"Good Samaritan" with concealed handgun stops armed robber in Alabama

Dallas County, Alabama (WSFA TV):
New details are emerging in the investigation into a shooting at a Dallas County dollar store that ended with a gunman dead at the hands of a customer who decided to take action.  
Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson has identified the gunman as Kevin McLaughlin from Orrville and the customer as Marlo Ellis, 37, also from Orrville.
The fatal shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Thursday at the Dollar General on Highway 22 in Orrville. 
Officials say McLaughlin walked into the store waving a gun in the air and forced a cashier and Ellis at gunpoint towards a break room. At that point, Ellis pulled out a concealed weapon and shot McLaughlin once in the chest. 
"He escorted a customer who was trying to leave the store and a cashier toward a break room. The cashier went in first and the customer went in behind her, and the individual had the gun on the customer and the customer had a pistol concealed in a holster," Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said. "And when the customer got to the door, he turned around and shot the individual." . . .  
On Friday, District Attorney Michael Jackson said he doesn't expect Marlo Ellis to face any charges in the incident at the Dollar General.  
"In Alabama you have the right to defend yourself or a third party so when the perpetrator went in there with a gun anybody in the store had the right to deadly force and that's what happened so he actually was a Good Samaritan in this situation because other people could have been injured if he hadn't taken action," Jackson told WSFA.
As for McLaughlin's intentions, he said there were "rumors and speculations" circulating that would be sorted out in the course of the investigation.  
"I don't know why he went in there waving a gun at the people. Whatever reason he went in there for, it was very serious. Anytime someone goes into store and points guns at people, then anybody in the store has the right to use deadly force against that person," he added. . . .

Labels: ,


"Harvey Weinstein and Meryl Streep new movie to make NRA ‘wish they weren’t alive’"

From Emily Miller at the Washington Times:
Mr. Weinstein then revealed his secret project about the gun rights group. “I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,” he said. “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” 
The shock jock asked whether the film was going to be a documentary.Mr. Weinstein said no, that it would be a “big movie like a ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.’”
The movie mogul said his vision was to scare people away from firearms. He foresees moviegoers to leave thinking, “Gun stocks — I don’t want to be involved in that stuff. It’s going to be like crash and burn.” 
The chairman of the Weinstein Co. (formerly Miramax) is one of President Obama’s biggest fundraisers. He brought in more than $500,000 from his Hollywood friends for the president’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2012.  . . . .

Labels: ,

Jimmy Kimmel Savages ObamaCare


Some defensive gun uses, a couple involving concealed carry

Nashua, NH (CBS Boston), December 18, 2013
Paul Jensen was sitting in the driver’s seat of his Ford Taurus in a hospital parking lot in Nashua when police say James Paul suddenly opened up the passenger door. 
“As he started to get in, I didn’t have time to think about it, I just reacted, by the time he got in my car, I had my weapon out and pointed at his head,” said Jensen from his home in Nashua today. . . . 
As for Jensen, police say he is licensed to carry the weapon and they do not fault him for pulling the gun. 
“Based on the fear that Mr. Jensen had and based on his actions it does appear that it was appropriate,” said Nashua Police Lieutenant Denis Linehan.  . . .
Cleveland, Ohio (Fox News), December 18, 2013
Police in Cleveland say a victim of a home invasion fatally shot one of the would-be robbers and wounded the other. 
Twenty-four-year-old Everton Mosby told officers that two men approached him outside his house on the city's east side early Tuesday and ordered him back inside where they pistol-whipped him. 
Mosby -- who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon -- said he was able to get hold of his gun and shot the two men. The Northeast Ohio Media Group (http://bit.ly/1bdbJgE ) reports that one of the men, believed to be in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene. . . . 
Las Vegas, NV
A 72-year-old man, who was the victim of a recent burglary, immediately went for his handgun when he heard a commotion in his Las Vegas home early Monday morning.“Several intruders, had gotten into the home, entered his bedroom and he fired at least one shot, and they fled,” Metro Police Officer Bill Cassellsaid, according to KLAS-TV. 
When the police arrived at Dr. Joseph Piracci’s residence, they found one of the intruders was attempting to flee in a car. The suspect hit a patrol car and then attempted to escape on foot before police took him down. 
A second suspect, described as a “Latin male,” was last seen on foot running into a residential neighborhood. 
Officers found a third male dead from an apparent gunshot wound in Dr. Piracci’s backyard where a handgun was also found, KLAS reports. . . .  
Thanks to Tony Troglio for these links. 

Labels: ,

Problems with Illinois Concealed Carry permit system

The Illinois state police say that despite having about the highest permit fees in the country, they don't have the resources to handle the in flow of permit applications.  With a 16 hour training requirement and a $150 fee to get a permit, they simply aren't going to get the claimed 400,000 permit holders at the end of the first year.  A training class could easily run $450 for 16 hours and also have additional fees for range time.  All told the cost of getting a permit could easily run $650 to $700.  Not only aren't they going to get that many applicants, but they aren't going to get that many applicants who are most likely to be victims of violent crime.
Tureskis said he can understand if CMS is swamped. State police officials estimate up to 400,000 people will apply for the permits this year, with more than 1,000 requests pouring in each day. But if there is an issue, Tureskis wants the agency to come clean.CMS denied having any widespread problems involving the digital IDs. . . .Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, sponsored the concealed carry legislation. He said he's also taken calls from applicants having trouble getting their digital IDs but is pleased with the process so far."With the limited amount of time and resources the state police had, they've done a great job," Phelps said Monday. . . .
Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link. 


Real case showing why you want to be able to fire more than 10 shots in self-defense

When you are facing multiple attackers sometimes you have to fire a lot of rounds.


New concealed handgun reciprocity bill introduced in the US Senate

This bill has been before the Senate before, and except for games being played by Democratic Senators (who would say that they supported the bill only to vote against it at the last moment) it would have gotten the 60 votes required in the past to pass it.  A copy of the bill is shown here (click on the bill to make the text larger):


A few of the celebrities and stars who own guns

Fox News has a short list of celebrities and stars who own guns available here.  The names include: Tom Selleck, Luke Bryan, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, Angelina Jolie ("If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them."), Joe Perry, Miranda Lambert, Donald Trump, James Earl Jones, Howard Stern, and Eric Clapton.


Howard Kurtz had strong financial ties with the "Daily Download"?

I assume that Kurtz will have a response to this, but I haven't seen anything yet.  From Politico:
Documents unearthed by Gawker show that Fox News host Howard Kurtz had a much deeper financial relationship with Lauren Ashburn's now defunct “Daily Download” website than he has previously stated. 
Kurtz and Ashburn's short videos on “Daily Download” first came under scrutiny last May when Kurtz incorrectly said that gay NBA player Jason Collins had hid the fact he was engaged to a woman. Kurtz was fired from the Daily Beast and left his position as host of CNN’s Reliable Sources soon after. 
In comments on Reliable Sources and to the Huffington Post, Kurtz said that despite heavily promoting the site, his relationship with “Daily Download” was that of an adviser, an “unpaid honorary position with no oversight,” and that he was paid only as a freelancer and had no role with the parent company. 
But that’s not the case, Gawker reports. In documents they obtained from the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission, each host of the “Daily Download” was allocated $100,000 in the initial budget and a revised budget showed even more pay (although Gawker says the documents indicate Kurtz intended to donated at least half of it back). . . . .


Note on David Frum's piece on the Florida theater shooting Monday by a retired police captain

David Frum at the Daily Beast wrote:
The 71-year-old former Tampa police captain had founded the city’s SWAT team. Retired from the force, Reeves still carried a .38 caliber handgun. On Monday, he carried his gun with him to a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Florida, an exurban community 26 miles north of Tampa. Reeves became annoyed by a man in the row directly ahead of him who texted before the show. Reeves complained first to the man, then to the theater manager. A confrontation erupted. Voices were raised. Popcorn was thrown. And suddenly: a man was dead. . . .

There was at least one adult who carried a gun in the theater in which Oulson was shot to death. Perhaps Reeves imagined that he might use his weapon to prevent some terrible crime. Instead, he committed one.

One statistic often tossed about in the gun debate is the claim that guns are used for self-defense some 2.5 million times a year, once every 13 seconds. That statistic is based on a set of surveys conducted before 1995 in which gun owners were asked whether they could remember using a gun to meet any kind of threat over periods that varied from one year to as many as five years. The phrasing of the questions could include anything from confronting an armed intruder to picking up a shotgun before investigating a squawk in the chicken coop.  This kind of hazy self-reporting, conducted almost a generation ago, is not likely to generate any kind of reliable information. . . .

Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old man, pulled into a Jacksonville gas station in November 2012. The next car over was occupied by four teenagers playing loud music. Dunn is white; the four young men, black. Dunn ordered the teens to turn down their music. They refused. An argument erupted. Dunn drew a gun and fired eight or nine shots at the teens, killing one of them. Dunn claimed that he had glimpsed a gun inside the teens’ car and therefore felt threatened. . . .
Part of an email that I sent to David:

1) Do you really want to use anecdotal evidence when there are currently about 11 million concealed handgun permit holders in the US?  I agree based on the evidence that has thus far been presented the Jacksonville gas station case looks extremely bad and so does this movie theater case.  Since you are raising two cases from Florida, there are about 1.2 million active permit holders in Florida.  168 have had their permit revoked for any fires related violations.  If you look at the revocations from January 2008 to July 31, 2013, there were four additional revocation (however, obviously the cases that you mention won't be included in those numbers).  That comes to an annual revocation rate of less than 1/10,000th of a percentage point.  When I have called up the licensing bureau they have told me that the vast majority of revocations have been violations where no one has been hurt, namely people accidentally carrying guns into gun-free zones or forgetting to have their carry permit with them when they are carrying.

Since the movie theater case involves a retire cop, is the conclusion that trained police shouldn't be allowed to carry when they are off-duty or when they retire?  Do on-duty police make mistakes?  Sure, but I assume that you wouldn't argue that police shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun, right?  The question isn't whether we can identify mistakes.  The question is what is the net effect of police being able to carry.

2) I know of at least four national surveys on defensive gun uses after 1995.  I would have to look it up, but the minimum estimated number of defensive gun uses in those later four surveys was at least 1.3 million.  Minor note: all the surveys in 1995 or earlier asked people about events over at least 5 years.  And, as you know, I agree that is problematic.  Only surveys after 1995 asked about events over previous year.  That said, surveys are only of the most limited use and must be used carefully.  That is the reason why I turn to regressions that look at changes in crime rates when people are allowed to own or carry guns for protection. 

Labels: ,

In just 11 states over last year there was about a 600,000 increase in number of concealed handgun permits

My guess is that there was a big change in the number of permits in Texas this past year as there the number of hours required for training was cut in half.  I wouldn't be surprised if the final increase for the eleven states shown plus Texas will be over 650,000.  For the 11 states shown, it is 590,000.



Why young people support Democrats is a mystery, though support for Democrats is slipping

Whether it is Social Security, the high premium increases under Obamacare, jobs, the teachers' union, or minimum wage, Democrats have positions that hurt young people.  Social Security and Obamacare represent a huge wealth transfer from the young to the old.  Democrats protect teacher unions even though it ensures a poor education for tens of millions of young Americans.  Minimum wage rules prevent young people from entering the job market and getting training.  And thanks a lot to Democrats for the horrible job market with their Keynesian policies.

OK, young people care about abortion, but nothing is going to happen to change the Supreme Court's solid majority supporting abortion.  Marijuana legalization gets support from both Republicans and Democrats.  From the Boston Globe:
. . . Domestic spying by the government, the technological incompetence demonstrated in the launch of the Obama health care marketplace, the continued weakness in the economy — all have conspired to undermine Democrats’ big advantage among young voters, ages 18 to 29, according to specialists. 
In a detailed, national poll released last month by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, nearly half of young voters said they would recall President Obama if they could. Only 41 percent approved of the job Obama was doing, an 11-point drop from six months earlier. 
“People should be concerned about those numbers,” said Tad Devine, a longtime Democratic strategist. “We’ve got to make sure young voters understand the stakes.” . . . 
For a generation that relies on smartphones and tablets, the government’s inability to create a functioning website was unfathomable. They also believe the law will bring more costs, worse care, and little benefit to them. Among the 18- to 29-year-olds who don’t have health insurance, fewer than 1 in 3 of those surveyed by Harvard said they are likely to enroll in the health care exchange. . . .

Labels: ,


New piece on judicial confirmations at Cato Unbound

The piece that I have at Cato Unbound starts this way:
Judges exert a large and growing role in our lives.  The cases they decide cover everything that we do.  Can the government ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors? Does proving discrimination against a few female employees working for Wal-Mart constitute proof that Wal-Mart discriminated against all its 1.3 million female employees?  Does the federal government have the power to determine who is a minister? Is carbon dioxide, part of the very air that we breathe out, a pollutant that the EPA can regulate? Can someone who brutally rapes a child receive the death penalty? Is the government able to use GPS devices to monitor citizens without securing a court order?  Who can get married to whom?  Can unions mandate that employees pay dues that go to political campaigns?  
The list could go on.  Those are just a few of the countless issues handled by federal judges over the last half dozen years. 
Judicial confirmations have become much more contentious over time.  Yet there has been little study of what personal characteristics make some judges less confirmable than others. Who are the nominees that make it through the confirmation process? Are they the brightest people who have the most detailed and sophisticated knowledge of the law? Are the most successful lower court judges also the most likely to get promoted to serve on higher courts? 
Think that attending a top university and graduating at the top of the class is the key to your success? Not if you’re headed for a federal judgeship. . . .

Labels: ,

New York Times obsessed with gun-free zones, new article on attempt to eliminate gun-free zones in Kansas

The New York Times seems to have a hard time understanding the problem with gun-free zones.  Kansas has a simple rule: if you aren't going to allow people to defend themselves, you can only do that if you can guarantee that criminals aren't going to be able to take guns into the area and simple saying that they can't do so isn't enough.  That rule seems reasonable to me.  It would also be reasonable to the head of Interpol, Ron Noble.
. . . While Republican-majority legislatures across the country are easing restrictions on gun owners, few states are putting more pressure on municipalities right now than Kansas. The new law has forced some local leaders to weigh policy conviction against fiscal pragmatism in a choice that critics say was flawed from the start: Open vulnerable locations to concealed side arms or stretch meager budgets to cover the extra security measures. 
“It’s unfair to the taxpayer to ask them to fork out those kinds of dollars,” said Ms. Miller, who wanted more time to weigh options but admitted that choices were slim. “There is no municipality in the state of Kansas that can afford those infrastructure costs. 
The law, signed by Gov. Sam Brownback in April, permitted local governments to apply for a four-year grace period by notifying the state attorney general’s office and developing security plans by Jan. 1. Architects of the bill said it was intended to put local leaders on the spot, as municipalities that do not comply will lose liability protections under the statute. . . . 
Councilwoman Janet Miller wanted time to weigh less costly options for restricting armed access in Wichita. "It's unfair to the taxpayer to ask them to fork out those kind of dollars," she said. . . . 
The Kansas Board of Regents, which runs the state’s public universities, and the library system in Topeka were among those seeking the extended exemption, delaying the issue until 2018. As of Thursday, out of several thousand local government entities across the state, only about 160 places had sought an exemption for at least one of their buildings, according to public documents obtained from the state attorney general’s office. Many are hospitals and community colleges. . . .
My guess is that after a year goes by no one will remember that this was an issue.   What is the evidence that they can point to of permit holders being the risk in areas such as universities?

Labels: ,


Newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Some realities to consider before passing more gun-control bills”

My newest piece in the Inquirer starts this way:
The new year has brought yet more gun-control regulations. President Obama announced new executive orders on background checks. Connecticut citizens stood in long lines to register their guns, and, next door in New York City, registration lists are used to confiscate them.
While the research by criminologists and economists keeps showing that gun control doesn't work, technological advances and practical problems mean the laws are increasingly likely only to disarm the law-abiding. 
In the era of 3D printing, you won't be able to ban guns and it will be even more difficult to stop unapproved people from obtaining them. A part metal/part plastic gun printed from a 3D printer will be completely indistinguishable from a traditionally made gun, even down to whatever serial number you want. 
3D printers have consequences for the gun-control laws Obama and other Democrats are pushing. If AR-15s are banned, anyone could borrow a 3D printer and make one. If magazines holding more than 10 rounds are banned, and you don't have access to a very simple set of tools, print one off. 
Can the government stop 3D-printed guns? Unfortunately, no. . . . .
The most important parts of the piece deals with Interpol Secretary General Ron Noble’s comments on stopping mass public shootings and that gun control disarms the law-abiding, not the criminals.

Labels: , , ,

New Discovery channel series on victims of crime

One of the shows is going to be on Nikki Goeser.  A discussion of the show that will be on her story is available here:

UPDATE:  Someone named Julia sent me this related video.