This was definitely the wrong house to break into: Three of four family members in home had guns

More from WFLA News Channel 8:

A family in Winter Haven shot and killed a burglary suspect, according to the Winter Haven Police report. 
Officers responded to the burglary call around 6:50 a.m. Monday. When they arrived to 4219 Lake Marianna Drive they found the burglary suspect, identified as 40-year-old Mitchell Large, dead in the residence. 
According to WHPD,  the suspect was a complete stranger to the family who lived in the house. Police said, the homeowner Luis F. Pena, 54, his wife Bacenbina A. Pena, 53, and their son Luis A. Pena, 27, were all home when they heard a noise early Monday morning. A forth person, Lilliana E. Pena, 20, was also inside of the home, but did not witness the incident. 
Luis A. Pena went to check on that and found somebody rattling the french doors leading off a back porch area. He pulled out a gun and fired a shot trying to scare off the intruder but the burglar didn't stop.  
The young man went back to the kitchen where his mother and father were, both armed. Police say Large continued to charge at the residents and   the three of them all shot at the intruder when they saw him.  . . .
From a later report from WTSP television:
Investigators say Mitchell Large, who appeared to be unarmed, has a criminal history of assault and domestic violence. 
There appears, they say, to be no link between Large and the Pena family, making charges that much less likely.  
"Whether he was armed or not armed, when he failed to retreat they certainly had a right, if it turns out to be this way, would have a right - to defend themselves" said Chief Hester. . . . 



James O’Keefe video gets Republican Senate President to Drop out of Re-election race

Despite a very closely divided state Senate in WisconsinProject Veritas did an undercover video that caused Republican Senate President Mike Ellis to not seek re-election this fall.   From Fox 6 in Milwaukee:
In the video, recorded two weeks ago, Ellis talks about creating a super PAC to spend money attacking his Democratic opponent state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber.Ellis said he did not pursue the idea after realizing it was illegal. . . .
I have two thoughts on this: 1) this shows James O’Keefe is willing to go after what he considers bad behavior even when it targets Republicans (which is something that he deserves points for) and 2) whether this is bad behavior depends on the timeline here: the amount of time between the discussion and the release of the video.  If it is clear that Ellis wasn't going to follow through on the discussion, I don't see the problem.  There are so many complicated laws even legislators can't be expected to understand all the implications of them.

Labels: ,

Holder is quite rude to Congressman Gohmert

Just some background on Holder.  He has refused to provide documents for years (just one example here), lied to the House, mislead the Senate, held in contempt by Congress, refuses to investigate Lois Lerner, and a long list of other problems. I wish that I had a longer clip because it would illustrate Holder's unwillingness to directly answer questions.

Then on Thursday at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, Attorney General Holder implied that the concerns about him and the Obama administration were motivated by racism.

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Holder claims that there were “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive” attacks on him and the Obama administration.  

Holder: "What attorney general has ever had to deal with that type of treatment?"

How about Alberto Gonzalez in Attorney Probe?

Labels: ,

Appearance on the Dennis Miller Show to discuss shootings at military bases

Dennis' show is consistently one of my favorite and the interview on Tuesday provided a lot of useful information on the tragedy at Fort Hood.  The interview is available here.

Labels: ,


Soldiers speaking out in favor of carry guns on US military bases

Soldiers who survived the 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Staff Sgt. Shawn ManningSgt. Howard Ray and retired Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, warn it is time the 1993 rule be revised.  Now even more are speaking out.  From the Army Times:
In the wake of last week’s shooting on Fort Hood many soldiers and some lawmakers are calling on the military to reconsider allowing troops to carry concealed weapons on post.

On social media and elsewhere, soldiers have been speaking out about their inability to defend themselves at work.   
“It’s the only place that a licensed soldier can’t carry,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Wiley, who’s assigned to the 708th Contingency Contracting Team at Fort Campbell, Ky. “When you’re deployed,you have your weapon issued to you, and it’s mandatory that you carry it. Then you come back home and you come onto post, and ... the only people who are going to have weapons are military police ... and those who don’t care about the law.” . . . 
A warrant officer, who asked to remain anonymous so he could speak freely, said he believes select soldiers should be allowed to carry weapons on post.   
“If somebody is in a trusted position, someone with a security clearance, somebody who’s in charge of making sure a soldier’s welfare is taken care of, they should be carrying some sort of protection so we don’t have to wait 10 to 15 minutes for the police to show up,” said the warrant officer, who’s been in the Army since 2008 and is training to become a helicopter pilot. . . . .

Labels: ,

Obama continues to push only mental illness solutions at Fort Hood memorial


Newest op-ed at Fox News: "After Fort Hood: Should soldiers be allowed to bear arms on base?"

My newest piece from Fox News starts this way:
In debates on gun control, gun opponents usually speculate about what might go wrong. Unfortunately, the current debate over arming soldiers on military bases is no different.
Except for the military police, soldiers on military bases are banned from carrying guns. But that hasn’t always been the case. 
The ban itself hasn’t been around that long. It was proposed during the George H.W. Bush administration in 1992 as an effort to make the military a more "professional business-like environment." President Clinton rewrote and implemented the ban in 1993
After the attack at Fort Hood this past week, many soldiers no doubt wished they had been carrying a gun. The six minutes before military police arrived at the scene proved much too long for the three people killed and 16 wounded. 
Soldiers who survived the 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning,Sgt. Howard Ray and retired Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, warn it is time the 1993 rule be revised. 
Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham points out that there have been “nearly two dozen shootings at U.S. military installations” since the 1993 ban. Yet such attacks have not occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan, where virtually all soldiers have carried a loaded weapon. Nor were they occurring when guns were allowed to be carried on U.S. bases. Gun-free zones in the military have not worked any better than they have in civilian life. . . . .

Labels: ,

20 wounded, 4 severely wounded, in multiple victim stabbing at Pennsylvania high school

Let's assume that they can get rid of guns (which I don't concede), China can attest to the multiple victim knife attacks that they have suffered.  Fortunately, the life of one of those wounded in the knife attack in Pennsylvania was spared by some fast thinking "by applying pressure to the person’s wound."  From Fox News:
Twenty people, including 19 students, were wounded — four seriously — during a stabbing spree early Wednesday at a high school near Pittsburgh and a 16-year-old male student is in custody, authorities say. 
As word of the incident spread and children streamed out of the school, parents told FoxNews.com they were shocked by the attack — and one district official expressed relief that it was carried out with a knife rather than a gun. 
“Nobody’s ever prepared for something like that as a parent,” Matt Provenzo, who had dropped his son, Mark, off at Franklin Regional High School moments after the stabbings, told FoxNews.com. "As he got out of the car, you could see students exiting the building and that the fire alarm was pulled … There were a few students who were visibly upset." . . . 
"Everyone was screaming and people were being trampled over," she told FoxNews.com. "It was a very bad scene. I was very scared. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought it was a drill." . . . .
UPDATE:  The number of injuries is now listed as "at least 24."  From the local CBS station in Pittsburgh:
Westmoreland County updated the victim count late Wednesday evening, saying 24-people had been injured. (21-students stabbed, 1-security guard stabbed, and 2-others injured)
At least five students were critically wounded, including a boy who was on a ventilator after a knife pierced his liver, missing his heart and aorta by only millimeters, doctors said. An injured school officer was discharged. . . .
Witnesses said the boy with the knives at first tackled a freshman and stabbed him in the belly, then got up and ran wildly down the hall, slashing other students. . . .

Labels: ,

Estate tax rate in New York State is as high as 164 percent

I suspect that there are a few more people who will be leaving New York.  From CNBC:
Certain estates could even wind up with a tax rate of 164 percent on portions of their estates, according to one tax expert. . . .  
On its face, the new law seems like tax relief. Under the previous law, New Yorkers paid estate taxes of 3.06 percent to 16 percent on the value of estates over $1 million. The new law raises that exclusion to $2.062 million this year and gradually increases it to more than $5 million by 2017. 
But because the law also phases out certain credits related to federal taxes, people who have estates valued just above the $2 million threshold could get massive estate tax bills. An analysis by U.S. Trust found that a New York resident who dies today with a taxable estate of $2,165,625 could have to pay an estate tax of over $112,050. That represents a tax of over 100 percent on the value of the estate over $2,062,000. 
It gets worse in a few years. Matz said that assuming that the exclusion rises to $5,250,000, a New Yorker with a taxable estate of $5,512,500 would have to pay an estate tax of $430,050. That's a marginal tax rate of 164 percent on the value of the estate above the exclusion. . . . .  
Matz, however, said the issue is not just a problem for the so-called rich. When you add up the value of property, pension plans, 401(k) plans and other assets, a New Yorker with just over $2 million in New York "is not exactly super rich. In a state with a high cost of living, that's not that unusual."



Newest piece at the Chicago Tribune: "Let soldiers carry guns on bases"

My newest piece at the Chicago Tribune starts this way:
What stops a mass public shooting is a person with a gun. Frequently it isn't even necessary to fire the gun. But the length of time between when an attack starts and when someone is able to arrive on the scene with a gun is crucial in determining how many people get killed or wounded. 
At Fort Hood, Texas, this past week, the six minutes before military police arrived at the scene proved much too long for the three people killed and 16 wounded. 
Military police are important. They guard base entrances and travel around the base like police do in any city, but also like police, they can't be everywhere all the time. 
Most people are surprised to learn that besides the military police, other soldiers on military bases are banned from carrying guns. The ban, first proposed during the George H.W. Bush administration and rewritten and implemented under President Bill Clinton in 1993, was supposed to make the military more of a "professional businesslike environment." . . .
The piece is continued here.


Eric Holder says that he wants gun owners to use a special bracelet to use a gun

With the price of so-called "smart guns" running at $1,399 plus $399 for the watch that is required to make it work, this represents a dramatic increase in the price of guns and dramatically reduce gun ownership if mandated.  The people who will be priced out of owning guns are the very people who need protection the most -- poor, law-abiding people, particularly blacks, who live in high crime urban areas.  The bigger problem is the question of reliability.  There is a reason that Holder isn't talking about police having to use these bracelets.



Why Bob Costas' wager for his gun critics is unfair

From Politico:
“Here’s what I would say to anybody who any time they hear the word guns automatically goes off, like, ‘Oh, they’re going to repeal the Second Amendment,’” Costas said. “Let’s make a bet, you and me. Let’s say over the next five years we’ll do a Google search. We’ll have an independent party monitor it. You keep track of how many good and constructive things are associated with athletes having a gun, and I’ll keep track of all the tragedies and criminality and folly. And let’s see who comes out ahead or behind as the case may be.” . . .
The problem here is a simple one.  It would be a fair bet if all the defensive gun uses got media attention, but athletes have little incentive to report every time that they use a gun defensively.  We know that people generally don't get news coverage for their defensive gun uses, and given how the leagues feel about athletes possessing guns, athletes have very little incentive to report these cases.

The problem might be that Costas actually believes that he will get an accurate representation of the rate of defensive guns uses from the media coverage.  If you want a good idea of how the media only tends to cover bad news from guns and not their benefits, see this discussion here.

An additional problem arises if Costas is willing to concede that the possibility that athletes have guns serves as a deterrent for criminals.  Put it this way: Would Costas be willing to put up a "Gun-free zone" sign on his home?  He might feel that he can hire enough security protections that he doesn't need it, but I suspect that he still wouldn't put up such a sign.  If so, even he must acknowledge that simply counting newspaper stories, even if they accurately recorded all events, would still not provide an accurate reflection of the benefits of gun ownership.

Labels: , ,

Obama focuses on mental health but doesn't ask what we do when the screening fails

The Obama administration's push is for further mental health screening.  But many of these mass shooters were seeing psychiatric care and still not identified as showing a "sign of any likely violence either to himself or others."  That was again the case with Ivan Lopez.  The Washington Post reports:
But the Army psychiatrist who last saw Lopez found no “sign of likely violence, either to himself or to others,” McHugh told a Senate panel. . . .
Monday morning quarterbacking is so easy.  What may have been relatively trivial events gain so much more meaning after an attack has occurred. 


A great example of the lack of perspective on the environment: Environmentalists really believe that a single lane road through federally protected wilderness park will severely endanger wildlife

A road that would allow people access to emergency medical care or preserve the environment?  Do environmentalists really believe that a single lane road through a 315,000-acre sanctuary will endanger wildlife?  Almost all of Alaska is federal land.  From Politico:
More than 15 years later, his daughter, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski — along with the rest of the Alaska congressional delegation — is still fighting for the road, insisting it’s the only viable way to ensure that King Cove’s 965 largely native Alaskan residents have access to emergency medical care. 
What seems like a simple request is anything but. The proposed road would cut through federally protected wilderness land in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, a 315,000-acre sanctuary near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. And the Interior Department says the road would threaten vulnerable plants and animals that rely on the area’s unique ecology. 
The oftentimes ugly fight has pitted Alaska politicians against the federal government for decades, sowing mistrust and frustration. It has also reinforced the view of many in Alaska that policymakers in the Lower 48 are out of touch with their needs. . . .