More Defensive Gun Uses in Stores

Charlotte, NC, 3/3/05
This is the second time in less than a week police are investigating a robbery that ended with a suspect shot and killed. Three masked men armed with guns stormed a shoe store on East Sugar Creek Road and took cash from the register and started to rob customers. The manager pulled out his own gun and shot two of the robbers. One of the suspects was killed and the other was seriously hurt. Police are still looking for the third robber and the manager is moving out of the state because he is worried about retaliation.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, 3/3/05
TA North Texas store manager refused to become a victim when a robber jumped over the counter at his convenience store and attempted to rob him. . . . "He said, 'Do you want to die?' I said, 'No, I don't want to die,'" Qasem said. With the crook's arm tight around his throat, Qasem then reached for his gun that was kept under the counter. He aimed at the robber and fired, but nothing happened. Qasem then used the gun to repeatedly hit the robber in the head. "I felt that was my opportunity to just keep hitting him, take him all the way down," Qasem said.

Video on Tyler, Texas Shooting

This video on the Tyler, Texas shooting does not include anything on the defensive gun use by either Mark Wilson or the security guard. The tape ends just before they enter the scene. The text that comes with the video also ommits Wilson and the security guard.

On the tape, police officers can be seen running out of the courthouse with their guns drawn and ducking for cover from flying bullets. As the glass in the front of the courthouse is shot out, people scramble to take cover. The gunman, David Hernandez Arroyo, shot and killed his estranged wife and a bystander outside the courthouse. Arroyo was shot and killed by police officers. Authorities said Arroyo and his wife were involved in a child support dispute. Arroyo's son and three lawmen also were wounded in the shooting

I have additional posts on this case at Tyler, Texas here, here, here, and here.

Thanks very much to Gary Marbut for supplying me with this link.

Labels: ,


Did a Security Guard In Tyler, Texas Also use His Gun to Distract Killer?

There is more news on the Tyler, Texas attack that was stopped by Mark Wilson. THe title of the article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph ("SECURITY GUARD ALSO DISTRACTED KILLER ARROYO") is pretty unambiguous that Michael Mosley, a security guard, also helped stopped the attack.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph has learned the identity of a second armed civilian who was in the line of fire of a heavily armed man clad in body armor who fired on the Smith County Courthouse with a semi-automatic assault rifle last week. Witnesses reported to the newspaper last Thursday that an un-identified man pulled up behind the courthouse in a silver colored 1990s Chevrolet Caprice Classic and exited into a defensive position with his wea-pon drawn and pointed in the direction of David Hernandez Arroyo. . . . Mosley refused to talk to the newspaper in detail, but did make a brief statement on Wednesday. "I am no hero. God watched over me and protected me that day. I am praying for all the families involved and that is all I have to say," he said. After repeated phone calls to a Southwestern Securities office in Houston, Joseph Morales, a supervisor for the company, told the Morning Telegraph his officer did not fire his gun last week. "According to him, he did not fire his weapon on that day," Morales said. However, at least one eyewitness believes Mosley was another deterrent during the tragedy.

This is the only news mention that I have seen of Michael Mosley. Given all the media coverage of the attack, it is a little surprising that the local Tyler, Texas newspaper is the only paper that has mentioned this.

Thanks to Goodwillhntg@aol.com for telling me about this article.

I have additional posts on this case at Tyler, Texas here, here, and here.

Democrat's proposal to "Ban" so-called 'Cop-Killer' Gun

CNSNews.com provides a valuable discussion of legislation introduced by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). The legislation would ban the Five-seveN gun. The bottom line:
"It is a semi-automatic pistol, just like millions of other semi-automatic pistols. BATFE has determined that it is 'particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes,' and has approved its importation. "There is also nothing special about the 5.7mm ammunition being sold to the public," the NRA said, since under federal law, only non-armor-penetrating types of 5.7mm ammunition may be sold.

There are plenty of useful points in the piece, but it shows how much of the gun control debate relies on misinformation.

Gun tax in Maine?

"A gun and ammunition tax that would create a fund to increase security at the state's courthouses has been proposed by several members of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee. The 7 percent tax would be in addition to the 5 percent state sales tax that consumers already pay when they buy guns and ammunition from licensed dealers in the state. . . . Entry screening is conducted an average of 10 days each year for each of the state's 41 courthouses, she said. The chief justice also told the Legislature that during that limited time screeners had confiscated more than 1,400 knives or related weapons and five firearms."

Possibly a knife tax would make more sense? In any case, while I am open to argument, it is not clear to me how a gun and bullet tax can be any more constitutional than a newspaper tax.


New op-ed up on news coverage of Texas Defensive Gun Use Case

Foxnews.com has my latest op-ed up on guns. It discusses the news coverage of last weeks' mulitple victim public shooting in Tyler, Texas that left two people dead.

But what makes this case different is that 21 percent of the news stories actually mentioned that a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon used his gun to try and help stop the attack.

This is a pretty long piece and I think that it has a lot of interesting information.

UPDATE: I have been getting a lot of feedback about this op-ed. Thanks. One thing that has upset a few people is the comparison of the civilian version of the AK-47 to a deer rifle.

Only two stories mentioned that the AK-47 was a semi-automatic, not a machine gun, and, while it is understandable, none of the articles provided context by explaining that Arroyo’s weapon functioned the same as deer hunting rifles, firing the same caliber bullets, at the same rapidity, and doing the same damage.

People seem to realize that the caliber of the bullets are the same, but they focus on the fact that the clip is so much larger on the AK-47. For example, "Only a fool or a liar, Mr. Lott, would believe that deer hunting rifles have magazines capable of firing off more than 50 rounds of ammunition." My response: "Thanks for your note, but once a gun can accept a clip there is really no limit on the size of the clip. The AK-47 used here and owned by Americans is a civilian version of the military weapon. They are semi-automatic guns and do indeed have the same firing mechanism as your regular 30 caliber deer rifle. By the way, any handgun that can take a clip can have a clip that extends down below the grip."

Further Update: Comments on my piece can be found here and here. I have additional posts on this case at Tyler, Texas here, here, and here.

Flight Marshall's Are Apparently Covering Many Fewer Flights than Government Claims

Flight reports by the Federal Air Marshal Service show that federal agents were on less than 10 percent of the nation's flights in December, a number several air marshals say was inflated to make it appear to Congress that commercial air travel is better protected than it is. . . . Based on the number of guns issued, there are about 2,200 marshals stationed nationwide to fly seven days a week. . . . Marshals always travel in teams -- a minimum of two agents and sometimes as many as four per plane. This means a minimum of 1,100 teams protect domestic and international flights. With sick days, regular days off, vacation and medical leave, it is statistically impossible to cover even the minimum number of flights listed by the report on any given day, the marshals say. "The numbers don't add up; it's way too much," a marshal said. "Several field offices have complained about it and were told to shut up. This is a scam." More than 2,600 flights were listed as covered on Christmas Eve, 2,039 on Christmas Day and 2,893 on New Year's Eve. "The numbers are impossible," said another air marshal.

Calvin and Hobbes

The complete Calvin and Hobbes is now online.


Justice Scalia’s Dissent on Juvenile Killers case

From the beginning of Justice Scalia dissent:

In urging approval of a constitution that gave life-tenured judges the power to nullify laws enacted by the people's representatives, Alexander Hamilton assured the citizens of New York that there was little risk in this, since "[t]he judiciary ... ha[s] neither FORCE nor WILL but merely judgment." The Federalist No. 78, p. 465 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961). But Hamilton had in mind a traditional judiciary, "bound down by strict rules and precedents which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case that comes before them." Id., at 471. Bound down, indeed. What a mockery today's opinion makes of Hamilton's expectation, announcing the Court's conclusion that the meaning of our Constitution has changed over the past 15 years--not, mind you, that this Court's decision 15 years ago was wrong, but that the Constitution has changed. The Court reaches this implausible result by purporting to advert, not to the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment, but to "the evolving standards of decency," ante, at 6 (internal quotation marks omitted), of our national society. It then finds, on the flimsiest of grounds, that a national consensus which could not be perceived in our people's laws barely 15 years ago now solidly exists. Worse still, the Court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: "[I]n the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment." Ante, at 9 (internal quotation marks omitted). The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation's moral standards--and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures. Because I do not believe that the meaning of our Eighth Amendment, any more than the meaning of other provisions of our Constitution, should be determined by the subjective views of five Members of this Court and like-minded foreigners, I dissent.

Justice Kennedy's majority decision points out: "Respondent and his amici have submitted, and petitioner does not contest, that only seven countries other than the United States have executed juvenile offenders since 1990: Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and China. Since then each of these countries has either abolished capital punishment for juveniles or made public disavowal of the practice. Brief for Respondent 49-50. In sum, it is fair to say that the United States now stands alone in a world that has turned its face against the juvenile death penalty." By this reasoning one day I suppose that whatever makes American's unique could be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Kennedy's other claim that "Juveniles' susceptibility to immature and irresponsible behavior means 'their irresponsible conduct is not as morally reprehensible as that of an adult' " is bizarre. In this case the murder committed the crime with a great deal of premeditation and calculation. But what does this imply about all the other Supreme Court decisions on issues such as abortion?

NRA's Armed Citizen Column for February 2005

NRA's Armed Citizen column for February 2005 has seven defensive gun use cases from the end of last year that are worth a quick look.


New Op-ed on Hillary Clinton and John Kerry Introducing Legislation to Let Felons Vote

"Anti-gun activist arrested after firearm found at home"

"A Springfield woman who began lobbying against gun violence after her son was shot to death in 2002 was arrested last week when police allegedly found an illegal gun and drugs in her home. Annette 'Flirty' Stevens, however, said Monday she's innocent, and the arrest is an attempt by police to get her to give up information about unsolved crime in the city. . . . She helped establish and is president of a Springfield chapter of the Million Mom March, an organization that aims to prevent gun violence. Last fall, she appeared with other anti-gun advocates at a Statehouse news conference to urge federal officials to renew a ban against semiautomatic assault weapons. Jonathan Lackland, Midwest regional director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the march's partner organization, said he was shocked to hear about Stevens' arrest. He wished to withhold comment on the case until he learned more about it . . . ."

Note: The Brady Campaign and the Million Mom March are now part of the same organization.

Coming to the wrong lesson on Right to carry laws

Just a couple of days ago I pointed to a case in Tyler, Texas where a concealed handgun permit holder used his gun to save at least one life, though the good semaritan was himself killed in the attack. Now there is a discussion in Texas on what are the right lessons to draw from the experience:

But gun control groups say his death is further proof that carrying a gun increases a person's chances of getting killed.

Tyler police spokesman Don Martin warned gun owners to carefully weigh the risks before intervening.

State Representative Suzanna Hupp is a supporter of the state's concealed carry law.

Hupp says Wilson's actions and his access to a gun improved the odds that Arroyo would be taken down before more people were killed.

The murderer in this case was wearing body armor that protected him from Wilson's shots. But more important, the one thing that struck me in my research with Bill Landes on Multiple Victim Public Shootings was how the number of people harmed in these types of attacks was related to how quickly a gun got to the scene to stop the attack. Mark Wilson was obviously able to get there well before the police.


Boyden Gray on the Judicial Confirmation Process

Boyden's entire piece should be read, but one part that I find particularly interesting is that:

Some have argued Democrats have no choice but to resort to extraordinary measures because President Bush's nominees are exceptionally conservative and ideological. But this claim is disputed by none other than prominent Democratic strategist Prof. Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School. In the Washington Post ("A Bench Tilting Right," 10/30/04), Sunstein and co-author David Schkade explained the outcome of their study of judges appointed by Presidents since John F. Kennedy:

"Remarkably, there are no significant differences among the voting records of Reagan, Bush I and Bush II appointees. The three most recent Republican presidents have shown extraordinary consistency in their choices."

Likewise, AEI's Lott reports that preliminary surveys of lawyers who practice before Circuit Courts found Bush 43 judges were thought to be slightly more liberal than those of both Bush 41 and Reagan. In other words, the current President has not veered dramatically to the right in his nominations; it is rather Senate Democrats who have gone off the liberal deep end.

One year later in Missouri and right-to-carry law is "just another law"

These emotional debates die down so quickly once people realize that the horror stories about the law never came true.

Missouri's concealed gun law essentially has become just another law. "We heard before that bar fights were going to turn into gun fights and all that," said Tim Oliver, a Boone County firearms trainer who runs the concealed guns Web site, LearnToCarry.com. "It just hasn't been a problem anywhere."

Like Oliver, Kansas City attorney Richard Miller isn't aware of major problems caused by Missouri concealed gun permit holders. But that's partly because the names of permit holders are kept secret under the state law. "Is there any proof out there that concealed-carry holders are preventing crimes, which was one of their arguments? We'll never know that," said Miller, one of the attorneys who challenged the constitutionality of the law. "Is there any proof that conceal-carry holders are engaged in criminal activity? We'll never know that, because the permits are closed records."

The statement by Kansas City attorney Richard Miller is misleading because even though the list of permit holders is not publicly released the different police departments and district attorneys will know if someone involved in a shooting has a permit and if so, someone such as Mr. Miller would quickly make it public knowledge.

As of Friday, 15,442 concealed gun background check applications had been submitted to the Highway Patrol, a quarter of the 60,000 first-year applicants the patrol had predicted when the law passed. Only Jefferson County has more than 1,000 permit applicants, although St. Charles and Greene counties are not far behind.

These original estimates were very silly. What happened was that the patrol simply looked at the per capita number of permits in some other states and assumed that would be the rate issued in Missouri. There were two problems with this. 1) In terms of both fees and training requirements and where you can take a concealed handgun, Missouri is extremely restrictive in issuing permits and as I showed in the second edition of More Guns, Less Crime higher fees and particularly longer training periods greatly reduce the number of permits issued. Also it takes many years before everyone who is going to get a permit to do so.

New piece up on Social Security Reform

Bob Hansen from the Tuck Business School and I have a piece in today's Investors' Business Daily on financing Social Security. The point is pretty simple:
Yet, the whole debate is wrong headed. Social security privatization need not have any impact on net debt for our economy or for the government.

The risks of robbing a store: Sometimes the store owners are armed

Feb. 28, 2005 Pawn Shop Shoot-Out
Bruce Sales owns Duval Gun and Pawn in downtown Macclenny. . . . Sales says, "Had a gun in his hands and started yelling at me to get on my knees and put a pillow case over my head." . . . Sales says, "He had already told me he was going to kill me so I shot him, or I shot at him." . . . The gun shots however, were enough to scare the suspect out of the store.. . . [The robber] is in the Baker County jail for the pawn shop robbery. He is facing numerous charges including armed robbery. Police say he has a lengthy criminal history, including two homicide arrests.

Feb. 26, 2005 Dateline Alabama
The robbers started shooting and then the clerk grabbed a gun and fired back, Lopez said. . . . About 10 people had been in the store. "The (clerk) did a good job. He saved us," Lopez said. "He saved my kid. He saved our lives."


Pro self-defense students win Debate at the University of Chicago