Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Cop's Judgment Call

from ssgmarkcr


This is an wonderful example of the proper restraint cops need to use. It's also a wonderful example of how difficult that can be.

One thing I don't agree with is that a suspect who has his hands in the air can draw and fire on the cop before the cop can pull the trigger. The cop is already drawn and aiming at the suspect, presumably center of mass, right? How could someone with hands in the air draw, aim and fire before the cop can get a shot off?

The Beat Goes On


NRA hero and "law-abiding citizen" George Zimmerman is up to his old tricks again.

George Zimmerman is back in the Seminole County jail for a third time after he was arrested Friday night in Lake Mary.The 31-year-old was booked around 9:45 p.m. on charges of aggravated assault with a weapon. He is being held without bond and will appear before a judge at 9 a.m.

Worst Training Video Ever

Guns dot com


Indiana Negligent Discharge Ruled Accidental

Local news

Pennsylvania Woman Charged in Kid's Shooting

Local news reports

Tiffany Jean Whitman, 24, pleaded guilty before Judge John Spataro in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday to a single felony count of endangering the welfare of children — a charge that carries up to a maximum of seven years in prison. 
Whitman and her husband, Mark L. Whitman, 24, both of 25159 Sugar Creek Lane, Lot 8, each were charged last year by Pennsylvania State Police with a felony count of endangering the welfare of children for allowing their three children to live in what police described as “deplorable conditions.”
State police initially were summoned to the couple’s Wayne Township home after the couple’s then 4-year-old son wounded his then 2-year-old brother by firing a gun the older child had found inside the home. The young boy was hit in the face by a bullet fired from the gun, according to police.
According to the affidavit of probable cause in the case, the couple’s three children were PLAYING in their Wayne Township home while Tiffany Whitman slept, when one of the children found a loaded .380 Ruger pistol in an unlocked dresser drawer on April 14, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
Police described the residence as being in total disarray, with rotten garbage scattered all over the kitchen floor, garbage and dirty clothing strewn about one of the children’s bedrooms with feces and other stains on the walls, floor and mattress. Garbage and old cigarette butts were reportedly found in the bottom of the family’s dirt-stained bathtub.
In entering her guilty plea Thursday, Tiffany Whitman told the judge she had been battling mental health issues prior to the incident, but she was working to control them.
“I let my depression get the best of me enough not to let me keep my house clean for my babies,” a tearful Whitman said. “Yes, I’m guilty.”

Kansas Gun Store Shootout - Owner Dead - Robbers Wounded and Arrested

Washington Post

The third injured person was one of the store’s owners, a 44-year-old man, who later died at a hospital, Maj. Dan Tennis, of the Shawnee Police Department said.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Number of Shootings is Increasing

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Since 2008 the number of non-fatal incidents of gun violence has been increasing. Interestingly, that perfectly coincides with the extremely high gun sales that followed Obama's election.

So, as we pointed out in another post recently, the murder rate is basically static (or declining slightly) while the number of shootings is increasing.

More guns means more crime.  What a surprise.

Non-Fatal Firearm Related Injuries Other Than Gun Shot Wounds

Injury prevention

To characterize non-fatal firearm related injuries other than gunshot wounds (non-GSWs) treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States that occur during routine gun handling and recreational use as well as violence related use of a firearm.
Methods—Cases were identified through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). During the study period, 1 January 1993 through 31 December 1996, NEISS consisted of a nationally representative sample of 91 hospitals in the United States having at least six beds and providing 24 hour emergency services.
Results—An estimated 65 374, or an average of 16 300 per year, non-fatal, non-GSWs were treated in American hospital emergency departments during the four year study period. Fifty seven per cent of all the non-fatal, non-GSWs were violence related, most of which involved being struck by a firearm. The majority of unintentional non-fatal, non-GSWs were self inflicted and occurred during routine gun handling or recreational use of a firearm; 43% of these injuries resulted from gun recoils.
Conclusions—Non-fatal, non-GSWs make a notable contribution to the public health burden of firearm related injuries. Firearm related injury prevention programs should focus on not only the reduction of gunshot wounds but also the reduction of unintentional and violence related non-GSWs.

Florida Man Charged in Child's Self-Inflicted Shooting Death

Jaleel Taylor

Local news reports

A toddler playing alone in a Frenchtown home accidentally shot himself in the face Dec. 29 and now his uncle is facing charges in his death.
The child and his mother were at his maternal grandmother's home in the 800 block of Dover Street visiting with family when the incident occurred, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Jaleel Taylor, 20, was outside when he heard the sound a gunshot from inside the house, according to court documents. He went back inside and found his nephew, 3-year-old Raymond Gaines Jr., on the floor with a gunshot wound, court documents said.
Tallahassee Police Department officers arrived and found Gaines lying on the floor in Taylor's bedroom with a gunshot wound to the face and another injury to the back of his head. An autopsy determined the child died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Taylor told officers the gun was his and that he normally kept it in a box. Officers found his silver .380 semi-automatic gun with the serial number removed in a shoebox, court documents said.
The grandmother said she no knowledge the gun was in the house, according to a DCF incident report.
Police searched the home and found 233 grams of marijuana as well. Taylor turned himself in at the Leon County Jail on Wednesday night on charges of culpable negligence, possession of a firearm by a delinquent and possession of a firearm with the serial number removed.
How in the world was this guy not arrested on the spot? He had to turn himself in 10 days later?

15 Items That Can Save Your Family’s Life

Better Family Home

Tasers can save your life. They will incapacitate any assailant without actually harming them in the long run. You and your family will feel safe and secure even if you’re out after dark.
In most states, you’re able to carry a taser without needing permission. They can be a great alternative if you don’t want to have firearms in the house.
This was the 14th of 15 items considered important for family protection. 

Kansas City 3-Year-old Shot - No One Responsible

Fox News KCTV5
When interviewing the little girl’s brother, he told police that he had found the gun that morning in the living room, on the fireplace mantel, behind the mirror leaning against the wall. The brother said he took it to the back bedroom and it was then that his little sister shot herself with it.
Police say the little girl is expected to be OK, but has damage to her liver and kidneys.
Authorities say several adults were in the home at the time of the shooting and are being questioned by detectives. Both the mother and [family friend Kenneth] Lee were asleep at the time.
“She is a good mother. She has good kids. Situations happen like that all the time. You know you hear about it on the news, ‘keep the guns away from the kid’s reach.’ Like I said, we didn’t even know there was a gun here,” Lee said.

Police said in their written report that they found a Smith and Wesson .38 Special laying on the bed in the back bedroom and it was loaded with five live rounds and one spent shell casing. Officers also said they found another live round in the living room.

The mother told police the gun belongs to her boyfriend, who is the children’s father, but he wasn’t home at the time.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Murder Suicide in El Paso VA Hospital

Washington Post

The doctor who was fatally shot at an El Paso Veterans Affairs clinic on Tuesday had previously filed a threat complaint against his alleged killer, FBI officials said Wednesday.
VA psychologist Timothy Fjordbak, 63, was allegedly shot and killed by Jerry Serrato, 48, on the fourth floor of the El Paso Veteran Affairs Clinic,  FBI special agent Doug Lindquist said. Then Serrato “actually went to the third floor, and that’s where he took his own life,” Lindquist said.
Serrato, who was once in the military, worked at the VA in 2013 as a desk clerk. But the incident that prompted Fjordbak to file a complaint took place in a grocery store, Lindquist said.
“Mr. Serrato approached Dr. Fjordbak, who did not recognize him, and he made a verbal threat,” said Lindquist, who paraphrased the threat as: “‘I know what you did and I will take care of that,’ something to that effect.”

3D-Printed Guns Are Only Getting Better, and Scarier


A couple years ago, when a 25-year-old law student in Texas said he was going to 3D-print a gun, nobody took him seriously. Then, he actually did it. And then, a lot of people started doing it. Now, it's so easy that some protestors are going make a gun inside the Texas State Capitolwith a special gun machine. This is scary stuff, and it's going to get worse.

The 3D-printed gun debate is a frustrating one for peace-loving Americans. On one hand, it really does feel like it should be illegal to plug in a machine, wait a few hours, and then get a plastic however durable gun that can possibly slip through metal detectors. Guns are dangerous. They kill people. Surely, there should be some sort of oversight.

But on the other hand, there is. It's called the Bill of Rights, and it fully supports citizens' right to bear and manufacture arms. Gunsmithing is completely legal as long as you don't sell the guns you make. However, gunsmithing has historically been a pretty difficult endeavor, requiring metal and woodworking skills to make a sturdy, dependable weapon. The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco told me a while ago that they're aware of this 3D printing thing, but remain unconvinced that it can produce a "consistently reliable" firearm. But that may not always be the case.

As we all now know, 3D printing a gun that fires bullets requires almost no skills at all. Cody Wilson, the law student who gained fame for creating the first fully 3D-printed gun, didn't even know how to operate a 3D printer when he set out to make a gun. It took him less than a year to design and print his first gun, "The Liberator." Then, he uploaded the files that let anybody 3D-print the gun to the internet, and over 100,000 people downloaded them before the State Department took down files. In the meantime, Wilson showed off an AR-15 with 3D-printed parts that could fire hundreds of rounds. That sounds pretty consistently reliable.

Guess what: 3D-printing a gun is going to get even easier. Less than a week into 2015 and three days into CES, it's already clear that the 3D-printing industry is on the cusp of a significant transformation. So far, we've seen not one but two multi-material 3D-printers aimed at consumers. That means that tech savvy folks willing to spend a few thousands dollars can now start printing things out of composites like limestone, bronze, and iron.

Missouri Woman Charged in Grandson's Accidental Shooting

Cheryle J. Spaeth

from ssgmarkcr

    I came upon this and it caught my eye.  Its a pretty good example of prosecuting improperly stored firearms in states that don't have a real solid child access law.  Missouri's law isn't very clearly written IMHO,

"Missouri prohibits any person from recklessly selling, leasing, loaning, giving away or delivering a firearm to a person underage 18 without the consent of the child’s custodial parent or guardian.1

State administrative regulations may govern the safe storage of firearms in other locations."

    But other avenues are available. 

WILDWOOD • Police say Cheryle J. Spaeth went to take a shower while her three grandchildren played in her bedroom last August. Soon, she heard a gunshot.

Her 6-year-old grandson had been shot in the leg after one of the children apparently got a handgun from atop a high dresser.

The boy's injury Aug. 22 wasn't life-threatening, police say. He was treated at a hospital and released.

Spaeth was charged Friday with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a felony. Spaeth, 60, has not yet been arrested so no mugshot was available Tuesday. She could not be reached for comment. Bail is set at $25,000.

The shooting happened in the 18300 block of Rathbun Hills Road in Wildwood, in a home Spaeth shares with her adult son and grandchildren.

The gun had not been in a holster or locked up. 

"The kids were playing," County Police Officer Shawn McGuire said. "I'm guessing she thought (the gun) was high enough that they couldn't get to it."

According to a county detective's probable cause statement, police say the boy shot himself. Yet officers say the children in the room were scared when police arrived and details were difficult to sort out.

The children's father, who was in another room of the house at the time, heard the shot too and rushed into the room to find his bleeding son. The father owns several guns, but it wasn't immediately clear who owned the gun on the dresser in the grandmother's room.

Endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree is punishable in Missouri by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The crime is defined, in part, as "knowingly (acting) in a manner that creates a substantial risk to the life, body, or health of a child less than seventeen years of age."

Police say the four-month-old case ended up at the prosecutor's office only in the last few days because the Ferguson unrest and police detail following the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown had taken so much of the police department's time.

A Future 911 Call

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Florida Target Shooters Kill Neighbor - Charges???

Local news reports with video

Deputies say Thomas Nastasiak of Saint Petersburg and John Bell of Clearwater were target practicing on Bell's property in Old Town when a stray bullet struck a neighbor in his chest.

Deputies say the 62-year-old man whose name has not been released, was raking his yard when he was shot. He died at the scene.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Even as Shootings Rise, Murder Rate Falls in New York City


The number of shootings in New York City has spiked by 13 percent so far this year, though the murder rate is on track to hit a 50-year low, a statistical paradox that experts said reflects quick medical response.
As of Sunday, some 507 people had been struck by bullets since Jan. 1 in New York City, up from 448 in the comparable period a year ago, according to data compiled by the New York City Police Department.
There has been a particular uptick in shootings over the past month, with 121 victims of gunfire over a 28-day period ending Sunday, compared with 86 for the same period last year, marking a 41 percent increase.
But homicides have continued to fall in the nation's largest city. There were 120 murders reported so far in 2014 compared with 140 a year earlier, a 15 percent decline, the data indicated. That puts the city on track to set a new low after posting a total of 333 murders last year, the fewest homicides recorded in citywide crime statistics dating back to 1963.
Police Commissioner William Bratton has said spikes and declines in crime rates are not unusual.

The declining homicide rate, despite an increase in shooting victims, reflects in part improved emergency medical response time, said Steven Messner, a criminal justice professor at the State University of New York at Albany.
Isn't that interesting. It seems the gun rights fanatics have been trying to pull a fast one over on us, again. Murder rates are dropping overall (just slightly) but the number of shootings has been increasing. Combined with the fact that fewer and fewer people own guns, in other words the average number of guns per (gun owning) capita has increased, this destroys one of their main talking points: more guns means less crime. Ha, take that.

2014 Highest Murder Rate in the Country: Detroit 43.4 per 100,000

Last year, America’s big cities continued the slow, but steady decline in murders.
Though not at the breakneck pace we saw last year, the nation’s largest cities continued to witness steady declines in both total murders and murder rates in 2014.
Data provided by police departments in the 10 cities with the highest number of murders in 2013 shows that six out of 10 saw a significant drops in both total murders and murder rates in 2014. Baltimore and Detroit led the pack with the sharpest declines over last year, but a look at an impressive big picture shows that Los Angeles and New York have managed to cut murders in their city by roughly half. Not every mayor will be celebrating, however—Philadelphia couldn’t make a dent in its homicides this year, and both Indianapolis and Houston saw some significant increases.
I couldn't help but notice that for most of the cities the decline is next to nothing. I'd say it's easily attributable to the ever-increasing emergency services provided to victims of shootings. Perhaps a better indicator is shootings rather than murders.
One could surmise that with fewer people owning guns and the murder rate remaining about the same (in some cases it actually increased), things are not improving as the gun rights fanatics keep saying.

Kentucky Cop Commits Negligent Discharge - Everyone Blames the Gun

One Louisiana Man Dead in Accidental Shootinng, Another Arrested Immediately

Kendall Smith, arrested immediately

Local news

Alexandria's first homicide of 2015 was an accidental shooting that prompted Chief LorenLampert to stress that "firearms are neither toys nor entertainment."
Alexandria police were called to a house in the 2500 block of Culpepper Drive on Sunday because of a reported shooting. When they arrived, they found a wounded 29-year-old male victim. The unidentified man was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
The man's identity was not made public on Monday.
Another man at the house, 29-year-old Kendall Smith, was arrested at the scene. "The investigation found that this incident was accidental when a firearm Smith was playing with discharged," reads the release.
Smith was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and was charged with negligent homicide.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Police Chief Shoots Wife Claims Accident

Chief William McCollom

Local news reports

Peachtree City police Chief William McCollom spoke calmly in the audio recording, telling a dispatcher he needed medical help for an accidental gunshot wound at his suburban home, about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.
"Who shot her?" the dispatcher asked.
"Me," McCollom said. "The gun was in the bed, I went to move it, and I put it to a side and it went off."
During the call, McCollom said he and his wife were sleeping when the shooting happened. No one else was in the home. The nearly six-minute conversation between McCollom and the dispatcher sheds little light on how the gun fired. Authorities previously identified it as McCollom's 9-mm Glock handgun — his service weapon.
"This just occurred now, right before you called?" the dispatcher asked.
"Yup, yup, went off in the middle of the night," McCollom said. He told the dispatcher his wife was shot twice, though investigators later determined the wife was shot once.
McCollom said his wife was having difficulty breathing and appeared to be bleeding internally and externally. She was flown to Atlanta Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition Friday, hospital spokeswoman Nicole Gustin said.
McCollom's wife can be heard crying in the background.
"Oh my God," the police chief said. "How the hell did this happen?"
Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard said the 911 recording is just one piece of evidence in a larger case. He listened to the recording and described it as confusing. McCollom has not been charged with any crimes.

Retired Cop Tries to Get His Guns Back

A decorated retired New York cop who served in the U.S. Navy, Donald Montgomery was the owner of four guns -- a Colt .38 handgun, a Derringer .38, a Glock 26 9-mm. and a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380.

His troubles started when he visited a Long Island hospital in May complaining of insomnia. He was discharged with a diagnosis of “depression, insomnia” and then returned a short time later for a 48-hour stay. The lawsuit says that during that visit, staff erroneously listed him as an “involuntary admission,” triggering the SAFE Act reporting provision. Those deemed at-risk for owning guns by mental health professionals have to be reported and their names entered into a database.

The lawsuit claims Montgomery should not have been reported because he was not a threat to himself or others. The suit says a hospital psychiatrist told him “You don’t belong here” and “I don’t know why you were referred here.”

The Daily Caller reports that on May 30, a week after his hospital stay, Suffolk County sheriff’s deputies confiscated Montgomery’s guns. His pistol license was then suspended in June and revoked three months later.

Montgomery is demanding in his lawsuit that the state issue written notification to all individuals whose names have been collected in the SAFE Act database.

Last month, the Syracuse Post-Standard found nearly 39,000 names in the database and that 278 of those were gun owners who were in danger of losing their firearms. The list of 278 included 16 in Suffolk, where Montgomery lived.

Big deal. If a mistake was made about the voluntary nature of his hospitalization, the courts should straighten it out. That's if there's nothing more to the story.  The Fox News headline left out the depression part and in their typical mendacious way, mentioned only insomnia. The real question was down to whether it was a voluntary or involuntary commitment.

But what struck me is where were all the tough-talking 2nd Amendment protectors when this guy's guns were taken? I keep hearing how they will never let this happen.  Were there none of them in Suffolk County?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tennessee Man Killed by his Friend - Gun Enthusiasts They Were - No Arrest

Local news reports

An Anderson County man is dead following a shooting in Clinton on Tuesday night.
According to information provided by the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, Christopher Scott Cody Bunch of Rocky Top was shot in the chest with a bullet from a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun. The alleged shooter, Joseph Eric McClane of Clinton, reportedly met deputies outside and told them he had “accidentally shot” Bunch.
Deputies entered the home and reportedly found Bunch lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to his chest. The report said Bunch was unresponsive and a neighbor, Aaron Hackworth, was sitting next to him holding a towel to the wound. Hackworth reportedly told deputies he was called over after the shooting because of his first aid training.
The report said the county’s Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived and began working on Bunch. He was declared dead, however, at about 10:20 p.m.
Several witnesses in the home reportedly told deputies they were standing around the room next to the kitchen talking about guns when a weapon held by McClane suddenly went off “for some reason.”
McClane reportedly told deputies he was holding the pistol, and he and Bunch were discussing single-action versus double-action shooting. McClane said he had his thumb on the hammer and his finger on the trigger in an effort to de-cock the gun when the hammer slipped out from under his thumb and the gun fired.
No arrests were made and the report said the investigation is ongoing with the Sheriff's Office’s Criminal Investigation Division.
According to several sources, the shooting victim had been in a wheelchair all of his life and suffered from spina bifida.

Responsible Gun Owners

The Salt Lake Tribune - letter to the editor

In addition to the tragic death of Veronica Rutledge in Hayden, Idaho, a teenager died in Frankfort, Ky., on Nov. 26 in another accidental shooting. A 12-year-old in Kaysville died in similar circumstances on Nov. 23. A boy of 9 died after an accidental shooting in Detroit, Mich., on Nov. 8. A teen died after an accidental shooting in Marshall County, W. Va., on Nov. 27. A small boy shot himself in the head in Navarro, Texas, on Nov. 29, and a boy in Lansing, Mich., was hospitalized after an accidental shooting on Nov. 7. A 13-year-old girl was injured in Oakwood, Ohio, in an accidental shooting, also on Nov. 7. A 10-year-old Lubbock, Texas, boy died after an accidental shooting on Nov. 28, and a 6-year-old died after an accidental shooting in Cook County, Ill., on Dec. 6. Similarly, a 3-year-old died in Simpsonville, S.C., on Dec. 15, and an 11-year-old died in DeKalb County, Georgia, on Nov. 14. A 16-year-old is in critical condition in Detroit after an accidental shooting on Christmas Day, and a 6-year-old is dead after an accidental shooting in Chicago, Ill., on Dec. 5.

The people who owned these guns believed themselves to be responsible gun owners. Enough said.
Jeffrey Stewart


U.S. Teens Have Same Firearm Access Regardless Of Suicide Risk

Huffington Post

U.S. teens report easy access to firearms, even when they have mental health problems that put them at an increased risk of suicide, according to a new study.

Overall, 41 percent of teens who reported being in a home with a firearm had easy access to it. Among teens with a history of mental illness or suicidal acts, researchers found that percentage was the same.

The American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise healthcare providers to talk about firearm safe STORAGE with parents - especially those with at-risk youths at home.

"Our goal of this study was to find out if those recommendations were being implemented effectively in the community," said Dr. Joseph Simonetti, the study's lead author from the University of Washington School of Medicine's Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Simonetti and his colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry that suicide is the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Having a firearm in the home is one risk factor for suicide, they add.

Previous studies have found a lower suicide risk among residents of homes that practice safe storage of firearms.

For the new study, the authors used data collected between 2001 and 2004 from 10,123 U.S. teens between ages 13 and 18 years.

A third of the teens reported living in a home with a firearm. Of those, about 41 percent said they had easy access to that firearm and the ability to shoot it.