On the anniversary of the Navy Yard shooting…Another call for “common sense” from the POTUS

Statement by the President

One year ago, our dedicated military and civilian personnel at the Washington Navy Yard were targeted in an unspeakable act of violence that took the lives of 12 American patriots. As we remember men and women taken from us so senselessly, we keep close their family and friends, stand with the survivors who continue to heal and pay tribute to the first responders who acted with skill and bravery. At the same time, we continue to improve security at our country’s bases and installations to protect our military and civilian personnel who help keep us safe. One year ago, 12 Americans went to work to protect and strengthen the country they loved. Today, we must do the same – rejecting atrocities like these as the new normal and renewing our call for common-sense reforms that respect our traditions while reducing the gun violence that shatters too many American families every day.

via Statement by the President | The White House.

Hoplophobes ask Texas DPS Trooper to leave because he’s armed

Trooper Jeff Evans was in a field uniform, not his full uniform, when the manager apparently missed seeing his DPS badge, but clearly saw his gun. Tuesday morning he had set out to get breakfast in Grapevine. He was dressed in his DPS pilot’s polo shirt and tan slacks, with his sidearm and badge on his belt.

via Armed DPS Trooper Asked To Leave North Texas Restaurant « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth.

 

Classic example of hoplophobia overriding good sense. But what I wish the trooper could do and others do as well is give these stores and the people pushing for these policies EXACTLY what they want…No guns. I don’t mean just stop shopping there. I wish it were possible to ignore their calls for help when things go wrong. I mean no 911 service for anything other than a medical or fire emergency. Obviously, no cop worth his salt would stand for it but, it would be interesting to see how the sheep would fair with no sheepdogs.

-GM

NBC’s Jeff Rossen’s home invasion advice might get you killed…

NBC; not the National Broadcasting Company but, Nothing But Crap. That’s what I’ve decided is the actual meaning behind NBC. There’s just no other explanation for a company that would actually broadcast the sort of stupidity shown as a defense to homes invasions on the “Today” show last week.

Jeff Rossen enlisted retired New York Police Officer, Wallace Zeins, to sell some of the most useless advice I’ve ever heard. Citing 99-cent noise makers and using your car’s panic alarm, not once did they mention hardening your home against a home invasion in the first place by reinforcing doors/doorframes, installing long-throw dead-bolt locks, having an actively monitored perimeter alarm (with a glass break sensor), good exterior lighting, cameras or any of the well known deterrents to home invasions and burglaries. Nothing about leaving “tools” for entry readily accessible outside your home. And the only active defense suggested was, of all things, downplaying oleoresin capsicum (OC) pepper spray in favor of wasp spray…WASP SPRAY!

Zeins also suggests keeping another item in your bedroom: “Buy a can of wasp hornet spray in the hardware store or the supermarket, keep it by your bedside or the floor,” he said. “It’s more powerful than police Mace.

“The great part is, when you spray, it will go 20 to 25 feet,” Zeins added. An intruder hit with the spray will be temporarily blinded. Please check your state and local laws on the legality of using these sprays for self-defense.

via Home invasion: Jeff Rossen shows how to protect your family – News – TODAY.com.

 

raid2Forgive me if it is the wasp spray to which I take the greatest offense. The rest could be chalked up to being an unimaginative, lazy, dolt. But wasp spray?!?!? Really? Never mind the fact it is a violation of FEDERAL LAW to use almost any aerosol, especially paint, cleaners, pesticide or other chemicals in a manner inconsistent with their labeling. Some local and state jurisdictions have additional laws and ordinances specifically stating that it is illegal to use anything other than OC as a chemical agent against another person. And in general, it just doesn’t work. If you’re going to resort to sprays, stick with stuff known to work better than terse language and buy a quality spray from Fox Labs, Sabre, or any number of other vendors.

I’ll refrain from the ubiquitous, “get a gun, gun training,” mantra. You’re an adult. Make your own decision. But, don’t stick your head in the sand. Fully evaluate your choices. Realize that NBC and Jeff Rossen had an agenda to scare the crap out of you by citing how many home invasions there are every year but, they offer little in the way of solutions and they never tell you this one truth…The problems presented by a home invasion or burglary occuring while you are home are yours to deal with until help arrives. That may mean you have the rest of your life to solve the problem. Therefore, how long the rest of your life will be is entirely up to you. Choose wisely.

-Gary

Sometimes, the violence comes to you…At home.

“I turn, and there was a guy standing in my face. A split second later he smacked me. We went at it. We went at it hard,” said Houck. via Father fights ‘crazed’ intruder in front of kids and wins.

 

Tony Houck survived one of life’s lessons that is often fatal. Stuff happens. Often when you least expect it. And sometimes it happens in “nice” neighborhoods. Sometimes the violence comes to you. Houck was making tacos for his kids at five o’clock in the afternoon when a man kicked in Houck’s door. In the time it took Houch to realize what was happening, he was in a full-fledged fight.

Houck told local CBS affiliate, KHOU, “He almost got me in a chokehold. I thought, this is for real. All of a sudden, this guy was trying to kill me.”

Before we get to the part where we tell you THIS is why we often advise folks to carry at home, let’s look at a basic home security issue. Houck’s first indication that anyone was even at his home was the moment 32-year-old Noah Collier kicked in the door and attacked Houck. That is a problem. And while we all have our priorities about security, the reality one must accept is that the door to your home is nothing more than a social barrier for normal, law-abiding people. Violent criminal actors don’t care and if committed, will get past that door no matter what you do. Still, an early warning system as simple as a dog or even infrared “door chime” to let you know someone has crossed a threshold point before they reach your door is just one step that would go along way in keeping you ahead of the curve. And if you don’t already have a centrally monitored burglar alarm with an “at home” or “stay” mode, get one!

“Chastiti Horne wonders what would have happened had she been the one left at home with the kids.

“Had that been me, you would be doing a completely different story,” said Horne. “I don’t know what he would’ve done to my kids, and that is the scariest thing.” via Father fights ‘crazed’ intruder in front of kids and wins.

And now, here’s where we tell you THIS is why we often advise folks to carry on their person, even at home. Houck was lucky. Very lucky in that he faced a single, emotionally disturbed attacker that he was able to overpower on his own. How easily could this have been multiple attackers? How easily could this have been a woman or just one of the kids who couldn’t overpower a single attacker with brute strength alone? This is where the fact guns are equalizers comes into play.

Arming yourself and seeking training are great. But ideally the whole family should be involved. I am not saying your nine year old needs to be ready to go grab a gun and go to work. That’s a call for you and your family to make but, at the very least, have a plan. That might mean your wife and/or children children are instructed to hide or even lock themselves into a designated space or spaces in your home while they call 911.  At the very least, the issue needs to be discussed. You cannot stick your head in the sand and think that won’t be a time violence comes to you.

“Assault Weapons,” for once, the New York Times tells the truth.

“OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.

That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.

But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.”

via The Assault Weapon Myth – NYTimes.com.

 

I was a senior in high school when the original Clinton crime bill and “Assault Weapons Ban” was steamrolled through Congress and ultimately signed into law. The fact handguns were used in the vast majority of homicides and that black men (many of them my age at the time) were most likely to be both victims and perpetrators was known then. But the media and liberal politicians made the case that it was “evil assault weapons” that were the problem. That was twenty years ago as of this writing. I even made a presentation on that fact in one of my classes that year.

Then, as is the case now, the issue wasn’t guns or gun control. In play, was a broader range of much bigger social and economic issues having little to do with guns or gun control. But, no one wanted to hear that then. And they sure as heck don’t want to hear it now. Why? Because there are no quick solutions that one can hang their hat on within the confines of a typical presidential or congressional election cycle. There’s no real solution that will please the mob in the short term. And ultimately, because the plan then, as it is now, is to marginalize guns and gun owners, one sub group at a time. If you can do that, it’s easy enough to call for compromise, common sense, and reasonable regulation eliminating the right to bear arms all together through attrition over time. Make no mistake, that has been the end game goal all along. The gang and drug related violence and death that disproportionately impact black males only serve to bolster that goal by fanning the fears of conservatives and liberals alike. Again, these are facts that have been known for over thirty years but rarely reported on by the mainstream media. That is, until now.

I don’t know if the New York Times is under new management/ownership but, call me shocked to have seen a truthful article on guns pubished in their website today. It is anything but a “pro gun” article but, it is remarkably free of the typical anti-gun push the NYTimes and other mainstream media publications have come to be known for. It’s the first time I’ve seen a mainstream media publish recognition of the fact there are bigger societal issues at play.

“More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of guns, can reduce gun violence.

David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, argues that the issue of gun violence can seem enormous and intractable without first addressing poverty or drugs. A closer look at the social networks of neighborhoods most afflicted, he says, often shows that only a small number of men drive most of the violence. Identify them and change their behavior, and it’s possible to have an immediate impact.” via The Assault Weapon Myth – NYTimes.com

So, maybe, just maybe, there are people in the media with more than two brain cells to rub together. Maybe, just maybe, the focus will shift to addressing real problems rather than just symptoms. Time will tell. If history is an indication, before sundown, the New York Times will come to its senses and resume printing the typical anti-gun screed for which they have long been known. But, one can always hope.

-GM

Ray Rice treatment brings Shaneen Allen’s back to the front

“…Pennsylvania single mom Shaneen Allen was pulled over for a traffic violation and volunteered to a New Jersey police officer that she was carrying a legally-owned handgun with a Pennsylvania permit, the response of Donis and McClain was to deny her the same opportunity as Rice.

Allen lives in Philadelphia, right across the river from New Jersey. She has a Pennsylvania permit to carry a handgun. She thought it was recognized in New Jersey, just as it is recognized in over 30 other states. She was wrong. When she told the officer that she had the gun, she was arrested.

Now she faces a felony conviction and a mandatory 42 months in prison. Both Donio and McClain have been unwilling to dismiss the charges, or send Allen to a pretrial diversion program…”

via Carrying a gun way worse than beating your wife: Column.

Shaneen Allen and family

Shaneen Allen and family

It’s been simmering for some time but, Shaneen Allen’s case has now boiled to the surface in light of the video of Ray Rice striking his wife and knocking her unconscious. Why? Because the same judge and prosecutor who essentially let Rice walk for felony assault with bodily injury against his then fiancée, have been trying to make an example of a Allen, single mother with no criminal record who simply made a procedural mistake that harmed and endangered NO ONE.

Allen is facing up to ten years in prison because she was unfamiliar with New Jersey law regarding the possession of a handgun and hollowpoint ammunition.  In an otherwise uneventful traffic stop, trying to be honest, she told the officer she was carrying a handgun and things went downhill from there. While ignorance of the law is no excuse, there’s a great deal of discretion that could have been used by law enforcement, the court, and the local prosecutor that has not been exercised. And shockingly, Allen’s case has garnered the attention of the mainstream media who usually doesn’t care to have anything to do with defending the 2nd Amendment.  It has even caused New Jersey lawmakers to take a second look at New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. With all this new time in the spotlight, it’s a wonder that the charges against Shaneen Allen haven’t spontaneously combusted. But the latest word is, that might just be what happens.

 

It’s too early to celebrate. A delay of trial can simply mean additional evidence is being considered. They may just want to twist the knife in a little deeper. But it could also mean they are looking for a way to back out of a case they are concerned will not garner a conviction and will be thoroughly unpopular with voters. Let’s hope it’s the latter. This is one of those times that society does not stand to gain from the work of the local prosecutor and judge. And the fact these same people let Rice walk for a far more egregious offense really should cost them their jobs.  Especially as they push to do far worse to Shaneen Allen. Thus far, they haven’t so much as offered a pretrial diversion for Allen but, they did for Rice. Something that almost NEVER happens in similar cases of domestic violence. Apparently the judge and prosecutor are big fans of the NFL and/or Ray Rice.

-GM

The stink just will not wash off Zimmerman…

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A driver says George Zimmerman threatened to kill him, asking ‘Do you know who I am?’ during a road confrontation in their vehicles, a police spokeswoman said Friday.

The driver, whose name hasn’t been released, told Lake Mary police officers that a truck pulled up to his car Tuesday, and the driver yelled, “Why are you pointing a finger at me?”

The truck’s driver then asked the man, “Do you know who I am? I will kill you,” the man told police officers, said Officer Bianca Gillett, a police spokeswoman.

The man said he recognized the truck’s driver as George Zimmerman. The man pulled into a nearby gas station and called police officers, but the truck was gone by the time they arrived, Gillett said.

via Police: Zimmerman accused of threatening driver – Houston Chronicle.

 

It could be a total fabrication. Just plain media bias. It really could. Once. Maybe twice. Possibly even three times. But Zimmerman can’t seem to stay below the radar. Seriously, dude. Find a hole. Crawl in. Pull over a rock. Stay there!

You can name just about any other person who has gone to trial for murder, been acquitted, and walked away…Most have gone on to live their lives in relative obscurity. The lone exception that comes to mind immediately is O.J. Simpson. And we all know how that one ended, or will end. Quite honestly, it seems Zimmerman is probably headed in the same direction.

-GM

Situational Awareness can mean avoiding a fight altogether

A short while ago, Jason Berry, our LE contributor, posted a video on our FB page of a woman being attacked in her driveway. That video seems to have been staged to promote self-defense training. It was also in another country but, there are valid lessons to be gleaned even from that video. In contrast, the video I’ve posted here is not staged. It is local to the Mission Bend area of southwest Houston.

In this case, the driver noticed a white Honda CRV passing him by as he pulled into his driveway. As a rule, if something doesn’t feel right, go with your gut. Usually if something feels wrong, it is wrong. And for this driver, something felt wrong so we see him investigating his surroundings.

Sure enough, the CRV does a three-point turn in the street (off camera) and pulls into the driveway. The driver runs back to his car. That motion alone appears to convince the CRV occupants that they have somewhere else to be. The driver notes that the occupants of the CRV most likely thought he was “loaded” and ready for them. Not knowing this driver from a hill of beans, I can’t tell you if he carries a gun or not. He clearly states he’s been robbed before and is not new to the game. As a practical matter, I can tell you that it would be better to have a gun than to risk having someone call your bluff.

Still, a major deciding factor in this incident remains the fact the driver had enough situational awareness to see trouble coming. He put himself in a position to be ahead of the curve and watched his surroundings with purpose. This stands in contrast to the staged video where we see an example of behavior we see in robberies every day. The driver is  distracted and completely unaware of her surroundings, allowing time for the bad guys to sneak up behind her. It’s great if you can fight and it’s great if you carry a gun (assuming you actually train to use it) but, it’s all for naught if mentally, you are still a grasseater, with your head down and no clue what’s going on around you.

-GM