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Monday, March 30th, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Straight Shooters club meetings are held at the Bradley Auditorium at the new Eisenhower Regional Recreation Center. The next meeting topic will be:
Florida Firearms: Law, Use, & Ownership
Presented by Jon Gutmacher, P.A. (Bio)
All Villagers are welcome to attend
Meeting Raffle: Sig Sauer P238 SAS
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Record-Level of Support for Guns in the Home
Score this one as a victory for the judgment of the American people.
For decades, anti-gun groups have been trying to scare Americans into getting rid of their guns, with the claim that you’re more likely to have a problem if you have guns in your home, than if you don’t. But whatever they’ve been doing all these years apparently hasn’t been working. Not only have Americans been acquiring guns at record levels, Gallup recently reported that 63 percent of Americans now believe that having guns at home makes them safer, nearly double the percentage reporting the same belief 14 years ago.
Furthermore, Gallup found, support for having guns at home is shared by majorities of men and women, white and other Americans, people in all major geographic regions of the country, and Republicans and Independents. Only among Democrats does a majority still believe that having a gun at home makes them less safe.
Gallup’s findings are, in a word, huge. Ever since the mid-1980s, anti-gun activists have realized that to achieve their goal, they can’t attack only handguns, or compact handguns, like they did in the 1970s and early 1980s. Instead, they now attack gun ownership in general, with a particular emphasis on dissuading parents from introducing guns of any kind to their children, believing that children who aren’t introduced to guns won’t become gun owners as adults.
Most obviously, the fact that anti-gun groups now target guns of all types is evident in the groups’ names. The National Coalition to Ban Handguns has been renamed the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The National Council to Control Handguns has been renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Newer groups have taken the names Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, and the Law Center to Prevent GunViolence.
Additionally, whereas in the late 1980s, anti-gun activists wanted a waiting period on retail handgun sales, now they want a background check on commercial and private sales and trades of all guns. They complain about “gun” nuts, the “gun” culture, the “gun” lobby, and the “gun” industry. Even mentioning the word “gun” or wearing a T-shirt with the image of any kind of gun can get a kid suspended from school (and sometimes even arrested). And the words “gun” or “guns” appeared 13 times in President Obama’s list of 23 executive actions on “gun violence,” issued in January 2013.
The anti-gun Washington Post covered Gallup’s new findings last week, but found it “interesting” that “even as people are increasingly embracing the idea of guns in the home, the number of homes with guns in them hasn’t really risen.” With a little additional research, however, the Post would have found Gallup’s explanation for the trend in household gun ownership reported to pollsters.
Referring to the period during and immediately after the Clinton Administration’s campaign against guns, Gallup said, “A clear societal change took place regarding gun ownership in the early 1990s, when the percentage of Americans saying there was a gun in their home or on their property dropped from the low to mid-50s into the low to mid-40s and remained at that level for the next 15 years. Whether this reflected a true decline in gun ownership or a cultural shift in Americans’ willingness to say they had guns is unclear.” (Emphasis added.)
Gallup’s finding that personal safety is the top reason that Americans own guns today, and its finding in 2008 that 73 percent of Americans believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, clearly show where the American people stand. The news that most Americans believe that guns enhance their safety at home should cause anti-gun activists to re-think not only their strategy, but the point of their disarmament crusade.
ELEVEN ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO SURVIVE AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION
With the shootings at Trolley Square, Virginia Tech, the Omaha Mall and Santa Monica College remind us that violence can strike at any time and in any place. These types of events are not unusual. They occur everywhere, they happen in churches, malls, schools and workplaces. They will happen again. Have a plan. Whether you carry a gun or not, these are some precautions that everyone can take to be better prepared if it happens to you.
1 Family Emergency Plan – Before any emergency occurs, develop a family emergency plan. This plan may be used for any emergency. Keep it simple, such as developing a rendezvous point in the event you are separated. Have an alternative plan. No matter where you are, a simple plan is better than no plan.
2 Situational Awareness – Be aware of your surroundings and situation. Not paranoid, just aware. Keeping the cell phone jammed in your ear 24/7 is not being aware. If you see something that does not seem right, leave and call police.
3 Find an Exit – When out in public, look for and know how to get to the nearest two exits. Don’t concern yourself that they may be marked EMERGENCY, EMPLOYEE ONLY or ALARMED. You are going to use them anyway in an emergency.
4 Breakage – If you are trapped in an active shooter situation and there are no door exits but windows are available, break them! Use whatever is available up to and including your firearm to break any glass doors or windows to escape the threat!
5 Move – If you hear gunfire or see the shooter, immediately go to the nearest exit and away from the shooter. The farther away you get, the safer you will be.
6 Lock It – If you are trapped in a location that has no exit, lock yourself and others inside. Use belts, electrical cords, rope or whatever is quickly available to secure the door. Barricade the door with furniture, desks or store displays. Be quiet and stay away from the doors. Do not open the doors for others once you are secured. Shooters have been known to pound on the doors pretending to be victims, begging for entry. Stay put until the police break in to rescue you.
7 Fight Back! If you are trapped, cannot escape and the shooter makes an entry into your location, fight back! Immediately attack with chairs, tables, fire extinguishers, books or whatever you have on hand. Everyone in the room must attack; tackle him, bite, claw, stab or choke. If you do not fight back, savagely and with overwhelming force, he may methodically kill everyone.
8 Armed Citizens – If you are armed with a firearm at the scene of an active shooter, your first responsibility is to get your family to safety. Help others along the way if you can, but immediately move your own family out of the area first.
9 Call 911 – ASAP, get on the phone and give 911 the shooters’ description, location and type of weapon, if known. Give the dispatcher your location and description. Make certain to tell the dispatcher that you are armed. The dispatcher may try and get you to put your weapon away. I advise you to refuse and tell dispatch you will remain armed as long as the threat is active.
10 Take Cover – Place yourself between the shooter and others that may be with you. Have someone else talk on the phone. Your focus needs to be on the shooter.
11 Police Confrontations – If you are confronted by the police, keep your weapon muzzle pointed down. Raise your non-shooting hand up near your face in the surrender position. Yell loudly at the officer, “I am not the shooter!” Do exactly and immediately whatever the officer orders you to do. Expect to be taken down at gunpoint and treated like the bad guy. Be thankful they didn’t shoot you. Don’t take it personally. The actions you took can be sorted out afterwards.
If an officer asks you to help, comply and do as you’re told.
• Carry a good small flashlight whether you carry your gun or not.
• Carry enough ammo.
• Carry a working cell phone.
• Know trauma care. That is to say, know how to treat gunshot wounds and other injuries with whatever is on the scene. The police are trained to go straight to the shooter. They will not stop to help until after the shooter is stopped. You will be left to help yourself and others.
• Be a good witness. Be prepared to give a coherent statement to the police about the incident.
• Keep your mouth shut if you were forced to use deadly force. Only give a generic statement such as “he tried to kill me/us and I was forced to defend myself/us.” Stick to the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent until you have a lawyer by your side. Remember, there will most certainly be a civil lawsuit coming. Keep your mouth shut. Protect your own civil rights. If you need to discuss it with someone, tell your lawyer or your clergy. Those are protected communications.
• When you write your statement, look up your state’s law regarding use of force and include the exact same words that match the action you were forced to take. In Utah, it is, “I reasonably believed the force was necessary because…”
• You have the right to keep and bear arms. You have a responsibility to train and become proficient with your firearm. Follow the use of force guidelines for your state.
These events happen. They happen in churches, malls, schools and work places. They will happen again. If you are going to carry a firearm, be responsible and be prepared. WSJ
Editor’s note: Dennis Kennedy is Director of Training for the Counterterrorism Institute of America, LLC. Dennis is a 25-year veteran law enforcement instructor and military special operations weapons NCO (Noncommissioned Officer). He is a Utah POST-certified Firearms Instructor as well as NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor and Utah BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor. He can be contacted at combat-terror.com.
Article By Dennis Kennedy
Texas considers allowing open carry of handguns
AUSTIN, Texas – Long depicted as the rootin'-tootin' capital of American gun culture, Texas is one of the few states with an outright ban on the open carry of handguns.
That could change in 2015, with the Republican-dominated Legislature and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott expected to push for expanded gun rights.
"If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it's good enough for the state of Texas," Abbott said the day after his election last month.
And if Texas, which allows concealed handguns, embraces open carry — rolling back a 140-year ban — it would be the largest state to have done so.
Open carry drew wide support in the 2014 statewide election, and at least six bills have already been filed for the upcoming session, which starts in January. Abbott has already pledged to sign one into law if sent to his desk.
Coni Ross, a 63-year-old rancher in Blanco, carries a handgun in her purse for personal protection and said she'd like the option to carry it openly on her belt if she could. She already does when she's on her ranch and feels comfortable with her gun by her side.
"In one-and-a-half seconds, a man can run 25 feet with a knife in his hands and stab you before you get your gun out," Ross said. "If your weapon is concealed you're dead."
Most of the country already allows some form of open carry of handguns, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a California-based group advocating gun control legislation.
But Texas, California, Florida, New York, Illinois and South Carolina, which make up more than a third of the U.S. population and include six of its seven largest population centers, do not.
Large urban areas have traditionally had the strictest controls on weapons in public because of concerns over guns in crowds and crime control, said UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, author of "Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America." He said it's "pretty surprising" that Texas still has an open carry ban that dates to the 1870s.
"We've been regulating guns in the interest of public safety, even in places like Texas, since the founding," Winkler said. "The battle over open carry of guns in public remains one of the most heated in the gun debate today."
Of the states that ban open carry, Texas easily has the most gun-friendly reputation.
From manufacturers to dealers, Texas has the most federal firearms license holders in the country. It has few restrictions on gun ownership, and Gov. Rick Perry and state lawmakers have actively lobbied gun makers to move to the state.
Texas allows the public display of long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, and open carry advocates have staged high-profile rallies at the Alamo and state Capitol. Concealed handguns are allowed inside the Capitol, where license holders can bypass metal detectors.
But Texas still insists handguns be kept out of sight.
Texas first banned the carrying of handguns "when the carpet-bagger government was very anxious about former Confederates and recently freed slaves carrying firearms," state Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said.
Overturning a century of law proved difficult, and a concealed weapons law failed several times until it finally passed in 1995 when Patterson, then a state senator, led the charge. Texas now has about 811,000 concealed handgun license holders, nearly equal the population of San Francisco.
Even among gun supporters in Texas, the idea of open carry was considered too radical when the concealed carry law passed. Since then, the Legislature has expanded gun rights incrementally. It made the licensing of concealed handguns easier and, during the last three sessions, held heated debates over concealed handguns on college campuses. Open carry backers believe these debates helped rally support to their cause and that an open carry law will pass.
Open carry opponents, such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety in America, say carrying guns on the street is less about gun rights than intimidation.
"There is no way to know ... if that person is a threat to moms and our children," said Claire Elizabeth, who heads the group's Texas chapter.
Despite the early momentum, there are no guarantees open carry will pass. Bills to allow concealed handguns on college campus appeared to have widespread support in 2009, 2011 and 2013, but were derailed by objections from universities and law enforcement.
Most of the open carry bills already filed for the upcoming session would still require a license. One, by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, would eliminate the licensing requirement for concealed or open carry.
"The idea is we're going to return our Second Amendment rights," Stickland said. "I can't imagine what the citizens would do if they had to take a class or pay a fee to use their First Amendment rights."
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