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VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 12/8/14

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  1. ON VCDL’S RADAR:  York County gun owners could come under attack because of neighborly dispute
  2. More on Alexandria
  3. And now for a message from UVA’s President on self-defense (ugh)
  4. So, why has MDA suddenly gone silent in their attack on Kroger?
  5. Who needs a gun while simply walking down a sidewalk?
  6. Children and guns (2 part) [VIDEO]
  7. Bill Whittle on the Second Amendment [VIDEO]
  8. Public support for stricter gun laws drops 11 points in less than two years
  9. NY Times slams NRA as grand master of fear
  10. Pentagon announces plan to destroy $1 billion in ammunition [VIDEO]
  11. Do black people have equal gun rights?
  12. Failed Senate gun bill would not have stopped Marysville school gunman
  13. [DC] Man swings ax at DC officer in unprovoked attack [VIDEO]
  14. [DC] 4 shot near Verizon Center Halloween night [VIDEO]
  15. [PA] Anti-violence activists charged in vicious attack
  16. [TX] 71-year-old Dallas man shoots, kills wife’s attacker
  17. [NC] Guns banned at NC fair and robbery ensues
  18. [OH] Home Invasion Suspect Apprehended by 15 Year Old Armed With a Gun [VIDEO]

1. ON VCDL’S RADAR:  York County gun owners could come under attack because of neighborly dispute

Nothing to worry about just yet, but if the York County Board of Supervisors starts to consider any changes to the County’s code dealing with firearms, VCDL will activate and notify you.  Also, if you live in York and you hear of any such effort, please let me know ASAP, just in case I hadn’t heard yet.

York County Sheriff Danny Diggs, who is quoted in the article, once again shows he is a strong supporter of gun rights.  Hats off to Sheriff Diggs.

Thanks to member Walter Jackson for the link:


Neighborly dispute about target shooting could lead to ordinance change in York

By Johanna Somers, [email protected] contact the reporter

Neighbors in upper York County say they are concerned about firearms shooting near their homes on J. Farm Lane and one resident has called the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office more than 10 times to complain.

That resident, Timothy Donley, has also taken his concern to the county attorney and Board of Supervisors member Walter Zaremba. The county attorney is examining the county’s noise ordinance to see if anything can be changed to address the issue.

The person shooting the firearm “is in his legal right to do what he is doing and apparently he is making a lot of noise,” said York County Attorney James Barnett. “I will look into the noise ordinance. We don’t want to infringe too much on Second Amendment rights but I will see if it can be tweaked in a way to resolve this.”  [PVC:  “…We don’t want to infringe TOO MUCH on Second Amendment rights…”  So some infringements are OK?  What part of “shall NOT be infringed” is not understood by Mr. Barnett?]

There would have to have a public hearing before any changes could be made, he added.

Tim Cognetti owns property at 338 Fenton Mill Road with his girlfriend Gina Laudone. He said it would be very unfortunate if the noise ordinance was changed to limit firearm use.

“I will abide by the laws but they have a long road ahead of them” to change the noise ordinance, he said. “A lot of military folks, gun enthusiasts who live on certain pieces of land that go out and practice their rights” will have something to say.

Cognetti and his son and Laudone and her daughters practice shooting guns in their back yard on a regular basis, Laudone said. Sometimes additional family members come to town and they might shoot for several hours in one day, she added.

“I am sorry if it is offensive to some people but we are not doing anything outside of our (Second) Amendment rights,” Laudone said.

In an email to Zaremba, Donley said he had not previously experienced “such deliberate, ongoing lack of respect.” He said the “unstable behavior” had to stop and urged the supervisors to pass an amendment to stop “this act of lunacy.”

Kimberly Smith, who lives nearby said, “It’s disturbing. You don’t want to let the kids out the door.” The person might, or might not, be a “safe shooter,” she said.

Cognetti said if neighbors want to come to his house he would be happy to show them “we are being safe.” They are shooting sober and shooting down a hill into a vacant property, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies have come numerous times, Laudone said. “And they always leave because we are abiding by the law,” she said. They use one .22-caliber rifle, three handguns and occasionally a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun to shoot at targets, Cognetti said.

“I really do think we should look into it because to me it doesn’t make sense for someone to walk out into the backyard and start shooting a pistol with neighbors around,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Donald Wiggins.  [PVC:  If there is a safe berm in the backyard, there won’t be a problem.  And everyone has neighbors, some closer than others.]

Several years ago the County Board rescinded an ordinance that limited where people could discharge firearms. The ordinance was arbitrary and rarely used, said York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. Diggs. Now the county uses state law to enforce the safe use of firearms.

“Firearms are legally exempted from the noise ordinance when discharged,” Diggs said. If that were changed, “it would be illegal everywhere in the county just because of noise. And to me that is an unacceptable answer.”

2. More on Alexandria

So far we have 21 people who said they are coming to the Alexandria City Council hearing on Saturday.  Not bad considering the alert went out on Saturday at 10 PM.  Hopefully we can get more to come as the date nears.

BTW, here is a link to a copy of the incendiary flyer directly from the Alexandria Police Department’s web site (thanks to member Charles Winkler for the link):

The Alexandria PD responded with an attempt to cover their exposed derrière:

“This flyer was provided to businesses in the area of a possible open carry demonstration to inform people of Virginia Law regarding open carry, and it summaries (sic) open carry in the Commonwealth.  The flyer actually widens the number of people who now know about Virginia open carry so they are not alarmed about the sight of firearms in public.  APD advocates that if anyone is concerned about any situation they call the non-emergency number.”

NO.  Thanks to those flyers, the number of people who are now MISINFORMED about Virginia gun laws has INCREASED!  Those who read it are now less knowledgeable for having done so.

And what did open carry education have to do with shooting guns into a building?

Oh, and we have another issue which is now being pursued: the Alexandria Police Department’s headquarters has an illegal “no guns” sign!  Stay tuned…

3. And now for a message from UVA’s President on self-defense (ugh)

University of Virginia President, Teresa A. Sullivan, sent this out to students, faculty, and staff on December 4th.  My comments are in square brackets:

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

In light of recent court decisions in New York and Missouri, I write today to add my voice to the national chorus of voices condemning the use of violent force, and even deadly force, against persons who have not been convicted of any crime.  [PVC:  So, an innocent person, who is about to be murdered by another person who has never been convicted of a crime before, has to wait to be murdered before defending themselves?  Excuse me while I go look for a bottle of aspirin to stop my newly acquired headache.]

In this season of celebration, we celebrate our shared values above all. These values include the belief that every life matters, that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that every person should enjoy equal protection and treatment under the law. This should hold true in every corner of our community and all across our nation, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief or any other mark of human diversity.  [PVC:  So ladies, as you are being raped and brutalized, you should treat the miscreant attacking you with dignity and respect, after all, he is a human being!  Perhaps when he’s done, and if you are still conscious and able to move, you can both hold hands and sing “Kumbaya,” too!  There isn’t enough aspirin in the world to stop my headache now.]

Controversy and strife can divide a community, or they can bring a community together. During a period of turmoil on our Grounds and on the national stage, we must rely on one another for mutual support now more than ever. Please come to the Lighting of the Lawn tonight. This event, hosted by the Fourth-Year Trustees, was established following the September 11 terrorist attacks so the community could come together in a spirit of healing and recovery. Tonight’s Lighting of the Lawn, which begins at 7 p.m., is an opportunity for us to lean on one another, and to remind ourselves of the values that bind us together.

Very truly yours,

Teresa A. Sullivan

4. So, why has MDA suddenly gone silent in their attack on Kroger?

Kroger is ignoring the poor little antis.

Unable to get traction and not wanting to admit they have a major loss, Moms Demand Action just got peacefully quiet.  Ahhhh.

Oh, and their attack on Kroger has actually led to a profit increase of 21% for Kroger!  Hopefully future victims of Moms Demand Action will learn from the Kroger experience.

I do love success stories like this.  And I’ll be doing even more shopping at Kroger.


#GunSense #FAIL – Kroger Foods Increases Profits 21% Despite Anti-Gunner Boycott

Michael Bloomberg, Shannon Watts and their small band of anti-gun zealots have been making a big fuss about gun owners exercising their rights in businesses around the country. Most notably they’ve targeted Starbucks and Target, and bullied them into changing their policies on lawful gun carrying firearms owners. Recently they’ve set their sights on the Kroger chain of grocery stores. Kroger has made their firearms policy very clear. Their stores follow the local laws, when local laws allow residents to carry firearms Kroger allows their shoppers to carry firearms. A novel concept right?

But that’s not good enough for these so-called “accidental activists.” Remember, they’re funded by multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and led by public relations guru Shannon Watts. They’ve struggled to change laws nationwide, so they’ve shifted their focus to picking on major companies, bullying them into banning firearms. In essence they’re working on creating defacto gun bans in the places Americans spend significant amounts of time.

In this case, Moms Demand Action has been trying to coerce Kroger into banning all firearms within their stores. They’ve been boycotting. They’ve been delivering petitions. They’ve been trying to pressure the grocery store chain online and in social media. Fortunately, it’s not working at all.

Instead of hurting the store’s bottom line, all those  boycotts and petitions and hollering on Facebook and Twitter have actually helped elevate the Kroger brand. You see, Kroger just posted a 21% increase in 3rd quarter profits compared to the same period last year. For reference, similar grocery stores around the country saw an increase in profits of just 5.6%. According to the SuperMarket News trade magazine, this is the 44th straight quarter Kroger has posted positive earnings. It seems this chain of grocery stores is flourishing despite the anti-gunners best attempts to pressure them meeting to their demands.

The message here is clear: Moms Demand Action talks a big talk, but when companies stand tall and hold to true to logical principles, it becomes obvious that all that talk is nothing more than a big show. We hope the next business these anti-gun activists targets takes a long hard look at this case and learns from Kroger’s example.

5. Who needs a gun while simply walking down a sidewalk?

Member Doug Kinney emailed me this:


Man shot in Richmond after refusing robbers
by John Ramsey
October 30, 2014

A man was shot in the arm Thursday evening after refusing to hand over money to a man and woman who approached him on Nelson Street in Richmond’s East End, police said.

The 59-year-old victim, whose name police declined to release, was walking in the 1500 block of Nelson Street around 8:15 p.m. when the man and woman demanded money from him, police said.

After he refused the robbers, the woman shot him, authorities said.

6. Children and guns (2 part) [VIDEO]

The kids who actually had a parent talk to them about guns previously did the best in this experiment.  Keep your guns either on your person or locked up if you have young children who aren’t mature enough to be taught gun safety. Teaching them about gun safety when they are old enough is the best insurance against a tragedy.

Board Member Dale Welch emailed me this:

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

On Your Side Investigation: Kids and guns, Part I
By Rachel DePompa
October 30, 2014

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – What would your child do if they found a gun laying around the house or a playground? Have you taught them not to touch the weapon? What you think your child would do and what they actually do may stun you.

More than half the parents at this daycare center say they’ve talked to their kids about guns.

“We just told him find a teacher, don’t touch it, don’t play with it,” said David Bemish, father of Gabe.

Frank Fiveash has talked about guns for years with his son Preston. “I do have guns in the house, but I wanted him to be able to distinguish between a daddy gun and a Preston gun, or a kid gun,” he said.

Susan Helms, director of Injury Prevention at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, said, “It’s not enough just to say something, but you actually have to teach and you have to teach again and again, and you have to really do it so they really understand.”

That’s what this On Your Side Investigator undercover experiment intends to do. Before kids arrived at the daycare, police Sgt. Andrew Hefner hid an unloaded black training gun inside a cubby filled with puzzles. Later, our hidden cameras were rolling as the teacher, Ms. Monica, told the kids it was time to play with puzzles, then left the room.

Parents secretly watched down the hall. Within minutes, Dorian, 8, discovered the gun. He quietly went to the door to find an adult without saying anything to the other kids. In no time at all, more kids made the discovery and from one camera angle they heeded their parents’ warnings.

“Don’t touch that,” Preston said.

When Sgt. Hefner entered the room, the kids immediately told him about the gun. Even Corianna, 4, showed the officer where it was. “I run away from it when I first saw it,” she said.

Parents were thrilled the test seemed successful. That is, until we looked at the footage from our hidden camera inside the cubby.

“Huh? A gun,” Gabe said. “Huh!” said Preston.

NBC12’s report continues at 11 p.m. Thursday with the camera angle parents didn’t see. What really happened when the kids thought no one was watching? How do you think your child would react?

On Your Side Investigation: Kids and guns, Part II
by Rachel DePompa
October 30, 2014

A gun left in a children’s classroom? On purpose? It’s all part of an experiment the On Your Side Investigators conducted with a daycare and police.

Parents secretly watched as their children discovered the gun and quickly told an adult.

“I didn’t touch it because it was real,” Gabriel Beamish said.

“I run away from it when I first saw it, and then I fell, but I got up and went away,” said Corriana Brassfield.

Naturally, parents were proud.

“I was almost certain that he was gonna grab it and start aiming it at people, but he remembered what I told him,” Frank Fiveash said.

“It’s good for them to know that no matter where they go, you do not touch it,” said Lacy Brassfield.

But that’s not what really happened. After the parents and kids left the daycare, we checked footage from a camera hidden next to the gun and discovered the shocking truth.

5-year-old Preston picked up the gun, looked at it and put it down.

“I’m guessing that he’s thinking, okay this must just be a gun that I can play with,” Fiveash said. “Then he realized that this wasn’t his gun. Because I told him that there is a distinction between a ‘mommy and daddy gun’ and a ‘Preston’ gun, so he knows the difference between the two.”

There’s quite a different story from 4-year-old Corianna, who after the experiment told everyone, including her mother, that she never touched the gun.

“If you see a gun, you just walk away and tell a parent,” Corianna said. But hidden cameras show she touched it not only once, but three times. She even pulled the trigger twice.

“I didn’t think that she would ever touch one and the thing that shocks me the most is that she said, ‘This is real,’ and she still put her finger dead on that trigger like it didn’t matter,” said her mom, Lacy.

Next, Corianna was shown the hidden camera video.

“What did you do when you seen that gun?” Lacy asked her daughter.

“I didn’t touch it,” she answered.

“You didn’t?” asked Lacy. “Are you sure?”

To which Corianna replied, “Yes.”

While watching the video with her daughter, Lacy asked, “Did you hear what that little boy just said?”

Corianna replied, “Gabriel thought it would kill him.”

“He didn’t think … it will,” said Lacy.

“I didn’t know it was a gun,” whispered Corianna.

“You said, ‘This is a gun.’ You knew what it was, yes you did. I’m very disappointed,” Lacy responded. “Save it.”

After watching the video, Lacy used the opportunity to teach her daughter a powerful lesson.

“Why did you lie to mommy and tell me that you didn’t touch it?” she asked.

“I thought you’d be mad at me,” answered Corianna.

“I’d be 10 times more mad if you would have shot yourself or somebody else. I wouldn’t even have been able to be mad. I’d have been heartbroken,” added Lacy. “What if it would have shot you … You think you would have lived, huh? You don’t? You don’t know where you would have went? You would have gone to Heaven with papa. You can’t play with guns, Corianna. At all. Ever.”

Lacy continued, “The only reason I want you to know to never touch a gun is because it can kill you, and then I won’t have you. I won’t be with you every day. OK? Promise me that you won’t touch no more guns.”

But do not forget about 4-year-old Gabriel, who was the first to find the gun. He told his classmates over and over again to stay away from it.

“I’m glad he didn’t touch it, maybe I wish he would have ran out of the room and gotten a teacher, but he didn’t touch it,” said his dad, David. “So, I’m proud of him for that.”

Three different reactions, three life long lessons.

“That only reason I want you to know to never touch a gun is because it can kill you. And then I won’t have you, I won’t be with you every day. Okay? Promise me that you won’t touch no more guns,” Corianna’s mother pleaded.

Every year, 7,000 kids across the nation end up in the ER with a gunshot wound. According to that study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, in most cases the gunshot was accidental.

7. Bill Whittle on the Second Amendment [VIDEO]


8. Public support for stricter gun laws drops 11 points in less than two years

Member James Durso emailed me this:


Gallup: Public support for stricter gun laws drops 11 points in less than two yers
October 31, 2014

Emblematic of Obama’s entire second term, really. After the Sandy Hook shootings in December 2012, he made gun control his top policy priority to start his second term. Public support for action spiked in the emotional aftermath of the murders; the White House, mindful of Rahm Emanuel’s advice to never let a crisis go to waste, demanded that Congress act quickly to address gun violence, knowing that public opinion would soon revert to the pre-Newtown status quo as that emotion faded. Republicans stood firm for Second Amendment rights, though, arguing — correctly — that nothing proposed by Democrats would reduce mass shootings, which, contrary to popular belief, haven’t become more common over time. (Gun violence more broadly has declined sharply over the past 20 years.) After the Toomey/Manchin bill failed in the Senate, Obama gave up and moved on to other priorities, with Democrats vowing that the GOP would pay a price for their opposition at the polls in 2014.

So here we are, a few days away from the 2014 midterms, and Republicans are poised to retake the Senate. (Graph – Laws Covering the Sale of Firearms – Americans’ Preferences Since 2000)

As you can see, support for stricter gun laws is still a bit higher today than it was in the first few years of Obama’s presidency — but a bit lower than it was during Bush’s presidency. I assume that’s because fencesitters on gun rights worried that the new Democratic president might turn out to be a gun-grabber and thus they reflexively tilted away from that position. Then, after Sandy Hook, they tilted dramatically the other way. And now, slowly but surely they’re tilting back again to the status quo circa 2008. Note too that support for making gun laws less strict is now the highest it’s been in 15 years, higher even than in the anxious days after 9/11. Long way to go before it’s competitive with the “more strict” and “keep as they are” factions, but the trend is what it is.

One more data set: (Chart – Views on Gun Sale Laws, by Demographic Group)

Every demographic shows a fall-off since Sandy Hook but the most interesting is women, who’ve gone from nearly 70 percent support for stricter gun laws to a modest majority. Why is that? The easy explanation is that a mass shooting of young children will bring out a “do something, anything” reaction in mothers in a way that a mass shooting of adults won’t, but fathers were horrified by Sandy Hook too and the spike in their support for new laws after that shooting was only half what women’s was.

As for public opposition to a total ban on handguns (except for the government), that’s steady as she goes. After Sandy Hook, it soared to a record high of 74 percent on fears that Democrats might be aggressive in their policy push. Today? 73 percent. That battle is lost for liberals for now and probably for decades to come, at least.

9. NY Times slams NRA as grand master of fear

Member William Goodman emailed me this:


New York Times Slams National Rifle Association as ‘Grand Master’ of Fear
by Randy Hall
October 30, 2014

With less than a week to go before the midterm elections arrive, David Firestone — a member of the New York Times Editorial Board — vented his anger in an attempt to diminish the influence the National Rifle Association has on the political process.

In an article entitled “The NRA’s Instant Classic Attack Ads,” Firestone accused the national organization of producing false advertisements as part of its role as the “grand master” of fear, “which thrives on putting guns in nervous hands.”

Before discussing the actual ads, Firestone attempted to describe the context by pointing to the special election issue of America’s 1st Freedom — the official journal of the NRA — which has a cover depicting an armed Middle Eastern terrorist and the title “Chaos at our Door? A Dangerous World is Closing In.”

In a column written by Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive president, he declared that November 4 is “the most historic election of our time,” when “we can reverse the collapse of American values we see all around us today” and “secure the very future of our free nation as we know it.”

LaPierre didn’t stop there. In another article, he asserted: “It’s just a matter of time before the U.S. faces some kind of terrorist attack.” When that happens, Americans will want their guns because “the government can’t — or won’t — protect you.”

Firestone then stated that while “building the hysteria,” the NRA executive concluded: “We will not be left defenseless. We will not give up our freedoms. We will not surrender our safety to the lies of leaders who promise everything and deliver nothing.”

To ensure vital freedoms, Firestone accused the group of running misleading ads around the country. One ad running in Louisiana shows a young mother putting her baby to bed as an intruder violently kicks in the front door.

“It happens like that,” the female narrator says. “The police can’t get there in time. How you defend yourself is up to you. It’s your choice. But Mary Landrieu voted to take away your gun rights. Vote like your safety depends on it. Defend your freedom. Defeat Mary Landrieu.”

Firestone then asserted that the NRA is going after Landrieu “because she supported the failed 2013 bill that would have extended background checks to buyers at gun shows.”

The pro-gun rights group also defends its attack on Landrieu by pointing to her vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. “The idea that this vote constitutes ‘taking away your gun rights’ is really too absurd to refute,” Firestone declared.

Nevertheless, several Republicans who voted for Sotomayor are not under attack by the NRA since that one ballot didn’t diminish their overall records on Second Amendment issues.

That includes Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Susan Collins of Maine (whose record is poor but better than her opponent in this year’s election).

“The group is also running false ads claiming that various Democrats dared to meet” with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire whose record in attempting to restrict Second Amendment rights is legendary.

Firestone claimed the worst commercial produced by the NRA was aimed directly at Bloomberg and featured rape victim Kimberly Weeks describing her assault and accusing the former mayor of wanting to take away her right to defend herself while surrounding himself with armed guards.

“Mr. Bloomberg,” she says in the ad, “you do not have the right to tell me how to defend myself.”

“The former mayor is not trying to take away anyone’s legal handgun, and neither is any Democrat,” the New York Times editor concluded. “But those details don’t matter. All that counts is making people very afraid, and then exploiting that fear.”

AWR Hawkins, a reporter for the website, accused Firestone of omitting several inconvenient facts in his editorial.

The editor “does not mention what happened in Ottawa on October 22, when a recent convert to Islam used a rifle to shoot and kill Corporal Nathan Cirillo at a War Memorial before running into Parliament, where he was killed by a man with a gun.”

Hawkins added that “neither Weeks’ sexual assault nor a terror attack with a rifle are theoretical propositions. They both happened. And in the wake of both cases, the important role guns play in preventing potential victims from becoming actual victims came into sharp relief.”

10. Pentagon announces plan to destroy $1 billion in ammunition [VIDEO]

Ammunition for common firearms should never be destroyed by the government.  It should be put back on the market, with the proceeds used to help cover the original expense of the government purchase.

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:


Pentagon Announces Plan to Destroy $1 Billion in Ammunition
by Jason
September 29, 2014

According to a Governmental Accountability Office report, the Pentagon is going to destroy over $1 billion in ammunition despite large portions of it being useable by soldiers on the ground.

According to USA Today,

The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

It’s impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction — valued at $1.2 billion by the Pentagon — remains viable because the Defense Department’s inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by USA TODAY.

The result: potential waste of unknown value.

“There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the (Pentagon) can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy and Air Force still don’t have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”

$1 billion dollars of ammunition? In .22LR, that’s like 2 boxes but in other calibers that’s a lot of damn ammunition. All I could think of was this clip from Star Wars…  [PVC:  The clip is on the web version of this item.]

11. Do black people have equal gun rights?

Gun control has an evil history.  It’s original purpose was to control minorities.  And minorities are still very much a target.


Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights?
by Charles C.W. Cooke
October 25, 2014

CONVENTIONAL wisdom holds that firearms are the preserve of conservative white men. You would never know this at my local shooting range, which happens to be in a majority African-American area, and has a clientele that reflects that fact. There, as a white man, I’m often in the minority; just one more guy who likes to fire weapons — another person to chat to and share stories with. It is, I’d venture, how things should be.

By rights, the Second Amendment should serve as a totem of African-Americans’ full citizenship and enfranchisement. For centuries, firearms have been indispensable to black liberation: as crucial a defense against tyranny for Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. as for Sam Adams and George Washington. Today, however, many black Americans have a decidedly mixed relationship with the right to bear arms.

In August, as the outrage over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., dominated the news, an African-American group calling itself the Huey P. Newton Gun Club took to the streets of Dallas, rifles in hand, to protest. Local businesses were supportive, and the city’s police chief confirmed in a statement that his department “supports the constitutional rights of all.” On Twitter, the hashtag #blackopencarry prompted a warm response from conservatives.

And yet, that same month, a 22-year-old black man named John Crawford III was shot dead by the police in an Ohio Walmart after a white customer claimed excitedly that a man was pointing a gun at his fellow patrons. Later, the store’s security footage revealed that Mr. Crawford had been holding a BB gun that he had picked up in the sporting goods department, and that the caller’s testimony had been wrong. Ohio is an open carry state. That didn’t make much difference for Mr. Crawford.

Until around 1970, the aims of America’s firearms restrictionists and the aims of America’s racists were practically inextricable. In both the colonial and immediate post-Revolutionary periods, the first laws regulating gun ownership were aimed squarely at blacks and Native Americans. In both the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies, it was illegal for the colonists to sell guns to natives, while Virginia and Tennessee banned gun ownership by free blacks.

In the antebellum period, the chief justice of the United States, Roger B. Taney, wrote a grave warning into the heart of the execrable Dred Scott decision. If blacks were permitted to become citizens, Taney cautioned, they, like whites, would have full liberty to “keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

White Southerners would eventually be forced to accept blacks as their fellow citizens. But old habits died hard. After the Civil War, many Southern states enacted Black Codes to prohibit ownership of guns by blacks. The measures served their purpose. In her remarkable 1892 disquisition on the evils of lynching, the writer Ida B. Wells noted that “the only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense.” Wells offered some blunt advice: “a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”

At the height of the civil rights movement, black freedom fighters took Wells’s counsel seriously. Although he was denied a concealed-carry permit, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had what his adviser Glenn E. Smiley described as a veritable “arsenal” at home.

Far from being a digression from the principle of nonviolence, this willingness to defend oneself was heir to a long, proud tradition. Considering in 1850 what he believed to be the best response to the Fugitive Slave Act, Frederick Douglass proposed: “a good revolver.”

The first major ban on the open carrying of firearms — a Republican-led bill that was drafted after Black Panthers began hanging around the State Legislature in Sacramento with their guns on display — was signed in 1967 by none other than Gov. Ronald Reagan of California. The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 was primarily a reaction to the scourge of “Saturday night specials” — cheap handguns owned by the poor and the black. The National Rifle Association opposed neither law.

So the fact that one of the seminal Second Amendment cases in American history is named for a black plaintiff is a beautiful and moving thing indeed. McDonald v. Chicago, argued in 2010, was brought by Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old black man tired of watching his neighborhood give way to crime and gang warfare. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Second Amendment applied not just to all people, but to the states as well as to the federal government, and that Chicago was therefore not permitted to prohibit Mr. McDonald from keeping a handgun for his defense.

Yet African-American activists typically refrain from involvement in the issue of gun rights. In October 2013, Shaneen Allen, 27, a black single mother of two, was arrested in New Jersey for carrying a firearm without a license (she was under the impression that her Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit was accepted across state lines), and threatened with a prison sentence of up to 11 years for her mistake.

But it was conservative publications, such as my own National Review, and the N.R.A. that came to her defense. The N.A.A.C.P. and the usual champions remained unusually quiet. (There was no news conference featuring the Rev. Al Sharpton.) They have been largely absent, too, from the case of Marissa Alexander, a black Florida woman given a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot near her abusive husband.

It’s a problem of perception, an assumption that the Second Amendment is the province of whites, that cuts both ways. In 2009, as the first Tea Party rallies swept the country, Contessa Brewer of MSNBC showed a video of a man at an anti-Obamacare rally with a pistol on his hip and suggested that “there are questions about whether this has racial overtones … white people showing up with guns.” Later, it came out that the man in the video was actually black.

At least 15 percent of African-Americans report that they own guns — about the same rate as all other “nonwhites.” But as anybody who has attended an N.R.A. convention can attest, there is a gaping hole in the organization’s membership. Look around the convention center and you will see plenty of women, a good number of Asians and Hispanics, and even a smattering of children. Blacks? Not so much.

This is a tremendous shame. It is one thing for the N.R.A. to celebrate black Second Amendment advocates such as its spokesman Colion Noir, and Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. of Milwaukee County, but it is quite another for Wayne LaPierre to inveigh against “home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters,” and for the camera to then pan around a sea of white faces clapping in unison.

Malcolm X may have a deservedly mixed reputation, but the famous photograph of him standing at the window, rifle in hand, insisting on black liberation “by any means necessary,” is about as American as it gets. It should be celebrated just like the “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag. By not making that connection, the movement is losing touch with one of its greatest triumphs and forsaking a prime illustration of why its cause is so just and so crucial.

If supporters of the right to keep and bear arms want their pleas to be heard in their proper context, they might consider talking a little less about Valley Forge and a little more about Jim Crow — and attempting to fill their ranks with people who have known much more recently what tyranny really looks like.

12. Failed Senate gun bill would not have stopped Marysville school gunman

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:


Failed Senate Gun Bill Would Not Have Stopped Marysville School Gunman
by AWR Hawkins
October 25, 2014

Even though Democrats quickly followed news of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School [PVC:  in Washington state] shooting with renewed calls for the kind of background checks contained in the failed Senate gun control bill, the facts demonstrate one clear point: The failed Senate gun bill would not have stopped the Marysville gunman.

This is because the gun used by Jaylen Fryberg was “legally” obtained by his father, and then taken by the younger Fryberg and misused to kill one and wound four on October 24.

According to the Los Angeles Times, an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) said simply, “The gun used by Fryberg had been obtained legally.” This phraseology is always a reference indicating the owner of the gun–Fryberg’s father in this instance–went through a background check to acquire it.

We saw this same thing after the Fort Hood shooting in April, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for lawmakers to revisit gun control via expanded background checks because of the attack.

On April 3, Breitbart News reported, Reid said: “Couldn’t we at least have background checks so that people who are ill mentally, or who are felons, shouldn’t be able to buy guns?”

The problem with this–as Breitbart News also reported–is that Fort Hood gunman Ivan Lopez did go through a background check to get his firearm. To use BATFE phraseology, he obtained it “legally,” just like Fryberg’s father in Marysville, like the cop killers in Las Vegas, like Santa Barbara gunman Elliot Rodger, like Maryland mall gunman Darion Marcus Aguilar, like LAX gunman Paul Ciancia, like DC Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis, like Aurora theater gunman James Holmes, like Gabby Gifford’s attacker Jared Loughner, and 2009 Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan, to name but a few.

Background checks did not stop any of these individuals from carrying out their heinous acts.

13. [DC] Man swings ax at DC officer in unprovoked attack [VIDEO]

Member Mark Shinn emailed me this:

Can an ordinary citizen defend oneself in our nation’s capitol? Only the police remain armed.


Man swings ax at DC officer in unprovoked attack
by Ben Nuckols, Associated Press
November 1, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man swung a large ax at a District of Columbia police officer in an unprovoked attack early Friday, and the officer suffered a minor injury while struggling with the man, who escaped on foot, police said.

The officer was sitting in a marked police car when the man used the ax to shatter the driver’s side window, said Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who described the attack as an ambush.

Lanier stressed that police had no evidence linking the attack to any broader plot or to last week’s attack of a group of New York City police officers by a hatchet-wielding man, which New York’s police commissioner called an act of terrorism.

Lanier said police weren’t ruling out that possibility.

“A lot of these radical organizations, terrorist organizations are very vocal about targeting first responders. It’s no secret. It’s not new. But it certainly has ramped up,” Lanier said. “We’re on extremely high alert.”

Lanier said she spoke with John Miller, New York City’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, to go over any investigative details that might be helpful.

The officer spotted the man briefly before the attack and believed he was carrying a baseball bat, Lanier said. The officer drove into an alley in an attempt to follow him but did not see the man again until the ax hit the car, Lanier said.

The officer chased the man and tackled him and was injured in the struggle, police said.

Police don’t have a good description of the man, and Lanier said investigators were pursuing 30 to 40 leads, including some generated by tips from the public. The FBI offered help with the investigation if needed.

14. [DC] 4 shot near Verizon Center Halloween night [VIDEO]

Member Mark Shinn emailed me this:

Surprise! Surprise! Once again, gun control serves as a spectacular failure.


4 shot near Verizon Center Halloween night
November 1, 2014

WASHINGTON — Three people were shot near the Verizon Center in the District Halloween night as a Fleetwood Mac concert was in progress.

D.C. Police say the victims were shot near 700 F Street Northwest around 10 p.m. but all three have “grazing wounds” and none of the injuries are considered serious.

A second shooting then took place on H Street between 3rd and 4th Streets near the earlier shooting spree outside the Verizon Center Friday night. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says the other individual who was shot has a type of graze wound. It is unclear if both shooting incidents within blocks of one another are related. “There’s literally 25 police officers within this block all night,” she says.

Police are looking for an African-American male with a blue jacket and a red and gray skull cap as a possible suspect in the shooting. NBC 4 reports police are looking for a group of juveniles in connection with the incident.

The Fleetwood Mac concert let out about 25 minutes after the first shooting incident.

“Halloween, obviously, we try and keep up with all of the things that are going on with different kids and groups of kids and adults … we had a lot of people out here to keep the high visibility,” Lanier says in a statement to the press.

“We’ve got a lot of people we’re talking to tonight. Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll have some better answers,” she says of the ongoing investigation.

15. [PA] Anti-violence activists charged in vicious attack

A violent anti?  YAAWWWNNNN.  What else is new?


Anti-violence activists charged in vicious attack
October 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — Two ”Stop the Violence” organizers allegedly beat one of their colleagues so severely that he vomited blood and was left unconscious in critical condition.

Nikole Ardeno and Emanuel Velez, both 30, accused their former roommate of stealing their property, and allegedly punched and kicked him in the street until he had seizures. Arrested moments later, Ardeno was still wearing the same ”Stop the Violence” T-shirt she had on the night before when she coordinated a march protesting two recent shootings, Washington Police Chief Chris Luppino said.

The victim, Joshua Magraff, also is a community organizer with the anti-violence group, and shared an apartment with the suspects until recently.

Online court records don’t list lawyers for the defendants, who face a preliminary hearing Nov. 10 on charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, simple assault and disorderly conduct.

Local ”Stop the Violence” leader Suzanne Kelley said she hopes to hear from Ardeno, and insisted that ”we don’t promote violence at all.”

”I can’t believe this is going on. I don’t want the community to get a negative effect from this because they back us,” Kelley said.

Police believe Ardeno and Velez attacked Magraff on Tuesday because he had gone to the apartment they had shared to collect his belongings. Ardeno and Velez had come to a police station about 20 minutes earlier, accusing Magraff of burglary, but police said he appeared to be taking only items that belonged to him as he moved out, Luppino said.

Magraff was still unconscious and in critical condition Wednesday at UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh, Luppino said. A hospital spokeswoman declined to provide an update Thursday, citing a policy against releasing information about crime victims.

16. [TX] 71-year-old Dallas man shoots, kills wife’s attacker


71-Year-Old Dallas Man Shoots, Kills Wife’s Attacker in Store Parking Lot
by AWR Hawkins
October 30, 2014

On October 28, 71-year-old concealed carry permit holder Ronnie Lummus shot and killed a man who allegedly knocked his wife to the ground in an attempt to rob her.

The attempted robbery was reported in the parking lot of the Aldi Grocery Store on Forest Lane in Dallas, Texas.

Allegedly, Lummus and his wife were walking out of the grocery store when “36-year-old Mark Angel Carmillio approached them and grabbed a necklace off [Mrs. Lummus’] neck.” Police say Carmillio then knocked the woman down and was attempting to rob her when Mr. Lummus “pulled his gun and fired several shots,” according to WFAA 8.

One or more of the shots hit Carmillio as he tried to reach a getaway vehicle and escape.

The suspect was able to make it to the vehicle, but he died shortly after starting to drive away. The getaway car then rolled into a parked vehicle in the lot.

17. [NC] Guns banned at NC fair and robbery ensues

Gun-Free Zones are dangerous.  North Carolina was warned about that fact, but fought to prohibit legal guns at the State Fair anyhow.  And someone, predictably, was robbed.


Guns Were Banned at the North Carolina State Fair. What Happened Next Is Painfully Ironic.
by Zach Noble
October 29, 2014

Here’s a story that supports the old saying, “When you criminalize guns, only criminals will have guns.”

Two people leaving the North Carolina State Fair on Saturday were robbed at gunpoint, after a legal battle had enabled the the fair to be declared a “gun-free” zone, WATE-TV reported.

It would be “unwise and imprudent” to allow concealed weapons at the state fair, Wake County Superior Court judge Donald Stephens said earlier this month as he ruled against allowing concealed firearms at the event.

Opponents of the gun ban blamed Stephens and other officials for the robbery — and claimed that the ban was illegal in the first place.

“By announcing to violent predators that people attending the North Carolina state fair would be unable to protect themselves, the responsibility for this armed robbery of fair-goers lies squarely with Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who illegally banned concealed at the fair, and…Stephens, who willfully misinterpreted the law to impose his own worldview,” Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, told

Valone had argued the case in front of Stephens that the state fair gun ban violated a law passed by the state legislature that expanded concealed carry rights, and Stephens acknowledged that allowing concealed weapons ”may chill crime,” but he upheld the ban regardless.

“As we’ve seen time and again, gun-free zones are dangerous places for law-abiding citizens,” Valone said, commenting on Saturday’s armed robbery.

In the robbery, which police said occurred around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, two people walking back to their car from the fair were accosted by men in a tan or cream colored Lincoln car, who brandished handguns and took the victims’ wallets.

On Wednesday afternoon, Raleigh police spokesperson Laura Hourigan told TheBlaze that one person, Kamonti Yasmin Blackwell-Price, had been arrested in connection with the robbery, but that the investigation was ongoing and further arrests may be made.

Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to contact Raleigh police.

18. [OH] Home Invasion Suspect Apprehended by 15 Year Old Armed With a Gun [VIDEO]

Kids and guns don’t mix?  Baloney.

Board Member Dale Welch emailed me this:


Home Invasion Suspect Apprehended by 15 Year Old Armed With a Gun
by Dan Cannon
October 25, 2014

A would be home invader in Ohio probably thought he had the worst luck in the world when he encountered not one, but two armed homeowners in two different break-ins a few hours apart.

According to 14News:

Brian Hiner says Michael Roberts, 26, broke into his home through a small window in the backyard. He says during the confrontation, it was so dark he couldn’t see anything so he quickly called 911, and grabbed a gun to keep Roberts cornered.

“More panicked, I wasn’t really scared,” said Hiner.

Police arrived and apprehended Roberts. but while officers were talking to Hiner, Roberts got out of the cruiser, and bolted.

“This other cruiser pulled up and saw that he got out and started running towards the cornfield and that’s when they panicked. They didn’t even know how he got out of the cop car, they just knew he got out and the chase was on,” said Hiner.

Roberts ended up at another home a short distance away that he proceeded to break into. However, little did he know that a 15 year old, home alone, was waiting on the other side of the door with another gun. The teen held the suspect at gunpoint until police could arrive and arrest Roberts for a second time.

Also from 14News:

“I told him to get out of the house or I’m going to shoot you,” said [15 year old] Justin Kugler.

“Guns have always been an important thing in our family and he knew what to do when the problem came up,” said [his brother] Jarrett Kugler.

This incident is the most common type of defensive gun use. That is, one in which no shots were fired and no one was hurt. Despite this being the most common type of defensive gun use, these incidents are often not included in statistics about defensive gun uses. Many of these statistics and studies focus solely on justifiable homicides, which represent only a fraction of total defensive gun uses.

This is the 73rd defensive gun use we’ve documented in the state of Ohio and the 1,327th defensive gun use we’ve documented overall.

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: []

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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