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Thread: VA-ALERT: VCDL UPDATE 12-17-07

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    Manassas, Virginia, USA

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    VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's
    scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:
    VCDL's meeting schedule:

    VCDL UPDATE 12/17/07 - Defending your right to defend yourself

    Thought for the day: "While some people with guns do kill people,
    it's the people without guns who get killed." -- Jack Shermahn

    1. VCDL Meeting in Annandale on Thursday
    2. VCDL Meeting in Richmond with Senator Cuccinelli
    3. Articles needed for next Defender
    4. Q&A: Guns in VA churches
    5. Botetourt County still photographing CHP applicants?
    6. Gun ban for EMS personnel lifted?
    7. Tension among VA Democrats from different regions
    8. VA-Pilot wants your guns registered through private sales
    background checks
    9. Gun show debate in the Valley
    10. Count the guns, not the sellers
    11. RT publication of permit holders backfires
    12. LTE: Gun permit holders should have privacy
    13. Flashback to 1995: Relaxed CHP law causes alarm
    14. Crime in 'safe' areas worries many
    15. Who needs a gun at a child's birthday party?
    16. Who needs a gun in a restaurant?
    17. NoVA trail organization and gun club arrive at agreement
    18. Eyewitness account of Omaha mall shooting
    19. Staying safe while you shop -- no answers here
    20. Why would you need a gun in a church?
    21. 'Dirty Harriet' saves the day in Colorado
    22. Permit holder who stopped church shooter credits God
    23. Police: Church gunman killed himself
    24. Smear campaign against CO church permit holder underway
    25. CO church killer acquired guns and ammo 'by the book'
    26. LTE: When seconds count, the police are minutes away
    27. Strong women own guns
    28. Editorial: Holstered guns in open view don't belong on campus (UT)
    29. Bill would let some college students tote guns (AL)
    30. Gun ranges becoming extinct in New Jersey
    31. Bloomberg wants to quiz candidates on guns
    32. UK to ban samurai swords -- will bans on hands and feet follow soon?
    33. No right to life without right to self-defense

    1. VCDL Meeting in Annandale on Thursday

    VCDL is having its monthly membership meeting this Thursday in

    We will discuss your important role on VCDL Lobby Day, which will be
    on January 21st, 2008.

    Be sure to mark your calendars to come to Lobby Day and help VCDL get
    its message out to YOUR delegate and senator.

    As always, the meeting is open to the public, so bring friends,
    family, and co-workers!

    Fellowship starts at 7:30 PM. The meeting is called to order at 8:00
    PM and adjourns at 9:30 PM.

    Afterward we will go to a local restaurant for continued fellowship.

    Carrying is legal at the government center where we hold the meeting.
    If you plan on carrying at the restaurant afterwards you will need to
    open carry, as the restaurant serves alcohol.

    The address of the meeting is:

    Mason District Governmental Center
    6507 Columbia Pike
    Annandale, VA 22003

    For directions more information or directions, go to:

    2. VCDL Meeting in Richmond with Senator Cuccinelli

    Like the meeting in Annadale this week, the next Richmond VCDL
    Membership meeting will concentrate on lobbying the General Assembly,
    of particular interest for those of you who are going to attend VCDL
    Lobby Day.

    REMINDER: VCDL Lobby Day is January 21st, 2008 - be sure to mark your
    calendars to come to Lobby Day and help VCDL get its message out to
    your Delegate and Senator.

    As an extra bonus, Senator Ken Cuccinelli will address the group and
    will be discussing the General Assembly, too. Senator Cuccinelli can
    provide excellent insight into the internal workings of our government!

    The meeting is going to be held on Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 at:

    Tuckahoe Library
    1901 Starling Drive
    Richmond VA 23229-4607

    As always, the meeting is open to the public, so bring friends,
    family, and co-workers!

    Carry is legal at the library.

    Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM. The meeting is called to order at 7:00
    PM and adjourns at 8:30 PM.

    Afterwards, we will go to a local restaurant for continued fellowship.

    Let's have a big turnout for this meeting. See you there!

    3. Articles needed for next Defender

    VCDL's newsletter, THE DEFENDER, was mailed out to members last week.
    Check your mailbox. It should be arriving any time now.

    If you would like to submit an article for the next VCDL Defender
    newsletter, email them to by 1/25/08. The subject
    can be anything about guns that you think your fellow gun owners would
    be interested in - laws, shooting tips, gun reviews, experiences, etc.

    4. Q&A: Guns in VA churches

    I have received a ton of messages about carrying in churches. Many of
    you thought it was illegal in Virginia. In general it is NOT illegal.

    The only restriction is on carrying during a meeting for religious
    purposes. So, if you are in the church when there is not a service or
    other religious meeting in progress, you can carry.

    If there is a service or other religious meeting happening, you can
    carry if you have "good and sufficient reason." The law is unclear on
    exactly what is considered a "good and sufficient reason." That
    wording should allow a pretty broad set of things that would justify
    carrying a gun.

    For me, Al Qaeda is my good and sufficient reason. The government has
    issued warnings about possible attacks by Islamic terrorists at non-
    Islamic places of worship, as well as other venues.

    And what happened in Colorado and other places in America shows that
    we live under a constant threat by the criminally insane.

    The penalty, if you are convicted of not having good and sufficient
    reason by an unreasonable judge, is a Class 4 MISDEMEANOR, which is
    the mildest of all crimes. No jail time and a maximum fine of not
    more than $250 (plus any legal fees).

    I am not a lawyer and can't give you legal advice. If you want to
    carry in church during a religious meeting, you should talk to a
    lawyer and make up your mind at that time as to whether you have "good
    and sufficient reason."

    Here is the actual code section:


    18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.

    If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other
    dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of
    worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such
    place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    5. Botetourt County still photographing CHP applicants?

    It is not clear if Botetourt County is still illegally photographing
    CHP applicants.

    If you live in Botetourt County, let us know if they try to photograph
    you when you or someone you know gets their first permit or renews
    their existing CHP.

    If they do try to photograph you, decline to let them do so and
    contact us immediately.

    6. Gun ban for EMS personnel lifted?
    ************************************************** (VDH home page)

    From VCDL VP Jim Snyder:


    Several weeks ago, I complained to the webmaster of a Virginia EMS
    website about their inaccurate version of 18.2-308. The webmaster said
    it'd be fixed, and now I get this email.

    I'd have to go back and make sure, but I it sounds like he's saying
    that they no longer enforce the "no guns for EMS personnel" ban they
    used to have. [PVC: I believe that to be the case, based on an email
    from December 2005, which follows.]

    [Virginia Department of Health to Jim]


    Thank you for writing and bringing to our attention the error as
    posted on our Web page. It took us a while to figure out how this
    occurred, but it was a conversion issue that has been resolved.

    As we no longer enforce the section of the regulations this pertains
    to (12 VAC 5-31-700 (6) EMS Vehicle Safety, the reference has been
    removed from our Web page. When the next generation of the EMS
    Regulations is published, the wording will be removed from the
    regulations as well.

    Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Michael D. Berg, AAS, NREMT-P
    Manager, Regulation and Compliance
    Office of Emergency Medical Services Virginia Department of Health


    From VCDL UPDATE 12-18-05, item #7:

    For those who have been on this list for a while, you might recall our
    efforts to get a repeal on a regulation that prohibited EMS personnel
    with CHPs from carrying on ambulances. On January 17th, 2003 I sent
    out an update stating that we had won.

    We did, but one part of the law was inadvertently left on the books. A
    few of our members found this recently and one contacted the Office of
    Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) about the problem.

    The member was told that the OEMS was aware of the problem and the
    regulation was NOT being enforced.

    That's good but they need to get the regulation completely off the
    books anyhow!

    Here is the email from OEMS to our member:

    From: Michael Berg
    Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 3:59 PM
    To: xxx
    Cc: Gary Brown
    Subject: Weapons and EMS

    Dear Mr. xxx,

    As the Manager for the Regulation and Compliance Division for the
    Office of Emergency Medical Services, Mr. Brown has asked that I reply
    to your inquiry. Your question concerns the ability for EMS providers
    to be able to carry weapons during the course of their duties,
    especially while on an ambulance or responding to a request for

    When the current version of the EMS Regulations were being promulgated
    (January 15, 2003), there was indeed a proposed regulation disallowing
    the carrying of weapons by EMS personnel on an ambulance. There was a
    mounted campaign against such a proposal and indeed the proposed
    regulation was withdrawn. Unfortunately, in another section of the
    regulations, specifically, 12 VAC 5-31- 700 EMS Safety (6) in part
    states, “Possession of a firearm, weapon, or explosive or incendiary
    device on any EMS vehicle is prohibited, except…” This was to have
    been removed during the revision process and simply was an oversight.
    We have administratively directed our field staff to not enforce this
    specific provision of the regulations.

    I hope this answers your questions and addresses your concerns. Please
    feel free to call on me should we be of any additional assistance.

    Michael D. Berg
    Manager, Regulation and Compliance
    Virginia Office of EMS
    109 Governor Street, Suite UB-55
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    (804)864-7615 (Office)
    (804)864-7580 (Fax)
    (800)523-6019 (Virginia only)

    7. Tension among VA Democrats from different regions

    "'Hopefully, Democrats have learned the lessons of the last few
    years,' Diyorio said."

    I agree - Democrats should now be very aware that gun control is a
    LOSER. The rural Democrats are very much aware of that and are very
    concerned over where the Democratic Senators from the urban areas
    might try to take the state:
    Tensions Could Hurt Majority in Va. Senate
    Rural Democrats Fear They'll Be Swept Aside

    By Tim Craig
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007; B01

    RICHMOND -- The power shift in the state Senate to Democrats from
    suburban and urban areas is causing tension with their rural
    colleagues and raising fresh questions about the party's health in
    south-central and southwestern Virginia.

    When the Senate convenes in January, Democrats will take over from
    Republicans for the first time since the 1990s. The new majority will
    set a milestone in Virginia politics, installing women, minorities and
    men from the suburbs in all committee chairmanships.

    Incoming Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said the
    changes could mean more money for projects in Hampton Roads and
    Northern Virginia, the economic engines of the state.

    But as Democrats from those areas exert growing influence, some party
    leaders fear the rural Democrats who dominated state politics for more
    than a century could be pushed aside.

    "I think there is already some tension," said Sen. Phillip P. Puckett
    (D-Russell), who represents coal country in southwestern Virginia. "I
    have just asked for some fairness. I understand the seniority system,
    but at the same time, rural Democratic legislators are concerned."

    Virginia Democrats might experience some of the rifts between suburban
    and rural interests that have hampered Republicans for years. With a
    21 to 19 majority in the Senate, Democrats have little room for
    dissent if they want to pass bills.

    Saslaw acknowledges that the party is facing growing pains after
    picking up the four seats needed to retake the Senate last month. But
    he says Democrats have long heard complaints from Northern Virginians
    that too much power was concentrated in rural areas.

    Republicans sense an opportunity to build strength in rural parts of
    the state, cementing their status as the firewall for GOP candidates
    in statewide elections.

    "They named their committee chairs and made a big point of them being
    from Northern Virginia and many being minority," said Virginia GOP
    Chairman John H. Hager. "If they rub that in too much, there might be
    some people who have a little reaction to that."

    Although the rise of Democrats in Virginia reflects their success in
    rapidly growing and diversifying Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads,
    the party has struggled to make gains in more rural areas.

    Despite spending major money in legislative races, Democrats failed to
    pick up rural House or Senate seats this year.

    Hager said Virginia is now "a red state and a blue state all in one
    state." He added: "We will be very strong in the rural areas for a
    long time. It's the NASCAR crowd. It's our crowd."

    Statewide, Republican House candidates received 100,000 more votes
    than Democrats. As they prepare for next year's presidential and U.S.
    Senate races, Democrats might have to find a way to boost their appeal
    in rural areas if they want to build a lasting majority in the state.

    "It is going to be a challenge," said Sean T. O'Brien, executive
    director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership in
    Charlottesville. "The power base for Democrats has shifted to suburban
    Democrats. There is a fear the rural Democrats are going to be
    forgotten. If Democrats do that, they are writing their own epitaph."

    Puckett said he is confident his colleagues in Northern Virginia and
    Hampton Roads "won't abandon" him. But he said the four senators from
    southwestern and rural southern Virginia could become swing votes if
    they feel they are being taken for granted.

    Puckett and Sen. William Roscoe Reynolds (D-Franklin) represent two
    districts in southwestern Virginia that usually vote Republican in
    statewide elections because their regions tend to be conservative on
    cultural issues. Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) and Sen. John S.
    Edwards (D-Roanoke) represent more Democratic-leaning districts in
    southwestern and southern Virginia. But Deeds and Edwards represent
    many residents with conservative views, as evidenced by their strong
    opposition to gun control.

    Deeds said the new majority will have to work hard to avoid dissension.

    "Many people in rural areas view the Democrats with suspicion because
    of the positions we take on social issues," Deeds said. "We have to do
    a better job of talking the language that all people understand. We as
    Democrats need to get back to basics and talk about building the
    economy, an issue that unites us."

    U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D), who represents southwestern Virginia, said
    he's confident Democrats in Richmond will respond to the needs of
    rural Virginia by investing in economic development and transportation

    "There is tremendous cohesiveness in the Senate," said Boucher, who
    served there from 1974 to 1983. "The people of influence have been
    there for a long time. . . . These are individuals who truly encompass
    a vision for the entire state."

    But the effort to unite Senate Democrats around a message of economic
    populism might be hampered by a split over who should be named to the
    powerful Finance Committee.

    Four slots on the committee will open up for Democrats when the
    General Assembly convenes. Democrats from southwestern Virginia argue
    they should get some of those slots, but the Senate's tradition of
    rewarding seniority could mean senators from other parts of the state
    get the plum seats.

    "We are going to try to accommodate everyone, but basically this is
    the fall of the cards through the seniority system," Saslaw said.

    Saslaw noted that Reynolds has been named deputy floor leader, which
    he said proves that the Democratic leadership is geographically
    diverse. Reynolds declined to comment.

    Sen. R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania) said the seniority system is
    "creating a huge geographic imbalance."

    "Our majority is very tenuous," said Houck, who will chair the
    Education and Health Committee. "We got a very small majority to go
    around. Why do all the new chairmen also get the good committee

    The debate over the future of rural Democrats strikes a sensitive
    chord in Virginia because experts say rural voters are torn between
    the parties.

    The trend, which has played out across the South, has been evident in
    presidential elections.

    In the 1990s, Bill Clinton carried southwestern Virginia's 9th
    Congressional District in both his elections. In this decade,
    President Bush has racked up huge margins in the region, including a
    52,000-vote advantage over Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.

    Democrats have remained optimistic about their fortunes in the region
    because Mark R. Warner handily won southwestern Virginia in his 2001
    run for governor. If Warner can do the same in his bid for the U.S.
    Senate next year, he will almost certainly be elected, because he is
    expected to run strong in vote-rich Northern Virginia. Democrats also
    picked up a dozen county offices in southwestern Virginia last month,
    which Boucher said bodes well for the long-term health of the party.

    Democratic strategist Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, who specializes in rural
    politics, said the party's prospects are improving in the South
    because the racial politics that helped drive rural voters to
    Republican candidates are subsiding.

    Saunders and other Democratic strategists caution that the party still
    faces considerable challenges in Virginia, in part because of voter
    impressions of Democrats in Washington.

    "This is still the Bible Belt," said Linda Diyorio, a strategist for
    Boucher. "The issues on the plate nationally -- guns, abortion, gay
    rights -- are issues that a lot of voters look at to form their

    If those issues don't consume Virginia Democrats, Diyorio said, she is
    confident that the party's prospects will continue to improve in rural
    parts of the state, assuming there isn't a lot of intraparty
    squabbling in Richmond.

    "Hopefully, Democrats have learned the lessons of the last few years,"
    Diyorio said.

    8. VA-Pilot wants your guns registered through private sales
    background checks
    Make all gun sales subject to checks

    Virginia has tough penalties for those convicted of illegal possession
    of a weapon. Violent felons spend at least five years in prison if
    they're caught with a gun.

    It seems incongruous to punish people for doing something the law
    allows. In Virginia, anyone, criminals included, can buy a gun without
    undergoing a criminal background check if they buy from a hobbyist,
    not a licensed dealer.

    Last week, Gov. Tim Kaine correctly said the legislature needs to fix
    that and require background checks on all private gun sales. "You
    either want folks who are felons to have guns, or you don't." [PVC:
    Based on that logic we need to require *all* government officials,
    including the Governor, to have regular, but unannounced drug tests.
    Who would object to such thing? After all, you either want drug
    addicts running the government or you don't.]

    The International Association of Chiefs of Police supports background
    checks for all gun sales. Period. [PVC: Yes, and that group's disdain
    for private gun ownership has been well documented over the years.]

    And the Virginia Tech Review Panel, which investigated the April 16
    shootings, recommended that lawmakers eliminate exemptions, including
    the one known as the gun-show loophole, that allow criminals and
    people with dangerous mental illnesses to buy guns. [PVC: Why? Cho
    (VT shooter) and Murray (Colorado shooter) didn't buy their guns from
    private sellers. But, as usual, gun control never makes any sense.]

    Background checks, said panel chairman and retired state police
    superintendent Gerald Massengill, don't curb law-abiding citizens, but
    they might keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have
    them. [PVC: But forcing background checks for private sales closes
    the freedom loophole, increase the price of the transaction, and
    potentially increase the liability & cost to dealers who perform the
    background check on the behalf of private individuals. We will fight
    any attempt to do so quite vociferously.]

    The law allows domestic abusers, drug addicts and people found to be
    mentally ill to bypass licensed gun dealers, who are required under
    federal law to do instant background checks on buyers for a small
    fee. [PVC: The law (GCA 1986 - 18 USC 926) also protects law-abiding
    gun owners from gun registration. Gun registration is the first step
    in gun confiscation some day down the road.]

    Too many guns have landed in the wrong hands. The shootings at
    Virginia Tech, at the mall in Nebraska, at a church and a missionary
    training school in Colorado, have made that clear. [PVC: And nothing
    you can do can or will prevent people who want guns to get them. One
    thing those incidents have shown is that a determined murderer will
    take his time getting his weapons.]

    It's time for the legislature, at the start of its 2008 session, to
    say: Enough. There's no reason to have a legal way for a criminal to
    get a gun. [PVC: Who edits this crap at the Virginian-Pilot? There
    is NO LEGAL WAY FOR A CRIMINAL TO GET A GUN!!! If a criminal buys a
    gun from a private seller now it is every bit as illegal as buying a
    gun from a dealer!!! It doesn't matter how they get the gun. Under
    federal law, the second they touch a gun, it is a felony! I wish the
    Virginian-Pilot would give me a call to check their facts before
    printing things that are factually incorrect.]

    9. Gun show debate in the Valley
    Gun Show Debate in the Valley
    Rockingham County
    Posted: 6:42 PM Dec 8, 2007
    Last Updated: 1:35 PM Dec 10, 2007
    Reporter: James Jackson
    Email Address:
    Gun Show Debate Comes to the Valley

    Virginia lawmakers are working to create legislation that would
    require background checks at gun shows.

    Lee Kern has been involved in gun shows for more than 16 years as an
    attendee and now attendant. He shares an opinion with others at the
    gun show in Rockingham County who are familiar with the ongoing gun
    show loophole debate.

    Those in favor of the legislation say there should be background
    checks for people who purchase guns at these kinds of shows.

    "I think that requiring a background check on a personal transaction
    between two individuals, neither of which are federally licensed, is
    kind of an invasion of them being able to trade their own personal
    property," says Kern.

    State Senator Emmett Hanger says there is no loophole and the 2nd
    Amendment right of Virginians needs to be protected.

    "We can better keep firearms out of the hand of people who are
    predisposed to violence. I think that's a legitimate conversation. All
    I'm saying is the conversation needs to be a whole lot broader than
    what is referred to as the gun show loophole," says Hanger.

    Those in favor of the loophole cite the tragedy at Virginia Tech as
    the main reason to meet certain criteria. In several published
    reports, Governor Tim Kaine has spoken openly in favor of closing the

    He says, "I'm going to be very aggressive. One thing you can count on,
    that bill will be introduced." [PVC: If only he was as aggressive in
    protecting our right to bear arms. VCDL expects that bill to be
    introduced each year, as it is the main bill that the anti-gunners are
    trying to hang their hats on, so this is not particular surprise.]

    Several visitors to Sunday's gun show agree on one thing.

    "I think it's definitely a place where the government doesn't need to
    stick their nose," says Kern.

    One of the gun show promoters says 95 percent of the sellers at this
    particular show do require background checks.

    10. Count the guns, not the sellers

    Member Dr. Jerry Coffey understand statistics. He dealt with them
    professionally at the highest levels in government. He sent me this
    email pointing out what dirty tricks the anti-gunners use to twist
    statistics into misleading sound-bites. I will be sure to point out
    this trick to reporters in the future:


    Re: "Anti-Gun Group claims third of gun show vendors unlicensed," VCDL
    Update 12/12/07

    The scam in the Barbara King article is not the traditional "vendor"
    scam; it is based on another statistical trick. She refers to "firearm
    sellers" rather than "vendors." Trader Jerry and Dark Sun are two
    firearms sellers (with thousands of fully documented gun show sales)
    -- so (possibly) is the guy who buys a ticket and tries to find some
    interest in the rifle he carries on his shoulder.

    Note that there are three potential "firearms sellers" here -- one
    individual who may or may not sell his personal rifle, and two high-
    volume dealers who will make almost all the firearms sales at the
    show. If the private seller is successful in this hypothetical gun
    show, he will represent 33% of the "firearms sellers", but probably 1%
    or less of firearms SALES.

    I pointed this out to an NBC news crew at a Roanoke show -- count the
    guns, not the sellers -- there were several thousand firearms offered
    for sale on the floor and only one person in sight carrying a gun. (It
    is possible that gun had been purchased from a dealer, but I didn't
    want to gild the lilly.)

    So, yes, this is statistical fraud of the grossest form, but it is a
    different scam from the "vendor" scam they were peddling last month.

    Dr. Jerry L. Coffey
    Mathematical Statistician

    11. RT publication of permit holders backfires
    Top of the Morning by Bob Wooten: Paper's project backfired

    By Bob Wooten -- Daily Managing Editor

    Virginia is about to set an odd precedent under the law of unintended

    The case involves gun rights, individual privacy concerns, the
    Internet and the First Amendment.

    It started with a southwest Virginia newspaper project aimed at
    educating readers about the state's open records law. Unfortunately,
    that well-meaning exercise may end up narrowing access to public
    information in Virginia.

    In March, The Roanoke Times, one of Virginia's largest newspapers,
    launched a project highlighting Sunshine Week, an annual recognition
    of the importance of open government in our society. As part of the
    project, the Times published on its Web site a searchable database of
    Virginians holding permits to carry a concealed weapon.

    The database was obtained from the Virginia State Police under the
    Freedom of Information Act.

    As one Times writer, Christian Trejbal put it, "You can search to find
    out if neighbors, carpool partners, elected officials or anyone else
    has permission to carry a gun."

    It took about 24 hours for the hue and cry to descend on the Roanoke
    newspaper offices.

    The Times fielded hundreds of complaints from gun owners and advocates
    angered by publication of the database. Some pointed out that it also
    allowed you to find out whether crime victims or witnesses had
    obtained a gun permit.

    The newspaper's publisher quickly pulled the plug on the online feature.

    Too late, though. The machinery already had been set in motion to make
    access to these public records more difficult.

    The state police began denying access to the database earlier this
    year, and on Monday the state Freedom of Information Advisory Council
    endorsed legislation that would exempt the database from FOIA.

    Don't be surprised when the General Assembly convenes next month if
    this sails through. With the interests of the First and Second
    amendments at odds, lawmakers are going to see a lot more benefits in
    pleasing gun owners than open government advocates.

    One fact lost in much of the chatter about this measure is that the
    individual records of gun permits are still out there -- tucked away
    in dusty file cabinets at courthouses across the state. Anyone willing
    to do some digging still can find out who's packing heat and who
    isn't. Like it or not, a judge has to grant a concealed carry permit
    and the matter is put on file in court records that are open to all.

    Nonetheless, the public's access to information will be lessened, and
    the state's vital FOIA law weakened.

    I doubt that's the result the editors at The Roanoke Times were
    expecting. In fact, I know where they were coming from when they
    offered this tool to readers. Newspapers are desperately looking for
    ways to connect with people online, and one way is to offer useful
    interactive tools.

    But the Times' experience is a cautionary tale for all journalists
    navigating the reefs and shoals of the Internet. We're working with a
    powerful new technology, and we have to exercise great care when we
    use it.

    In this case, an effort to promote open government backfired and
    actually closed the door a little.

    Bob Wooten is the managing editor of the Daily. Contact him at (800)
    296-5137 or at

    12. LTE: Gun permit holders should have privacy
    My response to the editorial, "Gun data belongs in public view" (Dec.

    To put it simply, it does not. Why does the paper wish to reveal the
    names and addresses of law-abiding citizens who have been through a
    background check and who have spent precious time and money to go
    through a tedious process of training and authorization that is
    supposed to lessen tensions for everyone concerned?

    You may truly believe that the people have the right to know, but I
    have to ask you: Why do they need to know?

    Following your "people have the right to know" logic, would you post a
    list of names and addresses of persons known to be gay? Would you post
    a list of names and addresses of persons returning from military
    service? How about posting the names, addresses and phone numbers of
    all newspaper editors?

    There are areas where privacy needs to be maintained. Concealed
    handgun permit holders are definitely in that group. Look at the
    "hullabaloo" your paper created in March for examples. It's not that

    T.J. Parmele

    13. Flashback to 1995: Relaxed CHP law causes alarm

    Thanks to Monte Oaks for the link. What fun to look back at all the
    panicky talk about how blood would be flowing in the streets because
    Virginia had just become a 'shall-issue' state. All the crow that
    these people were to end up eating could have complete fed the poorest
    countries in Africa for a long time.

    And lest you have forgotten about the bad old days, let this article
    wake you up to just how far we have come since 1995!

    My comments imbedded below:
    The Virginian-Pilot

    Date: Wednesday, December 13, 1995
    Section: Isle of Wight citizen
    Type: cover story
    Source: by Jody R. Snider, staff writer
    Dateline: Isle of Wight

    Cover story: Have gun, will travel . . . Since the state's relaxed
    concealed weapons law took effect, in which virtually anyone can carry
    one legally, the number of permits has exploded in western tidewater.

    FOR STEPHEN D. LISTER, the daily routine of strapping on a gun has
    become as natural as pulling on his pants.

    He isn't a cop. He isn't a magistrate.

    He's just an average citizen [PVC: OOOHHH, NOOOOO!], a Smithfield
    resident who five months ago couldn't legally have carried a concealed
    weapon on the streets during his normal, day-to-day activities.

    But all that changed July 1, when the state's new concealed-weapons
    law took effect, allowing virtually any Virginian 21 or older to carry
    a gun if he or she doesn't have a criminal record.

    "The question is, how far are you willing to go to protect yourself?"
    Lister says. "My wife and I have made the commitment to go all the way
    - to protect ourselves with our lives."

    And the Listers have plenty of company.

    Since the law took effect, the number of permits for concealed weapons
    has exploded in western Tidewater.

    In Isle of Wight County, 120 permits were granted from July to Nov.
    22, more than triple the 39 permits granted for all of 1994, according
    to figures from the county clerk's office.

    In Suffolk, 353 permits were issued from July to Nov. 17, according to
    circuit clerk's office figures. Only nine were issued for all of
    1994. [PVC: Here is a reminder of just how unjust and unfair that
    'may-issue' permits can be. The power to issue permits was horribly
    abused during the 'may-issue' years. NINE people for all of
    1994??!!??? Never, never again.]

    Many other applications have been made since late November but haven't
    been granted yet, Suffolk Circuit Court Clerk Henry C. Murden says.

    "I don't know the answer as to why people are applying for gun
    permits. I guess they're just exercising the right that they didn't
    have before."

    And Murden says he expects the applications for gun permits to level
    off. [PVC: Hahahahahahaha! Boy was that prediction wrong!]

    "I think it's dying off already." [PVC: ROFLMAO!!!]

    Under the old concealed-weapons law, applicants had to appear before a
    judge, who could deny the requests if applicants didn't offer
    convincing reasons to carry a gun. [PVC: Can't you just feel the
    nostalgia for that corrupt system that had just been overturned
    dripping of the pages of this article?]

    That was the case with Lister. He says he's felt for a long time that
    he needed a handgun for protection. And he recalls an incident a few
    years ago, when as he waited in traffic, he says, two men jumped out
    of a car behind him, tried to open his car door and began pounding on
    his windows.

    But he couldn't convince a judge he really needed to carry a gun.
    [PVC: Yes - that was the experience of Virginians over and over again
    during the 'may-issue' years. In many places CHPs were a cruel
    farce, especially if you were a female or minority.]

    The new law restricts the grounds judges have to deny a permit for a
    concealed weapon - and people like Lister are lining up to get them.

    Even so, Murden and William E. Laine, Isle of Wight County's Circuit
    Court clerk, don't see the soaring spike in applications as a
    continuing trend, though both he and Murden do expect them to remain
    well above the yearly average of permits issued from 1990 through
    1994. For Isle of Wight County, that average was 34, for Suffolk 16.

    "I expect the number of applications to settle to between 75 to 100 a
    year," Laine says. [PVC: I hope that Laine stayed away from Las Vegas
    during that time. His ability to predict things is severely in
    question. He certainly didn't have his finger on the pulse of
    Virginia gun owners!]

    And, he adds, very few applications are denied.

    That means there are a lot more people like Stephen Lister allowed to
    carry handguns in western Tidewater than perhaps ever before.

    Lister carries his, a Colt .45 Commander, in a shoulder holster,
    usually when he is out with his family - including their 14-month-old
    daughter - or they are traveling, though he does not take it to work,
    he says.

    "It's a natural for me to carry it. You should be serious about it if
    you're going to carry a concealed weapon."

    Many law enforcement officials in the area say they are alarmed over
    the number of applications being filed and permits issued. [PVC: And
    here come the Chiefs of Police, many of whom are nothing but political
    hacks with a gun.]

    "I don't like the law," Smithfield Police Chief Mark A. Marshall says.
    "The fact that a person has gone through the steps to get a weapon
    gives me cause to think they might use it. Why else would they have it?"

    Suffolk Police Chief Gilbert F. Jackson agrees.

    "It's a no-win in this one. If guns are accessible, they might get
    used. But if you don't have a gun or knife in your pocket, you can't
    cut or shoot."

    Area law officers also say the new law will force them to be more
    cautious when dealing with average citizens because now anyone could
    be armed. [PVC: Well, those area law enforcement officers were fools
    for not thinking that everyone they interacted with might be carrying
    a gun even before the 'shall-issue' law came into effect!]

    And society doesn't need more people toting guns on the streets and,
    in some cases, bringing them into the workplace, says Isle of Wight
    Commonwealth's Attorney W. Parker Councill. [PVC: There's that anti-
    gun use of "toting" and the worn out cliche, "guns on the street."]

    "Yes! They will carry them," he says. "You don't need a permit to keep
    one in your house. And I don't like the idea of a lot of people
    carrying concealed weapons on the streets. More guns means more people
    getting killed." [PVC: No it doesn't! More anti-gun,
    unsubstantiated BS.]

    Isle of Wight Sheriff C.W. Phelps says he also is concerned that
    people carrying concealed weapons might over-react in certain
    situations. [PVC: Wrong again!]

    "You have to justify any use of a firearm," he says. "There has to be
    a life-threatening situation to use a firearm. It's the same thing I
    tell my officers: They have to have no other means to defend

    But so far, Phelps says, shootings have not increased in the county or
    in Smithfield since the concealed-weapons law went into effect.
    [PVC: And they still haven't, 12 years later, even as the number of
    permit holders continues to grow.]

    Neither, apparently, has there been an increase in Suffolk.

    "It appears that the gun permits have had no effect on shooting
    situations in Suffolk," says Mike Simpkins, the Police Department's
    public information officer.

    And then there's the matter of training. Or lack of it, according to
    critics who point out that only a minimum training course is required
    to obtain a permit.

    Yet in many places like Isle of Wight County and Suffolk, no handgun
    training is even available, forcing applicants to take a hunter safety
    course to fulfill the legal requirement or to find a handgun course
    somewhere else.

    Ask Murden or Laine where a handgun safety course is available, and
    all they can tell you is to ask a gun seller, like Bob Lewis. He
    offers a hunter safety course at his Carrollton Sportsman Shop in
    Carrollton, and he says many of those who took that course this year
    did it so they could get their concealed-weapons permits.

    "As far as a person who has zero experience with handguns, this course
    is not adequate," Lewis says. "There's just not enough time to go into
    depth about handguns. But the course does meet the legal requirement
    to obtain a permit."

    After asking several gun sellers, The Citizen was referred to Bob's
    Guns in Norfolk and A&P Arms in Virginia Beach. Each offers a three-
    hour handgun safety course, Bob's for $29.95, A&P for $35.

    Lister, who works as an audio visual technician, also believes
    training is important. He says he shoots about 500 rounds a month.

    "When you carry a gun, you carry the weight of responsibility. It's a
    sobering thing to carry a firearm. If I'm in a traffic situation and
    some guy cuts me off, I'm not going to yell at him - just because I
    have the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon. I don't want
    to be put in any situation where I'd have to use my weapon."

    Clifford Gail Clow Jr. says he carries a gun while traveling at night.

    "I don't want to be one of those people who break down on the
    interstate at night, and someone stops to help, shoots me and steals
    my car," the 22-year-old Suffolk resident says.

    He got his permit after the new law went into effect in July. He'd
    tried to get one before but could offer no specific reason to carry a

    Another Suffolk resident, Yvonne W. Beasley, 46, also carries a gun
    while traveling alone at night and when transporting money. She is
    president of a small construction company. She recently renewed her
    gun permit.

    "I would never go into a restaurant or a mall with a gun, although I
    know there are people who do that," she says. "The problem is people
    did that before the permit law went into effect."

    And long before that law took effect, people carried guns for
    protection - just a lot fewer of them than now.

    One of them is a 53-year-old Smithfield businessman, who spoke to The
    Citizen only on condition he not be named. He carried a handgun for
    many years while working as an antique-gun salesman in another state.

    "There's been five incidents in my life where I've actually needed a

    "One time, I actually had to draw it. A man ran a stop sign, hit me,
    and then wanted to fight about it. There were five guys in his car,
    and they all got out, drunk. I was by myself, and I was carrying
    $30,000 in guns and $15,000 in cash. When I pulled that gun out, that
    ended the confrontation.

    "They got back in the car."

    He blames what he calls the "need" for a concealed-weapons law on the
    judicial and penal systems.

    "If crime and punishment were more balanced, there wouldn't be any
    need to carry guns - and this law wouldn't be so readily embraced by
    so many people.

    "Our judicial and penal systems are a disgrace. They almost foster
    crime because of the lack of punishment. The permit law has finally
    given the normal citizen the ability to protect and defend himself
    without becoming a criminal to do it."

    However, law officials like Marshall argue that most crimes happen
    quickly - so quickly that there's no time to reach for a gun. [PVC:
    So I assume then that Chief Marshall and his officers didn't carry
    guns because they wouldn't have time to reach for them anyhow? Like I
    said, political hacks with guns.]

    "Criminals are opportunists," Marshall says, "and there's no time to
    get a gun when something does happen. The safe answer for citizens is
    to become more aware of their surroundings," to anticipate potentially
    dangerous situations and avoid them. [PVC: Of course it doesn't work
    that way in real life. If you are alert, but unarmed, you are just
    aware that you are about to be murdered a few seconds earlier.]

    Isle of Wight Sheriff's Major David Cobb has done much of the
    fingerprinting for those applying for concealed-weapons permits.

    "When they come in, if I know them, I ask: `Why do you want this?'
    Most of them say it's because it's their right. One of the problems
    with society today is that too many people believe incidents have to
    be resolved with guns.

    "I've been in law enforcement 21 years, and I can count the times I've
    had to pull mine with less than the fingers I have on one
    hand." [PVC: Oh, please. It just takes ONE time to end your life.
    You were lucky you were armed those times. But your wish to deny
    others that same protection is disgusting.]

    14. Crime in 'safe' areas worries many

    There are no 100% safe areas.
    Crime in 'safe' areas worries many
    The latest in a wave of violence committed by young people has
    residents scared and willing to help police fight back.

    December 8, 2007

    A random shooting by a 14-year-old boy is the latest in a series of
    crimes that have Newport News residents concerned that violence is
    encroaching on parts of the city once considered safe.

    One example: the well-lit mall parking lot where the boy is accused of
    shooting a Newport News woman Tuesday evening among a throng of
    holiday shoppers.

    Police have struggled in recent years to get witnesses to come
    forward. Now people are outraged enough, police said, that they are
    starting to help investigators track the criminals who have terrorized
    neighborhoods and, this week, made holiday shoppers change their habits.

    Without the help of informants, police would have had a hard time
    finding the boy accused of shooting 51-year-old Hyo Cabrera on
    Tuesday. Cabrera, who was released from the hospital Thursday with a
    bullet wound to her hand and thigh, was able to give police only a
    very vague description of her assailant.

    But detectives got enough information from callers to Crime Line, the
    anonymous crime hot line, and from workers at Hines Middle School,
    where the boy was a student, to make an arrest.

    Police picked the boy up at a friend's house Thursday night.

    Anonymous tips have also helped solve at least two homicides this
    year, police said.

    Last month, a tip led to an arrest in the shooting of 17-year-old
    Ashton Studwell, found dead near the corner of 41st Street and Madison
    Avenue after midnight on Nov. 13.

    And earlier this year, tips from the public helped police make an
    arrest within hours of the shooting death of 24-year-old Leon Lamont
    Gordon, whose body was found in a field near his Traverse Road home on
    July 1.

    That's an improvement over a tradition of silence by crime witnesses,
    police said.

    Police Chief James Fox said Friday he believes the tendency toward
    silence is starting to turn around.

    "I personally think it has, and it's because we continue to go into
    the community and build trust and ask for help," Fox said. "People are
    stepping up." They see that the police can't stop crime alone, he
    said, and they are doing what they can to bring justice to violent
    teens like the suspect in Tuesday's shooting.

    "Let's say we did not get this young person off the street. What are
    the chances of him doing it again?" Fox asked.

    Tips that led police to the boy, whom they are not naming because of
    his age, also led them to a lake about 3 miles from Patrick Henry
    Mall, where they searched Friday for the gun used in the shooting.

    By sunset, they had come up short, but are confident enough in the
    lead that they will resume the search today.

    While divers combed the bottom of the lake, holiday shoppers combed
    Newport News stores for gifts. But many said their attitude toward
    their personal safety had changed in the past few days.

    Some women were shopping in pairs because they were afraid to go out

    Marietta Valentine, 61, brought her friend Kelli Cosgrove, 38, to
    Patrick Henry Mall because, she said, "lighting could strike twice."
    Neither of the Newport News women said they would shop at night.

    Two Gloucester women shopping at the Jefferson Commons shopping
    center, north of the mall, said they didn't feel safe in Newport News.
    "That's why we're together, and in the daytime," said Theresa Shelton.

    Even Newport News residents said they fear violence in parts of the
    city that used to feel secure.

    "You're not safe anywhere anymore," said Jeanette Picou. "It's
    creeping into the safe neighborhoods now."

    "You can get shot standing right here," said 17-year-old Kendall King,
    standing in front of a Food Lion in Oyster Point Square, on Jefferson
    Avenue north of J. Clyde Morris Boulevard. Police are using extra
    patrols to try to keep the streets safe for shoppers, but the core of
    the problem is that it's not unheard of for a 14-year-old to get ahold
    of a gun, Fox said.

    "This is an example of what can occur when young people get guns into
    their hands," [PVC: BS. Lots of young people have guns and go
    shooting. They do so with no one being in danger or getting hurt.
    Juvenile delinquents are the problem, not guns. But anti-gunners tend
    to be apologists for criminals.] he said. "I continue to ask myself
    what do we need to do, as a community, as a society, to stop it? Maybe
    our gun buyback program will help." [PVC: Maybe the tooth fairy is
    in town, too?]

    Police will give gun owners $100 gift vouchers for handing over their
    firearms on Dec. 15, in the city's first gun buyback program in more
    than two decades.

    Picou hopes police will go after gun traffickers who deliver guns to
    children. Otherwise, she said, gun violence will continue to spread
    through the city.

    "There are too many guns," agreed 60-year-old Linda Johnson. "So the
    crime is going to spill over anywhere. It would be hard for police to
    stop it, because those are all areas we thought were safe, and now
    they're not."

    15. Who needs a gun at a child's birthday party?

    If you are unarmed, you and your family are at risk, regardless of who
    you are or where you live or what you are doing:
    Three killed at child's birthday party

    03:19 PM EST on Monday, December 10, 2007

    Associated Press & 13News

    Three people died at a child's birthday party in Prince William County

    A disgruntled and intoxicated ex-boyfriend opened fire at the party,
    shooting five people, according to police. Three of the victims, all
    adults, died. No children were hurt in the shooting.

    The suspect, 39-year-old Anastacio Sanchez-Miranda, was arrested six
    hours later in Pennsylvania.

    Prince William County police believe the shooting stemmed from a
    domestic dispute, First Sgt. Kim Chinn said. She said the mother of
    Sanchez-Miranda's children was at the house but was not hurt.

    The woman, who police believe was the intended target, had stayed
    overnight at the house with her three children after a birthday party
    for a 2-year-old, Chinn said.

    Prince William County police identified the dead as Juan Manuel
    Guevara, 28; Rosario Europa, 24; and Gerardo Lopez-Garcia, 25. They
    said all three were residents of the house.

    In addition, a 30-year-old man was in critical condition and an 18-
    year-old man was in stable condition, police said.

    Five children, ranging in age from 2 to 7, were in the house at the
    time of the shooting but were not hurt, Chinn said.

    16. Who needs a gun in a restaurant?

    Thanks to Dave Neal for the link:
    West Main Pizza Hut robbed last night
    Danville Register and Bee
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    The Pizza Hut restaurant on West Main Street was robbed by two armed
    men last night.

    Danville police officers responded to a robbery call last night at
    9:35 p.m. at Pizza Hut on West Main Street, according to a police
    press release.

    An employee reported that two suspects entered the store, produced
    weapons and demanded money. The first suspect was a black male 6'2"
    and approximately 205 pounds, wearing a brown hoodie and blue jeans,
    with a blue bandanna covering his face. He was carrying a small black
    handgun. The second suspect was a black male 6'2" and approximately
    205 pounds, wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and a bandanna of
    unknown color covering his face. He was carrying a small silver handgun.

    The employee gave the suspects an undisclosed amount of cash. They
    departed the store in an unknown direction of travel. The police
    investigation is ongoing.

    Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact
    Danville Crimestoppers at (434) 793-0000, or via the crime tips line
    at Information given will remain
    confidential. Citizens who contact Crimestoppers by phone may be
    eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00.

    17. NoVA trail organization and gun club arrive at agreement

    I received the following email from Dave Fedorchak. VCDL had covered
    the Northern Virginia Gun Glub and the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage
    Trail conflict last year:


    I noticed that you make reference to the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage
    Trail (DRHT) and concern over the possible impact on the Northern
    Virginia Shooting Facility / Gun Club located in King George.

    You may be interested to know that on Sept 22, 2007, the Friends and
    supporters of the DRHT and the leadership of the gun club reached an
    agreement that accommodates the interests of both groups.
    (Announcement from website below.)

    From the beginning, the Friends had always expressed a desire to work
    with the Gun Club to reach an acceptable agreement. Thanks to sincere
    efforts on both sides, I believe we have a satisfactory resolution to
    this issue.

    Dave Fedorchak
    Vice President, Friends of the DRHT

    -- (DRHT home page)

    DRHT and Gun Club Arrive at Agreement: On September 22, the DRHT and
    the Northern Virginia Shooting Facility signed an agreement that
    enables trail users to pass though in safety while allowing gun club
    members to resume use of their 200-yard rifle range. Much credit and
    appreciation goes to the people on both sides who worked to make this

    18 - 33 on next post...

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Manassas, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    18. Eyewitness account of Omaha mall shooting

    "Yes, a perfect shot. I had a full side profile, I was close, and no
    one was visible behind him execept a wall. I had a clear shot during
    the second round of fire...When I realized that I had no gun, fear
    instantly struck me, along with anger, and severe panic."

    The Shack has the privilege of being able to talk with one of the
    witnesses from the third floor of the Von Maur store at Westroads Mall
    in Omaha.

    On the condition of anonymity, he has agreed to tell his account of
    what happened. He will only be identified by the moniker NWJT.

    I was given the first draft of this account Thursday morning, 12/6/07.
    The only changes that have been made were mostly grammatical and
    organizational. NWJT's account has not changed. He has opted to leave
    any inaccuracies (such as the gun identification) as it was originally
    written in order to properly show how the mind works in this condition.

    I have agreed to post his story account as is, with only minor edits
    for spelling and grammar. The bulk of this was written about 14 hours
    after the event occurred. There is an update at the end.

    His story presents an interesting issue for CCW holders in such a
    situation: Shoot or no shoot. Hide or flee. Help or don't help.

    Please look at the post after this account as I have put up a practice
    drill (The Von Maur Drill) that is designed based on this man's

    With that, I now turn the blog over to NW.

    The shooting

    I took a later lunch that day because I had a noon phone meeting with
    a company out of New York, apparently we're not on the same lunch
    schedule. I also planned to take a one-hour lunch that day, instead of
    a 30-minute lunch, so I could go to Van Maur and pick up some gifts
    for my wife. We were both there on the evening of Dec 03 with my 1-
    year-old daughter, and my wife tried on some coats and showed me some
    bath robes she liked, so I knew exactly what I was going for that day.

    I asked a co-worker (named K for this story) for directions to Van
    Maur from my place of business, as she knew a faster route that would
    get me there quicker.

    I left work around 1:15 to 1:20 and arrived at the front doors of Van
    Maur at 1:35 (shooting -7), I remember specifically looking at my
    watch as walked in. I came in the south entrance to Van Maur, right by
    the elevators.

    I proceeded to 2nd floor using the escalator around 1:36 (shooting -6
    minutes). I soon picked up a coat that my wife liked. I spent a couple
    minutes there because I was still not completely sure about picking
    the white coat or black coat. I checked my watch and realized time was
    running out, so I picked the white one. This was about 1:39 (shooting

    Then I again took the escalator to the third floor.I went over to the
    bath robes near the bra section, which is by customer service. I was
    standing close to the north wall, by the east corner. I walked around
    the robes a bit to see if there were any last minute changes about
    what I wanted to get, then I proceeded to the rack of robes that my
    wife had expressed interest in.

    At this point I don't have a time line, but the events unfolded follows:
    I heard gunshots, about 8. I knew exactly what they were, but my brain
    didn't want me to believe it.

    I looked towards the escalators because it sounded like they came from
    there. I could not place the direction the shots came from because I
    was surrounded by 4 walls and standing nearly in a corner.

    I stood there for maybe 8 seconds (time enough to change a magazine),
    then I heard several more shots. Somehow, then I focused in on the
    shooter. He was towards the south wall, in the east corner, maybe 30
    degrees to my left. He was about 30 yards away. He was shooting
    towards the west and I had a nice side view of him.

    He was wearing what looked like a solid green sleeveless vest, and was
    shooting a semi-automatic rifle. I could see sleeves of a shirt that
    did not match the vest. The vest did not look military or camouflage,
    but to me looked green.

    To me, at the time, I thought the rifle might be an AR15. One thing I
    noticed, it appeared that the empty shells were ejecting out of the
    left side of the gun instead of the right, which doesn't make sense
    and could of been an illusion. All I could see were mostly the black
    parts of the gun. The stock of the gun was the black frame style,
    instead of a wood stock.

    The shooter had brown or black hair, and I remember it being cut quite
    Short, but not buzzed. He had the gun up to his cheek and was shooting
    in rapid succession doing quick maneuvers with the gun. At first, it
    went through my mind that this guy was some sort of military and this
    was a terrorist attack. I could see the shells ejecting from the gun.

    The way he was walking and shooting, calmly, no yelling, made me think
    that there was more than one shooter and they were performing a "clean
    sweep". He was aiming down the barrel of the gun, and shooting rapidly.

    At this point, I stared for nearly 5 seconds, until I turned and
    ducked down and started running. I want to make note of this point in
    time, as I will come back to it.

    I was running towards the north wall and somehow making my way farther
    towards the east wall at the same time, putting myself in the corner
    even more. There were maybe five people who started walking fast
    looking in the direction of the shooter. I am not sure if they could
    see him or just heard the commotion. When they saw that I was running
    like heck, others started running, too.

    People were running into the dressing rooms. I got near the door and
    decided that is not where I wanted to be. I ran west a few yards
    uncertain of what to do or where to go. I was trapped. But then I
    focused in on an emergency exit and ran out of it. The alarm sounded.
    It was loud, but I think it was only an alarm attached to the door,
    not sure if it set the whole store alarms off, but they were loud,
    shrieking alarms, not continuous, but a pulse type alarm.

    I ended up in some gray hallway with a set of stairs and very little
    room to move side to side. I ran down one set of stairs to 2nd floor.

    There was a door there and I almost went through it. But I heard more
    gunshots that sounded like they were on the other side of the door. I
    believe I turned and I jumped over the stair railing to the next
    landing, skipping the stairs completely. I do not remember the impact,
    and I do not remember if I jumped down a whole floor, or ran down the
    first half of the stairs and jumped down the rest. I am not certain of
    this point due to the fear I felt at this point after hearing more
    gunshots I thought was on 2nd floor, confirming in my mind there were
    multiple shooters.

    I ran down a small hallway and found a door to the outside, but it
    would not open. It was a double door with a push bar. At this point, I
    had to make a decision. Do I wait here or get out?

    I didn't know what or who was on the other side of the door, and but I
    decided to go for it because I was trapped at the end of a hallway
    with no where to go. I pushed the door hard and it still would not
    give, so I kicked the push bar and the door flung open.

    I was now outside, on Van Maur's loading dock on the east side, I
    looked to my right and there was a long trash can close to the wall. I
    jumped over a rail, off the dock between the garbage can and the wall.
    I ran along this until I came to the end of both the garbage can and
    wall. I then realized that I was still carrying the coat I was going
    to by my wife. For some reason, I decided to drop it, and probably
    ruined it.

    Then I ran out into the parking lot, which is between the mall and the
    parking garage. I didn't know what to do next. I tried to call 911 on
    my phone with no luck. I yelled to some guy to call 911. Then I asked
    him if he had a gun I could use. I was freaking out, and in reality
    probably would not have gone back in. However, I was worried about
    someone picking off people in the lot, or coming out charging with
    guns firing. I had no idea how many shooters were in there.

    I borrowed a lady's cell phone, and she was worried I was going to run
    off with it. But 911 was busy, so I knew people were probably called.
    It took FOREVER for the cops to get there, I estimated the time as 10
    minutes but the news says 6.

    During this time I did not know what to do. I almost just went for my
    car and left, but I realized that couldn't be right. It was like
    someone pulled a fire alarm at the store, so I thought about just
    leaving and let everyone else figure it out. I decided that was the
    wrong thing to do..

    I walked around to the north side and saw all the cops loading up. I
    yelled to them, "I saw what is going on. The guy has an M-16 type gun.
    If you need information, I can give it or else I am outta here." A
    police lieutenant pulled me aside and I ended up in a cop car.

    Minutes later another witness joined me. She said she was right beside
    me on the 3rd floor before the shooting. We were both very shaken up.
    My lungs were burning because I nearly did a full sprint down 3
    floors. The cold air hit my lungs hard.

    I was later taken to J.C. Penney and interviewed. At first, the
    interviewer was taking notes, but when he realized how involved I was
    I had start over, this time with a tape recorder running

    I was then escorted to my car and I stopped back by work. I arrived at
    work around 4pm, which means my interview ended around 3:30 - 3:45.

    My feelings

    When I heard the first round of gunshots, I knew what they were but
    didn't want to believe it. I tried to think that they were balloons or
    fireworks. However, I definitely took a defensive stance ready to run.

    When I saw the shooter, I stood there for nearly 5 seconds just


    First, he was firing 90 degrees away from me. The thing is, this image
    was nothing new to me. I see people shooting all the time at the
    range, on TV, in video games. But what my brain was having a hard time
    processing was that was Van Maur.

    Now back to the point I referenced earlier.

    Honestly, and as God as my witness, when I saw him shooting and as
    watched for a few seconds trying to figure out what he was going to do
    and what I should do, the thought that when through my mind was, "If I
    had a gun, I have a perfect shot."

    Yes, a perfect shot. I had a full side profile, I was close, and no
    one was visible behind him except a wall. I had a clear shot during
    the second round of fire. I told this to every cop I came in contact
    with. The interviewer agreed.

    When I realized that I had no gun, fear instantly struck me, along
    with anger, and severe panic.

    I ran hard.

    I did not think to try to help people, I just got out.

    While I was running, I kept hearing shots. In my mind, I could see
    myself getting shot in the back, bullets ripping through me and blood
    spraying in front of me.

    Interestingly, I was still able to make decisions. I knew the dressing
    room was a bad place. When I realized I was trapped in a corner, more
    fear set in and I almost went for the dressing room, but then I saw
    the emergency exit.

    I instantly started second-guessing that decision as well. For all I
    knew, there were more shooters waiting for people to try to escape.
    But realizing that I was wide open to attack, I ran out the emergency

    As I ran down the stairs, all kinds of thoughts started occurring.
    What if a shooter was coming up the stairs? What if one followed me
    down? Every decision I made was second-guessed, should I just stop or
    keep going?

    I kept going, and due to luck, I was fine. There was only one shooter,
    and he did not set any boobytraps.




    That's all. My decisions were fairly limited and all I could do is go
    where the doors and hallways took me.

    After my interview, as I was being escorted by the cops to my car, I
    saw the nice, white coat still there by the garbage can. I pointed it
    out to my interviewer who was escorting me, hoping maybe he'd let me
    go pick it up to possibly save it. But, it was a lost cause. I would
    have gone back later and paid for it.

    This part of the story may be removed later, but I will have it here
    for now.

    I do not have a Concealed Handgun Permit. I have completed the
    training class, but I keep putting off applying for the permit because
    I think it is useless. In the places I would need a gun most, I am not
    allowed to have it. I will not be a person living in fear and not go
    to Van Maur because they don't allow guns.

    My point that Open Carry needs to be easier in Omaha, and places like
    Westroads need to take down their "no guns" signs.

    If I had my gun deeply concealed, I wouldn't have been able to draw it
    very fast. However, If I had open carried, I could of drawn instantly.

    Either way though, I could have drawn and taken a clean shot. However,
    in both cases, regardless of the laws, I am not allowed to carry a gun
    at all in Westroads Mall. If the laws did not oppress my rights, I
    would carry a gun most places (except work). I would certainly have
    had it in the mall as mall shootings have been on my mind since the
    incident at a mall involving a shotgun back in February.

    My wife is somewhat cautious about guns as is my sister-in-law. After
    this event, both are now pro-guns. In addition, I will never again be
    caught without a gun.

    I later learned from the news that people were shot at customer
    service (to my right) and the children's section (in front of me, off
    to the left). This means it was only luck this guy did not target me,
    as I was closer to him than some of the people he shot. I have a
    second chance at life.

    What really irks my gut is that I was just there at Van Maur on Monday
    night with my wife and daughter. What if they were with me this time?
    Escape like I did would not of been possible.

    I am very angry at the city of Omaha and the mall for their stupid
    laws that nearly cost me my life. The laws protected no one, and in my
    opinion, caused people to die.

    Will I go to the media? Maybe. I can't make a decision now because I
    am still shaken up. I got very little sleep last night. I need to let
    my head clear. Nothing I do right now is going to change the outcome
    and near brush with death.

    Right now I have been practicing with my .40 S&W Beretta, replaying
    the situation in my mind.

    I could have done it, no problem, no hesitation, no regrets. This was
    a test of my soul, and the results are in and I know them for certain.

    I am going to go buy some "gear," then go to the shooting range for
    some target practice.

    My knee hurts and my legs and lungs still burn. I cannot recall how
    high of jump I took, but I am going back to Van Maur to find out.

    UPDATE 12/6/07 - I went to a local shooting range and purchased
    several silhouette targets. I then put the targets down range, to the
    approximate place I think the shooter would have been.

    It seems it may be between 40 and 50 meters based on my memory. I used
    my Beretta 90-Two (.40 S&W) and shot each target several times with 6
    round magazines. I mostly aimed for the head because that is probably
    what I would have done in the mall, as I didn't know if he was wearing
    a vest or not.

    My accuracy to the head was about 4 out of 6, depending on how fast I
    fired. For the shots I missed the head, they still hit the neck or the
    chest. A few test cases, I missed the head by an inch. I would of been
    shooting up at a slight angle so the missed shots would of went higher
    than most people stand.

    I then took body shots and my accuracy was near 100% on the target,
    though not necessarily in the kill zone. I conclude I could have taken
    the shots with decent accuracy and been effective. I cannot predict
    the outcome, except that I would of rather been shooting at the
    killer, instead of crossing my fingers, turning my back, and running
    away. Even if I only wounded him, I could of run in closer for more
    accuracy. Call me crazy, it may be true, but running away like I did
    was more crazy and more risky with my life. I just got lucky.

    I do want to say that when I talk about that I could of stopped the
    killer, I am not trying to make a political statement. I am simply
    saying if I were allowed to carry a gun, I would have and I would have
    used it.

    That is a hard fact. I am not trying to be a hero and say that I would
    have tried to save lives. I am saying that I was trying to save my
    life, and if my family was there, their lives as well. There is
    nothing "hero" about what I am saying, it's about survival.

    I feel that I am alive today because of luck. I chose to run, but it
    was not a choice. I was forced to run. Many will say that is the right
    choice. I say it is the choice that requires luck. A LOT of luck with
    the position I was in.

    Use of deadly force at times may also require luck. But, it also
    depends upon skill, awareness, and practice. These are things I can
    control, and these are things I trust far more than luck

    The statements I am making today are my own, and represent my personal
    views and my views alone. It may or may not be the views of my family,
    friends, employer, other professional affiliates, or anyone or thing
    affiliated with me in any way of form other than myself.

    19. Staying safe while you shop -- no answers here
    ************************************************** (

    VA-ALERT editor Paul Kent writes:

    In the wake of two mall shootings in Virginia (before the recent
    shooting in Omaha, Nebraska), the Hampton Roads, VA-area NBC affiliate
    WAVY TV 10 aired a piece on shopper safety in local malls. This is
    classic -- silence speaks volumes.

    The reporter commented briefly on the woman shot while being mugged at
    Patrick Henry Mall (VCDL UPDATE 12/12/07), saying that "no mall
    security was around." The station asked the security departments of
    six local malls to comment on the topic, and none would! Only one
    would even return the reporter's phone call, even though the reporter
    prefaced her piece by saying that normally, mall security staff have
    no problem talking on camera.

    The reporter was left talking to a couple of shoppers who wondered
    aloud why the mall security department wouldn't tell them how they
    were going to keep shoppers safe. In the second video, police
    essentially say to bluff potential attackers and don't carry large
    amounts of cash; and in any event, you're on your own.

    The Patrick Henry Mall victim was in a well-lit area with plenty of
    other people around. In short, she had done everything the mall
    recommends. Isn't this a problem we've cited for a decade or more?
    Most malls are victim-disarmament zones -- an invitation to criminals
    who laughingly ignore the 'No Guns' signs.

    To view the videos, click the link below and scroll down in the media
    player to find two related reports titled "Staying safe while you shop": (

    20. Why would you need a gun in a church?
    December 11, 2007
    Police Tie Colorado Church Shootings to One Gunman

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Dec. 10 -- Two deadly church shootings in Colorado
    over the weekend, 12 hours apart in different cities, were committed
    by the same man, though his motives remain unclear, the police said

    Five people were killed, including the gunman, identified as Matthew
    Murray, 24, of Englewood, who was shot by a volunteer security guard
    during the second incident, at the New Life Church here.

    The guard, Jeanne Assam, a church member with police experience and a
    pistol permit, said she took cover as Mr. Murray began his rampage at
    New Life, a 14,000-member evangelical megachurch, at about 1 p.m.
    Sunday, while hundreds of worshipers were leaving after the 11 a.m.

    Ms. Assam said she leaped up and identified herself, and when Mr.
    Murray did not respond, opened fire. She said she had been on the
    third day of a three-day fast, praying to God to provide direction for
    her life.

    "I knew I was given the assignment to end this," Ms. Assam said at a
    news conference Monday at the Colorado Springs Police Operations
    Center. "I give the credit to God."

    Officials said they were still investigating whether Ms. Assam's shot
    killed Mr. Murray or whether it might have been a self-inflicted wound.

    Two sisters were killed in the parking lot at New Life. Police
    identified them as Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, both of
    Denver. Their father, David Works, 51, was wounded and was in stable
    condition late Monday, the police said.

    Two other people at the church had minor wounds.

    The first shooting, just after midnight at the Youth With a Mission
    Center in Arvada, near Denver, killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, from
    Minnesota, the center's hospitality director, and Philip Crouse, 24,
    of Alaska, who was training to be a missionary. Two other people there
    were wounded; one remained in critical condition Monday.

    Sgt. Jeff Jensen of the Colorado Springs Police Department said
    weapons recovered here allowed for a positive ballistics match with
    rounds fired in Arvada. He added a search of Mr. Murray's home also
    produced further evidence, which he declined to specify.

    Mr. Murray was associated with the Youth With a Mission Center in
    2002, but Arvada police said any links to the New Life Church were
    still being investigated.

    Sergeant Jensen said two assault rifles and three handguns were
    recovered, as was a backpack stuffed with 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

    On Monday, the scene at the Youth With a Mission complex in Arvada was
    ghostlike, as the snow-covered property was cordoned off with police
    tape. The campus's 80 members have been taken to another site operated
    by the group in nearby Golden, mission officials said.

    Peter Warren, director of Youth With a Mission in Denver, said Mr.
    Murray was active with the center five years ago but could not
    continue in the training programs because of "issues related to his
    health." Asked to comment on news reports that Mr. Murray had sent
    threatening letters to the center, a police official would say only
    that Mr. Murray had expressed "discontent."

    Pastor Phil Abeyta, an uncle to Mr. Murray, read a statement on behalf
    of the Murray family at the news conference.

    "We cannot express the magnitude of our grief for the victims," Mr.
    Abeyta said, his voice shaking. "We ask for forgiveness. We cannot
    understand why this has happened."

    Neighbors whose homes abut the center or the sprawling Faith Bible
    Chapel campus nearby were in shock.

    "It brought me to tears, how horrible this is," said Mimi Martin, who
    lives down the block from the center.

    Friends of the victims described Ms. Johnson and Mr. Crouse as devoted
    Christians who had joined the center because of an intense belief in
    missionary work.

    Church members at New Life said the Works family members were getting
    into a car in the parking lot when Mr. Murray opened fire.

    The teenage sisters were involved with a Youth With A Mission program,
    the center said in a statement Monday.

    Stephanie Works had gone on a mission last year in Asia, said her
    aunt, Anita Schaepe, of Lincoln, Neb. Rachael Works went on a mission
    to Brazil last year, Ms. Schaepe said.

    At New Life, some members said the congregation's travails over the
    last year had toughened the church. In November 2006, the former
    senior pastor, Ted Haggard, a prominent author and national
    evangelical leader, was dismissed for "sexually immoral conduct" for
    his relationship with a male prostitute.

    "I feel like we've been battle-hardened," said Justin Spicer, an
    associate pastor at the church. "But this is worse -- an incredible
    violation and a painful one."

    Kirk Johnson reported from Colorado Springs, and Dan Frosch from
    Englewood, Colo. Jeff Kass contributed reporting from Denver.

    21. 'Dirty Harriet' saves the day in Colorado
    A Dirty Harriet Saves Day In Colorado

    By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:20
    PM PT

    Second Amendment: As the Supreme Court ponders what the Constitution
    means, a volunteer security guard in Colorado shows that the problem
    with society may not be who has guns, but who doesn't.

    Every time there are multiple shootings, like those that occurred over
    the weekend at the Youth With A Mission missionary training center in
    Arvada, Colo., and later at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs,
    we are lectured about the easy access to firearms in the U.S. and the
    dangers it creates.

    But many are thankful today that Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security
    guard at New Life, had easy access to a gun when Matthew Murray
    entered the east entrance of the church and began firing his rifle.
    Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and more than 1,000
    rounds of ammunition.
    If Jeanne Assam had not had a gun at her side, dozens more might have
    died in Sunday's shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

    If Jeanne Assam had not had a gun at her side, dozens more might have
    died in Sunday's shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

    Assam, who worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis in the
    1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon, shot Murray. Had she not done
    so, more than two would have been killed at the church that day. Two
    others had been killed by Murray at Arvada. New Life's senior pastor
    Brady Boyd said Assam's actions saved the lives of 50 to 100 people.

    Last February, another disturbed young man from war-torn Bosnia
    entered the Trolley Square Mall in Ogden, Utah, and began shooting,
    killing five people. Utah is a right-to-carry (RTC) state but lets
    property owners post signs proclaiming an exception on their premises.

    A sign posted in the mall reminded people that concealed carry permit
    holders could not bring their weapons inside. Trolley Square was a gun-
    free zone, except for predators. Fortunately, inside the mall was an
    off-duty Ogden police officer, who was carrying a concealed weapon in
    violation of the law, and was the first to trade shots with the
    gunman. He is credited with preventing the murder of more innocent

    Unfortunately, he was at the opposite end of the mall and on another
    floor when the shooting started. If concealed carry permit holders
    were allowed to take their firearms into the mall, maybe those five
    could have been spared or even defended themselves.

    Gun-control advocates argue that allowing people to carry guns
    encourages their reckless use.

    But despite dire warnings by RTC critics, neighbors aren't routinely
    offing neighbors and bodies aren't piling up like cordwood across
    America in one huge Gunfight at the OK Corral.

    Since 1991, according to, 23 more states have adopted RTC
    laws for a total of 40. The number of privately owned firearms has
    risen by nearly 70 million and violent crime is down 38%. In 2005, RTC
    states had, on average, a 22% lower violent crime rate, 30% lower
    murder rate, 46% lower robbery rate and 12% lower aggravated assault

    Like Trolley Square, Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb., where eight people
    were gunned down recently was also a gun-free zone. So was Virginia
    Tech, where a gunmen killed 32 people in two attacks hours apart.

    This Colorado incident comes as the Supreme Court hears an appeal of a
    ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v.
    District of Columbia. The ruling struck down D.C.'s draconian ban on
    the private ownership of firearms as a violation of the Second
    Amendment's right to keep and bear arms.

    The D.C. court ruled, among other findings, that the Second
    Amendment's placement high in the Bill of Rights makes it, and the
    right to self-defense, along with speech and religion, etc., an
    individual right.

    We think Jeanne Assam and the people she saved would agree.

    22. Permit holder who stopped church shooter credits God
    Security guard who stopped shooter credits God

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- "It seemed like it was me, the
    gunman, and God," said Jeanne Assam, describing her feelings as she
    confronted a man who charged into her Colorado Springs church Sunday
    firing a weapon.

    Assam, a church security guard with law enforcement experience, fired
    her own weapon at the invader and stopped his attack, police say.

    Police on Monday identified the gunman as Matthew Murray and said he
    was also responsible for an attack earlier Sunday at a missionary
    center some 80 miles away.

    The two incidents left four people dead, in addition to the gunman,
    and five wounded.

    Police said forensic evidence showed a positive match between a
    handgun found at the church and shell casings found at the missionary
    center in Arvada, a suburb of Denver.

    Officials from the Colorado Springs and Arvada police departments
    appeared at a joint news conference to brief reporters on what they
    had pieced together about Sunday's events.

    The first incident took place Sunday at about 12:30 a.m. at Youth With
    a Mission in Arvada.

    Police said a man with a beard, wearing a dark jacket, glasses, and
    skullcap, entered the facility, got into a dispute with a staff member
    about whether he could stay there for the night, and then opened fire.

    Two staff members, Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, died
    later Sunday from their injuries, Youth With a Mission co-founder
    Peter Warren said. Two other staff members were injured, and one was
    in critical condition.

    Investigators tried to track the gunman through fresh snow with the
    help of dogs, but lost his trail in a heavily walked area, Deputy
    Chief Gary Creager of Arvada police said.

    About 12 hours later, police say, Murray showed up at New Life Church
    as a service was letting out.

    Police said Monday he had an assault rifle and two handguns, and may
    have had as many as 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

    He fired on a family who were in or near their car. Two sisters,
    identified by police as Rachael Works, 16, and Stephanie Works, 18,
    were killed, and their father, David Works, 51, was also shot and is
    hospitalized in fair condition with two gunshot wounds.

    Murray then entered the church, police say, where Assam was one of
    several volunteer security guards on duty.

    "I saw him coming through the doors," she told reporters on Monday. "I
    took cover, and I waited for him to get closer, and I came out of
    cover and identified myself, and engaged him, and took him down. And
    that's pretty much it." VideoWatch Assam tell how she stopped Murray "

    Police said they were still investigating whether Assam's weapon
    killed Murray, or whether he might have died of a self-inflicted

    Assam extended her sympathy to the families of the victims "and of the
    gunman -- and I mean that very sincerely."

    Phil Abeyta, who identified himself as Murray's uncle, appeared at
    another news conference and read a statement from the family asking
    for forgiveness.

    "Our family cannot express the magnitude of our grief for the victims
    and families of this tragedy," he said. "On behalf of our family and
    our son, we ask for forgiveness. We cannot understand why this has

    Abeyta appeared with spokesmen from the Youth With A Mission center,
    who confirmed that Murray had been part of a training program five
    years ago.

    Peter Warren, director of Youth With A Mission, said Murray did not go
    on the mission he was training for in 2002 because managers thought
    that "issues relating to his health made it unsafe for him to do so."

    But a man who served at the center with Murray told CNN Monday that
    Murray was kicked out of the mission program for strange behavior.
    VideoWatch more about Matthew Murray's background "

    A source -- a long-time member of New Life Church -- said Murray had a
    falling out with Youth With A Mission after working with the
    organization a couple of years ago. The source said Murray sent
    antagonistic and threatening correspondence afterward.

    Earlier Monday, Boyd said the gunman was unknown to parishioners there.

    "He simply showed up on our property yesterday with a gun, with the
    intention of hurting people, and he did," Boyd said.

    Boyd said the megachurch instituted security precautions after the
    shootings at the Denver area mission center.

    Boyd said Assam was a hero in preventing further bloodshed, rushing to
    confront the gunman just inside the church. "She probably saved over a
    hundred lives," Boyd said. VideoWatch pastor tell how guard saved
    lives "

    "I give the credit to God. And I say that very humbly. God was with me
    and the whole time I was behind cover -- this has got to be God,
    because of the firepower that [the gunman] had vs. what I had," Assam

    "I did not run away and I didn't think for a minute to run away, I
    just knew that I was given the assignment to end this before it got
    too much worse. I just prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me."

    She told reporters she had not slept since the shooting, "as I'm sure
    you can tell."

    She said she was on the third day of a three-day regimen of fasting
    and prayer, wanting to know God's will for what to do with her life,
    when the shooting took place.

    "I was weak, and where I was weak, God made me strong," she said. "He
    filled me and he guided me and protected me and many other people. And
    I'm honored that God chose me."

    Assam was one of about a dozen volunteer security guards at the
    church, half of whom are armed, Boyd said. The guards are licensed,
    trained and screened, and are church members, not "mercenaries," he

    23. Police: Church gunman killed himself

    Technically, the Colorado mass murderer killed himself. But he did
    that because a CHP holder had stopped him from continuing his rampage.

    Assam is a hero. Whether Murray lived, was killed by Assam, or died
    by his own hand makes no difference to that fact.
    Police: Church Gunman Killed Himself
    Dec 11 03:47 PM US/Eastern
    Associated Press Writer

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - The man who killed four people at a
    church and missionary training center died of a self-inflicted shotgun
    wound, police said Tuesday.

    Matthew Murray, 24, was struck multiple times by a security officer at
    New Life Church Sunday but died after firing a single shot at himself,
    the El Paso County Coroner's Office concluded after an autopsy.

    Volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam shot Murray after he entered the
    church. Investigators had earlier suggested his death could have been
    a suicide, but credited Assam's bravery with averting a greater tragedy.

    Assam, a 42-year-old former Minneapolis police officer, said her faith
    allowed her to remain steady under pressure.

    "It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," she said, her hands
    trembling as she recounted the shooting during a news conference.

    The first attack Sunday took place at Youth With a Mission, a training
    center for missionaries in the Denver suburb of Arvada; the other
    occurred about 12 hours later at the New Life Church in Colorado

    Officials said revenge was one apparent motive for the attacks. Police
    said Murray had sent hate mail to the Youth With a Mission center in
    the last few weeks after being removed from the program years ago.

    In a statement, the training center said health problems kept Murray
    from finishing the program, but elaborated little. Murray did not
    complete the lecture phase or a field assignment as part of a 12-week
    program, Youth With a Mission said.

    Authorities also believe he authored an anti-Christian diatribe online
    that closely repeated a rant by one of the Columbine killers, a
    newspaper reported Tuesday.

    The most recent post to the site, a forum for people who have left
    evangelical religious groups, was Sunday morning in the hours between
    his attacks in Arvada and Colorado Springs, according to KUSA-TV in
    Denver, which first reported on the writings.

    "You Christians brought this on yourselves," Murray wrote, according
    to the station, which did not identify the site. "All I want to do is
    kill and injure as many of you ... as I can especially Christians who
    are to blame for most of the problems in the world."

    The language in the post is almost identical to the text of a
    manifesto written by Eric Harris, one of the teens who carried out the
    1999 massacre at Columbine High School, The Denver Post reported.

    The station said Murray's posts were removed from the site after
    Sunday's killings, and that authorities were aware of them and
    investigating. Police in Colorado Springs and Arvada would not comment
    on the writings.

    In a search warrant affidavit, investigators said Murray attended a
    home-based computer school and worked at his computer for three to
    five hours a day for the past two years. Police said Murray's only
    previous brush with the law was a traffic ticket earlier this year.

    His relatives said they were grief-stricken and baffled.

    "We cannot understand why this has happened. We ask for prayer for the
    victims and their families during this time of grief," said Phil
    Abeyta, Murray's uncle, who read a statement from the family Monday.

    Also Tuesday, Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Assam was
    fired from the Minneapolis force in 1997 for lying during an internal
    investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers
    Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint
    that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on
    a city bus.

    24. Smear campaign against CO church permit holder underway

    VCDL EM Hal Macklin writes:

    The media are so hateful of gun owners, they will gleefully dig up
    anything to discredit an act of heroism. Pastor Boyd stands with
    Jeanne Assam, especially when the going gets tougher.
    Guard who shot Colorado gunman had been fired from Mpls. force

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The security guard credited with bravery for shooting
    a gunman at a Colorado church was fired from her job as a Minneapolis
    police officer in the 1990s for lying, Minneapolis police officials
    said Tuesday.

    But that didn't bother officials at New Life Church. Pastor Brady Boyd
    said Jeanne Assam's license to carry a gun, and to work at other
    police departments, persuaded leaders to allow her to serve on a
    voluntary security detail at the Colorado Springs church.

    Investigators in Colorado said Assam confronted 24-year-old Matthew
    Murray after he began firing. Murray killed two sisters Stephanie
    Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16 before he died.

    His death was ruled a suicide, but authorities and church leaders say
    Assam's courage on Sunday may have averted a greater tragedy. She shot
    him several times.

    "She is a fairly new believer in Christ," Boyd said of Assam and her
    background in Minneapolis. "If you go back in any of our pasts, you
    can dig up something on any of us. She admittedly made lots of bad
    decisions, but only in the past few months did she become a devoted
    follower of Christ. Her life has changed. She was let go, but that
    happens every day to good people."

    "I don't want her to be convicted or crucified for being a heroine.
    That's why a lot of people don't get involved for the scrutiny after
    the fact. She did the right thing at the right time."

    "What she did was unbelievable," her brother, Sam Assam, said Tuesday.

    "Jeanne is very quick of mind and of wit, I might add too. Does it
    surprise me that she can handle herself in a crisis? No," he said.
    "She's always been like that. ... But this is off the charts ... an
    incredibly brave act."

    Jeanne Assam, 42, grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D.

    Sam Assam said his sister has been in Colorado for about eight years.
    He said she is religious, adding that her faith has grown dramatically
    over the past few years. He also said she likes helping people and is
    a "super athlete" who participated on the track team at Hamline

    On Tuesday, authorities in Minneapolis revealed more about Jeanne
    Assam's past.

    Sgt. Jesse Garcia, a Minneapolis police spokesman, said Jeanne Assam
    worked at the department from March 1993 to November 1997. She was
    fired for lying during an internal investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico,
    president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said
    police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver
    while she was handling an incident on a city bus.

    "In giving a statement about the incident, she was untruthful and she
    was fired," Delmonico said. The swearing was caught on tape, he said.
    "The union arbitrated the case and the arbitrator upheld the

    Jeanne Assam's home phone number is unlisted and she couldn't be
    reached for comment Tuesday.

    Sam Assam didn't want to comment on the incident, saying it happened
    10 years ago.

    Other personnel records about Jeanne Assam's time in Minneapolis, such
    as commendations or disciplinary actions, have been destroyed because
    she worked at the Minneapolis Police Department so long ago, Garcia
    said. Such records are destroyed after seven years.

    AP Religion Writer Eric Gorski contributed to this report from Denver.

    25. CO church killer acquired guns and ammo 'by the book'

    What, the guns weren't purchased at an evil gun show, using the non-
    existent "gun show loophole" ??!!!??

    Well, facts don't tend to dissuade anti-gunners, so I expect they will
    be calling for that "loophole" to be closed anyway.
    Gunman legally amassed weaponry in year's time
    By Jeremy P. Meyer
    The Denver Post
    Article Last Updated: 12/13/2007 01:08:13 AM MST

    For more than a year, Matthew Murray amassed the weapons and
    ammunition he used in Sunday's attacks on two religious organizations
    that left four young people dead.

    Murray, 24, began buying weapons in November 2006 from Front Range gun
    and sporting-goods stores, according to Colorado Springs police, who
    had the weapons traced by federal authorities.

    A large shipment of ammunition was sent to Murray's post office box in
    Greenwood Village. The shipment was delivered to him but only after
    authorities had been alerted and determined he could legally possess it.

    "Everything was by the book," said a clerk at Robert's Firearms in
    Aurora who on Nov. 17, 2006, sold Murray his first piece of weaponry,
    an AK-47 assault rifle, which was found in Murray's car Sunday.
    "Nothing stood out." The clerk refused to give his name.

    Murray was required to pass criminal-background checks before each
    purchase. In each case, he was cleared and was legally allowed to own
    the weapons.

    Murray bought another assault rifle and three semiautomatic handguns
    at Sportsman's Warehouse stores in Aurora and Colorado Springs and
    Dave's Gun Store in Denver. His total purchases might have cost him
    close to $2,000, based on a survey of retail prices.

    "We're fully cooperating with the authorities investigating this
    horrible tragedy," said Matt French, vice president of hunting
    operations with Sportsman's Warehouse. "We have no more comment."

    As Murray was purchasing weapons, he was also logging onto various
    Internet sites and writing down his thoughts, feelings and experiences
    using different monikers that over time began to reveal a man who was
    steadily growing more disturbed.

    Details from Murray's online postings continued to be revealed
    Wednesday, the same day his victims in Colorado Springs and Arvada
    were memorialized.

    In many postings, the person purported to be Murray revealed that he
    had problems with the two religious organizations in the past --
    getting kicked out of Youth With a Mission in Arvada and getting into
    a confrontation with two staffers at New Life Church in Colorado

    Police and bloggers have been using Murray's online postings to
    attempt to understand what led to the shooting deaths of Tiffany
    Johnson and Philip Crouse in the Youth With a Mission dormitory and
    the slaying of teenage sisters Rachel and Stephanie Works at New Life

    "He really spiraled," said Daniel DiRito, whose blog has been compiling what are believed to be Murray's
    postings. "I always want to understand people. This is someone who is
    on the edge, on the extreme of humanity. I want to understand the

    Restrictive upbringing

    Murray apparently used the screen names chrstnnghtmr, DyingChild_65
    and nightmrchld26 in his posts to anti-religious sites and a
    discussion forum for people contemplating suicide. Also, he apparently
    had created a MySpace page, posing as "Sarah," a 23-year-old girl from

    In the postings, the person believed to be Murray talks about a
    restrictive Christian upbringing and complains about being rejected by
    various religious groups, particularly Youth With a Mission, which
    would not allow him to go on a group outreach.

    In a 1,500-word message posted Sept. 4, 2006, chrstnnghtmr said he was
    not allowed to go on the mission trip because he "wasn't popular and
    talkative enough for missions work" and the incident caused him to
    have serious doubts about his faith.

    Chrstnnghtmr on the online blog Independent Spirits says in early 2004
    he went to a charismatic conference at New Life Church with his mother
    and her church group and "got into a debate with two prayer team staff

    The staffers told the poster's mother that he "wasn't walking with the
    Lord and could be planning violence," according to the online posting.

    Two weeks later, chrstnnghtmr says a pastor came to his house and
    searched his room for "anything evil." After he stashed video games,
    DVDs and books about other religions at a friend's house, he says they
    searched there too "and basically destroyed at least $900 worth of

    "I wasn't involved in anything like drugs or anything like that. I
    just had video games, some books about other religions, DVDs and such."

    The postings allege that he suffered "physical abuse" in his home. A
    spokeswoman for the Murray family said Wednesday that the parents
    would not respond to questions.

    "The abuse he suffered"

    One regular poster to, Kat Lowe of Great Britain,
    says she had e-mailed correspondence with DyingChild_65 for six months.

    "He was always very talkative and told me all about his upbringing and
    the abuse he suffered," said Lowe in an e-mail, adding that chat logs
    were saved. "We have been examining the chat logs, and there are many
    references to Columbine and discussion regarding obtaining guns."

    According to Lowe, DyingChild_65 said "he wanted to live a normal life
    but couldn't because of the way the Christian upbringing had messed
    him up. (Because of his) disregard for the value of human life, I
    believed him to be psychopathic."

    Murray's father, Ronald S. Murray, is a well-respected neurologist,
    and the family has not spoken publicly about their son or the shootings.

    Through their spokesperson, however, the family released a statement
    to the media Wednesday, saying they would not talk until after the
    memorial services for all victims.

    "We are lost in grief as we prepare to bury our beloved son, Matthew,"
    according to the statement. "We loved Matthew with all our hearts, and
    we are groping for answers as we try in vain to understand the events
    of last Sunday. We pray that God will be with our family through the
    days and weeks ahead and that He will also be with the families of
    those who have died and those who were injured."

    The statement says that services for Murray will be later this week
    and will be private.

    The family asked that any donations in their son's name be sent to
    King's Kids Denver, a youth ministry program affiliated with Youth
    With a Mission. The group can be reached at 7754 Holland Court,
    Arvada, CO 80005.

    26. LTE: When seconds count, the police are minutes away

    The winning formula in use again. Short, sweet: in with a couple of
    points and out with a solid sound bite. The longer your LTE, the less
    chance it will get published or, if published, it may be highly
    edited. Yes, it's harder to write, but it's easier to read and that's
    what counts!

    Many experts, including police administrators, have stated that having
    armed citizens confront active shooters would only make things worse.
    Apparently they, along with colleges and malls, would rather protect
    the shooter's life than the victims.

    Now that an armed church member in Colorado has proven herself more
    than capable of quickly dispatching an active shooter, that particular
    question has been resolved. When seconds count, the police are minutes

    Alan W. Rose

    27. Strong women own guns

    Short, sweet, and no pulled punches! (YouTube)

    28. Editorial: Holstered guns in open view don't belong on campus (UT)

    This is an editorial from the ostrich crowd: if I can't see a gun
    that someone is carrying, then I am safe.

    My suggestion to the ostriches? Just keep your eyes closed if you are
    getting robbed, raped, or murdered and the danger will disappear. The
    rest of us will carry a gun.

    If one of us is open carrying in class? Easy, just close your eyes
    and the gun will disappear. ;-)
    Holstered guns in open view don't belong on campus
    Tribune Editorial
    Article Last Updated: 12/11/2007 12:32:38 AM MST

    Utah law allows students with concealed-carry permits to pack handguns
    on state-owned college campuses. Some of those students are pushing
    that envelope, arguing that the University of Utah cannot prohibit
    them from carrying loaded firearms in plain view. The university is
    pushing back, and for good reason.

    Imagine you were an instructor or student in a class and someone other
    than a peace officer walked in carrying a holstered handgun in plain
    view. What would you do?

    One instructor told us she would immediately dismiss class and tell
    the students to leave.In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, that
    sounds reasonable to us. If you were a student in that class, would
    you stick around? We wouldn't.

    That's why the university's policy prohibiting even students with
    concealed-carry permits from packing in plain view makes sense. Guns
    on the hips of people other than uniformed cops naturally make other
    people nervous. It's tough to concentrate on a lecture or class
    discussion when the kid on the next row is openly packing heat.
    Debates in class sometimes become heated. An instructor cannot be
    expected to teach knowing that someone in the class might pop off with
    something more than a snarky comment.

    The students who want to slap a sidearm on their hip should understand
    that, but apparently some don't. One told a Tribune reporter that
    others should not view an openly carried handgun as a menace. "I would
    hope that if someone sees a gun, they would come to the rational
    conclusion that if this person is intent to do harm, he wouldn't be
    carrying a gun for everyone to see."

    Maybe. Maybe not. If the person carrying a gun is a stranger, how can
    you automatically assume he is law-abiding and has no malicious
    intent? That's why cops wear uniforms and carry badges, to allay that
    very concern.

    In the same breath, some of these gun-rights students argue that no
    one other than a peace officer should be able to question them about
    why they are carrying a gun. Now who's being unreasonable? The U.
    should stick to its guns. No open carry on campus, with the exception
    of peace officers and ROTC students in uniform.

    29. Bill would let some college students tote guns (AL)

    Uh-oh - there's the word 'tote' in the title. What is it with 'tote'
    and 'guns?' You just don't hear that word used anywhere else and
    tends to be used in articles biased against guns or gun ownership.
    Bill would let some college students tote guns
    Saturday, December 08, 2007
    Capital Bureau

    MONTGOMERY -- A state senator from Shelby County has pre-filed a bill
    that would allow college students who meet certain requirements to
    bring firearms on campus.

    State Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, who originally proposed the bill
    in the waning days of the 2007 legislative session, said it is needed
    to protect students. Similar arguments were made in other state
    legislatures after a massacre at Virginia Tech earlier this year, but
    critics say such proposals reflect a misunderstanding of campus safety
    issues and actually could make campuses far more dangerous.

    Erwin's bill as written would allow a student to carry a firearm on
    campus if he or she has no prior felony or misdemeanor convictions,
    secures a gun license, belongs to an ROTC program and completes a gun
    skills course.

    The proposal would apply to public colleges and universities, not
    private institutions. It does not address the issue of whether
    students would be able to carry a concealed firearm or what types of
    firearms -- handguns or rifles -- would be allowed. The bill does not
    specify that faculty members would be permitted to carry firearms.

    "I know college administrations are doing everything in the world to
    make campuses safe and sound," Erwin said. "I want to make sure we
    don't have any holes in the safety net. We're living in a such a
    society now (that) people with evil motives can penetrate that safety

    Security director

    Melvin Owens, executive director of security and public safety at
    Auburn University, said firearms are allowed on campus for ROTC
    exercises, but are otherwise limited to law enforcement personnel.
    Owens said he would be "hesitant" to allow students to carry firearms.

    "It's simply a safety factor," he said. "It really presents an unknown
    that's difficult to create contingencies for."

    Erwin introduced his bill in the 2007 legislative session a few weeks
    after a student with a history of mental problems killed 33 students
    and faculty and himself at Virginia Tech. The shooting sparked a
    debate over gun possession on campuses.

    A Virginia Tech Review Panel report commissioned by The Commonwealth
    of Virginia said data on the effects of carrying guns on campus was
    "incomplete and inconclusive."

    The report, issued in August, noted concerns from the head of the
    American Psychiatric Association about increased risk of suicides and
    assault with a larger gun supply on campus. It added that students
    told the panel they were uncomfortable with the possibility of
    attending classes with armed students or professors. [PVC: The
    students are not going to know who is or isn't carrying and any
    uncomfortableness will fade quickly. Perhaps they would be more
    "comfortable" facing someone like Cho without any means of self-

    A 2005 report by the U.S. Justice Department found that killings on
    college campuses, though tragic, are relatively rare. The report,
    noting a general decline in violent crime directed at students between
    1995 and 2002, found 93 percent of violent incidents involving college
    students took place off campus.

    But Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a
    Springfield, Va.-based group that calls itself the only "no-compromise
    gun lobby" in Washington, D.C., said there is "no reason" students
    should be forbidden from carrying guns on campus. The group opposes
    regulations on gun possession at all school levels.

    "It's a very bad idea to tell anybody a gun-free zone is a safety
    zone," Pratt said. "It's only a safety zone for criminals."

    Brian Siebel, a senior attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun
    Violence and author of a report on attempts to loosen gun regulations
    on college campuses, said that having guns on campus could lead those
    committing crimes to pack more firepower, while also increasing the
    risk of accidental shootings by armed students who intervene.


    Siebel was also skeptical of the requirements in Erwin's bill.

    "This is a one-time skills course," he said. "Does the fact people
    have taken a drivers' ed course mean there are no irresponsible
    drivers on highway? Obviously not."

    Erwin, who said ROTC students were the best qualified to carry guns on
    campus, did not speculate on the bill's prospects.

    "I think there's a ways to go before it becomes a bill that makes it
    to the floor of the Senate," he said. "But the important thing is
    we've started a dialogue."

    30 - 33 on next post

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Manassas, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    30. Gun ranges becoming extinct in New Jersey

    This is a problem that affects not only the police in NJ, but affects
    gun owners in Virginia - a shortage of shooting ranges.

    As gun owners, we have several chinks in our armor - besides guns
    themselves, ammunition and shooting ranges determine if our guns are
    any good to us or not. Anti-gunners and ecologists wannabes, who
    don't understand that leaching of lead is not a real threat to the
    environment, have caused some ranges, both government and private, to

    Ranges are also under attack from the "not in my backyard" mentality.

    The sound of gun shots is the sound of freedom in action. Many people
    just don't understand, unfortunately.

    Some even move next to busy ranges, then are 'surprised' when they
    hear gun shots!
    The Record
    No home for the gun range
    Monday, December 10, 2007


    The shortage of pistol ranges across North Jersey has caused concerns
    about where police can practice their target skills.

    Departments in Demarest, Westwood, Emerson, Cliffside Park, Oradell,
    Bogota, Saddle River, Washington Township, Ridgewood, Butler, Totowa,
    Haledon and Bergenfield have to send officers out of town to practice.

    Many municipalities once had shooting ranges but shut them because of
    safety concerns. The ranges were built far from populated areas, but
    New Jersey's rapid development and population growth brought homes and
    residents closer to the line of fire.

    Westwood recently shut its pistol range after concerns were raised
    about its proximity to a park. The borough is applying for a state
    grant to examine the feasibility of a shared range with Emerson. In
    the meantime, Westwood is renting time at Hillsdale's range for $2,000
    a year.

    The range shortage means trouble for police, who need to qualify twice
    annually to carry weapons. The qualification exam requires the
    officers to shoot a certain score. Most police practice while on duty
    so that they can earn accreditation, according to police officials.
    But if they have to travel far, it costs the department money and
    creates a manpower shortage.

    Fast facts

    Many police departments use shooting ranges in other municipalities.
    Here's a sampling:

    Bergen County

    * Bergenfield and Bogota use New Milford's range.

    * Dumont uses the New Milford or Haworth range.

    * Cliffside Park, Demarest, Emerson and Oradell use Paramus' range.

    * Montvale and Woodcliff Lake use Park Ridge's range.

    * River Vale uses Hillsdale's range.

    * Ridgewood uses Waldwick's range.

    * Westwood recently closed its range due to complaints and uses

    Passaic County

    * Butler uses Bloomingdale's range because a treatment plant was built
    at the site of its range years ago.

    * Haledon and Totowa use the Passaic County Sheriff's range at Garret

    * North Haledon had to close its range because of safety concerns and
    practices at a nearby range.

    * Pompton Lakes uses Ringwood's range since its range was closed more
    than 10 years ago due to contamination.

    Some attribute the range scarcity to New Jersey's exploding real
    estate market. Others blame it on today's heightened safety

    "With more development, there's more pressure to close the ranges,"
    said Bergenfield Police Chief Fred McGarril. "As more ranges close
    down, it becomes more difficult to practice and qualify. Obviously
    where we are in the heart of Bergen County, land is at a premium."

    Cliffside Park Chief Donald Keane added that the problem is inevitable
    in ever popular Bergen County. "The land is so valuable, towns can't
    ignore what they can get for property where the ranges are [located]."

    But the trend extends beyond the county's borders, according to Capt.
    Peter Yurkosky of Wayne. "This could be a statewide and nationwide
    problem, because nobody wants a shooting range in their neighborhood.
    The ones that exist have been built around."

    The Passaic County ranges that have survived are in isolated areas in
    Bloomingdale, Paterson, Hawthorne, Ringwood and also on Garret
    Mountain, he said.

    Ranges used to be a relatively inexpensive proposition for local
    departments. Years ago, police practiced with pistols that only had a
    few shots. Now they use high powered, semiautomatic rifles, with as
    many as 15 rounds. That requires greater maintenance on the range to
    safeguard people and prevent lead contamination, he said. "Today there
    are a lot more restrictions. We also get a lot of noise complaints
    from people nearby."

    Felix Alfonso hopes someone will hear his complaints. His Trotta Drive
    home is a few blocks away from the outdoor range where the New Milford
    police practice.

    "It sounds like a battlefield," he said about the shooting that starts
    at 8 a.m. and continues for roughly 12 hours. "If I want to sleep late
    one morning, I shouldn't have to be awakened by gunshots. Shooting
    ranges shouldn't be in our back yards. If you can hear it, it's too

    But Chief Frank Papapietro of New Milford said he's not budging. "If
    you have a pistol range that works for you, hang onto it," he said.
    "Everyone else is scrambling. It's a monetary and scheduling nightmare
    if you have to go elsewhere."

    But in other towns, complaints were successful. Emerson's shooting
    range closed years ago after neighbors protested, said Police Chief
    Michael Saudino. Since then, police have practiced in other towns,
    such as Paramus, where they pay roughly $300 per day.

    The Bergen County Police Academy in Mahwah allows police to practice
    at its range but the drive may be too much on the taxpayer's dime.
    "It's too far to send officers to Mahwah," said Ridgewood Chief
    William Corcoran, whose officers practice at Waldwick's range.
    "Convenience is critical, especially if you are paying officers

    Chief James Powderley of Demarest says it's better for officers to be
    able to practice while on duty if a range is nearby. Powderley pays an
    $800 rental fee to send his officers for the qualification exam in
    Paramus, which has an indoor, state-of-the-art facility. The facility
    charges based on the number of people and length of time.

    But the facility's popularity has become overwhelming. Richard Cary,
    Paramus' deputy chief, said so many departments have requested
    appointments for practice time, he's turning them away. "We don't have
    room on the calendar for more," he said.

    Powderley is lobbying towns in his area to create a joint range.

    "We could build a regional state of the art range that we could use
    more often and not have to rent. It would be more cost-effective." He
    also convinced the Demarest council to reach out to surrounding towns
    to ask them to split the cost of a $200,000 mobile range.

    Keane - whose officers practice in Paramus -- admitted that the lack
    of practice space and time, "causes our instructors to stress because
    they have to work harder with our weaker shooters. We end up meeting
    the minimum mandatory requirements."

    Saudino said that his officers don't practice as much as they would if
    Emerson had its own range because they wouldn't have to commute long
    distances. "It's also a lot more expensive this way."

    While no police chiefs would admit their officers failed qualification
    exams, several hinted that without adequate practice time, their
    officers required additional training in order to pass the test.

    But in spite of the lack of practice space, he said, citizens needn't
    worry about their safety, Keane said.

    "I haven't seen too many cases when they missed their target."


    31. Bloomberg wants to quiz candidates on guns

    "Candidates also are asked whether the maximum penalty for illegal gun
    trafficking crimes should be raised to 20 years from 10 years."

    So if the thought of **TEN YEARS** in prison isn't stopping criminals
    now, twenty years will?

    So smart in dealing with business, so stupid in dealing with crime:
    Bloomberg Seeks To Question Candidates About Guns

    BY GRACE RAUH - Staff Reporter of the Sun
    December 10, 2007

    Mayor Bloomberg is trying to force every presidential candidate to
    take a stand on guns.

    A bipartisan coalition he co-founded with Mayor Thomas Menino of
    Boston, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is asking all presidential
    candidates to complete a 16-question survey about restrictions on gun
    trace data, gun trafficking, federal enforcement of gun laws, and
    punishment levels for breaking gun laws.

    The survey allows Mr. Bloomberg, seen as a potential presidential
    candidate who could jump into the race as a self-financed independent
    next year, to enhance his national profile and distinguish himself
    from other presidential candidates on gun policy.

    The mayor has led a national fight against a gun law known as the
    Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts access to information about guns
    used in crimes, and has drawn the ire of the National Rifle
    Association as he has called for a crackdown on illegal guns.

    "Every day, 30 Americans are murdered with guns -- that's a Virginia
    Tech-sized tragedy occurring every single day in America. The majority
    of those murders are committed with illegal guns by criminals who
    under existing laws never should have had access to those weapons in
    the first place," the coalition, which includes more than 250 mayors,
    wrote in an open letter to presidential candidates. "As mayors we are
    on the front lines of the battle against crime and illegal guns."

    The coalition asked that the completed survey be turned in by January
    2, the day before the Iowa caucus. It said the results would be shared
    with the public and would help mayors decide which candidate to
    endorse for president. The organization noted that it would not be
    making an endorsement of its own.

    Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement that the coalition is committed to
    respecting the rights of gun owners while cracking down on illegal guns.

    "Americans deserve to hear if those who want to be president of the
    United States will do the same," he said. "I hope this questionnaire
    puts illegal guns, and criminals' easy access to them, in a prominent
    position in our national conversation."

    Mr. Bloomberg has sued out-of-state gun dealers, accusing them of
    selling firearms to people they knew were likely to resell the guns to
    criminals. Gun dealers from South Carolina and Georgia recently
    countersued the mayor.

    A spokesman for the NRA, Andrew Arulanandam, said the organization
    would not advise presidential candidates about whether to fill out the
    survey. The NRA featured Mr. Bloomberg on the cover of its April
    magazine, in which it highlighted his "illegal anti-gun tactics."

    He said the mayors' coalition led by Mr. Bloomberg supports gun
    control and noted that the NRA, its 4 million members, and the tens of
    millions of gun owners and hunters in America would take a serious
    look at any candidate who receives the endorsement of a gun control

    The NRA supports the Tiahrt Amendment because it says gun trace data
    should "remain in the hands of law enforcement and not in the hands of
    politicians," he said.

    During a speech before the NRA in September, Mayor Giuliani said he
    thought the amendment was sensible.

    The executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Jacqueline
    Kuhls, praised the survey and said if taken seriously it could change
    the debate about guns in America. When guns come up on the campaign
    trail, she said candidates tend to be asked about the rights of gun
    owners and the usefulness of guns, which she says misses the point.

    The question is how to "keep guns out of prohibited hands," she said.
    "It's important for the public to understand whether the presidential
    candidates are going to take an issue like gun violence seriously."

    A professor of public administration at Columbia University, Steven
    Cohen, said gun control is an emotional issue in America that has
    divided urban and rural voters, adding that if Republican candidates
    could avoid filling out the survey, he thought they would.

    "It's a tough political issue because the people who are in favor of
    regulating guns don't feel as intensely as the people who own guns,"
    he said. "If you are someone who is against it, your opposition is not
    as strong, unless you are someone who has been a victim of crime."

    The survey asks candidates if, as president, they would support the
    Tiahrt Amendment on gun trace data; legislation requiring states to
    provide the federal background check system with records of people
    prohibited from buying guns, and legislation to require new guns sold
    in America to have microstamps, so shell casings at crime scenes could
    be traced.

    Candidates also are asked whether the maximum penalty for illegal gun
    trafficking crimes should be raised to 20 years from 10 years.

    32. UK to ban samurai swords -- will bans on hands and feet follow soon?

    A potential victim armed with a legally owned gun could make samurai
    swords passe. But since guns are not an option in the UK, the person
    with the sword holds the upper hand over everyone else.

    So here comes a sword ban. When will the UK government learn the
    simple lesson about the total futility of banning any kind of weapon?

    Sigh. (Video)

    33. No right to life without right to self-defense

    From a VA-ALERT subscriber:

    I have to comment on [item number 31 from VCDL Update 12/12/07], Lee
    Gaillard's piece. He says the court should brush up on the grammar.
    Indeed, they should. The militia clause is a dependent clause, which
    in English grammar, can be dropped from a sentence without destroying
    the meaning. He ignores quotes from people like George Mason that said
    the militia is everyone. As for the distinctions between sporting
    weapons and military weapons, they didn't exist back then because the
    weapon that a man used to hunt game was the same gun he used in battle.

    But he and everyone else keeps running into the 'right of the people'
    problem. It's used multiple times in the Bill of Rights and it always
    refers to individual, not collective, rights.

    But I will tell you, I generally don't even talk about the Second
    Amendment anymore. The Declaration of Independence says we have the
    unalienable right to life. If we have that right, it's meaningless
    without the right of self-defense. And that right is meaningless
    without the effective means of defense.

    We can say that my 5'2", 100-pound wife has the right of self-defense,
    but deny her a gun in the presence of a 250-pound man with a baseball
    bat, and you have taken away her right to life. Only "our Creator" can
    do that without just cause.

    34. Gun shows and events!

    As an all volunteer organization, VCDL depends on YOU to volunteer
    your time at our area events, where we recruit new activists and keep
    gun owners informed. No experience necessary; if it's your first time
    we'll pair you with a veteran volunteer. To find out more about
    helping at our gun show tables, go to:


    and click on any of the blue links, or contact the coordinator for the
    show/event listed below with which you are interested in helping.

    Here are the upcoming events with which we need YOUR help:

    a. ROANOKE <>, January 5-6

    Saturday, January 5 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, January 6 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Al Steed, Jr. at <> to help in

    b. RICHMOND <>, January 12-13

    Saturday, January 12 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, January 13 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Contact Audrey Muehleisen at <> to help at
    the Showplace in Mechanicsville.

    c. HAMPTON <>, January 26-27

    Saturday, January 26 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, January 27 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron Lilly at <> to help in

    d. CHANTILLY <>, February 8-10

    Friday, February 8 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Saturday, February 9 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, February 10 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Chantilly.

    e. NORFOLK <>, February 16-17

    Saturday, February 16 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, February 17 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron and Jean Hyson at <> to
    help at the Norfolk Scope.

    f. DALE CITY <>, February 16-17

    Saturday, February 16 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, February 17 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Dale City.

    g. RICHMOND <>, March 1-2

    Saturday, March 1 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, March 2 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Contact Audrey Muehleisen at <> to help at
    the Showplace in Mechanicsville.

    h. VIRGINIA BEACH <>, March 22-23

    Saturday, March 22 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, March 23 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron and Jean Hyson at <> to
    help in Virginia Beach.

    i. HAMPTON <>, March 29-30

    Saturday, March 29 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, March 30 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron Lilly at <> to help in

    j. ROANOKE <>, March 22-23

    Saturday, March 22 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, March 23 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Al Steed, Jr. at <> to help in

    k. NORFOLK <>, April 5-6

    Saturday, April 5 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, April 6 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron and Jean Hyson at <> to
    help at the Norfolk Scope.

    l. CHANTILLY <>, April 11-13

    Friday, April 11 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Saturday, April 12 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, April 13 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Chantilly.

    m. SALEM <>, April 19-20

    Saturday, April 19 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, April 20 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Please contact Al Steed, Jr. at <> to help in

    n. DALE CITY <>, April 19-20

    Saturday, April 19 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, April 20 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Dale City.

    o. FREDERICKSBURG <>, April 26-27

    Saturday, April 26 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, April 27 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Contact Robert Herron at <> to help in

    p. DALE CITY <>, June 14-15

    Saturday, June 14 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, June 15 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Dale City.

    q. FREDERICKSBURG <>, July 12-13

    Saturday, July 12 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, July 13 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Contact Robert Herron at <> to help in

    r. DALE CITY <>, August 2-3

    Saturday, August 2 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, August 3 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Dale City.

    s. HAMPTON <>, September 20-21

    Saturday, September 20 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, September 21 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron Lilly at <> to help in

    t. DALE CITY <>, October 4-5

    Saturday, October 4 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, October 5 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact our Northern Virginia coordinator at <
    > to help in Dale City.

    u. FREDERICKSBURG <>, October 25-26

    Saturday, October 25 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, October 26 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Contact Robert Herron at <> to help in

    v. HAMPTON <>, November 29-30

    Saturday, November 29 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, November 30 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Please contact Ron Lilly at <> to help in

    ************************************************** **********
    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:
    ************************************************** **********

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Virginia Beach, VA, ,

    Post imported post

    4. Q&A: Guns in VA churches

    I have received a ton of messages about carrying in churches. Many of
    you thought it was illegal in Virginia. In general it is NOT illegal.

    The only restriction is on carrying during a meeting for religious
    So, if you are in the church when there is not a service or
    other religious meeting in progress, you can carry.

    Not true. If your church is also a school, you are in violation of18.2-308.1

    B. If any person possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon (i) any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony; however, if the person possesses any firearm within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Virginia Beach, VA, ,

    Post imported post

    "When you carry a gun, you carry the weight of responsibility. It's a
    sobering thing to carry a firearm. If I'm in a traffic situation and
    some guy cuts me off, I'm not going to yell at him - just because I
    have the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon. I don't want
    to be put in any situation where I'd have to use my weapon."

    And here's the part of the "an armed society is a polite society" that the antis can't quite grasp. I've been known to be an ass from time to time (fine, get the laughing out of your system), but I make every effort to be as polite as possible when I'm carrying, concealed or openly, because I want to know that I did nothing to escalate a situation if it should ever happen.

    The people who hate/fear guns just don't understand that the "polite society" applies to both the armed and the unarmed in that statement.

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    I love seeing VCDL information, after all, I'm a staunch supporter. But to quote the entire Alert defeats a purpose.

    please consider in the future posting only the table of contents, with a link.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Manassas, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    I don't have a place to host the information that will be linked. This is in hopes that more people will join the VA-Alert network, if not become members

  8. #8
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    You don't have to host it. Simply point them to, where it's posted.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Manassas, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    Ahh, makes too much sense - that's what 4 years of governement work will do to you.

    Edit: Spelling

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