Ten days ago I posted a Dog Shoots Man Story that I though was unique. That one involved an Idaho man who took a load of bird shot in the abdomen when his dog stepped on the trigger guard of his shotgun lying across the seat of his truck.
It’s happened again to a Utah hunter whose dog stepped on his shotgun lying across the seat of his boat. This time the hunter took a load of bird shot in the butt. Ouch.
He’s going to be OK. Well he’s going to survive at least. His waders protected him a bit. He might have trouble sitting for a while.
This makes for an opportunity to point out a simple truth. Most gun accidents result from improper gun handling, and failing to treat all guns as loaded all the time. Especially when they are loaded. Duck and bird hunters who hunt with dogs need to remember that the smartest hunting dog doesn’t know much about gun handling. Somehow hunters have to figure out that loaded shotguns need special handling around dogs. It might be wise to open the action before laying it down.
Junior high school math teacher Steve Coburn and his buddy Jeff Reiley, a counselor at the same middle school in Driggs, Idaho, were duck hunting. When they were done hunting they laid their 12-gauge shotguns on the floor between the seats of their extended cab pickup. The shotguns were loaded with safeties on, or so they thought. Coburn’s 6-year old yellow lab, Dexter, wasn’t feeling well and so Reiley lifted him up onto the back seat. Somehow the dog got down to the floor while Coburn was standing outside in front of the muzzle of one of the shotguns. BANG! Coburn took a round of bird shot in the stomach at point blank range. They figure the dog’s paw got in the trigger guard. The safety must not have been on, or it was a cross-bolt safety and the dog’s paw disengaged it as well as causing the trigger to engage.
This is the usual case where two (or three) different gun safety rules are violated at once resulting in disaster. Often, but not always, a violation of only one rule won’t produce a negligent discharge (no such thing as an “accidental” discharge since guns don’t fire unless someone, or someone’s dog, pulls the trigger).
The two rules violated here are putting a loaded long gun in a vehicle and failing to recognize that a safety is a mechanical device that, like all mechanical devices, can fail. Therefore, it must be considered little more than an extra measure of safety but not something to rely on exclusively. The rule of treating all guns as loaded also was violated here because one would not ordinarily stand in front of the muzzle of a loaded shotgun. That’s three violations and most of the time that’s plenty enough to make you have a bad day.
Fate’s alarm bells began to ring when the shotguns were placed in the vehicle without at least emptying the chambers of live rounds. Since they were done hunting the shotguns should have been completely unloaded. The unloading procedure would have been safer out in the woods than it was going to be back in town anyway.
Idaho apparently has no law against loaded long guns in vehicles, as most other states do. In Colorado, for instance, loaded means a round in the chamber. All hunters have to do when putting their long guns back in the truck is unload the chamber. When they exit the vehicle to hunt for game all they need do is run the bolt, lever or pump to be back in the game. I know why hunters don’t want to do that. It makes just the right sort of sound that will spook game, most of which can hear far better than us. Another reason to walk more and not hunt so close to the truck.
In all cases the long guns should be positioned so the muzzles aren’t covering anyone, man or dog, at anytime. That’s why police place their long guns in a between-the-seats rack with muzzle up (above head height), or in the trunk unloaded (supposedly).
Mr. Coburn got lucky. He’s in fair condition in the hospital.
First rule of gun safety: Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A safe direction is defined as that direction in which should the gun fire no injury to any person will result and no property damage will occur [animals are property]. There are several other rules one must know by heart. While you should never count on it, a violation of one of the several gun safety rules might tempt fate without making you pay the price. When two or more rules are violated simultaneously, disaster almost always results. Below is the story of a man who violated two rules at once, and got lucky. He gets to go on living, but it was close.
There are three basic types of ammunition malfunction: misfire, hangfire, and squib. The video below is a compelling demonstration of a hangfire, the first I’ve ever seen. Hangfires are rare. If you pull the trigger and hear a click instead of a bang, you don’t know immediately whether you have a misfire or a hangfire, because while a misfire is a failure of the cartridge to fire, a hangfire is perceptible delay in ignition of the powder after the primer has been struck by the firing pin. In order to be safe one is advised to wait 30 seconds before opening the action of the gun after hearing a click instead of a bang. If it’s going to happen the click will be followed by a bang within that time. So call a cease fire and wait*, and keep the muzzle pointed safely down range. Then open the action and eject the malfunctioning cartridge, or the empty case if it turned out to be a hangfire.
It goes without saying, one should not look down the barrel to see what happened. That could get you a Darwin award. The man in this video…well, take a look for yourself.
*obviously, if you are under attack and you are defending yourself you don’t have the option of waiting. You need to clear the malfunction immediately and get back into the fight. Life often involves trade offs.
All the facts aren’t in but it appears a madman dressed up as a policeman and took a boat to Utoya Island where he ordered a group of teenagers to gather around him, and then started shooting. The death toll has reached at least 80, but they’re still counting. The only thing that stopped the killer was other people with guns, in the form of a SWAT team that also had to take a boat to the island. Apparently, the killer had his way for quite a while since he had the only gun on the island before the SWAT team arrived.
If some of the adults on the island had been armed would the death toll have been lower? I think so. The shooter in Tucson who recently killed 5 and wounded a U.S. Congresswoman was stopped by a CCW holder (without using his firearm, but he was armed).
It may be that the United States and Israel are the only civilized countries where a majority of people understand the simple concept that a deranged man with a gun can only be stopped by other people with guns (unless of brave group takes him down by charging him at great risk to themselves, which also happened in Tucson). This photo I took in the City of Acre, Israel in 2002 of a couple of school teachers on a class outing with their students reveals that understanding.
A 57-year old California man was killed by a grizzly in Yellowstone the other day, on a trail not far from Canyon Village. He and his wife spotted the female bear with two cubs from a distance of about 100 yards. They immediately stopped, backed up slowly and retreat back down the trail. The bear charged, ran the man down and killed him in the space of seconds. The wife was farther down the trial and was only slightly injured.
The rangers say the bear was acting in a normal defensive mode. They have no plans to capture the bear for relocation of for any other reason. The newspapers are making a big deal out of the fact that the man was not carrying pepper spray. Well, he was a tourist visiting America’s oldest National Park. He might not have been aware of pepper spray or how to use it. And despite all the hype of how safe you will be if only you have pepper spray, it’s not the panacea its proponents claim. I always carry it, along with other types of bear repellant, but in a wind it’s pretty easy to spray yourself instead of the bear. Wind just happens to be fairly common in bear country. Any cop can tell you that there are some humans who are unaffected by the very strong pepper spray they carry, so I think it’s safe to say there are a few bears that might be immune to it as well, especially when we’re talking about an adrenaline-filled 600-pound animal as naturally nasty and cantankerous as a grizzly.
The unfortunate man and his wife were on a short walk from Canyon Village, a busy area populated with tourists. They weren’t headed into the back country. If you ask me, Americans should not have to fear a grisly death from a grizzly when they visit their national parks, at least if they are mere sightseers and not back country trekkers. The Park Service is irresponsible in not keeping dangerous bears away from areas where tourists are plentiful.
The rangers are also idiots. One of them made this public statement: “We’re able to reassure people,” she said. “We told them that if they keep a safe distance they can enjoy the wildlife safely.”
For God’s sake, lady, the guy was 100 yards away from the damned bear when he first saw it and immediately tried to leave the area! I guess the National Park Service recruits its rangers from the same service used by the motor vehicle department. I take that back, the people at the motor vehicle department are no where near that dumb.
Actually he shot himself in the hand. He was in the can at the time. That is, he was in his master bathroom testing a handgun to replace one that had earlier malfunctioned at the shooting range. He was dry firing the pistol but then inserted a magazine. I guess he forgot he had loaded because he again pulled the trigger, shooting himself in the hand (ouch!) No one else was injured.
There are four basic safety rules for gun handling:
1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded;
2. Never point a gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy;
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot; and
4. Know your target and what is beyond.
[Digression: Dry firing is recommended practice for anyone trying to maintain and improve shooting skills. There are specific rules for dry firing. First and foremost is to never have any ammunition in the same area where you are dry firing. Ideally, you would also choose a backstop to aim at which will catch and retain bullets, just in case. Several inches of old newspapers against a concrete wall in a basement, for example. This can be excellent practice if you have laser sights and can see the laser dot bounce around when you pull the trigger. When you get so the dot no longer bounces, you’re in the flow.]
Usually it takes a violation of at least two of the four gun handling rules before anything grim happens. This Denver Police officer, presently working as a detective, appears to have violated rules 1,2, and 3, and possible number 4 as well.
Since the officer was in his home which is located in Jefferson County, Colorado, the incident is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. They are calling it an “accidental shooting.” Savvy gun owners call them negligent discharges. Gun owners schooled in firearms law know there is really no such thing as an accidental shooting, at least not in the since that you can say you’re sorry and go on about your business. Any such incident by a citizen is likely to result in some sort of criminal charge, even if only a misdemeanor. Any damage or injury that occurs will probably be the subject of a civil suit.
The officer may not be charged with a crime but he is surely suffering embarrassment and possible damage to his career. It’s not nice to be hard on anyone with a gunshot wound to the hand, so I won’t. The ones I’ve seen in photos look devastating.
This story was reported in the Columbine Courier.
Part I here.
Home burglaries are the major source of guns for criminals, according to Florida State University professor Gary Kleck writing in the Wall Street Journal today. Burglaries net thieves 400,000 to 600,000 guns per year. The media, the ATF, and liberal politicians want us to believe that people buy large volumes of guns from licensed gun dealers in states with “lax gun laws” (i.e., states that uphold liberty, personal dignity, the right of self defense, and the United States Constitution) and re-sell them in tough gun law states at a huge markup. Kleck says that’s a myth. Less than 1% of guns in the hands of criminals are obtained from high-volume traffickers (250 guns or more) and these traffickers don’t buy guns from gun stores. The typical trafficker deals in less than a dozen guns at a time. Unless they have the connections to conduct illegal importation of guns from outside the U.S. (and why would any criminal do that with all the money to be made in illegal drugs?), traffickers stock their inventories by buying guns one at a time from burglars who steal them one at a time.
Kleck and his colleague Kevin Wang gathered data and reached their conclusions by examining federal crime data and the findings of law enforcement authorities.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that strategies aimed at reducing gun trafficking are unlikely to have any measurable effect on gun violence in the U.S. or Mexico. Criminals have plenty of other ways to get guns.
One thing that might reduce guns in the hands of criminals would be to persuade gun owners who don’t already own a gun safe to buy one. Some who need a gun for personal protection can barely afford the gun so asking them to buy a gun safe is not a realistic option. Their gun is probably “on duty” as a defense tool most of the time anyway. It’s also a fact that criminal ingenuity means that whenever one source is foreclosed a new source is going to be found.
It’s not mentioned by Kleck, but another way criminals get guns, aside from residential burglaries, is that every year law enforcement agencies manage to lose a lot of guns that are never recovered. Many or most of these will inevitably end up in the hands of criminals. See Part I above.
Reading all of Kleck’s article is well worth your while.
UPDATE: The blatant lie that Mexican drug lords are getting their guns from licensed gun stores in the United States lives on because a lie can be half way around the world before the truth can get its pants on in the morning. See, Dear Bono, Get Your Facts Straight.
Howard Nemerov has these thoughts:
The Brits know how to control their women.
After imposing draconian gun control in 1997, the next decade saw about a 60% increase in the rape rate. Where women used to be safer than in the U.S., British women are now raped about twice as often as here in gun-toting USA.
Read the whole thing.
It’s not remarkable to note that gun control in a place like Great Britain would disproportionately effect women. Any restriction on self defense and having arms for that purpose have always disproportionately burdened the weakest citizens [or subjects] in any society. American gun control has historically been felt most strongly among Black citizens. Unlike Great Britain where making women more vulnerable to rape is an unintended consequence of draconian gun control, American gun laws in the 19th Century were explicitly aimed at keeping Blacks from having guns. If you are holding a population in slavery, and after abolition you want to enforce Jim Crow laws on them, and lynching is a common practice to keep that population in fear, you certainly don’t want them to have guns. Thus, strict laws against possessing or carrying firearms were enacted during and after the Civil War which were vigorously enforced against Blacks and hardly enforced at all against Whites. Sometimes the laws were expressly made to apply only to Blacks, and that became part of the impetus for the 14th Amendment. It is a strange irony, therefore, that today African Americans as a group are one of the strongest proponents of gun control laws. Maybe if they better understood the Racist Roots of Gun Control they would change their minds.
African Americans still suffer disproportionately when gun control laws prevent them from having an effective means to defend themselves. Now, however, their tormentors are not racist Whites but African American drug dealers and criminals in inner-city neighborhoods. With the rise in drug use among Blacks and the consequent rise in Black crime, honest hard-working Blacks are the chief victims of Black criminals. One Black citizen of Chicago became the plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court case of McDonald v. Chicago which held that the Second Amendment applies to the states. This case held Chicago’s municipal gun laws to be unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Those laws had left Mr. McDonald helpless in a his once-peaceful but now crime-ridden neighborhood.
The 14th Amendment was adopted in 1867 and was aimed at protecting the newly-freed Black slaves from oppression by White racists. Those conditions have now been alleviated almost entirely and, irony of ironies, it is now the Second Amendment that was written by slaveholders in 1789 that is lifting racist burdens off the shoulders of Black Americans.
Final thought. Firearm freedoms and widespread gun ownership makes people of any race, color or creed more civilized. Here’s why.
Good advice here, read it carefully. This guy knows what he’s talking about. The proper grip is shown in the photo at left. Are your thumbs parallel, pointing at the target? They should be. I’m always amazed at how hard it is to get some people to do this. Their thumbs go wild, pointing all over the place. Bad form. If you look at every champion shooter, their thumbs will be as shown in the photo at left. That’s good enough reason for you to do the same, isn’t it? The grip should be with your fingers (except the trigger finger), not your thumbs. The thumbs and trigger finger should be fairly relaxed. Beyond that there is room for individual choice. I like to have my elbows close, both pointing at the ground. If you want your left elbow pointing at the guy next to you that’s your choice. Doesn’t work for me, though.
The two most important shooting fundamentals are sight alignment and trigger press. Sight alignment determines where the bullet will go, so that’s the more important of the two, right? Wrong, trigger press is the more important. After you align the sights and focus on the front sight, it’s all about smooooooth trigger press. Don’t try to make the gun go bang. It will do that on its own. Instead apply increasing pressure on the trigger until it breaks. It should surprise you. That’s why they call it the surprise break. Don’t jerk your finger off the trigger as soon as you feel the gun recoil. Follow through by holding the trigger back briefly, then let it out only far enough to hear (and feel) the click when the trigger resets, then start your next pull. You don’t have to let the trigger return all the way for it to reset. That’s called trigger trap and reset. Very important that you master than little maneuver. Works great on Glocks and 1911s and many other brands of semi-autos as well. It won’t work on any revolver, nor any Kahr* semi-auto. Different type trigger on those.
OK, now practice it. Practice makes perfect, right? Wrong, perfect practice makes perfect. Lots of it. Remember what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to develop muscle memory so you’ll do it the right way without thinking. In a panic situation when things go bad in the night or on the street or in the dark forest wilderness you won’t have time to think. You will only have time to act. If your body knows what to do without you telling it, you just might survive.
The link to the website I provided above says it will be offering more advice. Looks good so far, and mastering good gun handling skills will boost your self confidence in the other parts of your life. I don’t claim to understand it, I just know it’s true.
*No criticism of Kahr pistols, they are fine little tools. They have a true double-action trigger pull which makes them about as safe from unintentional discharge as a gun can get. Of course, it’s the shooter that has to be safe, not the gun. After all, it’s a gun!
It was March 29, 1911 — 100 years ago tomorrow — when the U.S. War Department adopted the .45 Automatic Pistol as the official sidearm of the military. This Tuesday, take a minute to consider that this great design still is considered one of the best fighting handguns in the world, it’s a staple of competition shooting, it’s made by more companies now than ever in its history, and it’s still one of the most shootable handguns ever created. A version of the 1911 is used by the LAPD elite SIS [Special Investigations Section] Tactical Detective Squad which does stakeout and undercover operations against LA’s most violent criminals. Their speciality is to track down LA’s most dangerous offenders and take them off the street.
For a time about 15 years ago there were only three or four companies making 1911s. But the popularity of the pistol has grown so that today there must be at least 25 companies making them in a multitude of designs and styles, all based upon John Browning’s original.
From The Detroit News:
State Sen. Mike Green is looking to abolish the limitations concerning concealed weapons and allow those with licenses to carry a firearm essentially anywhere in the state. Green, R-Mayville, said he introduced the bills today in order to prove “there are no places that should be gun free.”
This is a good idea and I hope it gets some traction in Michigan, and then in other states. Anyone with a CCW has already been given a thorough criminal background check and found to be law abiding and of good character. State by state records show CCW permit holders to be extraordinarily law abiding and trustworthy. Typically, less than 1%, sometimes much less, of all currently outstanding CCW holders get involved in anything that results in a suspension or revocation of their permit. In most states it takes only relatively minor offenses (other than traffic infractions) to cause a permit to be suspended or revoked. A high number of suspended permits are reinstated when the matter causing suspension is cleared up.
Gun free zones are danger zones. That is where violent criminals and the mentally disturbed go to commit their heinous acts, knowing there will be no one there to immediately stop them. Jared Loughner was still capable of shooting more people in the Arizona shooting when a lawfully armed citizen helped others subdue him. This man was not in the immediate area but heard the gun shots and ran toward the gunfire. It is often the case that lawfully armed citizens are not only good citizens, they are courageous citizens proving that we do indeed live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. At least when it’s allowed.
UPDATE: Some place restrictions are just absurd. Georgia prohibits permit holders to carry their guns in any place of worship, even if the church gives its permission. This precludes a pastor from having his gun in his own study. The absurd thing about this law is that can be no justification for it. None. It’s just a naked restriction for…what? Churches have been targeted by criminals and nut jobs and making them a gun-free zone increases rather than reduces the likelihood of a massacre. A more reasonable policy is to let the church decide whether it wants to allow its members who are CCW holders to carry their guns, as Utah does. Any church in Utah can prohibit guns in its church by filing a notice with the Utah BCI [Bureau of Criminal Identification] which will then list it on the BCI website. Only one church in Utah has done that: The Church of Latter Day Saints. I don’t know their reason. All other churches allow guns.
Used as a metaphor, a “minefield” is a subject or situation presenting unseen hazards that might “blow up in your face.” A legal minefield might be thought of as a trap for the unwary, entangling one in a legal problem such as a civil suit or a criminal charge. Most people who are law-abiding, and gun owners with CCW permits are statistically a law-abiding group, believe that avoiding a criminal charge is a no-brainer. How can a non-violent person who does not lie, cheat or steal inadvertently run afoul of the criminal law?
The problem is there are too many crimes that are defined as felonies today, and too many felonies that should not be crimes at all. There are federal felonies that most people would think should not be crimes at all because they do not require a guilty state of mind or intention to inflict harm on anyone. There is a spate of new books about this phenomenon, such as Three Felonies a Day, How the Feds Target the Innocent; Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything; and One Nation Under Arrest, How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty.
For gun owners any felony conviction takes away the right to possess firearms for life [U.S.C. §922(g)(1)]. It need not be a violent felony, and it need not be a felony that even meets the classical definition of a “felony” as an act of violence usually involving murder, arson, assault and battery, rape or robbery. It can even be a crime designated a felony in one state and not a crime at all in another state. For example, it was only recently a felony in New Mexico to carry a firearm into any establishment that dispensed alcoholic beverages, even a convenience store that sold beer (the law has now been changed somewhat from the original). But in Colorado it was and is not a crime at all for a CCW permit holder to carry his or her concealed firearm into a bar. Here is a legal minefield. A Colorado CCW holder may have thought the law to be similar in New Mexico and end up with a felony conviction, and loss of the right to possess a firearm for the rest of his or her life.
Gun owners who travel must know the laws of the state they’re in, if they travel with their guns. [the Federal Volkner-McClure Act on the right to travel is of limited protection and is a subject for another day]
The New Mexico/Colorado legal dichotomy is but one example. Others abound. Don’t even think about carrying a firearm into New Jersey. Thinking about it might be a felony.
How about the argument that disparate treatment in different states of what constitutes a felony, especially treating non-violent acts as felonies that are not even crimes in other states, constitutes a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment? Forget it. That argument has been soundly rejected by Federal Courts, such as in United States v. Vongxay, 594 F.3d 1111, 1114 (9th Cir. 2010).
Nevertheless, the denial of 2nd Amendment rights to non-violent felons may be an emerging issue. In United States v. Duckett, (9th Circuit, Dec. 10, 2010) one of the judges said this:
Although I join the majority in full, were I not bound by United States v. Vongxay, 594 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 2010), I would examine whether, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s dicta in District of Columbia v. Heller, ___ U.S. ___ 128 S.Ct. 2783, 2816-17 (2008), the government has a substantial interest in limiting a non-violent felon’s constitutional right to bear arms. See United States v. Williams, 616 F.3d 685, 693 (7th Cir. 2010) (“[W]e recognize that § 922(g)(1) may be subject to an overbreadth challenge at some point because of its disqualification of all felons, including those who are non-violent.”)
Duckett is a “not for publication” decision meaning it can’t be cited as authority. Don’t you wish you could designate some things you write or say as “not for publication” so you couldn’t be held responsible? For judges, it’s the legal equivalent of “King’s X” which in real life is only for children.
Seventy-two years ago last night, November 9-10, 1938, Kristallnacht occurred throughout Germany and parts of Austria. Just over four years later the holocaust had killed millions of Jews when the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began on January 18, 1943 and ended on May 16, 1943. All of the Jews in the uprising died but they made the Nazis pay a price for their death and they, not the Nazis, determined how they were going to die. They died fighting.
The 2001 television docudrama, Uprising, about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, is available on DVD. Netflix doesn’t carry it (I guess Jews defending themselves doesn’t fit the narrative).
If more German Jews had guns the history of the holocaust would be much different. In this review of Uprising, David Kopel writes that 2,000 years of Jewish passivity came to an end in the Warsaw Ghetto:
The Warsaw battle had begun on Passover, and like the first Passover, the Warsaw resistance led directly to the establishment of a Jewish state. Without the fighting spirit that was rekindled by the Warsaw ghetto revolt, it is doubtful that the Jews would have prevailed when Arabs attacked them the moment the state of Israel was proclaimed.
The Jewish commander of the uprising was a 24-year-old schoolteacher named Mordechai Anielewicz. On April 23, 1943, he wrote a letter from Warsaw to a friend named Yitzhak, explaining what was happening. Here is one paragraph from that letter:
From this evening, we are switching to a system of guerilla action. At night, three of our units go out on two missions: an armed reconnaissance patrol and the acquisition of weapons. Know that the pistol has no value, we practically don’t use it. We need grenades, rifles, machine guns, and explosives.
The entire letter is reproduced in this review of Uprising.
Email received from a reader, about a brown bear (Alaska’s version of the grizzly) attack near Soldotna, Alaska:
King season is over, and since I had a day off before silvers start, I thought I would go for a walk! This occurred at 11:16 am this morning (Sunday), just 2/10 of a mile from my house.
ON OUR ROAD while walking my dogs (ironically trying to get in shape for hunting season!) for the record. This is in a residential area-not back in the woods. No bow hunting. No stealth occurring.
I heard a twig snap. And looked back. Full on charge-a huge brownie, ears back, head low and motorin’ full speed! Came with zero warning; no Woof, no popping of the teeth, no standing up, nothing like what you think or see on TV! It charged from less than 20 yards and was on me in about one-second! Totally surreal. I just started shooting in the general direction. And praise God that my second shot (or was it my third?) rolled him at 5 feet and he skidded to a stop 10 feet BEYOND where I was shooting from. I actually sidestepped him and fell over backwards on the last shot. And his momentum carried him to a stop past where I fired my first shot!
It was a prehistoric old boar. No teeth. No fat. Weighed between 900-1000 Lb. and took five men to DRAG it onto a tilt-bed trailer! Big bear. Its Paw measured out at about a 9-1/2 footer!
Never-ever-thought ‘it’ would happen to me! It’s always some other
Well, no bull. I am still high on adrenaline. With my gut in a Knot (felt like I did 10000 crunches without stopping)! Almost puked for an hour after. Had the burps and couldn’t even stand up as the troopers conducted their investigation! Totally wiped me out. Can’t even put that feeling into words.
By far the most emotion I have ever felt at once!
No doubt that God was with me, as I brought my Ruger .454 Casull (and some “hot” 350 grain solids) just for the heck of it. And managed to draw and snap shoot (pointed, never even aimed!) from the hip! Total luck shot!
All I can say is Praise God for my safety and for choosing to leave the wife and kids at home on this walk!
Now, if either Hillary, or Obama or anyone else in this administration starts making noises about taking away your right to protect yourself with a gun, we need to let them know where we stand.
Looks like this was an old bear no longer able to feed itself and desperately hungry. That made him very dangerous.
This is the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 6-shot, 2.5 inch barrel revolver that appears to have been used. It’s available in .44 Magnum or .454 Casull, holds six in the cylinder. Bullets vary from 300 grain to 360 grain in .454 Casull load, and usually loaded to make about 1100 feet per second at the muzzle which is awesome out of a 2.5 inch barrel. With hard cast lead bullets (recommended for bear defense) the recoil of the .454 Casull in this revolver is stout but manageable. With copper jacketed bullets the recoil is miserable.
Would bear spray have worked in this case? If it had worked would it have better for this old bear? Would it have been better for the people of this community? Does it make sense to place your life on the line in hopes that some pepper under pressure will save you?
Think the world might be a kinder, gentler place if firearms did not exist? I’ve never believed that and now there is some pretty good evidence that a gun-free society is not a polite society.
The following is from an article that Carlyle Moody and Don Kates are writing that refutes the theory that more guns in a society will cause more crime. Here is part of the article that was written by Prof. Moody, an economist at William & Mary College:
If more guns cause murder, and more guns cause more murder, it would seem societies with no guns at all should be the safest possible states. There are few gun free societies in the world today. However, if we look back in history to the time before the invention of firearms, we can judge for ourselves whether those societies were tranquil and safe. Remarkably good homicide data is available for England, beginning in the 1200’s. Those data indicate a pre-gun homicide rate in England of roughly 20 per 100,000 [roughly four times greater than the U.S. today]
Firearms were introduced into England in the 1400’s and were in wide use by the 1500’s, coincident with a decline in the homicide rate to 15 per 100K. However these early guns were predominately of the matchlock design. This design featured a slow burning fuse held in a clamp at the end of a serpentine lever. When the trigger was pulled the clamp dropped down so that the end of the lit fuse touched the powder in the flash pan, firing the weapon. The design was simple and the weapons relatively inexpensive. The major problem with the design from the point of view of personal defense was that, because of the need for a lit fuse, the weapon could not be kept and carried loaded and primed for quick use against a sudden attack.
The first firearm that could be carried loaded and primed was the flintlock, introduced into England around 1630. In this design the fuse is replaced by a piece of flint. When the trigger is pulled the flint strikes a piece of steel producing a shower of sparks that ignite the powder in the flash pan. This technology persisted through the early 1800’s. While matchlocks were almost exclusively long guns, flintlock technology was readily adapted to produce handguns, which were particularly useful for self defense. The flintlock pistol was relatively inexpensive, could be comfortably carried, was ready for action in an instant, and did not require a great deal of physical strength or expertise to operate. The flintlock could be fired in an instant, making it the ideal self- defense weapon. Armed with a flintlock, the physically weak found themselves on an equal footing with the physically strong in a confrontation.
The introduction of the flintlock coincided with the largest decline in homicide in English history. The homicide rate plunged to 6 per 100K in the 1600’s. The English homicide rate continued to decline slowly and steadily until well into the 20th century. For example, in 1900 the homicide rate was 0.96 per 100K.
The last hundred years of English history tells the reverse story.
Continue reading Kates and Moody here.
Kates and Moody add something significant to John Lotts’ book More Guns, Less Crime, now in its 3rd edition. Perhaps it’s not just more guns, but more and better guns that lead to less crime.
I think it was Hamilton Felix in Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein who said “A well armed society is a polite society.” He was right.
Read the rest of Kates and Moody’s excellent article at More and Better Guns = Less Crime, European History
Excellent article by Glenn Reynolds at The Washington Examiner takes the glass is half full approach to the 5-4 ruling in McDonald v. Chicago and paints a hopeful picture for those wishing to re-vitalize freedom in many other areas. Here is a short summary:
The 5-4 ruling may seem shocking when the majority holding comes right out of the clear words of the Constitution and prior Supreme Court precedent on substantive due process under the 14th
Amendment, without any need for convoluted arguments about “penumbras” or “emanations” from darkness. Just what would the other four justices need to be convinced? Nevertheless, it is a stunning victory for gun rights activists. A mere 20 years ago the Second Amendment was pretty much a Constitutional dead letter. That the Supreme Court would say it guaranteed an individual right and then hold that it also applied throughout the country at every level of government seemed a distant dream. Gun controls groups were on the ascendancy and were looking forward to a day when conventional wisdom would be that private gun ownership is deviant, abnormal and dangerous. Laws against it would proliferate and America would join other “civilized” nations where no citizen could legally own firearms.
But gun rights activists refused to give up and slowly made their case that the Second Amendment really did guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that this is a good thing. The 1994 Clinton gun ban energized gun owners, and activists for firearm freedoms started to win at the ballot box. Many politicians who voted for the Clinton gun ban lost their seats in Congress, and by the time it came up for renewal there was little interest in it. The conventional wisdom now is that gun ownership is normal, and that gun owners are by and large law abiding and responsible. Empirical evidence shows that contrary to the diabolical rantings of Chicago Mayor Daley, New York Senator Charles Schumer or New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, widespread private gun ownership does not increase crime and is more likely to reduce crime when criminals have to think about facing an armed victim.
This is a hopeful lesson for Tea Party activists and others who are alarmed at the tendency of politicians in both parties to expand the size of government beyond all reasonable limits. The lesson is that activism by the people is a necessary and effective path to restoring freedom.
Read the whole thing.
Why Liberals Should Love The Second Amendment is a testament to the new respect for the Second Amendment now sweeping the nation because it is written from a liberal point of view and appears, of all places, on the extreme left-wing website Daily Kos. It is quite well written, at least on why liberals should support the Second Amendment. One reason given is that liberals can claim the high ground on all the other parts of the Bill of Rights, and that one is suspect. It is liberals who try to shut down speech on university campuses, city council meetings, talk radio, the Fox News Channel, etc. so the claim that liberals are the main supporters of individual liberty is a crock. Nevertheless, everything said about the Second Amendment in this article is well done, and quite amazing. The comments to the article are also amazingly good. Never thought I’d see this, but welcome it.
Chicago Mayor Bugsy Daley says he will ask the City Council to pass severe restrictions on gun ownership in Chicago in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago making the Second Amendment applicable to the states, and thereby rendering Chicago’s complete ban on guns unconstitutional.
This story from The New York Times says:
With the city’s gun ban certain to be overturned, Mayor Richard Daley on Thursday introduced what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the United States.
The measure, which draws from ordinances around the country, would ban gun shops in Chicago and prohibit gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages, with a handgun.
Daley announced his ordinance at a park on the city’s South Side three days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live. The City Council is expected to vote on it Friday.
”As long as I’m mayor, we will never give up or give in to gun violence that continues to threaten every part of our nation, including Chicago,” said Daley, who was flanked by activists, city officials and the parents of a teenager whose son was shot and killed on a city bus while shielding a friend.
The ordinance, which Daley urged the City Council to pass, would also :
— Limit the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibit residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.
— Require residents in homes with children to keep them in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks.
— Require prospective gun owners to take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range. They would have to leave the city for training because Chicago prohibits new gun ranges and limits the use of existing ranges to police officers. Those restrictions were similar to those in an ordinance passed in Washington, D.C., after the high court struck down its ban two years ago.
— Prohibit people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Residents convicted of a gun offense would have to register with the police department.
— Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.
Bugsy’s reaction to McDonald reminds me of how the South responded to losing the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. The South simply re-instituted slavery in a new form with Black Codes, Jim Crow laws and segregation. When the North grew weary of Reconstruction North and South shook hands on the Compromise of 1877 which installed Rutherford B. Hayes as president even though Samuel Tilden had actually won the election. The deal was that Hayes would remove all federal troops from the South, and essentially leave the South free to deal with its Black population as it saw fit. For the next 87 years, until 1964, the South did just that.
Bugsy must hope for a similar deal. The expansion of firearm freedom in the last twenty years has led to all sorts of silly little restrictions on gun owners by the sore losers of the debate. Mayor Bugsy will try to re-institute the gun ban in the form of draconian regulations so most Chicagoans won’t want to put up with the hassle of buying and owning a gun. I think he’ll be surprised by the reaction he’s going to get, even from the long-abused and stockholm-syndromed residents of Chicago.
The post civil war South was controlled by Democrats and Chicago is controlled by Democrats. It was predictable that Bugsy, true to form, would do what Democrat politicians do when they don’t like some law or principle or policy. They subvert it, usurp it, and when possible, ignore it. All the while using victims of other criminals as props to demonize their own victims.