Archive for the ‘#selfdefense’ Tag

Two Men Save Many Lives   Leave a comment

Two men dining at a restaurant in Oklahoma City shot and killed an armed attacker last week, ending what police called “a very tragic situation.”

Oklahoma City Police Chief Bo Matthews said Juan Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Whittle, 39, shot and killed 28-year-old Alexander C. Tilghman soon after he opened fire from the parking lot of Louie’s restaurant, striking a woman and two young girls eating dinner inside Thursday evening.

“You can say they’re heroes, which is a good thing to say … but I think they stopped a very tragic situation from going any further,” Matthews told reporters during a Friday news conference.

The two men retrieved their handguns from their cars during the attack, Matthews said. It’s unclear if either man had a license to carry, though Matthews said it doesn’t matter. He doubts either man will face charges as a result of the shooting.

“They were protecting somebody else’s life,” he said. “I can tell you historically … these guys were protecting somebody else’s life, I would think more than likely they would not be filed on.”

Gerald Konkler of the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training told NBC News both Nazario and Tilghman had armed security guard licenses.

“I was just there enjoying the lake scenery and heard shots,” Nazario told NBC News. “At that point I zoned out and had to take action. Just glad no innocent bystanders’ lives were taken, and unfortunately a life was lost, but he had a choice to drop the weapon and chose otherwise.”

Whittle, during an interview with USA Today, said he “just did what needed to be done to stop the threat. Nothing special.”

A motive remains unclear, investigators said, noting Tilghman lacked any connection to the restaurant prior to Thursday’s shooting. Police last made contact with him 15 years ago while responding to a domestic assault and battery call.

“It looks to me like a random event,” Matthews said. “I mean, in an act like this, you would have to assume that he probably had a little bit of a mental illness.”

Three shooting victims, as well as a man who broke his arm fleeing the scene, were in good condition as of Friday, police said.

The incident comes two weeks after Republican Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a permitless carry bill, describing the state’s existing gun  laws as “effective, appropriate and minimal.”

“I am thankful that under the concealed-carry and open-carry laws that I have signed as governor, two armed citizens had the ability to protect and save the lives of our fellow Oklahomans,”  she said Friday. “This is not the time to debate the NRA’s efforts to repeal Oklahoma’s regulations assuring safety and training for those who carry guns. This is a time to offer up prayers to the victims of this tragedy.”

#crime #defensivegunuse #gunlaws #selfdefense #neveragain

 

When Juries Take a Stand   1 comment

This is Brad. Lela is headed home today, so this may be my last post for a while. Or not. I sort am enjoying this.

 

About 25 years ago, I served on a Murder One trial here in Fairbanks.

WG was a miner in the Central area, northeast of town along the Steese Highway. He had a wife and a neighbor who was disgruntled with him. This is a typical story of miners in the smaller towns. They always suspect one another of stealing from each other. This neighbor had accused WG of mining on his land and had recently vandalized some of WG’s equipment. Some of these miners use chemicals to extract the gold from the rock and mercury poisoning can make you paranoid. I’m not sure that was the case in this situation. It’s just an explanation for what happened that I feel comfortable with.

One morning, WG and his wife decided to go to breakfast at the Central Roadhouse in the tiny town of Central. I’m not sure why they didn’t take a truck. It might have been farther because they would have needed to stay on the roads. Anyway, they took a four-wheeler. When traveling through Alaska’s bear-infested wilderness on a four-wheeler, it is smart to be armed, so both were carrying sidearms and since they were on a four-wheeler, they couldn’t just leave them in the vehicle. Alaska at the time allowed (still does) open-carry and they probably weren’t going to be the only ones in the breakfast crowd wearing guns. When I first got here 10 years before, it shocked me how comfortable people here are with guns.

WG had no way of knowing that his neighbor (whose name I’ve long ago forgotten, so we’re just going to call him JD for Joe Doe) was also having breakfast at the roadhouse. As WG and his wife (MWG) were getting off their four-wheeler in the parking lot, JD was smoking a cigarette on the porch. For whatever reason, he drew his own weapon and began shooting at them, hitting MWG critically and clipping WB. JD’s wife/girlfriend (MJD) was in the roadhouse. When everyone heard the gunshots, she ran out a back entrance and grabbed a semi-auto 22 from their truck. First, she sprayed the front wall of the roadhouse with bullets (remember, there are people gathered at those windows) and then she started shooting at WG.

He’d been shot. He was bleeding. His wife was dying. He knew where the initial shots came from, but he later testified that he didn’t know where this new threat was coming from. He just knew it needed to stop. So he drew his 44, walked up onto the porch and fired all six shots into JD. Five hit home. Patrons and roadhouse staff subdued MJD and the State Troopers (140 miles away in Fairbanks) were called.

At the time (Fall 1992), Alaska had a castle doctrine that stated you had a right to defend yourself in your home or business, but you also had to take opportunity to withdraw if you could. And of course, self-defense in a public setting was illegal because there are all sorts of venues for running away. The new assistant DA in Fairbanks was brand-new up from California, where this sort of behavior was illegal. She wanted a win, to make herself look good to her bosses and to show Alaskans what “civilization” looked like. All throughout the trial, she would say “this is not how civilized people settle disagreements.” There was no need to be armed in that situation, she said. He had the whole world to retreat to. He’d advanced on JD, not the other way around. JD hadn’t been able to retreat and he thought himself in danger, so he had the higher “right” to self-defense. The DA depicted WG as the aggressor in the whole situation. I know that’s the job of a DA.

Her haughty attitude toward the “uncivilized” of Alaska reminded me of my own attitude a decade before and I shared it with Lela, who simply said “That’s why we’re a federation, so people like her can live in California and the sensible people can live somewhere else.” I stopped into work on my way to jury duty the next morning and the husband of one of my coworkers offered me a pamphlet from the Fully Informed Jury Association, the central tenet of which is that juries have a right and an obligation to rule not just on the facts of the case, but on the law itself.

The defense did a good job of bringing out that WG hadn’t initiated the attack and that carrying a gun in bear country is standard practice. He asked witness after witness if they were armed that day and several of them were because they’d just come from bear country. The attorney pointed out that the police were 140 miles away. When WG testified, he said his concern at the time was his wife, down on the ground, bleeding out.

That night, Lela went to the library and researched the references in the pamphlet and then the next day we heard closing arguments, which just solidified for me that this DA was asking us to go against common sense and follow the law exactly, even if it was wrong.

We walked into the jury room and one of the men asked “If that had been your wife, would you have retreated, leaving her in a free fire zone, and waited for an hour and a half for the cops to arrive?” Every man in the jury said “hell, no.” Half the jury voted to acquit and half the jury voted to convict. We broke between those who applied common sense – the so-called reasonable man principle — and those who said “the law is that you have to retreat.” I announced that I was never voting to convict WG of murder. One of the other men joined me. Pretty soon there were four of us who were never going home until we got an acquittal … arrayed against a single military wife who kept saying “but the law says”. I threw down the pamphlet and invited everyone to consider what it said.

Jury deliberations stretched into a second day as slowly the vote swung toward acquittal. But that military wife was not going to budge. “We can’t just ignore the law. Nobody else in the country does that. You Alaskans need to get with the rest of the world.” Our answer was “no, no, we don’t. If the law is wrong, then we shouldn’t agree with it.”

With the vote hanging at 9-3 to acquitt, the jury foreman was asked by the judge why it was taking so long and the foreman almost said “We’re hung”, but he held off. The vote was really one woman with two other women lockstepping with her against all the rest of us. Now the other women who were voting to acquitted started on these three. They wanted to go home and they knew that wasn’t happening until we reached a verdict. Someone pointed out that if we hung this jury, there’d be a second trial which even the hold-outs thought would be unfair. The two less-entrenched women voted for acquittal. And then we all said — “We are never leaving unless you vote for acquittal.” And, she did, mainly because her husband insisted, she said.

“He’s going to go out and kill more people.”

WG wept when they read the verdict. His wife had died and he was alone and, I later learned, completely broke, but he was free. We worked together several years later at a job and he was a nice guy, quietly involved in local events and raising a family with his second wife.

We did good, but that’s how easily a reasonable man could have been doing 99 years in prison for exercising the right to self-defense.

Ordinary Citizen Gets Death Penalty   1 comment

This is Brad. Lela is gone on a business trip this week, so while she’s going to check in on social media when she has down times, she asked me to post to her blog. Well … I asked if I could and she didn’t change the password. Thanks to Keirnan for knowing how to post photos, hyperlinks and hash-tags.

 

Jamal JacksonSo this is a “what might have happened” article. I’m often the source for those anyway, just so you know, because I read these articles and ask myself “What might have happened if …?” and then I debate them with Lela.

In Ventura County, California, a homeless man stabbed a family guy with a kid on his lap, fatally killing him. Now, of course, in the very armed state of Alaska, we ask “What if someone had been appropriately armed … could they have prevented this?” Maybe … maybe not. I, who support the full exercise of our right to self-protection, believe that it would have been a benefit if someone in that restaurant had been armed with something more than a steak knife. My sister, the anti-gun nut, believes such an armed citizen would simply have shot the kid on the victim’s lap (because only cops know how to shoot straight). We’ll never know because it never happened. Nobody in the steakhouse was armed except the murderer.

Ah, but … people had earlier called someone my sister would agree was fully qualified to carry a gun. Three hours before the stabbing, people in the area had contacted police to report a disruption from a homeless man who later would become a murderer. Instead of sending a cop out to assess the situation and perhaps takes this clearly ill man to a mental health center, police watched him on traffic camera footage and determined that he was “harmless”. They then left this danger to disarmed humanity in the neighborhood where he could kill someone.

So, yeah, Anthonoy Mele might still be alive if he or another patron had been armed and able to stop this attack before the knife entered his neck … or if the police had just done their jobs.

I’m not a fan of police just driving around looking for crime. I think they create crime when they do that. They harass people who might be minding their own business in a way cops think is unsocial. As a former urban parkour athlete, I resented police behavior in rousting people who weren’t following the unwritten rules cops seem to impose on society.

I think cops ought to be treated a lot like firemen who stay at the station until they are called out to a fire. I’m not anti-cop. I wouldn’t do away with all police. I’d just make them stay at the station and study the Constitution until they’re needed. In my perfect world, when a disturbance is reported, the cops show up to investigate and deal with the situation if it needs dealing with. What was Jackson shouting when he was causing the disturbances? We don’t know. But it might have been useful if the police had engaged him and learned that perhaps he had fixated on something that might have led him to kill a stranger in a steakhouse. But they didn’t. Instead, they let a man get killed and left the capture of this bad guy to a group of patrons who chased him to a beach.

I also don’t have anything against the homeless or the mentally ill. I spent some time as a young man homeless myself, so I have great compassion for people who experience that. Because Lela used to work in the field, we often have mentally ill people who know her come up and talk with us. Most of them are nice people who are just a little weird. I’m also a magnet for weird people. If there’s a schizophrenic person at LAX airport while I’m waiting for a flight, they will walk five concourses to come find me and tell me all about their delusions. We don’t know why that is, but it’s pattern in our travels. So I’m not railing against homeless people or the mentally ill. My issue is the cops not showing up to deal with it before someone died and with all the people who insist that disarming people will somehow make the world a safer place. Nobody had a gun in that steakhouse and a man still died. Obviously, being disarmed didn’t make Anthony Mele one bit safer.

One last thing I noticed is that the dangerous homeless guy has more right to life than the family man enjoying an afternoon with his family. If found guilty, Jamal Jackson will get up to 55 years of three hots and a cot. He could get less and this being oh-so-permissive California, he’s likely to do far less than he is sentenced to. In a decade, they might be hailing him as a success in mental health treatment — at least until he goes off his meds and kills somebody else. But Anthony Mele got the death penalty for … what? … eating at steakhouse and not having the means to defend himself. It really seems as though ordinary citizens have far less rights than criminals.

How is that a just society where the “rights” of the mentally ill to be dangerous and homicidal are protected but the actual rights of ordinary citizens to be able to protect themselves while having a meal with their family aren’t?

Posted April 23, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Government, Uncategorized

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What Might Have Happened 2?   Leave a comment

Apparently this burglar was unarmed – or got rid of his weapon before reaching the police – but he just as easily could have been armed with a gun, a knife or a club. Being a guy, he’s probably bigger and stronger than Ms. Reeves, so whether he was armed is actually immaterial. He had the means to hurt or kill her with his bare hands. So what would have happened had she not been armed? Nobody died, but I imagine someone might have if the perpetrator had been afraid enough of not seeing his grandmother for several years.

http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/37881137/woman-with-gun-who-chased-burglary-suspect-from-home-confronts-him-in-court

 

WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) –

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a suspect entered a woman’s home on Wednesday.

Deputies said they received a 911 call around 1:45 p.m. about an intruder at a home on North Laurel Street.

According to investigators, a woman at the home was armed and pulled her gun on the suspect, who fled the scene.

That woman’s name is Keri Reeves and she spoke with FOX Carolina following the incident.

“I immediately thought, he going to get a gun he’s about to shoot, me I’m not about to die in my own house,” said Reeves. “This could’ve been a very different situation had I not been properly armed.”

She says after she phoned the Sheriff and realized the seriousness of the situation, she was shaken up.

“I’m one of those people that can go from zero to a hundred in 2.5 seconds and I’m not a nice person normally, but as soon as I got on the phone with the sheriff’s department he was out of sight. The severity of it hit me, and I was in hysterics. I was crying, I was scared, I was very shaken.”

Deputies confirmed Thursday that the suspect, Ralph Jake Goss Jr., 33, was arrested and charged with burglary second degree, petit larceny, and possession of burglary tools.

Deputies said they found Goss walking out of the woods along Matthew Drive Wednesday. Items belonging to the victim were found in Goss’ possession, deputies said.

Goss appeared in bond court on Thursday where he was confronted by the victim.

“You came within 2.5 seconds of having a full clip unloaded into your skull,” she said. “Next time you will have the full clip unloaded.”

Goss addressed the victim in court and said the he was sorry and needed help. He also said he missed his children and his grandmother.

His bond was set at $65,000.

Posted April 13, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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What Might Have Happened?   Leave a comment

What would have happened to this man and his girlfriend if she hadn’t been able to defend them against these armed intruders? The story doesn’t say how far away the cops were, but even if they were next door, the homeowner might have been dead before they got there.

 

http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/37896075/coroner-woman-shoots-kills-intruder-armed-with-shotgun-after-home-invasion

 

GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) –

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said a Gaffney man was shot and killed during an alleged home invasion early Friday morning.

Fowler said a woman shot and killed Charles Shannon Alley, 41, of Tansi Trail after he forced his way into a home while armed and began fighting with another man in the house.

“According to witness statements Alley knocked on the door of a residence armed with a shotgun at 112 Piney Knob Drive in Gaffney about 3:25 a.m.,” Fowler said. “When a male answered the door, Alley allegedly pushed his way inside and began to fight with the resident while threatening to do harm to another male and female present also present    While engaged in the altercation, Alley was allegedly shot in the head by the female resident.”

Tim Anthony, the homeowner, said when he opened the door, two men tried to force their way in.

“I went to crack the door open and they barged, at least two of them, barged through the door and knocked me through the wall,” Anthony said.

Anthony said his girlfriend fired two shots at Alley while they were struggling in the middle of the living room.

“It was either him or me,” Anthony said.

Fowler said another man who was with Alley reportedly fled after the shooting.

Alley was pronounced dead at the scene.

FOX Carolina is working to get additional details

Posted April 13, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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