Yet Another Defensive Gun Use

Police said a 77-year-old East Texas man fatally shot a would-be burglar who broke into his home Tuesday morning.

Tyler Police Detective Andy Erbaugh said Bobby Shaw fatally shot 44-year-old Luke Garrison of Brownsboro in the chest with a shotgun. Erbaugh said Garrison was shirtless and wielding an unspecified tool.

Shaw — who lives alone — said Garrison charged at him.

Garrison’s widow told police that he suffered from mental health problems.

No other injuries were reported.

An autopsy has been ordered. Police are investigating.

I recently was in a discussion about something every much like this with another blogger; he wants to change the law to make it harder for people to defend themselves.

“I was afraid” is no more a justification for the taking of a human life than “I was drunk” would be.

The right of self-defense should only apply to those whose lives are in actual danger, not those reacting to an imaginary danger.

and

But with rights go responsibilities. I believe people who claim a right to defend themselves with lethal force have a responsibility to verify that they actually are in danger.

I tried to make a point about how difficult it would be to determine ‘actual danger’ versus ‘imaginary danger’ in situations like the one Mr. Shaw faced.
So using Phil’s idea — how in the world could Mr. Shaw ‘verify’ he was in ‘actual danger’?
Should he ask “Hey you, the person who has broken into my house, what are you doing here?” and have to wait for an answer ? I guess having the intruder start shooting would be an answer, having the intruder beating him would be an answer.
But that brings up other questions; is a simple punch enough ‘actual danger’? Should he have to wait until he sustains “X” number of blows?

Or what happens if the intruder say “I’m just here to rob you” ? Does the home owner have to allow the robbery because he is in no ‘actual danger’?
Which we all know has to be a truthful answer because criminals never lie, right?
I’ve tried to wrap my mind around ways that a reasonable person could ‘verify’ (s)he was in ‘actual danger and I just don’t see a safe or sane way it could be done.

I want to give this serious consideration so I’m going to turn to my 4 readers for advice and ideas.

Can you of any ways a person could reasonable determine if they are in ‘actual danger’ in these scenarios?

  1. An intruder in their home in the middle of the night
  2. Someone pounding on the door in the night

Still Less Than A CHL

Mike Norman, opinion writer at the Star-Telegram, is whining about the Voter ID law. If anyone has been following the law in the media, you know it has been a confusing tale. One court strikes it down, another re-instates it. It’s been going back and forth at the legal equivalent of a ping pong match.

In fact, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi found the requirements “draconian” and ruled last week that the voter ID law passed by the Legislature in 2011 discriminated against African-American and Hispanic voters.

And, according to the evidence in a nine-day trial, that’s what the Legislature wanted.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals brushed those findings aside — didn’t even address them — on Tuesday in ruling that because voting is just days away, the state should be allowed to enforce its voter ID rules as planned.

And to be frank, I am very conflicted on whether or not I want the courts to strike this down.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I think having to show ID is a good idea. This is a right that only exists because a person is a member of the polity; so showing proof of that is not violating a fundamental right.

Where I get my confusion is how we, gun owners and pro-rights supporters, could use the case.

 

It’s not hard to get the proper ID, proponents say. But evidence showed that for hundreds of thousands of Texans — disproportionately, African-Americans and Hispanics who are poor — it is difficult.

For them, the travel time to the nearest Department of Public Safety office to get a free ID card is 90 minutes or more. When they get there, they must have the proper documentation, which typically includes a certified copy of their birth certificate.

If they were born in Texas and can make an in-person visit to the proper records office and know how to ask for it, they can get a birth certificate for the cut rate of $2 or $3.

If they need to get it by mail, need to correct errors in their certificate, were not registered at birth or need a certificate from another state, the cost is at least $22 or as much as $47.

Those costs led the judge to declare the new voter ID law an unconstitutional poll tax, although that was not the primary focus of the trial.

Emphasis mine in the above paragraph. I looked up Taxi cab rates in the Dallas Fort Worth area and assumed about 60 miles travel in 90 minutes round trip. At $2.25 for initial charge and $1.80 per mile; that works out to about $110. Add in the $3 charge in person cost to get a Birth Certificate and round up to about $115 dollars.

Still less than the basic costs of a Concealed Handgun License at $140. Plus the $10 for the fingerprints, something the Voter ID does not require. Plus the $10 or so for Photos. Plus the $35 to $150 dollars for the class, Plus the $5 Proficiency Test fee. Even if we double the costs for the taxi instead of bus fare or getting a friend to take the person to get their birth certificate — it still is less burdensome than getting a Concealed Handgun License. And let’s not forget that each and every applicant for a CHL has to have a valid form of photo identification already !!!!!!

 

In fact, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi found the requirements “draconian” and ruled last week that the voter ID law passed by the Legislature in 2011 discriminated against African-American and Hispanic voters.

Hence my dilemma. If it is based on cost and burden; it should be clear that having to get a license to carry in public would have a greater impact on African-American and Hispanic voters. But of course that assume the judge trying the case would apply the law in a logical, rational and consistent basis. Most of the time I haven’t seen that happen when we are talking about restrictions on 2nd Amendment issues.

 

I think that the legislation will get around, eventually, to making Open Carry legal with a license. Then it is a short stride from there (huge hurdle but small step) to Constitutional Carry. So I’m not putting too much hope on the courts forcing the Legislation to act.

So how do the 3 or 4 people still reading this feel? Should we require a photo id for voting? Do you support the courts striking down or keeping the Voter ID law?

Importance of Communicating

Wow…..this video is a little tough to watch because it a.) shows the shooting, b.) shows a cop who shots very quickly and c.) illustrates the dangers we face, especially those of us who carry.

 

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First, I’m not saying the victim, the driver, did anything wrong. Definitely could have, should have done one very important thing much better — communicate to the officer. Letting the officer know “My license is in my wallet which is on the seat/in the console/etc” might have prevented this. NOT saying he is at fault though.

 

I understand how much stress is involved in being a cop; I want to make the process as stress free as possible so I don’t make any sudden moves. I try not to do anything that could be misinterpreted and IF I think there is a chance, I’m going to inform the officer before hand. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. I have something of a lead foot; been stopped several times for speed violations. Deserved them so I’m not complaining. I just recognize especially as someone with a Concealed Handgun License the factors involved in a traffic stop. I think people can get conflicted by the “don’t say anything to the cops” mentality and the desire not to give too much information to the police. I don’t advocate saying anything to the police other than what you are doing or better – what you are going to do before you do it.
Don’t explain anything you don’t have to, don’t volunteer information unrelated to the exact action you are doing or need to explain regarding the interaction.

I really believe this video is a great anecdote that shows how too many officers view the people they are sworn to protect — as enemies out to kill them. Not every person they encounter is out to kill them. This guy was just following the command as fast as he could. Instead of interpreting that behavior as it was; the officer saw it completely differently. I’ve talked about this often enough here, I don’t think I need to dwell on it too much more.

It happens and will continue to happen until we make departments and officers change.

 

Please join the discussion.

 

Example of Abuse– and Culture

This is an anecdote regarding the abuse of power and responsibility that law enforcement officers have.

The reporting officer alleged that both Ruiz and Glashoff found women’s profiles had been browsing women on dating websites like Tinder, eHarmony, and Match.com while working at the investigations bureau office of the Fairfield Police Department

Court documents allege the officers then used a police-issued computer to look up the women they found appealing in a confidential law enforcement database that connects to the DMV and state and federal records.

 

Now spending time on dating sites instead of solving crimes is a bad problem….but the major concern is the use of the database for personal reasons. This is a great example why registries for anything, especially gun ownership, is a bad idea in my opinion. The ease of abuse is frightening.

What is worse in my view is this:

Court documents go on to say Sgt. Ruiz and Detective Glashoff would perform the searches and have conversations about the dating sites in front of other officers.

The court documents allege another Fairfield officer reported the incidents to his superior back in June.

Emphasis above mine — because consider how long it had probably been happening, how they got the idea that it was okay to even run the searches and why every single officer who knew about it didn’t immediately stop it.

One — just one — officer complained when probably several or more knew about it.

The goal of the Investigation Bureau operates using two divisions: Major Crimes Division and Quality of Life Division.

Major Crimes Division

Major Crimes Division is commanded by a Lieutenant and Sergeant.
The division employs 10 detectives who handle crime in the following catagories:

The division also has a Police Probation Team Unit that addresses juvenile crime and diversion.

Quality of Life Division

Quality of Life Division is commanded by a Lieutenant and two Sergeants (Gang Unit and Narcotics Unit).
The division uses several units to address crime in the community:

How many officers knew about their activities? We’ll never know– and isn’t that a problem also — but it was probably more than 1….probably half a dozen or more. How many officers have done the same or related invasion of privacy? We won’t know and isn’t that another problem.

 

And isn’t this just lovely?

If the allegations are found true, the officers could face felony criminal charges.

Both officers remain assigned to their regular duties.

Yeah— facing the possibility of felony charges and still working — able to access the same databases….doesn’t that just thrill everyone?

And this is a relatively passive abuse; what happens when the police have other tools available to them?

 

The deputy police chief in Dallas told Fox News over the weekend that Americans had the misperception that police forces were over-militarized because departments had not painted armored vehicles blue.

During an interview about the unrest after Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro pointed out to Dallas Deputy Police Chief Malik Aziz that “the perceived militarization is a problem.”

Aziz argued, however, that police departments were not over-militarized, and that people were more concerned about the misapplication of military equipment that was procured through Department of Defense programs.

“There are a lot of applications for it,” he insisted. “What is catching so much attention is the misapplication or the misuse or the deployment of it. And I’ve heard that from around the United States.”

 

The equipment used in policing is an issue; the way it is used is an even greater problem. Deputy Police Chief Aziz is correct in that aspect. So what does he offer as a solution?

But Aziz said that local police department still needed to solve the problem of “misuse or misapplication.”

“And that comes with training,” he continued. “We’re going to have to train police departments to respond. We’re going to have to train leaders, chiefs of police to respond better for leadership and command decisions. And that way, people won’t feel like they don’t have any value or equity in the system when it looks like a war zone.”

Training — professionals involved with resolving problems well recognize how vacant and nearly worthless that answer truly is. We need to train officers in ethics, morality, not breaking the procedures and policies??

That is the solution???

So Deputy Police Chief Aziz just what is the correct training needed to deploy sniper rifles to cover a peaceful protest? What is the correct training need to roll out Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles during riots — making sure the paint scheme is correct?

There has to be a better answer.

 

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts on Kolbe Decision

Random Thoughts from the  Kolbe Decision.

Assuming that recent sales have increased the number of assault weapons in the
current civilian market to nine million, such weapons would represent about three percent of the civilian gun stock.

 

Let’s see — 12,000 homicides with all firearms around 475,000 firearm related violent crimes per year according to the Bureau for Justice Statistics. Even if every homicide and firearm related violent crime was accomplished by a separate gun owner (estimated around 46,000,000) that means rounding up for easier math 500,000 divided by 46,000,000 times 100 to express as a percentage — 1.09% of all gun owners were involved in a homicide or firearm related crime ! Half the percentage of gun owners.

Even if we estimate firearm at the low side of 270,000,000 — that would be 0.019% of all firearms being used in a crime each year. Heck even if every gun crime was committed by ‘an assault weapon” (9,000,000 per the decision) that is still only 5.55% of all the assault weapons being used in a crime each year. What does she think that other 94.45 % are being used for?

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Further, although the court recognizes the need to build proficiency with a firearm for the purposes of hunting or self-defense, there has been no indication from the Supreme Court that competitive marksmanship in itself is a purpose protected by the Second Amendment.

Oh, Joy….look at that. The court recognizes the need to be proficient but that competitive marksmanship — a sport that predates the founding of our country isn’t protected.

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Continue Reading

Intimidation v. Fear

The Inigo Montoya line keeps running through my mind every time someone talks about how Open Carry — and for some anti-rights cultists Concealed Carry — talk about how it is “intimidating”

 

Inigo Montoya - You keep using that word "Intimidate" I don't think it means what you think it means

 

 

Let’s look at the definitions and see if it makes sense or I’m completely off base. Please and I mean this, let’s talk about this.

in·tim·i·date

[in-tim-i-deyt]

verb (used with object), in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing.

1.to make timid; fill with fear.
2.to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
3.to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear: to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.

Look carefully at those definitions and see that for the most part action is required on the part of the person — “to make”, “to force”. Intimidation requires action, deliberate action on the part of the person doing it.
On the other hand, the definition of fear better covers what happens; a person decides or experiences a feeling based on their own mental state.

fear

[feer]

noun

1.a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm. Antonyms: courage, security, calm, intrepidity.
2.a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights. Synonyms: phobia, aversion; bête noire, bogy, bogey, bugbear. Antonyms: liking, fondness, penchant, predilection.
3.concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.
4.reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God. Synonyms: awe, respect, reverence, veneration.
5.something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of: Cancer is a common fear.

No deliberate action is required on the part of the other party, e.g. the Open Carry advocate.For some people this will be a distinction without meaning; intimidation or fear results in the same thing they’ll say; that people do not want to see firearms in public.

 

And this is one of the biggest issues I have with pro-rights advocates decrying Open Carry. In pushing against Open Carry of long guns they are making the exact same argument as the antis!

Think about it carefully and you’ll see what I mean. How many times has an anti argued they shouldn’t have to be any place where people have guns. That the mere presence of firearms makes them uncomfortable.

How many times have we’ve seen some pro-2nd Amendment advocate say “If I see someone walk in with a rifle, I’m going to get ready draw” or worse “I’ll assume the Open Carrier is about to shoot up the place and confront him”. Just for the mere presence of a firearm??? Really folks.

 

 

Oh, I understand the thought process that goes behind it — A pistol is what you use to fight to your rifle, right? But isn’t that a mindset that we gun owners have created. Or stolen from the military?

Does the general public really see any difference between a rifle carried in public and a pistol openly carried in public?

Frankly, I’ve seen a lot of people on “our side” talking about how Long Gun Open Carry “scares” the public but I’ve failed to see the direct media reports from people there at the events saying they were afraid. Time and time again the reports of “people being afraid” come long after the fact by people who weren’t there (Looking at you Moms Demanding Attention) or were completely fabricated (Fort Worth Police Department, can you explain ala Jack In The Box).

 

 

I want to make sure I’m very clear here. I support Open Carry and the activism going on in Texas. I don’t support the continued carrying in restaurants, not because I think it is wrong, but because that activity was so easily turned against us.

 

But I also think we need to very strongly and solidly support people Openly Carrying Long guns because failing to do so will provide leverage for the antis. Just because something makes a person uncomfortable or fearful is no reason to curtail the exercise of a right. From Nudity to Open Carry– folks grow up and deal with it. There are things we should make socially unacceptable because they are harmful to society but the vast majority of things are simply “I don’t want to see because it makes me feel icky” — as in this example.

 

 

We need to let people know their fear of an inanimate object or people exercising their rights is not a sufficient reason to stop that person from doing so. Maybe this hits home especially for me due to personal experience.

 

I was in college at the local junior college when on two separate occasions (years apart) I was told by two different female students that my mere physical size (6’2″ and 190# at the time) “intimidated” them. Both agreed that I had not acted untoward (I try to be a gentleman), that I had not crowded them or intruded into their personal space, acted hostile or anything else. Just that my physical size intimidated them.

Now this was two class mates out of hundreds so I took it with a grain of salt but it stuck with me and continues to be something I’m aware of. It is also appropriate to the discussion — should I have not gone to school because someone was fearful, should I have changed my schedule based on the 1 in a 100 reaction? Absolutely not, it was their issue to deal with. I’m not trying to be cold blooded here but they simply needed to deal with it.

 

 

And this is exactly how some people see Open Carry, it is exactly how some people see Concealed Carry — ‘Oh…the presence of a gun ‘intimidates’ me; you have to stop what you are doing’.

 

Because the next time they make that statement it might be “Anyone except for the police owning a firearm intimidates me; we need to ban all guns”

Please join the discussion.

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.