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Tag: Guns

Jon Stewart Talks About the Crazy Restrictions Blocking ATF From Doing Its Job

FBI: Guns Involved in More Than 75% of Justifiable Homicides in U.S. in 2011

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Three out of four justifiable homicides involved firearms, CNN reports, citing the FBI’s unified crime report

Of the 260 justified homicides in 2011, 201 involved a gun.

The rate is much higher among police, CNN reported.

Guns were involved in 99.2% of justifiable homicides, or 390 out of 393.

The statistics will likely be cited by gun-rights groups who say firearms are an effective defensive tool, according to CNN.

Washington Post: Data Shows Drop in High-Capacity Magazines During Federal Gun Ban

ak 47
By David S. Fallis,
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — During the 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, the percentage of firearms equipped with high-capacity magazines seized by police agencies in Virginia dropped, only to rise sharply once the restrictions were lifted in 2004, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

The White House is leading a push to reinstate a national ban on large capacity magazines and assault weapons after a gunman armed with an AR-15 and 30-round magazines killed 20 children and seven adults in Connecticut. Vice President Biden is holding advisory meetings this week to hammer out a course of action that will address the issue of the larger magazines, which under the lapsed federal ban were those that held 11 or more rounds of ammunition.

In Virginia, the Post found that the rate at which police recovered firearms with high-capacity magazines — mostly handguns and to a smaller extent rifles — began to drop around 1998, four years into the ban. It hit a low of 9 percent of the total number of guns recovered the year the ban expired, 2004. To read the full story click here.

Retired FBI Official Michael Mason: Arming Teachers? Dumbest Idea Ever Proposed

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com
The recent mass shooting in Connecticut was an act of incomprehensible evil.

However, in the wake of this tragedy we need to ensure we come together to present thoughtful and effective ideas to reduce the probability of such an act ever occurring again. Arming teachers is categorically not a recommendation that should enjoy any consideration at all.

The probability of having an active shooter incident at any particular school is infinitesimally small. The ridiculous suggestion of arming teachers would actually increase that probability simply by virtue of putting thousands of guns in schools which today have none.

There is a huge difference between handing someone a gun and ensuring they receive the proper training to effectively engage that gun when required to do so.

Training is not a once and done endeavor, it must be continuous, and be required.  It is difficult enough to hit a paper target that is not shooting back at you.

Imagine the average teacher having to use that gun under the most adverse circumstances imaginable. We expect Ms. Jones, a great, compassionate, effective teacher, to now become an extension of the police department’s SWAT team?

We expect her to run to the sound of gun fire, through all the chaos and noise and effectively use that gun that has been locked in her drawer for the past 11 years? Really, can there be a more absurd notion circulating around the country.

Owning a gun and genuinely being prepared, psychologically and physically, to use it are two entirely different concepts.

I carried a gun for 23 years and in that time only experience one occasion during which I thought I was going to have to shoot another man. I did not think, “Go ahead…make my day.”

I clearly remember thinking, “Please don’t make me shoot you.” Although I was committed to doing so, I remain grateful to this day I did not have to shoot that individual. My point is that the concept of going from teacher one moment to effectively deploying deadly force in the next moment goes far beyond simply having access to a firearm.

The mass shooting in Connecticut absolutely demands that we address the issue of gun control. It is equally important that we not simply react, but rather engage in intelligent, thoughtful discussions to develop solutions that will genuinely impact this horrendous situation. Arming teachers is simply a dumb idea which deserves not a second more of serious consideration.

 

 

More Guns Show Up from Botched Gun-Trafficking Operation Fast and Furious

atf file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Two weapons linked to the botched gun-trafficking Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of a deadly drug cartel gunfight last month, the Tribune Washington Bureau reports.

The guns – an AK-47 assault rifle and 5.7 mm pistol – illustrate that some of the 2,000 weapons lost under Operation Fast and Furious remain in the wrong hands and likely will be used in crimed, the Tribune reported.

The pistol was purchased by Supervisory Agent George Gillett, who was helping oversee the botched operation.

Feds are investigating. Gillett declined to comment.

Shouldn’t We Do More to Avoid Mass Deaths By Crazed Gunmen?

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

During my visits to Israel, the idea of security was never far off. At the train station, at the bus stop, I went through a metal detector. An armed guard checked through packages and asked if I was carrying a gun.

After Sept. 11, 2001, I thought the U.S. would have second thoughts about security in public places, particularly with the threat of terrorism looming here.

I figured maybe places like malls or movie theaters might consider screening customers.

But no. That hasn’t happened. Americans have a way of conveniently forgetting or deferring such concerns until the next tragedy.

All around the country, we’re seeing all too often crazed gunmen — homegrown terrorists if you will — open fire on innocent citizens. Each incident is a reminder that we probably aren’t doing enough.

To read full column click here.

Defense Attorney Still Questions Whether FBI Agent’s Text Messages Were Destroyed: Govt. Says It Did Nothing Wrong

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
The legal battle between the defense and prosecution is heating up in an undercover FBI sting into gun trafficking in the Philippines.

The battle began when deputy Federal Defender John Littrell in Los Angeles accused a a California undercover FBI agent of using taxpayer dollars to pay for prostitutes in the Philippines for himself and targets of the sting. The agent, in court papers, adamantly denied the allegation.

Then Littrell filed a motion last month alleging that the government only saved incoming text messages the FBI agent received from the targets, but didn’t save the ones that the agent sent out to the targets. Littrelle suggested the government may have intentionally destroyed the texts, which might be of  help in proving entrapment.

The government in a document filed on Oct. 24, said  that the undercover phone, which was a pre-paid phone purchased in the Philippines, was not capable of saving outgoing messages the agent sent to the defendants.

The government also noted that another phone used by the agent was lost in a cab in the Philippines and was not recovered.

“The government acted in good faith at all times, and there is no reason to believe that the agents’ outgoing texts were exculpatory in any way, particularly in light of the very incriminating nature of the defendants’ email, text, and other communications to the agent,” the government wrote.

But on Thursday, defense attorney Littrell, who represents one of three defendants, Sergio Syjuco, wrote in a motion:

In its opposition, the government admits that the undercover agent failed to preserve any of the outgoing text messages he sent during the 18-month investigation in this case. The government’s excuse for the undercover agent’s failure to preserve his outgoing messages from September 2010 to May 2011 (the “first phone”) was that  he lost the phone in a taxi in Manila. Its excuse for the undercover agent’s failure to preserve his outgoing text messages from May 2011 to January 5, 2012 (the “second phone”), was that the “undercover phone did not save outgoing text messages, and they are “not available on the undercover telephone.” The government does not explain why messages are unavailable on the second phone, and it does not attach a declaration from the agent. It does not rule out the possibility that the undercover agent deliberately lost the first phone, or deleted the messages or altered the settings on the second phone to prevent it from saving outgoing texts. The government says only that “there were no messages in the “sent” box.” This explanation is not complete, and it is not convincing.

The fight continues. Stay tuned.

ICE Agent Retires After Raid Uncovers 155 Guns at His Home


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An ICE agent whose house in Vermont was raided over firearms has retired as investigators continue to study the case, the Burlington Free Press reports.

Special Agent Richard Bernholz stepped down from his federal job Friday, about 13 months after ATF seized more than 155 firearms from his home in Franklin County, according to the Free Press.

Federal authorities have declined to comment on the investigation, which appears to have been sparked by a gun that Bernholz used in a shooting in Massachusetts, the Free Press reported.

Since October 2010, the longtime federal agent had been assigned to the Homeland Security Investigations Division of ICE.