he was like han

Way back at the end of last year, I posted a graphic reminding people what "situational awareness" really came down to, but, in the end, it was a made-up graphic about a made-up character playing a made-up role, and fiction is… well… fictional.

Well, we do not know this security guard’s name yet, but once we do, I think his might be replacing Solo’s in the phrase "Be like Han":

(Video updated; should work now, sorry. If you still can’t see it, go here.)

All of three seconds elapsed between the armed thugs bursting through the door and the security guard putting his first round in the air; he hit at least one of those thugs; he never stopped moving as he searched for a better vantage point from which to defend himself and his customers while simultaneously using what concealment he had; and he kept himself and those he was charged to protect alive and well.

He did not freeze. He did not start telling himself that this could not be happening to him. He did not look around for help. He did not try to hide under his desk. He positively identified a threat, realized that it was a lethal threat (at least one of those thugs was armed with a handgun he dropped at the scene), and responded in a fashion guaranteed to stop or otherwise discourage the threat.

Speaking to the larger event, I cannot think of a single thing the security guard did wrong. Sure, we could pick apart his every move and analyze how our couch quarterbacking would have yielded a different result, but the honest truth is that he walked away from the event unscathed, his customers did as well, and the scumbags were seriously discouraged from continuing their illegal and illicit activities.

Here is to hoping that we all perform as flawlessly as this security guard did, should the situation ever call upon us to do so.

i am a bad, bad man

Why?

I cannot stop giggling at this:

And, yes, there is a story:

Surveillance video of the incident was released on Monday by the Sheriff’s Office. It shows two masked men entering the Palms Internet Cafe, 8444 SW State Road 200, just before 10 p.m. Friday. One of the men had a gun.

Williams was seated toward the back of the cafe dressed in a white shirt, shorts and baseball cap.

One of the masked men, identified as Duwayne Henderson, 19, comes in pointing a handgun at customers. The second man, Davis Dawkins, 19, is seen swinging a bat at something off screen, which was later identified as a $1,200 computer screen.

As Henderson turns his back, Williams pulls out a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun, stands from his chair, takes two steps, nearly drops to one knee, and fires two shots at Henderson, who bolts for the front door.

Mr. Samuel Williams, the hero of the above clip, scored hits on both scumbag perpetrators, both were acquired by the police later that day, both face appropriate criminal charges, and none of the customers at the internet cafe were injured. Even better, though? Mr. Williams faces no charges whatsoever, and based on the evidence he has, the State Attorney General does not anticipate filing any charges.

Now, aside from the nearly Abbott and Costello level of comedy provided by that clip, it also offers us a rare opportunity to observe, first-hand, a legitimate defensive gun use. To begin with, we do not know the exact firearm Mr. Williams used, but we do know it was chambered in .380ACP – a cartridge that is generally considered to be the absolute bare minimum for self-defense purposes. On the one hand, this situation adequately demonstrates that; while we have absolutely no idea where Mr. Williams hit the perpetrators, we do know they were shot and lost blood at the scene, but were also able to flee the scene under their own power and evade police for a few hours. Obviously the wounds did not incapacitate them.

On the other hand, however, we also know that the .380 – underpowered or not – effectively stopped the crime cold due to one simple truth: people do not like being shot. The perpetrators obviously were not expecting armed resistance, and the very second that first shot was sent towards them… well, you saw their reactions. In this particular case, a .380 was all that was necessary to bring the situation to a satisfactory conclusion, a conclusion that might not have been reached if Mr. Williams did not have an easily-pocketable and -carryable pistol available to him. In other words, a pistol you are actually going to carry and use should the situation call for it automatically trumps The Perfect Gun in The Perfect Caliber that you leave at home because it is too big / too heavy / etc. Obviously, should you be facing the thankfully-rare situation of a PCP-hopped-up thug intent on getting your head and the pavement intimately acquainted, you would want as many of the biggest rounds as you could get your hands on, but a .380 still beats a pointy stick, even against spineless thugs who think a baseball bat and handgun make them men.

Moving on, look at the reactions of the people in the video when faced with two armed robbers. A few people ducked down behind desks, and another actually put his hands up, but by and large, people pretty much just sat there and stared at the thugs. Hell, it almost looked like one woman was digging out her purse to hand over her cash to the robbers (though, in fairness, she could have been going for a concealed carry gun kept in said purse, so there is that). Are we so inured to violence now that we simply do not react to it?

Thankfully, Mr. Williams’ did respond to that threat of violence, but observe how he responded: he had his gun out before he made any noticeable moves, waited until the robber with the handgun was facing away from him and dealing with the person holding up his hands, very deliberately closed the distance between the and the robber, took as good a shooting stance as the situation allowed him to, and, as far as I can tell, made two shots to approximately the robber’s center of mass. I do not think you could have a more-textbook example of how to handle a "shooting" defensive gun use* if you had scripted it.

Now, take a look at how the would-be-armed-robbers chose to attire themselves, and remember this all took place in central Florida in the middle of summer – both appeared to be wearing jeans, a white cloth mask (possibly a bandanna or something similar), and… a gray hoodie. I am certainly not one to judge people based on how they choose to dress, especially not given the styles I prefer, but there simply are some clothing / situation combinations that simply do not work, and if I am toodling along a street south of the Mason-Dixon Line in July and happen to see a person wearing a long black trenchcoat when it is not raining, I am probably going to cross to the other side of the street and keep a very close eye on them. Is that biased of me? Absolutely. But situations like this one only serve to support that bias.

Finally, not to find fault with Mr. Williams’ actions, but I am vaguely… bemused?… by his shooting style. Initially he almost drops to one knee and takes his first shot with a two-handed grip on the gun, then he transitions to a moving stance with his left hand on his forearm, and finally he takes a few shots at the fleeing criminals entirely one-handedly. I have absolutely no problems with taking a knee while making a high-stress shot – it increases your stability, decreases the target you are presenting your assailants, and puts you below where they would naturally look and aim – but keeping both hands on your firearm while shooting is strongly recommended in all situations where you can. Obviously, there could be other factors at play – a cranky wrist or simply the stress of the situation – so I am just speaking in general, and, as I said, I do not mean this to cast aspersions on Mr. Williams.

As always, we would be fools not to learn as much as we could from situations like this, given how rarely they are so thoroughly documented. Likewise, this is a classic example of the need for not only concealed and open carry laws throughout the country, but also stand your ground laws – Mr. Williams was where he lawfully had the right to be and was not committing a crime, and thus had absolutely no reason to attempt to flee before defending himself, and he should be legally protected from halfwitted morons who would try to demonize him for not doing so.

(* – I specify "shooting" because contrary to the propaganda of "gun control" extremists, the vast majority of the thousands, if not millions, of defensive gun uses a year are resolved without a single shot being fired.)

(Courtesy of Gun Free Zone.)

gun rights policy conference

Unfortunately, our vacation and financial situation probably will not allow me to attend this year, but if you have a bit more flexibility than I do in those regards, you should seriously consider attending the 2012 Gun Rights Policy Conference going on in Orlando, Florida, from 28SEP12 to 30SEP12.

GRPCbanner

This year we’ll take a look at critical issues such as: city gun bans, “smart” guns, concealed carry, federal legislation, BATFE policies, legal actions, gun show regulation, state and local activity. We’ll also review the 2010 elections, discuss the 2012 Presidential race and analyze Right to Keep and Bear Arms court cases.

The full roster of GRPC 2012 speakers has not yet been set. Past speakers include: Alan M. Gottlieb, Joseph P. Tartaro, Eugene Volokh, Bob Barr, Alan Gura, Wayne LaPierre, John Lott, Sandy Froman, Massad Ayoob, Tom Gresham, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Larry Elder, Ken Hamblin, and many others.

And if you need further enticement, apparently they will provide you with somewhere north of $150 worth of books and materials, free of charge, if you show up. Go forth, take notes for those of us who cannot make it, and have fun.

a sign of our times

In a rather interesting example of just how pervasive social media has become in our modern society, the legal defense team for George Zimmerman has started a weblog and Twitter account. Being the distinctly not-a-lawyer as I am, my initial, knee-jerk reaction to that information is to immediately decry it as a Very Bad Idea (TM) and run screaming for the hills.

However, the folks in charge of this particular webpage are, in fact, lawyers, and Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyers to boot, and they make a pretty compelling case for why they decided to do what they did:

First, we contend that social media in this day and age cannot be ignored. It is now a critical part of presidential politics, it has been part of revolutions in the Middle East, and it is going to be an unavoidable part of high-profile legal cases, just as traditional media has been and continues to be. We feel it would be irresponsible to ignore the robust online conversation, and we feel equally as strong about establishing a professional, responsible, and ethical approach to new media.

Per the same post, their goals appear to be:

– Discrediting and eliminating fraudulent websites and social profiles
– Disputing misinformation
– Discouraging speculation
– Acknowledging the larger significance of the case
– Providing a forum for communication with the law firm
– Providing a voice for Mr. Zimmerman
– Raising funds

…And I dare say they are doing a fairly decent job of meeting those goals while abiding by their all-too-understandable self-imposed limitations.

One important thing to remember as we sit here marveling at the reality that Mr. Zimmerman – who has not yet been convicted of any crimes – is not only living in fear for his life, but unable to safely express himself in public without a lawyer’s "filter" between him and the rest of the world, is that his situation could become any of our situations. Oh, sure, I like to think that most of us would not have done what Mr. Zimmerman apparently did that fateful night, but do you really think the case – and, more importantly, the public’s reaction to it – would be appreciably different if it was a 100% cut-and-dried example of lawful self-defense? The lynch mob screaming for Zimmerman’s head does not give a damn about the laws, or the facts, or the reality, or even what the court will eventually decide – they only care about satisfying their own personal blood-lust over the perceived murder of a black "kid" at the hands of a (not-so-) white "aggressor".

‘Course, when the narrative is flipped on its head, that same lynch mob is strangely silent, which only goes to show who the true "racists" are in this particular scenario.

I sincerely hope that none of my readership (myself included) ever have cause to employ their firearms to defend their life or limb, but should you have to do so, and should you be successful, Mr. Zimmerman’s situation indicates that your trials and tribulations will only be starting, and only some of them – arguably the minority – will take place within an actual court room. It is unquestionably unfortunate that our society has allowed race-baiters and violent rabble-rousers to run rough-shod over it, but this is the world we live in today, so we might as well plan accordingly.

when you lose the media…

It is a long-accepted fact that the media – especially "print" media, whether it is actually on newsprint or in bytes – is generally a water-carrier for the anti-rights cultist organizations of America and abroad. The documentation is lengthy and comprehensive, and the only people really arguing the point are those organizations themselves and those who are already known supporters and sycophants of the same.

Moving right along, Politifact is an outgrowth of the Tampa Bay Times – the media – so it should come as no surprise that while that site has anointed itself as the Grand Arbiter of Truth and Fact, they are, in fact, quite biased in their own particular ways, up to and including claiming then-candidate-for-Senator Barack Hussein Obama never supported a ban on firearms when, very plainly, he did.

With that lie behind us, imagine my surprise at reading this judgment on Dan Gross’, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership, statement:

Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that at the Florida Department of Agriculture’s website FreshFromFlorida.com, people can "get a permit to carry a loaded hidden gun without ever leaving your house."

[…]

The law, though, requires that people receive firearms training and be fingerprinted by law enforcement, two elements that would typically require people to leave their homes. While it’s possible to pay a firearms trainer to come to your property, we found no evidence that such training is widespread. We also found no evidence that mobile fingerprinting would be allowed for the gun permit application in the state of Florida.

We rate this claim False.

Of course, why it did not warrant a "pants on fire", I am not entirely sure.

Back when I first applied for my Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License (no idea why they make that distinction), I short-circuited the system as best I could – I provided documentation proving that the United States Navy had trained me on the use of handguns and that I had met their standards for proficiency, which allowed me to side-step the classroom and range requirements of the permitting process. But I still had to drag my happy ass into downtown Jacksonville (after first ensuring the local police department could not handle it there) and get my fingerprints taken.

I guess it is good to see that Dan Gross is already following the Brady Bunch tradition of "lie every time you open your mouth". For a little while there, based on his odd silence alone, I was vaguely concerned he might do something to stem the Brady Campaign’s inevitable slide into irrelevancy and cultural ostracization – something like periodically speak the truth – but I guess I should have known better; it is not like honest people work for organizations like that one. Likewise, it is not like the requirements for FL CWFLs are terribly complicated either – they are spelled out, in plain language, right there on that webpage I linked to; a webpage that shows up in very short order if you do any searching at all for anything relating to "concealed carry" in "Florida".

But rather than spend the five minutes necessary to do that searching, Dan Gross simply lies. Unfortunately, that, in and of itself, is not really noteworthy; rather PolitiFact’s honest reporting of that lie is fairly impressive… and a very telling statement on the condition of "gun control" extremist organizations in modern society. If their grip on the media is this loose, how long until their grip on society as a whole is at the same tenuous level?

For the sake of our liberties and rights, we can only hope "soon".

(Courtesy of Say Uncle.)

people like @kingericthe1st are why i carry a firearm

I completely understand why people do not follow Twitter, but damned if it does not keep producing absolutely wonderful blogfodder material.

Take, for example, the individual tweeting behind the screen name "@KingEricThe1st" aka King Eric the First aka Eric L. Hughes, Sr. It would appear as though King Eric took some offense at my tweet of:

#TrayvonMartin sympathizers – where is your concern for Nancy Strait? http://tinyurl.com/75dwmet #gunviolence #guncontrol #toomanyvictims

Image(7)

Image(8)

… by claiming that the two crimes are not comparable (when no one was comparing them) because Zimmerman was "white" (even though he is not strictly) and "white folks would easily end up with more on the part of wrongdoing". When I accurately pointed out that only fretting over the murders of black folks by not-really-white folks was both racist and hypocritical, King Eric informed me "You forget, blacks were the slaves… Their anger is justified".

I am inclined to doubt that Zimmerman’s ancestors ever owned slaves, but even if they did, it is 100% immaterial to current events – Zimmerman himself did not own slaves, so no anger against him for the perceived supposed slights of his ancestors is, in any way, valid against him. Likewise, black "anger" against whites for the supposed actions of those whites’ ancestors (I know for a fact none of mine ever owned slaves – too poor – in fact, some of mine may have been indentured themselves) is completely and totally uncalled-for and inappropriate – unless someone specifically aided in those ancestors’ actions, you simply cannot hold them accountable for them. Sure, if they agree with what those ancestors did, you can pin that belief upon them, but that is in no way equivalent to actually owning slaves.

Using the actions of 100-year-dead ancestors to foment strife and anger between people of different skin tones actually is racist, in the original definition of the word (and inasmuch as humans have races, which we really do not), no matter the skin tone of the person doing the rabblerousing.

Unfortunately, @KingEricThe1st was not done there, instead concluding the conversation (he blocked me shortly after this) by saying:

imagebottom line, #GeorgeZimmerman will pay, either in court of justice, or the non conventional way. Good day

Wow. Just plain… wow.

Let us see if I can recap – @KingEricthe1st firmly believes that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin in a fit of racist vigilantism simply because Martin was a colored kid "in the wrong neighborhood". Of course, that particular narrative is looking more and more suspect over time, especially as more information about the altercation is discovered, but that is neither here nor there to some people. Regardless, on the basis of that supposed murder, @KingErickThe1st treats it as a foregone conclusion that either (a) Zimmerman will be found guilty in a court of law, or (2) Zimmerman will "pay" in "the non-conventional way", i.e. be murdered by a modern-day lynch mob.

As I said, wow.

Apparently bloodthirsty thugs do not comprehend the inherent hypocrisy and logical inconsistency of executing (a word chosen with malice aforethought) vigilante justice on someone accused but not convicted of executing vigilante justice on someone else. With that decision to succumb to their blood lust, @KingEricthe1st and the rest of his murderous buddies have decided to throw out the rule of law, the implied societal construct and contract, and the very notion of "justice", much less "right and wrong", and instead devolved back to the point of "might makes right".

And people wonder why I have made the decision to lawfully carry a firearm for self-defense purposes? How long until this desire for Zimmerman’s head on a platter and this "justified" anger spills over – or is pushed – into an honest-to-God race war?

For all the whinging "liberals"/"progressives" do over Rush "filling the airwaves with hate" or whatever-the-hell it is they are complaining about today, where is their unified condemnation of this? Oh, right, it is too convenient to not let this crisis "go to waste"…

(Closing note / curiosity: this is a local news report on Nancy Strait’s murder, and while it does show a picture of the suspect being charged, note how it very carefully omits any mention of the race of the victims. Cute, that.)

quote of the day – @chriszump

Aside from my previous post dealing more with people’s reactions to the event rather than the event itself, I have largely avoided discussing the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, and I plan on keeping up that topical silence in the near future. Why? Well, to begin with, we do not know all of the facts, and we may not ever know all of the facts, and drawing literally life-or-death conclusions based off horridly incomplete data is something I largely try to avoid. Even "better" – for certain definitions of "better" – this has predictably turned into the typical race-baiting scenario we all knew it was eventually going to end up as, given that Martin was black and Zimmerman is white… and Hispanic, though no one really sees fit to mention that particular detail. "Race" > "ethnicity" to those folks who depend on the race card to silence anyone who would disagree with them.

Anywise, I have been idly keeping tabs on Twitter as my own personal method of staying abreast of the public’s reaction to certain news (such as this particular shooter) as well as an easy way to generate new blogfodder*, and this is what i have found so far…

First up, we have the folks who are quite honest in their desires to violently harm George Zimmerman, up to and including killing him in rather disturbing and specific fashions:

image@modrtmike: O.k. Zimmerman, you r fucking toast. Let’s see how you like prison…asshole

image@akaymusic1: #GeorgeZimmerman should be pimp slapped body’d and then thrown in a body bag from a body bag to a body bag then put in palates class big girl body splash take out a gun shot the bag then use @ARSONALDAREBEL dreands to tied the bag @X_Factor

image@koogmo: That’ll teach that fat fuck a thing or two about race "relations." #dropthesoapbitch #georgezimmerman

image@RomeyRome6: If I was possible to send a bomb through mail, I think #GeorgeZimmerman would be pink mist right now

image@pinkbunny70: George Zimmerman is a child murderer, walking around free. I can’t stop thinking about it & really want to punch him #JusticeForTrayvon

image@Focusd_ambition: #GeorgeZimmerman deserve to get tortured til he die….racist mf

Speaking of racism, I have to wonder how many of those people’s reactions were racially motivated; I do not, however, have to wonder how they would react to such a suggestion…

But, moving on, we have those folks who seem to think it would be a great idea to "crowd-source" justice:

image@amanda_nan: Sign the petition to tell FL to prosecute George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. #NCGV #guncontrol http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

Yeah, because if you do not like how the legal system is working, the obvious answer is a mob dictating who should be prosecuted and for what crime! *headdesk* For clarification, the NCGV is the North Carolinians against Gun Violence Ownership, an organization that could not find its… head… with a map, GPS, and a guide. Unsurprisingly, "amanda_nan" is a board member.

However, even that mob-rule loon is arguably better than those self-righteous autocrats who have already tried Zimmerman and found him guilty:

image@ShooterDylan13: Trayvon was murdered by an armed vigilante. Period. #guncontrol #EdShow

image@BodhiDoodle: when they tried to cover it up. #trayvonmartin deserves justice. He was an innocent CHILD murdered by an evil MAN. And #guncontrol, please.

"Murder" is "the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being"; thus far, we are fairly certain that Zimmerman killed Martin, but without an actual trial, with all of the aspects and elements thereof, we have effectively no means of authoritatively determining if the killing was unlawful, or what Zimmerman’s state of mind was. People have their suspicions, of course, but suspicions do not a conviction make.

But even better than them are those benighted halfwits (I might be being generous) who think that someone potentially misusing a law / firearm is sufficient reason to unjustly confiscate private property from tens of millions of American citizens:

image@pinkbunny70: We need to BAN all HANDGUNS. Rifles & shotguns should be for hunting ANIMALS if you absolutely must. NOT HUNTING HUMANS! #GunControl

image@Liberals4Peace: If It Were Up To Me, I’d Take Away the Guns http://bit.ly/GA6T16 #guncontrol #banguns #cherylwheeler

It is worth observing that @pinkbunny70 was also featured previously in this post under the "violent" category, indicating that her desires to disarm law-abiding citizens stems out of either self-preservation (in that she does not want to be shot when attacking someone) or projection (in that she does not trust herself with firearms, so she does not trust anyone else either).

Anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together knows that effectively stealing the property of millions of American citizens simply because one person allegedly misused his property is about the stupidest argument ever, but, in today’s quote of the day, Christine concisely encapsulated the full depth of that stupidity:

imageLet’s ban cars because of the jerks who drink & drive & kill the innocent. No? that’s silly, huh?

Can you imagine the uproar that would result if drunk driving was used as an excuse to summarily round up all of the privately-owned automobiles in the country and compact them into anchors? But this one incidence of a person allegedly misusing another inanimate, expensive, machined metal tool is sufficient to make folks lose their minds and start demanding comprehensive, unconstitutional bans. I swear I will never understand the mentality of your average anti-rights cultist.

In the end, if Zimmerman walks (and I am not saying he should or will), it will not be because of Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law because Zimmerman was not covered by that law and the law does not protect aggressors nor does it protect actual murderers. Of course, those small details of facts make no difference to the warped and twisted minds determined to dance in Martin’s blood and exploit this incident to their own authoritarian desires.

But, hey, me, I hope those small-minded, intolerant, violent, vindictive, autocratic, vicious, criminal-enabling bigots continue to post their dreams of unconstitutional travesties on Twitter – that is about the strongest concentration of their idiocy I can stand any more, it gives me something to write about, and folks like Christine make it all worthwhile.

(* – Apparently I am an "evil yet resourceful individual" for doing that. As I said on Twitter, I can live with that.)