Category Archives: The Gun Debate

Robbed Store Owner who Shot Back is Investigated


A Vancouver, B.C. jewelry shop owner shot at men robbing his store this week — and he may find himself in trouble for it.

The gun debate, I surmise, is a little different north of the border.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, three men came into the downtown Vancouver jewelers’ store about 10 a.m. Tuesday. One of the men took a hammer to jewelry cases; waved a gun around.

At some point, the store’s owner took out a gun and very likely shot one of the men. The suspects fled before the cops arrived.

The man was allowed to have the gun, but, “No one is allowed to have a gun on their premises for protection in the city,” a Vancouver cop told CBC news.

So police are investigating two crimes at once.

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Commissioner Declares ‘Open Season on Criminals’

default1Police cuts are unfortunate, but Mason County’s citizens are prepared to handle their own safety, Mason County Commisioner Tim Sheldon told a local paper in an article published Thursday.

“There is no bag limit. There’s always an open season on criminal in Mason County,” Sheldon told Kevan Moore of the Shelton-Mason County Journal. (Blogger’s note: the newspaper has no web site, thus I’ve posted a photo of the quote as printed.)

In our own story, we too got some colorful words from Sheldon: “”You’re on notice: if you attempt a home-invasion robbery, you may be met with armed resistance,” he said Friday, “and could receive a Mason County hot lead enema.”

Sheldon (pictured) made sucpicture-21h remarks at a time when the Mason County Sheriff’s Office stands to lose $382,111 from its “already threadbare 2009 budget,” according to Chief Deputy Dean Byrd. They’ll have to cut up to five deputies in response.

When Casey Salisbury, Mason County Sheriff, heard Sheldon’s comments, reporter Moore said Salisbury remarked “‘Holy cow,’ before a long pause.'”

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New Gun Debate Runs South of the Border

The latest battle over the Second Amendment is being fought outside of the country. Mexico, whose government is waging war on its insurgent drug cartels, got a recent visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She said that the criminals “are outgunning law enforcement officials,” in the land of our southern neighbors.

“And since we know that the vast majority, 90% of that (weaponry) comes from our country, we’re going to try to stop it from getting there in the first place,” Clinton said, as quoted by the New York Daily News.

The Obama administration plans to mobilize a cadre of federal agents along the border, but not to check for contraband coming into the country — rather, to search it going outward. The hope is they’ll locate streams of dangerous weapons reportedly used in the drug war, in which 6,000 people died this past year.

Sounds like something that could be a useful exercise. But where things get contentious is when politicians begin talking about how gun laws are contributing to the problem.

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Is Alarming Nationwide Violence Rooted in Recession?

Several tragic acts of violence have permeated the papers and web sites around America recently. The Christian Science Monitor posed the question Monday if such horrors are rooted in the nation’s recession.

The article by Patrik Jonsson cites several cases: gunned down officers in Oakland, California, an Alabama shooting spree, a North Carolina nursing home massacre, and a murder-suicide in Santa Clara, California.

Are such cases really a reflection of anguish stemming from hard financial times? What I glean from Jonsson’s story is that there’s not really a direct correlation between tragedy and recession. But factors from an economic downturn — a lost job, a home foreclosure, a pay cut or wage freeze — simply increase the strain on those of us peddling in the economic engine. It sadly spurs some to commit unthinkable acts.
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‘Assault’ Weapons Ban Likely to be Resurrected Under Obama

Remember how gun sales have jumped and concealed pistol licenses are up in Washington?

Here’s one reason why, according to gun owners and confirmed this week by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. President Obama plans to reinstate a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” one originally imposed by President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Here’s what Holder was quoted as saying on ABC News at a press conference:

“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.

As we’ve previously reported, CPL — concealed pistol license — holders jumped from about 179,000 to 258,000, 43 percent, between 2003 and 2007, according to the state Department of Licensing. In Kitsap, applications jumped from 1,587 in 2004 to 3,339 in 2007.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban first passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate by slim margins. Signed into law by President Clinton, it had a “sunset provision,” and was not extended past 2004.

Will a renewal of such legislation see a new surge in weapons buying? Only time will tell.

Club Officer: ‘Uncertain Times for Gun Owners’

Around the country, a flurry of stories is being written by the media talking of “Fears” of a “Democrat Crackdown” that is leading to a “Gun Sales Boom,” according to one article by the Associated Press.

Here’s the data the AP relied upon:

“Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, there were more than 108,000 more background checks for gun purchases than in October 2007, a 15 percent increase. And the

y were up about 8 percent for the year as of Oct. 26, according to the FBI.”

We have, of course, devoted a special report to the rise this year in concealed pistol licenses (up 43 percent) in the state, and some local gun owners do attribute a rise with the political upshot of the Democrats, whose last president, Bill Clinton, signed a gun ban into law.

There’s a highly critical article of the media’s reporting on this topic in Slate, however. But we’ll get to that later. First, I wanted to find out locally if there’s any trends developing, so I emailed Marcus Carter, executive officer at the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club. Here’s what he said about the possible uptick:

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Those That Carry Concealed Among Us

As you’ll see in a story coming Sunday, the number of concealed pistol licenses in Washington is up 43 percent in four years. Kitsap and Mason counties echo that trend.

There are, in total, about 258,000 people in the state who can choose to carry a hidden lethal weapon on their person, according to the Department of Licensing.

Just who are these people? Where do they live and work? What motivates them to pack heat? That was the question I attempted to answer in Sunday’s story to come.

In doing the story, I attempted to shy away from the age-old debate of the second amendment, one that burns bright in the psyche of America. There are those who simply believe more guns equal more crime, and those who simply believe more guns equal less crime. And both sides have stats readily available to share.

It was pretty much an impossible task avoiding this perennial hot button issue. But I tried to steer the story toward issues relevant to concealed carry. And further, trying to answer this question: do concealed carriers make our society safer, or more dangerous?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the story, as well as what you believe the answer to that question to be.

Concealed Handguns: To Carry or Not to Carry


Two horrific school shootings this past year at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University have galvanized both “concealed carry” gun owners and firearms opponents, in verbal battles that are taking place across the country.

A recent Seattle P-I blog adds the University of Washington to the list of campuses debating the issue.

From what I can tell, there are two central viewpoints here:

1) Those who believe that “concealed carry” laws on campuses will allow responsible owners to bring an aura of safety should a shooter begin a rampage;

2) Those who think banning the weapons on campus outright (and limiting them elsewhere) will prevent said shooter’s access to get deadly weapons in the first place.

Washington’s concealed pistol law allows 235,795 people to carry (as of May 7), according to Department of Licensing spokeswoman Christine Anthony. In fact, the state even has an “open carry” law, in which gun owners can wear their weapons outside their clothing that may surprise you.

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