In the news today…. “(un)Common Sense” zero tolerance policies and vigilante justice.

 

Two university students face expulsion after using a handgun to defend themselves from an intruder in their university-owned apartment. 

So a stranger claiming to just have gotten out of jail exclaims he wants money. They offer him a blanket and food to no avail, he enters the apartment.  One roomate shouts to the other who comes out with gun drawn.

These apartments are not gated, no key cards, etc. The university exclaims that they have security.  But we all know how slow that is.  The man was later captured by police and identified as a six-time felon.

In other words, had these students NOT had a firearm, they might be dead corpses of which Campus security would be filing a police report for.  And for protecting their lives, the school wants to expel them – cause that’s “common sense”.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/09/us/gonzaga-guns/index.html?sr=fb111013studentsguns3p

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When is vigilante justice, justified?

Man looking for abducted cousin enters an abandoned house and shoots and kills her kidnapper. Sheriff’s department has thankfully ruled the shooting justified.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/09/justice/louisiana-cousin-kills-kidnapper/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

UPDATED:  Just to clarify, no this is not technically vigilante justice. Though some have described it as such.  But an actual felony was in progress, as such this was action taken to defend one’s self and/or family.  So even in the legal definition, it is not considered vigilantism.

Now, whether there are times more traditional vigilantism is justified is a subject for much debate.  But I do believe there are times when it is necessary.  But 99.8% of the time, you’re wrong.  And your actions will likely be seen as nothing but murder.  It is taking a lot into one’s own hands to be judge, jury and executioner. And most of the time within the confines of a stable society, that is frowned upon as criminal behavior. 

Outside of a civilized and ordered society, things become far mor gray. Why do we have a justice system? because, we as a society decided to put distance between the enraged victims and the perpetrator, to ensure that questions regarding whether the perpetrator in fact did the deed, and to what level of guilt they did so, are answered before any pronouncement is made. And that is a major part of why we have society today. And we truly don’t want to lose that…ever.

 

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Published in: on November 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm  Comments (2)  
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ABC reveals the Bloody Red Zimmerman of Florida

The media has been pretty much mucky with this case since it’s inception. I remember the video from the police station talking about how no wounds or injuries were visible.

Seriously? Did ANYONE watch that video? Granted, I couldn’t see injuries at that resolution, but the way Zimmerman was walking looked akin to a quarterback who got sacked and is limping off the field.

So now it comes out that we have a photo of Zimmerman, his head dripping in blood from numerous places. Yes, folks….say it with me….that’s an “i-n-j-u-r-y”.

Now, I am still going to stand by my original stance, the mere fact that Zimmerman was injured does not necessitate his innocence or guilt. Numerous criminals are injured in the midst of committing a crime. What it does do, is lead credance to Zimmerman’s story that he feared for his well-being. And provides him with a justification for use of force in self-defense.

What now needs to happen, is a jury needs to decided, based on all the evidence WHO they think initiated physical confrontation. That is really the deciding factor in this case to me.

If Zimmerman initiated the use of force by attempting to detain Martin, than Martin was within his right to hit, and use physical force again Zimmerman. But if Martin initiated the physical confrontation, than based upon Zimmerman’s injuries, he has a clear motivation for the use of deadly force to protect his own life.

Furthermore, there is an element I have been somewhat surprised hasn’t come out. To date, we have had a repeated claim of racism and needless shooting. But as more and more comes out regarding this case, how long until the Hispanic community begins to view Zimmerman as innocent and begin vocalizing on his behalf. No one wants to join on the side of a “baby killer”, as initially portrayed by the mainstream media. But a family man helping to keep his neighborhood safe from thugs who finds himself on the ground having his head smashed into the pavement. That is something one can sympathize with. And I think we may start to see a larger Hispanic voice start vocalizing on behalf of Zimmerman as more facts are released to the public.

H/T to ABC News
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/04/20/Zimmerman-bloody-head

H/T PAGunblog.com

Published in: on April 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Age of Eve

There has been a lot of discussion regarding how even when hyped up events such as the Martin-Zimmerman incident occurs, that overall, support for firearm ownership continues to be going up.

The questions begs to be asked “Why?”

Many will point, and I believe rightly so, to the Internet. Which has allowed for broader communication paths and a greater ability to press the mainstream media to recant misnomers and manipulations.  It was largely the ‘new media’ which began to shift the mainstream media’s portrayal of Zimmerman (mug shot) and Martin (cute little boy).  If not for the new media, we might not have ever seen the “real” participants.

But I believe there is a second trend that is also a large cause for the growing change in perception.  That is the XX chromosone…

Women, especially in certain communities and ethnicities, have been far less pro-gun and often anti-gun.  The ‘gun’ becomes the object of focus in tragedies rather than the deeds and/or behaviors.  It’s not that my “baby boy was dealing drugs”….it was that G-U-N!!!

It’s an emotional reaction, and in many ways understandable. It is far easier to blame an object and associate it with evil than acknowledge that we might have failed somehow in raising our children, or worse, failed to have the means to relocate a child far enough away from a bad environment.

All that said, our society is changing.  Gone is the “Leave it to Beaver” home of a working dad, doting mother, and smiling happy children.  More and more we are seeing the single working mother struggling to raise her kids on her own. Or the ‘independent woman’, 35+ never married, lives on their own, takes care of themselves.

The two women I believe are doing more to shape the perception of firearms than anything else, (excepting the internet).  You see as more and more women take care of themselves, and cease reliance on a ‘man’, they repeatedly come to a conclusion.  I can feed myself, cloth myself, pay a rent and live the lifestyle I want….but what about physically keeping myself safe?  The conclusion is that they need an “equalizer“.

“God made man; Colt made them equal!”

I’ve had a number of co-workers and acquaintances express interest in going to the range. Interestingly, 70%-80% have been women.  Talk about defying the stereotype, it’s not the men being “gung-ho” about guns. It’s independent women seeking to empower themselves with the strength to protect all their hardwork of life.

***

Inspired by the recent event of a woman in Detroit defending herself from four intruders.  Interestingly, they found her purse with her carry firearm. But she drew a back-up firearm and took one out with a head shot and sent the other three fleeing for police to find.

There has been a societal stigma of guns from certain circles and I think we are seeing that stigma decline.  Are we witnessing a return to a 150+ years ago where both men and women viewed firearms as merely tools of function?

 

 

Martin / Zimmerman Case

Thoughts regarding the controversy…

I’ve been mostly silent on this blog regarding the Martin/Zimmerman case although I have strong feelings. My feelings have recently become more

SUMMARY:  Block Watch activist sees a young black man, Trayvon Martin in his neighborhood. Contacts police who tell him not to confront the individual. Shortly afterwards an altercation occurs between a couple houses, shots are fired, and the 17 year old is left dead.

George Zimmerman claims he was on the ground being pummeled and that it was self-defense. This case has caused a lot of controversy, with some supporting Zimmerman’s self-defense claims, and others not. Accusations have been made of throwing Zimmerman under the bus. And many have questioned whether race was involved.

The big issue with this case is with one party dead, there is little evidence to disprove Zimmerman’s self-defense case.

Where do I stand?

Perhaps surprisingly, I am finding myself more on the side of conviction of Zimmerman. Were I a jurist, I am not sure that I would convict on a murder charge; I would likely convict on a manslaughter charge.

I often look to “first cause” when decided a judgment. Who made the first wrong action. It’s why if a burgler gets shot in the back as they flee, I have little sympathy of convicting the victim even if they may have exceeded the arbitrary lines that we establish for self-defense.

A while back there was a case of a convenience store which had been repeatedly robbed. One of the empoyees shot the robber, and was accused of retrieving another firearm and returning and firing again. Killing the invader. Even in that case, I am unsympathetic, in that had the man NOT chosen to rob the convenience store than he’d be alive today. He sought to harm another human being and died in the process. The first wrong move was on his part. And force equal to the threat he made was used. Expecting an average citizen to remain fully under control under such circumstances is to me a hope, but one that we cannot fully expect when their life have been threatened.

But in this case, something different occurred. George Zimmerman took action that I would label as the aggressor. By Zimmerman’s own account with the police Martin was not actively engaged in any criminal activity (merely walking around a neighborhood is not a crime, the only criteria for alert that Zimmerman had was the fact that Martin was young, black and unknown – that’s NOT A CRIME).

At some point a pursuit ensued, not necessarily a fast pursuit, but one in which Martin detoured from the sidewalk through a number of houses. Martin and Zimmerman at some point found themselves in direct confrontation. We have to look at the actions of both Martin and Zimmerman.

Did Zimmerman have the right to observe Martin? Yes

Did Zimmerman have the right to inquire who Martin was? Yes, though Martin was not obligated in any way to answer Zimmerman.

Did Zimmerman have the right to pursue Martin and confront him? Personally, I do not think so.

Martin tresspassed a neighbors yard when trying to avoid Zimmerman, isn’t that a crime? If so, than Zimmerman is equally guilty of tresspassing in pursuit.

Martin was beating up Zimmerman, doesn’t that justify self-defense? Not when you’ve instigated and created the situation. If Martin was walking away, and endeavoring to flee from Zimmerman, than it was Martin who was using self-defense.

Then we have the question, is self-defense against self-defense justifiable? I do not believe so. If a man breaks into my house, and I start beating him up with a baseball bat, can he shoot me in self-defense?

That’s how I view this case at this point. Now perhaps Zimmerman instigated an altercation using racial epitaphs or some other speech until Martin punched Zimmerman. But once again, I go back to the point that if Zimmerman was not pursuing Martin than no such altercation could arise.

Until recently, there was a lot of question as to whether Zimmerman’s self-defense plea would stand or not. The biggest item in Zimmerman’s favor was that there was no witness to provide any testimony that counters Zimmerman’s version of events.

That may change…

Today, Yahoo News had an article about a teenage girl who apparently was on the phone with Martin while the events transpired.

“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man… I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run…. Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.”

If Martin was indeed trying to flee, and Zimmerman in fact cornered Martin; I would think such an account would be quite damning to Zimmerman’s case.

The case becomes one of Illegal detention. Results in detainee trying to flee. Then being shot by illegal detainer.  That makes Zimmerman actively engaged in criminal behavior when he shot and killed Martin. The saddest part of this case is that will become racially charged and a witch hunt. Where Martin white this would likely be a non-story; a footnote in the news.

Did Zimmerman commit murder? Was his deed premeditated? No, I don’t believe so. Was he negligent & reckless – I believe he clearly was. His last defense of acting in accordance with an organized watch system may also be in jeopardy as the statement below from the director of the National Neighborhood Watch program:

“there are about 22,000 registered watch groups nationwide, and Zimmerman was not part of a registered group”

Remember, had Martin actively been engaged in a criminal deed. If Zimmerman saw Martin breaking into a house, smashing a car window, or engaged in a criminal act. Then there would be a good case to be made for citizen intervention. But that did not happen here, by Zimmerman’s own admission. The first, and multiple wrong actions, were taken by Zimmerman.

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

When one becomes a gun owner, especially when one begins to carry on their persons. The individual must always remember that they are obligated to take the high road.

  • First, NEVER, put yourself in situations where a confrontation can arise needlessly. (ie: walking through the worst part of town with a tons of gold jewelry and a pistol on your hip is just asking for trouble; either you’re going to be robbed or have to shoot someone – don’t put yourself in that situation).
     
  • Second, it’s never fun taking the life of another human being. It’s messy, morally gut wrenching, emotionally scarring and usually financially bankrupting.
     
  • Third, it is a good idea to have an alternative to the use of lethal force. Jack Spirko over at the Survival Podcast strongly advocates carrying pepper spray if you carry. You may need to protect yourself from a wayfaring aggressive dog. Life will be simpler if you can just pepper spray it rather than having to inform your neighbor that you just shot their best friend.

Had Zimmerman followed these guidelines, he might not be in the mess he is in today. And an apparently innocent young man might still be alive.  And this tragegy, for all sides, would have been avoided.

Article on Yahoo

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UPDATE: I loved this quote by a poster in the article comments name Marvin, repeating the words his combat instructor told him regarding egos and guns:

“From now on, when dealing with crazy / possibly violent people, you will lose every argument. You are always wrong. You are sorry for impinging on their day. You will apologize and apologize again. You will back the F down. You will put your tail between your legs. You will let them talk about your ladyfriend. You will let them call your mother and your dad names. You have no ego.

You do all this because if you are the one to start a fight, by default that fight now has a gun in it, and if you start losing, you’re going to pull it and kill him. And even if you don’t go to jail because you could convince the jury that it was self-defense, you’re going to have to live with the fact that you could have saved someone’s life and yet you let your ego kill someone.”

Do you know “Cane-Fu”…grannies learn to kick some butt!

While we mostly focus on firearm related defense here at the N.U.G.U.N. Blog, we believe that defense and a ready mindset in general is important to the well being of the individual and society as a whole.

A reminder that simply be alert, prepared, and willing to fight is often enough to greatly increase your odds of survival when facing a predator(s).

This news clips features my former Sensei in Connecticut who has been offering martial arts instruction to the elderly.  With a focus on using what they have available to them. While many do not have the strength of a younger fighter, a large portion are cane-wielding.

Fun little video…enjoy!
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nT0D3–O0U

“Christianity and Self-Defense” Guns and Faith: A Two Part Series

The following post is inspired by a recent comment, which touched upon faith and guns. Always interesting how koincidence works, as Eric Shelton of the Handgun Podcast recently was discussing this issue as well.

In fact, a large portion of this post is derived from notes written back in 2008 for a podcast that never happened. Eric Shelton, Kenn Blanchard, Mick McCart & myself had bounced around the idea of doing a show that focused on “faith and guns”.

So how do firearms & self-defense fit in within the faith of Christianity?

QUESTION I: Doesn’t the 10 Commandments say “not to kill”

Many will point out the passage in Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.” Wouldn’t this alone preclude any role of firearms within the life of a Christian?

Of the nearly 50 uses of this word ratsach in the Bible, only five are translated “kill”, most are translated as slayer or murderer.

The word can be used for “kill”, but has a very strong connotation with “murder” and/or “manslaughter”. In the Book of Numbers, the passage describes the judgment and distinction between one who lies in wait to vs one who without deliberate malice or premeditation kills his fellow man.

For the latter, a provision is given, a city of refuge. A safe haven for which one guilty of manslaughter may remain and be safe from the “avenger of blood”. However, for one who murders, no such providence is given. It is interesting to note that there is in fact a role of the “avenger of blood”. A role which is incompatible with an interpretation of “though shalt not kill” in the broadest sense as opposed to thou shalt not murder. Furthermore, why would there be a provision of a city of refuge if any killing of a fellow man was wrong. That interpretation would condemn accidental manslaughter. If an individual dressed in black jumped in front of your car at night, you’d be condemned under such an interpretation. That is why most rabbinical scholars believe the law to be more aptly translated “thou shalt not murder”.

Furthermore, there are in fact instances in which God commanded the Israelites to kill. These included certain breaches of laws, and certain tribes. Some have struggled with understanding why God instructed the Israelites on rare occasion to wipe out their enemies, every man, woman, child, and beast. It’s a hard pill to swallow along with a belief in a loving Creator God. The understanding that I have, is that in those rare instances, it was because that particular tribe was infected with disease. And it was to ensure that the disease did not spread. Similar to having to put down a pet because of rabies or feline leukemia – it doesn’t mean you don’t love the pet. But you know they’re going to die anyways, and letting them live may harm others.

So what do we come away from this understanding?

MURDER is WRONG

Murder being an unjustified killing, by one lying in wait, with deliberation. Society was instructed to put these sort of people to death. Our society at present suffers, because we have to great a tolerance for such individuals. Even if you oppose the death penalty, all should agree that such individuals should never be released back into society to repeat their crimes.

QUESTION II: What does Scripture say about self-defense?

Exodus 22:2 “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.”

This would appear to be very straightforward. Call it God’s recognition of Castle Doctrine; now if only the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would recognize such a fundamental truth. Defending your home is not viewed as a guilt upon the defender.

There are some other aspects to this rule depending on whether it’s day or night. Essentially, at night one could deem any such theft a threat. Where as during the day, there was some obligation as to whether the individual was indeed a threat before one could be justified in killing them.

Genesis 4:23-24 reads “Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” (NKJV)

Lamech was clearly not at his abode. He was out and about when he encountered a young man who wounded him. Lamech defended himself, which lead to the other man’s death. Scripture seems to make it clear that defending ones self, both in and out of the home, is not viewed as a condemnable event.

Nehemiah 4:17-18 “Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built.”

QUESTION III: Can I use force to protect others?

Genesis 14:13 “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them…”

Abraham, the gang buster. Okay, so don’t try this unless you happen to have a small private army. Abraham utilized force in order to retrieve his nephew.

1Samuel 17 “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock….he LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. “

Why is this interesting?

Because in the Psalms David praises God for giving him the skills to do so. Psalm 144:1 reads “A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:”

In fact, the Bible even teaches about “reloads” in 1 Samuel 17:40 “[David] chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag”. He knew Goliath had four other brothers. He carried reloads.

QUESTION IV: But I’m a Christian. That’s all Old Testament…don’t we worship the God of the New Testament?

First off, there is a poor mis-conception in Christianity that God is somehow different. Hate to break it to you, but He is one and the same God. While certain passages may be difficult to comprehend. Realize that the Old Testament repeatedly documents mercy, forgiveness, kindness and love. Just read the Book of Jonah. In which a prophet who despises a mean neighboring nation is informed by God that he loves and cares for them. And wants to have mercy on them. And just read some of judgments in the New Testament be it from Revelation or the deaths of Anais and Saphira. God never got out of the judment business. Rather, he offered everyone a pardon if they chose to take it.

But let’s look at some of the passages in the New Testament…

The most challenging of the passages is found in Matthew chapter 5.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

This is the same chapter that says “Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Let’s address that first, because that is a far easier passage to deal with. First off, the offense here is not one of mortal danger. Rather, it is one of insult. Akin to the Renaissance period where one might remove their glove and slap another man across the face.

“evil” [pone-ros] – annoyances, of a bad nature, bad in an ethical sense, evil wicked

We are instructed to offer the other cheek. And frankly, anyone who carries concealed needs to take this passage to heart. Many a man has found himself in a brawl because he chose to protect his pride and ego. Men have both died and killed for personal insult. If you choose to carry a firearm, you need to set the ego aside.

Regarding pride and insult. To be slapped across the face is not a matter of self-defense; rather it is a matter of insult. And it is wrong to kill a man for merely insulting you.

QUESTION V: Aren’t Christians opposed to the use of force?

Luke 22:36 reads “Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one”

Or to modernize that passage…

“But now, he who has a wallet, let him take it, and likewise a backpack; and he who has no gun, let him sell his garment and buy a Glock.”

This was an admonition directly from the mouth of Jesus, to his disciples, to take a sword. The disciples responded:

Luke 22:38 “So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” Why would he have instructed the disciples to bear swords. If he did not understand the need for self-defense.

To answer the question of What Would Jesus Do? Was Christ totally opposed to the use of force?  Would Jesus have advocated the use of force against criminals and predators?  I’ll let you decide…

John 2:14-15 “And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.”

At a minimum, this is pretty de facto evidence for the use of non-lethal force.

WARNINGS & CAUTIONS ABOUT ARMS

“don’t instigate”

Matthew 26:52 “But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”

First off, in this very passage, we receive the answer for their putting down of swords. This event was pre-destined to occur. It had to happen that way.

The second aspect “of perishing by the sword” may actually refer to that given moment being a warning to both sides not to take up arms or it would result in their deaths. Let us take a broader scope of the words as a statement that “violence begets violence”. One must take not that the situation at hand was one of Peter instigating violence. Peter initiated an attack, when his life had not been threatened. This is a very important insight. One should not go looking for trouble nor instigate violence, such will get you killed.

If you decide to walk into a gang ridden neighborhood and starting shoot drug dealers, you’re probably going to get yourself killed.

“don’t be rash, be merciful and understanding”

Proverbs 6:30 says “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry”, while it goes on to say that such a man is obligated to restore 7 fold. There are different types of crimes. There are those in which a man is merely a predator preying upon the weak and unsuspecting. Pure unadulterated evil. And there are those of desperation. Stealing of food to feed one’s starving family.

They are not the same soul. When I was young, some one broke into our basement and robbed us. It occurred a few weeks before Christmas. They stole nearly $200 in meat and food from our freezer. But they left my bicycle and numerous other items untouched.

Were I to catch such a criminal, I would not shoot them. I’d probably tell them to come back tomorrow, I have some work for them to do. If they come, I’ll give them some more food, and they can work off what they stole so that their conscience can be clean.

“an unarmed nation”

Judges 5:8 “They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.”

Interesting that one of the criticisms that God levied against Israel in the above passage was a failure of the people to be armed and ready to defend themselves.

America must be careful that we do not find ourselves in a situation where a firearm cannot be found amongst 40,000 people.

Final thoughts from a personal perspective. I’ve always been pro-gun, but for the longest time I did not own a firearm. I am pretty affirmed in my faith, and I saw little reason to trade my life for anothers. Especially one who I believe might really need some salvation (ie: murderer). But when I became a husband and a father the perspective changed. Now it was not just my life, but the life of my loved ones that I had need to protect. It was time for me to own a gun.

Read more about that here

*****

An Interesting Aside…two of my favorite quotes come from Ghandi. One is about christianity and the other about guns:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Ghandi

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” – Mahatma Ghandi

Lastly, there is a passage in Scripture that talks about seeing wrong doing, and doing nothing about it being wrong. I can’t remember the verse reference. If anyone recalls it, please email to me. Thank you.

Here is an additional perspective on the matter. I discovered it after writing my post. But I believe the author came to similar conclusions as to myself.

Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm  Comments (6)  
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Kirk Caldwell: Why are we talking murder charges?

Pastor Kirk Caldwell of Darby, PA shot and killed his own son on Christmas Day.  I’ve seen numerous comments on blogs and articles on this incident – most very negative. Calling Kirk a murderer, saying “he needs to pay for his sins”, etc, etc.

I’ve held off commenting on this issue until I found an article with a bit more information.

An article by Philly.com would hint at this being a self-defense case.

It’s reported that Pastor Kirk Caldwell’s son Jordan was beating a woman (presumably girlfriend). When Pastor Kirk came down he saw his 21 yr old son “punching, hitting and throwing other family members around the house”. When Pastor Caldwell attempted to calm his son down he was thrown to the floor.

Pastor Caldwell retrieved a .40 S&W from his bedroom. There was concern that his son Jordan was armed with a knife, something apparently that was common behavior for his son. When his son kept coming forward while reaching for his pocket, his father shot him.  Kirk Caldwell dropped his gun and ran to hold his fallen son in his arms. His son Jordan would soon be pronounced dead.

I do not see how this case is a worthy of criminal homicide, & murder in both the 1st and 3rd degree (see docket).  Here we have a violent son currently engaged in beating a woman.  Several family members have tried to stop the situation. When the son continues to escalate it. The father is faced with the most daunting tasks imaginable. Stopping a son he loves from being a monster.  Faced with his son charging at him, moving in a manner resembling the drawing of a knife he is known to regularly carry – the father shoots his son.

This is not murder. This is a travesty, a tragedy.  It is a father who has had to do the unimaginable. A father who is probably questioning every aspect of failure in his role of being a father.  Where did he go wrong with this one?  A father who knows his family has been destroyed irrevocably. A family who has forever lost the joy of Christmas Day by this unseemly tragedy.

This man does not need our accusations. He needs our prayers.  It is my hope that I never need to take a life in order to defend mine. Doing so is a horrible experience. I cannot even fathom what it feels to be forced to take the life of your own son – even if done in order to protect others from him.

There is always room for criticism. Some questioned why the police weren’t called. First, realize that had the police been called their arrival probably would have been long after this incident occurred. Second realize how quickly these situations transpire. Third, consider that few want to call the police on a loved one. Such hesitation can be deadly, but often times loved ones assume the situation will not reach such fervor.

Published in: on January 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm  Comments (6)  
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Self-Defense…the consequence can be years

Massad Ayoob blogged about the appellate court overturning Harold Fish’s murder conviction. (A very good thing for those not familiar with the case.)  Harold Fish defending himself on a hike using a 10mm. Which the prosecutor used to demonize Mr. Fish and sway the jurors to convict.

Massad does a better job of explaining the case than I can. But I wanted to point out to my readers that Mr. Fish has suffered 5 yrs of woes for defending himself.  Granted, it’s better to be alive than dead. But it’s a good reminder that the act of protecting ourselves may very well condemn us as well – sadly

Published in: on July 2, 2009 at 5:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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On Women and Guns

There has been much in the news regarding the increased sales of firearms.  What is often not mentioned is the fact that many of these sales are new sales, first time buyers. And many of those are women.

Our society often portrays firearms as the tool of men.  But in reality, they are the equalizer.  There is a saying “God made men, but Colt made them equal.”  The meaning of that saying is that prior to the firearm, an individual’s strength is what gave them power.  It was also what enabled them to overpower another who had less strength.  The firearm is a tool that allows a physically weaker individual to defend themselves against a physically stronger one.  Sadly, a situation which many women have found themselves in.

I wanted to provide some information and resources specifically for my female readers.

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The Cornered Cat
, is a website dedicated to information on self defense from a woman’s perspective. (Though it’s a great and informative read of us guys too!)

ProArms Podcast
is a roundtable discussion by a number small arms experts.  In August 2008 the ladies on the show did an all women podcast focused on topics and questions of interest to women.

Women of Caliber, is a female gun blogger who has a number of great posts on the matter of women with guns, and did a four part series on children & firearms  [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ]

A lot of information concerning firearms, training, etc is relevant to both men and women. But there are a number of aspects that are different. For example, holsters and carrying concealed. Women have hips…men don’t. This makes for a difference in how a holster fits. And many holsters and carry positions that might be comfortable for a man, can be very uncomfortable for a woman.

The above items are just a few resources to get people started. There are many others to be found. In fact, I even found a magazine called Women & Guns dedicated to women and guns. Now, I don’t know much about the magazine or it’s quality.  I am just putting it out there to show you what type of resources exist.

One of the biggest barriers that woman face when entering the world of becoming a gun owner, and taking responsibility for their own protection and the protection of their families, is the aspect of feeling alone.

Realize that you are not alone. There are between 12-17 million  women or even more in America who own firearms and protect themselves.  However, most of the time people are oblivious to the fact. People usually don’t go touting that they are a permit holder and are carrying a fire concealed. The whole point of carrying concealed is concealment. So how would you ever find out that the girl sitting next to you was carrying a .38 special?

Sometimes there are hints that shooters drop now and then if they think someone might also be interested in guns.  Occasionally, an individual is a bit more open about it, being an advocate – I fall into this category. It’s a compromise. In order to be an advocate I must share and reveal more than I would like to, but I do so for the purpose of advocacy –  to encourage people to take responsibility for themselves and their family’s well being, and to protect our communal rights to live safely.

The topic of gun ownership will often come up when a friend is or has been in a situation in which there was a risk of personal harm. Such as the drunken ex-b/f with the restraining order, having been raped, assaulted, robbed, etc.  It is at these times that ordinary people who prior walked around feeling safe, realize that they had simply, up until now, been lucky. They find themselves full of questions. Will it happen again? How can I be safe? Why?

It’s the realization that when in an emergency situation where seconds count, the police are only minutes away.  That realization is something akin to taking the “red pill” and seeing the Matrix for what it is.

Now I am not advocating that everyone get a gun. Truthfully, it’s not for everybody (if you’re a felon or irresponsible individual…please do not buy a gun).  But if you are a responsible individual who takes personal responsibility – than I think you should at least consider the merits of gun ownership. And if you do, I also suggest investing in some professional training. The NRA offers a number of courses that go from introductory, all the way to defense of the home and carry outside the home.

And while we’ve talked mainly about self-defense. There is an entire world of sporting and marksmanship to be found as a gun owner. Many women find themselves falling alove with the sport and competition of a variety of shooting sports.  Whether it’s marksmanship, shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun, or competitions which have more of a focus on practical self-defense techniques.  Shooting is fun!!! And women are good at it…

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PS – If you have any questions on any of the above topics, please feel free to contact me. I’ll try to provide an answer or at the very least, endeavor to point you in the direction of someone who can.  Especially, if you’re one who is considering becoming a gun owner but still has some concerns and need more information.  Contact info is on the right toward the bottom…

ABC’s of mass shooters

ABC did there little investigative newsbit on guns, and the claims of how they could help deter “Virginia Tech” style shootings.

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7312687

First off…there is massive criticism of this bit by the gun community. It’s clearly quite biased and there are clues that it was set-up to fail.

But there is a LOT to be learned from this video as well.

WHAT TO LEARN:

1. Get training. They are very correct. Simply being shown how to shoot a gun at a paper target is a poor substitute for self-defense training. I recommend going through the NRA Pistol courses (Basic Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home, and Personal Protection Outside the Home). Just to start…

2. They do correctly hit upon the tunnel aspect of vision, loss of periphereal vision, etc.  And that you need training to compensate for such physiological training.

3. Both defenders fail to take cover. And pretty much stood still.

4. You pay the legal price…that is very true.

WHAT WAS COMPLETELY BIASED:

1. The armed students had zero self-defense training. Only rudimentary range shooting.

2. The shooter(s) were professionals Police officers. And should have instead been ordinary students with no more training than the targets. As is usually the case.

3. There was a second shooter. Who was an accomplice. This is extremely uncommon. In fact, there is no case I am aware of that involves a second shooter concealed.  Columbine involved two shooters. But they were entering together. The scenario put forth was beyond the scope of (un)common event. And a theoretical worst case scenario.

4. Also note the the officer playing the shooter seems to walk in, shoot the teacher. And immediately turns to face the one armed student.  The shooter already knew the location of the CCW student.  This seems repeated with the second shooter.

5. Notice the female that they show shooting the fixed paper target.  Notice that she is mostly aiming for the head. She’s clearly had ZERO training for self-defense. Is it any wonder that she only grazed the shoulder. Had she shot at center mass, the perpetrator would have been hit a number of times.

6.  Chaos runners. Note the actions of those that ran in harms way. They had to both a) leap over the desk in b) the direction of the shooter. Why would ANYONE clamor over cover and expose themself. And furthermore, head toward the shooter. Unrealistic. And I’ll wager those were the ABC crewmen and not the students.

7. Lastly, they don’t tell you if the CCW student took down the first shooter in the first scenario.  If so, while he may have been shot 6 times. May even die…the news would be reporting a single death as opposed to 10, 20, 30+ deaths.  (Of course, I’d wager that most of the media outlets would totally ignore the fact that a CCW student had taken the perpetrator down.)

8. Man shoots his wife. Just plain stupid.  Basic safety teaches you not to do this. It’s why I advocate that everyone take some training. And at the very least if you are unable to find training. Pick up a few books and READ. You won’t get the hands on insights, but you’ll gain the knowledge and the warnings.

9. Watch the replays of the other scenarios.  Note that students ARE taking cover with the firearms. Also, looks like the shooters are ALWAYS focused on the CCW students. And ignoring all those fleeing.  Still seems to me at the very worst, 1-2 students die. And the rest escape because of a CCW student.  That student will likely be regarded a hero, quite prossibly post-humously.

Sad that ABC had to  be so biased and stack the deck so strongly in opposition. This could have been a superb study and scientific experiment.  Instead of merely being a bias springboard…. that said. Some good things can still be learned from the above videos. In particular, take cover, don’t just stand there, get training!

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Another great minute by minute expose on this 20/20 episode.
http://blog.knotclan.com/2009/04/11/if-i-only-had-a-gun/

 

UPDATED: John Lott Fox Editorial commenting and debunking 20/20’s story.

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/04/15/lott__gun_control_experiment_rigged/