Saturday, March 14, 2015

Michigan Gun Advocates Test Rules for Openly Carrying in Schools

USA Today

One video shows Nixon taking several steps up a school driveway. Police surround him and repeatedly tell him that he must leave.

He and a police supervisor argue about why one officer has his hand on his gun.
"You guys kill people across America every single week," Nixon said and asks why police are blocking his way.

Supervisor: "We've been advised by school administrators that they don't want you on school property, OK? You cannot open carry on school property."

Nixon: "Actually, you can open carry on school property, with a CPL," a Michigan concealed pistol license.

Supervisor: "Not if the school administrators tell you not to."

The back and forth continues.

Nixon: "My issue is I've got one, two, three, four armed men following me." He calls them an expletive.

Supervisor: "Well, then don't come here."

Then at a concert in Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, "things got very heated" when word spread that an activist, the older brother of a youth who was performing, was wearing a handgun, schools spokeswoman Liz Margolis said.

During a packed meeting Wednesday, Ann Arbor school board members passed a resolution urging state lawmakers to prohibit openly carrying a firearm on public school property. Three state legislators and about 40 people wearing guns in holsters were in attendance, she said.

Indy's Answer

17-Year-old Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Iraqi Man Enjoying First Snowfall

Nykerion Nealon

The New York Daily News

A Texas teen has been arrested for fatally shooting an Iraqi refugee watching his first-ever snowfall, police said.

Nykerion Nealon, 17, was arrested early Friday after gunning down Ahmed al-Jumaili outside his Dallas apartment complex March 4, Maj. Jeff Cotner told reporters alongside the victim's father-in-law Friday.

Al-Jumaili was shot in front of his wife and brother, three weeks after fleeing Iraq to be in a safer place and reunite with his wife, who had moved to America a year earlier.

Nealon, who went by the nickname Kaca, did not know al-Jumaili and shot him while seeking revenge, Cotner said. Someone reportedly shot at his girlfriend's apartment in a neighboring complex, making Nealon round up three buddies to look for the suspect, a witness told police. They went to Nealon's apartment to get his assault rifle and then headed to Al-Jumaili's apartment complex.

The thug saw al-Jumaili taking pictures of the snow and raised his rifle, one of his friends told police. The friend took cover under bushes and heard shots ring out, he said.

Al-Jumaili ran back to his apartment as Nealon followed him with his eyes, continually aiming his rifle and firing at him, Cotner said. Al-Jumaili was shot in the chest.

The Iraqi collapsed in the breezeway of his apartment building. He died in the hospital the next day.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Republicans and Democrats

Southern Beale's Tennessee Gun Report

Southern Beale

March 7, 2015:
An 11-year-old Nashville boy was charged with murder in the accidental shooting death of his 15-year-old friend:
An 11-year-old has been charged with his death. Detectives said the 11-year-old told them he was playing with a gun he had found when it went off and hit Ziegler.
Saturday, those in the neighborhood said this tragedy was a wakeup call for the community.
The incident happened on a day when Nashville’s gun-free schools were closed because of the snow. Remind me again how unsafe these gun-free zones are. I’m all ears.

And let me just say: we’re charging the 11-year-old? The 11-year-old? Not the adult who owned the gun? Is this coming from our new District Attorney, the guy who campaigned on the slogan that he “knows the difference between a bad person and a good kid in trouble”?

West Virginia Constitutional Carry Goes to the Governor for Signature

Local news reports

West Virginia would join a handful of states not requiring concealed-handgun permits under a bill that appears headed for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's desk.

The Republican-run House of Delegates voted 71-29 Thursday to drop concealed-carry permit requirements, with some crossover from both parties. Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming have similar laws.

Senators approved a slightly different version of the bill late last month.

Open carry, such as in a holster on a hip, is legal without a permit in West Virginia. Thirty-one states have some variety of open-carry rules.

Covering up handguns out of plain sight -- such as with a coat -- requires a permit now.

The House version requires people who carry concealed handguns to be 21 years old, with exceptions for people older than 18 who serve in the military.

Proponents said the bill is about 2nd Amendment rights.

Rudy Giuliana on Ferguson and the Police in General

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fashion and Firearms

More on the Georgia Police Chief Who Shot his Wife While Sleeping - He's Resigned - Still No Charges


A Georgia police chief who said he accidentally shot and seriously injured his wife while the couple were sleeping in bed has resigned, the Peachtree City Police Department said Wednesday.

William McCollom stepped down as chief of police in Peachtree City nearly a week after a prosecutor announced that although the New Year's Day shooting appeared accidental, McCollom could eventually face a misdemeanor charge accusing him of recklessly taking a gun to bed after drinking alcohol and taking sleeping medication.

The shooting in Peachtree City, an upscale community of 35,000 people south of Atlanta, left Margaret McCollom paralyzed below the waist. 

"I have had had two families in Peachtree City -- my police family and my personal family. In light of the recent tragedy in my personal family, I need to continue to focus my time and efforts there," William McCollom said in a message posted Wednesday on the police department's Facebook page.
Medics and police rushed to the McColloms' home early on January 1 after the chief called 911 to say he accidentally shot his wife as both were sleeping -- by inadvertently moving a gun that he had taken to bed with him.

Jon Stewart on the Iran Letter

North Carolina Senate Bill Promotes Firearms Class Warfare


A bill just introduced in the North Carolina Senate seeks to congeal what has slowly become the two distinct classes of gun ownership: the elite, political class, and the less worthy “common” class.
Initially, it was district attorneys and judges, and now Senate Bill 78 would provide for off-duty correctional officers to carry concealed weapons without a permit–something you can’t do.
It has also come to Grass Roots North Carolina’s attention that a House bill will likely be introduced soon to allow for concealed carry by politicians and staff in legislative buildings–something else you can’t do!

Which Class Are You In?

If you’re in the political class, then good for you! The State Legislature is pulling out all the stops to fast-track bills so you can protect yourself and your family without all that pesky paperwork and the boundaries that the common class is subjected to. Why, after all, should the state’s general citizenry, the people who pay the salaries of the government employees, be on par with the “political class” of gun owners?

In Support of Law Enforcement

Make no mistake, Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) is 100% supportive of law enforcement. In fact, correctional officers, judges and DAs, as well as legislators and their staff carrying defensive handguns would be nothing but positive. Yet, there ought NOT be two classes of citizenry in an ostensibly free state.

EBay Sellers Easily Skirt Rules Banning Assault Weapon Parts

EBay policy bans the sale of “parts or accessories for assault weapons,” but Reveal identified hundreds of parts available in an extensive search of listings.


For the do-it-yourself crowd, building an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is as easy as browsing ads on eBay, the online marketplace for everything from vintage dining room sets to video games and, it turns out, assault weapon parts.

This violates eBay’s policy banning the sale of “parts or accessories for assault weapons.” The policy is closely tailored to match California law, which is among the nation’s strictest. But the company’s automated filters and user-flagging system fail to stop it.

Reveal identified hundreds of parts available for sale in an extensive search of eBay listings. There’s a financial incentive for eBay: The company charges sellers a fee for every item sold on its website. EBay doesn’t disclose in its public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission how much revenue comes from the sale of firearms parts.

It’s illegal to buy an AR-15 in California without making specific modifications to the gun or obtaining a dangerous weapons permit from the state Department of Justice. Yet for as little as $500, anyone with an eBay account can purchase all but one of the dozen or so necessary parts.

The only missing piece of the gun – the lower receiver – can be bought secondhand from private sellers who post classified ads on other websites, such as The receiver is the only regulated part of the gun, but there are workarounds for obtaining one, too. Partially complete receivers can be purchased privately without a background check or serial number and finished by buyers themselves, or they can be built from scratch at home to sidestep having to register the finished gun.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Major Survey Shows Gun Ownership Declining

GUN POLLABC Report (further to our recent Gallup Poll post)

The number of Americans who live in a household with at least one gun is lower than it's ever been, according to a major American trend survey that finds the decline in gun ownership is paralleled by a reduction in the number of Americans who hunt.

According to the latest General Social Survey, 32 percent of Americans either own a firearm themselves or live with someone who does, which ties a record low set in 2010. That's a significant decline since the late 1970s and early 1980s, when about half of Americans told researchers there was a gun in their household.

The General Social Survey is conducted by NORC, an independent research organization based at the University of Chicago, with money from the National Science Foundation. Because of its long-running and comprehensive set of questions about the demographics, behaviors and attitudes of the American public, it is a highly regarded source of data about social trends.

Data from the 2014 survey was released last week, and an analysis of its findings on gun ownership and attitudes toward gun permits was conducted by General Social Survey staff.

The drop in the number of Americans who own a gun or live in a household with one is probably linked to a decline in the popularity of hunting, from 32 percent who said they lived in a household with at least one hunter in 1977 to less than half that number saying so now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No Charges for Wisconsin Man Who Shot his Daughter While Cleaning his Guns

Local news

The Oshkosh Police Department has wrapped up an investigation of what authorities determined to be an accidental shooting of a 10-year-old Oshkosh girl by her father.

The man accidentally shot his daughter once while he was cleaning a Springfield .45-caliber handgun at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday at an apartment building on Westhaven Drive in Oshkosh, Capt. Cyndi Thaldorf said. The girl was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for undisclosed injuries, and later released.

The hospital contacted the Oshkosh Police Department.

By Monday afternoon, authorities had wrapped up their investigation into the incident, Sgt. Chris Gorte said.

Police would not release the nature of the girl's injuries, citing privacy concerns, but said alcohol was not a factor in the incident. Police will not recommend any charges in the incident.

"I think it was just one of those truly accidental and obviously unfortunate (incidents)," Thaldorf said.

Connecticut Man Could Perhaps, Possibly, Maybe Face Charges in Accidental Shooting of his Son

Local news

The state's attorney will decide whether to charge a Monroe father who accidentally shot his 11-year-old son in the cheek, police said Monday.

Vincent Pizzolato, 44, was putting the gun away in a safe Sunday afternoon when it fired a round that passed through a wall, striking the boy in the cheek, Monroe Police Capt. Michael Flick said. The boy was being treated Monday for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.

Pizzolato had a valid permit for the 9 mm pistol, Flick said, and the weapon is being sent to the State Police forensics lab for analysis, he said.

"Possible charges in this type of incident are unlawful discharge of a firearm and risk of injury to a minor, but once the investigation is complete we'll forward everything to the state's attorney, who will decide whether or not charges will be filed," Flick said.

Florida Man Arrested Immediately for Accidentally Shooting (Killing) His Friend

Local news

A South Florida man is facing manslaughter charges after an accidental shooting death. 

The Miami Herald reported Monday that Josue Sanchez was arrested after he mishandled his gun and fatally shot 19-year-old Lazaro Martinez in a Hialeah parking lot Friday night. 

Hialeah police say the 20-year-old Sanchez, Martinez and another person were smoking marijuana in a parking lot and were taking photos with the gun. Sanchez pulled the trigger, striking Martinez, who died Saturday. 

Police say Sanchez was charged with manslaughter because he displayed a reckless disregard for safety while under the influence.

Las Vegas Man Dies in Target Shooting Ricochet

Local news

A man was killed in the desert northwest of Las Vegas early Monday in what police described as a target shooting accident.

David Elliot Ferreira, 29, died at the Mud Hills shooting area, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.

The area east of U.S. Highway 95 and north of Corn Creek Road, about halfway between the turnoffs to Mount Charleston, has long served as an impromptu range for target shooters.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family,” said Jennifer Haley, a temporary spokeswoman for the monument. “We never like to see this sort of thing happen on land that we manage.”

The shooting happened about 12:30 a.m. when a bullet ricocheted from a target or rock and struck Ferreira, according to Las Vegas police. Two friends who were with Ferreira tried to save him, but he died in the desert.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Better than Somalia: How to Feel Good About Gun Violence

Armed with Reason

We recently discussed a YouTube video entitled, “Number One With A Bullet”

 How Not To Compare International Homicide Rates

Unsurprisingly, the United States does indeed have a lower homicide rate than countries in the middle of civil war, run by despots, or struggling with crippling poverty. Should we really be patting ourselves on the back though that our homicide rate just barely beats out Yemen, number 109 on the list, and the fifth most dangerous country in the world? Should we be bragging that our country has less per capita murder than Somalia or Zimbabwe — countries that are literally run by warlords?

Comparing the U.S. with countries that have nothing in common only guarantees that whatever the true relationship between guns and homicide is, we won’t be able to find it.

Indeed, using Whittle’s methodology, you can make almost all of America’s problems disappear overnight by simply expanding our peer group. For example, our infant mortality rate is the highest among industrialized nations, but if we include all of the world’s countries in our comparison, including those where children regularly die from diarrhea and measles within a couple months of being born, we rank No. 34!

What A Valid Analysis Reveals

But that’s clearly not the appropriate way to think about public health problems. Serious academics restrict their analysis to countries that have attained a certain level of gross national income (GNI). This is extremely important because it enables researchers to control for confounding variables that may drive the homicide rate upwards, such as the presence of ethnic or religious conflict, or widespread poverty. One way to do this is by using the World Bank’s definition of a high-income OECD country. Thirty-one countries meet the criteria of a per capita GNI $12,616.

When academics further refine this list of countries using socio-economic factors they reveal a harrowing picture. Compared with other high-income countries, the United States has a homicide rate 6.9 times higher, a difference driven almost exclusively by firearm homicide rates that are 19.5 times higher. The same is true for firearm suicide and unintentional firearm death, for which the United States has rates that are 5.8 and 5.2 times higher, respectively, than other industrialized countries.

A 2013 study also showed that among the highest income countries “there was a significant positive correlation between guns per capita per country and the rate of firearm-related deaths.” A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine also showed that among the highest income countries, “there was a significant positive correlation between guns per capita per country and the rate of firearm-related deaths.” The authors concluded that: “the current study debunks the widely quoted hypothesis that guns make a nation safer.”

Research on female homicide victimization reveals an even more startling picture: the United States is the sole outlier in female homicide rates among high-income countries. Even though American females represent only 32 percent of the overall female population among industrialized nations, the United States accounts for 84 percent of all female firearm homicides.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Emily Miller's Strange Past

In a superb earlier posting, I related the bizarre story of Emily Miller, NRA grifter and Faux News "reporter."

It seems, though, our dear Emily has something of a past.

“Where there are more guns, more women die”

“Self-defense gun use is an incredibly contested area of research,” Dr. Deborah Azrael, the associate director of the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center and a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health, told me. ”The most consistent evidence that we have comes from the National Crime Victimization Survey. [And] what you see in National Crime Victimization Survey is that gun use in self-defense is a very rare event.”
While gun use in self-defense remains a contested area of research, the relationship between guns and violence against women is not. “What we know is that if a woman is going to be killed by a firearm, she’s most likely to be killed by a current or former intimate partner. What we know is where there are more guns, more women die,” Azrael explained. “That’s just incontrovertibly true.”

To Sell or Destroy? Law Enforcement Agencies Weigh Fate of Seized Guns

That department followed all state and federal laws when it sold the gun and 45 other confiscated hunting guns to the public over the last two years. Kmetz, who was prohibited from owning a gun because of his mental health history, ordered it from an online auction site and had a friend pick it up in an illegal “straw” purchase at a gun shop in Princeton, Minn.

On Jan. 26, Kmetz, 68, took the gun to New Hope City Hall, where he shot the two officers. Other officers returned fire, killing him.

“You can’t guarantee where guns go,” Fournier said.

Duluth police pocketed $5,538 for selling the 46 shotguns. Feb. 13, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said his department now is weighing a change in the way it discards confiscated weapons no longer needed for investigations or training.

“The New Hope incident is yet another example of why we need to develop sound strategies to keep weapons from individuals who are ineligible to lawfully possess them,” Ramsay said.

If Duluth decides to start destroying them, it will join many Twin Cities metro-area and outstate departments whose chiefs say that policy sends the right message about keeping guns off the streets.

The Truth About Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Art on Issues

If facts really mattered, consider the following:
  • Although public access to CCW permit holder identification has been blocked in many states through the legislative efforts of the gun lobby (including North Carolina), in recent years 544 incidents of non-self defense shootings by CCW permit holders (permit identified by news media) have been reported in 36 states and the District of Columbia that claimed 722 lives; included are 17 law enforcement officers and 28 mass shooting incidents resulting in the deaths of 136 victims.  As this is only what can be culled from media reports, the figures are held to be a considerable underestimate.  Does Congress really hold that hundreds of news media reports across the nation have this all wrong?  This should bear attention.
  • Although there is much rhetoric about the right of ‘law-abiding citizens’ to defend themselves, examination of FBI data shows that guns are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes in the United States.   Over the past several years criminal gun homicides outnumbered justifiable gun homicides some forty-fold in our country without any reproducible evidence of an offsetting public benefit.  Another recent FBI report, using a tight set of definitions, tracked a steadily increasing number of mass shootings between 2000 – 2013, 160 in total that caused 1,043 casualties (486 killed, 557 wounded) – in only one instance did a private citizen with a firearms permit participate in the resolution, whereas many have been reported to be perpetrators of such crimes.
  • Despite the word ‘Constitutional’ in the title of this legislation, it has not been held that the Second Amendment confers a right to carry a concealed weapon (reference Justice Scalia’s writing for the majority in Heller as well as Peterson v. Garcia where the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit unanimously held that the Second Amendment does not provide a right to carry concealed weapons in public).

The NRA's Voice in the Gun Debate

Protest Easy Guns

American politics has always had pockets of extremists, from the antebellum Anti-Mason Party and Know-Nothings to the Weather Underground and John Birch Society during the Cold War. In a democracy like ours, everyone has free speech rights – but not all opinions are equal or deserve equal footing.

You wouldn’t invite anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists to the table to talk health care. You wouldn’t invite the Westboro Baptist Church to the table to talk gay rights. You wouldn’t invite a white supremacist hate group to the table to talk affirmative action. And you shouldn’t invite the NRA to the table to talk guns.

Too often we see the NRA being reached for comment in news stories on gun violence when they don’t have to be. It is insulting to professionals and especially gun violence survivors to give the NRA an equal voice in news coverage, since the gun lobby smears the former and shares responsibility for the latter. The NRA are not physicians, criminologists, law enforcement or counselors; they are the gun-rights wing of the Republican Party and lobbyist wing of the weapons industry.

This is particularly disappointing when the consensus is so heavily against the NRA’s view, such as with weapons on campuses. If all the stakeholders involved – administrators, faculty, police, mental health experts, criminologists, students – overwhelmingly oppose the idea, then why voluntarily ask non-stakeholders with no expertise in higher-ed administration what they think?

The NRA Doesn't Hate All Gun Laws


The NRA has also pushed laws to make it illegal to publish the names and addresses of gun owners even though the information is considered in the public domain like real estate transfers. Guns make them so safe–owners don’t want anyone to know they have them. What will the neighbors think? What if bad guys break in and steal them? Maybe they need more guns to protect their guns.

Of course the NRA’s favorite law is the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which gives gun makers, gun dealers and trade groups complete legal immunity from negligence and product liability lawsuits. Passed after Columbine and Red Lake, but before Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown, maybe the gun lobby knew what was coming.

Is Emptying the Gun Evidence of 1st Degree Murder?



There is a joke that goes around the gun culture. After a defensive shooting, an attorney asks the person who was defending themselves “Why did you shoot him six times?” The stock punch line is: “Because I ran out of ammunition.”
The best humor has a lot of truth in it. In the highly charged atmosphere of a life and death defensive shooting, few people are able to count their shots. It is extremely common for people to empty their guns while attempting to stop a threat.

There is a phenomena that commonly occurs in life and death situations called tachypsychia. You perceive that time slows down, even though things are happening very fast.

An expert can empty a fully loaded .45 in less than a second. A person who is hit in the chest, even with a shot that hits the heart, can easily have 10-20 seconds of active life, just on adrenaline and the oxygen that is already in the blood supply. Hunters of big game, such as deer can easily understand this. It is common for a deer shot through the heart to run a hundred yards before they fall over. I have seen this phenomena many times.

It is common for people to be hit multiple times, very fast, before they fall down. They may be dead with the first shot; but they do not know it yet.  It is easy for a person to empty their gun before their assailant drops. I doubt that Ann Baskervill has spent much time considering the finer points of the dynamics of defensive use of firearms. I say this with some confidence because of her recent statements.

Ann Baskervill, the Dinwiddie County commonwealth’s attorney, said 18-year-old James Faison fired eight rounds at his father with a .45-caliber handgun, with six shots hitting the victim.

“He emptied the gun, the only reason he stopped shooting is because it didn’t have anymore ammo,” Baskervill said.

It is for this reason that she has charged Faison with first-degree murder, which could land the young man in prison for the rest of his life plus three years.
The case is in process. The father, Irvine Faison, was a big man, 6’4″ and 250 lbs. He had a history of domestic violence charges, and was once sentenced to 11 months in jail, of which he served one month before being released on parole. Irvine Faison’s  brother Michael Baumgras made this claim:
“It was senseless, that’s it overall,” Baumgras said. “If you were going to try and claim self-defense or something, why did you have to unload the clip in him? You could’ve just shot one time and that would have been enough.”

The concern with James Faison emptying the gun on his father is exactly why the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office and Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney office are pursuing first-degree murder charge.

Record Turnout for Morphy’s Firearms Auction Yields $1.2 Million Result

Morphy Auction Lot 326 
Remington Model 40 sniper rifle of the type used by the US Marine Corps in Vietnam, in original, unmodified condition, $26,400.Morphy Auction Lot 317 
Winchester .44 caliber Model 1873 manufactured in 1892, $8,400.

Morphy Auction Lot 900
Johnson Model 1941 US.30-.06 caliber semi-automatic rifle with rare bayonet and ‘frog,’ $7,800.

Morphy Auction Lot 275Never-fired Model 1877 ‘Lightning,’ also known as a ‘Shop Keeper’ or ‘Sheriff’s Model,’ $8,400.