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Bearing Arms

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  1. If gun grabbers weren’t trying to attack our fundamental rights, they’d almost be cute in their ignorance. One of my favorite claims is that if private citizens can’t get guns, then neither can the criminals. I mean, I get the thinking here. They figure that even if the crooks don’t buy them outright, they steal them from law-abiding gun owners, so if those gun owners can’t own guns, the bad guys can’t get guns. Well, a recent arrest, one of probably millions of similar arrests calls some of that into question. Four Pittsburgh-area individuals face felony charges after separate investigations led to the seizure of 29 guns, drugs and cash in two Allegheny County boroughs, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday. … Agents were serving a drug asset forfeiture when they detected an odor of drugs coming from the West Francis Avenue residence, according to the Office of Attorney General. Investigators recovered 19 firearms, drugs and $8,000 in cash. A 17-month-old girl was also living in the home. Chad Lubawski, 37, and Colleen Secilia, 38, are charged with possession of stolen firearms, tampering with the serial numbers on those firearms, drug possession, and endangering the welfare of children. … Matthew Smith, 20, and Marcus Smith, 18, are charged with possession of stolen firearms, manufacturing and distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, and endangering the welfare of children. They were arraigned and were released after posting $10,000 bail. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for July 19. If criminals can only get their hands on guns because of law-abiding gun owners, then just how in the hell do they get their hands on cocaine? I mean, meth I can see. That’s locally manufactured. But cocaine isn’t. That has to come from somewhere else. So, if laws banning people from possessing things stops bad people from getting it, just how in the hell did they get the cocaine? Now, I get that at least two of these people are charged with possessing stolen guns. That’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about is how criminals were able to get their hands on an illicit substance that can’t be obtained legally in the U.S., can’t be made here for several reasons, and has to come in from somewhere else despite laws against transporting it across national borders. If that can continue to happen despite a decades-long war against drug trafficking, just how do these gun control-loving nimrods really think you can stop bad people from getting guns? Right now, no, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of illegal guns coming into the country. There’s no reason for them to import guns. Bad guys get guns readily enough as it is. But if you were somehow able to take all the guns, do you really think some enterprising soul wouldn’t figure out a way to put guns in these very same people’s hands? If they can get their hands on drugs like cocaine and heroin, do you really think illegal guns would be a problem? If you do, you’re a fool. Criminals act like the law, any law, doesn’t apply to them, so they will get guns no matter what the law says. All a gun ban would do is make it impossible for the average citizen to protect themselves. The post 29 Guns Seized Along With Drugs, Cash appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  2. Finding yourself looking at the business end of a firearm is stressful, to say the least. If it happens to you, it’s not something you ever want to repeat, even if it’s for a brief moment. It’s difficult to keep a clear head in such a moment. However, one store clerk sure did make it look easy. Kevin White, 38, of Durham, was found lying in front of a house on Hillcrest Street with gunshot wounds to the legs, Michael said. He was taken to the hospital, treated for injuries and then taken to jail. About 9:30 a.m. Monday, Durham police responded to a shooting and attempted robbery at the Mini Mart at 2014 Guess Rd. A clerk told officers that a man had brought a beer to the front counter, but instead of immediately paying for the beverage the man pulled out a gun. The clerk told police he struggled with the suspect, grabbed the gun the gun away from him and fired several shots. Of course, this kind of thing is generally not a good idea, but you know what they say. If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid. This clearly worked, so… The clerk certainly flipped the script on the robber, but there’s also a takeaway for everyday folks. I can’t help but think that part of the reason this worked was because White wasn’t really willing to shoot anyone. Oh, he committed robbery with a gun and he was also apparently a convicted felon, but that doesn’t mean he actually wanted to shoot someone. That’s a good thing. However, this is something that applies to you and me. Some people talk about drawing a gun to try and scare the other guy off. A lot of times, that will work. When it doesn’t, though, you get a replay of this situation only in this case, the bad guy gets the gun and you get murdered. One criticism that is often made about concealed carry is that a criminal could take your gun from you. That’s especially true if you’re timid about using it, that you only carry it as a fear-inducing talisman rather than a lethal weapon. I get that no one wants to kill, but that’s often not necessary. You just have to be willing to pull that trigger, one way or another. You have to be willing to do more than simply scare the bad guy. In this case, the clerk got the gun and was more than willing to use it. Over at The Truth About Guns, they note that the clerk had never shot a gun before, but was now looking to buy his own. Luckily, he lives in North Carolina where he can, and I hope he gets himself a nice, quality firearm then never has to fire at another living soul again. But we already know that if it comes down to it, he will. That puts him well ahead of a large number of us, at least in my opinion. The post Clerk Turns Tables By Taking Robber’s Gun Away appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  3. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is making headlines right now. What else do you expect to happen when you somehow dupe several pro-gun voices to advocate for small children to carry guns? Only a fool wouldn’t see that one blowing up quickly once word got out. However, it’s good to know that not everyone fell for Cohen’s schtick. A California gun store owner said on Wednesday he kicked Sacha Baron Cohen out of his shop after the comedian attempted to trick him into thinking he was a Hungarian immigrant looking to buy a gun. Norris Sweidan, the owner of Warrior One Guns & Ammo, said Cohen came into his Riverside, Calif., store in full costume and with a film crew early last year. As soon as Cohen spoke to Sweidan he recognized the comedian and told him he wasn’t welcome in the store. “He comes in, off the bat you can see in the video I’m looking like, this guy does not look like a Hungarian immigrant, tight ass leather pants, a beard, it just didn’t fit,” Sweidan told Fox 11 after sharing security footage of the encounter with them. “The moment his words came out of his mouth I was like this guy is full of s—t. I’m looking at the producer, and I’m just like, am I being fooled right here? And I just kept looking at the guy and I was like you’re Borat. As soon as I said that his eyes just looked at me like, and he did a turn right out the door.” After Cohen left the store, his film crew remained and Sweidan attempted to ask them what they’re doing. When they refused to answer, Sweidan said he kicked them out. Of course, this makes me wonder how many other people may have spotted Cohen early. Good on Sweidan for catching on quickly. I don’t know if Cohen was attempting to try and trap Sweidan into a similar situation as what was published or he was trying something different, but let’s be honest, it wasn’t going to be something that would paint gun owners in a positive light. The fact that Cohen got all the footage he did is problematic for the gun rights movement, to say the least. Clips of this will be popping up for years to come, especially whenever any of us say we’re not trying to arm everyone. Now, I’ll admit that I haven’t watched any of it. I frankly find Cohen’s brand of comedy annoying and have since his Ali G days, so I’ve had no interest in seeing him try and make a mockery of the Second Amendment movement. With that out there, I still find it mind-boggling that anyone fell for it. The idea of small children carrying guns? It just doesn’t make sense and without more context, I won’t be able to make a whole lot of sense out of how it could have happened. But it did, and now we get to deal with it. But at least someone spotted Cohen and put an end to his schtick. Hopefully, anyone else he tried it with and failed will come forward as well. The post Not Everyone Fell For Sacha Baron Cohen’s Schtick. One Gun Store Owner Didn’t appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  4. Following the Parkland massacre, the anti-gun forces started pushing to ban certain weapons because they were all scary and stuff. They were convinced they could change the laws of the nation to ban these guns. While a few states have changed some laws, mostly about ages of people who can buy rifles, they haven’t gotten nearly as much traction as they thought they would. Meanwhile, schools are arming teachers–a pro-gun proposal that was widely mocked by anti-gun zealots–and a healthy rate. The latest to do so is Lee County, VA. A small school district in far southwestern Virginia is set to become the first in the commonwealth to arm teachers in classrooms — a decision that is prompting criticism from the state’s top law enforcement official. The five-member Lee County School Board voted unanimously last week to approve a plan that will select an undisclosed number of teachers and staff members to carry concealed weapons or store them in safes on school property. Applicants will undergo background screenings and psychological evaluations, and those who are selected will receive training this summer, school officials said. They said they expect the plan to be implemented by September for the 11 schools in the 3,200-student district. “People more or less want something done, and this was the best we could do at this time,” said Michael Kidwell, chairman of the Lee County School Board. “This is better than doing nothing.” Just four of the district’s schools have school security officers, also known as school resource officers. The school system cannot afford to hire more officers for the remaining schools, so arming teachers and other school employees was the “next best thing we could do,” Kidwell said. To be clear, I don’t actually approve of putting teachers through additional screenings. A Virginia carry permit should be more than enough to warrant a teacher carrying on campus. That said, armed teachers will provide a significant deterrence effect. While school resource officers are great, they’re necessarily limited. There’s only one or two per school generally. That means they can only be in so many places at once and may actually become targets of a determined attacker. But teachers? That’s something else. By not knowing who is carrying, no individual teachers become targets simply because they’re carrying. No one would know, which means a rampage might begin and end so quickly that no one gets hurt. Yes, that includes the shooter, though to be frank, I’m not worried about them. No one thinks that teachers should become security ninjas who train for combat on a regular basis as part of their everyday jobs. We simply think teachers, as free citizens, should have the right to defend themselves. In the process, they’ll defend numerous students. This isn’t rocket science, but I have little doubt that despite more and more districts arming teachers, we’ll see more and more backlash from anti-gun jihadis who continue to labor under the delusion that “Gun Free Zone” signs are magic talismans that ward off guns despite ample evidence to the contrary. The post Lee County, VA School Board Approves Armed Teachers appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  5. On paper and to the uninitiated, safe weapon storage laws sound like they do a lot of good. I mean, what’s the harm in telling people they need to lock up their firearm so they don’t fall into the “wrong” hands? However, like most things involving firearms, it’s rarely that simple. Seattle’s law requires guns to be in a locked container, so a simple gun lock won’t suffice, which ramps of the cost of gun ownership for one thing. For another, keeping guns behind locked containers means they’re not necessarily accessible when you need one. In other words, storage laws may sound good, but they could easily cost people their lives. Despite that, however, it seems a number of communities around Seattle are considering their own law following the larger city’s lead. Communities not far from Seattle are now considering their own safe gun storage regulations after the Emerald City passed its own. “I would rather be spending my time debating signs and locations of city buildings and not have to talk about firearms,” said Edmonds Council President Mike Nelson at the council’s Tuesday meeting. “I never thought when I took this job that this was something I would be doing. I also didn’t think I’d have to hear from my six-year-old, beaming with pride, that he now knows how to properly barricade himself from an armed gunman.” “My personal focus on this is what we can do to protect our kids,” he said. Nelson, a gun owner himself, has proposed a safe gun storage ordinance for Edmonds. It echoes Seattle’s recently-passed regulation, aiming to get owners to lock up their guns. It differs from Seattle’s rule, however, by allowing the use of trigger locks. Gun owners could be fined up to $500 for not safely storing their firearms. If a child or prohibited person gets access to their gun, the fine goes up to $1,000. If a child or prohibited person harms another or commits a crime with the gun, the fine goes up to $10,000. Money raised from the fines will be used to pay for trigger locks, which the city would hand out to owners for free. Nelson notes the fines are recommended, but judges will have discretion, offering owners other penalty options. He said the primary goal of the ordinance is gun owner education. I’m sorry, that’s not how you educate people. If you want to educate gun owners, there are ways. A media blitz on television, radio, and the newspapers would raise the issue as well as teach how to safely store your weapons. Working with gun groups to provide free training would be another. You don’t create a law and a series of punishments, all in the name of “education.” Educating people isn’t want laws are for. They exist solely for the purpose of maintaining an ordered society. If you want to educate people, find another way. If you want to make people do something, you create a law. Plain and simple. One thing Nelson failed to note is that the Seattle law is being challenged under the state’s preemption law, something that I have little doubt his community would experience if they proceed. Good luck with that. The post More Cities Considering Weapon Storage Laws After Seattle’s Passed appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  6. Yesterday, I wrote about the troubles of Mr. Michael Hodges. He was charged with attempted murder after he reportedly used his firearm in self-defense. He had a concealed carry permit and promptly went to police after the shooting. By contrast, the other party in the shooting was using a stolen gun, hand no permit, and had already pled guilty to lesser charges stemming from the incident. But a judge denied Hodges’s request for charges to be dismissed under Iowa’s Stand Your Ground law. Luckily, the prosecutor in the case used his own discretion and dropped the charges. A Cedar Rapids man who sought immunity under Iowa’s stand-your-ground law after authorities say he shot and wounded another man won’t go to trial — not thanks to the controversial law, but because the Linn County Attorney’s Office asked the court Wednesday to dismiss the charges. “After a thorough review of the evidence, especially the video, I believe Michael Hodges Jr. was justified in drawing his weapon and shooting,” said Assistant County Attorney Monica Slaughter, who took over the case this week. Surveillance video from downtown cameras, which captured the January shooting outside a bar, shows the other man — Zevon Johnson of Urbandale — was the “primary aggressor,” she found. Hodges drew his gun, which he had a permit to carry, in response, she concluded. The finding contradicts a criminal complaint, another county prosecutor’s arguments in an earlier hearing and a few statements from 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady, who had denied Hodges’ immunity. … Slaughter, who was promoted to the felony division last week, said she wasn’t involved in Johnson’s case or plea. But after watching the video many times and slowing it down over and over again, she became convinced Johnson was the first to raise his gun. It would be difficult to see if she hadn’t replayed it many times, she added. Slaughter said she couldn’t release the video to the public because it was evidence in Johnson’s case. He hasn’t been sentenced yet. In the video, Slaughter said, Johnson is behind another, larger man but steps out and to the side of that man, Slaughter said. She said Johnson then immediately pulls out a gun from his pants or pocket, points it at Hodges and fires. This fits with Johnson’s claims pretty well. What people need to understand is that those who get concealed carry permits aren’t looking for trouble. We’re typically people who simply want to be ready when trouble comes looking for us, kind of like it came looking for Hodges that day. Johnson broke several laws all at once, which shows he wasn’t exactly the most law-abiding. My guess is that the only reason he wasn’t prosecuted for stealing a firearm was that it was his mother’s gun and she opted not to press charges. Using a gun in self-defense can be traumatic enough, but being prosecuted for it adds another layer of problems into the mix. Luckily, that aspect of Hodges life is now over and he can move on. As noted in Wednesday’s post, Johnson and his friends had reportedly been harassing Hodges for some time prior to the shooting. I suspect that’s come to an end as well. While Hodges was justified in firing and I suspect wouldn’t use a gun unless provoked in a similar way again, that still has to play in the mind of Johnson and company. I’m glad to see this win for the good guys. The post Charges Dropped Against Iowa Man By Prosecutor appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  7. The purpose of “Stand Your Ground” laws is to protect people from being convicted when acting in self-defense. By removing a duty to retreat, the idea is that people who act in self-defense won’t be prosecuted for acting when faced with a threat. That’s the theory, at least. Unfortunately, while “Stand Your Ground” can be used as a defense, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to court, as one man in Iowa is finding out. A judge on Monday denied a request by a Cedar Rapids man to receive protection from prosecution under Iowa’s “stand your ground” law after he and another man shot at each other earlier this year. Michael G. Hodges, Jr. of Cedar Rapids claimed he should not have to go to trial after he and Zevon L. Johnson of Urbandale shot almost simultaneously at each other early in the morning Jan. 28 outside Pub 217, a bar and restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids. Hodges, 23, shot and injured Johnson, 21, in the encounter, while Johnson’s shot missed Hodges. Patrick Grady, Iowa’s sixth judicial district’s chief judge, denied Hodges’ claim to dismiss the case against him, writing that Iowa’s law lacks a procedure to determine whether Hodges should receive immunity before going to trial. “This court is without authority to declare as a matter of law that Hodges is immune from any further prosecution,” Grady wrote in his denial. Security video shows the two men exchanging gunfire early Jan. 28 outside Pub 217, according to a criminal complaint from the Linn County Attorney’s Office. “Both defendants are seen simultaneously raising their guns and firing at each other while just a few feet away from each other,” the complaint states. Hodges went to the police and even turned over his weapon. He has a valid concealed carry permit and had reportedly been harassed by Johnson and his friends for some time prior to the fatal altercation. Johnson, however, didn’t have a permit and it was later learned that his firearm was taken from his mother’s vehicle, making it basically a stolen gun. Now, Hodges will go to trial for attempted murder. Johnson had also tried to claim he was standing his ground, but eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge. He was sentenced to one year of probation and will have his record expunged if he keeps his nose clean. I’m sorry, but I think Hodges shouldn’t be prosecuted. I can’t help but see Johnson’s guilty plea as an admission he was the aggressor, meaning Hodges was defending himself. That said, we live in a world where things aren’t usually so cut and dried. It’s my hope that if what Hodges has said is correct, he will be exonerated at trial. It’s a shame we have to see things like this, but law-abiding gun owners can still have to deal with such situations despite laws designed to prevent some of this. The thing to remember is that it has prevented some of this. Stand Your Ground laws have prevented numerous people from being prosecuted for defending their own life. It just can’t stop every prosecution. The post Iowa Judge Denies Immunity To Permit Holder On ‘Stand Your Ground’ Claim appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  8. In California, it’s well-known that you can’t buy magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. Oh, if you had a 30 round or other so-called “high capacity” magazine from before the ban, that was fine. “If you like your magazine, you can keep your magazine,” kind of thing. However, recently, the grandfather clause that permitted that was removed, requiring people with those magazines to either remove them from the state, sell them to a licensed gun dealer (and why they would buy something they couldn’t sell is beyond me), or turn it in to law enforcement for destruction. Unsurprisingly, the rule was challenged and a preliminary injunction was issued. This is a logical step designed to keep people from being forced to lose magazines they can’t recoup should the challengers win. Then, in a shocking turn of events, the Ninth Circuit actually affirmed the preliminary injunction. Earlier today, a Ninth Circuit Panel affirmed the district court’s grant of the preliminary injunction. The panel found that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that “magazines for a weapon likely fall within the scope of the Second Amendment.” The opinion also stated that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it found the challenged statutes did not survive intermediate scrutiny. For a law to survive a constitutional challenge, the intermediate scrutiny standard requires that a law further an important government interest and do so by means that are substantially related to that interest. The district court concluded that the magazine ban contained in Proposition 63 did not, and the Panel agreed. The decision also found that the preliminary injunction was proper under a Takings Clause challenge. The case is set to go to trial in the near future. While this can be perceived as a win for California gun owners, it is only temporary. The trial may result in a permanent injunction being issued which, as was the case with the preliminary injunction, can be appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Alternatively, the district court could find in favor of the state, which would still allow the Plaintiffs to appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Regardless of the outcome at the district court, you can likely count on an appeal. That last paragraph is important, because yes, it’s a temporary win. To me, though, the shocking thing is the Ninth Circus (not an autocorrect) actually affirmed the preliminary injunction. They’re perhaps the most liberal court in the country, and while not all liberals are anti-gun, the vast majority are. If there’s going to be an anti-gun law upheld, it’ll be upheld in the Ninth before almost anywhere else in the country. Yet they affirmed the injunction. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything. It’s a temporary injunction, after all, and they may feel like it’s right in this case, but figure it’ll only be a temporary reprieve for gun owners. Or, maybe they actually think this is going too far. Who knows. I wouldn’t get too excited, though. Again, Ninth Circus. Still, it gives a little breathing room for California gun owners with grandfathered magazines. The post Ninth Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction Against CA Magazine Ban appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  9. Editor’s note: This piece was originally posted on Guns.com. On display at the Jesse James Firearms Unlimited booth at SHOT Show 2018, is a beautiful hand-made 1911 pistol that James made for his good friend Donald J. Trump. The pistol is on display at the booth (#411) until Jan. 26. When Trump became the president, James felt an obligation to make his friend a gun. “I build cool guns. So, it’s like, I’m going to build a presidential gun,” he said. Setting out to build the gun, James wanted to capture the essence of Trump. “Donald Trump’s kind of old school, like 1970s,” James said. “You know, New York City rich guy. So, a little bit of gold, a little bit of decorative filigree work.” Being the 45th president of the United States, of course the gun had to be a large 1911 in .45ACP. James used one of his Grandmaster X seven-inch 1911 model frames as a base, and added a two-inch comp to the barrel to bring the total length of the pistol to nine inches. This gave him enough real estate to be able to write the president’s entire name down one side “Donald J. Trump.” On the other side he put, “The 45th President of the United States of America.” “It’s kind of like, a modern Dirty Harry gun,” said James. “He’s kind of bigger than life, I think. So he needs a bigger than life pistol.” James only made one of the gun and he hasn’t spoken to Trump about it. He figures he’ll probably make a trip to the White House and present the gun to his friend. However, if he does this in a formal fashion, by law, the gun then becomes the property of the people. So Trump wouldn’t be able to keep it. To this Jesse said, “I guess I shouldn’t bitch about having a pistol in the presidential museum.” The post VIDEO: The Custom Built Donald Trump 1911 Pistol By Jesse James appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  10. Gun control advocates often complain that people who own guns are often untrained, that there’s no requirement people learn how to use a gun safely before getting one. This is especially true when you start talking about concealed carry. While some states require people to go through a training class before getting a permit, many others have no such requirement. But one thing we all tend to agree on is that people should get training. Where we disagree is whether it should be mandatory. I’ve tended to take a different approach, and that’s the idea of firearm education being part of the public school curriculum. If you’re attending a public school, you should be taught at least something about handling a firearm safely. After all, don’t we teach kids about free speech, voting, and how to exercise many other rights? Why should guns be different? A recent editorial from Salem, Oregon seems to think it’s time to discuss just such a thing. Gun-rights advocates last week filed an initiative petition to make firearms-safety instruction mandatory in all sixth-grade public schools in Oregon. Condemnation was swift among those convinced that such a requirement was tantamount to endorsing gun use. Maybe it is. There also was talk of instruction adding to the prevalence of guns in children’s lives. Maybe it would. But it is an idea that is worth talking about and should be considered by the Oregon Legislature. We have too many stories in our community about gun accidents that might have been prevented if young people had been shown how to recognize gun danger and act appropriately. Personally knowing how to recognize gun danger can help save lives. Which has been my argument all along, and I’m glad to know I’m not alone. Far too many accidents happen when a child finds a gun, either in the home or outside of it, but has lacked the basic understanding of gun safety to know what to do. Instead, they see a gun and think of what they see on television and in movies, and let’s be honest here. That’s not what anyone needs to learn about firearm safety. The Statesman Journal finishes up by saying: We know responsible gun owners teach their children gun safety just as responsible parents teach their children about sex education. These parents don’t leave issues as important as sex and gun use solely up to our public-school system. But what about the children who have no exposure to the potential dangers of gun use? Don’t they deserve to know how to recognize when someone shouldn’t be handling a firearm or when to notify an adult? This knowledge can save lives. I couldn’t agree more. While I’m not a big fan of public education, having seen the trainwreck from up close for far too long, if we’re going to have it, we might as well make the most of it. That includes a basic understanding of gun safety. I think the Oregon measure is a good start, but I think that just teaching it in sixth grade is a mistake. I’d start teaching it far earlier and keep teaching it until they’re out of school, just to reinforce the knowledge sufficiently, but that’s just me. Still, it’s good to see the idea gaining traction, and from places you wouldn’t normally expect it. The post Editorial Argues In Favor Of Gun Safety Classes In Public Schools appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  11. (@noone_you_know/Twitter) A while back, the internet troll website 4Chan decided to have a little fun. They managed to convince a large group of people on the left that the hand gesture for “OK” was a white supremacist gesture. Since then, virtually everyone they disagree with making the gesture has been labeled a racist on such flimsy evidence. Now, a number of Alabama police officers have been suspended for making a similar gesture. David O’Mary, mayor of Jasper, Alabama, suspended four police officers after a photo of the officers went viral after some local residents said that the cops were making hand gestures to signify white power and supremacy. What are the details? The photo in question, which was published in the Daily Mountain Eagle, featured several police officers who were instrumental in successfully carrying out a drug bust on a repeat offender. O’Mary was pictured in the paper along with the officers. The officers said they found crystal meth, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin during the bust. In the photo, at least four of the Jasper officers can be seen making an “OK” sign on their legs with their fingers. A Twitter user pointed out the hand gesture, calling them “white nationalist hand signs.” In a tweet, the user wrote, “Jasper, AL police making white nationalist hand signs. Many faces are visible. Please help ID.” In other words, someone went off half-cocked and wants to dox these officers who had also just helped make a significant drug bust. Does anyone else see how that could work another way? Here’s the tweet in question: Jasper, AL police making white nationalist hand signs. Many faces are visible. Please help ID. From All Things Walker County fb page. @afainatl @IGD_News @BhamDSA @NorthAlabamaDSA @SocialistRA pic.twitter.com/wtuqJLLbw7 — Jeff (@_noone_you_know) July 16, 2018 Here’s the thing, though. Those aren’t even OK signs. Sure, it looks like them, but it’s not. It’s the Circle Game. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it’s a rather juvenile game played by all kinds of people, but it’s often popular with military and law enforcement. The goal of the game is to make a circle with your forefinger and thumb, typically hold it somewhere below the waist, and get people to look at it. In real life, you get to punch the “looker” in the arm, but thanks to the internet, you can get entire swaths of people to look, which has its own brand of humor. I was first exposed to this game when I was in the Navy and have seen it played off and on since then. Frankly, the kind of officers who would be driven to kick-in doors on a drug raid are the kind of guys who would play this game to some extent. In other words, it’s a stupid game and some wanker wants to destroy careers over it. Not that the mayor cares. According to Quinn, O’Mary said that he has not spoken to the officers who were suspended and did not ask them what they meant by the gesture. O’Mary reportedly said that it doesn’t matter. “That’s contradictory to how we run our city,” O’Mary said. “That’s not our mindset. That’s not the way we do things and they used poor judgement.” According to the report, the officers will be suspended for two weeks — during one of which they will receive no pay. “We talked to two senior African-American law enforcement officers that are on the City of Jasper’s payroll and they think it’s fair and that’s a pretty good sounding board,” O’Mary added. No, it’s not fair. It’s not fair because there’s absolutely nothing racist about it and anyone who claims they don’t care is a virtue-signaling moron without a lick of sense in their heads. Frankly, these officers deserve better than that from the city they serve. The post Alabama Mayor Suspends Officers Because Of Supposedly Racist Hand Gesture appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  12. The Las Vegas shooting was horrific. It was the worst mass shooting in American history. With 58 people killed and a mindboggling 851 injured, though “only” 451 were shot, it was a nightmare scenario for everyone involved. Almost a year later, we’re still trying to understand just what happened that night and what motivated the killer. Today, we get to understand why MGM, the company that owned the hotel the shooter fired from, is looking to sue 1,000 or so victims of that horrific night. MGM Resorts International has filed federal lawsuits against more than 1,000 victims and relatives of last October’s shooting rampage in Las Vegas in a bid to squelch liability claims against the hotel-casino giant. MGM owns the Mandalay Bay resort, where shooter [REDACTED] opened fire Oct. 1 on a crowd of thousands of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others. [The killer] was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The company’s lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Nevada and California, noted that more than 2,500 victims and related persons have either filed or threatened to file complaints against MGM, claiming negligence and responsibility for death, injury and emotional distress related to the massacre. But MGM’s suits argue that those current and potential claims against the company must be dismissed because of a 2002 federal law that grants liability protection to any company that uses anti-terrorism technology. MGM asserts that the security company hired for the festival, Contemporary Services, was protected from liability as it was certified by the Department of Homeland Security. MGM said such protection extends to itself since it hired the security vendor. The named plaintiffs in MGM’s suits include MGM Resorts International, Mandalay Resort Group, Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts Festival Grounds and MGM Resorts Venue Management. MGM has also said that they don’t feel years of litigation are in the best interest of the victims. Just a hunch here, but being sued by a large corporation is probably not in their best interest either, especially if their injuries or lost loved ones are due in part to incompetence. The company’s claim that they can’t be sued since they used anti-terror technology makes no sense. As CNBC noted in the above-linked story, the rampage hasn’t been classified as terrorism by the FBI, mostly because there’s been no link to any attempt to advance an ideology of any kind. While the event was terrifying, that doesn’t make it terrorism. However, there’s also the optics of something like this. In a world where businesses are typically image conscious, for good reason, this makes MGM look particularly heartless. I get them defending themselves from liability claims, but this? This decision is targetting people who have already been victimized to play offense instead of defense. This is despicable, in my not so humble opinion. I’m not saying MGM is responsible. I think the killer played a system that’s been in place in Vegas for decades without prior incident. Should MGM be held responsible for that? I’m inclined to say no. There doesn’t seem to be any actual incompetence at play here, just a way of doing business that may not be the best idea in this day and age. Maybe. But that doesn’t mean MGM gets a pass. This is colossally stupid from a PR standpoint, and they’re going to deserve the scorn that is sure to come. The post MGM Suing More Than 1,000 Victims Of Las Vegas Shooting appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  13. Arizona state Senate candidate Bobby Wilson understands the importance of the Second Amendment more than most. He’s one of the 2.5 million people every year who has used a gun in self-defense. Only, instead of just displaying a gun and scaring off the attacker like most, he actually had to fire his weapon. The fact that his attacker was his own mother makes the whole story even more sensational. Wilson recently brought this up and has shocked the gun control community in Arizona. Bobby Wilson, who is running to represent a southern district, told the Associated Press that he’s not trying to hide anything. He says his mother was insane and shot at him with a rifle when he was in bed in their Oklahoma farmhouse one night in 1963. He then shot and killed her. Wilson’s sister also died that night, and the house caught on fire. “I’m lucky to be alive, twice over,” Wilson said. Wilson wrote about these events in his 2010 book, “Bobby’s Trials,” and mentions them on his website biography. But they caught public interest when he appeared at a Moms Demand Action forum in Tucson this month. Wilson told the crowd he was “living proof” that the only one who can stop someone trying to harm somebody is a “good guy with a gun.” … Rep. Daniel Hernandez, a Democrat who represents the district Wilson is running in, was at the forum. He said Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman who was shot in Tucson in 2011, and other gun violence survivors were in the audience. Many were shocked, he said. Hernandez — who was at the scene when Giffords was shot — said Wilson also brought up the Giffords shooting, saying that she should’ve had security. “I’ve never ever heard someone be so aggressive in that view, and also to drag Gabby into it, I thought, was so distasteful and so disgusting,” he said. I’m trying to figure out what’s so distasteful and disgusting about it. Giffords has put herself in the front line on the gun control debate because of her status as a survivor. It’s certainly her right to do so, but that also means she’s a legitimate target for criticism. You can’t shield yourself with a survivor status while targeting a fundamental right. You get to pick one. You can’t have both. However, that wasn’t the only stupid displayed. Jacob Martinez is one of the organizers for March For Our Lives AZ. His take away from Wilson’s story is that it’s evidence in part of the need to lock guns up in the home. Well. That’s stupid. Wilson’s mother was an adult in the household. It’s highly unlikely she wouldn’t have been able to gain access to the guns. On the other hand, Wilson would have been disarmed at a time when he actually needed a weapon in self-defense. In other words, Martinez’s suggestion would have played out with the mother still having a gun at hand and Wilson dead. Anyone with half a brain can see that. But gun grabbers, not so much. The fact is that if Giffords has some kind of moral authority simply because a maniac shot her, then Wilson has that same moral authority as a survivor of gun violence. The difference is, Wilson was able to fight back and the outcome was very, very different. Frankly, I’d rather we have enough armed citizens so we have more Bobby Wilson’s and fewer Gabby Giffords. The post Arizona Candidate Recounts Shooting His Own Mother appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  14. When someone defends the Second Amendment and cites self-defense as part of the reason they defend it, someone will usually suggest alternatives. They’ll sometimes claim that guns aren’t great for self-defense and suggest people arm themselves with things like pepper spray instead. A case in California kind of proves how bad an idea that one really is. This one features a pepper spray-wielding attacker who ran into an armed citizen. It didn’t work out well for the bad guy. A smash-and-grab crew busted into a jewelry store armed with hammers and pepper spray but what they didn’t know is the owner had a gun. The attempted smash-and-grab at Dana Kathryn Jewelry in Studio City took place on May 25th. Security video shows one man unloading a canister of pepper spray on the owner and two customers. Then, a guy with a hat pulls out a hammer and starts to bash the display cases. … Police say the store owner stayed calm even though the guy with the shaved head swung a hammer at her while she was out of camera view. “That changed the game there. Turned basically from a smash and grab burglary into a robbery,” said LAPD Det. Jennifer Hammer. When the bad guy turned his attention to the door he had to be buzzed out of, the store owner was able to grab her firearm and take a shot before the robbers escaped. They got away with nothing, though, because their hammers were insufficient to break the glass. However, for me, the takeaway was how even with pepper spray supposedly so thick the police needed protective suits when they arrived on the scene, the store owner was still able to grab a weapon and open fire on the suspects. Just how do people think a blast of pepper spray would take out armed attackers? Don’t get me wrong. I know pepper spray can be an effective alternative for self-defense. However, it’s limited, and that’s the problem. This instance illustrates just how limited it could be. If it didn’t stop a store owner, how will it stop a determined attacker? Especially if it’s someone who has a vested interest in ending your existence. The truth is, when you play the self-defense version of “Rock-Paper-Scissor,” gun beats everything. It is, hands down, the most effective self-defense tool available. It’s why I fight so damn hard to keep things so we can access these tools of self-defense and would even if the Second Amendment didn’t exist. While there are alternatives out there, none are as all-around effective as a firearm and unless something major happens in technology, that status quo will continue for a long, long time. This instance illustrates that beautifully, in my opinion. Gun beats hammer and pepper spray, even if the bad guys got away. They got away empty handed and the innocent didn’t get hurt. That’s a win in my book, and since they already took a swing at the store owner, that wasn’t guaranteed by any stretch. The post Why Gun Beats Pepper Spray Every Time appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  15. A victim of the Pulse shooting in Orlando has asked a federal appeals court to reopen a lawsuit against sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for their potential role in radicalizing the shooter who gunned down 49 people in 2016. From Guns.com: A federal judge in Michigan dismissed the suit in March — the same day an Orlando jury acquitted Mateen’s widow on charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice — noting there’s no evidence any of the ISIS propaganda found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube directly influenced Mateen to murder 49 people at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. “The only conduct involved with the attacks that is described with any particularity is Mateen’s,” U.S. District Judge David Lawson concluded in a March 30 opinion, pointing out that none of the companies nor ISIS itself participated in the shooting. The families of victims Tevin Eugene Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to review Lawson’s decision in court documents dated July 6. “Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” Keith Altman, counsel for the victims’s families, wrote in court documents. “Plaintiffs’ claims are based not upon the content of ISIS’ social media postings, but upon Defendants provision of the infrastructure which provides material support to ISIS.” Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it amusing how Facebook and YouTube have been tripping all over themselves to limit firearm-related content, content that ties directly into the free exercise of an American right, yet are continuing to enable a terrorist organization to flourish? When it comes to whether these sites should be held responsible or not, I tend to side with the “not” category, but I’m not leaning that way in this case. Yes, it’s because of their anti-gun stances. Well, sort of. You see, by limiting gun-related content, they’ve clearly shown a willingness to interfere with speech that doesn’t conform to their personal ideology. As a private company, they certainly have that right. However, I also figure that also means speech they don’t interfere with somehow does conform to their own ideology. In other words, the very fact that they’ll attack content related to exercising a fundamental American right while not blocking content known to be a recruiting tool for our enemies means they providing at least some support to those enemies. It’s difficult to argue from a position of protecting all speech when you’re already limiting some of it. As such, I can’t help but think they can easily be held responsible when those recruiting tools actually seem to work. Now, whether or not there’s evidence of that happening or not is a matter for the courts, but if the Pulse killer watched any of those videos, I’d say that’s pretty ample evidence that it played a role since he swore is allegiance to ISIS before committing his horrific crime. But I’m not a lawyer, nor did I ever play one on TV. Still, I’m hopeful the appeals court will at least consider this going forward. The post Pulse Victims Asks Court To Revive Lawsuit Against Social Media Sites appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
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