A Significant Failure in the Victim Selection Process

… seems to be a bit of an understatement.

Thugs Try Brazen Robbery, Get Shot by 3 Workers, Each with their own gun

Nice! I expect they needed new underwear after that little fiasco.

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A surprisingly balanced article on gun control

At the Roanoke Times.

About 30 years ago as a young reporter in Florida, I was assigned a series on gun control in response to gun violence, which had peaked in the U.S. in 1980.

I began the series with profiles of three gun users, including a woman who had killed her would-be rapist, the owner of a sport shooting club and a convicted murderer on death row at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Most dramatic was the woman, who was attacked as she entered her apartment after work one evening. She had just moved in and boxes were stacked floor-to-ceiling, nary a broom nor a pot to use in self-defense.

In her panic, she suddenly remembered the small derringer in her purse, which still hung over her shoulder. Already, the man had her pinned against the wall. Reaching into her bag, she grabbed the gun, pressed it to his side and, boom! He died instantly. To my question, she replied: “Hell, yes, I’d do it again in a New York minute.”

Or words to that effect.

Most chilling was the murderer, whose name I no longer recall. I do remember that his fingertips were oddly flared and he pressed them together, expanding and contracting his hands like a bellows. No doubt aware that I was nervous, he seemed amused by my questions.

“Sure,” he chuckled. “I’m all for gun control. Because that means you won’t have a gun. And I will always have a gun.” [Emphasis added - Jake]

I may not agree entirely with the author, but it’s at least a balanced and fair article, without the normal heavily anti-gun bias the Roanoke Times usually publishes. Go read the whole thing. It’s worth it.

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[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 9/20/13]

A DGU the Anti-Rights cultists won’t count

Because no shots were fired and no one died (Autoplay warning).

CCTV images captured how a man walked into the Missouri shop and pulled out a handgun, apparently demanding money.
However, shopkeeper Jon Lewis Alexander, a former Iraq veteran, calmly pushed the robber’s gun aside and drew his own handgun, pointing it at the man’s mouth.
The would-be armed robber then backed away and ran out of the store.

If the embedding didn’t work, the link should. Check out the video at the link – Mr. Alexander appears perfectly cool, calm, and collected as the would-be-robber waves his gun around like a magic talisman.

No shots fired, but unfortunately the bad guy got away and the cops are still looking for him.

This also earned the “stupidity” tag, because from the video it looks like Mr. Alexander was openly carrying his gun, yet the crook didn’t seem to notice until he was looking down the barrel.

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[Source: The Telegraph article, retrieved 9/5/13]

Yet again, armed self defense works.

An armed employee stops a robbery.

A gunshot, fired by an armed employee, interrupted a store robbery in northwest Roanoke late Tuesday.Officers responded to Annwil Grocery in the 200 block of 24th Street near Shenandoah Avenue about 11:50 p.m., according to police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson. Investigators were told that a male had entered the store and showed a gun to the employee at the register, Johnson said. She said the cashier also produced a gun and fired one shot, scaring the male out of the store.

We see it again and again. Most (though certainly not all) criminals, when confronted with deadly force in response to their own threats of deadly force, will turn tail and run. Contrary to the claims of the gun banners, self defense can work. While a gun is not a guarantee of success, it is still the most effective tool for defense against violence.

Carry your gun!

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[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 8/10/12]

Quote of the Day: Changing Pants Edition – 2012-07-24

Linoge expands on someone else’s comment about acting during a mass shooting, and in doing so hits one out of the park.

Bravery is not the absence of fear; bravery is the overcoming of fear. I can only hope I will be able to do what I need to when I need to, and then I will worry about little details like changing my pants later

Somebody is unexpectedly trying to kill you. Fear is both natural, inevitable, and acceptable in that situation. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Then do what you have to do to look out for you and your own in spite of your fear.

If your pants are a bit damp or dirty when it’s all over, at least you’re still alive to change them.

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Grandmother survives armed robbery and shootout

By a miracle it would seem. Take a look at the picture in the article. Eight bullet holes in the hood, one in the grill, and both front windows shot out (the bullet hole in the windshield was apparently from her gun). From what I can tell from the article (all standard MSM caveats apply), the bad guys took a pretty tactically sound approach, with one in front of the vehicle and one on the driver’s side. They ordered her to unlock the truck and give them “the money,” probably referring to the nightly deposit from her convenience stores. She decided to fight, assuming that they were going to kill her anyway – and probably rightly so, considering that she later realized that she recognized them as regulars at one of her stores and probably would have been able to identify them later – and drew her pistol. In the firefight that followed, she hit one robber in the chest and forced the other to retreat. It’s more than likely that they had followed her before to plan this out. She survived because she was willing to fight.

But Jay G does a pretty good job covering that angle. Like he says, “Give them just what they’re asking for – hot lead.” I want to look at something else from that article.

Campbell said she owns several guns of all calibers, and given that she owns 13 convenience stores in Macon, Fort Valley and Columbus, she always keeps one on her hip and one in her car. Each store also has at least one gun.

If you listen to the anti-Rights cultists, this is a sign of paranoia, and evidence that she is mentally unfit to own firearms (of course, to the anti-Rights cultists, wanting to own any gun is evidence of being mentally unfit to own firearms). After all, why would anyone need* more than one gun, right (or at least one of each type – rifle, shotgun, and pistol)? And look at those numbers – that’s a minimum of fifteen guns that she owns – why would any one person need that many guns? And why would anyone need to carry one all the time? It’s paranoia!

Well, maybe because you never know when and where you’ll need one. Here’s one good example of the fact that a certain amount of “paranoia” is both normal and healthy. In fact, it looks like she was just “paranoid” enough to keep herself alive. While there’s no guarantee they would have killed her, they sure didn’t hesitate to start shooting when it looked like she was going to resist! And we all know that compliance does not guarantee safety.

Yet the anti-Rights cultists would rather have her robbed, probably murdered, and possibly raped (what, do you think someone willing to commit armed robbery and probably murder would hesitate at committing rape?) than have a violent criminal killed.

Remember, it may be “just money”, but the criminal has already decided whether it’s worth your life or not. You will never know what that decision was until it’s too late, so your best bet is to act as if the answer is “yes”, and give them what they want. Hot lead.

Remember, self defense works. And always CARRY YOUR GUN.

*Not that “need” really has anything to do with it.

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[Source: Article in The Telegraph (Macon(?), GA), retrieved 4/25/12]

(h/t Jay G at MArooned)

A critique of one legislator’s opposition to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law

Sebastian points us to a for/against pair of opposing editorials on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Like Sebastian notes, it’s good to see an MSM source at least printing both sides of the issue, but I do want to point out some issues I have with the “against” editorial writer’s reasoning.

It was just after 4:30 one quiet morning in Tallahassee when a gun fight broke out between rival street gang members, the gunfire piercing the slumber of many residents in this part of the Panhandle where ringing church bells are the more typical Sunday wake-up call.

When it was over, 15-year old Michael Jackson was mortally wounded, later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The two other gang members? According to the trial judge, they were acting in self defense in the 2008 shootout, and under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, the killing was justified. “The law,” said Judge Terry Lewis, “would appear to allow a person to seek out an individual, provoke him into a confrontation, then shoot and kill him if he goes for his gun. Contrary to the state’s assertion, it is very much like the Wild West.”

Certainly a tragedy, but the last sentence contains a gravely flawed bit of reasoning by the judge. Why should mere words invalidate a person’s ability to defend themselves against deadly force? If I were to verbally deliver every one of the gravest insults known to man to your face, does that give you the right to shoot me? Should I not be allowed to defend myself without having to first try to run away in the face of an immediate threat to my life?

If the dead gang-member pulled a gun in response to mere verbal insults, then the other two were defending themselves – and the proper defensive response to deadly force is deadly force. “Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill ‘em right back.

Additionally, the SYG law does not protect someone who is “engaged in an unlawful activity” (FL Statute 776.103, parts (2)(c) and (3)). I direct your attention to FL Statute 877.03, regarding “Breach of the Peace” and “Disorderly Conduct”, violation of which is a second degree misdemeanor – in other words, a crime. Deliberately “seek[ing] out an individual” for the purpose of “provok[ing] him into a confrontation” is a crime, and (despite my statement above) actually does remove the protection of FL’s SYG law. But, like any other crime, it does require that the state first prove guilt of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Which is the way it should be.

In Miami-Dade, Circuit Judge Beth Bloom ruled that Greyston Garcia, who had chased and then fatally stabbed a man attempting to steal Garcia’s car radio, was “well within his rights to pursue the victim.”

The victim, she ruled, had swung a bag at Garcia, thereby justifying Garcia’s deadly response. He never once called 9-1-1. But he is now a free man.

He leaves out a couple of points in this case that are mentioned in the other editorial supporting SYG. To quote in part:

The new provisions of law, commonly known as “Stand Your Ground,” provide that a law-abiding person can meet force with force only if it is necessary to do so to defend a life or stop a forcible felony. [...]

One of the few examples that Smith points to was the recent case where a victim of a burglary chased the thief to recover his stolen property and was attacked by the criminal. The thief swung a bag of stolen radio equipment at the victim in an attempt to bludgeon him. At the hearing, a medical examiner testified that the 4-to-6-pound bag of metal being swung at the victim’s head would lead to serious bodily injury or death. [Emphasis mine.]

So, the man was acting to stop a felony (I assume here that the value of the radio and damage to the car would lift the crime to felony status). It’s not clear from the information presented if it was a “forcible” felony under FL law, but that is really irrelevant here, because he didn’t use deadly force until he was presented with a threat to his life, and it was clearly a case where the classic “citizens arrest” using non-lethal force to restrain the thief would be justified (a witnessed theft of the person’s own property).

But “Stand Your Ground” is not just about guns or gun rights. It’s about the ability to extend the same home self-defense rights to the streets: to kill — with a gun, a knife, even a car — anyone someone perceives as a threat.

This is an oversimplification that misses a critical part of the law: It doesn’t allow someone to kill “anyone [they perceive] as a threat”. It allows the use of force, yes, up to and including lethal force, against a person someone reasonably perceives to be an immediate threat, if that force is reasonably believed necessary to stop that threat. The distinction is absolutely critical.

Absent a witness, the presumption of innocence remains with the individual who delivered the fatal strike.

If you believe that’s a problem, then I’ve got some bad news for you. In America, the presumption of innocence remains with anyone charged with a crime, always. That’s always been the way our legal system is supposed to work, from the very beginning. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

An arrest cannot happen unless law enforcement finds probable cause, essentially moving the decision of guilt or innocence outside a jury’s reach.

Again, that’s how our legal system works. In all criminal cases, the police cannot arrest you unless they have probable cause to believe that you have done something illegal. It’s all because of that pesky Fourth Amendment thing. It does not “mov[e] the decision of guilt or innocence outside a jury’s reach” because the jury has never been able to hear a case before probable cause has been established – and if there’s not enough evidence for mere probable cause, how is a jury going to get anywhere close to “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

Oh, and FYI, just because the police don’t arrest someone immediately doesn’t mean they can’t come back and arrest them weeks, months, or even years later. But if they arrest someone before they have all the evidence together, the whole “speedy trial” part of the Sixth Amendment comes into play, meaning that even a truly guilty defendant can force a trial before the police have all the evidence needed to get a conviction, thereby getting an acquittal simply because the prosecution wasn’t ready.

Since its passage seven years ago, the number of “justifiable homicides” in Florida has soared 200 percent.

A statistic presented without context is meaningless. How many of those would have been prosecuted and resulted in a “not guilty” verdict under previous laws? How many would have involved a duty to retreat under the old law but the shooter was otherwise blameless? What has the murder rate done in the same time period? What has the overall violent crime rate done over the same period? These are only some of the questions necessary to understand if this increase is good or bad, and whether it’s related to the SYG law or not.

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[Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial, retrieved 4/10/12]

Quote of the Day – 2012-03-16

From Gay Cynic, in response to a gay-bashing in Houston, TX.

When you fight back, you aren’t just saving yourself. When you fight back, win or lose, you shatter the meme that the LGBT community is composed solely of wild-eyed pacifists that are vulnerable and easy targets for every bully that comes along – hate-driven or not.

After all, when was the last time you heard of a group of 5 youths with baseball bats attacking a cop or a biker?

It isn’t just hate that’s our enemy. It’s also the idea that we’re a safe target.

I can’t say it better than that. Being gay means that there are people who don’t even know you who are willing – and even eager – to hurt or kill you. People like that don’t bother to think beyond stereotypes, so because you’re gay they believe that you won’t be willing or able to fight back effectively. Learn to protect yourself. Get the best tools to protect yourself.

Remember, self defense works.

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The Bradys want me dead

Why do I say that? Because their desire to restrict legal gun ownership and carry into oblivion would leave me without a viable method of self-defense right now. If I were to be targeted for, just as an example, a gay bashing, without a firearm my two options would be to fight bare-handed against what would most likely be two or more assailants, or to try to run away (“giving them what they want” would not be an option in such a case, because what they want is me severely injured, crippled, or dead – and they don’t have to want me dead for it to happen anyway).

Right now, if I tried to run away from a week-old kitten I couldn’t do it. I suspect I wouldn’t make it more than half a dozen steps before ending up on the ground curled up in a little whimpering ball of pain and suffering. Trying to fight would be almost as bad, since my mobility is severely compromised and if you can’t maneuver during a fight, you’re going to lose.

So, without a gun, against 1 or more healthy assailants I am seriously disadvantaged, and probably would not survive any serious attack. With a gun, my odds are significantly better, and against the average assailant are tipped back in my favour.

But the anti-Rights cult wants to take that advantage away from me. Because a dead fag is apparently better than having a gay-basher get shot.

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A Gunblogger’s real life DGU, thankfully with no shots fired

Gunblogger RedeemedBoyd (now added to the blogroll) has done us the honor of recounting his recent Defensive Gun Use (DGU). This occurred only a few days ago, so his recollections are still fresh. Go, read. I have a few comments for when you’re done.

Got it? Good. Let’s look at a couple of things.

Others, including RedeemedBoyd, have already pointed out how it was his situational awareness that allowed him to stop the attack before it even occurred, but I really want to emphasize one significant point: nothing the attackers did in preparation for this ambush appeared unusual or out of place for the location.

Think about that. Every piece of their setup looked innocuous, and nothing set of his alarms until they actually made their approach. Even then, it was only because he saw motion in his mirror from the corner of his eye that he was able to focus on their approach and see the warning signs in time to take the precaution of drawing his pistol. Had he not seen that motion, he might not have had time to notice that they were trying to hide what they were carrying. Had he not been paying attention to his surroundings, he might not have noticed them at all until they were right next to his windows, by which point he probably would not have gotten out of the encounter without at least two broken windows, and probably not without some kind of injury. He would have been trying to draw his pistol while somebody was either grabbing him or striking him with an ASP baton – and at the same time as the other attacker would likely have been trying to grab his daughter on the other side.

Another question to ask, and the answer to this one is pretty chilling: What was their objective? This seems to be an odd and ineffective setup for a simple robbery. If it was a carjacking, they probably wouldn’t have been as ready to break the windows – I don’t know what part of the country he’s in, but this is still January, and even if it is unseasonably warm there it’s still probably cool enough that driving without windows would be unpleasant. Also, whether it was a carjacking or simple theft to strip and sell the car, the getaway car seems to be extraneous – they could drive the stolen car just as easily.

The biggest conclusion that looms in my mind is that this was intended as a physical assault, perhaps as part of an initiation. And that could have been very bad news. Hopefully, if that were the case, they would have left his daughter alone. Hopefully.

Fortunately, RedeemedBoyd had three things working in his favour. 1) He was aware of his surroundings, 2) He was armed, and 3) He kept the presence of mind to react appropriately and prepare as soon as he recognized the possibility of danger.

The final thing to take from this is that the attackers were cowards. As soon as they realized their intended prey was armed, they panicked and ran like scared little jackrabbits with a pack of hounds after them. No attempts to bluster or intimidate, or even to carry out their attack at all. They just ran.

Remember that. Most violent predators are cowards. They deliberately choose the weak, helpless, or unaware – those who are least likely to be able to fight back effectively – as their victims, and they frequently run when confronted. But it’s also very important to remember that they don’t always run. Don’t expect your gun to be a magic talisman that frightens away your attackers as soon as it is drawn without you ever having to pull the trigger. Be prepared to shoot if you have to.

And always carry your gun. It’s a lighter burden than regret.

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