Tag Archives: RKBA

Good for you, Mayor Stothert

The new Mayor of Omaha, Jean Stothert, just got her concealed handgun permit.

Mayor Jean Stothert is now the proud owner of a black, Austrian-made Glock 26 pistol.

But you might not be able to tell when she’s packing. The mayor says she’s awaiting delivery of a state concealed-carry handgun permit.

“It is not an issue of being afraid,” Stothert said Friday. “It’s an issue of not being afraid to protect myself.”

“Because it is the law, I wanted to really understand what went on in that concealed-carry class,” she added. “I thought, as mayor, I needed to understand.”

Before I go any further, I should give some context.

I was born in Omaha and still have family there. It might be my hometown because of birth, but I no longer consider it so because I’ve lived in Texas for 20 years — far more than I ever lived anywhere else. Austin is home to me. But still, family is there and they have a fair presence in town. I mean, my Dad was US Congressman from Omaha for 8 years, and did spend 6 years as Mayor as well. So there’s some interest in this for me.

Omaha has a lot of violence problems. Lots of gang problems. They worked hard to build things up, to try to combat and deal with it. A recent/former Mayor did a lot to tear down all that hard work and folks tell me things regressed pretty badly under his tenure. Jean Stothert looks to try to remedy things, so here’s hoping. And her getting a permit seems a good step. Because while Nebraska is generally alright in terms of gun laws, Omaha has a lot of weird things because it somehow thought more laws and ordinances would be adhered to by drug gangs. Yeah… people willing to smuggle millions of dollars of pot, heroin, and cocaine somehow care about your ordinance. :roll: So law-abiding folks get abridged, and this even caused some weirdness for me when I’ve traveled there. Frankly, the laws there are really unclear, especially for visitors. But I don’t want to digress into this, other than to say maybe with this, Mayor Stothert will be able to fix things.

I do appreciate her desire to go through the process to gain first-hand understanding. Wouldn’t it be nice if more politicians gained first-hand experience about matters so they could better do their jobs? And not just doing it for a photo-op.

She does seem to get it:

“People have a right. They have a right according to the Second Amendment,” Stothert said. “And I feel like I want to let people understand that I agree with that right, and I don’t think that restricting gun ownership from responsible gun owners is the way that you address irresponsible (owners), and gun crimes and gun violence in a city.

“You’re not going to be able to restrict guns with responsible people and reduce the gun violence; you’re just not.”

So that’s good.

But this….

“If there is the occasion that I feel like I want to carry it, now I will be able to,” she said. “But I don’t have any intention of carrying it here while I’m at work.”

Members of Stothert’s staff already do. Stothert’s has a rotating security detail of retired Omaha police officers. Chief of Staff Marty Bilek — a retired Douglas County sheriff’s deputy — recently won the right to carry his old service weapon at work.

Because the City-County Building doesn’t allow weapons, Stothert had to seek permission from the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission for Bilek’s gun.

That bothers me a bit more.

And there’s this:

In her request, Stothert raised the prospect of gunmen targeting random citizens or elected officials in a mass shooting.

“Our request for him to carry a weapon inside city hall is simply another layer of caution,” Stothert said at the time.

Stothert said she’s been threatened before, in phone calls and emails that she declined to elaborate on. The mayor said she hasn’t been threatened since taking office.

“I feel very safe and secure at work. I feel very safe and secure in my home,” the mayor said. “But again, I feel like its a right, and I wanted to exercise my right.”

I’m sure Gabby Giffords felt very safe and secure. In fact, most of us all feel safe and secure, until we get violated.

It’s a question of mindset here. But, I’m not going to totally be mad at her because she admits she did this more for the education than anything else. Plus yes, she has a security detail. Now I recall my Dad having some level of security, but it wasn’t like the Secret Service hovering over him at every moment. Maybe things are different now and she does have more regular security. But if not, just realize, Mayor Stothert, that those holes are when you are more vulnerable.

Yeah, you’ve been threatened. I actually recall my Dad receiving threats. I don’t know the extent of all that he’s dealt with as he chose to shield his children from such things (understandable). But in later years both Mom and Dad have revealed to me they received threats. I have to figure that it’s worse these days… the way things are these days. *sigh*

Anyways, I think what also bugs me is the statement of her security having to “win the right” to carry his service weapon at work.

Since when do we have to “win the right”? There’s something inherently backwards and wrong about that mentality. Just think about it. Should have to win the right to speak freely at the office? on public ground? Should have to win the right to attend the religious service of your choice?

And it’s her security detail. Why should someone tasked with the duty of protecting another have to jump through hoops to do their job? That’s just wrong.

But this is precisely what I hope Mayor Stothert may be able to improve in Omaha. Law-abiding citizens should not have to go through such hassle to go about their law-abiding lives. We need to rebuild a world where good people can live their good lives without abridgement, and only work to abridge those that infringe upon others to freely live their lives.

Good luck, Mayor Stothert.

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Evolution

Paula Bolyard writes:

As I listened to the police scanner during the Boston manhunt, I wasn’t thinking about “police all over the place” in the “personal security guard” sense that Feinstein seemed to be implying.

Instead, I imagined a mother huddled in the nursery with her baby. Her husband is out of town and she is also listening to the police scanner, praying the terrorist doesn’t burst through her back door.

I imagined an 85-year-old World War II veteran living alone. He fought the Nazis on foot across Europe and his government just instructed him to “shelter-in-place.” He turns out the lights in his home and hunches over his radio waiting for updates though the long night.

I wondered if they could protect themselves if the worst happened.

In the middle of that night listening to the Boston police scanner, I evolved.

I realized right then that if I were holed up in my house while a cold-blooded terrorist roamed my neighborhood, I wouldn’t want to be a sitting duck with only a deadbolt lock between me and an armed intruder. There are not enough police and they cannot come to my rescue quickly enough. They carry guns to protect themselves, not me. I knew at that instant if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed up at my door while I was “sheltered-in-place” and aimed a gun at my head and only one of us would live, I could pull the trigger.

You can read her complete story here.

Her story resonates with me because I too evolved. I was never against guns and wanting to ban them on the whole, but I didn’t see why anyone needed “a machine gun to hunt Bambi”. Then, Wife was sexually assaulted while taking Oldest (then an infant) out for a walk/push in his stroller. That was my evolutionary moment. It still took me a number of years to come around to owning a gun and carrying a gun, but that moment opened my eyes to many realities about life and the world. That moment set in motion my quest for knowledge, education, and enlightenment about personal safety, crime prevention, etc.. To then own and carry a gun became a logical conclusion, because when you strip away your ignorance, your bias, you emotions and all you have left is fact and harsh realities about the world? Things become pretty clear on their own.

 

A Grave Duty

Legitimate defense can not only be a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the state.  Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life.  In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about.

Evangelium Vitae, section 55

A fuller examination from Mr. Michael T. Barry. (h/t Wife) Please click through and read.

So despite what some “Catholics” might feel and say about gun control, they do not speak for The Church and one should not mistake their opinion for dogma.

Who needs more than 10 rounds?

Apparently Timothy Gramins:

At long last the would-be cop killer crumpled to the pavement.

The whole shootout had lasted 56 seconds, Gramins said…. Gramins had discharged 33 rounds. Four remained in his magazine.

Full story. (h/t John Robideau)

It doesn’t matter that Timothy Gramins is a police officer and was on duty. What matter is he was a man being brutally attacked, and he chose to fight, he chose to live.

And he needed a lot more than 10 rounds to preserve his life.

Who would need more than 10 rounds, indeed.

Some might say that he’s police, and they always get exemptions from the law. It’s precisely because they know there’s no good reason to restrict capacity, because one may well need it, as Sgt. Gramins did. Is there some reason we plebeians should be treated differently? Of Tom Givens‘ 60 students still alive today because they were carrying their gun, the range of shots fired ranged up to 11 shots. That’s more than 10; that’s more than 7. Was the life of this one person not worth it? because I thought “if it saves just one life, then it’s worth it”.

Who would need more than 10 rounds, indeed.

(Aside: another lesson to learn? you’re not dead until you’re dead. Keep fighting. Both Sgt. Gramins and his attacker were brutally wounded, but both kept fighting, both kept working to survive and live. You’ll be dead when you’re dead; meantime, keep fighting.)

 

Well, at least he admits it

Austin Police Chief Acevedo admits his department cannot keep you safe. That the FBI can’t keep you safe. That the government cannot keep you safe.

“It really illustrates the importance of vigilance,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “The police department can’t do it alone. The FBI can’t do it alone, government can’t do it alone. Ultimately, we’re all responsible for safety.”

Full story.

Ultimately WE are responsible for safety.

You are responsible for (your) safety.

And yet, he testifies against campus carry and recently went to Washington DC to testify in favor of gun control proposals that won’t do much to impact crime but will affect your ability to do as he says and be responsible for your own safety.

So Mr. Acevedo, which way is it? I mean, great that you say you support CHL but again, your actions don’t exactly jive.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to see the Austin Chief of Police admit and acknowledge that the only person that can be responsible for your safety is yourself, and that “others” cannot truly keep you safe.

As they say, admitting it is the first step.

 

More from the police

Sheriff Shayne Heap of Elbert County Colorado. Notable is that he chastised all politicians, regardless of political affiliation — it’s more about their intent.

(h/t ENDO)

Yeah… a lot of recent posts based upon the words of law enforcement. But I figure if you’re going to talk about crime and violence, maybe those that deal with it every day might be worth listening to. I mean, going to Joe Biden for leadership on violence issues is like going to Fred Phelps for leadership on gay rights issues.

 

…but what do they know

Seems to be generally accepted that listening to the police is A Good Thing.

I mean, these are the people actually out there, dealing with crime and criminals on a daily basis. They might know a thing or two. Certainly when your job causes you to get shot at on a semi-regular basis, you might know something more than someone that lives in an Ivory Tower surrounded by armed guards and never has to look violence in the eye every day.

So with that, PoliceOne surveyed 15,000 law enforcement professionals about gun policy.

Bottom Line Conclusions
Quite clearly, the majority of officers polled oppose the theories brought forth by gun-control advocates who claim that proposed restrictions on weapon capabilities and production would reduce crime.

In fact, many officers responding to this survey seem to feel that those controls will negatively affect their ability to fight violent criminals.

Contrary to what the mainstream media and certain politicians would have us believe, police overwhelmingly favor an armed citizenry, would like to see more guns in the hands of responsible people, and are skeptical of any greater restrictions placed on gun purchase, ownership, or accessibility.

The officers patrolling America’s streets have a deeply-vested interest — and perhaps the most relevant interest — in making sure that decisions related to controlling, monitoring, restricting, as well as supporting and/or prohibiting an armed populace are wise and effective. With this survey, their voice has been heard.

You can read the complete survey questions and results here.

If the ACLU is expressing concern….

… that’s gotta tell you something.

The ACLU has never been much of a friend to gun rights, so when they come out with some hefty reservations about the .gov’s gun control bill?  that ought to tell you something about how crappy the legislation is.

Again, I know of no gun owner that doesn’t want to solve the real problems. But so far there haven’t been any proposals that actually solve the real problems. We just keep getting crap laws like those being passed in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado, and now being proposed on the federal level. Again, if the ACLU thinks the wording of the bill is dangerous, perhaps y’all should listen.

I’ve been a card-carrying member of the ACLU in my past, and I still generally support them because we need groups like them. I wish they weren’t so pick-and-choose about what Constitutional rights they opt to support, but I’m still glad they’re here.

facepalm

In remarks at the Denver Police Academy in Denver, Colo., [President Barack Obama] said that, after campaigning in rural Iowa, Michelle Obama told him, “You know, if I was living out on a farm in Iowa, I’d probably want a gun, too. When somebody just drives up into your driveway and you’re not home, you don’t know who these people are, you don’t know how long it’s going to take for the sheriffs to respond, I can see what you’d want some guns for protection.”

Source (h/t Unc)

I don’t get it.

Are the Obama’s being well… not racist but classist? stereotyping “Iowa Rednecks” or Iowa as a scary place to live? elitist attitude? or is this simple ignorance? Are they saying guns are fine in rural areas, but not in cities? for rednecks but not cityfolk? or… what?  I’m not sure what to make of the implications of their comments. But let’s just set that side and look at the plain words.

When someone drives up to your home…

You don’t know who these people are…

You don’t know how long it’s going to take for someone else to come and save you (because apparently your safety is someone else’s responsibility)…

well, in that case, they can see why people might want guns.

OK.

Well… all the people around you right now. Maybe not those immediately around you there at home or even the office (but perhaps even at the office, because I’m sure you don’t know everyone in your company or your building), but look at all those around you in the greater area. Heck, next time you go out to lunch or dinner, next time you’re out shopping, next time you’re at the gas station… do you know all those people? Do you know who they are?

Was there ever a time when some strange person drove into your driveway? Or came and knocked on your door?

Do you know how long it takes for your local law enforcement to arrive? You probably don’t. I’m not sure where this guy got his stats from, but you can see the average for these large cities runs about 10 minutes. That’s about par with my experience in Austin. Even if you don’t know the precise time, consider simple realities of time and space. There isn’t a cop standing right next to you right now, so that means if you want one, one has to travel to you. First, you have to have a way to communicate that you need one: so you or someone needs to dial 911, wait on hold, talk to an operator, explain what you need, they patch things through, depending how your 911 center is organized they might dispatch from there or the operator might have to relay your information to a dispatcher who then can send out the police… how many minutes did all this take before a cop was even starting to travel your way? Now they have to fight through traffic to get to you. Yeah sure they can turn on their lights, but I’m sure you’ve seen it — police car, fire truck, ambulance… lights and siren flashing, and it still takes them a while to get through an intersection because cars can’t or won’t get out of the way. All the while… the clock is ticking…. and your attacker continues their attack.

So… Mr. & Mrs. Obama….

What makes it about Iowa that can have guns (in your mind), but someone living in not-Iowa couldn’t? Don’t these things happen in The Big City too? Aren’t there strange people, willing to commit horrible acts, in cities too? Aren’t police in cities subject to the same rules of time and space and that it takes time to respond? I mean, not all of us are surrounded by Secret Service agents.

So please, explain to me the thinking behind your statement.

Acevedo supports CHL?

Texas CHL process is what responsible gun ownership is about. Proud of our process & the overall excellence of our CHL holders.

@ArtAcevedo

Really? Color me a little surprised.

Well, now Austin’s police chief is on record, and I do thank him for his words. But, it seems contrary to prior words.

He apparently doesn’t think college students are responsible enough.

“When you start talking about 21 year-olds and college students, responsibility is the last thing on their minds,” Acevedo said. “With a lot of pressure and high campus suicide rates, the last thing we want to include in that environment, like a bar, is guns.”

(full story)

So let me get this straight. A 21-year-old Texas resident gets a Texas CHL. To have that CHL apparently demonstrates the person is a responsible gun owner — a person of excellence, according to Chief Acevedo.

But if that 21-year-old is a college student, if they cross over into the magical fairyland bubble of the college campus… suddenly somehow responsibility degrades to becoming the last thing on their mind.

Apparently I’m failing to understand Mr. Acevedo’s logic.