Local Media Getting It Right

Very impressed with Tim Ryan and Fox4 — the details and knowledge of the Concealed Handgun License and applicable laws is well presented.

 

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Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
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This action and the statement on the news station website show why I don’t go to AMC Theaters for the most part.

 

AMC Theatres

For the safety of our guests and associates, we do not permit weapons in our theatres. However, we welcome off-duty officers as guests at AMC and they are exempt from this policy with official identification. Based on the information we’ve received, the guest did not show an official department identification card and our theatre team properly enforced this policy. We have reached out to the guests to discuss the situation directly with them.
AMC Theatres (to use their spelling) are a private enterprise. They are free to prohibit concealed carry on their property; although as a public accommodation, I could make a case otherwise. I won’t. I’ll just abide by their wishes as much as I can and not patronize them.
I do think this is a step forward when the media gets the facts and the law down as well as Tim Ryan did. Good job sir.

Training Effectiveness

Let’s imagine there is an organization providing training for people wanting to get their Concealed Handgun License — in one class only 7 out of 27 students passed the written examination on the first attempt. An examination that requires students only to get 70% of the answers correct.

Well that could be a fluke, right? Just a bunch of people who didn’t take it serious.

What if you found out that out of the last 4 classes there were similar problems; students seemingly unable to master the concepts of when to use force, what the law says, etc?

I don’t know about you but I would worry just how much those students had learned.

 

Now what if I told you that organization was the Dallas Sheriff’s Training Academy?

 

An exclusive NBC 5 investigation reveals a crisis inside the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.  

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Training Academy is at risk of being shut down by the state because last year’s recruits did so poor on the state’s basic licensing exam.

NBC 5 Investigates obtained records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which certifies Texas Police Academies, that indicate only 25 percent of last year’s recruits passed the exam on the first try.  

Their records show 27 recruits took the exam at the academy in 2013 but only seven passed on the first try. The state requires 80 percent of recruits pass on the first attempt and every police academy in Texas did that last year, except Dallas County who had the worst percentage in the entire state.

NBC 5 Investigates learned the state put Dallas County’s academy on probation last fall, which means they are at risk for losing their license.

NBC5 posted that report back in May — sorry blog and real life issues kept me from addressing this sooner.

Does that fill you with confidence and security knowing that it took multiple attempts for the majority of the class to get a “C” on the final exam? In interest of full disclosure, for a Concealed Handgun License with its admittedly shorter/less comprehensive test also requires a passing grade of 70% on the examination.

Before last year, the academy had stellar grades.  In 2012, recruits logged a 100 percent passing rate.

Law enforcement training experts said a sudden drop often points to a poor recruiting class or poor teaching and that both could be a problem.

 

Follow up investigations reveal that the issues do not appear to be with a single class.

NBC 5 Investigates obtained copies of the scores for the last four academy classes. A score of 70 is a passing grade for individual cadets, but in the last four classes the average score on the problem solving and critical thinking portion of the test ranged from just 50 to 60 percent. Three of the last four classes had failing scores on the force options section — which gauges their knowledge of when it’s OK to use a weapon.

Recent Dallas County academy classes also had scores averaging below 70 percent in test areas including controlled substances, arrest search and seizure, traffic laws and crisis intervention – mental health code training.

In one recent academy class, the average score on the family code and juvenile justice portion of the test was a mere 36 percent.

So, let’s consider the ways that the recent classes, including the 2012 class which had a 100% pass rate could have passed.

a. The prospective peace officers took the test repeatedly until they got it right.
b. The prospective peace officers received illegal assistance in passing the test.

Does either scenario fill you with confidence and security about the peace officers coming out of that organization? Especially when you consider that once they passed the test; any department or agency could have hired them!

 

The anti-rights cultist generally harp on how people who carry firearms need to be trained like professional law enforcement officers are trained. Yet the reality of the situation is peace officers aren’t held to incredibly high standards. I’ll be covering the training requirements in more detail later. I want to assure people this isn’t a knock on law enforcement in general; more of pointing out the problems with a major training institution and the tendency of the antis to put law enforcement on a pedestal.

The simple fact is most officers are decent people trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately they are also working for agencies usually headed by political appointees or elected officials trying to stay in office. Unfortunately most officers do not possess the in depth knowledge of the law or the Constitutions.

In fact, I was shocked that for a Basic Peace Officer certification only 8 hours out of 643 — a measly 0.16% of the of the time — is spent on the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the Texas  Constitution.

Please join the discussion.

 

And thanks for sticking around and the messages regarding the blog; it really helped to know that people were reaching out to me during the past couple of months.

 

 

Yeah, About that Claim of Terrorizing People….

….I’m gonna need you to, um…perhaps retract that outrageous claim. The Fort Worth Police department made the claim in an email

An email from Sgt. Ray Bush, with the Fort Worth Police Department, said Jack in the Box employees at the South Freeway location on Sycamore School Road, were scared about the armed men protesting outside of the restaurant.

“They locked themselves inside a freezer for protection out of fear the rifle-carrying men would rob them,” the email stated. “The demonstration had no signage that would have alerted anyone to their real purpose, and to our knowledge they did not attempt to contact anyone in the Fort Worth Police Department to advise us prior to the demonstration.”

The Media ran with it, seemingly without trying to vet, for days. Even when the story started falling part (from O.C.T.’s FB page)

Open carry activists at a Fort Worth Jack in the Box drew the attention of police following a 911 call. (Photo credit: Facebook)

From the Open Carry Tarrant County FB Page

The anti-rights advocates still haven’t seen fit to address the issue by printing a retraction — despite the company in question saying the story is false

An earlier version of this post included information from Sgt. Ray Bush of the Forth Worth Police Department, who wrote in an email last week that the employees at the Jack in the Box where Open Carry Texas staged a demonstration “locked themselves inside a freezer for protection out of fear the rifle-carrying men would rob them.” However, Brian Luscomb, vice president of corporate communications for Jack in the Box, told the New York Times this evening, “Our employees told us that they did not hide in the freezer.” We have amended the post to reflect this new information.

And don’t you love how the NYT puts the retraction at the very bottom of the page? Now, we are starting to get information regarding the — yes, I said THE – 911 call that was made. So far it is the only one that has been released in regards to this demonstration.
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It looks like that is the only call made. So let’s see; friendly smiling faces (the guy posing with the OCT group is the manager), non -terrified appearing employees in the background, no 911 calls released from the employees. Even the 911 caller didn’t sound terrified or excited. You know what I think happened – NOTHING, at least until the police over reacted.

 

Come on seriously Fort Worth Police department; how many times have their been reports of Armed people strolling about in a parking lot and problems arise from it.  Not to often. Add to that no other reports of shots fired, no other 911 calls.

We can debate the merits of Open Carry and the methods used by this advocacy group all day long; in the end that misses any important point. The point that even in a state were Open Carry isn’t that common; it just doesn’t generate the level of hysteria or concern from ordinary people. Let’s keep going and make sure everyone realizes this; let’s point out the lies of the media and the Mom’s Demanding Attention And Bloomberg’s Money.

 

Please join the discussion.

Texas CHL Law Update

I might have mentioned this in passing but I didn’t cover in any detail. On 1 Sep 2013, a few firearm related bills were enacted into law.

One of those was Senate Bill 299 which changed section 46.035 as shown below

AN ACT

relating to the intentional display of a handgun by a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subsections (a) and (h), Section 46.035, Penal Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays fails to conceal the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.

(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that  the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in the use of force or deadly force under Chapter 9.

SECTION 2. The change in law made by this Act applies only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date. 

SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

How big of a change is this? Really really big folks.

Remember in Section 411.171 there is this definition:

(3) “Concealed handgun” means a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.

This removes considerable worry about a shirt riding up or the wind blowing a cover garment up and exposing the firearm.Combine that with the protection of displaying in situations where the use of force or deadly force would be appropriate and the really helps the gun owner.
Not quite Open Carry but on the way. Even more importantly was the fact this bill wasn’t a stretch, it wasn’t an oddity in an otherwise hostile legislative session; it was 1 of 14 bills (Link edited — Happy Cormac???????)  that generally improved the rights of the people.

Please join the discussion.

 Aaron Spuler looked at the bills back in June 2013  - good recap

An Argument Against “Gun Free Zones”

If people are willing to break the law over such a minor issue; do we really think that a sign prohibiting guns is going to work any better?

You’ve undoubtedly seen them on your way to work or home, panhandlers.

For the last year the City of Fort Worth has tested using signs to deter the practice by warning both panhandler and driver with the message, “soliciting from roadway prohibited.” However, at the first intersection where the signs were installed, about a year ago, you’ll still regularly see people begging for money or food. Those who work in the area said the signs don’t work.

“No they don’t, we still have them coming in here, panhandling every where,” said Alma Baca.

Baca works along the intersection at Interstate 20 and Hulen Street, where the signs were installed. She said they’ve done little to slow down those begging for spare change.

“I get one that stands right there and waits and waits and then walks out and asks people for money,” Baca said.

Standing next to a sign prohibiting the very same action — yep, really effective eh?

 

Reason for Open Carry?

How about 87 of them?

That was the High temp yesterday.
On November 17th.

 

 

Concealed Handgun and Voting

As I previously mentioned, without a lot of detail, I voted on Saturday. I’ve also previously mentioned that I have a Concealed Handgun License and generally carry where I morally and ethically can.

Some might wonder where the two statements intersect; the answer is in the law of course. Seems the Legislators think that those of us who carry firearms can’t be trusted to vote and not shoot up the place at the same time.

Sec. 46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):

(1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution;

(2) on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;

There are more prohibited places but I want to just focus on #2 for now.

A couple of questions come to mind– I doubt if any anti-rights cultist will stop by and answer them but who knows. They might and the horse might learn to sing also.

Question #1 — How do you know that I didn’t carry on the premises at the polling location?

After all, the firearm has to be concealed from detection by a reasonable person, right? And unless the volunteers staffing the polls have extensive training and experience; they are unlikely to be able to detect a concealed firearm.

Question #2 — What harm was committed even IF I did carry on the premises of the polling place?

This isn’t a rhetorical question; I am seriously interested in someone explaining just what harm, what damage to someone in our society was created if someone carried a firearm with them to vote?

There was no scuffle, no fights, no shootings, no threats made, no drama of any type involved in the voting process. I drove up, walked in, showed my voter registration card and driver’s license, signed by on the line, got my “I voted” sticker then spent 2 minutes at the booth.

I understand some proposals or elections may be a little contentious but that isn’t the norm. Most elections are dull, boring and completely drama free. I wonder why legislators felt it necessary to include polling places in the list of prohibited places.

Question #3 — If the idea is to keep disturbances to a minimum; why doesn’t the penal code prohibit various other crimes at the polling place?

Look through the penal code and the election laws; there is a limit on how close people can advocate for near a polling location. Other then that, no other crime is called out as especially prohibited at the polls. No “no sexual assault at the polls” laws, no “pick pocketing prohibited” on the premises, “no aggravated assault at the polls” is listed.

Nope, just a prohibition against carrying weapons at the polls. Isn’t it difficult to argue that the laws are designed to change behavior when they aren’t focused on behavior but inanimate objects.

Question #4 — And this is really the key question; Does anyone really think that a person is going to change because the law draws an imaginary line around a certain place?

The law doesn’t cover just those with a Concealed Handgun License; it covers everyone. It prohibits everyone from carrying a weapon past the doors of the polls. Of course, without a license a person is breaking the law. Wouldn’t a person breaking the law by carrying without a license ignore one more law ?
And and the same time, wouldn’t a person who goes through the trouble of getting a license be generally willing to follow the law and not cause harm?

A person doesn’t change their values, their principles, their entire philosophy just because they are carrying a weapon or not, just because they cross some imaginary line. Nope, they are the same person aren’t they?

 

I want to make it very clear — some anti right cultists are a little thick — I didn’t break the law regarding the carrying a weapon at the polling place. My wife and I drove up to the polling location, we voted and came back home. When I dropped off my wife at home, I donned my concealed handgun and then proceeded on the errands I mentioned yesterday. Notice how I was willing to follow a law even though I see no purpose in it. Notice how criminals will go about their purpose without regard to the law. There is a big difference there and it really matters.

Please join the discussion.