Cumberland County, New Jersey: Gordon Van Gilder,72, is a retired teacher who lives on a pension. He likes to collect 18th century memorabilia. But not only his pension is in jeopardy, his future is in doubt- all because of a flintlock that New Jersey police found in his glove box.
Mr. Van Gilder had the Queen Anne flintlock unloaded (they’re not easy to load in the first place) and wrapped in a cloth in his glove box. Police stopped him for a “minor traffic violation” and asked if they could search his car. He readily admitted it was in there. New Jersey’s laws do not exempt antique firearms…”Draconian” laws… a reference that is an understatement for a gun that likely hasn’t been fired in 3 centuries.
And the violation for this ancient weapon? It’s a felony. At minimum the sentence is mandatory for 3.5 years to a maximum of 10.
Yet again, a Good Samaritan with a gun stops the commission of a crime by a bad guy with a weapon. Florida gun owner Edwin Sullivan, taking advantage of rights recognized under a new law enacted in that state, witnessed an attempt by a knife-wielding thug to commit a violent crime, and fired a warning shot to stop the crime. The attacker froze and this saved the life of the would-be victim, and stopped a violent crime from happening. Once again, a citizen with a gun stops a crime.
Sullivan’s actions are legal under a new state law passed in Florida called the “Threatened Use of Force” law. The Herald-Tribute, reporting this story, describes that law as one that , “allows an armed citizen to display, or point, their defensive firearm at an assailant without criminal charges, assuming the threatened use of force is justifiable.” The law also allows the citizen to fire a warning shot, as Sullivan did, if needed to stop the commission of a crime.
By now, most are familiar with the story of Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara mass murderer who killed six people last weekend before turning his gun on himself. Rodger’s loneliness, angst and longing for meaningless sex are now well known. What may be less well known is that Rodger shared many characteristics with a number of other recent spree killers.
As Examiner reported last year, a number of features are common in the random mass killings that seem prevalent in recent years. First, almost all of the mass killers are known to be habitual players of violent video games. Second, the killer often comes from a broken family. Finally, in most cases, the killer can be reasonably determined to have undiagnosed or untreated mental illness. Elliot Rodger fits into all three categories.
California is serious about gun control. So serious that despite already boasting some of the most rigid gun laws in the country, the Golden State is now considering even stricter legislation. The New York Times reports that “state lawmakers are championing legislation that would permit law enforcement officials and private individuals to seek a restraining order from a judge that would keep people with a potential propensity for violence from buying or owning a gun.”
The legislation, known as a gun violence restraining order, would allow people to notify courts or law enforcement officials if they are concerned that a family member or friend is at risk of committing violence.
This doesn’t alarm people nearly as much as someone carrying a rifle into a restaurant.
The controversial open carry incident involving semi-automatic rifles in a Dallas, Tex. restaurant that led the restaurant chain ask people to not bring guns to their establishments is now garnering overwhelmingly negative reactions from gun-owning readers of a popular gun rights blog.
An unscientific poll started by the Guns Save Lives (GSL) shows nearly 85 percent of the respondents think carrying rifles into a restaurant is going to hurt the gun rights movement. Less than ten percent of the respondents think it will help, and between five and six percent aren’t sure.
Compounding the potential for a backlash was the image of two rifle-toting guys inside that restaurant. The image has gone viral, and is being used as an example of bad behavior by open carry advocates. Continue reading →
Liberal Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large ignited a firestorm with his suggestion that it is time to repeal the Second Amendment as the mechanism to reduce violent crime following three fatal shootings in the city in recent days.
Seattle Times readers did not react too well, and as the column gets wider readership on some of the gun forums, the backlash is building.
Former Justice John Paul Stevens would like to change the Second Amendment.
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens thinks the Second Amendment should be changed and he says so in the pages of his new book, an excerpt of which was published by the Washington Post, igniting a new debate about gun rights.
Justice Stevens would like to add five words to the amendment: “when serving in the militia,” right after “shall not be infringed.”
It is almost as though the retired jurist is contending that, because he did not care for the 5-4 ruling in the Heller case that affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a firearm, he now wants to change the constitution. Continue reading →
Renewed focus on using deadly force to stop property crimes is one result of the Spokane verdict that acquitted a man on manslaughter charges for killing a suspected car thief.
When a Spokane, Wash., jury acquitted a local man of manslaughter charges for the March 2013 shooting death of a man who was trying to seal his SUV, it provided new fuel for a long-burning debate over the use of lethal force to protect property.
Gail Gerlach is a free man today after the 11-woman, one-man jury deliberated for only a few hours, and then deciding separately that he was justified in his actions, thus setting the stage for state reimbursement of his legal defense bills, which could come to an estimated $300,000.
The family of the dead man, 25-year-old Brendon Kaluza-Graham, was distraught over the verdict, and his grandmother told reporters that her grandson was “a sacrificial lamb.” Continue reading →