"California homeowner foils home invasion attempt by firing shotgun, police say"

From Fox News:
A California homeowner foiled an attempted home invasion Thursday when she grabbed her shotgun and fired near the suspects.
Police say two males broke into a home nearby and were able to steal a few items before targeting the 59-year-old’s home.
Carla, who did not provide reporters with her last name, told MyFoxLA.com that she woke up when her dog started barking.
She said she saw one man in her backyard and another waiting by the car. Carla’s 90-year-old mother was also inside the home at the time, MyFoxLA.com reported.
Dressed in her nightgown, Carla grabbed her shotgun and fired at the ground near one of the suspects.
“Hopefully this is going to tell these guys you know, I’m not a sitting duck,” she told MyFoxLA.com. "I've got a gun and I know how to use it," she said.  . . .


"smartphone thefts accounting for 75% of theft reports in California"

Pretty incredible numbers here.
in San Francisco alone close to 60% of all robberies involve the theft of a mobile device, according to Police Chief Greg Suhr. In nearby Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan added that such thefts are closer to 75% of robberies. . . . With smartphone thefts accounting for 75% of theft reports in California . . . 
These high numbers are being used to push a law that would require a "kill switch" in cell phones.  Yet, if customers wanted a kill switch more than the cost of having them, it would seem that the makers of cell phones would install it.  Meanwhile, cell phone makers such as Apple are competing on how best to handle this problem.
Although Gascon praised Apple for its efforts with their new iOS 7 "Activation Lock" which is designed to prevent thieves from turning off the "Find My iPhone" application, he noted that it's still too early to tell how effective that will be. . . .



All the "pro-gun" Democrats on US Senate Homeland Security Committee vote against amendment to end gun-free zones in US Post Offices

I watched the C-SPAN rebroadcast of Thursday's Homeland Security Committee's vote on amendments.  Unfortunately, the "pro-gun" Democrats unanimously voted against ending the gun-free zones in US Post Offices.  And the reason for keep gun-free zones at Post offices is what?  Does Fedex or UPS have a problem with permit holders?  Do other places of business report problems with permit holders?  The answer to all those questions is "no."  Yet, this is how the 4 "pro-gun" Democrats voted:

Mark Prior: No
Jon Tester: No
Mark Begich: No
Heidi Heitkamp: No

The vote was 9 against - 6 in favor.  If just two of these "pro-gun" Democrats had supported the amendment, it would have passed.

Over all, all the Republicans who voted supported ending gun-free zones at post offices and all the Democrats voted to keep them.  Even John McCain voted to end these gun-free zones.  The one exception to this pattern was Porter from Ohio (R) who was absent.

Democrat Mark Begich tried to give Democrats cover for their opposition by having a vote on allowing permit holders to lock their guns in their cars while they are in Post Office parking lots, though Begich himself said that his amendment was merely codifying recent court rulings on this point and not changing anything.

UPDATE:  An additional discussion is provided here.

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Absolutely surreal: Chicago school officials hate guns so much that they object 'no guns' stickers because they picture guns

Chicago school officials are worried that a picture of a sign banning guns might "alarm" people because it is a picture (!) of a gun.  Public school officials apparently think that the students and others who visit their schools must be really dumb to get confused by the sign and "misinterpret the new signage."  Yet, possibly people do understand and appreciate the problems with gun-free zones and that is what is upsetting people.  From the Chicago-Sun Times:
School officials want the public to know that in compliance with state law (House Bill 0183), schools, churches, government agencies and liquor stores statewide will be posting 4-by-6-inch stickers reminding the public, particularly those with a concealed-carry license, that there are limits on where a gun can be carried. 
While schools didn’t allow guns even before the concealed-carry law was passed, they still are required to display the reminder. Some officials are questioning the mandate, and some find the sticker image disturbing. . . . 
While complying with state law isn’t a point of contention, some school administrators find the sticker’s image to be a bit alarming. 
“One of my biggest concerns as a principal is safety and security,” Tinley Park High School Principal Theresa Nolan said. “It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home.’” 
Nolan said she is not opposed to posting it, she’s just worried that not enough people are aware of what it means and could misinterpret the new signage. 
“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” she said. In her 22 years with Bremen Community High School District 228, she said, “I have no knowledge of guns ever being in this building.” . . .
I do agree with this sentiment, though not for the same reasons as the person making the statement.
“You can’t look at this (sticker) and not think about Sandy Hook,” she said, referring to the 2012 school shooting in Newton, Conn., in which 20 children and six teachers were killed. . . . 

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Sun News Network on "Broken Trust: Gun Grab at High River," Royal Canadian Mounted Police break into law-abiding citizens' homes to confiscate guns

For those who haven't heard of the gun confiscation that took place in High River, Alberta may be surprised by what happened here.  Did the Canadian government use gun registration records to target people's homes?  This show is presented by Lorne Gunter.

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Appearance on Sean Hannity's TV show: "Armed crooks met with AR-15 surprise"

This video that I hadn't previously posted from last year is available here.

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Senator Rand Paul pushes to “remove a federal ban on guns in post offices”

Given that permitted concealed handguns are allowed virtually everywhere (Fedex and UPS stores, banks, etc), what is the argument for why post offices are so different?  From the Washington Post:
Leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee were scheduled to approve a wide-ranging postal reform bill. . . . 
The committee tabled its deliberations at midday. Aides said the Baldwin amendment, along with another proposal from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to remove a federal ban on guns in post offices, would require more study. . . .


Police rule that student who retrieved his gun from his car at Eastern Florida State College acted in self defense against two attackers

Just in December, Florida state courts struck down university bans on having concealed handguns in people's cars.  Now a student was able to defend himself against two attackers, one of whom was armed with a pool cue.  Calk this up as another example of the benefits of concealed carry on university campuses.  The University Herald has this:
Landrick Hamilton, a 24-year-old student at Eastern Florida State College (EFSC), was invited back to campus after shooting someone in self-defense Thursday. 
Like Hamilton, Armando, 25, and Landyer, 24, Contreras are claiming they too were defending themselves, FloridaToday.com reported. The two brothers allegedly jumped Hamilton in a campus parking lot when he managed to reach his car where he had a gun stowed. He fired one shot and sent Armando to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. 
Palm Bay police said Armando and Landyer attacked Hamilton Thursday afternoon with a pool cue, but the state attorney has not yet decided on whether or not to file charges. 
EFSC president Jim Richey said the police's report of self defense factored into the decision to invite Hamilton back to campus. The other two people involved in the fight were not students, but Hamilton does not have a disciplinary record at the school. . . .

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Obama now getting pressure from Democrats to fire Kathleen Sebelius

Obama has refused on numerous occasions to agree to fire HHS Secretary Sebelius.  From Obama's February 2, 2014 interview with Bill O'Reilly:

OBAMA:  -- as I said, I don't think anybody anticipated the degree of problems that you had on HealthCare.gov.  The good news is that right away, we decided how are we going to fix it, it got fixed within a month and a half, it was up and running and now it's working the way it's supposed to and we've signed up three million people.O'REILLY:  I don't know about that, because last week, there was an Associated Press call of people who actually went to the Web site and only 8 percent of them feel that it's working well, working well.Why didn't you fire Sebelius, the secretary in charge of this...OBAMA:  (INAUDIBLE).
O'REILLY:  -- because I mean she had to know, after all those years and all that money, that it wasn't going to work?
OBAMA:  You know, my main priority right now is making sure that it delivers for the American people.  And what we...
O'REILLY:  You're not going to answer that?
OBAMA:  -- what -- what we've ended up doing is we've got three million people signed up so far.  We're about a month behind of where we anticipated we wanted to be.  We've got over six million people who have signed up for Medicaid.
OBAMA:  We've got three million young people under the age of 26 who have signed up on their parents' plan.  And so what we're constantly figuring out is how do we continue to improve it, how do we make sure that the folks who don't have health insurance can get health insurance...
OBAMA:  -- and those who are underinsured are able to get better health insurance.
O'REILLY:  I'm sure -- I'm sure that the intent is noble, but I'm a taxpayer.
OBAMA:  Yes.
O'REILLY:  And I'm paying Kathleen Sebelius' salary and she screwed up.
OBAMA:  Yes.
O'REILLY:  And you're not holding her accountable.
OBAMA:  Yes, well, I -- I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable.  But when we're...
O'REILLY:  But she's still there.
OBAMA:  -- when we're in midstream, Bill, we want to make sure that our main focus is how do we make this thing work so that people are able to sign up?
And that's what we've done.
O'REILLY:  All right. . . .
Just in November, Obama declared that he thought she was doing a great job.
"I think Kathleen Sebelius, under tremendously difficult circumstances over the last 4½ years, has done a great job in setting up the insurance markets so that there is a good product out there for people to get," Obama said. . . . 
 Even when Democrats are calling for someone to be fired over the debacle of Obamacare, Obama is defending her.
 Mr. Obama hosted a private meeting at the White House for House Democrats. Both sides afterward described the session as productive and friendly. But Rep. Carol Shea-Porter(D., N.H.) told Mr. Obama at one point that some people should have left their jobs over the flawed rollout of the health-care law that is the centerpiece of his domestic legacy.

“Some people should tender their resignations,” Ms. Shea-Porter told the president,  officials in the meeting said. An aide to the congresswoman confirmed the comment.
Mr. Obama has resisted firing people over the troubled launch of the health-care website last fall. In an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly on Sunday, Mr. Obama was asked why he hadn’t fired Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“My main priority right now is making sure that it delivers for the American people,” he said of the health-care law.

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Blacks' views on concealed handgun permits in Illinois

Mick Dumke with the Chicago Reader describes a class of ten African-Americans in Illinois who are taking a class to get there concealed handgun permits.  With the views of Detroit's Police Chief James Craig and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, I think that there is starting to be a sea change on blacks views on guns.
. . . State senator Kwame Raoul, who helped write the new legislation, says he isn't worried. "Particularly in northern Illinois, there's a sense that the sky is falling," says Raoul, who represents a liberal district stretching from downtown Chicago to the southeast side. "But people who've traveled the country probably haven't thought about the fact that the places they visited had conceal and carry. In fact, in a lot of the places they traveled to, they probably felt safer." 
Raoul stresses that he's never been a gun-ownership advocate. "But it can't be as simple as, if you're a true fighter against gun violence you're for everything on this side of the line, and if you're a proponent of gun ownership rights, you're somehow for gun violence." . . .  
Most of the participants in the class were wary of giving their names or talking to me on the record about their interest in guns. But afterward I received an e-mail from Karl Hubert, a 63-year-old attorney. "If the 2nd Amendment had actually been available to African American citizens in the past, all over our country, then past atrocities committed against Black citizens, such as lynching, rapes, tortures, and many other horrible atrocities, would not have been visited upon our African American mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, children and friends," he wrote, "as these citizens would have had the ability to protect themselves, and not be at the mercy of societal bullies." 
Vernon has the same view. But, he says, that's not the ideal. "In theory, it would be good if we didn't need guns at all. It would really be good if the world could be at peace and people could treat other people with respect and dignity. That's the world I want to live in. But that world don't exist. Not on this planet. So I have to prepare myself to live in the world that exists."
I would have said much of what is written here word for word if I had been asked. 


What is covered in class to get a concealed carry permit?

In case you ever wondered what a concealed carry class was like, Mike Dumke at the Chicago Reader has a nice summary here:
. . . Vernon's two-day conceal-and-carry course is detailed and intense. Before heading to the range to shoot, participants spend a full day in the classroom. On the day I sat in, Vernon focused on basic firearm safety. "Number one, treat every gun as if it was loaded," he said. "Number two, never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy." 
One of the men in the class nodded. He recalled how his aunt once waved her gun at another car that cut them off in traffic. After she was able to pull away, someone in the other car shot out her back window. "My mom was like, 'Bitch, what are you doing?'"
"That's right," Vernon said. 
He told that class that he takes at least one gun everywhere he's allowed, but he repeatedly stressed that a gun should never be pulled unless it's a matter of critical urgency—and in those instances, you need to be practiced enough to put the threat down. You don't shoot for the legs, like on TV—you aim for the central nervous system, and you can't afford to miss. 
As the participants took notes or typed on iPads, Vernon demonstrated the proper ways to hold and load a weapon, then had the class practice repeatedly with dummy bullets. He dispensed advice of the most practical sort. He said the best gun to own is one that's reliable, fits your hand, and feels right to shoot; he prefers a semiautomatic Glock 22. Women don't need to limit themselves to tiny guns—"Oh hell, no!"—and just need to find one that's comfortable to handle. When leaving a gun at home, he said, make sure to lock it up someplace thieves won't think to look—definitely not under the mattress or in a nightstand drawer. 
And then there was the question of what to do when you're packing and have to use a public toilet. "Try to find a single-use bathroom, or a stall next to the wall," Vernon suggested—adding that it was a bad idea to set a gun on top of the tank, where it can slide into the toilet or be forgotten. 
He also methodically reviewed the specifics of the new law, such as the prohibitions on carrying guns in government buildings, in bars and any other business that posts a sign out front, and on public transportation—a provision that he found so absurd that it inspired him to act out how he would have to unload and break down his gun when he sees the bus coming and then reassemble and reload after reaching his stop. 
One of the women in the class wondered what would happen if she accidentally carried a gun into a Starbucks that banned them. "They could charge me with a misdemeanor?"
"If you stick around for the police, sure," Vernon said. But he pressed them to comply with all the provisions of the law, however illogical they might seem. . . .

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Father holds man found in his daughter's bedroom at gunpoint

A 63-year-old found hiding in bedroom with 7-year-old had three previous arrests for indecent exposure.  The intruder was held at gun-point by the father until the police arrived.  From News 13 in Ocala, Florida:
Marion County Sheriff’s deputies said a father’s quick thinking kept a shocking situation from getting worse after a man was found in his 7-year-old daughter’s bedroom.
After returning home from a birthday dinner Friday night, the Smith family came home to quite a surprise when they walked into their Ocala home and headed into their daughter McKenzie's room to get her ready for bed.
"This scary, he was freaky looking man just peered out and it was like ‘whoa. What are you doing in my daughter's bedroom,’” the girl's mother said.
Deputies said 63-year-old Paul Matheny was found hiding under blankets.
Jesse Smith grabbed his Glock when he heard his daughter and wife screaming.
"I immediately got my gun and went there and got them out of the room,” Smith said.
He held Matheny at gunpoint until deputies arrived. . . . .



The big increase in support for concealed handgun laws

Patrik Jonsson makes this point in today's Christian Science Monitor:
The view of gun carriers as law-abiding citizens seems to have traction and correlates with increasingly positive public attitudes toward concealed carry. In 1999, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 73 percent of Americans disapproved of making it easier for people to legally carry concealed weapons. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll last spring, 75 percent favored concealed carry by eligible citizens. . . .
The article also has involved an interview with me.
Arguments for concealed carry 
"I don't argue that there are no problems with [concealed-carry permit holders], but when you look at the data it's pretty hard to find any other group in the population that's as law-abiding as" permitted gun carriers, says John Lott Jr., an economist and gun-rights advocate and author of "More Guns, Less Crime." 
"The type of person who's going to go through the process of getting a concealed-carry permit is not the kind of person you have to worry about," he says. "They're law-abiding citizens who have a lot to lose if they make a mistake." 
Statistics support Mr. Lott's assertion. The number of incidents in which concealed-gun carriers kill innocent people is a fraction of 1 percent of all gun-related homicides. In North Carolina, one of only a handful of states that reveals the identities of permit holders, 200 of the 240,000 concealed carriers (.08 percent) committed felonies of all types, including eight shooting deaths, in the five-year period ending in 2011. This compares with about 2.5 percent of voting-age Americans who have a felony rap sheet, according to The Sentencing Project. . . . 

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