A Good Judge With A Gun

A judge in Steubenville, PA was ambushed outside a courthouse – and returned fire:

[Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph ] Bruzzese was shot in an ambush-style attack outside the Jefferson County Courthouse on his way into his office Monday morning.

County officials said the courthouse, which was closed today as the investigation progresses, will remain closed Tuesday.

Mavromatis said the family of the shooter, who was shot and killed by a probation officer who happened upon the exchange of gunfire between the shooter and the judge, has been notified.

The shiooter was counting on the judge being a helpless victim.

It’s so fun when they’re wrong.  Not for them, of course.

Factoid To Remember

Fqctoid to remember the next time the Victim Disarmament / Safe Criminals movement starts jabbering about the “Gun Lobby”:

Contrary to the ignorant assumptions that inform our political discourse, the NRA is a relatively small spender when it comes to campaign donations and lobbying, being at the moment the 460th-largest campaign donor and the 156th-highest-spending lobbyist.

Use it in good health.

Bring On The Horseshoes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals say the Second Amendment doesn’t protect my right to have military-grade weapons to resist my own government.  They say America should be more like Sweden.

Sweden – where widespread availability of hand grenades resulted in a 550% increase in people throwing hand grenades at government targets.  Jiminy Cricket – who knew Swedes were such violent domestic terrorists in their own country?  And why now, all of the sudden?

The latest attack was in Malmo, Sweden.  Hmmmm, Malmo, Malmo . . . why is that name familiar?

Joe Doakes

Grenades don’t kill people.  People with violence on their mind and grenades do.

Represent!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

 

Texas woman shoots dead an armed home invader.  A private citizen using a pistol for self-defense?  That’s gonna mess up Penigma’s narrative, right there.

I think it was more Dog Gone’s narrative, although they shared some elements.

At any rate – Ms. Gone’s narrative has been moot for quite some time. here in MN and elsewhere.   She’s not here to defend herself – but that’s her fault.

No mention of a medal.  Surely some group should give her a medal?

“We, the members of the Podunk Booster Club, honor Mrs. Dorothy Smith for her courageous actions defending her home and her neighborhood, awarding her this Marksman Medal, a check for $357 which is her favorite caliber, and we invite her to ride in our car in the next parade.”

With a photo in the newspaper of her wearing the medal holding the enormous cardboard check, that could be a great PR move in certain areas of the state.

Joe Doakes

I like it.

Blowback

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus has responded to “Protect” MN’s slanderous Facebook post yesterday:

On Wednesday August 9th, local gun control activist group Protect Minnesota published a statement on their Facebook page implying that the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus has information on the attack at the Dar Al Farooq Mosque, and was withholding that information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We are outraged by these libelous, defamatory, and false accusations made by Protect Minnesota, “ said Bryan Strawser, Chair, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. “Our organization is committed to the defense of civil rights. This statement and its implications are baseless and offensive. Needless to say, we have no information on this tragic attack.”

“It’s truly unfortunate that at a time when we should be pulling together as a community to condemn terror, Protect Minnesota has chosen to engage in accusations that have no basis in fact and will only serve to distract investigators from swiftly bringing the perpetrator of this heinous act to justice.”

“Sadly, this approach has become the norm under their current leadership, “ added Rob Doar, Vice President & Political Director. “We always welcome thoughtful conversation on policy issues with any organization. Engaging in false accusations and misinformation following an incident of this magnitude is abhorrent. I sincerely hope that Protect Minnesota will cease this behavior and elevate their level of discourse.”

“We demand an immediate public retraction of these false assertions,” added Strawser.

Doar’s aside about “current leadership” is important:  while Heather Martens was a doddering incompetent, Nancy Nord Bence is a smug, passive-aggressive, entitled incompetent.

UPDATE:  No apology, naturally – but they’re trying to stuff their slander down the memory hole:

Well, aren’t they just a bunch  of profiles in courage?

They know their audience is neither curious nor critical enough to bother with the details.  But Nancy Nord Bence’s oompa-loompas are getting lazier and more reckless as they move out toward the extreme.  It’s eventually gonna cost ’em.

It’s already cost them their credibility.

Lie First, Lie Always: Slander

We’ve been pointing out for years – correctly – that “Protect” Minnesota has never, not once, made a single statement that is simultaneously original, substantial and true.

But today, the’ve slid over the line into slander.

“We hope that groups like Minnesota Gun Rights, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance can provide good information to the FBI to find and arrest the people responsible” for the Dar Al Farook firebombing?

Even by Nancy Nord Bence’s, er, casual standards of honesty and integrity, this is – pardon the middle-English – chickenshit.

And in a jiust world, it’d be actionable.  Let’s review from a couple years ago; Defmation – Libel and Slander – are when Party A says something about Party B that:

  • Is untrue
  • Can damage Party B’s livelihood and reputation in the community
  • If Party B is a public figure (and the three groups that Nord Bence slandered certainly are),  it can be shown that Party A acted with a malicious disregard for fact.

“P”M’s claim that any Minnesota 2nd Amendment group knows who bombed Dar Al Farook is certainly untrue.  Accusations of abetting terrorism are certainly damaging to a community non-profit group.  And given Nancy Nord Bence and her associates’ long record of scabrous attacks on GOCRA and MNGOC, malice isn’t a huge stretch.

If the gun groups want to sue, I’ll set up a kickstarter to raise funds.

PS to lawyers in the audience:  Yep.  I know.  Negligence is a defense against the “Malicious Intent” element.  It says something that “P”M’s big defense in this case is “We’re too stupid and morally bankrupt to know any better”.  God bless America.

Felonious Sematics

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minnesota Court of Appeals decides that having a loaded pistol in the center console of the car is not “carrying a pistol.”  The word “carrying” requires a connection between the pistol and your clothes or some part of your body.

Except . . . that means a person doesn’t need a permit to carry to drive around with a loaded pistol in the center console.  That’s plainly not what the legislature intended when it set up the background check with training and proficiency requirements for pistol carriers.

The rule for transporting firearms has been ‘unloaded, in a case, in the trunk’ for as long as I can remember.  Transporting a loaded pistol out of the case required a permit to carry.  But reading this opinion – even if I DO have a permit to carry, but my loaded pistol is in the center console, then it’s not touching my body so I’m not “carrying” so my permit doesn’t cover that activity.  Suddenly, that has become illegal transportation of a loaded gun outside the case, regardless of having a permit to carry.

This decision, and the prior “carry” decision (State v. Larson), show that the Court of Appeals has a problem.  Either (1) they don’t understand the permit to carry law so they interpret it incorrectly; or (2) they understand perfectly what was intended but hate the idea of armed citizens, so they’re intentionally twisting the law to fit their own agenda.

Either way, the Legislature needs to fix the statute by defining the word “carry.”

Joe Doakes

As the decision shows us, it’s long overdue.

A Good Guy With A Gun: “Heroic Actions Of Self-Defense”

Henco has affirmed that a Minnetonka man shot an attacker / stalker in self defense, and all but carried him down Excelsior Boulevard on their shouders:

Following the strong recommendation of investigators, the Hennepin County attorney’s office said this week that 65-year-old James LaCount, of Minnetonka, will not be prosecuted for fatally shooting Thomas Luetzow on June 23 at the Public Mini Storage in the 2800 block of Hedberg Drive.

LaCount “described elements consistent with heroic actions of self-defense” when he shot the 58-year-old Luetzow with a facility employee close by, police Sgt. Troy Denneson wrote in a summary of his department’s 20-page report submitted to prosecutors. “Physical evidence and eyewitness recollections appear to confirm LaCount’s explanation of events.”

Given that it took place in Henco, that’s bureaucratic shorthant for “Mr. LaCount’s actions were pure as the driven snow”.

He was one of the good guys:

The retired refrigeration technician also credited his being able to legally carry a gun in public with sparing him more serious injury, or worse.

“If I hadn’t had [the gun], I’d probably be dead now,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

It absolutely is.

Minnesota put its permit-to-carry law on the books in 2003, but not until after substantial public debate about whether the streets would become more dangerous.

“Substantial” meaning “A lot of it”, not “of intellectual heft”.

And after the Castile incident, the LaCount episode shows a very different result when interacting with the police:

Police Chief Scott Boerboom also credited an exhausted and bloodied LaCount with properly interacting with officers as soon as they arrived on the chaotic scene in order to help them properly assess the situation.

“From the onset, when we approached Mr. LaCount, he immediately said it was self-defense and he had a permit to carry,” Boerboom said. “He wanted to make sure, and it helped us initially get an idea about what was going on here.”

The case file also disclosed that LaCount, weakened from abdominal surgery, was sitting down and leaning against a vehicle when police arrived. He also made sure to not have his handgun on him, leaving it on the ground for officers to recover.

That’s another good Minnesotan with a gun alive today.

Wes Skogland?  You’re still a lying sack of garbage.

Mr. LaCount has been added to my “Good Minnesotan with a Gun” archives.  It’s up to six justifiable homicides now – and that doesn’t include who episodes from the late ’00s that involved bouncers shooting lethally-aggressive patrons (if you can find the link, shoot it over to me…)

When I Think Back On All The Crap…

Joe Doeakes from Como Park emails:

A Wisconsin legislator wants schools to offer an elective class on safety.  Liberals are losing their minds.

Schools already offer classes in how to safely have sex, take drugs, drink alcohol, interact with Strangers.  This bill expands the list to firearms.  What’s the problem?

I cannot recall the last time I attempted to extract a cube root or diagram a sentence, but I cooked my own breakfast and drove to work this morning.  Life skills are the subjects every kid must learn to survive in America today and that includes how to safely interact with the 300 million firearms in this country, but who’s teaching them if not the schools?  Parents?  Liberals insist they’re not competent to teach anything else so why would we let them handle the truly dangerous subject?

Odd how education is offensive and shouldn’t be funded when it’s a conservative item.  Liberals would be happy to fund the condom to put over the end of the barrel, they have no qualms about funding forced indoctrination into gender weirdness, but understanding how a firearm works and being taught to always treat it as dangerous is a bad thing.

I guess Liberals prefer to have the kids learn on the streets or in back-alley shops that use clothes hangers for cleaning rods.

Joe Doakes

What – “gun safety groups” objecting to gun safety classes?

Why, it’s almost like every word that escapes their clenched throats is a lie or something.

R E S P E C T. Find Out What It Means To Me.

2/3 of Ameirca’s firearm fatalities involve suicide.

Half of America’s suicides involve firearms.

Suicide is generally a matter of available means – and so gun suicides tend to be concentrated in rural areas.  The victims are generally older, frequently socially isolated, often depressed, frequently ill.

In short, they’re the sort of people a lot of coastal progressives want to see killing themselves off.

But for people with working senses of humanity, regardless of politics, suicide prevention is an important thing.

A study has shown that suicide prevention presented in a way that respects gun owners’ beliefs, values, worldview and culture is much more effective at getting across to people than – this  may come as a shock – studies that insult the audience and assault their beliefs.

Which almost seems to strike the researchers as a surprise:

“There is robust knowledge and wisdom about solutions to gun violence which exists within communities that have high levels of gun ownership and gun violence,” Marino said. “Our findings firmly assert that the solutions to gun violence in America might be best explored by linking scientific investigations with community knowledge.”

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

We, The People

To:  “David Smalley”
From:  Mitch Berg, irascible peasant
Re:  Your article on, ahem, “Patheos”.

Mr. Smalley,

I”m not going to bother dispensing with the bulk of your “seminar caller”-stule, utterly and intensely illogical assault on “gun culture”.

But there is one line that I want to call out, by way of accelerating its demise from conversations among the smart people.  It’s this oldie-but-goodie:

So even today, with the 2nd Amendment in full effect, we don’t have the rights to be “armed as well as our government.”
Secondly, what if you were? I could hand you 50 M-16s, give you 1000 illegal bombs, steal you a couple of tanks, and smuggle in some bazookas, and even let you fully train 500 of your closest friends.
If the government wants your shit, they’re going to take it.
You still wouldn’t be a match for even a single battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Not to mention the Air Force, Army, Navy, National Guard, Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and Seals.
So stop acting like your little AR-15 is going to stop tyranny.

This makes perfect sense, Mr. “Smalley”, since as we know the military – especially the “combat arms” people – infantry, armor, artillery, combat engineers and cavalry,, as well as special forces – are drawn from families with two parents who have masters degrees in poli sci from Oberlin, work for social justice non-profits, shop at Whole Foods, drive Subarus, listen to NPR and practice vegan lifestyles.

Right?

Wrong.

The families – fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins – of those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and generally by extension those troops themselves – are drawn from the caste of our society that owns guns, for ideological as much as practical reasons.

It’s culturally almost impossible to separate the “gun culture” and our military.  :

Your little cultural genocide tale  only exists in lefty fantasy.

That is all.

Parenthetical Note

In the wake of passing registration and magazine limits during the orgy of victim-disarmament legislation in 2013, Baltimore’s crime rate has steadily risen, and stands at twice Chicago’s catastrophic rate.

But when they finally “debate” a measure that can actually work – mandatory sentences for using guns in a crime –suddenly there’s an animated, even violent, debate?

When California secedes, maybe they can take everything on the east coast from DC through Massachusetts, too…

Four Out Of Five Maoists Say The Great Leap Forward Was, In Fact, A Great Leap Forward

A group of university professors “studied” “gun violence” “groups” and “found” that they were “really pretty moderate”:

The researchers spent two years studying national and regional gun violence prevention groups and concluded they are motivated to reduce death and injury by firearms, but that they want to do so while reserving the right to own guns, said Aimee Huff, assistant business professor, and Michelle Barnhart, associate marketing professor.

And one of the conclusions?

This philosophy has allowed gun violence prevention groups to gain ground on both the legislative level and in public opinion, the researchers hypothesized.

It probably has – in places like Connecticut and California, where victim disarmament groups actually are closer to the center…

When We Say The Roots Of “Gun Control” Are Racist…

…we aren’t just referring to its historical roots, the attempts to disarm blacks after the Civil War and the urban riots of the sixties.

Los Angeles – which still has the “discretionary issue” system Minnesota ditched in 2003 – gives fewer permits to blacks, Latinos and women.

Gotta show ’em who’s boss.

When government controls who has the right to be a citizen rather than a subject, then everyone’s a subject.

Raising The Discourse

The “Coalition to Stop Gun VIolence” has never been one of the marquee criminal-safety organizations – they’ve been especially eclipsed in recent years by Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown” chain of McGunControl groups.  Like “Protect” Minnesota, they are largely sponsored by the Joyce Foundation.  Like “Protect” Minnesota, they have never said an original, substantial, true thing about guns or gun owners.

And lately, it seems, playing second banana has not setting too well with ’em.

This is their latest release:

This is today’s “Gun Violence” “Gun Safety” “Gun Control” “Criminal Safety” movement.

If Lott does in fact decide to sue the CSGV for defamation – and it’d seem he has a case, here – I’ll be running a fundraiser.

Lie First, Lie Always: They Think You’re Stupid

Further evidence of the statement “”Protect” Minnesota has never – not once – made a statement that was simultaneously substantial, original and true” came to us yesterday in the form of a press release from their “Research Director”, the onimatopaiec Richard Gigler.

Gigler is reading the same numbers I related to you a couple weeks ago, showing that crime has dropped sharply across Minnesota in the last year.

But the takeaway from any given type of evidence depends on a lot of things; in this case, whether one is inept at statistics, or one represents a group that pathologically lies about gun owners and knows their audience isn’t smart enough to know they’re being lied to.

In this case, as “evidence” that “more guns don’t mean more safety”, Gigler notes that the percentage of homicides committed by guns “…rose by 1%”   Of course, they didn’t; they rose by two thirds of a percent, and even that is a statistical anomaly caused by the drop in overall homicides, not a hike in gun homicides (which, as we noted, dropped 23% in the past year!).

But the lie-via-incompetence is worse than that – because the number of homicides dropped, and the percentage of homicides involving a gun “rose” as a fluke of statistical background noise…

…as the number of guns in law-abiding civilians hands rose sharply, and the number of carry permittees hit record numbers.

Meaning that the percentage of guns used in crimes dropped.

Again.

Why do you suppose it is that “Protect” Minnesota can’t tell the truth?

Sandbagged?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

You figure that if you are forced to shoot somebody and you’re up-front with the cops, the prosecutor will see that you’re a Good Guy and will drop the charges, right?   You can’t imagine the prosecutor will twist your words and play dirty tricks to cheat you out of your rights, all in a blind effort to appease a mob.  That wouldn’t happen in Minnesota, right?

“In the hour-long interview with Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigators, Yanez repeatedly used the pronoun “it” instead of “gun” or “firearm.” Prosecutors told jurors that the language proves Yanez never saw a gun. However, prosecutors never played the video during its case, thinking it more strategic to introduce the footage last Friday during the defense’s case. It is common practice to play a defendant’s interview with investigators during the state’s case.

“The rules of evidence clearly allow for the statement’s admission into evidence during cross examination,” said a written statement issued … by the Ramsey County attorney’s office. “Strategically, we felt the statement would be best used for impeachment purposes on cross examination when the defendant took the stand in his own defense.”

But the move backfired [at trial] when Ramsey County District Judge William H. Leary III criticized the prosecution’s timing and refused to allow the video. Defense attorney Thomas Kelly objected to the prosecution’s effort, calling it an “improper impeachment” of Yanez and asserting that the state allegedly withheld the video in order to compel Yanez’s testimony.”

Twisting words.  Dirty tricks.  Mob waiting outside.

Here’s the really fascinating question: is this merely local politicians and bureacrats doing their best to achieve justice, but their best isn’t very good?   Or is this part of a concerted effort at all levels to make gun ownership not only onerous, but even dangerous, for law-abiding citizens?  Defend yourself and we’ll bury you, to make sure nobody else defends themselves.

Joe Doakes

That’s the problem; when people stop trusting the “Justice” system, every manner of conspiracy becomes perfectly plausible.

Benefits

Mitch: “Firearm magazines with more than ten rounds…”

“Progressive”: “…should ONLY be used by the police and military, because society gives them some extra benefits because they defend and protect the rest of us.”

Mitch: “Benefits like qualified immunity from prosecution for killings and injuries they inflict while they reasonably believe they’re doing the job we hire them for?”

“Progressive”: “No! Never! They should be *just like every other citizen!”.

Mitch: “Only with 30 round magazines”.

Progressive: “Yes. Why?”

The Gang That Couldn’t Not Shoot, Straight: Thanks For The Marketing!

During the many years when Representative Heather Martens ran “Protect” Minnesota, the organization developed a reputation as being dodderingly, genially incompetent – like a neighborhood garden circle where everyone forgot to bring gloves.

In the year or so since the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence took over at “”Protect” Minnesota, the image has morphed into a form of more aggressive, turbocharged incompetence.

As an example:  since Bence took over the group, I think I can count the number of email blasts on the mailing list that haven’t required additions, retractions, or correctioons of mistakes on one hand with a few fingers in change, up to and including erroneous announcements of major grants.

But this past Sunday was the best of all.

The “Pink Pistols” – a group of gays and their allies who promote self-defense under the rubric “Armed Gays don’t get bashed” 0- had a booth at the Minneapolis “Pride” festival, in Loring Park.  The Pistols’ booth usually gets a steady stream of interest – but it’s fair to say the Pistols’ name recognition among gays isn’t a whole lot higher than among the general population.

Enter “Protect” Minnesota.

According to a source in the booth, “P”M was passing around a survey asking if attendees had heard of Pink Pistols.

Which apparently drove a steady stream of curious passersby to the booth for their first introduction to the idea of not being a defenseless victim.

So what you say but “thanks?”

Perspectives

Two perspectives on the Yanez verdict:

David French at National Review points out something that a lot of Yanez’ defenders miss:

If you read carefully, you’ll note that it appears that the officer shot Castile for doing exactly what the officer told him to do. Yanez asked for Castile’s license. Castile told him that he had a gun, and the officer – rather than asking for his carry permit, or asking where the gun was, or asking to see Castile’s hands – just says, “Don’t reach for it then.” At that point, Castile is operating under two commands. Get his license, and don’t reach for his gun. As Castile reaches for his license (following the officer’s orders), and he assures him that he’s not reaching for the gun (also following the officer’s orders). The entire encounter, he assures Yanez that he’s following Yanez’s instructions. He died anyway.

I’ve heard more than a few police-supporting conservatives justify the shooting by saying Castile had been told not to reach for his gun – but to comply with the other order he had to reach in the same general area (right rear pocket).  Some, with the benefit of hindsight, think that Castile should have reacted better.

To which I respond “sit down in front of a microphone, or in front of a Toastmasters meeting, and give a speech for which you’re unprepared.  See if you remember your kids’ names”.  Stress does unpredictable things with human reactions.  Try it sometime.

Better yet, don’t. Carry permittees are taught that the most dangerous time they’ll most likely face is police contact.   If you’re a carry permittee, you need to train for police contact just like you train to deal with a threat; you need to go over your line, over and over.  Because from where I sit, it seems Castile’s big mistake was getting his lines backward – mentioning his gun before his permit.

The other perspective – NRA commentator Colion Noir:

Other than Yanez’s testimony, there is nothing I read about the trial or any newly revealed facts to suggest that Philando was going for his gun. However, I don’t know what Yanez saw that made him think Philando was going for the gun, I wasn’t there, and I only have his words to go by. Sadly, Philando isn’t here to tell us other than his last dying statement of, “I wasn’t reaching for it”.

Personally, I feel because Yanez pulled Philando over under
The suspicion that he was a robbery suspect coupled with the presence of a gun, it put Yanez in a heightened state. I feel he lost control of his wits and overreacted. This now brings me to the question of race. Do I think Yanez felt threatened by the fact that Philando was black? It’s very possible Yanez was indifferent about Philando’s race. However, because of the negative stereotype reinforced in the media about black men and guns, it wouldn’t completely surprise me if Yanez felt more threatened by Philando because he was black. This is the same negative stereotype that I’ve been trying to combat for years now.

Both pieces are worth reading all the way through.

Pistol Protocol

Joe Doakes emailed me this request:

The case is over.  The next one hasn’t happened, yet.   This is the time to restart the conversation about the Pistol Protocol. Please run this letter on SITD.
Joe Doakes

So here is the letter:

Open letter to politicians, cops, citizens:

I write to enlist your support for law-abiding citizens.

The recent Falcon Heights shooting occurred two miles from my house.  I have a permit to carry a pistol, same as the driver. The cop was acquitted and social media is howling it’s a racial outrage but I’m not interested in who’s to blame in this specific incident.  I’m only interesting in making sure it doesn’t happen to me.

The evidence at trial boiled down to this:  the officer thought he gave a command which the driver failed to obey.  The eye-witness passenger thought the officer gave a different command which the driver was in the midst of obeying when the officer fired.  Neither the officer nor the eye-witness had time to think up a lie to pad the video to make themselves look better for a jury.  They both believed they were telling the truth as they heard it.  It’s a classic case of eye-witnesses recalling identical events differently.

I don’t want to die and the officer doesn’t want to kill me.  How can we work together to make certain that doesn’t happen?  Police have standard procedures for high-speed pursuit, for approaching a stopped vehicle, but apparently there is no standard procedure for Encountering A Lawfully Armed Citizen.  The advice I got in my permit-to-carry training was: “inform the officer you have a pistol and ask how he wants to handle it” which is another way of saying “There are no rules, the officer will make up something on the side of the road, but if you fail to comply, you die.”  That’s not good enough.  The driver might not hear clearly because of a crying kid or complaining passenger.  The office might not hear clearly because of traffic noise.  And instructions can be misinterpreted with deadly results.

The Falcon Heights incident is a vivid illustration of why the current make-shift policy is not good enough, why there must be a standard Pistol Protocol for officers and permitted carriers to know and understand, and why the high-stakes nature of an armed encounter demands the Pistol Protocol be stupid simple to understand and yet crystal clear to follow.

I think permit holders and law enforcement leaders should meet to negotiate a standard Pistol Protocol, add it to every law enforcement curriculum and role-play it in every permit-to-carry training session.   Here’s a draft:

Step 1.  Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) approaches stopped vehicle, Permit Holder (PH) rolls down window, puts hands on the steering wheel and keeps them there.  No other movement.

Step 2.  PH says “Officer, we need the Pistol Protocol. I have a permit to carry a pistol.”  PH says or does nothing else until PH receives verbal confirmation from LEO that the Pistol Protocol is in place.  If LEO fails to confirm, PH repeats the request for the Pistol Protocol.

Step 3.  LEO repeats back that PH wants to use the Pistol Protocol, thus verifying that the officer is aware of the existence of a legally permitted weapon and that a dialogue has begun about how to secure the weapon.  LEO says or does nothing else until he confirms that the Pistol Protocol is in place.  “I confirm you have a pistol and a permit to carry.  We are now using the Pistol Protocol.”

Step 4.  LEO instructs PH as to the next thing the LEO wants the PH to do so the LEO can secure the weapon.  Could be “move your car to a safer location” or “open the door using your left hand and step out” or whatever the situation requires, taking into account lighting, weather, number of passengers, etc.  Whatever LEO instructs, PH repeats back before doing it, LEO affirms or negates (followed by repeat of intended instruction).    “LEO:  Using your right hand, slowly turn the engine off, then put your hand back on the wheel.”  “PH: I’m going to use my right hand to turn the engine off, then put my hand back on the wheel.”  “LEO: that’s correct, go ahead.”  At that point, the driver turns the engine off and puts his hand back on the wheel. 

Step 5.  PH, moving slowly as LEO watches, carries out all LEO instructions until LEO announces the pistol is secure.

Step 6.  When LEO announces the pistol is secure, the Pistol Protocol is not ended, it is in recess.  LEO instructs PH what else to do (driver’s license, proof of insurance) and writes summons or gives a warning to complete their other business.

Step 7.  When LEO is finished with other business, LEO tells PH that LEO is restarting the Pistol Protocol to safely transfer the pistol back to the PH but LEO does not transfer the pistol until PH confirms that LEO has restarted the Pistol Protocol.  “LEO:  I’m restarting the Pistol Protocol to hand the weapon back to you.”  “PH: We’re back using the Pistol Protocol now.” 

Step 8.  LEO tells PH what LEO intends to do with the pistol, PH repeats it back, then LEO and PH slowly and carefully transfer the pistol back to the PH.  “LEO: I’m going to hand you the magazine to put in your pocket, then the weapon to put in your holster.  Do NOT load the weapon until you have left the scene.”  “PH: You’re going to hand me the magazine to put in my pocket and the pistol to put in my holster, but I won’t load the weapon until after I leave here.”  “LEO, okay, here’s the magazine . . . pocket, good . . . and here’s the pistol.”

Step 9.  LEO and PH go their separate ways.
There could be fewer steps, more steps, enhancements and improvements, but the key elements are (1) both LEO and PH affirmatively and verbally acknowledging the existence of the pistol so they can deal with it safely and (2) both LEO and PH read-back instructions to avoid misunderstanding, before any movement takes place.
This draft is not perfect but it’s good enough to be going forward.  Next step, figuring out how to get pistol carriers and cops on board.  Volunteers are needed to negotiate in good faith.  And salesmanship to convince cops and permit holders that it’s something they need to learn.
Could use a catchy phrase to help people remember.  The fire prevention people hit a home run with “Stop, Drop and Roll.”  How about:

Say It.  Repeat It.  Do It.  

Tell me.  Hear me.  See me.

Listen.  Repeat.  Comply. 

I work for the local government bureaucracy.  My bosses are sensitive to political pressure and controversy.  I can’t speak out in my own name so I’m writing this under an assumed name to ask for help. 

If you see merit in the idea, please take the ball and run with it.  If it’s not your cup of tea, can you forward it to someone who might help?

The tragedy in Falcon Heights ruined several lives.  There is absolutely no reason to ruin more.  Help me prevent that.


Joe Doakes, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Why I’m A Second Amendment Voter

I detest litmus tests.

I always have.  They’ve always struck me as a way to avoid needing to think too hard about things, especially politics; as a way to avoid having to deal with the nuances that are inevitable with a realistic appreciation of the world around you.

But over the last year years, Second Amendment voting has become, if not a litmus test, at least a key indicator about a politician’s, or group’s, or person’s attitude about the most important political question of all.

We’ll come back to that.

There are a lot of reasons I support the right to keep and bear arms, and am an activist on the issue.  But there’s only one reason that it’s a litmus test to me.

Line Of Defense:  Self-defense?  Well, it’s important.  The idea that people should be forced to rely on the attention span of the state for their safety is fantasy at best, a toxic delusion at worst.

The police are under no obligation to protect you, and even when they knock themselves out to try, it’s a fact – when seconds count, the cops are minutes away.

Them? Or you? You get to decide this.

But self-defense isn’t why this is a litmus test issue to me.

Value:  And even if they were obligated to protect you at all costs in all situations?

As Jeffrey Snyder asked 25  years ago in A Nation of Cowards – do you really think that your life is of immeasurable worth, but that of the cop we call when things get ugly is worth $50K (or whatever we pay a cop these days)?  No – if your life is truly of immeasurable worth, then it’s truly your job to protect it – right?

If you truly believe that your life is of infinite value, while that of someone who risks their life for your is worth merely a salary and a life insurance settlement, I have to question your moral order.   Not here, of course.

The real question is, is it morally right to demand, and expect, that someone risk their life to save yiours, even with aunion contract?

Deterrence:  There is no rational doubt that armed citizens deter crime.

The number of crimes deterred in a year is hard to estimate, since most – including mine – are never reported.   The FBI used to say 80,000/year; Kleck estimated two million a year in the early ’90s, 98% of them without a shot being fired.

Whichever is right, each of those is a victory of good over…evil?  Decay?  Collapse?  Of right versus wrong.   Each of those victories, morally, is of incalculable good.

But that’s not the reason either.

A Good Guy With A Gun:  You know how you know that “a good guy with a gun” is an inherently good thing?

Jeanne Assam was a good gal with a gun when she saved countless lives at the New Life Christian Center in Colorado Springs on 12/9/07. She shot and wounded Matt Murray – who, reverie broken, backed off and shot himself.

Because Big Gun Control spends so much time and effort trying to attack the idea.  Not with facts – or at least, not by presenting facts in a way that can  be debated (and, inevitably, debunked).  “Shut up”, they explain.

There is a reason that mass shootings happen in places (schools, government buildings, posted property) or cities (New York, Chicago, San Francisco) or states (California) and not at NRA conventions or in Bozeman, Montana. Good citizens with the capacity to resist are a deterrent.

And as we’ve seen in a few mass shootings, when a good guy (or gal) with a gun interrupts the narcissistic fantasy, the fantasy implodes; the bad guy with the gun usually gives up, or kills himself.   Exactly as law enforcement says – move in on the shooter to break their reverie -although they don’t generally circulate that for public consumption.

Nick Meli was a regular schnook with a Glock on 12/11/2011 when Jacob Robert walked into the Clackamas Mall in Portland, OR with a rifle and a couple hundred rounds. He killed two – and then saw Meli pointing his permitted Glock at him. He retreated into a store, and shot himself moments later. Two died. Only God knows how many didn’t.

But no – that’s not the reason that the Second Amendment is my litmus test.

Fun Fun Fun (Til The Democrats Take The Garand Away):  Let’s be frank, here – shooting is fun.   No – it’s fun!

The focus and concentration are a poor man’s Zen meditation.  A day of busting caps out on the range is about as much fun as one can have, by oneself, legally.

And for someone who always wanted to be one of those guys that could hot-rod a car, but never had the money or the mechanical aptitude?  Modern guns, being the modular creations they are, lend themselves to extensive hot-rodding; a plain-Jane AR15, or even AK or SKS, is within reach of a whole lot of people, an outlet for mechanical creativity that’s do-able even for people of fairly unimpressive mechanical skills.  Even Glocks have gotten “democratized”; it’s possible to buy aftermarket lower frames that allow one to soup up a humble Glock 19.

A vital policy point?  No, but certainly a factor, if only personally .

So while I’ll throw it on the “yea” side of the scale,  it’s hardly the reason the 2nd Amendment is a litmus test.

Being Necessary For The Security Of A Free State:  Of course, none of the above were the proximate reason for the 2nd Amendment – which was to allow The People to defend their lives, families, property and communities against encroaching tyranny.

The protection of property and the preservation of order; Koreans on the second day of the LA riots, after the police pulled out.

“What?  You’re going to try to fight a tank with a gun?   If government becomes tyrannical, you’ll have no chance!” the usual response goes – which strikes me as a bad attitude for a citizen of a free society to have even while they’re still “free”.  But we’ll come back to that.

There are two answers to that old chestnut:

  1. Nobody fights tanks with rifles.  You fight the truck that hauls the food, fuel and ammo to the tank.
  2. But think about it: what do we know about the average American serviceperfson?  That they are the children of people with two masters degrees in Political Science from Carlton, who shop at Whole Foods and listen to NPR and have “Coesist” bumper stickers on their cars and voted for Hillary?  No!  They are overwhelmingly the children of the blue-collar and middle-to-lower-middle class people that own the guns today.  If government, for whatever reason, decided to go door to door seizing guns, they’d be beating down the doors of the parents, brothers and sisters of people in the service.   How do you suppose that’d work?

The right to keep and bear arms helps ensure that an attack on freedom will be an attack on the standing army.   Which may be one of the best guarantors against the depredations of the “standing army” that our founding fathers so feared.

But important as that is, that’s not the reason, either.

Words Have Meanings:  No, the reason is this:   without the right to defend one’s home, family, property, community and freedom from both crime and tyranny, then “citizenship” is meaningless.

The word “citizen”, going back to its Latin roots, means someone who has the ability to govern oneself; one who is him/herself a microcosm of government – someone who has the means at hand to govern themselves, and to participate in and consent in their own government.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights spell out the things that a citizen of a free society is endowed with by their creator; the right to participate and consent in their government via speaking, publishing, assembling, petitioning and voting; the right to not having their status as a citizen spuriously removed without due process, via jury trials, right to representation, freedom from unreasonable searches;  the right to be fairly secure that their property won’t be arbitrarily seized…

…the  right, means and power to defend one’s life, family, property, community and freedom.  Just like the government in which one participates.

Words Have Opposites, Too:  So being a “citizen” means having the ability to see to one’s own self-government – by oneself, as part of a small community, or a larger body that governns by consernt of the self-governing citizens.  

And if you take away any of the means by which a “citizen” governs, what happens?

Are they  a slightly lesser citizen?  No – it’s like taking away a hydrogen atom and wondering why you don’t still have water.

When a citizen can’t govern him/her self, then they’re no longer a citizen.  They are a subject of whomever took those rights away.

Observing the Second Amendment is one of the key differences between being a citizen – a consenting party to one’s own governance – and a subject, one whose life, liberty and property exist by the good graces of their ruler (or ceases to by the ruler’s bad graces, often enough).

And knowing that is why I will no more vote for someone who stands for abridging the Second Amendment than I will for someone who believes in speech rationing, or no-knock warrantless searches of people without meaningful due process, for that matter.

All three are non-negotiable.  All three are essential.  All three are reasons to go to the barricades.  I will no more vote for someone who promises to abridge my role as a citizen – by turning me into a subject  – than I’ll vote for someone who vows to send Jews to camps in Idaho.

Details:  “What – you think citizens should own cannon?  Tanks?  Nuclear weapons?”

They’re kind of expensive, and I dont’ wanna think about what it’d cost to practice with any of ’em.  But since we’re arguing out in loopdieland, I’ll bite.  Sure – show me why I shouldn’t, in logical terms – meaning terms other than “It doesn’t seem right to me”.

Put another way:  I’m a law-abiding citizen.  I’ve never stolen so much as a candy bar in my life.,  If you put a gun in my hand, I’m still the same guy.  I’m not overwhelmed by the urge to harm others.  How is that different if you put a machine gun, cannon, flamethrower, tank, or submarine in my figurative hand?  It’s not.

It’s also a pointless deflection.  Very few people are pushing to buy tanks – and I don’t think the criminal market for them is especially big either.

Many people are pushing, constantly and with great ardor, to abridge my right to defend my life, family, property, community and freedom, though.