Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Germans have it Right

The Germans have it right, as does the rest of the EU.  On hearing the NSA is spying on them, they were deeply angry.  They didn't say "I have nothing to hide," because they know better. 

What did they say?  Something that should make us ashamed of what we've allowed to happen in the U.S.
Given our history, we Germans are not willing to trade in our liberty for potentially better security.  (From Germans Loved Obama. Now We Don’t Trust Him. by Malte Spitz)
That should shame Americans, because we were warned a century and a half before the Germans learned their painful lesson.  "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."  (Benjamin Franklin, February 1775 and published in his memoirs, also used earlier in 1759 as a motto on a title page as "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.")

We're far removed from the events that caused our founders to fear big government so much that they did everything they could think of to hobble government power, initially limiting it so much that the Articles of Confederation fell apart.  We're painfully relearning what they saw first hand:  rulers seek their own power, wealth and security of position no matter what.  Only constant vigilance can prevent it.

Let's hope it doesn't take repeating Germany's mistakes to wake Americans up.

The Armed Citizen

After hearing several bumps in the night, Claire Storms woke her husband, NRA Life member Dave Storms. He armed him­ self with a handgun and approached the noise. A 16-year-old wearing a bandana over his face was in the bathroom. Police said the teen had forcefully entered a window and was stealing money from Dave's wallet. "Just his eyes were showing," Storms recalled. "I put the gun on him real quick and I said, 'Back up and sit down on the pot." The teen sat down and waited for police to arrive, all the while asking to leave and begging not to be shot. Storms said some in the commu­nity feared he'd be charged with a crime for defending himself, but he knew he was within his rights. "If it was Washington, D.C., I would be in trouble," Storms said, adding that his fellow citizens "better vote for people who believe in the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms." (Presque Isle County Advance, Rogers City, MI, 08/28/2008)

NRA member David Johnson was returning home from work when he saw something suspicious-the door to his neighbor's recently vacated home was propped open. He found that his front door, too, was ajar, with a bicycle in the driveway and his dog running loose. Fearing a prowler was in the area, Johnson ran upstairs tp get his shotgun. According to police, Johnson found a man ransacking his bedroom. He quickly pointed his shotgun at the intruder and ordered him to the floor. Responding officers arrested the intruder, who was carrying a stolen gun and has a lengthy criminal record. "[The intruder is a] poster boy for Project Exile!" Johnson wrote in a letter to the NRA. (Tidewater News, Franklin, VA, 08/13/2008)

According to police, several people were trying to pry open the front door to a residence and, with his pregnant wife and two children in a back bedroom, the homeowner had just seconds to react. Noting that at least one of the suspects was armed, the homeowner grabbed his shotgun. When the door began to open, the home­ owner stuck the barrel of his shotgun into the opening and fired. One suspect fell dead while his accomplices ran from the scene. "[The deceased] was wearing a full beanie and gloves," said a neighbor. "Those guys came to kill." (The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA, 09/10/2008)

His barking dog awakened a Baptist minister early one morning. Deciding to investigate, he grabbed his .454 Casull revolver and slid open the front door. What he found was quite alarming-a man high on narcotics was holding a brick in the air, pounding on the side of the house and shouting. The minister retreated inside, but the crazed man forced his way through the door. Fearing for his safety, the minister pointed his big­ bore revolver at the suspect, ordered him to the floor and held him for police. A responding deputy had to use a Taser on the suspect before taking him into custody. (Troup County News, LaGrange, GA, 08/15/2008)

Joshua Eastman was loading groceries into his vehicle in a store parking lot when a man wearing a bandana and carrying a gun approached. Police said the man announced a robbery. Eastman tried to stall him, hoping onlookers would notice and call police, but the robber grew impatient and started shooting. Eastman wasn't struck by the gunfire, but shattered glass ripped through his legs. That's when Eastman, a concealed-carry permit holder, drew his handgun and opened fire on the assailant, wounding him. Eastman fled to safety inside the store. Police found the suspect hiding nearby. (The Morning Call, Allentown, PA, 08/28/2008)

"It's kind of a blur," recalls Robert Smotherman of his life's most terrify­ing moment. As he pulled into his driveway, two men wearing ski masks and carrying rifles ran around the corner and demanded his valuables. "I had a gun on me," recalls Smotherman, a concealed-carry permit holder. "[They] hesitated, and I took the opportunity," Police said Smotherman fired eight shots from his .45-caliber pistol, striking at least one of the suspects several times and causing both to flee. "I just took my gut reaction and went with my first instinct," he explained. The wounded suspect was apprehended; his accom­plice is being sought. (Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, FL, 09/14/2008)

Want even more stories? Visit The Armed Citizen blog.

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
Shopkeeper Defends Himself and Employees,
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
Armed Student Saves 10 People,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,
Crime Spree Stopped with the Simple Presentation of a Firearm.

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
Scotland holds a Summit on their Failed Gun Policies, Chicago's gun ban continues to fail
Real Women's Rights (This one includes one of my favorite personal accounts)
Opposition to CA AB 2062
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts just prior to the release of DC v. Heller, with one of the best appellate court quotations ever.

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance

This isn't my post.  "Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance" is by Moxie Marlinspike in Wired Magazine.  Hit the link and read the whole thing, it's worth your time. 

Here are a couple of key points.  The first sets up the second.
As James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and former defense attorney, notes in his excellent lecture on why it is never a good idea to talk to the police:
Estimates of the current size of the body of federal criminal law vary. It has been reported that the Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes. These laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages. Worse yet, the statutory code sections often incorporate, by reference, the provisions and sanctions of administrative regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies under congressional authorization. Estimates of how many such regulations exist are even less well settled, but the ABA thinks there are ”nearly 10,000.”
If the federal government can’t even count how many laws there are, what chance does an individual have of being certain that they are not acting in violation of one of them?
As Supreme Court Justice Breyer elaborates:
The complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.
In short, you are probably in violation of several Federal laws and you don't know it.  How could you?  They're inane and shouldn't be on the books.

Now let's say the government has complete surveillance data on your life.  They don't bother to look through it because they have no reason to, so they're not bothering to bust you for having too small a lobster in your possession (no kidding, it's a federal law, even if it died of natural causes and you happened to pick it up on the beach).
Police already abuse the immense power they have, but if everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective. Those in power will essentially have what they need to punish anyone they’d like, whenever they choose, as if there were no rules at all.
To summarize, a surveillance state is a police state.  In Soviet Russia, they at least waited for a pretense, like your neighbor lying to them about you so she could get your apartment.  In surveillance America, once they have any reason to look at you, they can just sift back through all that collected data, charge you with crimes you didn't even know you committed and imprison you.  They don't even need to persecute you through the IRS (though they still will).  They can just jail you. 

"Obama would never do that!"  Okay, fine.  I don't agree, but I'll concede that point for now.  Do you trust every future administration for all of time?  I don't.

Funny and a bit Scary

 photo LL101_zps1cb08f15.jpg

I've seen this floating around.  It's pretty funny, but there's also a very serious point to be made about the SCOTUS decision.  If the Supreme Court had ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, that would be fine.  After all, the point of having a Constitutional Republic is that the rights of minority groups are protected by the Constitution and the courts.  Ruling that California voters do not have standing to defend propositions we pass is another matter altogether.

It's also a huge danger to anyone who lives in California.  For a more full explanation, here's a two paragraph post:  Eastman fears SCOTUS rulings threaten Prop. 13, entire Initiative process

The California initiative process exists because voters decided their representatives aren't doing a very good job of representing us.  There are probably better ways to handle the situation, like fixing gerrymandered districts (though we tried that, and found that they still got gerrymandered).  Still, the Prop 8 ruling means that if our State government doesn't like something we've passed to rein in our State government, all they have to do is refuse to defend it in court, and then the voters don't have standing to defend what we've done.

Ready to have Prop 13 go away and your property taxes to go up?  Oh, and renters, that means your rents will go up so your landlords can pay the increased taxes.

And they wonder why we're all moving to Texas.

Audit Confirms IRS targeting of Conservative Groups

From the Washington Examiner's "Treasury: IRS targeted 292 Tea Party groups, just 6 progressive groups":
In a letter to congressional Democrats, the inspector general also said that 100 percent of Tea Party groups seeking special tax status were put under IRS review, while only 30 percent of the progressive groups felt the same pressure.  
Well, that sounds bad.  100% vs. 30% is a clear bias.  Oh, but then there are the actual numbers.
The letter from the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed that there just weren't many progressive groups who even sought special tax exempt status. A total of 20 sought it, and six were probed. All 292 Tea Party groups, meanwhile, were part of the IRS witchhunt.
292 Tea Party Groups vs. 6 progressive groups?  There's no denying the bias there.  A tremendous amount of work was put into persecuting one ideology.  Witchhunt is the right word.  Still okay with surveillance knowing the government could turn on your group at any time with just a change of administration?  I'll post another article later.  You won't be.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First Amendment or Vandalism?

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

I saw the story on Drudge and had questions.  I checked the original story and didn't see the information I was interested in, though the picture is important.

What really interests me is whether the sidewalk decorated was public space or private space.  The comments on RT talk about fascism and the 1st  Amendment.  People don't seem to understand what the 1st Amendment means and where it applies.

Anybody reading this blog is probably familiar with the text of the 1st Amendment:
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The provisions of this amendment have been incorporated against the states, meaning the states may not violate it either.  So, the government of California can not abridge your free speech any more than the U.S. Government can.

You can't stand up in the middle of your local supermarket and pontificate on your opinions.  The 1st Amendment doesn't protect you on private property, because the property owner gets fairly free use of her or his own property.  She's not the government.  If you're interrupting her business or infringing on her rights, she gets to seek redress, usually by having you arrested. 

In an online example, I used to help enforce a gaming server's rules against profanity.   Undereducated gamers would often complain that I was infringing on their 1st Amendment rights.  I finally made a keybind that read, "This server is a private space.  This gaming community is not Congress.  The 1st Amendment does not apply here."

In San Diego case, the picture accompanying the original story appeared to show the man providing a website address, possibly of a competitor.  If the sidewalk is private property, the business certainly does not have to permit that to happen.

If that sidewalk is public property, that's a whole different situation.  In response to the Huffington Post's article, the San Diego City Attorney's office emailed a statement on the case of People v. Olson:
1. This is a graffiti case where the defendant is alleged to have engaged in the conduct on 13 different occasions. The trial judge has already held that, under California law, it is still graffiti even if the material can be removed with water. Most graffiti can be removed. Also, the judge and a different pre-trial judge held that the First Amendment is not a defense to vandalism/graffiti. 

2. The defense is trying to make this case into a political statement, which it is not. This is just one of some 20,000 criminal cases that are referred to us annually by the police department. We have prosecutors who decide whether to issue cases. They are professionals. The City Attorney was not involved in deciding whether to issue this case as is typical practice in prosecution offices for most cases. He hadn't heard of this case until it was in the media.

3. The defense is whipping up hysteria about the prospect of 13 years in custody. This is not a 13 year custody case. It is a standard graffiti case compounded by the fact that the defendant is alleged to have done it on 13 separate occasions. Because there were 13 different occasions when the defendant allegedly engaged in the conduct, the law requires them to be set out separately in the complaint. This increases the maximum sentence, but it still is a graffiti case and nothing more. The courts routinely hear graffiti cases and handle them appropriately using judicial discretion.

4. It is not unusual for victims to contact police or prosecutors about a case. Our prosecutors are trained to focus only on their ethical standards in deciding whether to file a case.

5. We prosecute vandalism and theft cases regardless of who the perpetrator or victim might be. We don't decide, for example, based upon whether we like or dislike banks. That would be wrong under the law and such a practice by law enforcement would change our society in very damaging ways.
If the content of the man's site is political speech, and the sidewalk is public property, it would seem to me as nothing more than an interested party (I'm not an attorney) that there's a 1st Amendment case here.  It would depend on what we consider graffiti.  California's penal code section 594 tells us about California's definition.
594(e) As used in this section, the term "graffiti or other inscribed material" includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design, that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on real or personal property.
I don't like the idea that you need a permit to exercise your 1st Amendment rights.  I understand that for demonstrations and gatherings, there is a need to ensure fair use of public space, and permitting is important to providing equal access.  It is also clear that taggers don't have the right to spray artistic versions of their names on public buildings.  That's not political speech, it's vandalism.  Where do this man's actions fall?  Clearly the judge feels we're dealing with graffiti, not political speech, but I'd still like to know if the space used was public or private and what the content of his site might be.  I don't see this situation as clear cut at all.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Armed Citizen

The 17-year-old offender must've thought Leda Smith, an 85-year-old great-grandmother from southwestern Pennsylvania, would be easy prey, but Smith had the one tool that allows the weak to defend themselves against the strong-a firearm. According to police, when Smith heard the suspect forcefully enter the home, she went straight for her .22-caliber revolver and trained it on him. "I said, 'What are you doing in my house?'" Smith recalled. "He just kept saying he didn't do it." Showing great bravery, Smith held the suspect at gunpoint, forcing him to dial 9-1-1 and remain in a spread eagle position on the floor until police arrived. "I just hope I broke up the [burglary] ring because they have been hitting a lot of places around here," Smith added. (Associated Press, 08/19/2008)

Police say that a homeowner arrived at his residence to find an intruder sliding out from under the garage door with his power tools and rifle. The homeowner quickly drew a firearm on the intruder, holding him until police arrived. Police believe two other suspects fled in a car and a fourth may have fled on foot. Bradley County, TN, Sheriff Tim Gobble praised the homeowner's actions. "I love it when a homeowner catches a criminal while protecting his property. That's the best example I can think of why an armed citizenry is the best defense against crime," he said, adding that the intruder had been to jail before. "Part of our job is to back up citizens protecting their property, and I am proud of this homeowner." (Chattanoogan.com, Chattanooga, TN, 08/08/2008)

A homeowner was answering his doorbell when a noise at the back window alarmed him. "So I went upstairs and got my pistol and came back down," the homeowner explained. As he approached the back room, he saw a man climbing in the window. "I'm within eight feet of the guy. I'm nervous. I yelled at him and it seemed like his hand went up, so I hit the floor and started shooting," the homeowner said. Police found the wounded suspect in the front yard of a nearby home. He faces charges after his release from the hospital. "I regret that it caused injury on him," the homeowner said, "But I also regret that someone was trying to impose injury [on me] and steal my personal [valuables]." (WSB-TV, Atlanta, GA, 08/10/2008)

Nathan Zeger was meeting a man at a local rock quarry in order to purchase an ATV, but the events did not go as planned. As Zeger was approaching the seller, an ambush unfolded. Police say a second male wearing a black ski mask and wielding a gun moved in from Zeger's left and told him to get on the ground. Zeger, who holds a concealed-carry permit, was not about to comply. Drawing his .38-caliber handgun, he emptied all six cylinders. His assailant fired three times; then fled in his car at a high rate of speed. The suspects were still being sought at press time. (Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Lancaster, OH, 08/13/2008)

According to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), James Galvin was awakened by his sheepdog's terrified cries. When Galvin peered out the window, he saw his dog being chased around the yard by a 150-pound bear. Grabbing a firearm, Galvin ran outside. When the bear saw him, it stood up, then headed straight for him. Galvin was forced to dispatch the bear. DEP officials believe the bear's nearby cubs may have triggered the aqqressive behavior. The DEP determined the cubs were old enough to survive on their own and released them in a state forest. (The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, 08/14/2008)

While looking for a doctor's office, a 22-year-old Citadel student became lost. He drove slowly in an attempt to get his bearings, but his sluggish speed enraged a fellow motorist. According to police, when the student pulled into a parking lot to look at a map, the angry driver pulled in behind him and got out of his car gripping a baseball bat and loudly berating the young man about his driving. Reacting swiftly, the student pulled a Glock 23 pistol from his glove box and showed it to his assailant. Apparently no longer angry, the bat-wielding man put his hands in the air, returned to his sports car and drove off without further incident. (The Island Packet, Bluffton, SC, 08/09/2008

Want even more stories? Visit The Armed Citizen blog.

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
Shopkeeper Defends Himself and Employees,
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
Armed Student Saves 10 People,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,
Crime Spree Stopped with the Simple Presentation of a Firearm.

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
Scotland holds a Summit on their Failed Gun Policies, Chicago's gun ban continues to fail
Real Women's Rights (This one includes one of my favorite personal accounts)
Opposition to CA AB 2062
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts just prior to the release of DC v. Heller, with one of the best appellate court quotations ever.

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

LAPD says it tried hard to protect woman killed in West Hills

Boy, they sure tried hard.  That whole police trying hard to protect her thing worked out almost as well as if they'd issued her a CCW permit so she could exercise her constitutionally-protected right to self-defense.  Oh, wait, no it didn't.  And LA county won't issue a CCW to you unless you're a celebrity.  The rest of us just get to be stabbed to death instead of being able to shoot our would-be murderers.

LAPD says it tried hard to protect woman killed in West Hills

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Armed Citizen

His luck apparently on the wane, an alleged serial burglar was committing his latest heist when two armed citizens fired shotguns. Police say the fleeing suspect broke into a nearby residence where 11-year-old Nicole Mendolia was home alone. A concerned neighbor knew the suspect was in the area and called Nicole's father, Anthony Mendolia, who hurried home. Nicole hid under the covers for about 20 minutes until her father arrived armed with a 9mm pistol and fired two shots at the suspect, who fled the scene. The suspect was turned over to police after treatment for a gunshot wound. Nicole wanted him to know, "...You really got what you deserved today. You really deserved to be shot...Seriously, you need to go to jail. You got problems." (10 News, Tampa Bay, FL, 08/02/2008)

Though he held the door shut against a 20-year-old intruder for as long as he could, police say an 84-year-old homeowner then grew tired. In desperation, he yelled for his wife to retrieve his .4S-caliber handgun. He fired one shot at the intruder, who will be arrested pending his release from the hospital. "You could tell [the homeowner] was devastated," Hancock County, MS, Sheriff's Investigator Andre Fizer said of the 911 tape, "You could tell he was scared." (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, MS, 07/29/2008)

According to police, a not-so­ stealthy intruder awakened a couple by loudly whistling in their basement. The homeowner grabbed his shotgun to investigate­ and that's when the situation got even more bizarre. The intruder was covered in barbecue sauce and wearing the homeowner's hat and his wife's jacket. The homeowner escorted the sticky intruder upstairs at gunpoint. The dis­turbed man told police he'd obtained the sauce from the couple's refrigera­tor in order to don "an urban disguise, if you will," because he believed the FBI was after him. (The Post-Crescent, Appleton, WI, 08/03/2008)

A group of doctors holding a lunch meeting at an upscale restaurant first thought a man was pulling a joke on them, but they realized the seriousness of the situation when the man forcefully tugged a doctor's tie and demanded his wallet. Police say the robber took the doctor's money and left, but soon returned. At that point, one of the doctors had enough. "Before we knew it, [the doctor] pulls his gun out and told the guy, 'Get away, get out of this restaurant now," recalls Dr. Charles Weatherby. "The guy looked back and [the doctor] said, 'If you look back again, I'm going to shoot you." The doctor escorted the robber outside at gunpoint, where he was arrested. (KIRO 7 News, Seattle, WA, 07/22/2008)

Police say a family was unloading groceries when three armed men approached and demanded money. When the father said he had nothing to give them, one assailant said, "Get the baby!" Fearing for his child, the father drew a handgun and opened fire on the men, who briefly returned fire, before running away. One of the robbers crawled away as if shot until he was able to join his accomplices. They sped away in a black SUV and were being sought by police. No members of the family, including the baby, were injured. (KNXV-TV, Phoenix, AZ, 07/07/2008)

Martin Garrison was asleep on his brother's couch when, according to police, five people intent on burglary pulled up outside. Two armed suspects invaded the home while their accomplices waited in the car. "I thought it was all a bad dream," Roger Garrison said. "I didn't know what their intentions were. It was scary." When one of the burglars pointed a weapon at Martin, he drew a .2S-caliber handgun from under the couch and shot one of the burglars three times. The wounded burglar died on the scene. Police were led to the dead man's accomplices when they answered incoming calls to his cell phone. "My brother is still real upset about it," Roger explained. "Robberies are something you hear about, but you never want to go through one." (Star­ Banner, Ocala, FL, 07/23/2008)

Want even more stories? Visit The Armed Citizen blog.

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
Shopkeeper Defends Himself and Employees,
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
Armed Student Saves 10 People,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,
Crime Spree Stopped with the Simple Presentation of a Firearm.

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
Scotland holds a Summit on their Failed Gun Policies, Chicago's gun ban continues to fail
Real Women's Rights (This one includes one of my favorite personal accounts)
Opposition to CA AB 2062
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts just prior to the release of DC v. Heller, with one of the best appellate court quotations ever.

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Monday, June 10, 2013

No More Spying on Citizens


I agree with all of that. Now if only we could get him to agree with it today.  I should probably transcribe it before it's scrubbed from the web as I've noticed other videos I've posted have been.
This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.

That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.
Strong words in 2007, Mr. President.  If only you believed them.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Evolution of the American Left

 photo Authority_zpsc8dab621.jpg

The Armed Citizen

"Today I hug my wife and children," NRA Benefactor Life member Terry Lee wrote in an e-mail to the NRA. The trouble began when Lee heard a muffled crash downstairs, then another. He grabbed his .45-caliber pistol and went to investigate. A naked man had broken in. Asked what he was doing, the intrude responded with expletives. Lee held the man at gunpoint and yelled for his wife to dial 9-1-1. "The man made a couple of attempts to get up, but I was able to convince him to stay on the floor to avoid being shot," Lee explained. Police determined the suspect was high on drugs. He was also on probation, with priors for burglary and theft. "With [the NRA's] guidance over the years, I was able to keep calm and make rational decisions in a difficult and stressful situation," Lee said. (Iron County, UT, Sheriff's Office Law Incident Report, 06/06/2008)

It is every bank customer's worst nightmare. Police say a man handed a teller a note, demanding money and claimed to have a bomb strapped to his chest. Meanwhile, Nabil Fawzi was making a transaction with the adjacent teller when she whispered to him, "We might be getting robbed." Fawzi, who has a concealed carry permit, decided to take action. Drawing his handgun, he told the robber the heist was over. "But I have a bomb," the robber replied. "I don't care," said Fawzi. "You're are not robbing this bank today." Fawzi approached the robber, determined he wasn't wearing a bomb or carrying a weapon, and held him for police. "In my situation, I felt like I could do it, and I just did it because it was the right thing to do," he said. Fawzi and his business partner celebrated by discounting gas by 5 cents and giving away free hot dogs at their station. (The Ann Arbor News, Ann Arbor, MI, 06/18/2008)

Police say a man suspected in a burglary incident was already due in court for a separate, prior burglary. This time, however, he may have learned his lesson. Troy Howard woke up to the sound of breaking glass as the suspect and at least one accomplice entered the home. Howard's wife of nearly 50 years locked the bedroom door and hid in the closet. Meanwhile, Howard grabbed a double-barreled shotgun just in time to see a beam from the suspect's flashlight shining under the door. When the suspect tried to force the door open, Howard emptied both barrels. The wounded suspects fled. (News at Norman, Lake Norman, NC, 06/25/2008)

An employee of Chanellos Pizza was making a delivery when five juveniles sprang from the residence and began assaulting him, allegedly laughing and enjoying their attack. The deliveryman tried to run away, but the suspects wouldn't let him. Fearing the onslaught would continue until he was dead, the deliveryman drew his handgun and shot one of the suspects several times. The wounded suspect and his accomplices were arrested at the hospital. Unlike the incident involving a Pizza Hut deliveryman reported in July, the Chanellos deliveryman has his employer's full support. "I'm glad he did have a gun," said John Campbell, owner of Chanellos Pizza. "He might have been killed if he didn't." Campbell gave the deliveryman time off to recover. (The Daily Reflector, Greenville, NC, 06/19/2008)

Seventy-year-old Billy Jackson and his wife were cleaning an apartment attached to their home when two masked men, one of them carrying a stolen gun, forced their way inside. Police say the intruders got the jump on Jackson, putting the gun in his face. "They had the weapon two feet from my head-thought I was dead," recalls Jackson, who wanted to prevent the men from reaching his wife in the kitchen. Thinking quickly, Jackson feigned a heart attack, buying himself time to reach for the gun he had tucked in his waistband. He drew the pistol, killing both intruders. "I'm so sorry for the people I hurt," Jackson explained. "But I had no choice. I thought I was dead and my wife was dead." (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY, 06/05/2008)

Want even more stories? Visit The Armed Citizen blog.

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
Shopkeeper Defends Himself and Employees,
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
Armed Student Saves 10 People,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,
Crime Spree Stopped with the Simple Presentation of a Firearm.

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
Scotland holds a Summit on their Failed Gun Policies, Chicago's gun ban continues to fail
Real Women's Rights (This one includes one of my favorite personal accounts)
Opposition to CA AB 2062
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts just prior to the release of DC v. Heller, with one of the best appellate court quotations ever.

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Monday, June 3, 2013

How's Strict Gun Control Working?

This is just a check in on how strict gun control is working where it's implemented.

New York isn't doing so well:  Mayhem in the city: 25 people shot in 48 hours
In a related article, Chicago's violence is mentioned, too:  New York's Summer of Gun Violence Is Off to a Chicago-Style Start
What's interesting is that we don't usually see yearly figures for NYC:
New York City, five months into one of the least violent years in its history, had five percent of its total shootings for 2013 over the weekend: 25 people were shot in just 48 hours, bringing the yearly figure to 440 shootings — with six more fatalities.
 Wow.  440 shootings is one of the least violent years in NYC's recorded history.

 A bit of googling finds that people are claiming Chicago gun homicides are down, but nobody wants to give the exact figure.  They had 506 homicides in 2012 and 433 in 2011 (maybe people are using fewer guns and more knives and baseball bats?).  As of January, Chicago had 43 murders already.  (Figures from CNN)

Gun control hasn't helped  reduce violence in NYC.  It hasn't helped reduce violence in Chicago.  It hasn't helped reduce violence in Massachusetts, Australia or the U.K.

Strict gun control hasn't stopped mass shootings in Finland and Germany, or elsewhere (NRO had a more recent Lott article on this subject, but it seems to have been taken down or moved).

Strict gun control doesn't work and doesn't make you safer.  It only disarms the lawful and prevents them from defending themselves and you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Armed Citizen

Pizza Hut deliveryman James Spiers thought he was making a routine delivery, but he was walking into an ambush. As Spiers approached, an armed man sprang at him with a gun, but Spiers, a concealed-carry permit holder, was no easy target. Police say Spiers struggled hard with the assailant until he was able to produce his handgun. "It was a long ordeal...my life was, without a doubt, in danger," Spiers recalls. Spiers shot the suspect three times. The suspect fled and was arrested at the hospital. Pizza Hut summarily fired Spiers, a 10-year employee, citing a corporate policy forbidding employees from carrying firearms. To voice your displeasure, call Pizza Hut Corporate Offices at 800-948-8488 or visit www.pizzahut.com/contactus/ContactUsForm.aspx?1=2024 (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA, 04/03/2008)

When an intruder broke down Robert Jenkins' door, he seemed to doubt Jenkins' marksmanship. "When he saw me, he said, 'Give me that gun,'" the 81-year-old Jenkins said. "Then he lunged at me, so I shot him." But police say the incident didn't end there. While Jenkins' wife called 9-1-1, the intruder again dove at Jenkins, striking him in the head and chest. Jenkins fired his .38-caliber pistol a second time, killing the intruder. "If it happened again, I'd do the same thing, but I hope I don't have to," Jenkins said. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 03/22/2008)

According to police, the teenage suspects in a burglary knew the homeowner was hospitalized, but they didn't know he had a house sitter. One suspect waited in the car while his three accomplices broke into the house. The house sitter heard glass breaking, got a handgun and hid in a bedroom while the suspects stole guns, money and jewelry. When he thought the intruders had left, he stepped into the hallway--only to find himself face to face with a gun-toting burglar. The house sitter quickly fired two shots, killing the suspect. The other suspects fled, but were later arrested. (Telegraph, Dixon, IL, 04/11/2008)

Angela and Jeffery Patterson were watching TV when a man wearing a bandanna and carrying a pistol burst into their apartment. Police say he demanded money and the TV, then ordered the couple to disrobe. He watched Angela more closely. "He didn't pay attention to me so I charged at him," Jeffery explained. As her husband struggled with the intruder, Angela ran to the bedroom and grabbed her pistol. "I refuse to be a victim," Angela said. "He put a gun in my face. If you're bold enough to do that, you're bold enough to shoot us." Angela stepped back into the living room and fired, killing the intruder. (Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX, 03/28/2008)

Police say a man pulled into a gas station in a stolen car, then tried to add a second vehicle to his collection. He should have chosen an easier mark; his intended victim, Charles Todd, is a concealed-carry permit holder. Security video showed the carjacker carrying a rifle as he confronted Todd at the gas pumps. Todd took cover behind the pumps, drew a handgun and fired two shots. The carjacker dodged and ran out of the frame as he fled the scene. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 04/23/2008)

Soemthing caught Willie Shows' eye when he drove past his father's auction house. Police say he pulled behind the building and saw two suspects loading a pickup with tools and scrap metal. "We've had $30,000 worth of stuff stolen from us over the last two years and I'm tired of it," Shows said. He grabbed his .357 revolver and confronted the thieves, whose initial actions made Shows very nervous. "They started trying to talk and wouldn't come out from behind the truck. I said, 'If you don't get down, I'm going to shoot you,'" he remembers. Wisely the suspects did as they were told and police arrested them shortly thereafter. Less than a year ago, Shows' father held suspects at gunpoint for police at the same location. (The Review of Jones County, Laurel, MS, 04/10/2008)

Want even more stories? Visit The Armed Citizen blog.

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
Shopkeeper Defends Himself and Employees,
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
Armed Student Saves 10 People,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,
Crime Spree Stopped with the Simple Presentation of a Firearm.

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
Scotland holds a Summit on their Failed Gun Policies, Chicago's gun ban continues to fail
Real Women's Rights (This one includes one of my favorite personal accounts)
Opposition to CA AB 2062
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts just prior to the release of DC v. Heller, with one of the best appellate court quotations ever.

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?