Do armed citizens help decrease crime? Detroit police chief and Ohio attorney general say YES
Detroit Police Chief James Craig is giving his city's armed residents - the law-abiding ones - credit for a large drop in crime, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine agrees, telling WKEF (ABC Dayton) it just might keep the bad guys away.
First, from the Detroit News:
Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.
“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.
Craig's observations are causing politicians and members of the media in other states to ponder the question - if it's working there, can it work here?
"I think more people are arming themselves," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine,
Attorney General DeWine would know.
His office keeps track of how many concealed carry permits are granted in the State of Ohio.
"We have seen a continuous increase of people who are getting their concealed carry permit," he said.
"I would hope that that would cause some of the burglars and some of the robbers to have a second thought, hey that man behind the counter, that woman behind the counter, she may have a gun," said Ohio Attorney General DeWine.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.
County sees surge in concealed carry licenses and women holding them - Women about half of county's fourfold rise
Service Pistol Warm-Up, EIC Matches Prime Competitors for 2014 National Trophy Pistol Match Season
CAMP PERRY, OH – The 2014 National Trophy Pistol Match Season began with a little stretching of the mind and loosening of the competitive muscles as the Pistol Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) and Service Pistol Warm-Up Matches readied competitors for the week ahead.
SAFS was held on July 7 to a class of 305 new and experienced shooters. During the school, participants receive basic instruction on firing practices, competition skills, range firing and safety. The Department of Defense first conducted SAFS as part of the National Matches at Camp Perry in 1918, and the course has been a staple ever since.
Members of the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine and Navy Active, as well as the National Guard and Reserve shooting teams assist students during the course. Their attention to detail, knowledge and experience make them some of the most qualified instructors in the country.
“These instructors are way better than what I had 30, 40 years ago in the Army,” said Jack Turner, 72, of Sebastian, FL. “My instructor here knew so much. He could talk your ear off with everything he knew. It was really excellent.”
At the conclusion of classroom training, students made their ways out to the range for live firing practice. All participants then have the opportunity to follow a true Course of Fire in an M9 Pistol Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) Match. Marksmen participate in EIC Matches in order to earn leg points towards becoming named a Distinguished Pistol shooter.
Stephen Monroe, 45, of Janesville, WI, was the overall winner in the M9 Pistol EIC Match, with a score of 258-4x. Monroe, new to pistol shooting, is now on his way to earning his Distinguished Badge – earning 4 leg points with his win. The Top 10 percent of finishers also received their introductory leg points.
Monroe showed outstanding perseverance during the match, continuing to fire while also battling terrible stomach pain. Crumpled over between shots, he was able to find the strength to straighten his back, aim and fire accurately during each sequence.
“I would have rather lost than feel like that,” he said, jokingly. “But I somehow managed to finish alright.”
Just behind Monroe in second place was 1st Lt. Zane Jones, USMCR, 33, of Columbus, OH, with a score of 257-3x. Jacob Tuomi, 19, of Chassell, MI, rounded out the top three with a score of 247-2x for third.
The Service Pistol Warm-Up Match on July 8 is meant to give competitors the opportunity to practice using their own pistols in a major competition. The event was slightly interrupted this year when rain poured down onto the competitors, causing a short delay. Relay 1 watched the black skies move in over the lake but managed to finish their sequences, while Relay 2 was forced to evacuate the range until the storm passed.
Once the clouds moved out of the area and all relays fired, it was SFC James Henderson, 47, of Midland, GA, who earned the top spot with his score of 388-11x. Henderson is the current record holder for the event, having fired a 392-15x back in 2009.
SSgt. Jonathan Shue, 32, of Stafford, VA, claimed the second place position with a score of 382-16x, while SGT Greg Markowski, 40, of Columbus, GA, trailed closely behind with 381-12x to land in third place.
Though all competitors in the Warm-Up Match received a commemorative coin, the Top 10 percent of the 277 competitors who fired in the event was given exclusive Gold Coins.
For a complete list of results in the M9 and Warm-Up Pistol Matches, visit https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=11023. Photos of the events are available for free download at http://cmp1.zenfolio.com/.
The Cause and Effect of Rapid Mass Murder©
The protocol for our “Rapid Mass Murder”, (RMM©) database is “Within 20 minutes, 4 or more murdered at the same time and public place”. Worldwide, along with support from probable cause evidence, we also count incidents of attempted RMM© by random actors in schools and workplaces. We do not tally military, police, terrorist or gang actions. By design, our protocol gives us a very specific, smaller and more manageable database, (currently around 150 incidents). The active killer, (“One who commits Rapid Mass Murder”), should be viewed as a rabid rogue human for valid reasons outlined below.
THE “STOPWATCH OF DEATH”©
The “Stopwatch of Death” (SWD©) is our quantification model that provides a reliable unit of measurement with which to determine the scale of one active killer incident relative to another. It is the total number of murder attempts, (killed and wounded), divided by the killing time when it is known. For instance, Columbine High School in Littleton, CO had a SWD© factor of 2.9, by two cowardly murderers. Because active killers are over 98% alone, we have seen that Columbine is not only ancient history, but their combined body-count has been far exceeded by lone murderers.
Our SWD© factor has revealed that lone killers can and have achieved attempted murders and body-counts faster than one per second. For example, the 1996 Tasmania Australia Broad Arrow Café, (un-aborted, the first of a 3 location shooting spree), had 12 murdered and 10 wounded in 15 seconds for a SWD© factor of 88.0. Closer to home in 2011 was Congresswoman Gifford’s Tucson, AZ shopping center meet & greet where 6 were murdered and 13 were wounded, also in 15 seconds, for a SWD© factor of 76.0, (aborted by unarmed citizens). How long it took someone to notify police in Tucson is unknown, but they arrived 4 minutes after being notified.
“Rapid Mass Murder”© is a foreseeable occurrence. It is only the where, when and how that is unknown. Our media is satiated with the effects of RMM©, (“If it bleeds, it leads”). It is the causes that seem to mystify normal folk. Following are five primary cause factors: Mental health issues; Violent video games that players practice criminality and killing; Media motivations; Faulty thinking on “Gun-Free” zones, and; Failure to protect.
Budgetary problems, not enough money for armed professionals? There is an untapped resource, free volunteer armed security force composed of parents, (and able-bodied Grandparents), who are already permitted to carry a concealed firearm. There would be a minimal start-up expense for advanced and periodic refresher training. Prior military or police candidates should be a sought after commodity.
THE FINAL OPTION AND THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TIME HANDICAP
Law enforcement is handicapped by “delayed notification time, call taking time, officer response time, entry time, locating the killer time in a typically huge facility, and dealing with the killer time”. Police always respond to RMM©, but only about half of these incidents are stopped or aborted by anyone. In the un-aborted half of RMM, the murdering stops only when the murderer says it stops. The final option for law enforcement is armed intervention. The final option for citizens is to submit or attack the attacker.
Because the vast majority of locations are Utopian declared “gun-free” zones, it is unarmed citizens that stop the killing, (or die trying), in the majority of their aborts.
Of the half of RMM© incidents that are aborted, it is the already-on-site citizens that do the heavy lifting, stopping the killing about 2/3rds of the time. (If legally armed citizens were permitted in these facilities, there would be far less bloodshed and tragedy). Law enforcement stops the killing in only one third of the RMM© incidents that are aborted due to their handicap of time.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Those that research post “Rapid Mass Murder”© incident literature will quickly gain probable cause intelligence that mental health issues are at the top of the list of causative factors. One need not have a background in psychiatry to recognize the evil dark side of someone becoming a rabid rogue human, or in the aftermath of their deeds.
Inevitably, after a RMM© incident, there will be folks that come out of the woodwork to share what “Numerous Unstable or Troubling Symptoms”, (NUTS©), they were aware of in these cowardly murderers. Often, because of their failure to report this and other information to an appropriate authority, they, their friends or other innocents die. The advice of “If you see something, say something”, certainly applies here.
VIOLENT “KILLING” VIDEO GAMES
Next to mental health issues is the obsession of playing video killing games. Potential active killers are greatly affected by their use. Juveniles are especially susceptible to the “Copycat Effect”. Also helpful toward understanding the motives of young active killers is knowing that full maturity of the human brain may not occur until 25 or 30 years of age, In combination with an already diseased mind, practicing, especially becoming addicted to video games that involve killing is a simply a recipe for mass tragedy.
In LTC/Ret. Dave Grossman's, (U.S. Army Ranger, West Point Professor of Psychology, Author, Presenter, Etc.), book "Stop Teaching Kids To Kill", he and his co-author make a dynamite case against violent TV/Movies and most especially video killing games. An important key against youth playing or an obsession with video killing games, is not merely what they are watching, but the myriad of repetitions that stimulate the brain to respond with simulated killing actions.
Grossman says the cause and effect is this excessive and harmful practice of STIMULUS and RESPONSE, Stimulus-Response, Etc. Based on science, elaborate tests have proven an arousal is occurring in different parts of the brain while playing these killing games.
Our take on his and others work is an analogy: It is uncontested that TV commercials do work to sell product, otherwise businesses would not waste money on them. Perhaps the biggest example is the millions paid for a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl.
Most any long-time military, law enforcement, firearm, sports or martial art trainer, will be very aware of what perfect repeated practice is necessary to achieve the last and highest of 4 stages of competence, that of Unconscious Competence or Auto-Pilot. Can the violent killing video game effect be harnessed for "good"? Yes! For some time, our military has been using modified video games for their training. Should young people outside the military be practicing killing with video games? Of course not! As an unhealthy practice, it is a parental responsibility to stop them from doing so.
AIDED AND ABETTED BY THE MEDIA
While heretofore unintentional, print, Internet and televised media must now share responsibility for motivating copycat “Rapid Mass Murder”. We have long recommended shunning of both the mass murderer’s name and picture, to remove what is at least a partial motive for committing mass murder in the first place. To this end we coined the descriptive term “Instant Celebrity Status”©, for which many copycat active killers have both sought, and received, in life or by their choice, death. Our take is asking the media to participate in the idea of such shunning has been gaining traction. In a 122213 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, by Jack Healy of the New York Times, “Plea Goes Up: Leave Shooters Unnamed” he wrote “.... many families of victims and law enforcement have begun urging journalists and public officials to avoid using the gunman’s names and photos”, denying what many active killers actually seek.
GRADE “A” FOR FIRE SAFETY, “F” FOR PROTECTION FROM MURDER
Schools certainly have a custodial responsibility to run safe and secure facilities. In his national presentations, Dave Grossman, has commented that when it comes to Fire Safety, schools and their Fire Departments deserve an “A” for zero deaths by fire in many years. On his web site, (www.killology.com), he notes that according to the US Secret Service, in 1998 alone we had 35 kids MURDERED in acts of school violence, and a QUARTER OF A MILLION were seriously injured. Remember, the likelihood of having your children killed or injured in a school shooting is THOUSANDS of times greater than the probability of them being killed or injured in a school fire. When confronted by an active killer, no one should be forced to take him on empty-handed.
WISHFUL BUT TRULY FAULTY THINKING: “GUN-FREE” ZONES
Unfortunately, the Utopian outlook of some school and workplace administrators seems to ignore the seriousness of the growing copycat “Rapid Mass Murder problem. A law, rule or sticker declaring a facility to be a “Gun-free” zone only empowers the health, welfare and safety of these cowardly murderers. These allegedly “forbidden” facilities only serve as a lure or magnet for potential murderers who prefer these locations so as to have free access to unarmed and defenseless victims. In a sense, “Gun-Free” zones actually aid and abet active killers.
Consider the analogy of our stop sign or red light laws. They depend on the voluntary compliance of good and honest citizens. Not counting the unintended violations that cause traffic crashes, we have all seen “Scoff-laws” who have intentionally violated a stop sign or red light. The concept is the same for who does and does not obey alleged “Gun-free” zones.
It appears to be a Utopian practice to throw money at some problems. In some schools and workplaces, ineffective, (to stop the killing), cameras, metal detectors and hiring unarmed security,money is squandered on false “feel good” intentions that do not solve the problem. Money is better spent hiring real armed security, arming teachers, or at a minimum improving the locking hardware in classrooms and offices to establish “Safe rooms” for lockdowns when appropriate.
“FIVE PHASES OF THE ACTIVE SHOOTER”
No information about “Rapid Mass Murder”© by active killers would be complete without mentioning our friend Lt. Dan Marcou’s great work. While he addresses his five phases from the law enforcement perspective, they appear to be equally true for citizens. Marcou, a retired officer from the Lacrosse (Wisconsin) Police Department describes five opportunities for law enforcement to intervene before shots are fired:
FANTASY: The suspect fantasizes about the act and the prestige it will bring. He may discuss his desires with others. If news of the fantasy reaches law enforcement, police may intervene before the gunman takes his first shot.
PLANNING: The shooter decides "who, what, when, where and how." He may put his plans in writing or discuss them with others. If police are tipped at this time, intervention can be made prior to a shooting spree.
PREPARATION: The suspect gathers weapons and ammo for the event. He may let friends know to steer clear of the area that day. If friends contact police, officers may be able to take action.
APPROACH: The suspect has made his plans and has decided to act. He will be moving toward his intended location armed with the tools of death. Law enforcement contact at this point may arise in a traffic stop, citizen call or "Terry Stop." Thorough investigation can lead the gunman to jail before he squeezes the trigger.
IMPLEMENTATION: Here, the shooter opens fire and this is where immediate action on law enforcement's part is required.
For good reason, “Rapid Mass Murder”© generally occurs where firearms are strictly forbidden, such as the Utopian so-called “Gun-Free” zones. For example, education facilities, followed by workplace offices, where a great number of defenseless innocents may be found, are most often targeted. Forbidding firearms does not “apply” to the active killer, as there is typically no effective strategy in these Utopian areas to stop him from entering. Typically, when an active killer confronts defenseless innocents, expecting the innocents especially children, to save themselves is not an effective strategy to stop the bloodshed.
A rabid rogue human possessing “remote control” weapons has quite a tactical advantage over unarmed innocent victims. In these deadly encounters, any courageous unarmed attempt to stop an active killer is very dangerous and predictably produces casualties. We certainly applaud the unarmed innocents that have tried, especially those successful at stopping the killing and survived. We have categorized five major causes of “Rapid Mass Murder”© and shared the potential interruption of the active killer with Marcou’s 5 Phases of the Active Shooter. There is a relevant quote here: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke).
What is urgently needed is for good legislators and administrators to understand that an already-on-site good legally armed person is far safer and more effective than untrained and unarmed innocents attempting hand-to-hand combat against an active killer armed with knives, guns, Molotov cocktails, Etc. Concealed carry Administrators, Teachers, and Volunteer plainclothes parents, (especially former or present military or police), are far more concrete solutions than any Utopian fantasy. Emotional naysayer’s that predict a rash of firearm accidents and OK Corral gunfights have never been proved right in the past about armed citizen laws, and cannot objectively document their position on legally permitted guns in schools or workplaces.
About the author: Ron Borsch is a Viet Nam Veteran, (1965-66 U.S. Army Paratrooper, 101st Airborne), was a full time career law enforcement officer, (3 decades Bedford OH/PD which included a couple decades as Rangemaster, Pistol Team Captain, SWAT and Chief DT & Arrest Control Instructor). He has been a training devotee, attending consecutive annual National-International training seminars since 1977. After completing a LE career, he served as manager and lead trainer for SEALE Regional Police Training academy for 17 years, attracting officers from over a hundred LE agencies and from nine states and has been a paid evaluator for 3 communities active killer response training. As a free agent trainer, he has presented in five states, has been interviewed or authored dozens of articles published on prestigious LE Internet sites.
Obama Administration Bans Import of Popular Russian Firearms
[Last] week, the Treasury Department used authority delegated to it by the president, under Executive Order 13661, to sanction Russian gun maker Kalashnikov Concern (formerly Izhmash). In the United States, the manufacturer is best known for its popular Saiga rifles and shotguns. While ostensibly a measure to curb aggression by some in the Russian Federation, the move does bar from importation firearms that gun control supporters have long sought to ban. We of course recognize the important role that enacting sanctions can have in furthering legitimate U.S. foreign policy interests. However, in this instance the extent to which these actions coincide with the stated domestic policy goals of gun control supporters is more than a little unsettling. As such, NRA-ILA is monitoring this situation closely.
Executive Order 13661, titled, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” was signed March 16th in response to Russian actions in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The order gives the Secretary of the Treasury the power to compile an appropriate list of entities to be sanctioned. On July 16th, the Treasury Department announced that it was expanding this list to include Kalashnikov Concern.
The old adage goes: The only decent product ever produced by the USSR was the AK-47. After the breakup of the USSR and the end of Cold War, Russia has continued to produce well-regarded AK-pattern rifles that have become popular among American gun owners. The intense U.S. demand for Saiga’s in recent years led to a 2012 New York Times article profiling the popular imports.
While the United States government blames the Ukrainian conflict for this latest move, gun control advocates will no doubt applaud the ban on importation of some of the very types of firearms at the center of recent domestic attempts to ban so-called “assault weapons.”
For current owners of Kalashnikov firearms, the Treasury Department has stated that firearms already owned by Americans or in the secondary market are not affected by the sanctions. In a FAQs that accompanied the July 16th announcement, the Treasury Department made clear:
If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction.
Whatever the true basis of the current decision might be, import restrictions have long been used by the executive branch as a means of unilaterally enacting gun control. Historically, this has often occurred through abuses of the “sporting purposes” test. For example, this standard is used in requiring the Attorney General to authorize import of any firearm that “is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), however, has ignored the popularity of particular shooting sports to justify its attempts prohibit certain firearms. Further, the entire test is constitutionally suspect, particularly in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision which recognizes self-defense as core to the Second Amendment right.
This tactic was used in 1989 by George H. W. Bush, and in 1998 by Bill Clinton, to ban the import of several types of semi-automatic rifles. As recently as March, Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to Obama urging that he use the “sporting purposes” test to bar certain firearms from importation. In a similar example of executive branch gun control through import restrictions, in 1996, Clinton entered the U.S. into a “Voluntary Restraint Agreement” with Russia that banned the importation of several types of firearms.
More recently, importation of a popular brand of Russian ammunition that had long been available in the U.S. was abruptly banned under a federal regulation pertaining to so-called “armor piercing” handgun ammunition. BATFE has thus far failed to explain why this ammunition, favored by many recreational rifle shooters for its relative affordability, did not qualify for the “sporting purposes” exemption that has been applied to other military surplus cartridges designed for use in rifles. This has led to renewed calls for BATFE to explain its methodology for making “sporting purposes” determinations.
Taking into consideration these past import-based firearms restrictions, and the administration’s ongoing attempts to further gun control through executive actions, gun owners are rightfully skeptical. These latest sanctions will no doubt engender the idea among some that the Treasury Department is using a geopolitical crisis as a convenient excuse to advance the president’s domestic anti-gun agenda.
We will continue to look for opportunities to block the Obama administration's anti-gun agenda whether through the legal, legislative or political arenas.
© 2014 National Rifle Association of America. Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
Firearms Training: So What Do I Need to Learn?
If you agree with my premise that firearms training is the responsible thing to do, then you next need to determine how much training you need. The primary purpose of training is to measure your abilities against some pre-defined standard of performance. In the case of required training, such as what is included in Ohio’s concealed carry law, the performance standard is established by lawmakers. In other cases, the standard is determined by some governing body—such as the NRA—or by the school or instructor providing the training.
For Ohio concealed carry training, the minimum “standard” established in law is that individuals must be able to:
- Name, explain, and demonstrate the rules for safe handling of a handgun and proper storage practices for handguns and ammunition;
- Demonstrate and explain how to handle ammunition in a safe manner;
- Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to shoot a handgun in a safe manner;
- Demonstrate proper gun-handling.
Many other states have similar requirements.
Instructors certify that students have successfully met the minimum standards by issuing a competency certificate. To receive this certificate, individuals undergoing training must take a written examination and participate in live-fire range exercises where they show they understand the required information and procedures.
Notice that Ohio’s mandated requirements do not include shooting proficiency. Instead the emphasis is on safety. The law-makers don’t want anyone to accidentally/negligently shoot themselves or someone else and they don’t want anyone—such as unsupervised children or adults prohibited by law from firearms possession—to get their hands on a gun and/or ammunition.
Firearms instructors are encouraged to expand on these minimum requirements and they usually do. At LongMeadows Shooting School, we include a minimum shooting proficiency requirement—specifically being able to place five consecutive shots into a 10-inch circle from a minimum distance of three yards—and it is surprising the number of people that struggle to achieve this objective.
For you the question should be what is the “standard” that you should measure your ability to defend yourself against? While there is no established standard for this, one that I and many other instructors would consider adequate is the ability to draw a handgun from concealment and place three shots into a 3-inch circle from a distance of three yards in three seconds—the “3-3-3-3” standard. If you can consistently do this, then you are probably at a suitable level of competency to be comfortable that you will be able to successfully defend yourself. This “standard” has three elements to it—speed, accuracy, and distance.
Speed is a combination of how quickly you can access your gun from where it is, point it at the target, and then manipulate it to deliver the shots. Dennis Tueller, a Salt Lake City police sergeant and the creator of the “Tueller Drill”, has shown that a determined attacker armed with a knife can get to you in 1.5 seconds from a distance of 7 yards, so you must be able to recognize what is occurring and respond to protect yourself within that timeframe.
While some instructors do include training on how to draw a handgun from concealment during their basic concealed carry courses, most find it difficult to do this while also covering all of the other material that is required and to accomplish it within the time allocated for the course. In the most advanced NRA pistol courses— “Personal Protection Outside the Home” and “Defensive Pistol”—just the portion covering the different methods of concealed carry and how to select the appropriate holster, etc., takes about an hour of classroom instruction and additional time at the range practicing the procedure.
Practice is important because the goal is to minimize the amount of time it takes to draw the gun and get it pointed in the right direction. Ideally you should be able to do this in 1-1.5 seconds, leaving you just 1.5-2 seconds to deliver those three accurate shots to the target required to meet the “3-3-3-3” standard. The various concealed carry options require varying amounts of time to access the gun.
Given that you cannot walk around with your gun in your hand all the time, experience has shown that the most efficient and least time-consuming method is to carry your handgun in a holster—either outside-the-waistband (OWB) or inside-the-waistband (IWB)—on the strong side of your body. Accessing your handgun is complicated by the fact that it must be carried concealed — i.e. under or inside some sort of clothing or case. Thus, practice is required not only in getting the gun out of the holster (or pocket/case) quickly, but also doing so while not getting the gun caught or snagging it on anything.
While speed is important, it is probably more important to focus your attention on accuracy first—speed can come later. Accurately shooting a handgun is heavily dependent on your hand-and-eye coordination to bring it up into your line-of-sight, point it to where you want your bullets to strike, place any safety controls in the proper position to allow the gun to function, and hold it steady while you press the trigger and fire it.
This is where those things like grip, stance, sight-alignment/sight-picture, hold control, breath control, trigger control, and follow-through come into play. A basic requirement is to get the front sight on the target where you want your bullets to hit it. If you do not, you will not hit your target at the intended place. Indeed, you may not hit it at all, and a miss doesn’t do anything for you in bringing a life-threatening situation to a successful conclusion and could make the situation worse if your bullet hits an innocent bystander!
Gary Evens is an NRA-Certified Instructor and Range Safety Officer.
Op-Ed: Guns Still Safer than Cars, and Most Everything Else
It is indeed too bad that cars and guns are not treated the same way. If they were, accidental automobile deaths might become nearly non-existent.
In a recent editorial (“Guns, cars and dead Americans”, 10/24/2013) the Post-Gazette bemoaned many things, and opined with a level of inaccuracy not tolerated at shooting ranges. The editorial’s gist was that government regulation and legislation made roadways, air, water and consumer products safer, so similar regiments should be applied to guns and for the same effect.
But guns accidentally killed just 606 people in the U.S. in the most recent reporting year. That’s about 1/55th the number of people killed in traffic accidents.
Despite gun ownership steadily increasing over the past three decades, and with more than eleven million people obtaining permits to carry guns in public, accidental firearm mayhem has fallen to a rate so low as to approach statistically irrelevant noise levels. It has always been so, but interestingly the already low accidental firearm death rate is falling faster than that for cars, dropping 33% in the last decade compared to only 25% for autos.
Digging beneath the surface is important to all policy making, but it is especially critical in the myth polluted realm of gun control. Even the Post’s own editorial accidentally discharged one common misstatement, that “Guns now kill about 30,000 Americans annually.” Though that many people do die annually from gunshots, over 19,000 of them were suicides. When more than 60% of deaths are mental health related, the suicide tool of choice becomes irrelevant. Canada shares many cultural elements with the United States, has a nearly identical suicide rate, but a lower gun ownership rate. The World Health Organization notes that severely depressed Canadians opt to use poison to kill themselves.
Proposing solutions requires understanding the problem. From health and criminological statistics we know that of all gun deaths about 61% are suicides, 2% are accidents, another 1% are legal interventions, and the other 36% are criminal actions – intentional homicides. The overwhelming majority of homicides are gangland slayings, as Pittsburgh’s own East Hills Bloods and Fulton Block Boyz will attest. Ponder this for a minute. If gangs and people of mental fragility were dealt with, 97% of all gun deaths would disappear. Obviously this isn’t a gun control problem. Drugs and gangs aren’t an NRA problem. Mental instability isn’t a consumer protection, reckless gun owner, or even a child-proofing problem (only 62 children were accidentally killed with guns in 2010, and some of those deaths are of a suspicious nature).
Therein lays the rub with the Post’s editorial. Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed” may have led to reductions in automobile deaths, but cars operated on public highways are rightfully regulated by the public. Air and water are shared natural resources, and likewise are the public’s concern. A man who keeps a revolver in a night stand, or a woman target shooting with her AR-15, are not. Criminals, especially the well-known repeat violent offenders are within the regulatory reach of law, though Pittsburgh appears to be failing on that front.
Click here to read the entire op-ed at CalGunLaws.com.
Castle Doctrine: It's not just for gun owners
Ask someone to define the term "Castle Doctrine," and you will get a variety of answers, in part because, like "Stand Your Ground," it is a marketing term used to describe a variety of self-defense laws in various states around the country.
It is likely, however, that the varied definitions will likely contain a common theme - one involving the use of a firearm to defend oneself. While the laws typically say nothing about the particular tools that one may use in a self-defense incident, the misunderstanding likely comes from the fact that pro-gun rights groups are, if not the only, certainly the most vocal proponents of such laws when they are being debated.
The fact is, when it was passed in 2008 and signed into law by then-Governor Ted Strickland (D), Ohio's Castle Doctrine Law (SB 184) made significant practical improvements for ALL Ohioans - not just gun owners.
This fact came to mind as I read about a home invasion that occurred in the Hamilton, Ohio last month.
From WKRC (CBS Cincinnati):
Police confirmed the fatal stabbing of a man in a Hamilton apartment building was self-defense.
The victim was identified as 24-year-old Antonio Heath from West Chester. Heath was found stabbed at the Princeton Square Apartments on Hampshire Drive at 4:30 Thursday morning. A window in the apartment had been smashed.
Officials were called to the apartment complex for a possible fight. When they arrived they found Heath stabbed to death. He was not a resident in the apartment where he was found.
Neighbor Michael Barger said, "One of their friends was staying the night. He said that there was someone at his window just posting at his window. And then all of a sudden I, they said that they went outside to see who it was and they made them, basically shoved them, back into their apartment."
Police spent much of the day investigating and piecing together what happened in the apartment.
It is important to note that the victim in this case was not, as WKRC labeled him, the criminal who was stabbed after breaking into the occupied dwelling of another. The victim is the person who was forced to defend his own life. And thanks to Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, this person did not have to be victimized a second time, as some have been before SB 184 became law, by an overzealous prosecutor.
That's because, under Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, if someone unlawfully enters or attempts to enter an occupied home or temporary habitation, or occupied car, citizens have an initial presumption that they may act in self defense, and will not be second-guessed by the State.
It is important to note that this section does not apply simply to those with a concealed handgun license (CHL), or just those who have a gun, but to all law-abiding citizens who are victims of a violent crime. No matter how you choose to defend yourself, this law is important to you.
Before using deadly force you must establish that you did not create the situation and you must be at risk of death or great bodily harm. It is generally agreed that to satisfy that risk, your attacker must have the ability, opportunity and intent to do you arm. All three elements are required to exist at the same time for you to be justified in use of deadly force.
SB 184 established that all of these are presumed to be satisfied if someone unlawfully enters, or is attempting to enter your occupied home or car.
Note also that this is not a “get out of jail free” card for criminals. This presumption may be challenged and overcome if the prosecution can prove with a preponderance of the evidence that it should not apply. (It does not prevent the arrest and prosecutions where overwhelming evidence indicates that it was not a self-defense situation.)
Another important aspect of SB184 that was a benefit to all law-abiding Ohioans came in the form of civil protections. Under Ohio law, a criminal (or a deceased criminal's family) is no longer able to successfully sue you for damages he sustained while committing a felony or a violent misdemeanor, including injuries sustained as a result of your intentional acts (shooting, stabbing, clubbing, etc.) while engaged in self-defense.
Ohio's "Castle Doctrine" law made much-needed reforms to the state's self-defense laws, and none of the wild predictions of the anti-self-defense rights extremists have come to pass. It is time to finish the job. When they return from summer recess, legislators should act quicky to pass HB 203 (Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform).
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.