Patterico's Pontifications


Houston and Guns

Filed under: Crime,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 1:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As we say in West Texas, it seems “everyone and his brother” has guns in the Houston area and they know how to use them:

“Robbers shot and wounded a northwest Harris County convenience store clerk late Monday but the clerk fired back and sent one of the attacker [sic] to the hospital in critical condition, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The shooting occurred at the Phillips 66 store in the 10000 block of Veterans Memorial Drive about 11:25 p.m., deputies reported.

The clerk was alone in the store when two men entered and opened fire. When the clerk fired back the pair fled and one was hit by a bullet as he ran, deputies said.”

I wonder if the robbers’ willingness to open fire could be due to their belief that the clerk might be armed and dangerous instead of submissive? I don’t know, but I’d rather have a gun than rely on submission.



Obama Linked to Gun Control Efforts

Filed under: 2008 Election,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 8:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Now Obama says he supports gun ownership as an individual right under the Second Amendment. Then he authorized grants that supported the opposite position:

“Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has worked to assure uneasy gun owners that he believes the Constitution protects their rights and that he doesn’t want to take away their guns.

But before he became a national political figure, he sat on the board of a Chicago-based foundation that doled out at least nine grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to groups that advocated the opposite positions.

The [Joyce F]oundation funded legal scholarship advancing the theory that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun owners’ rights, as well as two groups that advocated handgun bans. And it paid to support a book called “Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.”

The Obama campaign responded that the Joyce Foundation issued grants to fuel debate about guns:

“Obama’s eight years on the board of the Joyce Foundation, which paid him more than $70,000 in directors fees, do not in any way conflict with his campaign-trail support for the rights of gun owners, Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Obama’s presidential campaign, asserted in a statement issued to Politico this week.

LaBolt stressed that the foundation, which has assets of about $935 million, doesn’t take “detailed policy positions,” but rather uses its grants to “fuel a dialogue about how to address public policy issues like reducing gun violence.”

As with most foundations, Joyce did not record how individual board members voted on grants, but former Joyce officials told Politico that funding was typically approved unanimously.”

However, the Obama campaign’s claim that the grants were made solely to spur dialogue is contradicted by the details of a few of the grants:

“During Obama’s time on the Joyce board, though, the foundation gave seven grants totaling more than $2.5 million to a group that wants Congress to take much more proactive action: the Violence Policy Center.

The D.C.-based nonprofit, which calls itself “the most aggressive group in the gun control movement,” for years has argued for a national handgun ban.

n a 2000 study called “Unsafe in Any Hands: Why America Needs to Ban Handguns,” the group concluded that Congress could and should ban handguns nationwide “soon” and allocate $16.25 billion to buy back the 65 million handguns it estimated were then owned by civilians.

The study dismissed as “pure myth” the theory that the Second Amendment bars such strict gun control laws.”

In addition, Obama’s claim that he supports gun rights is not substantiated by his legislative record:

“In his appeal to gun owners, Obama has not emphasized his own legislative record, which includes supporting a ban on semiautomatic weapons and concealed weapons, and a limit on handgun purchases to one a month. He has blamed his staff for indicating on a questionnaire filled out during his 1996 state Senate bid under his name that he supports banning “the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.”

Obama is trying to be all things to all people. As a general rule, that’s not a winning formula for Presidential candidates.



The Second Amendment and the Zoo (Updated)

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 8:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A tiger at the San Francisco Zoo escaped, killing one zoo visitor and critically injuring two others before it was killed by the police:

“A tiger escaped its cage at the San Francisco Zoo today, killing one person and injuring two others, according to San Francisco police. The victims were all non-employees, said police spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina. The condition of the two people who were wounded remains unclear.

The tiger was shot after the last attack. It had climbed on top of the victim, but started moving toward a group of approaching police officers. Several officers shot it with handguns, Mannina said.”

This blog post claims four tigers were loose at one point and that the tiger responsible for this attack also attacked a keeper earlier this year.

My sympathy to these victims. A fun, holiday trip to the zoo turned into a tragedy. However, if the SF Zoo is a gun-free zone – and it probably is – maybe it should rethink that rule. In addition, San Francisco should (but probably won’t) rethink its pending appeal of a trial court order overturning San Francisco’s city-wide gun ban.

After all, self-defense can be necessary anywhere – even at the zoo.

UPDATE 12/27/2007 – The director of the SF Zoo admits the wall around the tigers’ den was too low. A follow-up post is here.



The Security Guard/Parishioner Who Stopped the Colorado Church Shooter (Updated x4)

Filed under: Crime,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 3:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

UPDATE 4: After seeing Assam interviewed on Fox News, I can’t tell what she was. She discussed her law enforcement background and that she was part of a “professional security team.” It’s possible she was hired to work security or that she volunteered to be part of a security team. So I reinserted the term “Security Guard” in the title.

UPDATE 3: I’ve changed the title to strike through “Security Guard” because it’s unlikely this was a paid security guard. Instead, it was probably a parishioner with a CCW permit. However, at least one blogger notes the media is uniformly portraying her as a security guard instead of as an armed individual. Maybe this is because, in the rush to get the story out, the “security guard” terminology became set in stone. On the other hand, maybe not.

UPDATE 2: Powerline quotes a report that the gunman “hated Christians” and notes that “the toll in Sunday’s shootings exceeded the combined total in all ‘hate crimes’ against Muslims in the six years since September 11.”

UPDATE 1: CNS News reports the volunteer security guard was a church member “dressed in plain clothes” who used her own gun and “probably saved 100 lives.” It also quotes a KUSA report that the gunman, 24-year-old Matthew Murray, “was wearing a “tactical helmet and body armor.”

Also from JayHub, here’s a Denver Post article on the courageous actions by a male Vietnam Vet and a female volunteer security guard who stopped the Colorado church shooter:

“[Vietnam War Vet Larry] Bourbonnais, 59, had just finished up a hamburger in the cafeteria on the sprawling church campus when he heard gunfire, he recalled. Bourbonnais headed in the direction of the shots as frightened people ran past him looking to escape to safety. “Where’s the shooter? Where’s the shooter?” Bourbonnais kept yelling, he recalled.

Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said. Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.

“Give me your handgun. I’ve been in combat, and I’m going to take this guy out,” Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. “He kept yelling, ‘Get behind me! Get behind me!’ He wouldn’t hand me his weapon, but he wouldn’t do anything.” There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn’t fire, Bourbonnais said.

Bourbonnais yelled at the gunman to draw his attention, he said. “First, I called him ‘Coward’ then I called him ‘S—head’ ” Bourbonnais said. “I probably shouldn’t have been saying that in church.”

That’s when the shooter pointed one of his guns at Bourbonnais and fired, he said. Bourbonnais ducked behind a hollow, decorative pillar and was hit in the arm by a bullet and fragments of the pillar.

At about that moment, a female guard with a drawn handgun turned a corner and walked toward the gunman and yelled “Surrender!” Bourbonnais said.

The gunman pointed a handgun at the woman and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round. The female guard fired off about a dozen shots.

After the gunman went down, Bourbonnais asked the woman, who has only been identified as a volunteer security guard with the church, how she remained so calm and focused. Bourbonnais said she replied: “I was asking the Holy Spirit to guide me the entire time.”

This is an amazing story.

An earlier post on the shootings is here.



Colorado Church Shootings (Updated x3)

Filed under: Crime,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 5:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

UPDATE 3 – 12/10/2007: Another excellent JayHub link. I’m putting it in a new post.

UPDATE 2 – 12/10/2007: Note JayHub’s comment regarding the security plans implemented by the Colorado Springs’ church, plans that probably averted even more deaths. (Thanks, JayHub.)

UPDATE 1 – 12/9/2007: Michelle Malkin is covering this story.

I heard about the Arvada mission and Colorado Springs church shootings but I did not realize the Colorado Springs’ shooter was killed by a security guard until I read this comment by SPQR:

“By the way, in Colorado Springs today, at the New Life church, a gunman opened fire on the church grounds. The church’s security guard shot and killed him, but not before he was able to shoot approx 5 people with one fatality among the victims. It sounds like the security guard saved a lot of lives with his timely action, as the gunman was not able to advance beyond the parking lot. When police arrived minutes later, it was all over. My deep respect to the security guard for his fine work.

There was a shooting the night before at a ministry in the Denver metro area ( Arvada ) as well, no confirmation of a link between the two although that is the speculation as that gunman was not apprehended.”

Here’s the AP version:

“A gunman killed two staff members at a missionary training center early Sunday after being told he couldn’t spend the night, and about 12 hours later four people were shot at a busy megachurch in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs police Lt. Fletcher Howard said a suspect had been detained in the shootings at the New Life Church, but a church member who was locked down at the church Sunday afternoon said a security guard had shot and killed the gunman. Authorities in Arvada, a Denver suburb about 65 miles north, said no one had been captured in the shootings there.

It was not immediately known whether the shootings were related, but Arvada authorities said they were sharing information with Colorado Springs investigators. The governor ordered state authorities to help. The program that runs mission training in Arvada has a small office at the New Life Church’s World Prayer Center.

A gunman in a black trench coat and a high-powered rifle entered the church’s main foyer about 1 p.m. and began shooting, according to the church member, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the police department had asked that it release all information. The church’s 11 a.m. service had recently ended, and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from the nursery.

The gunman was killed by a member of the church’s armed security staff, the source said. Four people were shot, and the source did not know whether the shooter was one of the four. A SWAT team was searching the building for an explosive device, but the source could not confirm any details.
New Life Senior Pastor Brady Boyd said security at the church had been beefed up after the shootings in Arvada, but he did not elaborate and did not take questions.

“Fortunately for New Life Church, we had a plan in place that was put into play immediately,” he said. “Our prayers right now are for the people that were injured and their families.”

Incidently, the Reuters’ version doesn’t mention a security guard, although it did mention the former New Life’s Pastor’s sexual improprieties.

SPQR’s comment related to the Omaha mall shooting discussion. To me, it can be used as evidence that supports people having the freedom to carry guns OR as evidence that facilities should be better prepared to handle situations like this. Or both.

Either way, it’s an interesting point and my thanks to SPQR for raising it. By the way, SPQR, I’ve always wondered: Are you any relation to XRLQ?



An Eye-Witness to the Omaha Mall Shooting

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 7:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

JoeMerchant24 at Joe’s Crabby Shack posted a blog entry from a person he identifies as an eye-witness to the Westroads Mall shooting in Omaha, Nebraska. The eye-witness makes a good argument that public places like malls, where these kinds of incidents are becoming more common, should rethink whether to prohibit guns.

However, the main reason to read this account is that it is a compelling and dramatic story. Here’s the conclusion:

“I do want to say that when I talk about that I could of stopped the killer, I am not trying to make a political statement. I am simply saying if I were allowed to carry a gun, I would have and I would have used it.

That is a hard fact. I am not trying to be a hero and say that I would have tried to save lives. I am saying that I was trying to save my life, and if my family was there, their lives as well. There is nothing “hero” about what I am saying, it’s about survival.

I feel that I am alive today because of luck. I chose to run, but it was not a choice. I was forced to run. Many will say that is the right choice. I say it is the choice that requires luck. ALOT of luck with the position I was in.

Use of deadly force at times may also require luck. But, it also depends upon skill, awareness, and practice. These are things I can control, and these are things I trust far more than luck.”

Now go read the rest.



A Second Amendment Case of First Impression

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 6:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A pistol-packing teacher from Oregon is suing to bring her gun to school …



Another “Preposterous” Prison Race Riot — In the Year 2007! L.A. Times Editors Would Be Shocked!

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Race,Second Amendment — Patterico @ 10:45 am

L.A. Times editors, February 2005:

The Supreme Court made the right decision Wednesday in all but overturning California’s policy of housing new prison inmates in cells based on their race. Clearly, the state cannot classify people solely on that basis in the year 2005, and it would be preposterous for state prison officials to continue arguing that there is a compelling reason to do so.


L.A. Times, January 2007:

The weekend riot at Chino state prison erupted after two inmates — a Latino and an African American — began fighting in a recreation yard, and others, watching from surrounding dormitories, followed suit, clashing along racial lines that have racked the state prison system for decades, prison officials said Sunday.

In keeping with our progressive notions, the facility was not segregated:

The medium-security facility where the riot occurred — Reception Center West — has 1,381 prisoners in five dormitories.

[Prison spokesman Lt. Mike] Hargrove said prisoners are not normally separated by race in that facility — except after a riot like Saturday’s.

And such violence is nothing new:

Racial violence has beset the California prison system since the 1970s, when gangs like the Mexican Mafia, the Black Guerrilla Family and the Aryan Brotherhood fought for power. Last month in Chino, officers put down a fight between 60 black and Latino inmates in an eating area.

In September 2005, a clash between 270 black and Latino prisoners there left one critically injured. That January, a guard was stabbed to death.

Just tell his family that “it would be preposterous for state prison officials to continue arguing that there is a compelling reason” to segregate inmates on the basis of race.

In recent years, racial fighting has also erupted in the Los Angeles County jail system. In February, more than 2,000 inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic went on a rampage that left one dead and 50 injured. A black inmate was killed in Men’s Central Jail downtown in a racially motivated fight the next week.

And at Pitchess in July, 16 inmates received minor injuries in two brief fights between 1,600 black and Latino inmates.

Preposterous, I say!


Gun question

Filed under: General,Morons,Second Amendment — See Dubya @ 12:39 am

I’m reasonably knowledgable about this sort of thing, but I don’t recognize the type of machine pistol clutched by this howling loonball:
AP Photo/Mohammad Zaatari

If this man were an evangelical Christian holding an automatic weapon and a holy book, would liberals still love him?

Any of you recognize the gun? The guy holding the mystery weapon is, FYI, a Palestinian incensed by Newsweek’s reports about the LoFlow at Gitmo.

UPDATE: There is an interesting debate going on below, but on important matters: I can announce that the gun is not an UZI or a MAC-10 (as these have magazines in the grips, instead of in front), nor is it an MP5 derivative, nor is it (as I first thought) a Czech Skorpion–although it is most similar to this last. I’m really curious about this.

UPDATE II: Tec-9, short barreled variant? Getting closer, but I doubt it. The barrell and muzzle are all wrong, and the steel frame of a Tec 9 is basically cylindrical, resting in a polymer grip/magazine well part. Not what I seee in this picture.



Filed under: Media Bias,Second Amendment — Patterico @ 6:06 am

I leave it to others to fully fisk today’s New York Times editorial titled The Power of the Gun Lobby. I simply note that the paper continues to use the hoary old trick of labeling one side “gun control advocates” and the other side “the gun lobby.”

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