery-use of a dangerous weapon and armed burglary, kept a journal in which he detailed his plan and attempted to elude capture following the incident, according to the complaint.

More Here

DE: Clerk Shoots at Robbery Suspect



Police say when the suspect confronted the 32-year-old male store clerk and demanded money, the clerk fired a weapon at the suspect.

The suspect then fled from the store; it's not known whether he was shot or not. The store employee wasn't hurt.

More Here

FL: Vigilante Attacks Concealed Carry Permit Holder


Brandon, Florida -- A Lithia man has been charged after he tackled another man Tuesday who had a handgun in a holster -- and a permit to carry -- at a Wal-Mart.

More Here

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

IL: Gunfight in Store, Clerk and Robber Die



The two men exchanged gunfire and the employee was killed at the scene, Benton said. Mohammad Y. Eid, 24, whose father owns the store, was shot and killed. Customers were in the store at the time of the incident.

The wounded robber was able to flee and was later dropped off by someone at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet where he died, Benton said.

More Here

NJ: Homeowner Fatally Shoots Suspect who broke in


Cape May County prosecutors tell The Press of Atlantic City that Lower Township police were called to the Route 109 home around 3:15 a.m. Sunday. The caller said someone was trying to break into the residence.

As police were responding to the report, they learned that the homeowner had shot the intruder after he allegedly broke through a glass door.

 More Here

NC: Armed Homeowner Shoots Intruder

LUMBERTON - A Shannon man was seriously injured Monday when he attempted to break into a home and was shot by a resident, the Robeson County Sheriff's Office said.

More Here

OK: Armed Victim Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect



Instead, the victim pulled a gun and ended up shooting the unidentified suspect.

No word on how many times the suspect was shot. Police also haven't released the condition of the suspect.

More Here

OR: 'Buy Back' Gun Turn In Backfires



There was a gun turn in event, 'no questions asked' in Newport, Oregon last Saturday, the 17th of January.   A number of second amendment supporters planned for the event, and attended.    From centaloregoncoastnow.com:
Fred Meyer Gift Cards will be available for working order guns (limit 3 gift cards per person, but more than 3 guns will be accepted). All firearms must be unloaded and transported in the trunk of your car or comparably secured in your pickup truck. No questions asked.

$175 Assault or assault-like rifle

$125 Handgun

$ 75 Long guns, such as rifles or shotguns

$ 25 High capacity magazine

$ 5 Pellet or BB guns (Arctic Circle Gift Car

All weapons collected are removed from circulation and melted down. The Newport Police Department will donate unique or antique weapons to an appropriate historical museum.
It is the essence of silly to pay money for valuable merchandise in order to destroy it.   Clearly, one of the primary purposes of this political theater is to drive home the propaganda message that guns are bad and should be turned into the police.  Private buyers at these events destroy that message, because clearly, if they are paying cash for guns, guns are valuable.  Because they are doing so in front of police, they must be legal.  At the Newport event, the number of private buyers was said to outnumber those who wished to turn in guns.   Many of the private purchasers brought and turned in guns whose value was very low. 

One of the participants in the gun turn in brought in a functional single shot shotgun that he had made at home. He has a video on YouTube showing that it works. The turn-in refused to pay him for it. From opencarry.org:
I'll be attending. In an attempt to work with the enemy I will be turning in three firearms while simultaneously open carrying. Two of those firearms were acquired at the last buyback for the purposes of turning them in......they're really rough, unsafe, and only barely able to function. I paid $50 for both and they closed the turn in when I was just 4 or 5 people from the front of the line.

The third weapon is an evil one. It is a very dangerous 12 gauge ghost gun with no serial number. It was manufactured in the back yard, has no safety devices, and is decked out to be highly attractive to young children, especially little girls. Note the "Hello Kitty" motif on the entire stock!!!!





At the show, many of the motivated second amendment supporters were in line first, turning in the barely functional guns for gift cards.   One of the participants displays the numerous gift cards that he obtained.  The video producer shows the firearms that he was able to purchase at the event.  The nicest of the bunch was a Remington model 11 in decent shape.  

 A local radio station reported that a total of 138 firearms were turned in.  It appears that most of them were of very low value.  I am not sure if the AR type rifle pictured is a turn-in or a prop for the photograph brought by a police officer.  The total did not list an "assault type rifle".  From kxl.com:
They got a gift card in exchange. In the pot: 18 shotguns, 18 rifles, 35 semi-automatic pistols and 67 revolvers. Magazines and ammunition were also accepted. Each gun will get a background check and any that turn out to be stolen will be sent to the agency that reported it.
Another participant purchased an 70-year-old pump .22, but was asked by the seller to return it to him, so that it could be melted down.  I like to think that I could have talked him out of that foolish action, but the buyer showed his hyper intention to be agreeable, and returned the lovely antique to be destroyed.  From poster We-the-People at opencarry.org:
They ran out of gift cards 22 minutes into the four hour event.....patriots were lined up turning in JUNK and cheap 30 round mags. They were giving $25 cards for 30 round mags that can be bought for less than $10 these days.

After running out of cards, they somehow got permission to give out IOU's. That sure helped the CASH PAYING buyers though as we'd explain that there were no gift cards left but they could get an IOU and get mailed a card (maybe) in a couple weeks.....but WE PAID CASH NOW.


I picked up 5 weapons including a Model 11 Remington SemiAuto 12 gauge from 1926, a Mossberg bolt action 20 gauge from 1947-1950 (with no factory SerNo as they weren't required back then an Mossberg didn't do it), AND a pre 1900 12 gauge breech action with Damascus barrel......AND....... a couple of 22 pistols. One pistol is like NIB with serial numbers of box, barrel, cylinder, and frame all matching plus the original manual.

Where the disarmists have not made private sales illegal, these gun turn in events are a dying breed.


 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch




ID: Video of a Break-in with Machete, self defense


The dramatic video in the link below shows how flimsy many modern doors are.  Notice that the locks held, and that the attacker kicked his way in.  He did *not* use the machete  to hack his way in.  It was not needed.   The event pictured occurred on February 22, 2014.  The trial has just been concluded.




Link to video

Notice how quickly the break-in occurs. Ten seconds from the first kick on the screen, to entering the apartment.  The door barely gave enough delay to take cover and make the decision to shoot.    The Supreme Court should be shown this video when they decide to hear the San Francisco case where the Ninth Circuit ruled that it was Constitutional for the city to require guns to be locked up if they were not carried on the body. 

A locked up gun could well have created a deadly delay in this instance.
In this case, the pistol was used to good effect.   From abc7.com:
"If he hadn't been shot at that time, then we would be looking at a murder case, not an attempted murder case," Cvengros told ABC affiliate KIFI-TV.

Thomas survived the shooting and was charged with several counts of aggravated assault and attempted murder. Thomas' attorneys argued he suffered from both PTSD and frontal-lobe damage to his brain. They say Thomas wasn't aware of what he was doing until after he was shot.

A judge found him guilty last Thursday.
Machetes make excellent agricultural and general purpose tools.  They also make decent weapons.   This video is clear evidence of the utility of firearms for self defense.


©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

GA: Armed Robbery Suspect Shot, Gun Walks off



As more and more people are legally carrying guns, there are more justifiable shootings and the crime rate drops.  A significant synergistic factor is the ubiquity of surveillance cameras and personal recording devices, such as cell phones and dashcams.

This shooting in Georgia illustrates one of the reasons why.  The event itself is fairly clear.  A robbery suspect, who is accompanied by three other people, pulls a gun on a victim.  The victim is armed, draws his own weapon, and shoots the suspect, who drops his gun.  From myfoxal.com:
There were three other people with the suspect at the time of the shooting. Police took two of them into custody. One left the scene. Police are still looking that person in connection to the incident. Officers are also still searching for the gun the robbery suspect brandished.
 "When the victim drove off, one of the other suspects did return moments later to retrieve that weapon and that's what we are looking for right now," said Lt. Mark Lavigne, a detective with DeKalb County Police.
While it is entirely possible that the police would have learned of the gun from the witnesses at the scene, it is not uncommon for accomplices to remove evidence from a crime scene.  In this case, there was video showing the removal of the firearm.   I recall reading of another case where the victim was pepper sprayed as part of the attack, and shot the attacker. 

The attacker later claimed victim status and stated that it was just a verbal altercation, and that he had been shot without justification.   The shooter was the one arrested; if it were not for diligent work on the part of the legal defense team, he could well have been convicted.  They found a surveillance video from a near by store that showed the attacker's female accomplice removing the pepper spray can from the scene.   If the video had not been found, the lack of pepper spray created a huge credibility problem. 

The number of violent crimes committed with accomplices is said to be about 50%, so the opportunities for criminals to destroy or remove evidence is high.

The ability to preserve evidence is another reason to stay at the scene of a shooting.  The first consideration must be for safety.   There are numerous locations where you might have to leave.  It might be a hostile environment in an urban area; you might be alone and need to summon help.  But if you can stay on the scene and wait for the authorities, it shows a presumption of innocence on your part, and may well help to preserve evidence.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NC: Woman uses Gunfire to stop Home Invasion



According to public information officer Randy Jones, around 1:15 p.m. Saturday, a man attempted to break into a residence in the 3000 block of N.C. 62 North.

A female at the house fired a shot at the suspect and possibly wounded him, the sheriff’s office reported, though he escaped.

More Here

WA: Lt. Gov. Brad Owen notices that Open Carry is Protected Free Speech


Image from spokesman.com


A couple of days ago, on the 16th of January, 2015, Washington State Lt. Governor Brad Owen (D) publicly announced that the open carry of firearms is a form of free speech, protected by the first amendment of the Constitution.  He did it as a way to crack down on and destroy that speech, but he did it none the less, and what he said is true.  The Democrats objected to the open carry of firearms in the Senate chamber's gallery.   From seattletimes.com:
 "We're just noting that open carry is a form of demonstration and it's no different than carrying a placard or something else of that nature," he said.
He is correct, at least in part, perhaps the most part.  One of the significant purposes of open carry is to show and demonstrate that the carry of arms is a right that may not be suppressed by the legislature and police.  Of course, there are limits on all rights, and the limits on the carrying of placards in the Senate gallery is a limitation on the first amendment right of free speech.  The legislature can legitimately limit such speech in order to conduct their business.   It is not unreasonable to claim that such power extends to the open carry of firearms as well.  If the firearms are hidden, they are still there, they are simply not being used for the purpose of the first amendment.

Lt. Governor Brad Owen may not agree on much, but we agree that the legislature has the power to do this, and we agree that the open carry of firearms is a form of protected, symbolic, strong political speech.  As such, the legislature is severely limited as to how much and what of it can be suppressed.

First amendment protections are very strong, and there are many court cases supporting those protections.   The first and second amendments strongly support and reinforce each other.  There have been lawsuits filed that show that open carry is strong, symbolic political speech.   The New York Times linked to Gun Watch in an article that made the same arguments by one of its writers.

Thank you Lt. Governor Brad Owen, for your recognition of this obvious truth.

Open carry educates.  It informs.  It states to all those concerned: I have rights that the government is forbidden from infringing.   It loudly proclaims: the Constitution means something, and I can read.  It shouts, I am a citizen, not a cog in your machine, I am an individual, not a resource.  Government is limited.  Freedom is protected. 

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

NJ: Armed Robber's last words "I thought you could not own a gun in New Jersey"

I do not know if we can verify this or not.  It is one of those stories that "should be true" whether it is or not.

New Jersey is notorious for having some of the strictest gun regulations in the nation. The robber apparently thought that meant there was no legal way for his would-be victims to arm themselves.

According to Guns.buzz, Mark Robinson’s last words inside the New Neighborhood Deli Supermarket were “I thought you couldn’t own a gun in New Jersey.”

More Here

Monday, January 19, 2015

OH: Armed Man Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect



At the same time, a man contacted Columbus police and admitted he shot Mullins. He told officers that he shot him in self-defense after Mullins attempted to rob him.

Police say evidence indicates Mullins was attempting to rob the shooter when he was killed.

More Here

IL:Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder



Sheriff's Sgt. Matt Jany says dispatchers received a call from a man who reported someone was trying to break in to his house. He says the homeowner also told dispatchers that he had fired shots at the intruder.

Police say when they arrived, they found a person who had been fatally shot.

More Here

OK: Man Shoots Police Chief; No Charges


On 15 January, Police Chief Louis Ross was loaned a bullet resistant vest before he and other officers broke into a home in Sentinel, Oklahoma.  Ross was shot three times in the chest, and once in the arm.  Three of the bullets were stopped by the vest.  The police had no warrant for the raid.  The homeowner, Dallas Horton, was not hurt and has not been charged, and it seems unlikely that he will be.   He and his wife Esther Marie, were both interviewed.

There are many things about this case that have not been widely reported.

First, Police Chief Ross *is* the police force in Sentinel.  He is also the Chief.  It is a one man force.   He was called out of his home for the raid, according to a resident (audio recording), as he is on call 24/7.  The bomb threat was called in at 4 am.  The Chief is well thought of in the community.

Second, the police did not have a warrant.

Third, the police had the wrong house.   The bomb threat did not originate from the house,  the person who called in the threat simply said that he was Dallas Horton.  It was, essentially, a crude "swatting" that the police should have figured out.

No bombs, explosives, or bomb making materials were found, even though UPI wrote that a device was allegedly found.  From upi.com:
Law enforcement officials allegedly found an explosive device at Horton's home. Horton and his wife were arrested.
I have not found any other source that corroborated this allegation.  It also seems clear that neither Dallas nor Esther Marie Horton were arrested.  It would be interesting to know where UPI got it from.   The fact that no "bomb making materials" were found probably has more to do with the peace officers integrity than anything else.   I have seen everything from fireworks and lengths of galvanized and PVC pipe, and reloading supplies, characterized as "bomb making materials".   It is hard to find a household in rural America that does *not* have "bomb making materials* if the police are inclined to find them.

The real story is that this was a swatting.  There are three victims of this swatting incident.  Dallas Horton and his wife Esther Marie have had their lives turned upside down, came close to being killed, and have been defamed around the world.  Chief Ross was wounded in the arm.  He came close to being killed as well.

Perhaps the bomb hoaxer/swatter will be found and prosecuted.  It seems clear that Dallas and Esther Marie Horton will not be.  Knowing a bit about small town politics, I do not see Chief Ross losing his job either.    Someone at UPI should be concerned for their job, if they cannot substantiate the source for the "explosive devise", but I doubt that anything will be done.

This is another case in a series where homeowners have shot police and have been found to have been justified in doing so.  The last one was in Texas, where a Grand Jury "no billed" Henry McGee, who killed a deputy in Burleson County.

There was also the case in Virgina where a homeowner shot at police when they targeted him with laser sights from his back window, for no reason.  It took him three trials, but Brandon Watson was finally found not guilty.  

A resident of Sentinel summed it up well.  From ksmb.com:
"This is country, this ain't Oklahoma City," Jimmy Rhoades told KFOR. "You're taught from a young age that if somebody comes into your house to shoot."

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Sunday, January 18, 2015

AL: 'Domestic' Home Invastion Shooting was Self-Defense


Jimmy Dale Summerford, 46, of Hartselle, was shot to death by Wayford "Derin" Franks, 46, as Summerford was attempting to enter Franks' residence at 165 County Road 539 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Franks has claimed the shooting was in self defense, and Mitchell said the investigation has not proven otherwise.

(snip)

Mitchell said apparently Summerford was upset with Franks over a relationship with a woman the two men had in common.

A short time after the report was made, Summerford arrived at the residence and tried to force his way in, Mitchell said.

More Here

MI:Open Carrier Accused of Concealed Carry in Detroit: Jury Trial, Not Guilty!



Several months ago, Elijah Woody was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.   Elijah Woody is an active member of an open carry group, Hells Saints, in Detroit, that was featured in an MSNBC video about open carry.  I wrote about Elijah's arrest and allegations of misconduct by the Detroit police officers, all of whom are black, as is Elijah.  The trial ended yesterday, Friday, the 16th of January, 2015.  I found the story riveting.  It makes you appreciate juries.   This is the sort of story that Eric Holder should be concerned with, but will never be investigated by the Department of Justice.   Here is the story of the arrest, legal wrangling, and trial, as told by one of Elijah's attorneys, James Makowski.

PEOPLE v. WOODY AAR

On September 13, 2014, Elijah Woody, Jr., a 24 y.o., African-American male, was hanging out chatting with 4-5 friends on the sidewalk of an inner city neighborhood in Detroit. WOODY was open carrying a Glock 23 in a Blackhawk Serpa OWB holster and wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a light jacket buttoned all the way up.

At approximately 7:50p, a car containing three officers from the Detroit Police Department’s Tactical Response Unit, rounded the corner and approached the group. The TRU officers dress in BDUs and typically act in a paramilitary fashion.

As everyone in Detroit knows but most of us from the suburbs do not, it is common for DPD officers to stop, frisk, demand identification and conduct illegal, unconstitutional searches of any group of black males on public property. If they find anything illegal or questionable they will then lie as to how they learned of the offense.

True to form, the officers stopped the car, jumped out and demanded everyone produce ID. Officer James Taylor went straight to WOODY and asked him “you got some bullshit on you there,” referring to the Glock. WOODY is immediately disarmed, cuffed and placed in the back of the squad car. The officers did not inquire whether he had a CPL until after transporting him to the Detroit Detention Facility, and charging him with the five-year felony of Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

When the police wrote their report they had to come up with a story to justify their encounter with WOODY. The officers claimed they observed the group drinking from red Solo cups and, as they drove up they “smelled the strong odor of burning marijuana” from a moving car about 15’ away (must be some bloodhound genes there). Officer Taylor claimed that when WOODY noticed their approach he “bladed” his body to limit their ability to see his right hip and started “backpedaling.” Taylor claimed that WOODY then turned full face on, lifted the right side of his jacket and exposed the Glock hidden under his jacket, stating he was “open carrying.”

Shortly after the arrest I was contacted and advised about this gross abuse of WOODY’s rights. I reached out to my good friend Terry Johnson, a fellow 2A defense lawyer, to see if he was interested in jointly defending WOODY. He agreed so we took the case.

At the preliminary exam two of the three officers testified and many inconsistencies became evident in their testimony. Despite these obvious falsehoods the judge decided that there was Probable Cause that a crime had been committed and bound the matter over to Wayne County Circuit Court on the felony CCW charge. We flat out refused to engage in plea negotiations and demanded the matter be set for jury trial.

At 4:49p the afternoon before trial the Wayne County Prosecutor filed two Motions in Limine. A Motion in Limine is a pretrial motion generally filed several weeks before trial, used to exclude certain evidence or limit what the jury is allowed to know. The prosecutor sought to exclude part of the dashcam recordings that, to put it mildly, were uncomplimentary about the general public. He also sought an order from the judge PROHIBITING US FROM CLAIMING OPEN CARRY AS A DEFENSE. The judge granted both motions and we were forbidden to explain to the jury that Open Carry differed from Concealed Carry and what the differences were.

At trial the next day Officer Taylor claimed that he decided WOODY had a gun on him based upon his “extensive experience” and the fact he was “blading” his body away. When asked whether he yelled “GUN” or in any way alerted his partners of the presence of a firearm he said no and claimed that he was trying to “deescalate” the situation. Yet when the second officer took the stand, on cross examination he claimed that they had a “code word” to alert the other officers of a gun and that Taylor had given it. Further, the dashcam video showed WOODY being placed in the rear of the squad car with the empty holster clearly visible. The jacket the police claimed was hanging down covering the gun was clearly shown in the video to be buttoned all the way up. It became obvious that the officers had fabricated their story, with jurors shaking their heads in disgust at times. The day ended after the first two officers testified.

The next morning the last officer testified. He was the most truthful, stating that he hadn’t really interacted with WOODY as he was on security overwatch, making sure the other civilians present were not a threat. The prosecution rested and we made a Motion for a Directed Verdict, asking that the judge rule that, as a matter of law, the Defendant could not be found guilty. Since the judge is required to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party the motion was denied.

Our first witness testified how the group had been standing around, talking about the upcoming Floyd Meriwether fight that was going to take place that night when the cops drove up, ordered everyone to put their hands up, and directly approached WOODY. The witness firmly stated that WOODY’s gun was not concealed or in any way hidden by a coat.

The WOODY then elected to take the witness stand to testify in his own defense. The arresting officers had not realized that WOODY had pulled out his cell phone and started recording video. While the video only lasted 13 seconds it completely contradicted the police version of the facts, showing that WOODY had his hands up and was 2-3’ away from the nearest person and not moving away. The video cut off as Taylor slapped the phone out of his hand. It was perfectly clear that the cops saw the gun from the moving car and headed directly to WOODY hassle him.

After we rested we again asked the judge allow us to explain in the Jury Instructions that Open Carry is legally recognized and that the jury should be advised of same but we were again denied. The case was sent to the jury at noon. Shortly thereafter the jury asked to see the videos. It took a while to get the videos set up for the jury to review but, five minutes or so after the jury reviewed the videos they came back with a NOT GUILTY verdict.

by attorney James Makowski,
Dearborn, MI
I would like to see the excluded dashcam video.  I have been told that it includes the officers telling Elijah that "you can't educate the dumb n*ggers about open carry" and that the police are paid a bounty of $100 for every gun that they take off of a black man in Detroit, doesn't matter, legal or not.   All of the officers are black.

These are serious allegations, and would explain the strange urgency to exclude that part of the dashcam from the public.   It also seems to be exculpatory "Brady" material that *should* have been included, as it gives a motive for the police to lie about their actions.

If we are to bring the crime ridden black ghettos into the mainstream of society, we have to treat law abiding black people as full citizens.   Showing that being black does not mean a deprivation of their second amendment rights can go a long way in bringing trust in police officers to black neighborhoods.

Just recently, a legally armed black man shot an armed robber in a barbershop in Milwaukee.  The deceased robbery suspect was attempting to hold everyone in the establishment at gunpoint, while searching them.  The potential victim did not wait to be searched.  The legally armed black man was not charged.  It is worth noting that there was at least one other legally armed black man in the barbershop when the crime was attempted.  


©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Saturday, January 17, 2015

NJ: Accidentally step on Bear, get bit, Shoot Bear to Escape

This is the first time I have read of a person accidentally stepping on a bear.  Perhaps the bear was "justified", but it was still a bear attack.

State wildlife officials said the Tuesday incident was not a bear attack. Officer Walter Michalski accidentally stepped on the bear while it was partly concealed in its den. The bear, a mother that was with her cubs, then bit Michalski, who shot the animal because he was unable "to extricate himself,"

More Here

NJ: Armed Woman wins Gunfight with Robbers Armed with AK47 pistol

The armed suspect ended up in the hospital.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Thursday two men burst into a variety story in the 400 block of Central Avenue, with one man ordering customers onto the floor and threatening to shoot if the owner did not give the pair money. One of the suspects, 23-year-old Durell Hearn, was wielding an AK-47 pistol and fired a warning shot, department spokesman Sgt. Ron Glover said.

The owner of the business, who was behind the counter, reached for a handgun she keeps in the store and fired a number of rounds at Hearn and the other man, Arthur Price, 50.

More Here
 

PA: Armed Woman Stops Crime Spree



In Lancaster County, PA, an alert and armed woman stopped a crime spree.  One of the things that destroys the sense of security in a neighborhood is  the proliferation of  burglaries and thefts of personal property from vehicles.  That is what the pair of suspects were involved in when an alert woman stopped Robert LaFleur from breaking into her car at 2:30 am and held him at gunpoint until the police arrived.

It seems unlikely that LaFleur would have obeyed the woman's commands if she had not been armed.   The police report that he resisted arrest when they arrived, and that they used a taser on him.  They then turned their attention on LaFleur's accomplice, who was in a vehicle.   The vehicle turned out to be stolen.  From lancasteronline.com
The car turned out to have been recently stolen from Pine Street in Denver, Randolph said. Police recovered numerous electronic items from LaFleur, which also are believed to have been stolen.

LaFleur and Lynch admitted to police they entered numerous vehicles in the areas of Misty Lane, Creek Lane and Meadow View Drive in Ephrata, and Pine and Main streets in Denver, according to criminal complaints. They also admitted stealing the car, according to the complaints.
 
Would the police have arrested LaFluer and Lynch if the armed woman had not stopped the series of crimes in progress?  Probably.  Eventually.  Most criminals are arrested, eventually.   But they commit dozens or hundreds of crimes before they are arrested, and often dozens or hundreds more while they are out on bond and not incarcerated, adversely influencing hundreds of people.  It only takes a small number of criminals to create an enormous amount of crime.

We do not know the number that "numerous" refers to in the paragraph quoted from lancasteronline.   We do know that it is likely that most of the victims in this case will recover their property. 

One of the advantages of an armed population is that it turns passive victims into active participants in policing the community.  A government that trusts its people with the possession of arms also shows that it is worthy of trust, to paraphrase Machiavelli.  The iconic political philosopher famously wrote:
 When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. - Niccol├│ Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.
A commenter at the site claims that Colton James Lynch is the brother of Morning Star Lynch, who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a mentally disabled woman in Lancaster County.  That Lynch had a record for theft and robbery before he participated in the murder.   He claims that he does not know why he and his companion murdered the woman, who they both knew.  The two Lynchs are both listed as 21 years old; perhaps an alert reader can inform us as to whether there is a familial connection or not.

Family connections are often widely known in rural Pennsylvania. 

Theft and murder are symptoms of the same disregard for other people.   Property costs time taken from your life; participating in a criminal case costs more time.  Time is one thing that you never regain; once used, it is gone forever.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch
 


Email to Kate at the Dart Center on their Media Workshop on Guns and Gun Violence



The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma has accepted money from the highly partisan Everytown for Gun Safety to put on a two day seminar on covering guns and gun violence.  They have already been criticized for creating a propaganda vehicle using money supplied by Michael Bloomberg.   As their article includes the sensationalist and discredited claim that there have been "nearly 100 school shootings"  since Sandy Hook, it is hard to consider them unbiased.   Nonetheless, I sent the point of contact an email asking that she include voices with assumptions other than that of Michael Bloomberg.  Here is the email that I sent.
Kate:
I am sure that you are aware of the criticism of the Dart Center for accepting highly partisan money for the workshop.   I expect that the center will take measures to insure that presenters are balanced and offer views both for and against some kinds of legislation; presenters whose assumptions are that guns create more violence, and presenters whose assumptions are that guns lead to less violence.
Please send a list of those who will be presenting at the workshop.   I suggest that you include John Lott, as the major researcher who wrote "More Guns, Less Crime".     Lott also wrote a book on "The Bias Against Guns" which included academic research about how the media cover gun issues.   I would think that research alone would make him a "must have" presenter.
Another presenter might be Alan Korwin, who lives in Phoenix, and who has been a critic of the way that gun related stories are covered in the media, for years.   He is nationally recognized as an expert on gun law.
I would be interested in attending the workshop.  I write about gun laws and self defense on a regular basis, have media credentials, and am published mostly in online gun related media such as "The Truth About Guns" and "Ammoland"   I taught the concealed carry course in Arizona for 15 years, and have strong opinions on the subject of current media bias against armed citizens and in favor of highly restrictive gun laws.  
I hope to be pleasantly surprised by the balance chosen in presenters.  

Dean Weingarten
 I will be looking forward to Kate's reply, and will be sending her a more formal request to attend the workshop.

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