Tag Archives: gun

Armed Churchgoer stops rampage shooting- Aurora, Colorado

Armed Churchgoer stops rampage shooting- Aurora, Colorado

Two Aurora Shootings: One Widely Known; the Other Ignored
Written by Bob Adelmann

On April 22 of this year a convicted felon, just out of jail, went to an Aurora, Colorado, church and shot and killed a member of the congregation before being killed himself by a congregant carrying a gun.

On July 20, following the horrific shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, President Obama offered his condolences to the victims of the more recent tragedy. “Our time here [on Earth] is limited and it is precious,” the president said. “And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things which so often consume us and our daily lives. It’s about how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another.”

Obama then led his supporters at a rally in Fort Myers, Florida, in a moment of silent prayer “for all the victims of less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities every single day.”

No doubt the president was unaware of the other, less-publicized lethal shooting that took place earlier in the year in Aurora, when there was only one victim, thanks to the quick thinking and action of a responsibly armed individual. Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania asked rhetorically: “Who knows what would’ve happened if the [church member, an off-duty police officer] had not been there? It certainly could have been a lot worse.”

How much worse? Could the killing spree have been as bad as the shooting at the movie theater, where a dozen victims lost their lives? Thankfully, we’ll never know.

The killer in the April shooting was 29-year-old Kiarron Parker, who had just been released from prison. He had been convicted for assaulting two police officers, drug abuse, and breaking and entering. The details are here and here. But the point is clear: Because the perpetrator was able to claim only one life before being killed himself by someone carrying a gun and acting in self-defense, it garnered relatively little publicity.

In contrast, by now there may hardly be a single sentient soul in the country who doesn’t yet know what happened on Friday, July 20 at about 12:38 a.m., when James Egan Holmes opened fire on a theater full of people attending the premier of the latest Batman movie, killing 12 individuals and wounding at least another 50.

If we’ve paid attention to the mega publicity the horrific July 20 tragedy has garnered, we know that Holmes entered the theater, bought a ticket, and sat in the front row. We know that about 10 minutes into the movie, he left the theater through the emergency door at the front of the theater, returning a few minutes later. We know that he was dressed up in SWAT gear, including chest protector, leg protectors, a black helmet, and black tactical gloves. We also know that he was wearing a gas mask and carrying two handguns, a shotgun — and what the media inaccurately, and relentlessly, referred to as an “assault rifle.” (The latter weapon was a semi-automatic rifle.)

We know that upon re-entering the theater through the same emergency door, Holmes threw two canisters of tear gas, striking one patron in the head. When both exploded, many patrons sat still, thinking that it was part of the Batman movie, with special effects.

We know that when he first fired his shotgun into the air, only then did the moviegoers realize that something was terribly wrong and start running for the exits. We know that the perp then turned his weapons on the hapless patrons and fired, round after round, pausing to reload when he ran out of ammunition, until 12 of moviegoers were dead or dying, and another 50 were wounded, some severely.

We know that Holmes’ car was parked outside the emergency exit. We know that he was arrested next to his vehicle without incident. We know that Holmes has no criminal record, save for a single speeding ticket.

But how many Americans know about the earlier shooting at an Aurora church? How many people in Colorado — or in Aurora for that matter — even know? I live in eastern Colorado, only about 70 miles from Aurora, yet I did not find out about the church shooting until I started doing research on the movie-theater shooting.

The little-known Aurora-church shooting illustrates how a tragedy (in this instance, the loss of one innocent life) can be prevented from becoming a much worse tragedy because one of the would-be victims was armed. The widely known movie-theater shooting illustrates the horrendous loss of life that can occur when the intended victims are not only defenseless but known by the perpetrator to be defenseless. Because movie theater was a “gun free” zone, it was an easy target for any madman wanting to prey on victims lacking the ability to fight back.

Anti-gun zealots, however, ignore how the absence of guns in the hands of the law-abiding encourages more crime, and in the Aurora movie-theater shooting they’ve found an opportunity to promote their agenda and have already seized it. For example, Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, was quick to opine:

This tragedy is another grim reminder that guns are the enablers of mass killers and that our nation pays an unacceptable price for our failure to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people….

We are outraged….

We don’t want sympathy. We want action!

And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, virtually parroting Gross, claimed, “This is yet another horrific reminder that guns enable mass killings.” He went on to say:

Maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.

This was just too much for Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who countered:

The blatant attempt by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to use the blood of these innocents to advance his radical political agenda is disgusting. Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign succeeded in disarming not just these movie-goers [in Aurora], but has created millions of gun-free “criminal-safe zones” across the country.

The victims of this heinous act will not be comforted by being exploited for political gain by elected officials, especially [by] the mayor of one of the most violent cities in the country.

In an interview with The New American, Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, called such claims by the anti-gun zealots “not just hypocrisy but duplicity.” The victims in the movie theater were like “fish in a barrel” to the perpetrator because they were disarmed, thanks to the anti-gun agenda.

The contrast between the two Aurora shootings couldn’t be more striking. In the first, a potential holocaust was prevented by an armed citizen taking action. In the second, the perpetrator was free to act out his evil intent on unarmed innocents, knowing that none could return fire. The world knows about the Aurora movie-theater shooting; the world also need to know about the Aurora church shooting.


Obama will move to outlaw guns in 2nd term warns NRA official

NRA official: Obama wants to outlaw guns in 2nd term

By Sean Lengell

A top official with the National Rifle Association said Friday that President Obama will move to “destroy” gun rights and “erase” the Second Amendment if he is re-elected in November.

While delivering one of the liveliest and best-received speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the president’s low-key approach to gun rights during his first term was “a “conspiracy to ensure re-election by lulling gun owners to sleep.”

“All that first term, lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term,” he said.

“We see the president’s strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms’ freedom, erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and excise it from the U.S. Constitution.”

Mr. LaPierre said the president’s two Supreme Court appointees — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan— are “two of the most rabid anti-gun justices in history.” He also accused Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of being a foe of gun rights.

And with the possibility of two or more Supreme Court justice positions opening during the next four years, the NRA official warned that gun ownership would be in jeopardy if Mr. Obama stays in office.

“If we get one more like those three, the Second Amendment is finished,” he said. “It’ll be the end of our freedom forever.”

Mr. LaPierre, who said “there is no greater freedom than to own a firearm,” predicted that gun owners will rally en masse to defeat Mr. Obama in November.

“All of what we know is good and right about America, all of it could be lost if Barrack Obama is re-elected,” he said. “It’s all or nothing.”


Dog shoots man

Dog shoots man

By Pat Reavy

It wasn’t his dog’s bark or bite that had a Brigham City man concerned, it was his aim.

A man was recovering Wednesday after being shot over the weekend by his dog.

A 46-year-old Brigham City man and a friend were duck hunting Sunday about 8:30 a.m. on the north end of the Great Salt Lake near the bird refuge, about 10 miles west of Brigham City.

The two had their canoe-like boat in a shallow marsh area when the man got out of the boat to either set up or collect decoys. He laid his 12-gauge shotgun across the bow of the boat, said Box Elder County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Potter.

“(The dog) did something to make the gun discharge. I don’t know if the safety device was on. It’s not impossible the dog could have taken it off safety.

–Deputy Kevin Potter

After the man got out of the boat, a dog inside the vessel jumped up on the bow and stepped on the gun. The gun fired and shot the man in the buttocks.

Medical crews later removed 27 pellets of birdshot.

“(The dog) did something to make the gun discharge,” Potter said. “I don’t know if the safety device was on. It’s not impossible the dog could have taken it off safety.”

The men called 911 and walked to the main road to wait for emergency crews. The fact the man was wearing waders likely helped prevent a more serious injury, Potter said. The gun was fired from approximately 10 feet away, he said.

Potter did not have information on the type of dog that stepped on the shotgun.

Even though the two were duck hunting near a bird refuge, Potter said it was legal.


The Hunt: Murder in the Heartland

Sheriff: Men were lured to Noble County by Craigslist ad

By Josh Jarman

CALDWELL, Ohio — He lay in the woods for seven hours, with an elbow shattered by an assailant’s bullet.

Lost, covered in his own blood and unsure if the men who hunted him were still nearby, a man from South Carolina hid in the forested hills outside Caldwell until after dark on Nov. 6. Deciding it was safe, he then made a painful 2-mile journey to the nearest farmhouse to call for help.

Investigators say he was the lucky one.

On Tuesday, they found the body of a man buried in a shallow grave near the site where the other man was attacked.

By surviving his ordeal two weeks ago in Noble County, the victim, whose name authorities haven’t released, helped uncover an elaborate scheme by at least two men to lure people with the promise of work from across the country to Ohio. Authorities say the real plan was to rob and kill them.

Two suspects were taken into custody Wednesday after an investigation by a bevy of federal, state and county agencies.

The Akron Beacon-Journal reported last night that the suspects are a 16-year-old Stow-Munroe Falls High School student in Ohio and a 52-year-old Akron man. Their names had not been released.

The adult was being held in the Summit County Jail in Akron on multiple counts related to prostitution, the newspaper said. His bond was set at $1 million.

The juvenile had not yet been charged.

Noble County Sheriff Stephen Hannum said the investigation began when an officer was called to a lonely farmhouse near Fulda, about 100 miles east of Columbus, on a report of a man with a gunshot wound.

According to the victim:

He had come to Noble County after responding to a Craigslist advertisement for a job on a 688-acre cattle farm. Because he would be living at the farm, he was told to bring all of his belongings.

The victim met two men for breakfast in Marietta and then followed them in his own vehicle to Caldwell. He left his truck there, joining the men in their vehicle to complete the trip to the farm. Instead, the men pulled over on Don Warner Road, a gravel country path that winds through the hills on the eastern edge of the county.

The men said they would need to complete the trip on foot because the road ahead was impassable, so the man and one of his assailants got out of the truck and began walking through the woods. That’s when the man heard what he thought was the sound of a gun being cocked.

He looked and saw the other man had a handgun pointed at his head.

The victim was able to deflect the barrel and start running, but not before the other man shot him in the elbow. The assailant continued shooting at the victim as he ran, but the man was able to escape into the woods.

“He said he saw the house all lit up and thought it looked like a friendly place,” said a woman who answered the door yesterday at the residence where the man sought help. She would not give her name because she said she was still shaken by the incident.

Things like that just don’t happen in this tiny community of about two dozen houses that straddle Fulda Road near the almost 200-year-old St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception Church.

She said the man rang the doorbell and beat on the door until she answered, and that his shirt and pants were covered in dried blood. The man told her what had happened and said he was afraid the men were going to steal his truck and the all-terrain vehicle and motorcycle that he had brought from South Carolina.

The man was treated at the house by paramedics and eventually taken to a hospital in Akron, where he underwent reconstructive surgery on his arm.

Then, on Nov. 11, the sheriff’s office received a call from a woman in Boston who was concerned about her twin brother, who had gone missing after responding to a similar ad. The brother, who lived in Florida, had last been seen in Parkersburg, W.Va., on Oct. 22.

Hannum said his office called in help from the FBI, the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service and a laundry list of other agencies to assist with the hunt.

On Monday, they found a shallow grave that investigators think was intended for the man who escaped on Nov. 6. On Tuesday, they found a second grave near the first, only this time containing the body of a man they think was killed by the same two assailants.

Authorities have not identified the man yet or determined how he died. The Licking County coroner’s office is handling the autopsy.

Hannum said yesterday that there’s no evidence that there are more victims, but he would not rule out that there could be more people involved in the scheme than the two arrested.

The two suspects in the case were arrested in Summit County. Hannum would say only that they were not Noble County residents, but at least one was familiar with the area. The land where the graves were dug is owned by a nearby coal mine and often leased for hunting.

Hannum said authorities think the motive was simple greed. Property belonging to the victims already has been recovered by investigators.

Fred Alverson, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Columbus, said that the FBI has been assisting the Noble County sheriff’s office on the case.

“We’re reviewing the information provided by the FBI,”
Alverson said.


Open-Carry quite contrary

Open-Carry Experiment Shows Cops Don’t Know Their Own Gun Laws
By Jon Campisi

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

It was late last week when gun-rights activist Mark Fiorino joined PW for a stroll around downtown Philly. The Montgomery County man, who was featured on the cover of yesterday’s Daily News for his stance on carrying pistols openly, walks down 15th Street toward Sansom, attracting nary a look.

Eventually, one man offers a double-take. The head turn probably has something to do with the fact that Fiorino’s belt contains an openly holstered firearm alongside his cell phone and keys. After all, Fiorino’s story hadn’t yet appeared in the Daily News, so his face wasn’t yet recognizeable.

Surprisingly, that one brief stare was about the only bit of reaction Fiorino received on that particular day, a few days before the Daily News story broke. But minimal public feedback is often the norm. People typically go about their business unaware that someone like Fiorino has a gun strapped to his hip—even when it’s in full view. “For the most part, it’s either a look or a dismissal or nobody notices,” says Fiorino. And unbeknownst to many Pennsylvanians, “open carry,” or the act of carrying one’s firearm unconcealed by clothing, is actually quite legal. Even in Philadelphia, legal gun owners who have a license can wear their holstered handguns in plain sight. In the rest of the state, open carry requires no license. Still, despite the law being quite clear on the issue, open-carry advocates like Fiorino sometimes find themselves in the crosshairs of an ignorant public.

But what happens when the ignorance comes from the very people who are paid to uphold the law? For open carriers like Fiorino, it’s a problem that can have dire consequences.

Like the time he found himself with a gun pointed at his head. Back in February, when he was visiting his native Northeast Philadelphia, his gun attracted the attention of a passing city cop. After a 40-minute ordeal in which Fiorino was ordered to the ground and detained, the cops eventually cleared him for release, but not before they got in a few choice words. But it wasn’t the profanity used by the responding officers—audio from Fiorino’s recorder was posted to Youtube—that totally offended Fiorino. Rather, it was the lack of police knowledge regarding the open-carry law. “I obviously did a ton of research beforehand,” says Fiorino. Police, he says, ought to do the same.

Not that Fiorino totally faults cops for having a heightened sense of awareness. But he does take issue with the fact that officers aren’t being trained to respect law-abiding citizens. “In my experience, in the city, it’s always been negative,” Fiorino says of his interaction with Philly cops, many of whom appear unaware of the legality of open carry. “There’s always a lot of attention with the police because they know you’re armed and they automatically perceive you as a threat,” he says.

One city cop, who requested anonymity, said that he was unaware carrying a firearm openly within the city limits was legal. “To see somebody carrying a gun in full view, it’s kind of, I would say, scary in a big city,” the officer says. But as Fiorino sat on a bench at Dilworth Plaza talking about his cause, very few eyes glanced his way. Passers-by didn’t even seem to notice him—even though his gun was out in the open on his left hip. “Nobody’s screaming or running around,” Fiorino says.

Still, the officer maintains that the sight of a gun on someone without a badge could cause a problem. “When people see you doing that, people assume you’re a police officer,” the cop says, adding that even off-duty, most city cops carry concealed. “I think all guns should be concealed.

Fiorino says open carry is meant to raise awareness, to let people know that they still have rights. And in Philadelphia, they are, thanks to people like Fiorino.

“Technically, the answer is yes,” says Lt. Fran Healy, a special adviser to Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. “You can carry openly within Philadelphia as long as you have a license.” Healy, who is also an attorney, doesn’t dispute the claim that city cops are often ignorant on the open-carry law, which has been on the books since 1995. He says it’s just never been a problem, that citizens were simply never observed carrying openly in the city. He adds that incidents such as Fiorino’s have prompted the PPD to better train its officers. The training has come in various forms, Healy says, including educating beat officers during roll call and conducting “teletype training,” which is when a sergeant receives a message from the commissioner that is passed down to his or her subordinates. “When they [officers on the street] know the law, that helps them respond better,” he says. “These [citizens] are decent people. They’re not criminals.”

But Healy certainly understands why the sight of someone openly carrying a firearm might put off some cops. “The bottom line is this: If I stop you and your behavior and conduct is such that I feel at risk … I personally may have my gun out,” he says. “That doesn’t mean I’m pointing it at your head. I don’t know who or what you are yet.”

The other factor contributing to cops’ confusion is that according to state law, a license is needed to carry openly in the city, but it’s not required in the rest of the commonwealth. Because of that, officers don’t technically have cause to detain an open carrier without reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime having been committed. But in Philly, because a license is needed, law enforcement officers contend they have authority to stop people to make sure they’re legit. Gun-rights activists take issue with this, saying probable cause is still required for a police stop. They liken it to driving: Officers aren’t legally allowed to stop everyone who is driving a car to ensure they’re licensed, unless a violation has been committed.

Healy, however, says it comes down to an “officer safety” issue, meaning if an open carrier is spotted, there might be brief police interaction. “I think the officers are well justified in Philadelphia … to do an investigation,” he says. “We just want to confirm that you’re lawful, and we’ll let you go on your way.
Add to all that the convoluted wording of the state law, which essentially makes open carry de-facto legal: “No person shall carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time upon the public streets or upon any public property in a city of the first class unless:(1) such person is licensed to carry a firearm; or (2) such person is exempt from licensing under section 6106 of this title (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license). The second bullet point generally refers to law enforcement and others for whom their job requires the carrying of a gun. Because the law doesn’t explicitly say open carry is legal, some question whether it really is. State law also doesn’t make a distinction between open versus concealed carry. “By not addressing it, the Legislature has left it open,” Healy says. “The statute is vague, which leaves a little bit of a problem.”

To gun-rights advocates, the law is quite clear. After all, if there isn’t a law against something, anything, it’s legal, right? Proponents of open carry were so adamant about getting their message out that they organized a rally in Center City last weekend. One of the activists was Derek Price, who on May 14 was strolling up the steps toward City Hall wearing black pants, a blue button-down shirt, a black vest and a gun on one hip. The Harleysville resident arrived for a gathering organized by members of the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association. “Open carry, concealed carry, it’s totally up to the individual,” said Price, 38, who has been open carrying since getting his license in 2007.

Price, like the others attending the rally, aim to make open carry more visible. One woman came up to Price, asking him to point her in the direction of the Ritz Carlton. “Perception is everything,” Price said.
As more protesters arrived, it seemed as though the rally had the makings for some interesting feedback. Again, nothing. Here they were, a group of about 25 or so gun-toting average Joe’s, walking through the outdoor plaza at City Hall, and nobody seemed to notice. “We’ve been standing here, what, 20 minutes?” Price asked. “Nobody’s complained.”

Finally, Healy arrived with officers from the department’s Civil Affairs Unit, the armband-clad cops who monitor protests and labor disputes, and off the group went. During the next four hours, the gun-wearers and a handful of cops, all in plainclothes, strolled downtown Philadelphia. There were stops outside police headquarters and the District Attorney’s Office. Since federal law was recently changed to allow for firearms in gun-friendly states to be brought into national parks, the group figured it would stop by and take a photo near the Liberty Bell, too. “Exercising our Second Amendment where the Second Amendment was signed,” one member could be heard calling out.

Over the next four hours, the group walked, held signs and handed out pamphlets to members of the public. A few people cast stares. Some asked questions. None seemed worried or concerned in the least. That’s the way it should be, the open carriers contend. Even Healy seemed pleased with the results of the peaceful protest. “These interactions can be positive,” he said at the rally. “I’m looking at this as more of an educational thing on both sides.”

Ted Noga, the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association member who organized the rally, was also pleased that everything went off without a hitch that rainy Saturday. “I’m quite impressed with the response by the police department,” he said.

Lt. Lisa King, head of the department’s Gun Permits Unit, said her division is now working to amend language on a supplemental sheet accompanying the firearms license application that says a licensee must conceal. The wording on is old, she concedes. King, who attended the rally, says didn’t even know the practice was legal before it was brought to her attention.

“It’s definitely going to do something,
” says Josh Dillon, a Philly gun owner who typically carries concealed. Dillon, who carried openly on this day, says the whole aim of the event was to create awareness. Still, since he doesn’t want to be harassed, he keeps it concealed. But that’s not to say he opposes open carry. People can choose for themselves, he says.

As for Fiorino, he’s just glad the encounter in Northeast Philly sparked some awareness. “I think that if people like myself don’t get out there and do it, that often misinformation and ignorance continues to spread,” he says.

Read more: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/Open-Carry-Experiment-Shows-Cops-Dont-Know-Their-Own-Gun-Laws-121989564.html?page=2&comments=1&showAll=#ixzz1MkJbCJVM

The TSA has NEVER caught even ONE terrorist: Armed Agent Slips Past DFW Body Scanner

TSA Source: Armed Agent Slips Past DFW Body Scanner

Updated 9:00 PM CST, Fri, Feb 18, 2011

An undercover TSA agent was able to get through security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun during testing of the enhanced-imaging body scanners, according to a high-ranking, inside source at the Transportation Security Administration.

The source said the undercover agent carried a pistol in her undergarments when she put the body scanners to the test. The officer successfully made it through the airport’s body scanners every time she tried, the source said.

“In this case, where they had a test, and it was just a dismal failure as I’m told,” said Larry Wansley, former head of security at American Airlines. “As I’ve heard (it), you got a problem, especially with a fire arm.”

Wansley said covert testing by the TSA is commonplace — although failing should be rare.

Invasion of the Body Scanners

Invasion of the Body Scanners

The TSA insider who blew the whistle on the test also said that none of the TSA agents who failed to spot the gun on the scanned image were disciplined. The source said the agents continue to work the body scanners today.

Wansley said that is a problem.

“This was only a test, but it’s critically important that you do something, because if that person failed in the real environment, then you have a problem,” he said.

The TSA did not deny that the tests took place or the what the results were.

The agency would only provide the following statement:

“Our security officers are one of the most heavily tested federal workforces in the nation. We regularly test our officers in a variety of ways to ensure the effectiveness of our technology, security measures and the overall layered system. For security reasons, we do not publicize or comment on the results of covert tests, however advanced imaging technology is an effective tool to detect both metallic and nonmetallic items hidden on passengers.”

TSA agents who spoke to a reporter agreed that the body-imaging scanners are effective — but only if the officers monitoring them are paying attention.