Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mark Morford on Open Carry

I often read Mark Morford, and although he's a little sarcastic for my taste, I usually like what he has to say. This piece is typical.

Clearly, you are not a police officer. Therefore, the management, our employees and pretty much everyone within a 100-mile radius would very much appreciate it if you would put away that ego-fluffing man-toy that is designed solely to kill other living creatures and induce fear and ignorance as it regresses every hesitant advancement in the human soul back to caveman grunting lunkishness. Thank you again!

I was tipped off to this article on Sebastian's blog. Of course he didn't like what Mark had to say.

What's your opinion? Don't you think there's something wrong with gun owners insisting on open carry in places where it's not welcome? Do you think Sebastian's response was a bit much since Morford was only talking about the open carry protesters, I admit in a very ungenerous way, using phrases like "caveman grunting lunkishness," but it wasn't gun owners in general he was attacking in his article. I'd say "sarcastic and nasty," but "a piece of intolerant garbage," seems a bit severe to me.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

So Many Loopholes reports on the newest "loophole" to be discovered.

IMAGINE HAVING YOUR driver's license revoked in Pennsylvania but then being able to get one in Florida - through the mail - that must then be honored here.

Now imagine it happens with guns. Because it does.

Pennsylvania residents who are denied a license to carry a concealed weapon, or have theirs revoked, have found a loophole that allows them to get a license from another state that must be honored here.

"They could be disapproved here and they could apply in Florida and we are not notified," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Lisa King, commander of the Gun Permit Unit. "So if we are not giving them a permit to carry, how is Florida allowed to override our decision?"

What's your opinion? Why do you think the pro-gun crowd are so adept at discovering loopholes in the law? Is it because the laws are bad? Or is it because many of them are border-line criminals to start out with? What else do you call people who find ways to skirt the laws?

Of course Sebastian was on the story, being the voice of Pro-Gun Pennsylvania. He summed it up like this, pretty much what I said about blaming the laws.’s the discriminatory abuses in Philadelphia that drive people to get Florida Licenses.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Lego Guns and Starbucks Open Carry

The National Examiner published an article by Dave Workman comparing the suspension of a 9-year-old for having a tiny toy gun to the Brady Campaign's movement to ban guns in Starbucks.

This week’s furor over the treatment of a 9-year-old Staten Island, NY student who got in trouble for having a tiny LEGO figure with a rubber gun can be ultimately credited to the same hysteria that prompted the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence into declaring war on Starbucks.

Why do pro-gun folks love these comparisons so much? In almost every case they don't really work. In this example, I agree totally that the school principal who insisted on suspending the boy was in the wrong and acting "hysterically." But the "guns in Starbucks" issue is something else.

Many intelligent educated and reasonable people feel that the presence of openly-displayed guns in a coffee shop like Starbucks is disturbing. Some of them may feel the gun owners are not to be trusted. Others may feel that guns in a crowded public place are too easily within reach of kids and criminals. Some may feel a tacit threat from those carrying weapons, which gets back to the trust issue. But, whatever they're thinking, aren't they free to think it? Don't they have a right to feel any way they want? Aren't they entitled to request Starbucks to institute a no-gun policy?

In fact, in most places the majority of customers probably prefer the no-gun policy. Why do the gun owners feel their rights are more important than the rights of others? Who are the hysterical ones here? Who uses phrases like "declaring war" to describe a simple petition to Starbucks?

Please leave a comment.

Polygamy in Canada

ABC reports on the National Geographic study of polygamy.

What's do you think? The folks in this video certainly seem normal. Is polygamy just another lifestyle?

Please leave a comment.

Who is Jack McLamb?

Dissecting the New Age ran a post last year answering that very question. I should have known this guy was from Arizona.

Jack McLamb has a group called "Police and Military Against the New World Order". A former police officer himself, McLamb boasts of being the most highly decorated lawman. He also has ties to the FBI, according to his own web site.

What's your opinion? His group is called "Police & Military Against the New World Order." The heading on his web site is, "Taking our oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution" seriously." Now, where have I heard that before?

What do you think about this guy? I personally have a hard time taking anyone seriously who is responsible for the advice, "Watch for the dots."

Please leave a comment.

Part 12 / 19 of the Freedom Movie

Thanks to Il Principe. If you watch it to the end, you'll hear one of the funniest lines: "Watch for the dots."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Arizona DGU Gone Awry reports on another DGU gone awry. Thanks to Ooh Shoot for the story.

Avondale police officers found Deserae Novoa in the front yard of her home with her uncle, Jorge Miramontes, attending to her.

Police say Miramontes, 29, shot the girl when she walked through the garage and into her home near 108th Lane and Jefferson in Avondale.

Detective Reuben Gonzales said Miramontes was inside the home when he heard noises in the garage and thought an intruder was entering the house through the garage entry door. He fired one round through the door, striking Deserae in the upper torso.

Miramontes realized it was Deserae and called 911. He carried her onto the front lawn as he tried to help her.

Gonzales said the girl was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital where she is listed in stable condition. She is expected to make a full recovery.

After speaking to the teen and her uncle, detectives determined that this was an accidental shooting.

The investigation has been forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for review of any possible charges against Miramontes.

I have recenly maligned the State of Indiana
, making comparisons between it and Alabama and Mississippi. I believe we now have to give precedence to Arizona. What is wrong with those people down there? Not only did this irresponsible and negligent gun owner shoot through a door at noises, but the County Attorney's office is reviewing the case to see if there might be possible charges. It's unbelievable. Gun rights and gun sympathy have gone way too far in Arizona.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Mel Gibson on Guns

The wonderful site called IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) reports on a little Mel Gibson trivia.

Mel Gibson sleeps with a gun next to his bed - just in case he's attacked in his sleep.

The Mad Max star insists celebrities can never be over confident when it comes to home security - because there are so many crazy people out to get them.

He tells U.S. magazine the Globe, "In this day and age, you've got to be tooled up... If they (attackers) walk in, I'm not going to let them whip me.

"It is a bad way to live, but that's what you've gotta do."

Now that's an interesting remark, which I don't think I've heard before from gun owners who admit to sleeping with their weapons. Mel said, "It's a bad way to live."

Poor gun owners who believe responsible living demands such sacrifices. It must be a terrible burden to bear.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Gun Crime Italian Style

The Telegraph reports on a gruesome murder which took place in the north of Italy.

Alberto Arrighi, 40, allegedly murdered Giacomo Brambilla in the back of his gun shop in the town of Como in northern Italy during an argument over a 100,000 euro debt.

He then reportedly cut off his victim's head and tried to incinerate it in a pizza oven at a pizzeria owned by his father-in-law.

That night he loaded the headless body into his car and drove 150 kilometres away from Como, dumping the corpse in a river near the town of Domodossola, in the Piedmont region, near the border with Switzerland.

The alarm was raised by the victim's girlfriend when he failed to return home from his meeting with Arrighi on Monday.

She called the police who went to the gun shop and found blood stains on the floor and evidence that there had been an attempt to clean it off with bleach.

Arrighi, who was arrested, was reportedly struggling to pay back money he had borrowed from Mr Brambilla, a businessman who owned several petrol stations in the Como area.

"The whole thing was an act of momentary madness, the result of some sort of financial dispute between the two men," said a lawyer acting for Arrighi.

Corriere della Sera said the crime was a "tale of blood and money" reminiscent of an Edgar Allan Poe horror story.

The Italian language video of a television news report makes something clear that I thought was ambiguous in the Telegraph report. It was the killer who owned the gun shop, not the victim. It's referred to as "famous" or "historical," they say "una storica armeria." They also say the debt was 200,000 euros.

What's your opinion? What do you think he used to behead Brambilla? If he'd been to Las Vegas recently he might have picked up one of these nifty items. But as other have mentioned, just about anything will do if you're determined enough. But why do you think he did it? If it's to disguise the identity of the victim, you have to take the hands too, don't you?

Please leave a comment.

Gun Laws in Brazil

Wikipedia, the oft disparaged source of information, has the following. Wikipedia haters should notice the many footnotes and citations to other more respectable sources.

Because of gun politics in Brazil, all firearms are required to be registered with the state; the minimum age for ownership is 25 and although it is legal to carry a gun outside a residence, extremely severe restrictions were made by the federal government since 2002 making it virtually impossible to obtain a carry permit. To legally own a gun, the owner must pay a tax every three years to register the gun, and registration can be done via the Internet or in person with the Federal Police. Until the end of the 2008, unregistered guns could be legalized for free. The total number of firearms in Brazil is thought to be around 17 million with 9 million of those being unregistered.

Some 39,000 people died in 2003 due to gun-related injuries nationwide. In 2004, the number was 36,000. Although Brazil has 100 million fewer citizens than the United States, and more restrictive gun laws, there are 25 percent more gun deaths; other sources indicate that homicide rates due to guns are approximately four times higher than the rate in the United States. Brazil has the second largest arms industry in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 80 percent of the weapons manufactured in Brazil are exported, mostly to neighboring countries; many of these weapons are then smuggled back into Brazil. Some firearms in Brazil come from police and military arsenals, having either been "stolen or sold by corrupt soldiers and officers."

It certainly sounds like licensing and registration are not working in Brazil. What do you think? Is it possible the high rate of gun violence is due to other factors and if the strict gun laws were removed the violence would be worse? Is that possible?

Could it be that like Canada, the problem is improper or ineffective administration of the licensing and registration program? Could it be done better in order to achieve the desired results?

Again from Wikipedia one of the best descriptions of the gun debate.

The issue of gun law has become a political and/or controversial issue in many societies. There are many differing views on how gun laws should be set up in a society. A typical disagreement is over whether guns should be prohibited in the interest of public safety, or whether citizen gun ownership improves safety and should be allowed. This debate is fueled by black market sales of firearms, illegal firearm manufacturing, cross border purchases, witness intimidation, self defense as a right, use of deadly force in self defense, victims rights, accidental shootings, use of firearms in killing sprees, criminal use of firearms originally purchased legally, use of stolen firearms by criminals, hunting vs. self defense use, alternatives to firearms, etc.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Capital Punishment in Brazil

Angus Reid Global Monitor posted an article about the public opinion in Brazil on the Death Penalty.

Favor 41.2%

Oppose 55.2%

Unsure 3.6%

Most people in Brazil are against the death penalty, according to a poll by Instituto Sensus. 55.2 per cent of respondents share this opinion, practically unchanged since January 2001.

The South American country abolished capital punishment in 1979, with the exception of crimes of treason committed in a time of war. Brazil ratified the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty in August 1996.

Now, that's what I call a civilized country. What do you think?

The New Opium of the Masses

Opinione has posted an article about the new opium of the masses: sports.

This phrase by the 19th century German philosopher has been translated variously as 'religion is the opiate of the masses', 'religion is the opium of the masses' and, in a version which German scholars prefer 'religion is the opium of the people'. As church attendance decreased in many western countries in the later part of the 20th century and has continued in the early part of the 21st century, it appears that professional sports has now replaced religion as the opium for the masses. As Americans prepare to watch the grandest of all weapons of mass distractions, also known as the Super Bowl on February 7, 2010, Opinione found some interesting historical similarities between political power, organized religion, professional sports, capitalism and the upcoming Super Bowl.

What's your opinion? Is American interest in religion on the decline while that of sports is increasing? Would that mean that fewer people are interested in religion but those who are tend to be more fanatical?

Do you think the mesmerizing effect of following sports, which certainly does distract, can be compared to the former distraction many folks enjoyed with their religion?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Concealed Carry While Drinking reports on a DUI incident which took place in Connecticut. Link provided by Il Principe.

Police found a loaded and cocked .45-caliber pistol on a 41-year-old Norwalk man who was arrested on drunken driving charges at a sobriety checkpoint this weekend.

Peter Mullen, 41, of 22 Princess Pine Ave., Norwalk, was charged early Sunday with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor offense. Police said Mullen had a permit for the weapon, but state law prohibits individuals from carrying loaded guns while having an elevated blood alcohol content.

Mullen told officers he worked for UBS, police said. According to the company's Web site, Mullen is a first vice president of investments for its private wealth management offices in Stamford. Calls to a home number listed as belonging to Mullen were not answered. The number was not attached to an answering machine.

Police say around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, officers stopped Mullen at a sobriety checkpoint set up on Elm Street. They asked him routine questions, and then for his registration, said police Sgt. Richard Phelan. He allegedly flipped past his registration twice, which led police to ask him to step out of his Audi. He failed a field sobriety test, and while being arrested, told police he had a firearm in a holster on his hip, Phelan said.

Officers found a .45-caliber Wilson Combat Pistol on his hip, Phelan said. It was loaded with eight bullets and had a round in its chamber. The gun's hammer was pulled back, police said.

Mullen initially told police he was driving from Rye, N.Y., but when pressed about not having a New York state permit for his pistol, told officers had was coming from a Stamford strip club.

He was released after posting a $2,500 bail and is due in court Feb. 10 for an arraignment.

A point raised by the Grand Prince is that being a big shot banker is the reason this guy got off so easily. Do you think he may have received preferential treatment?

One thing that struck me is that pro-gun folks are often complaining about the "draconian" gun laws they have to contend with. Is this an example?

...driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor offense.

Isn't this exactly where we can identify unfit gun owners? Aren't guys who do stuff like this likely to repeat the dangerous behavior, or worse?

Finally, I wonder about the "loaded and cocked" idea. How does that work with a .45? Is it possible to have the gun cocked and the saftey on? Would that make firing the weapon a bit faster? Is there any good reason to have a gun like that in your holster while driving in the car?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cuba's Gun Registration

FishyJay provided the link to this fascinating article about Cuba. The Havana Journal reports.

Cuba has declared a two-month amnesty for citizens to register unlicensed guns, and says those passing aptitude and psychological tests will be allowed to keep their weapons.

The move is unusual in a state where almost no one except some active military personnel and plain-clothed state security agents are allowed to possess weapons.

Even most police officers are required to leave their pistols at the station or in a regional barracks when on vacation or leave, and young men participating in mandatory military service are given unloaded firearms for most exercises.

Starting Feb. 12, Cubans will have the “exceptional and one-time only” chance to register their guns with police, and will be allowed to keep them provided they are over 18 and have passed the proper tests administered at police stations.

According to a weekend bulletin carried by state news media, gun owners must “maintain conduct consistent with the appropriate norms of social behavior, meet security and protection conditions for the firearms and pay established taxes.”

Cubans were encouraged to register any weapons they owned in the years after Fidel Castro and his band of rebels toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959. But later authorities used a list of those who had sought licenses to go door-to-door and encourage them to turn over their firearms - even antiques considered family heirlooms.

While Cuba is among the safest countries in the hemisphere, it is not unusual to find firearms in Cuban homes, though most are weapons improvised from household materials or guns that were smuggled into the country and bought on the black market.

The call to register arms is for Cubans civilians, and the bulletin stated that “security and protection agents, detectives and bodyguards will be summoned by the Ministry of the Interior” for an independent licensing process.

How do you think that would go over in the U.S.? Is that how they did it in Canada?

Please leave a comment.

Detroit Imam Shot 20 Times

Zorro provided the link for this incredible story of police brutality. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A Muslim prayer leader accused of encouraging his followers to commit violence against the U.S. government was shot 20 times during an FBI raid at a suburban warehouse last fall, according to an autopsy report released Monday.

The autopsy was completed a month after Luqman Ameen Abdullah's death, but Dearborn police were granted a delay in releasing the results while they investigate the Oct. 28 shooting, said Dr. Carl Schmidt, Wayne County's chief medical examiner.

Abdullah, 53, died instantly, he said. The FBI says agents were trying to arrest Abdullah at a Dearborn warehouse when he resisted and fired a gun.

Schmidt said Abdullah's body was handcuffed and on the floor of a semitrailer when his investigator arrived at the shooting scene.

As Zorro mentioned, the man was handcuffed when this took place. I wonder why it's taking so long for the investigation to determine if indeed there had been excessive force?

Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was the imam of a small mosque in Detroit that served mostly black Muslims.

What do you think about these black guys who convert to Islam? Back during the Black-Panther days of the 60s, I used to think of them as "fake muslims." This idea was reinforced when some years later I read the famous autobiography of Malcolm X in which he describes his pilgrimage to Mecca. He said it came as a surprise to him that there were Muslims of all colors. It caused him to rethink his anti-white position, blaming the white man no longer worked for him.

More recently I've come to personally know Muslim people from Muslim countries, ones who practice their religion. All this has combined to make me think that the so-called black muslims in America are more often than not just poor people rebelling against the oppression of being black in America, which makes sense, but it's as far away from true Islam as the suicide bomber who thinks he's religions.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More About Frank Luntz

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gun Debate Canadian Style

They seem quite laid back compared to their counterparts south of the border. But they certainly mentioned some of our favorite themes.

Canada's Gun Registry

The Advocacy Project published an interview last year with Wendy Cukier, in which the famous Canadian gun-control figure explained the benefits of licensing and registration. would be impossible to ensure that licensed individuals do not give their guns to others not holding a license without the registry. The registration of firearms helps to enforce the licensing provisions of the Act.

To explain this, Ms. Cukier provided the example that if an individual has a license and purchases firearms without a registration requirement, there is no way to hold them accountable for those firearms or to prevent them from lending or giving them to an unlicensed person. In other words, registration results in accountability.

In addition, if a prohibition order is placed on someone and their firearms license is taken away, without the registry, the police have no way to know what firearms they should be seizing.

Lastly, Ms. Cukier explained that if guns are stolen after being improperly stored, owners are unlikely to report the theft as required by law. If guns are registered, in effect attaching the name of the gun owners to the firearm, owners are more likely to behave responsibly. Registration is an essential component in preventing the diversion of legal guns to illegal markets.

Clearly, the licensing and registry provisions included in the Firearms Act are interrelated, and licensing on its own cannot do what licensing and the registry can together. As Canada’s Supreme Court pointed out in their 2000 opinion on the constitutionality of the Act, the registry helps police officers to take preventative measures, and also aides in holding people who have misused firearms or sold them illegally responsible for their actions.

Doesn't this sound like an effective way to cut down on the gun flow to criminals? Admittedly, this would inconvenience gun owners, but wouldn't it be worth it?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guns in India

FishyJay sent me a link to this wonderful article in the Washington Post about guns in India, a topic we've discussed before.
In the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian gun owners are coming out of the shadows for the first time to mobilize, U.S.-style, against proposed new curbs on bearing arms.

When gunmen attacked 10 sites in Mumbai in November 2008, including two five-star hotels and a train station, Mumbai resident Kumar Verma sat at home glued to the television, feeling outraged and unsafe.

Before the end of December, Verma and his friends had applied for gun licenses. He read up on India's gun laws and joined the Web forum Indians for Guns. When he got his license seven months later, he bought a black, secondhand, snub-nose Smith & Wesson revolver with a walnut grip.

This sounds like the same reason many people choose to arm themselves in the States, fear and paranoia. This guy Verma may have as little need for a gun as many other people who become so concerned with their powerlessness, so afraid that the frightening moment of lethal threat will someday come, that they decide a gun is the answer.

The gun rights organizations are the first ones to encourage people in this thinking. The gun manufacturers are behind it too. Before you know it accidents, suicides and murders are up. Then because of the murders, more people decide they need a gun. The cycle continues on and on until the baleful results become so undeniably obvious that even the most rabid gun lover will be compelled to admit that guns are bad news for everybody.

What's your opinion? How long do you think it'll be before my prediction is realized? I say, depending how it goes after McDonald, two or three years.

Please leave a comment.

The Juarez Shooting

CNN reports on one of the deadliest shootings in a city where they're commonplace.

As many as 15 gunmen stormed into a house party in Juarez, Mexico, in the early hours of Sunday morning and opened fire, killing at least 13 people and injuring 13 others in one of the deadliest attacks the city has seen this year.

Witnesses said the gunmen arrived in seven cars, closing down the streets and blocking exits. They then stormed into the party and began shooting as the group was watching a soccer game, adding that windshields and windows on the cars were darkly tinted.

More than 100 AK-47 bullet casings were found around the crime scene.

The AK-47 -- known in Mexico by its slang name of "cuerno de chivos," meaning "goat's horn," in reference to the gun's banana-shaped clip -- is the weapon of choice for drug cartels.

On Friday, at least seven bullet-riddled bodies were found scattered throughout northern Juarez, according to police.

I wonder how many of those AKs came from X-Caliber Guns. I'm sure it wasn't 90%, but I wonder just how many.

What's your opinion? Things seemed a little quieter in Mexico, then more than 20 dead in one weekend.

At least 160 people have been killed in Juarez since the start of the year, according to local reports.

That's a helluva start to the New Year, don't you think?

Please leave a comment.

The Global Gun Problem

Don't Tread on Me wrote a post about the global attention being brought to the role small arms plays in violence around the world.

York’s Colloquium on the Global South will feature a lecture titled “The Global Small Arms Epidemic: A Public Health Perspective” by Professor Wendy Cukier of Ryerson University.

Cukier, who has a York PhD in management science and is co-founder of Canada’s Coalition for Gun Control, will focus on the role that guns play in global violence. Violence fuelled by small arms kills hundreds of thousands of people each year with many more injured.

The World Health Organization has labelled violence a global pandemic. Cukier will examine the shape of gun violence which varies from region to region. It is estimated that more than 200 thousand gun deaths occur in countries which are “at peace” each year: 35,000 in Brazil; 10,000 in South Africa; and 30,000 in the USA. In Colombia the number is about 20,000 and it is estimated that in 1998-99, the number of violent deaths from small arms in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala exceeded those that had occurred in the respective civil wars.

It's interesting to see that it's not just an American problem. Also, it's fascinating that the old mechanism of "gun flow" accounts for increasing gun proliferation around the world.

Virtually every illegal small arm begins as legal small arm.

What's your opinion? Can lawful gun owners continue to not only deny any responsibility for this "gun flow," but actually insist that they should not be inconvenienced as a result? I say "no" on both counts.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Safe Storage

image by walla2chick via Flickr

True Slant has a wonderful article by Scott Bowden about proper gun storage.

You know who you are — law abiding, safe, smart, and very well armed.

That is why a 2-ton, $12,000 gun safe made by the Champion company is right for you. If you’re a tall fellow, about 6′2″, here’s what you’ll look like standing next to it.

Man, the things you could put in that! Laptops, digital cameras, important records (safes like this are fire-proof), and. . .oh, and guns. A lot of guns. From the looks of this thing, I’d say you could easily put about fifty firearms of various types in there and still have plenty of room for other items (jewelry case, etc.).

Given that a top-of-the-line scope, like the Swarovski Z6, retails for about $2,300, or a nice bird gun like a Beretta Silver Pigeon IV retails for about $3,200, you want that stuff locked up.

I'm sure there are more affordable models to choose from. But for those who could afford it, this would be a wonderful way to ensure that no thief is going to steal your guns. With precautions like this you don't have to worry about that awful guilt which inevitably weighs upon those who allow their guns to be easily stolen.

What's your opinion? If you owned a gun safe like this, would you keep one or two pieces outside of it for quick access? That is the dilemma of proper gun storage, isn't it? The guns need to be inaccessible to the wrong hands, children or burglars, yet available to you in an emergency. How do gun owners deal with that?

Please leave a comment.

Rip Torn, Alcoholic Gun Owner

The Republican American reports on the latest trouble for the actor Rip Torn.

TORRINGTON - Actor Elmore “Rip” Torn was arrested Friday night after police said they found the 78-year-old had broken into Litchfield Bancrop branch on Main Street in Salisbury while “highly intoxicated” and armed with a loaded handgun.

Police responded to a burglar alarm at 9:40 p.m., and found Torn with the handgun. Torn was arrested without incident and charged with carrying a firearm under the influence of alcohol, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass, third-degree criminal mischief and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Friday's arrest, near Torn's Lakeville home was Torn's second in 13 months. The “Men in Black” and “30 Rock” star was charged with driving while intoxicated in December 2008 after police found him creeping along the breakdown lane on Route 44 in his Subaru with a Christmas tree tied to the roof.

Torn has previously been arrested twice for alcohol-related driving offenses in New York. A Litchfield Superior Court judge granted Torn a special form of probation in May that spared the actor jail time, and required an alcohol education program.

Torn's first arrest in 2004 in New York state resulted in an acquittal after jurors decided that prosecutors had failed to prove he was drinking before a fender-bender with a taxi. A police videotape showed him cursing and berating officers before turning down a sobriety test.

Torn's second prior arrest in Salem, N.Y., in 2007 resulted in a reduced charge of driving while impaired.

At what point does a person with alcoholism lose the right to own guns? Does such a severe restriction of the god-given right to protect oneself have to wait until there is loss of life? Rip Torn was very lucky, again, that no one got hurt. But in your opinion, is he the kind of man you want to own guns?

The sad reality is some people cannot be trusted with guns due to substance abuse problems. In The Famous 10%, I put the figure at 3% of gun owners, while in the population at large it's much higher. Do you think that's a fair estimate?

Please leave a comment.

Arizona Gun Laws are Too Strict

The New York times reports on the loosening up of Arizona gun law.

Arizona’s permissive gun laws gained national attention last year when a man openly carried an AR-15 rifle to a protest outside a speech by President Obama.

Now, gun rights advocates are hoping for even fewer restrictions on where they can have a firearm. Among their top goals is to make Arizona the third state where it is legal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Bills in the House and the Senate would also eliminate background checks and training classes for people to carry hidden guns.

That sounds pretty wild to me. What do you think? What are they thinking? The State of Arizona is in the news daily with national-headline-making stories of gun violence. More permissive gun laws would only make that worse, don't you think?

In Arizona, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a misdemeanor. Mr. Pearce’s bill, and an identical one in the House, would make the permit and background check optional. It also would eliminate a required firearms safety class for permit seekers.

Complete insanity, is my take on it. What's yours?

Please leave a comment.

The Future of Gun Rights

Maybe not this year, but someday.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Who is this McDonald Guy?

The Chicago Tribune published a wonderful article about the McDonald of McDonald vs. Chicago fame.

From behind the wheel of his hulking GMC Suburban, 76-year-old Otis McDonald leads a crime-themed tour of his Morgan Park neighborhood. He points to the yellow brick bungalow he says is a haven for drug dealers. Down the street is the alley where five years ago he saw a teenager pull out a gun and take aim at a passing car. Around the corner, he gestures to the weed-bitten roadside where three thugs once threatened his life.

"I know every day that I come out in the streets, the youngsters will shoot me as quick as they will a policeman," says McDonald, a trim man with a neat mustache and closely cropped gray hair. "They'll shoot a policeman as quick as they will any of their young gangbangers.

"To defend himself, McDonald says, he needs a handgun. So, in April of 2008, the retired maintenance engineer agreed to serve as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban. Soon after, he walked into the Chicago Police Department and, as his attorneys had directed, applied for a .22-caliber Beretta pistol, setting the lawsuit into motion.

When that case is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 2, McDonald will become the public face of one of the most important Second Amendment cases in the nation's history.

The article describes at length the process whereby McDonald was selected to be the "poster boy" of the NRA-funded lawsuit. He is sympathetic. And I find no fault in lawyers trying to make their case as attractive as possible. But what I question is the concept itself.

Does anyone believe that Mr. McDonald will be able to defend himself against cold-blooded teenage killers if only he'd be permitted to carry a gun? I don't. He's an older man, with an older man's reflexes, who presumably is not a cold-blooded killer, who will be outnumbered every time he steps out of the house. Is a gun going to help?

Wouldn't having a gun in the situations he described actually have been a liability? Instead of having experienced a number of threats and incidents of intimidation, if he'd shown a gun, he'd most likely have been killed.

So, my conclusion is that although Mr. McDonald is a sympathetic figure-head for the Chicago gun movement, he's a poor example of the need for gun rights. A gun will not help his chances of survival, it will hurt them. Meanwhile, next time his house is burgled, the thieves may very well steal handguns as well as shotguns.

What's needed in Chicago and many places is fewer guns not more. Only by diminishing the total number of guns in America, as well as tightening up the gun control laws, do we stand a chance of diminishing gun crime.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Pistol Packin' Pastor

The Washington Post reports on an incredible incident which took place in a Baptist Church between the Pastor and his son.

ALCOA, Tenn. -- The son of a well-known Alcoa pastor has taken out an order of protection against his father, claiming he was threatened with a gun during an argument at a church over his lack of church attendance.

The order of protection was filed by 32-year-old Michael Louis Colquitt against 60-year-old Joe Colquitt, pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church.

The younger man told police his father pulled out a handgun when they met at the church to discuss church attendance. He told officers his father pointed the gun at him and threatened to kill him, his wife and family.

It seems a bit incredible to me that Rev. Colquitt is at liberty and still in possession of his gun. This is exactly where things need to be tightened up. When legal gun owners demonstrate instability they should immediately be deprived of their guns. The chances of this type of behavior being an isolated one-off incident are extremely low. We all know people with anger management issues; they are repeat offenders. The ones with guns are dangerous, as was outlined in The Famous 10%.

What's your opinion? Do you think identifying people who are unfit to own guns based on incidents like this and taking the action necessary to disarm them is a wishful pipe-dream in a State like Tennessee? What about New Jersey or California?

Please leave a comment.

Utah Grandma Shoots ex-Daughter-in-law

Apparently this lady believed that guns are the answer. Fox News Utah.

UPDATE: The Brady Campaign is on the story, and guess what, she had a concealed carry permit.

Open Season on Dogs

The Sun Times reports on another dog shooting.

A Grayslake man was ordered held on $400,000 bond Saturday after being charged with fatally shooting a dog in an unincorporated area near his home.

Elvin Dooley, 57, of 24250 W. Townline Rd. in Grayslake, was initially charged Friday with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 4 felony, according to the Lake County Sheriff's office. Bond was set in the warrant at $10,000.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office announced early Saturday that Dooley was also charged with two felony counts of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and one count of misdemeanor possession of a firearm without a FOID card.

He appeared for a bond hearing Saturday on the new charges and was ordered held on $400,000.

Does that seem a bit severe to you? Shooting a dog is bad, but possession of a gun by a felon is 40 times worse? Of course maybe the amount of bail is an unfair scale to judge the severity of a crime.

What's your opinion? Is this simply another case of "the gun being the answer?"

Please leave a comment.