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…)

A Good Classmate With A Gun

I got this from a high school friend of mine..  He lives in a major city in the Southwestern US.  I’m concealing his identity for obvious reasons.

He had a close encounter with a couple bad guys over the weekend.  Or, should I say, a couple bad guys had a close encounter with him:


Two Hispanic males, mid-20’s, broke down my front door and entered my home this morning at 9:13 AM. I was monitoring them on my security cameras at the time, and when I sensed something was wrong, I grabbed my loaded 9mm from my safe and met them as they reached my kitchen. Seeing my weapon pointed at their heads, they immediately started screaming, “Oh, sh*t! Oh, sh*t! Oh, sh*t!” and turned and ran out the front door, jumped in their car, and tore off. They didn’t have a chance to touch anything, but they might need a change of skivvies.

Pulling into the driveway…
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The first guy …
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The second guy (not sure why his pants were down…)
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Guy #2 checks my garage door as Guy #1 continues to ring my doorbell and knock on my door.
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Both seem intent on testing my carpentry…
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Ah, … this is gonna be a cakewalk!
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“”…, or maybe not!”
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Here’s my new door frame.
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I love a happy ending.

Of course, that happy ending was brought to you by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

And who knows?  Maybe the two miscreants will take their close call with having their brains splattered over a granite countertop to get their “lives” back on track?

Several happy endings!

Another Good Guy With A Gun

Another episode in Texas last week of an armed citizen intervening in what police term a potential spree shooting.

One James Jones walked into the “Zona Caliente” sports bar in Arlington, got into an argument, and shot manager Cesar Perez,  killing him.

Then, a man – unnamed, except for the cops’ appelation “good samaritan” – with a carry permit shot Jones in the back an unnamed number of times.

Jones was carrying not one but two guns, one of them with its serial number filed off.  He had no carry permit.

The police were cautiously thankful, as usual in these situations:

“We’re thankful that the good ‘Samaritan’ acted quickly and decisively to end the threat,” Cook said. “We never recommend people get involved. That’s a personal decision that a citizen has to make.”

Use of force and firearms expert Emanuel Kapelsohn told NBC News that, from his understanding, the man who took down the shooter reacted appropriately.

“I think it’s to be applauded,” he said. “Not everybody in the world ought to own a gun. Not everybody in the world ought to carry a gun. Not everyone in the world ought to engage an armed criminal where innocent people could be potentially injured.”

“But this good Samaritan obviously had the ability to do what he did,” Kapelsohn added. “Who knows how many people would be dead if he had not acted?”

That’s twice in one week in Texas.

A Good Guy With A Gun: Fort Myers Edition

In an incident overnight, a law-abiding citizen with a carry permit shot and killed a man who was pummeling the stuffing out of a sheriff’s deputy in Estero, Florida, near Fort Myer:

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office told local news media that the deputy who was involved, 12-year veteran Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, is expected to be okay. The suspect who was fighting with the deputy was killed during the struggle and WINK is reporting that a passerby is the one who shot him.

“The passerby, who had a Concealed Weapons License, exited his vehicle and instructed the suspect to stop beating the deputy…after noncompliance from the suspect, the passerby shot the suspect three times,”  sources said.

Local TV news report below the jump (since it launches automatically).

Continue reading

The Good Guy With The Gun

The man who shot the apparently ISIS-affiliated maniac at the Crossroads Mall in Saint Cloud over the weekend has been IDed as Jason Falconer – a carry permit instructor, civilian carry advocate, and part-time officer and former chief of the tiny, tiny police department of tiny, tiny Albany Minnesota.

And if you’re a wanna-be terrorist, Falconer’s just about the last civilian you want to run into when you’re going on your rampage in a “gun free zone”:

USPSA Shooter,  3-Gunner, and NRA-certified firearms instructor Jason Falconer has been identified as the man who shot and killed a 22-year-old Somali immigrant who went on a stabbing rampage inside a St. Cloud, (MN) Mall on Saturday.

The apparent terrorist—who apparently asked victims if they were Muslims before stabbing them—was engaged by Falconer inside the mall.

Emphasis added by me:

Falconer is the president and owner of Tactical Advantage LLC, a shooting range and tactical training facility with a strong focus on arming concealed carriers. He’s also a former chief of the Albany (MN) police department, and he remains a part-time officer.

And is there bias involved? Oh, yes:

But Falconer has consistently been identified in the mainstream mediaonly as as a “former police chief” and  “off-duty police officer.”

Falconer’s side gig?  Ensuring law-abiding citizens are armed, and capable of doing…

…exactly what he did.  I’ve been documenting these sorts of cases as they occur over here (and feel free to submit more of ’em!).

As Glenn Reynolds puts it, we The People need to be a pack, not a herd.

UPDATE: David French notes the obvious; Falconer was not only in the right place at the right time, but he was the right person.  But then, anyone can be:

You can be Jason Falconer. In most communities in this country, you can not only own and carry a weapon for personal defense, you can also receive comprehensive training. You have virtually no control over whether you’re at the right place at the right time, but you do have control over whether you’re the right person.

And as has been noted in the comment section, this incident highlights the need for “Stand your Ground” legislation; a non-cop would have had a “duty to retreat” – to make a reasonable effort to disengage in the face of the attack.

What does “reasonable” mean?  That your efforts to avoid using lethal force are enough to convince the cops, prosecutors and potentially a jury that you did your best to avoid using lethal force.  It’s vague; it’s intended to be vague, concentrating the power of life and death in the hands of prosecutors.

“Stand Your Ground” will be on the agenda this coming legislative session.  It’s doubtful the Senate or Governor will pass it.

So we’re gonna need a new Senate and Governor.

A Good Guy With A Gun

Two men attacked a woman in a WalMart parking lot in Shawnee, Kansas, hitting her in the head.

An unarmed man attempted to intervene.  The assailants shot him.

Another Good Samaritan – armed with a legally-owned firearm – responded, shooting and killing one of the attackers (some emphasis added by me).

Police said the second man ran off. Police originally believed they captured the second suspect using a K-9 officer, however, that person was not connected with the incident. Police are working to identify the second suspect at this time.

The good Samaritan who was shot and the woman who was injured were both initially listed in critical condition. The woman has since been released from the hospital. The good Samaritan who was injured had surgery Sunday night. He is being identified only as a 33-year-old Kansas City, Missouri resident. The second good Samaritan, a 36-year-old DeSoto, Kansas man, was interviewed by police and released.

Interviewed and released.  Written between the lines; he was carrying legally (Kansas has Constitutional Carry), and the shoot was righteous.

Prayers for the good samaritan who didn’t have the means to deter being shot.

And for the good samaritan who did.  Right though he seems to have been (and events will no doubt vindicate him completely), it’s as traumatic for a righteous shooter as anyone.

A Good Guy With A Gun

26 year old Antione Cooper walked into a Waffle House in DeSoto, Texas with an AK47, robbing several patrons:

And then…:

A handgun-licensed customer, whose wife was on her way to meet him at the restaurant, followed Cooper to the parking lot, fearing for his wife’s safety, according to DeSoto police.

Police said the customer called to Cooper once they were outside. Cooper pointed the AK-47 in the customer’s direction, prompting the customer to shoot Cooper several times, according to police in the southern Dallas suburb.

The citizen was not arrested – as befits someone who’d seem to any rational person to be a hero.

A Good Grandma With A Gun

An 80 year old woman in Sultan, Washington shot and killed a man who was trying to go all teppanyaki on her husband:

The woman called 911 at about 8:30 p.m. from the home in the 13700 block of Woods Lake Road and said “she had shot an intruder after he broke into her home and stabbed her husband,” Ireton said.

The suspect, a 25-year-old Gold Bar man, died at the scene.

“At this time, detectives do not believe the suspect was known to the residents of the home and that this was an attempted home burglary,” Ireton said.

Note to Kim Norton, Ron “I Went To Harvard” Latz and The Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence; maybe if the woman took a background check, the guy wouldn’t have broken in?  Right?

Another Guy With A Gun

Another Good Guy with a Gun saves a life:

The suspect first tried to attack the customer and then went after a clerk behind the counter, wounding him in the stomach, the sheriff’s office said…The shooting will be investigated, and the case will be sent to a prosecutor to determine if charges should be filed against the shooter.

Tickets will be punched:

King County Sheriff Sgt. Cindi West told NBC News that “during the initial investigation we did not see any wrongdoing on the part of the citizen who shot.”

But the sheriff did make one important side note:

“In fact, he may have prevented the clerk from being killed or seriously injured,” she said.

A good guy on the scene with a gun; if you don’t happen to have a cop on the premises, it’s just about the best response to crime there is.

BREAKING: A Good Guy With A Gun: Part V

A law-abiding citizen with a carry permit killed a would-be robber in Brooklyn Park Monday evening.  The Brooklyn Park PD just confirmed that the shooter was a citizen with a carry permit, and the decedent was attempting to rob the citizen.

The person targeted for robbery has “a valid permit to carry a handgun” and was not arrested, said Deputy Police Chief Mark Bruley.

Officers recovered both guns at the scene as they continue to investigate the shooting.

Police have yet to disclose the identities of those involved in the confrontation.

And I’m going to speculate that the law-abiding citizen who did the shooting won’t get his name released, because of the danger he’d face from the rest of the community.  It’s been true with several of the justifiable homicides we’ve seen – the Evanovich shooting and the Broadbent incident last summer among them.

Bruley said the man who died “goes back and forth between Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis. He’s an individual we’ve known from previous contact. He certainly hangs out around here.” Bruley declined to say more about that contact entailed.

I’m going to guess it involved the fact that he was just in the middle of getting his life turned around.   It’s a theme in this sorts of episodes.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said the outcome of this shooting validates a 2003 law in Minnesota that allows people to carry a firearm in public.

“A loss of life is a tragedy,” Garofalo wrote. “But when a criminal pulls a gun, they risk ending their life. Concealed carry works.”

As of early this year, there were more than 221,000 active permit holders in Minnesota, according to the latest data report from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The total has grown by more than 20,000 in the past six months. Now, about one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults has a permit to carry, according to Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

The number is up over 5% of eligible adults – which, in some parts of the state, likely means there’s a better than one in ten chance that someone you might want to try to rob can end you.

The odds are better in the Metro, if you’re a robber; most don’t grow up in a (law-abiding) gun culture; there are fewer ambient, social chances to get into shooting, much less self-defense.  Less than 2% of eligible adults have carry permits in the Metro, where the crime rate shows they are the most needed (and, I’d argue, also shows their lack).

Condolences to the victim’s family; he may have run off the rails, but he was someone’s kid, brother or parent.

And best of luck to the shooter, whoever you are.  And thanks.

 UPDATE:  Is this predictable or what – the Strib always shuts down story comments when a good guy uses a gun against a bad actor.

Wonder why that is?

UPDATE 2:  By my count, since 2005, that makes five human lives saved via the ability to resist violence with a legally-carried handgun:

  1. A bouncer shot a knife-wielding drunk outside a Minneapolis bar.
  2. Another bouncer shot another knife-wielding drunk outside Grumpy’s in Northeast Minneapolis
  3. An unidentified man shot Darren Evanovich behind the Cub Foods on East Lake street in 2011, after Evanovich and his sister pistolwhipped a fifty-something Latina cleaning lady and stole her just-cashed paycheck.
  4. Another unidentified man shot Lauventai Broadbent last August, one of a small gang of teenagers who tried to rob the citizen using guns they’d stolen earlier that day on the East Side.
  5. Yesterday’s episode.

A Good Guy With A Gun?

A couple of wannabe thugs apparently tried to turn a craigslist transaction into a heist in Shakopee yesterday.

And while the article doesn’t say so explicitly, reading between the lines, it would appear the Fugs picked the wrong guy:

Police radio reports indicated that the apparent victim of the attempted robbery had a handgun and fired at the would-be robber. Shakopee police and other law officers were looking for a silver-gray Chevrolet Venture van with at least two people inside, with at least one armed with a revolver.

Radio reports indicated that the robber ran from the scene toward the White Castle restaurant near Walmart and then got into a vehicle, which reportedly got on Highway 169. The State Patrol was looking for the vehicle.

The apparent victim was waiting near the Walmart garden center entrance for police. He apparently was not injured.

Police were planning to look at store video.

The article doesn’t say so explicitly – but waiting for the cops at the store after an incident is the behavior you’d expect from someone who took carry permit training.

Kim Norton and Heather Martens, obviously, would have preferred that the victim submit meekly, and maybe die.

UPDATE:  The Strib is being veeeeeeery slow to release the facts of this case, including who shot first and who shot who.

A Gal With A Guy With A Gun

A civilian gun saves the day – again:

Claxton said she was in the vehicle with her four young children while her husband was pumping the gas.

Claxton said she reached over to try to lock the doors as the man approached, but she accidentally rolled down the window. Claxton said the man opened the door, leaned into the car and brandished a long knife.

Claxton said she yelled for her husband, Matt, to get his gun, and the man then began to leave.

“He said ‘You’re lucky he has a gun,'” Claxton said. “And then he shut the door and started to back away.”

Claxton said her husband pointed his Beretta handgun at the man and called 911 as the man slowly walked away.

The couple followed the man as he attempted several carjackings to try to escape, before the police finally caught him.

So – if you’re one of those people who believe one has a “right not to be killed”, then the parents did a good job of exercising that right.  Correct?

Security

Joe Doakes fromComo Park emails:

The shootings in France are the latest in a long line of Soft Targets. America has our share of them, too. How to provide better security? And what kind of security?
People in a soft target fall into the same four categories as those in a bar: staff, non-violent customers, drunks and criminals. The first two create no security problems, the last two fall within the expertise of bouncers. Ah, but what if a couple of mass murderers sneak in? The fastest way to neutralize a Bad Guy with a gun is for a Good Guy with a gun to shoot him. Soft Targets need an immediate, on-site armed response. How to provide it?
Cops are too expensive and too well-skilled to waste standing around at football games, rock concerts, movie theaters. Yes, I said too-well skilled. Sworn officers are the law enforcement equivalent of Marines – full time professionals trained at their craft. They know how to clear and search buildings. They know what facts to allege to support a search warrant. They know the current case-law on Reasonable Suspicion and how it differs from Probable Cause. They know how many grams of which drugs are contraband. None of that is required when the bullets are flying.
I’m thinking of a way to swell the ranks of effective immediate responders in places they’re usually absent: football games, rock concerts, worship services, shopping malls, county fairs. I’m trying to think outside the box, spit-balling, throwing out ideas, help me out here.
America has a long tradition of using volunteers to fill public service needs. Small-town volunteer fire-fighters and part-time police officers. Justices of the Peace and Conciliation Court Referees. Civil Air Patrol flying search and rescue. Ham radio operators relaying messages after Katrina. Weather watchers and tornado spotters. Absolutely critical work, thousands of lives and billions of dollars of property at issue, with mistakes irreversible, and yet we rely on volunteers for all these jobs, have done for decades. Volunteers may not be as experienced as full-time professionals who do the job every day, but we accept that shortcoming because they’re already on the scene. An amateur helping now is better than an expert helping an hour after it’s too late.
One reason permitted carriers are distrusted is fear of their response. Will they shoot blindly? Will they make things worse? And there’s some validity to the concern. In all honesty, the weapons skills required of permitted carry holders is a lot closer to once-a-year deer hunters than to sworn police officers. I recognize that it’s a Constitutional right and I’m all for open carry, machine guns, too, yada, yada, but we’re not talking about how to convince the choir, we’re talking about how to get people to consider coming into the church.
Could select civilian permit holders volunteer to be trained to a higher level, to serve as Police Supplements in a limited support role? Something higher than an unarmed Police Reserve officer directing traffic, something less than the full-time officer? Maybe one day a month and one week a year – a scaled down version of the National Guard, focused solely on weapons safety, training, shooting skills, movement, cover. You’d have no arrest power. No handcuffs. No pepper spray, Tazer or baton. You don’t go on patrol looking for troublemakers. You only work when and where assigned. You only have one tool – a firearm – and like a Sky Marshal, you have one mission: shoot the killer.
Obviously, there are details to work out. Police Supplements must pass the same background check as sworn officers (they already do, to have a permit to carry, but it doesn’t hurt to remind the public these are law-abiding citizens not yahoo cowboys). Some might volunteer for even more training, to be Police Supplement Warrant Officers, leading groups of Police Supplements in times of civil unrest or natural disaster, all under the supervision of sworn officers. There are thousands of Gulf War vets, could they help? The possibilities are endless – if we have the imagination to make them possible.
Probably 99.9999999999% of the time, you get a free pass to watch the game and that’s it. But the one time we need you . . . .
Joe Doakes

A Good Guy With No Gun Allowed

A couple of factoids to start with, first:

  • For over a decade, now – since law Enforcement’s disastrous response to Columbine – law enforcement “active shooter” doctrine and training has emphasized resisting active shooters.  Their attacks are almost always more or less meticulously planned; resistance throws the plans off, and disrupts the shooters’ fantasy state.
  • Homeland Security, in the wake of all earlier advice about staying calm and going along with terrorists’ demands flying out the window on 9/11, now advises people to resist hijackings, if they can.
  • Nonetheless, major urban police chiefs – including Saint Paul’s chief, Tim Smith – poo-pooh the idea that a “good guy with a gun” can ever have a positive effect on a dangerous situation.  They are, of course, universally appointees who serve at the pleasure of Democrat mayors and city councilors, so it’s to be expected they’ll repeat their masters’ lies, even though the truth is out there in black and white.

With those out of the way, let’s get to the story:

Tear ‘Em Up!:  The chief of the Washington Police Department is urging the public to “take down” active shooters:

 “Your options are run, hide, or fight,” the D.C. police chief said. “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

Now, that sounds both commonsensical and in line with current law-enforcement thinking on the subject (as we noted above).

Now, there are many ways to “take down” a gunman.  If you’re a highly trained ninja, there’s all sorts of ninja fu.  Or you can charge at them and hit them with a bottle, a tablecloth, a book, or a WWE sleeper hold.

Or those diligent civilians could use the most effective means of self-defense there is; a firearm.  A legal handgun.  Police know as well as anyone else that someone resisting a lethal force attack with lethal force is four times as likely to survive as someone who who resists with non-leethal force, and seven times as likely as those who don’t resist.

Civilians can – and do – avail themselves of this constitutional, legal and deadly effective means of defending themselves against crime, whether lowly street crime or a would-be mass-shooter.

Half-Baked:  Or at least they can in most of the United States.  But not if they’re in DC.

Lanier – police chief for a city that still actively fights against civilian gun rights – is apparently endorsing the “good guy with a gun” idea that the National Rifle Association and every other gun rights group (and, incidentally, current police training regarding active shooters these days) endorses – only without the gun.

In other words, she’s advising people to do battle with murderous maniacs – only without the means to make it anything but nearly suicidal.

She’s endorsing every part of the “Good Guy with a Gun” scenario but the gun – the part that makes it work.

A Good Kid With A Gun

13-year-old boy grabs mom’s gun, kills armed robber:

The boy said he heard a vehicle pull up behind his house, then heard someone trying get inside a few minutes later. At that point, the teen picked up his mother’s gun and went to the back door of the home.

Authorities said the boy told them he fired the gun through the door and the person outside fired back. The boy fired several more shots, apparently wounding the suspect. . . .

A burglar who shot back? The term for that is “armed robber”.

A note of caution – trying this in metro Minnesota would be only as safe as the most zealous prosecutor will allow it to be.

But let’s not quibble now; the good guys won one.

Opposite World

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Another school, another shooting, more people dead, this time in Sweden where a young man wearing a Star Wars mask attacked a school.

No, the killer didn’t do the shooting.  The killer was stopped by a good guy with a gun.  Who shot him.  In a school.

And stopped him from killing more children.  By shooting him.  In a school.

So does that make this the Good Kind of School Shooting?

Joe Doakes

No.  It makes it the kind of shooting you never hear about in the American media – shootings like these – that interrupt the narrative that “gun violence” is out of control.

Lott Of Facts

Many thanks to Dr. John Lott – partly for his piece in National Review yesterday expanding on the work that is rapidly ripping the guts out of the left’s meme that “a good guy with a gun” doesn’t save lives and that gun free zones are anything but safe-criminal areas…:

But the deterrent and life-saving effects of concealed-handgun laws on mass public shootings aren’t just anecdotal. Bill Landes of the University of Chicago and I gathered data on mass public shootings from 1977 to 1999. We studied 13 different types of gun-control laws as well as the impact of law enforcement, but the only law that had a statistically significant impact on mass public shootings was the passage of right-to-carry laws. Right-to-carry laws reduced both the frequency and the severity of mass public shootings; and to the extent to which mass shootings still occurred, they took place in those tiny areas in the states where permitted concealed handguns were not allowed.

…and partly for giving me a solid half-dozen more cases of “good guys with guns” that have interrupted mass shootings, to add to this blog’s rapidly-expanding “Good Guy or Gal With A Gun” page.

A Good Mensch With A Gun

There were four terror attacks – all with knives, cars and axes – in Israel yesterday.

In one, a Palestinian man rammed a bus stop full of mostly elderly Jews, and climbed out of his car to finish one of them off with an ax.  (WARNING:  Watching someone getting murdered with an ax is just as disturbing as you might expect it is.   You’re been warned).

It was then…

…that a good guy with a gun – an Israeli with a legal permitted handgun – shot the terrorist.

As has been noted here before, the Israelis have slipped a bit into the madness of gun control – but thankfully not too far.  We’ve seen many examples of good mensches with guns ending terror attacks.

There and here.

Keep Guns Out Of The Hands Of Straw Men

Watch Mitch Berg ANNIHILATE More Liberal Hamsters!  Mind Blown!


UPDATE:  A key “source” in the piece I fisk has turned out to be fraud.  See the Update at the bottom of the story.. 


One of my long-time stalkers – who’s been tweenting about me at least ten times a day for the past six years, which may be as perfect a definition of “a wasted life” as I can imagine – has been spamming the Northern Alliance’s hashtag on Twitter and Facebook with…well, random collections of factoids gathered from Googling, apparently.

And in so doing, he introduced me to yet another article in Raw Story – aka “liberal-friendly news even dumber than The Awl.”

This time, it’s entitled (with that usual online news biz subtlety) “‘It’s insane’: Combat veterans shoot down NRA ‘fantasy world’ of ‘good guys with guns’”

Now, we’ve pretty well  shredded Raw Story – whom I suspect just sold a ton of ads to “Everytown” or “MoveOn”or some other group that’s trying to run a PR war against the NRA, given the enthusiasm with which they’re reporting gun issues generating half-informed anti-gun content.

But even by Raw Story’s dubious standards, this is a dumb piece.  So dumb, in fact, that I’m not going to fisk the whole thing (as I did earlier this week).  Because while it’s a deeply stupid piece, it does touch on a key theme you need to know when you try to engage gun-grabbers.

Because like pretty much all aggressive, inflammatory anti-gun “journalism” cribbing fromn other left-leaning news sources today, it’s made up of:

  • Appeals to ridicule
  • Non-sequiturs
  • Strawmen

Har De Har Har:  Officialdom – cops, soldiers, paramedics, bureaucrats – always, always believe that nobody could do their jobs.  Sort of like union teachers believe homeschoolers can’t possibly, y’know, teach kids:

The NRA’s chief spokesman, Wayne LaPierre, infamously claimed following the Sandy Hook child massacre that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” — but Rivera and other combat vets say that’s ridiculous.

“I think they would absolutely panic,” [Sgt. Rafael Noboa y Rivera] told The Nation. [Editor’s note: Rivera served as Raw Story’s associate publisher in 2013.]…“I think there’s this fantasy world of gunplay in the movies, but it doesn’t really happen that way,”…

Well, thanks, Sergeant Obvious.

To be fair (something Raw Story will not), it’s entirely possible there are law-abiding shooters out there who do think it’s like the movies.

But you don’t go through any sort of concealed-carry training with any such illusions – any more than any cop or soldier.

But while we’re on the topic of cops and soldiers…:

“When I heard gunfire [in Iraq], I didn’t immediately pick up my rifle and react. I first tried to ascertain where the shooting was coming from, where I was in relation to the gunfire and how far away it was. I think most untrained people are either going to freeze up, or just whip out their gun and start firing in that circumstance.”

Right.  In combat, where the situation is fluid and confusing and the adrenaline and stress are overwhelming, lots of training is required to survive, much less make sure you don’t kill the wrong person.   And for police work, where there generally isn’t an “enemy” and situations can be incredibly ambiguous (ambiguous enough that police departments grant cops a lot of qualified immunity for the inevitable, inadvertent, accidental shootings of the wrong people in the line of duty), lots of training is a legal, moral and tactical imperative.

However…

Complete The Thought, Now…:  …self-defense is not combat, and it’s not police work.

As we pointed out in Monday’s piece, there are 3-4 criteria that a civilian – not a soldier in combat, or a cop on duty – must follow for a shooting to be considered legal self-defense [1].  And “hearing a shooting, and running to engage the shooter”, depending on your state and the zeal of the prosecutor, might very well violate two of them (“The Threat Must Be Immediate” and “Duty to Retreat”).

There’s a flip side to that; while hearing gunfire in the distance is chock full of nasty, lethal ambiguities, there are certain situations that are not ambiguous at all:

None of these situations are remotely ambiguous.  You don’t need military training, or police experience, or even to have an IQ above 75, to know exactly what is going on.  You need nothing special in terms of knowledge to know that each of these situations is an immediate threat to your life.  Right now.  

And you don’t need any special training (although practice and drilling and, yes, training certainly help) to respond.

Which brings us to the next non-sequitur:

Stephen Benson first learned during Navy SEAL training that carrying a gun would be more likely to expose him to gun violence.

That lesson directly contradicts the message promoted by the National Rifle Association and increasingly cited by gun owners as their motivation for buying a firearm, reported The Nation [There’s a freaking shock].

“It’s insane,” Benson said, recalling how his military training exposed the lie behind the most persistent pro-gun argument.

“We put on our issue .45s, and our instructor said, ‘Gentlemen, the first and most important thing you’ve done by putting on that weapon is you’ve increased your chances of being in a gunfight by 100 percent,’” he said.

[By the way – this last couple of paragraphs tripped my BS detector.  And as Joe Doakes showed in the comments, my BS detector is better than Raw Story’s, or my stalker’s.  See the UPDATE below]

After which the SEALS (who are not, to the best of my knowledge, “issued” .45s, although it’s entirely possible Mr. Benson went through “SEAL training” before 1985) did what?  Learned de-escalation techniques and put the guns away?

No – they learned how to win gunfights.  It’s their job.

For civilians, it is a non-sequitur; if you carry (concealed, usually – not openly, inviting a pre-emptive strike), it should decrease your chance of ever getting into a fight of any kind, since avoiding fights becomes an imperative.  It also decreases your chance of being defenseless against a lethal threat.  To zero?  No – sometimes it just doesn’t work, But the record is good: hundreds of justifiable homicides a year; tens of thousands of defensive gun uses, mostly with no shots fired; crime rates lowered with no gun use needed at all.

Said No Law Abiding Civilian Gun Owner, Ever:  The rest of the article is more of the same; this sort of thing:

“Unless it’s constantly drilled into you, it’s very hard to maintain discipline in those situations,” [former ATF agent and Vietnam veteran ]  told The Nation. “You’re immediately hit with a massive thump of adrenaline…conscious thought shuts down because you’ve been taken over by your nervous system, and your nervous system is saying, ‘Holy sh*t, things just got really bad.’”…“Someone can always say, ‘If your mother is being raped by 5 people, wouldn’t you want her to have a gun?’ Well, okay, if you put it that way, I’d say yes — but that’s not a likely scenario.”

Well, duh.  It’s not likely to happen to anyone’s given mom on any given day.  But if it’s any given mom, and that mom doesn’t wanna get raped, is Mr. Benson saying that there’s any ambiguity in the situation requiring any special training ?

Any at all?

 “The question is: If you see someone running out of a gas station with a gun in their hand, do you want an untrained person jumping out and opening fire?” the former ATF agent said. “For me, the answer is clearly ‘no.’”

Far be it from me to question the qualifications of an ATF agent – an elite, utterly-qualified federal agency that gave guns to narcotraficantes  but the “answer is clearly no” to any citizen with a carry permit and no badge, too.   Jumping out and firing at people who aren’t a direct threat to you can get you in trouble with the wrong prosecutor – and even, sometimes justifiably, the right ones.

Look – we get it.  If you have a heart attack as you’re walking down the aisle at Target, you’d like the first person to come along to be a cardiologist, not a receptionist with a cell phone and a six-months-old Red Cross first aid card.  If you’re is stranded in a blizzard, you’d like it to happen as you pull up to a Embassy Suites with a trunkful of “Free Evening With Champagne” coupons rather than in the middle of the prairie with a candle, a bag of Snickers bars and a space blanket.  And if you’re stuck in a room at your church when a pasty-faced forty-something loser in a “Minnesota Progressive Project” t-shirt barges in with a .25 automatic, you’d like there to just happen to be an off-duty cop with a service  Glock in the room with you rather than some random guy with a carry permit.

But if the only thing standing between you and personal extinction is that secretary, that candle and those snickers, or tha pudgy projectile-sweating middle-aged guy holding a pistol in his shaky hands, are you going to say “No! I choose death on priciple, you mere pretenders!”

I’m gonna guess not.

Especially since – all the derision from Raw Story The Nation notwithstanding – the regular schlemiel’s record is pretty good, all in all.

UPDATE:  Mr. Benson, the “SEAL”, who gave the spiel about the “Instructor” in “SEAL Training” that “warned him” about the risk of “gunfights” if he”carried a gun” like “SEALs” do, tripped my BS detector even as I quoted him.  I thought Mr. Benson sounded more like Heather Martens than Marcus Luttrell.

And as Joe Doakes pointed out in the comments– my BS detector is pretty darn good after all .  Mr. Benson, the “SEAL”, is a fraud.  He duped The Nation:

The original story identified a source as a combat veteran and former Navy SEAL. A records search has since revealed that he significantly exaggerated his military record. His comments have been removed from the article, and the headline has been changed. We apologize to our readers.

Of course, Raw Story doesn’t favor us with that factoid in their copy and paste job.  And my not-very-smart stalker is probably gonna find it a surprise as well.

Continue reading

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

Bank robber in Warren, Michigan – suburban Detroit – fought the law and pointed his gun at an innocent, law-abiding citizen.

And the citizen won – to the tune of three hits on the would-be robber, and an arrest:

“It’s not every day you see a bad guy get shot and get taken down,” said witness Gary Guyette.
The 43-year-old suspect turned his gun on the wrong customer, a 63-year-old CPL holder who was packing heat, himself.

“The 63-year-old responded in kind by defending himself,” said Mayor Jim Fouts. “It’s his Second Amendment right.”

“The one guy’s arm was full of blood,” said Guyette.

Guyette pulled up in front of the bank to see police apprehending a wounded and whimpering robber

“They cuffed him and then they surrounded him,” he said. “He was moaning and kind of screaming and paramedics pulled up and started working on him.”

FOX 2: “Is it surprising at all to hear about this?”

“To be honest with you, no,” said Stefan Bahry.

No charges are expected against the citizen.  I’m going to guess that bank’s gonna be safe for a while.

Speaking of which – I haven’t heard about a lot of street crime at Summit and East River Road lately…

A Good Guy With A Gun – Vindicated

A few weeks back, we discussed the July 31 shooting of Lavauntai Broadbent by a carry permittee whom Mr. Broadbent was apparently attempting to rob.  The shooting took place on the western end of Summit Avenue, above the Mississippi River.

About a week after the decision was expected, the Ramsey County Attorney’s office has announced they will not file charges against a law-abiding citizen:

St. Paul police have said that Lavauntai Broadbent, 16, was killed on July 31 after he brandished a handgun at two people at Shadow Falls Park. The man, whom police have not named, drew his own gun — for which he had a permit to carry — and fired at Broadbent.
The man’s actions were legally justified under Minnesota statute 609.065, based on police evidence in the case, the county attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday.

So John Choi’s office got one right.

By my count, after 12 years (with a year off as a hack judge paid off a chit to his DFL masters), that’s four shootings by post-2004 permit holders that’ve been ruled justified, against one that wasn’t.

And I’m guessing the robbery rate at Summit and East River Road has dropped off a lot.

A Tale Of Two City Papers

There was an episode last Friday on Mississippi River Parkway.  Four youths – in masks, one of them waving a gun – jumped a couple of people out for a walk along the river.

One of the citizens – a carry permit holder, and by all visible signs a good guy with a gun – returned fire, mortally wounding one of the attackers.   Then, according to the story, he did exactly what permit holders are told to do if they, heaven forbid, have to defend themselves; called the cops when he determined he and his companion were safe; then, he administered first aid until the cops arrived.

We don’t, of course, know all the details; if it turns out the shooting was so justified that the Ramco Attorney never tries to bring charges, it’s entirely likely we really won’t.   As of today, the police haven’t referred the shooter to the Ramco Attorney, which is a good sign.

But the interesitng part is the coverage the two local dailies gave it.

In the Pioneer Press?  Pretty much just the facts.

In the Strib – whose coverage of the last notable self-defense shooting, behind a Cub on East Lake in Minneapolis in 2010, was maudlin and disgraceful – there was a brief nod toward social-justice-warriorism in the early edition, focusing on the deceased robber’s mother’s reaction, as if some editor was hoping to latch onto another Trayvon Martin publicity bonanza.  However, by the beginning of this week the narrative had settled down to a sober look at teen gangs in Saint Paul – which may be one of the more unreported issues in the city.

The takeaway?  Some shooters are doing the end-zone happy dance.  I’m not; a family lost a son.  A self-defense shooting is the second worst possible outcome.

But never forget that the worst possible outcome is the intended victim dying.  The intended victim is alive today.  And the only useful outcome from this would be for every criminal – whether a wannabee gang thug or a creep looking for some unearned cash – to realize that there are 199,999 more of us as of last Thursday who can do exactly the same thing.

And especially for every kid playing at being a gangster, waving a gun around to intimidate people, to know that this state is crawling with people with the motivation and the ability to end them.  Cold.

And the odds are getting worse every day.  Criminals are mostly rarely bright people – but they have the same sense of self-preservation the rest of us do.

Let’s hope the message gets out.