Posts Tagged ‘Chris Kyle’

"Gun-free" Zone Fiction Flatters Carriers; Insults the Public

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

 It has only been two years since Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” was killed on a shooting range in Erath County, Texas. His murder was followed by the shooting death in Georgia of Keith Ratliff of the YouTube gun show FPSRussia, who was surrounded by his own guns, and Frank Petro, owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop in Tunnelton, PA who was killed in his shop with his own gun.

 

Also shot and killed in 2013 were Kaufman County, Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, despite the DA being “well-armed and so well-versed in guns,” according to his son, and other key law enforcement figures.

 

NGVAC Tell and Compel InitiativeStill it is the absence of guns–“gun-free” zones–that explains most shootings, say gun advocates, because bad guys know that good guys “have been disarmed!”

 

Under this self-flattering reasoning, armed guards are no replacement for armed citizens and Ford Hood, the Navy Yard and LAX airport are actually soft targets. “Let’s attack a military installation,” the bad guys say, according to gun advocates. “They won’t fight back.”

 

The gun-free zone fiction was rolled out by the gun advocacy movement as businesses have increasingly shunned belligerent and self-righteous “carriers” on their premises.

 

Just as Pepsi recently renounced the artificial sweetener aspartame and Chipotle renounced genetically modified food ingredients, top restaurant chains like Panera Bread, Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target have renounced guns on their property. Why? They hear their customers!

 

But of course, there is another reason property and building owners do not want guns on their property. If they fail to post No Guns Allowed signs and gun violence, injury or death occurs on their property they “face the argument that it was entirely foreseeable” advises top real estate, finance and litigation law firm Mayer Brown LLP.

 

Mishaps that could expose such property owners to lawsuits include faulty holsters, someone bumping a carrier, a carrier bumping someone else, a carrier falling or a carrier “mistaking a situation for one in which he is legally entitled to use a gun for self-defense or to save others,” says Mayer Brown. Their legal memo, found here, may well be the first property owner guidance on liability from guns on their property. Certainly, the toddler who killed his mother with her own gun in a Washington Walmart in December would pose liability to property owners under this guidance.

 

Of course militant “carriers” who are afraid to go where normal people go without their lethal weapons usually transmute their cowardice into a public service. We are protecting the public they yell–if a “bad guy” shows up you’ll be glad we are around.

 

But the legal memo from Mayer Brown begs to differ. Not only are sheriff-wannabes unlikely to “defend” anyone in a gun violence situation they are likely to cause more bloodshed. Nor would a property owner be faulted for disallowing such armed enforcers. “A court could hardly claim that a duty of care was violated because a property owner put up signs to help prevent this additional danger posed by would-be heroes,” says the memo.

 

The truth is the presence of guns makes an environment less safe not more safe. Exhibit A is all major corporations/companies which ban guns from their headquarter buildings. Corporations don’t want a shoot out between bad guys and good guys in their offices–they want no guns to begin with.  Needless to say, there aren’t too many shootings in their “gun-free zones.”

 

 

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Armed and Trained Did Not Help These Gun Victims

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Months before Illinois became the last state in the union to legalize “conceal carry,” a droll cartoon ran in the local papers. A masked man threatens another with a handgun, saying “Hand over all your valuables.”
 
“Nope, I’m armed,” says the would-be victim. “Just give me one minute to get my concealed gun out of its holster.”
 
Sunday Comic_ Will Concealed Carry Be Good for Illinois? - Evans
 
The armed citizen movement, driven by gun makers and whipped up fear of “bad guys,” is predicated on the self-defense that carrying provides. Yet if being armed and looking for trouble were true protection, would law enforcement officers ever be killed?
 
It has been two years since Kaufman County, Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia were shot to death in their home.
 
Mike McLelland carried a gun even when he walked his dog and his wife Cynthia also had a license to carry a concealed handgun. “There were guns hidden all over the house,” his son, J. R. McLelland, told the New York Times. “Behind doors, everywhere. He could have been standing next to a .40-caliber Glock and you would not have known it. When they said that he got shot, it was unbelievable because he was so well-armed and so well-versed in guns.”
 
Ten days before the McLellands’ murder, Tom Clements, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was similarly shot in cold blood at his home. And five days after the McLellands’ murders, Walter Eugene Crum, Sheriff of Mingo County, West Virginia, was shot and killed while eating lunch in his patrol car just a few blocks from the Mingo County Courthouse.
 
The spate of shocking murders of law officials left the NRA strangely silent. It temporarily stopped its catechism about good guys stopping bad guys, guns saving lives and criminals preferring “gun-free zones” for their crimes. Did the fallen officials need more guns? Should they have had their weapons drawn at all times? Even when opening the door to someone they may have known?
 
Being armed and trained was similarly no protection for American Sniper Chris Kyle or Keith Ratliff, the business manager of the popular YouTube gun show FPSRussia. Why? The element of surprise. Ratliff was found dead in Carnesville, Georgia of a single bullet wound in the head, reportedly surrounded by several guns. “For him not to pull out that gun and try to defend himself, he had to feel comfortable around somebody,” his brother told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV. “Either that or he was ambushed.”
 
When asked about the contradiction of highly armed and trained shooters not being able to defend themselves despite their arms, gun lovers offer a cascade of mewing defenses. Maybe it was a surprise attack, they say. Maybe the shooter came up behind them. Maybe they weren’t paying attention. Maybe they knew the shooter. Maybe the sun was in their eyes.
 
Gun lovers also don’t like to talk about instances when carriers are killed with their own weapons like Frank Petro, longtime owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop in Conemaugh, PA, who was killed at his dealership with his own gun last year.
 
And who can forget the death a few months ago of Veronica Rutledge at an Idaho Walmart, killed by her own toddler son who found her concealed gun in her purse? Clearly the bad guys she was worried about encountering at Walmart were less dangerous than her own gun.
 

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct

Does a Gun Keep You Safe? It Didn't For These Enthusiasts

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

It’s been two years since gun lover and business manager of the popular YouTube show FPSRussia Keith Ratliff was found dead in Carnesville, Georgia of a gunshot wound. Ratliff was surrounded by guns at the time of his death but not the gun that killed him, said authorities. Ratliff’s show, which featured his friend Kyle Myers showing off the fire power of weapons and triggering explosions while faking a Russian accent, was viewed by millions.

Soon after Ratliff’s death, Frank Petro, longtime owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop was killed at his gun dealership in Conemaugh, PA. Police charged Jack Edmundson in the slaying who said he shot Petro with his own gun.

When asked about the contradiction of highly armed and trained shooters, including “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, not being able to defend themselves, gun lovers offer a cascade of mewing defenses. Maybe it was a surprise attack, they say. Maybe the shooter came up behind them. Maybe they weren’t paying attention. Maybe they were looking the other way. Maybe they knew the shooter. But of course that’s the definition of an assault. If you knew it were coming and were prepared for it, it wouldn’t be a criminal assault.

The “sun was in my eyes” excuses that gun lovers grasp at when heavily armed people can’t defend themselves show the fundamental fallacy of the citizen gun cult and especially “carrying.” Do armed citizens really think they will stop crimes in progress when even police miss many, perhaps most, of their shots and the top trained security force in the world couldn’t save President Reagan from being shot?

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Sure, weapons keep you safe from bad guys unless there is an element of surprise, unless the assailant is behind you and unless the assailant is someone you know. Then, they may actually make things worse. In several recent tragic incidents in the U.S., women who got guns to protect themselves were killed with their own guns.

Statistically, a gun in the home is many times less likely to stop an intruder then to be used in homicides, suicides, rage incidents, domestic violence and cases of mistaken identity. Women are more likely to be killed by violent domestic partners than strangers, usually by guns. Clearly the myth of gun self-defense does more for gun makers than their customers.


National Gun Victims Actions Council
is the U.S.’ largest gun victims groups. Join our effort to get corporate America to take a stand against gun violence. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. @GunVictimsAct

Why Law Abiding Gun Owners Can Not Be Trusted to Be Law Abiding

Monday, January 28th, 2013

The oft quoted refrain from  gun owners, the NRA, the politicians who support the NRA, President Obama, and Vice-President  Biden and all the organizations advocating for sane gun laws  is that Law Abiding Gun Owners are—or are not—the target (no pun intended) of gun control efforts, depending on which side you are on.   In point of fact, every hideous, non-sane gun law we have—and every sane gun law we cannot pass—is based on the sleight of hand the NRA has created—the mythical creature —the Law Abiding Gun Owner.

What is implied by the phrase “Law Abiding Gun Owner” is that they will always be law abiding, need no regulations or boundaries, can be counted on to follow every law.  Therefore any gun law that would be passed only serves to punish these “angels” and since the criminals will ignore the gun laws, soon “Only The Criminals Will Have Guns.”  (Note: An earlier blog post shows, unequivocally, that we would indeed be a far safer country with far, far less gun homicides “If Only Criminals Had Guns” See http://oldsite.gunvictimsaction.org/blog/2012/02/do-we-know-what-would-happen-to-the-publics-safety-in-a-country-where-only-the-criminals-had-guns-yes-we-do/ ) .

Because someone is law abiding today, does not mean they will be law abiding tomorrow; we must be very, very careful about who is a gun owner and there are sensible ways to do that. The NRA deliberately coined the phrase “law abiding gun owner” to argue that they would always be law abiding and criminals would always be criminals. This ignores the reality that every criminal was once law abiding.

We refer to drivers as “legal drivers. And that is what we should call gun owners—legal gun owners. We take away the licenses of people who break driving laws but since gun owners are not licensed, even when they break gun laws we cannot take away their guns.

A fact of human nature is that we all have good and bad inside of us and both sides come out from time to time. The legislator who sponsored the guns in bars bill that passed in Tennessee, used as the persuasive argument that helped pass it, “That no law abiding gun owner would ever drink while carrying their gun.”  Three months after the law was passed, he was picked up on a DUI with his loaded gun in the front seat.   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/12/sponsor-law-allowing-guns-in-bars-arrested-on-dui-gun-charges/

Law Abiding Gun Owners Can Not Be Trusted to Be Law Abiding.  It is a term we must stop using if we are to make progress towards sane gun laws.

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