An armed robbery attempt was foiled last month in Chicago when a business owner grabbed the suspect’s gun and chased him out.
James Suh, owner of Car Care Auto Spa in the Windy City, was at work one evening when “all of a sudden, it’s just, ‘hey give me all of your money,’” he told ABC7Chicago in a recent interview.
He looked up to see a man with a gun leveled at his face. At first, trying to de-escalate the scenario, he stalled as the man continued demanding money, explaining that a key was necessary for the cash drawer to be unlocked.
Suh is a concealed carry license holder, although his firearm was unfortunately absent during the incident.
During the verbal exchange, Suh noticed something about the robber’s pistol.
“He kinda like tries to rack his gun and it looked to me like it got jammed, the slide was locked back,” Suh explained.
In a moment that Suh later identified as a purely emotional decision, he grabbed at the gun, and the robber tried to evade him.
Surveillance footage shows the fight that ensued inside the shop, in which Suh eventually gained control of the pistol. The attacker then fled the scene.
Police are saying that while the footage has been studied, no arrests have been made yet. Luckily there were no injuries, a detail that could easily have been different had Suh not been prepared.
Emphasizing that the decision he made was risky, police instruct others to not follow Suh’s course of action if faced with a similar circumstance.
But with crime on the rise, perhaps it’s time for more business owners to get their CCL the way that Suh did — they just need to remember to have it on their person while at work!
This week council members invoked the nuclear option after a pair of businesses applied to open up gun shops in the city, voting unanimously to impose a 45-day ban on gun shops while city attorneys investigate whether the city can make that ban permanent; a tactic that other anti-gun locales are likely to adopt… at least until courts step in.
One of the proposed gun shop locations is at Roosevelt Plaza, which is near Roosevelt Elementary School.
Katie Gaets, a parent who serves as Pastor of Woodside Road United Methodist Church in Redwood City, was among those who spoke in support of the ordinance at Monday’s council meeting.
“Just today a teenager was convicted of killing four people in a school shooting and two more people died in a school shooting in St. Louis,” Gaets said.
“One of the ways we can take a clear and definitive stance of no against such violence, is by taking a clear and definitive step away from firearms dealers in our local community.”
You don’t send an anti-violence message by making it harder for legal gun owners to protect themselves, which is exactly what this gun store ban does. California law already requires every would-be gun owner to go through a background check and twiddle their thumbs for ten business days before they’re allowed to take possession of their newly-purchased firearm, and every time they go and purchase ammunition they’re subjected to additional background checks.
If criminals obeyed the law, these restrictions might actually make a difference. Instead, according to the FBI California had the most active shooter incidents of any state in the Union last year. The real message that Redwood City’s proposed gun store ban sends is that city council members are willing to bend the knee to anti-gun activists at the expense of the rights of the law-abiding.
Unfortunately, as we discuss on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Redwood City isn’t alone in trying to curtail gun purchases. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is also considering a laundry list of new restrictions on current and future gun owners and gun store proprietors, and other communities across the state are taking aim at gun shops that are already in existence. In Torrance, for instance, the owner of Red Rifle Ltd. was originally given approval to move his shop from an industrial part of town to Torrance’s upscale Old Town neighborhood before activists complained and convinced the city’s Planning Commission to rescind the permit they issued to the store.
Now store owner Jack Brandhorst is appealing that decision, arguing that the city’s claim the shop is “incompatible” with the other businesses in Old Town doesn’t fly, and that there’s no reason in state or local law to prohibit the move to a better location.
“Red Rifle is a legal, reputable, long standing business that is not prohibited from opening in Downtown Torrance by any law, statute or rule,” Brandhorst wrote in his appeal, which was filed with a $750 fee on Oct. 11. “Thus, legally we should be allowed to move our boutique to Downtown Torrance.”Brandhorst said in an interview that his store will only serve to elevate the area, with its high end products, personable customer service and smithing services. He said he takes stringent safety precautions, including all mandatory background checks, requiring customers complete a 30-minute gun safety lesson, requiring customers with children to purchase a safe, and securing all ammunition in store.Former Councilwoman Maureen O’Donnell, one of the four residents who filed the initial appeals, said she remains steadfast in her belief that Old Town Torrance is not a safe location for a gun store.“The gentleman is within his rights to appeal and we will go again and present our case before the council as we did before the (Planning) Commission,” she said.“I think that the commission’s decision is the correct one,” she added. “I hope that the City Council will see the reasonableness of that decision and our position.”O’Donnell also said that there are already 12 licensed firearms dealers in Torrance and that regardless of the safety precautions taken by the store, the owner cannot know a person’s true intent in purchasing a weapon.
If that’s her argument then I don’t know how O’Donnell would be okay with any gun being sold anywhere in Torrance, whether in the tony Old Town neighborhood or the grimiest part of town. Regardless of her hostility towards the right to keep and bear arms, it is a right that we’re talking about here, and one that by necessity includes the right to acquire a firearm as well as the right to keep and carry it for self-defense.
As many gun control restrictions are ruled unconstitutional in the wake of the Bruen decision, look for more anti-gun locales to set up as many hurdles as possible for new and existing gun store owners to navigate.
It might be restrictive zoning ordinances limiting gun stores to just a few acres of land in undesirable locations, as we’ve seen in Torrance, or it could be an outright ban on gun stores like the one Redwood City council members are hoping to permanently impose, but either way we have some major legal fights brewing over buying and selling the arms we have the right to keep and bear.
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco recently sent out a notification to concealed carry holders in the county alerting them to a public records request from Viacom-CBS for “the names of all people with concealed carry permits.” Bianco says that after the request was received, the department reached out to attorneys to “determine if their were any valid exceptions the department could use” in order to prevent handing over those names to the media. According to Bianco, an “outside legal analysis” determined that the California Supreme Court ruled all the way back in 1986 that if media outlets request this information, “public agencies must disclose the full names of concealed weapons permit holders.”
Bianco says he had no choice but to release the names of all those Riverside County residents who possess a valid concealed carry license, and in his alert to permit holders told them that he doesn’t take this matter lightly. Still, the sheriff says that because of “court precedent and a lack of protections” within the state’s legal code he was forced to hand over the information, and encouraged those “seeking a change” to state law to contact their local legislators.
I’m actually somewhat torn here. If California were a true “shall issue” state, then I don’t think there is any compelling public interest in knowing the names of those who possess a concealed carry license. In “may issue” states, however, I think the argument can be made that the subjective and arbitrary issuance of carry license is deserving of public scrutiny. Look at what’s going on in Santa Clara County, California right now, where Sheriff Laurie Smith is currently on trial in civil court on charges of corruption after allegations that deep-pocketed donors to her re-election campaign were given rarely-issued concealed carry permits in exchange for their “support”. While the powerful and well-connected were handed permits, those who didn’t have that same special relationship with the sheriff’s office were often left twisting in the wind without even a formal denial.
A former manager for a Silicon Valley security business testified at a sheriff’s civil corruption trial that he and the company’s CEO agreed to provide political donations in exchange for concealed-weapons permits.
Martin Nielsen, who implicated a Santa Clara County sheriff’s captain and others in the alleged bribery scheme, testified publicly for the first time Monday at Sheriff Laurie Smith’s trial.
He detailed how he was tasked with finding a way to get concealed-carry permits for AS Solutions security agents who were assigned to high-profile clients, the Mercury News reported. The effort followed a 2018 shooting at the YouTube campus in San Bruno in which a woman wounded three people before killing herself.
The now-defunct security company’s high-profile clients included Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Nielsen testified that he and AS Solution’s then-head Christian West agreed to financially support Smith’s 2018 reelection bid in exchange for the permits for security agents assigned to protect executives for the company then known as Facebook.
… Nielsen, testifying under a grant of immunity from criminal prosecution, said he and West arranged to donate a large sum to an independent expenditure committee backing Smith’s reelection.
“Did you come away with the understanding you would get 10 to 15 permits?” prosecutor Gabriel Markoff asked.
“Yes,” Nielsen replied.
… Nielson did not state the precise donation amount in his testimony because San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Nancy Fineman had limited what details Nielsen could give in front of the jury.
However, in past testimony, Nielsen said $90,000 was the agreed amount, though only $45,000 was ever donated. The other half was scuttled after the bribery and corruption probe got underway in 2019.
Nielsen also testified that he was unilaterally exempted by a sheriff’s captain from having to qualify under a legally required firearms proficiency test, and was instructed to obscure their association with the security company to avoid negative optics.
“They could not all be AS Solution,” he said. “Something about the fact it was a security company and it didn’t look good.”
If the powerful and well-connected are afforded access to their right of armed self-defense while the vast majority of applicants are denied, that’s a legitimate news story. Having said that, the scandal in the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department wasn’t uncovered by local media, but by the Santa Clara County D.A.’s office. While the publicly available information could have been used by news outlets to uncover the alleged shady situation in the sheriff’s office, it looks instead like it was campaign finance disclosures that actually raised suspicions of prosecutors, with the media only picking up on the scandalous allegations after a search warrant was served on the sheriff’s office.
While there’s a theoretical benefit to publicly disclosing the names of concealed carry holders in “may issue” states, in practice this leads to responsible gun owners being put at risk of burglary and theft, and may even help aid stalkers learn whether their potential victims are armed or not. Unfortunately, for now this policy is the law of the land in California, and concealed carry holders can be outed by their local media. Whether that law would withstand constitutional scrutiny in light of the test laid out by the Supreme Court in Bruen is another question entirely, however, and I hope that one or more of the 2A groups operating in the state will challenge that 1986 California court decision by using the Bruen test in the very near future.
The measure slated as A4769 and S3214 carves out a long list of new “don’ts” when it comes to carry in the Garden State. Cam recently covered an editorial lauding the measure, which in reality the Star Ledger, the paper that put out that schlock, basically ran propaganda for president wannabe Governor Phil Murphy.
The alleged purpose of the bill, outlined below, is greatly overshadowed by the extreme incompetence of lawmakers in the Garden State. The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) recently uncovered an embarrassing flaw in the bill.
In the lawmakers’ haste to sever citizens from their civil liberties, they overlooked something that’s splashed an omelette’s worth of egg onto their faces.
- Ban carry in common public places by labeling them as “sensitive places” (plainly forbidden by Bruen)
- Ban carry inside one’s own car (plainly forbidden by Bruen)
- Ban carry on commercial and private property, unless the property owner posts notices allowing it (plainly unconstitutional)
- Massively increase fees for permits (plainly forbidden by Bruen, and discriminates against low-income citizens)
- Mandate special insurance (which may not even be available) as a pre-condition to exercise constitutional rights (plainly unconstitutional)
- Mandate a new, unusual training requirement (beyond the already-difficult one that has existed for decades) – raises serious constitutional questions.
When news of this bill broke, Scott Bach, the Executive Director of ANJRPC rightfully asserted:
These attacks by New Jersey lawmakers are a big middle finger to the U.S Supreme Court. These lawmakers have no respect for the Constitution or the rule of law – they focus on attacking citizens’ rights while setting violent criminals free. We look forward to overturning these measures in court and forcing the state to pay our legal fees.
This is a bad bill, overall. While this not only is going to affect the law abiding gun owner that wishes to exercise their carry rights, this measure will also affect everyone. This bill is going to have no favoritism to political party or ideologies on individual liberties. The legislature, hot and heavy to stick it to the peasants, unknowingly banned the possession of anything that could possibly be a weapon from the sensitive places they’ve carved out.
When discussing the “sensitive places” that the bill defines, the sponsor of the Assembly version, Assemblyman Joe Danielsen could not answer during committee meetings the direct question of, “Where can people carry under these guidelines?” Danielsen, because of this bill is in my opinion, the 2nd biggest jackass in politics in the Garden State. He refused to give a list of where one would be allowed to exercise their right to carry.
The reason Danielsen did not give an answer is because under this policy there’s essentially nowhere people can carry. Well, that or he really is as stupid as he seems when he opens his mouth, but that does not change the fact there’s close to zero places that are noted as not senstive places by default.
The dem’s did a fine job in picking Danielsen as their champion on this matter. Instead of finding the strongest in their flock, they seemingly picked one of the weakest, and it was downright embarrassing listening to him try to answer simple questions about the bill he allegedly wrote. He did not write this bill, there’s no way.
If you’d like to view one of the committee hearings on the bill and get to see Danielsen get mopped up by those who oppose the measure, you can HERE. Of course TWO Assembly committees voted in favor for this measure, even after Danielsen’s inability to speak intelligently about the bill, or how this affects criminals (or rather only the law abiding), was on full display.
The hub-bub over sensitive places is important, because as ANJRPC pointed out, firearms are not the only things banned from these places. These places were hastily defined, and the following items would also be prohibited on those premises:
Bans Hundreds of Common Tools Used Throughout Society
- Bans Knives in Restaurants, Scalpels in Hospitals, Utility Knives Everywhere
- Bans Axes, Hammers, Screwdrivers, Nail Guns, Heavy Tools
- Bans Baseball Bats, Hockey Sticks, Golf Clubs
- Bans Mops, Brooms, Bricks, Lumber
- Bans Chainsaws, Free Weights, Tire Irons
- Bans Pens & Pencils
- Bans Anything That Can Be Misused to Inflict Serious Harm
Looking at ANJRPC’s explanation, we can quickly see how they arrived at that conclusion:
In their now-infamous list of contrived “sensitive places” (used as an excuse to ban carry everywhere), they banned “weapons” generally instead of limiting the ban to “handguns.” The distinction between the two terms is immense under New Jersey law, and as it now stands, the legislation prohibits and criminalizes hundreds of common every-day tools and implements used in every facet of society. The legislation bans them in all “sensitive places” – essentially everywhere.
N.J.S. 2C:39-1(r) defines “weapon” as “anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury. . . . “It doesn’t ACTUALLY have to be used lethally or to inflict serious injury – it only has to be CAPABLE of that to qualify as a “weapon.” It’s a thoughtless and nonsensical definition to begin with, demonizing tools themselves rather than those who misuse them. But that’s the “wisdom” of lawmakers in the Garden State, it’s the law here, and the chickens have now come home to roost on that one.
It’s actually downright humorous that the Assembly is going to have to decide if they want to vote in favor of this, or send it back to committee. The Senate is going to have to address this, I imagine, which is going to cause the need for reconciliation anyhow. That means that hopefully good ole Danielsen is going to have to grace us with his stunning linguistics again, as he stammers his way out of why he put this measure into his bill. I think we are all owed that performance, at a minimum. Watch a weasel, weasel.
New Jersey lawmakers have outdone themselves, and in the process proven the sheer absurdity of their handgun carry ban by extending it to common, everyday objects that “could” be misused. Now that the general public is being victimized by the same mindless rules that have been weaponized against honest gun owners for decades, perhaps they will begin to understand how gun owners have long been persecuted merely for wanting to exercise a Constitutional right.
Now that we’ve let out the captain’s secret here, there’s some other noteworthy things that need to be pointed out concerning this bill and the hearings.
One of the measures dictates that a holster one uses must have a retention strap, and that holster must be attached to the body. This limits women (and men) from being able to use off-body carry in something like a purse. When grilled on this fact, Danielsen took offense to the insinuation of him being sexist over it. Well, he was being sexist. During his remarks he said, with hubris, that women have far more carry options than men. He muttered something about having a website to show everyone on the subject. What was he talking about? Who knows what kind of web sites Danielsen goes to.
Not only is Danielsen, in my opinion, sexist for having this requirement in his bill, he’s also ableist. What if someone is not able to wear a holster, for whatever reason, and had to resort to off-body carry? How about someone with limited mobility that’s not agile enough to access conventional holsters and where they are placed on body normally? We could go on for hours discussing the possibilities here.
What about fanny packs or back packs designed for carry? Not good enough for Danielsen. The holster requirement also would preclude pocket carry. What about the thousands of people that wish to carry in a pocket holster? There are no retention straps for those either.
In discussing Danielsen’s ableist mentality, when he was asked about disqualifiers due to physical handicap, he proudly and belligerently said that someone that’s completely blind should not be allowed to have a permit to carry. In his bill the physically disabled and or handicapped can be denied a permit to carry, without there being a list of objective standards. This is beyond discriminatory, especially in the Garden State. Why a completely blind person should be “allowed” to have a carry permit is for the same reasons anyone else should be “allowed”, because it’s a Constitutional right. Further, in New Jersey, one must be in possession of a permit to carry in order to possess a handgun outside of a narrow group of exemptions.
What if we have someone that’s blind and is a gun collector? What if they were not born blind and they have all these firearms? Does it even matter if someone was born abled or not? Are the differently abled not afforded the same liberties of the abled in New Jersey because of this? Or, just because someone is disabled they SHALL be relegated to the narrow list of possession exemptions in the Garden State when those with permits are at least allowed to carry where there’s an affirmative permission? We can go ten rounds on this. Gun collecting, inheritance, and yes, shooting, all some of the many things the blind can and do do, but not outside of the narrow possession exemptions because Danielsen said so.
In my opinion Danielsen’s bill is both sexist towards women and discriminatory against the handicapped, besides being unconstitutional. It’s also his own special was to tell the Supreme Court they’re wrong and he’s smarter than them.
What can we do? Most importantly, we can write to and or call the full set of New Jersey’s legislators. Let them know what you think. Live out of state? Not a problem! There are non-resident permits to carry in NJ, and this will affect you too in due time should you wish to get one. And I encourage out-of-staters to apply for their permits to carry, by the millions. If you have a permit to carry in your own state, just as an exercise of patriotism and in solidarity to Garden Staters, you should go to New Jersey to apply for a permit.
In wake of an announcement of the upcoming Senate committee meeting on October 27th, and the Assembly brining this measure to a full vote, I sent the public masters the following love letter:
I’m going to keep this short and to the point. The US Supreme Court has made the law of the land known. By voting for this measure A4769/S3214, you’re going to be no better than Governor George Wallace, who stood in the schoolhouse doorway. In essence, you’ll be saying you don’t care about infringing on peoples’ civil rights.
Lawmakers, members of the judiciary, and executives that have gone against Supreme Court Rulings in the past have all been on the wrong side of history. Those that aim to disarm the population have all been on the wrong side of history. I won’t bother to explain how bad this egregious bill is…How unconstitutional. But I will say that a vote in favor of this measure will connect your name to an ugly footnote in history.
Put politics aside, ignore Governor Phil Murphy’s requests, and do the right thing by voting against this bill.
I invite everyone to write in their sentiments too. Remember to be respectful and point out how bad this bill is. You can find the full list of email addresses for New Jersey’s lawmakers HERE. If there’s ever been a time to act, this is it. We, as a united front of patriots, must keep the pressure on those that think they’re bigger than the Constitution by letting our voices be heard. Let them know how comfortable Danielsen looks being ideologically arm in arm with Governor George Wallace…Telling SCOTUS to buzz off, while infringing on civil liberties.
For an entertainingly long list provided by ANJRPC of other items that would be banned under Danielsen’s bill, give a look below:
- KNIVES & CUTLERY Steak knives in restaurants, scalpels in hospitals, utility knives used by tradesmen, cutlery in the kitchen, cutlery in stores and supermarkets, pocket knives, pen knives, Swiss army knives, multi-tools, and the like.
- AXES, CHAINSAWS, HAND-SAWS & WOOD CHIPPERS No more tree services, utility work, firemen’s tools, post-storm tree clearing, or firewood creation.
- COMMON HAND TOOLS No more hammers, screwdrivers, awls, wrenches, drills, nail guns, hand-saws, power-saws, or the like in “sensitive places.”. They’re all banned.
- SPORTS EQUIPMENT No more baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, lacrosse equipment, hard balls, or pucks, specifically forbidden in schools, stadiums and arenas, in addition to everywhere else. No hockey sticks for the NJ Devils.
- ROCKS, STICKS, MASONRY, LUMBER Better not have bricks or lumber in public places, or in private places without the written permission of the owner. Better not touch any stones or fallen tree branches.
- WEIGHTS & GYM EQUIPMENT No more free weights, dumbbells, barbells, or training equipment that could be used to injure someone. Nope, not in “sensitive places.”
- SCISSORS & SEWING EQUIPMENT No more scissors, needles, knitting tools, or related equipment in “sensitive places.” If you live in an apartment, you’d better get the landlord’s written consent first if you don’t want to go to jail.
- CHAINS, TIRE IRONS, LUG WRENCHES Obviously, these are evil instruments that should be banned in a “civilized society.” Lug wrenches on school buses to change flat tires prohibited.
- ROPES, WIRES & POWER CORDS Can be used to strangle.
- GLASS BOTTLES, FLASHLIGHTS, PIPES & TUBES Can be used as blunt objects to strike someone.
- CAUSTIC, TOXIC & ACIDIC SUBSTANCES Janitors kill. So do lab scientists. And painters. They all must be stopped to protect the public.
- LANDSCAPING TOOLS Pruners, hedge trimmers, limb cutters, shovels, rakes, saws, post-diggers, machetes, fencing materials.
- SLEDGEHAMMERS, PICKAXES, HEAVY TOOLS Banned in “sensitive places” (that is, everywhere).
- PROPANE TORCHES & LIGHTERS Can be used to set lethal fires.
- MOPS & BROOMS Their wooden or metallic sticks can be used as weapons.
- PENS & PENCILS They can be used to stab someone.
For some excellent footage of Assemblyman Brian Bergen, who spoke in opposition of the bill, you can watch him lay the smack-down on the measure, by clicking HERE, HERE, and HERE, or check out the embeds below.
And I thought California was fornicated up! Grumpy
Given the fact that a federal judge has already said that many portions of New York’s ironically named Concealed Carry Improvement Act are likely unconstitutional, are California lawmakers really ready to double down and approve similar restrictions in the Golden State? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes,” though California Attorney General Rob Bonta suggested in an interview this week that the California legislation could be tweaked in response to the New York case. One thing is clear, however: Bonta and other anti-gun Democrats are still intent on restricting the right to carry as much as they possibly can.
Bonta said his sense of urgency remains as acute as ever.
“There will be, and there have been huge spikes in the number of applicants,” he said. “We believe that it’s important to have a constitutional regime that allows for those who should constitutionally have a concealed carry weapon to have (one), but to take the steps to make sure that we are doing everything constitutionally permissible to keep people safe.”
“Keep people safe,” in Bonta’s view, means prohibiting concealed carry holders from actually carrying in most circumstances and ensuring stiff sentences and severe consequences for those concealed carry holders who may stray into one of the many “gun-free zones” Bonta and his anti-gun allies want to put in place. And even if the courts don’t look kindly on New York’s newest infringements on the Second Amendment, California’s AG is intent on putting new laws on the books.
Bonta echoed comments made by the bill’s author, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Glendale Democrat, who said that he would like to see the bill, or some version of it, introduced as soon as the next session begins in December.
That plan hit a possible speed bump late last month. Where California’s bill failed, a similar proposal in New York was signed into law, only for a federal judge to rule this month that its long list of “sensitive places” is unconstitutional.
“So we need to look at that, and maybe it is over-broad,” Bonta said, “and we should take that to heart…and respond appropriately with any new (similar) bill.”
Bonta was also asked about California’s new law that, in part, forces plaintiffs challenging any state-level gun control law to pay attorneys fees if they lose any portion of their lawsuit; a law enacted as a response to a Texas law allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers in the state. The California AG seemed to realize just how stupid this culture war fight really is, calling the move a “dangerous game” but claiming that somehow it’s okay when California does it.
Bonta insisted that the law is an earnest effort to “save lives,” but also acknowledged that it was meant to call the high court’s bluff.
“We’re using it in the best way that it can be used, in a way that advances California values,” he said. “But it’s dangerous. It’s a dangerous game. We’re using it responsibly. Now others can use it like Texas, and maybe the Supreme Court will look at the landscape of how this approach is being used and try to correct it. If that happens, that’s fine, too.”
Not exactly a stirring defense of the California law in question, is it? I’m sure the Second Amendment groups that are challenging the law in court will find Bonta’s comments very interesting, especially since it seems like Bonta’s basically asking the Supreme Court to step in and invalidate both the Texas and California statutes.
While Bonta might not be too eager to defend this particular law in court, he’s very much a willing participant in California Democrats’ attempt to chill the Second Amendment rights of Californians. Bonta can chalk that up to “advancing California values,” but to those trying to exercise their right to keep and bear arms Bonta’s efforts look a lot more like treading all over a fundamental right of we the people.
One of the best vacations my family and I ever took was to Chicago. We did the museums, wandered about taking in the sights, and ate some great food. Unfortunately, several decades of left-wing governance have taken their inevitable toll. As anyone who has watched the news will tell you, Chicago has a bit of a violence problem these days.
It’s pretty tough to buy a legal gun in Chicago, though the illegal sort apparently litter the place. Until recent times, the Windy City had no gun shops. There are a few now, but you still have to have special cards, government permission, and similar stuff to obtain a weapon legally. Despite all that, in 2020 there were 780 murders in Chicago. Over the July 4th weekend in 2021 more than 100 people were shot. Tragically, eighteen perished.
Per capita, Chicago is far from the worst. In 2020 they had about 25 murders per 100,000 people. I’m disappointed to report that the reigning champion that year was actually Jackson, Mississippi, with a murder rate of roughly twice that. Our sordid tale this day takes us through both places.
I live in a small town in the Deep South today. A great many folks are armed, and, with blessed few exceptions, everybody is friendly. Crimes of violence are quite unusual. Property crime happens from time to time, but thankfully that’s rare, too.
I learned to be a doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, apparently per capita one of the most violent places in the country. I would assert that this was also the best place on the planet to learn medicine. The facility and faculty were indeed both top flight, but that wasn’t the secret to a stellar medical education. Jackson was a great place to learn medicine because of the patients.
That part of Mississippi is one of the most morbidly obese places on planet earth. It is a uniquely modern phenomenon that our poor people are fat. With such profoundly poor diets and a dearth of exercise come scads of metabolic maladies. Diabetes and hypertension were ubiquitous, and there was a thin scattering of venereal disease sprinkled over the top as well.
My patients routinely neglected to do what I asked of them. We often discussed stuff like diet and exercise, but that was clearly more for my benefit than theirs. Oftentimes some enormous Jacksonian endured my spiel about the many-splendored dangers of fast food, cigarettes, and a sedentary lifestyle before departing my clinic determined not to change a blessed thing.
Lastly, in their free time my patients not infrequently shot each other. I never did a shift in the ER at the Level 1 trauma center where I trained without at least one gunshot wound. My personal record was seven. However, those sordid attributes also made it a great place to learn. Once I hung out my shingle in a normal place with moms, dads, and patients who heeded my advice, being an effective doctor seemed relatively breezy.
Terrion Pouncy was a thug. While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Terrion myself, I have indeed met many like him. At risk of being labeled whatever it is you get labeled with these days for simply describing the world as it is, here’s what these guys are like up close.
These are the gladiators. They’re often exceptionally fit and typically covered in gang tats. They are invariably combative and belligerent when they present to the emergency department acutely shot. I mean, who wouldn’t be? However, once you save their lives and get them out of that environment they’re most commonly quite friendly. I have had some of the most delightful conversations with these guys as they recuperated after surgery.
None of them had dads, and their moms often stayed in the rooms with them. These long-suffering ladies did the best they could considering, but there aren’t a whole lot of positive role models in that world. These guys gravitate toward crime, drugs, and violence in an effort at escaping their dreadful circumstances.
At 6 am on a chilly November day in 2017, Terrion Pouncy approached a 24-hour hotdog stand at 11656 South Halsted Street in the West Pullman neighborhood in Chicago. The stand was manned by a pair of unidentified guys aged 39 and 45. Terrion was dressed in a dark hooded sweatshirt pulled up over his head. He had a similarly dark scarf that concealed his face.
These were the days before covid, so facial coverings were not quite as commonplace as is the case today. Surveillance videos posted on YouTube demonstrate that modern criminals are exceptionally conscientious about mask-wearing. Regardless, it was cold and dark, so Terrion likely got pretty close before the hot dog guys grew suspicious.
Pouncy approached the two men, produced a .38-caliber handgun, and demanded the money in the cash register. The younger of the two victims readily complied. However, this man was also holding a bucket of hot grease at the time. As he fumbled for the cash in the register he accidentally dropped the bucket, spilling hot grease liberally across the floor.
Terrion lustily grabbed the cash, most of it in ones, and started shoving it into his pants. Before departing, Terrion availed himself of the man’s wallet and cell phone as well. All this was captured on surveillance video.
As Pouncy turned to jog away he stuffed his handgun back into his waistband and slipped on the spilled grease. Unfortunately, his hands were full, and he was in a rush. The trigger caught on something, and the gun went off. This is where Terrion’s morning took an unexpectedly dark turn.
Pouncy ran down the street to an abandoned car wash now bleeding vigorously. There he was seen throwing something, presumably his weapon, over a fence. He then called 911 and reported that he had been shot.
First responders found Pouncy with a through-and-through gunshot wound to his penis and another to his thigh. Both injuries were clearly from the same round. The cops later found his discarded hoodie and weapon. The younger of the two robbery victims discovered his wallet near the spot where the ambulance retrieved the freshly neutered criminal.
Pouncy was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and admitted. While there he missed his initial hearing, so Judge Stephanie Miller ordered him held without bond. I bet hers is a simply fascinating job. Despite an aggressive Google search, I never could find out what became of poor Terrion. Even if they just let him go, the argument could be made that he has already been punished adequately.
Closer to Home
I myself had a similar encounter while working in the ER in Jackson. A young unlicensed pharmacist got sideways with a competitor, and they both slapped leather. This guy’s Hi-Point 9mm went off on the draw stroke, centerpunching his male member mid-shaft but fortuitously missing everything else. His opponent apparently felt that justice had been adequately served and abandoned him bleeding on the sidewalk.
This guy was justifiably unsettled when we met, but the paramedics had gotten much of the bleeding staunched enroute. We packaged him up for the Urology residents who were thrilled to get an interesting surgical case. When your world orbits around bladder cancer and inflamed prostate glands a good old-fashioned gunshot wound to the shlong is a reliable crowd-pleaser.
I actually saw that guy for something else some months later and he offered to let me take a peek at his offended member. It had indeed healed nicely, no doubt a tribute to the rarefied skill of our resident Urologists. It did, however, cock off at a jaunty angle around mid-shaft. Our hero was thrilled to report that it still functioned as intended. He explained that his injury might have even made him more popular with the local ladies based solely upon the novelty of the thing. Thank goodness he could still reproduce.
I write for the gun press, and I proudly own a Hi-Point pistol. Those who denigrate the performance of these inexpensive guns have clearly not logged a great deal of trigger time on one. My Hi-Point shoots quite well.
Originally launched in 1992, Hi-Point produces inexpensive, reliable firearms. Their catalog includes both pistols and carbines in a variety of calibers. All of their weapons are based upon the straight blowback operating system. This design mandates an unusually heavy slide.
Hi-Point slides are die cast from an inexpensive zinc alloy called Zamak-3. The frames are steel-reinforced polymer. Ancillary bits demanding gun-grade strength are cut from steel as well. The aesthetic result looks like a blow dryer had a baby with an electric toaster.
The single action trigger on the Hi-Point is a bit mushy but quite serviceable. The gun’s single-stack magazines are relatively easy to swap, and the safety is intuitive. One of the red dots on my rear sight fell out, but Hi-Point pistols shoot plenty straight. Mine has also been unflinchingly reliable. The bulk of the slide makes concealment a chore, but that doesn’t mean that literally countless young thugs haven’t successfully pulled it off. My Hi-Point C9 set me back $46 without a magazine from a Law Enforcement auction.
So if you were pondering a life of petty crime let me encourage you to seek out a career elsewhere. The money can be good, and the tax burden is admittedly minimal. However, Terrion Pouncy can no doubt attest that the occupational hazards far outweigh the potential rewards. Nobody wants to be shot in the Johnson no matter how much easy cash rides on the enterprise.
SPRINGFIELD, VA -(Ammoland.com)- When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told Representative Michael Cloud’s (R-TX) office that it held nearly one billion out of business records, Gun Owners of America (GOA) called it an illegal gun registry. The legacy media newspaper, USA Today, issued a “fact check” stating that the claim was false. Now thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by GOA and Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), we know how much of a role the ATF played in determining the rating.
Last January, the ATF answered an inquire by Rep Cloud’s office stating that it held nearly one billion records in its Out of Business Office in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The vast majority of the records were digitized, and the ATF’s Firearms Trace Center had access to the documents. Although the ATF claims the records are not searchable by anything other than the former federal firearms licensee (FFL) name, by just selecting a few options in the software, those records could be usable by using optical character recognition (OCR).
A new FOIA request by GOA and GOF shows the communication between the USA Today fact checker, ATF’s former Chief of the Public Affairs Division, April Langwell, and former ATF Associate Deputy Director Thomas Chittum. Mr. Chittum has left the ATF to work for ShotSpotter. Ms. Langwell also recently left the ATF to work as the Director of Communications for the United States Marine Corp (USMC).
In the exchange, the unnamed fact-checker asked about the alleged registry. Ms. Langwell and Mr. Chittum denied the existence of the gun registry. Mr. Chittum replied that there was no firearms registry and handed off the conversation to Ms. Langwell. Ms. Langwell repeated the claim that the database is only searchable by FFL name. She stated that the ATF doesn’t consider the digitally scanned records to be a gun registry. The fact checker did not follow up on how easy it would be to turn on optical character recognition. The fact checker seemed to accept Ms. Langwell’s claims at face value.
The issue the fact checker overlooked is that according to the email exchange, the records are stored in PDF format. The PDF file format is the product of Adobe. Adobe Acrobat is needed to read the documents in the file format. The ability to OCR documents is built into Adobe Acrobat and can be applied to a PDF in as little as two clicks.
The ATF also told USA Today that all records had been digitized as of 2017. This claim contradicts what the ATF told Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX). The fact checker did ask Ms. Langwell about the discrepancy. The ATF repeated the claim to the fact checker that the ATF completed the move to a digital format in 2017. The fact checker never followed up on why the ATF told USA Today something different than what the Bureau told Congress. Someone received the wrong information from the ATF, and it is unclear who has the incorrect information.
GOF and GOA were deeply troubled by USA Today’s “fact checking” methods. They point out that the paper discounted the mountains of evidence and the ATF’s own statements on the matter.
“ATF openly admitted to USA Today that ‘scanning out of business records began in 2005’ and now ATF ‘processes an average of 5.5 million’ records containing private gun and owner information into its database per month,” said Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs, Gun Owners of America. “We are disappointed that this ‘journalist’ simply reported ATF’s denial of an illegal gun registry as truth, without any critical thinking whatsoever.”
USA Today did not respond to AmmoLand’s request for comment.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.